One of the more intriguing predicaments the Browns face heading into the 2009 season is the right side of the offensive line.
Being tried out at right guard and tackle are Ryan Tucker, George Foster, John St. Clair and Floyd Womack. All have been starters at the NFL level. Here's a look at each:
Tucker (6'6, 315 pounds): In 134 career games, Tucker has started 102. However, he only played in one game last season, a win against the Giants. In 2007, Tucker started eight games at guard. He's been referred to as the heart of the offensive line and the unit seems to run more efficiently when he's healthy.
Foster (6'5, 338 pounds): Foster is the newest Brown, signing with the team last week. He's played tackle for Detroit and Denver. He started just three games for the Lions last year, but played very well at left tackle for the Broncos early in his career. Head coach Eric Mangini told reporters Foster is only working out at tackle.
(On the addition of George Foster) – "He is a guy that when he came up we looked at and felt would add some good competition to the tackle position. He has started a lot of games in the league. He has played a lot of football. Analyzing that, we felt there was value in bringing him in to increase competition and depth."
St. Clair (6'5, 315 pounds): The Browns signed St. Clair early in the offseason after Kevin Shaffer was cut loose. He started every game last season at right tackle for Chicago. He's predominantly a run blocker. So far, Mangini has liked what he's seen in St. Clair:
"John [St. Clair] is doing a really nice job. I really liked him when I saw him on the free agent tape; I liked the things he did there. As a guy, he is an outstanding person in the locker room, meeting rooms, all of the things I look for from that perspective."
Womack (6'4, 328 pounds): For most of his career, Womack has been a utility player on the line who will play anywhere but center. That's what he did for eight seasons in Seattle, starting 47 games and playing in 90.
Who will start: My pre-training camp guess is that Tucker will start at guard if he's healthy and St. Clair will start at tackle. Foster will back up St. Clair and Womack will back up everyone. The team is also trying first-round pick Alex Mack at guard, so he could also be a possibility.
One thing is for certain, the right side is going to be hefty.
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