Three NFL starters... waaaaaaaaahhh!!!
As I was briefly watching the Cowboys' offensive line define "getting turnstiled" last night, I had a couple of thoughts. One was, "yaaaaay, Romo season ending injury! No more backwards hats and smiles!" I understand that Romo is Dallas' best chance for success in the immediate future, but I just don't care for the guy. If they are going to eventually miss they playoffs as they are prone to do anyway, I'd just as soon watch someone else not finish the job.
But the other thought I had was a little more personal, a little more close to home, and that was, "booooo, Casey Pachall might be doing the same dance come September." If you haven't been paying attention, TCU has a BIT of dearth of depth along the front five. Let's take a look at the spring depth chart, with a note of where they are today.
LT - Tayo Fabaluje - 0 starts for TCU, 0 starts EVER as an offensive lineman.
LG - John Wooldridge - 0 starts for TCU, and only 12 appearances. Spot potentially up for grabs?
C - James Fry - Safe.
RG - Blaize Foltz - Safe.
RT - James Dunbar - Not currently on team (re: never learned how to cheat). BREAKING NEWS!! We are the real idiots for pinning our hopes to three teammates from a 1A school just because they had a clever name.
LT - Nykerin Wellington - Left team during the off-season. Good thing I can't spell his name.
LT - Carter Wall - Left team during the off-season. As a former SMU commit, good riddance.
LG - Brady Foltz - 0 starts for TCU. Also, RS-Fr. At least his brother is good, though, right?
LG - Michael Thompson - injured for at least 2-3 more weeks.
C - Eric Tausch - 1 start for TCU. POTENTIALLY being moved to RT.
RG - Trevius Jones - A senior with only 8 appearances and no starts? That's not good for business.
RG - Jamelle Naff - Haven't heard much about him this off-season, but had expectations out of HS.
RT - Bobby Thompson - Who?
RT - Ty Horn - Not on the spring depth cause he liked doin' club drugs too much, but it bears mentioning he'd be the starting RT.
Other names not making the 2-3 deep are: Justin Trejo - a Senior who has seen action in 2 games - Michael Clifford - Jr, no games - Nick Tutcher - Jr, 2 games. Also, 255 pounds - and Matt Johnson - Jr, zilch. Perhaps the next Larry Allen is lurking amongst that group, but at least on the surface none of them inspire a lot of confidence.
Then there are the bonafide damn freshman Chad Childs, Joey Hunt, Aviante Collins and Big V, four guys who have high expectations, but who you'd also LOVE to be able to redshirt and now can't. Of the three, Big V and Collins have gotten their names mentioned a lot by Patterson in this first week of summer drills. On the one hand, it's great to sign guys that can immediately come in and challenge for a spot on the team; on the other, you'd rather not ever have to start rookies on your offensive line.
So if the season started tomorrow, here's where things would stand (2 deep listed).
LT - Tayo, Collins.
LG - Thompson, Jones/lil Foltz
C - Fry, Tausch
RG - Foltz, Jones
RT - Tausch?, Big V?
If you do the math, Pachall's Sandra Bullock is being protected by a first year starter playing his first snaps on the offensive side of the ball and, if he goes down, we are SO screwed. At left guard, you have only unproven commodities, the backup of which (Thompson) is not only injured but expected to slide over to Right Tackle. You're GREAT at center with Fry and Tausch, but that's only if Thompson is able to come back and Tausch doesn't have to start at RT. If that happens, well, don't get hurt, Eric! The same story goes at right guard where you have a proven commodity starting, but have two backups who have never played a meaningful down. And Right Tackle is an absolute crapshoot at this point. You hope it works out for Thompson, but if it doesn't? Tausch? Big V? Open tryouts at intramurals? Your guess is as good as mine.
Does that sound like a Big 12 title challenging offensive line? Herald our offensive playmakers all you want; if they don't have time to make plays, we may as well be SMU. I'm nervous. I have more faith in GP and Eddie Williamson than I do in Jerral Wayne and Bill Callahan when it comes to identifying and developing O-line talent, but I just can't shake the image of Texas' Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat treating Casey like the Raiders did Romo last night. Happy Fuckin' Thanksgiving.
Seriously, guys, someone talk me off the ledge!
(and if you couldn't tell by the title of this post, even if you work your magic today, I still won't be fully off the ledge until we work through all the issues this team has.)