It has been written and talked to death since the end of last season, so much so that even as early as the second week of July the players were talking about having had enough of it.
“I stopped listening to (radio talk shows) before spring practice ended and I stopped reading the newspapers long ago,” offensive tackle Matt Timmerman admitted.
If there is a Captain Crunch on this line it is Josh Jenkins, the all-world high schooler out of Parkersburg who was making a name for himself last year until injured. He worked during the offseason to harden his body, losing weight and gaining muscle, and trying to force feed the experience to himself that he missed with last season after his knee gave out.
And Don Barclay, who broke a leg in spring drills, is considered a potential star.
From there, though, offensive line coach Dave Johnson is mixing and matching, trying to find the right people in the right positions while building enough depth for the inevitable injuries that will hit during the year.
It is less a work of art and more a work in progress, so much that there was major shuffling that went on the last week of camp as Joey Madsen was moved into the starting center role while Eric Jobe, who opened camp as the starting center after starting the final five games last year in place of the injured Mike Dent, moved to guard.
Toss Jeff Braun into the mix and you have three men for two spots in the middle, along with Barclay and veteran Selvish Capers.
“I am never happy with depth,” Johnson admitted. “I haven’t been happy with depth in 26 years of coaching. You’ve just got to go with what you can — hopefully find seven or eight guys that you can rotate ’round. I’d love to get seven guys and I’d be ecstatic if I could get eight ready.”