Chicago Sun-Times

Carey deal good business for offensive tackles seeking work

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INDIANAPOLIS--Maybe the price for John St. Clair just went up.

The draft prospects were overshadowed on Day 1 of the scouting combine with blockbuster deals done around the league Thursday, and another biggie got knocked out Friday.

The Miami Dolphins didn't place the franchise tag on right tackle Vernon Carey and they didn't need to as they struck a deal on a six-year contract to keep him in place. Carey's deal is worth $42 million. He was considered by many to be the best available tackle moving toward the open market after Jordan Gross was locked down by Carolina on Thursday.

Carey's signing removes another name from a shrinking list of tackles the Bears can consider, and they've got to do something. With John Tait set to retire, Chris Williams, the untested first-round pick from 2008, and Cody Balogh, who spent the entire season on the practice squad, are the only offensive tackles under contract. As it stands now, that means a lot of extra work for long snapper Pat Mannelly when the veteran minicamp opens March 17 at Halas Hall.

If re-signing St. Clair was a priority, it probably would have been done by now, or there would have at least been significant movement. As it stands, free agency opens next Friday. St. Clair will not command the money Carey pulled down, but he's started 19 consecutive games and he knows the offense. He's also represented by Ben Dogra, the same agent who crafted the Carey contract. The going rate for starting tackles, on the low side, hovers near $5 million per season. When the Bears originally signed St. Clair in 2005, he was considered a swing tackle with the versatility to play inside. He started for them while earning backup pay.

If it's not St. Clair, perhaps the team will consider someone like Marvel Smith, but he's missed portions of the last two seasons because of back issues. The bottom line is the Carey deal is good business for every tackle looking for a contract.

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26 Comments

Perhaps if we hadn't ignored the offensive line (with the exception of Williams last year) for the last 5 years, we wouldn't be in this situation. We should have been active in free agency for a tackle LAST YEAR.

not drafting an offensive lineman earlier than round 6 from '03 through '06 is absolutely coming to roost for angelo (amongst many of his complete shortcomings)....it should be noted that the lineman drafted in '03 was a 7th round afterthought in bryan anderson who never played a snap in the nfl, and the bears didn't draft a single o-lineman in '04, '05, and '06. completely mismanaged.

i ask it all the time, what exactly has jerry angelo accomplished in 8 years time as bears GM? it's absolutely mind blowing that he has job security through 2013 when you consider how little he's done.

the bears have far more needs than the FA market has answers, which makes this draft even more vital, there's literally no margin for error....brace yourselves for more mediocrity bears fans.

good times.

Oh god 42 mil for a RT on a team that needed to run the Wildcat in order to run the football?? Man I am in the wrong buisness. I can't imagine Tait getting like 20-25 million and the Bears may have to pay him that.

OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH Marvel Smith, bookend bad backs for the Bears. But Marvel had surgery to fix his back last offseason, so shouldn't he be ok and healthy. It was a herniated disk just like Chris Williams had. How did he not make it through the whole season. No worry true believers I happen to know for a fact even though Williams and Smith both had herniated disks last year and had surgery to fix it last year and Smith came back and then got hurt again with yet another lower back injury and just because they play the same position doesn't mean anything, cause Williams has a magic back, Named Hoppie and Hoppie ain't sloppy.

Hmmm this does soud like an Angelo special.

Angelo: How's your back Marvel?
Marvel: It Hurts, real real bad.
Angelo: Perfect how would you like to make a lot of money to do nothing
Marvel: Your kidding?
Chris Williams: Heck no they ain't kidding, cmon I could use a friend to sit in the hot tub with me while we watch the game. Ouch Kyle just got creamed. Cmon Cody, cowboy up you playing left tackle now son.
Angelo: I think Metcalf looks great at RT
Orton: I got sacked 18 times in one game, Metcalf keep telling me to just take a knee that way he won't give up so many sacks. Oh no Olin just got hurt. Game over man, game over.
Angelo: See I new we needed a new QB no way Orton survives this.

Brad get Marvel's name off of there, like the Bears need Bookend bad backs. Some of the clowns around here think bad backs and offensive tackles go together like macaroni and cheese. "He was a pro bowler I just know his back will hold up if he puts on the magic bear uniform."

I think it's real interesting that the Bears are looking at LT's at the combine, there are a lot of solid pure RT's in this draft that can be grabed later and will be cheaper, but there looking at Oher, who could easily be the first guy taken. Wait till he runs the 40 and does bench. There going to go nuts over him.

Creighton,

JA: "cmon I could use a friend to sit in the hot tub with me while we watch the game. Ouch Kyle just got creamed. Cmon Cody, cowboy up you playing left tackle now son."

You owe me one keyboard please! LOL ... That was pure WIN!

As far as John "the human turnstyle" St. Clair ... if in this economy he can score a big money payday more power to him! He is an above-average guard and a pi$$-poor tackle. The guy is extremely athletic but it just does not translate to the tackle position. If he wants to be a free agent ... go with God. When he goes it will hurt Chicago because of his versatility but to overpay a guy like that would be ludicrous when you have so many holes to fill.

St Clair has some value, but I can't see spending $5million plus on him. He is a backup who came in and did the job as best he could in a position he should never have been put in.

I think the Bears need to find some talent in the draft, not necessarily first round, and spend the pre-season seeing if their young players can handle the job. There have been a lot of good young tackles coming into the league this year and last year. At this pay scale for tackles, teams are not going to carry more than they need. There are going to be some vets hit the street in cap moves who are better players than St. Clair.

Creighton I'll admit that one was pretty good. Keep coming up with new and bizare ways to rag on William's back injury. If you can you will keep your current position in the world.

That position is one short.....very very short, step ahead of NeckBeardSucks in endlessly boring us with the same old comment about the same old subject that you really know nothing about.

St. Clair did a good job, but right he is best for his versatility off the bench, and we do need him there. But overpay? nope. If we get a good RT we will be alright as Buenning may play RG and Williams will play LT with Beekman at LG St. Clair would be good insurance.
But with the Free Agents falling (as teams know they need to keep their own players) we are looking at drafting a RT (we should have last year Jerry - idiot)now Angelo put himself in the worst position - idiot drafted a TE last year? and 1 high pick Offensive lineman that didn't even play?
If he gets a Free Agent RT that comes in and performs I will gladly eat my words but it's not looking good day by day. Drafting Offense has not been Angelo's best skill but we might have to depend on that, oh great.

Dear Miss Bear Fan,

Shut your whore-mouth when men are talking! I've given you a pass when you spouted off in the past but telling Creighton he's a step above Neckbeard ... you need to get your arse back in the kitchen and make me some PIE!!!

// What do you mean Mississippi is a state?
// Seriously, I thought you were a chick when I first saw your handle.
// Not that there's anything wrong with THAT :-)

Vernon Carey got his pay day, I was hoping the Bears would get him, not gonna happen now. I liked Carey, some fans on this board thought he sucked, obviously Bill Parcells didn't, and I think Parcells knows a thing or two about offensive linemen.

Despite both Carey and Gross being off the market now, there are still a couple free agent tackles out there that could come in and help Chicago. One of them is Atlanta's Tyson Clabo, Clabo emerged at right tackle for Atlanta this season, he has nice size at 6-6 320lbs, and is young enough to come in for Chicago and help out for awhile. Clabo is only a 4 year vet but is a restricted free agent, so the Bears would have to give a draft pick up for him, probably a 3rd-4th rounder, I say who cares, the Bears would have used one of them draft picks on a lineman anyways, at least Clabo is NFL ready/proven.

Ray Willis is another one who is young enough to be a lot more than a stop gap, and showed enough promise with Seattle this year. Willis has nice size at 6-6 315lbs, and will be a 5 year vet, he's worth a look.

Another one is Jaguars Khalif Barnes, who at 6-5 325lbs might have been out of position this year at left tackle, he may be better suited for the right side. Barnes is also young enough to be around for awhile, next season will only be Barnes 5th. I think he could be a good right tackle for Chicago.

If none of these guy's, Chicago will have to bring John St.Clair back, and offensive tackle will be the Bears top priority going into the draft. All hope won't be lost, the Bears will be able to get either Britton, Loadholt, or Oher, anyone of these guys would be nice, we'll just have to wait and see GO BEARS!!

Ms you know it was funny stop being so serious. Besides I am right do you really want two tackles on the team with the same back injury, one who is injured again. Besides I had herniated disk, and I have a really good idea of what a guy can and can't do. Cause it's never really fixed. I ice mt back every day after working out.

Why you ragging on NeckBeard, that kids national treasure? I am very sure you no more about football than me. Hahahahaha, I can't even type it without laughing. Tell you what before the season starts we will both make predictions, and we will see who is right in the end. If you want to talk about the draft till then thats fine. Oh one last thing you asked before if I had a problem with workers comp cause I always make fun of Williams back. I got no problem with it. But I'll tell you right now he would have never made it past the Physical. Even the CPD won't hire a guy with a back like that. Thats pretty sad.

If you want funny better hold on to your hat, the Bears surrounded Mike Crabtree at the combine. Thats no joke, they actually surrounded him. I would call it a smoke screen, but you have to at least have a shot at the guy to be a smoke screen. I can hear them all talking to him.

Lovie: So thats what a reciever looks like
Turner: Quick, Angelo, hit him in the head and knock him out, good now lets hide him in your hair and sneak him out to the Bearmobile, ok stuff him in the trunk.
Babich: Nothing like a buick to help you get through it, Shotgun
Rod: Yeah right in the back Booger
Babich: Lovie you said you would make him stop calling me that???
Lovie: You heard him Booger get in Back with Angelo and his Hair.
Rod: Umm were's Turner?
Angelo: He's in the trunk spooning Crabtree
Rod: EWWWW, sorry I asked
Turner: After Lovie uses his sleepy powers to hypnotize you I'm gonna rename you Jonny Appletree and we are gonna be my bestest friends ever.
Crabtree: Umm sir were is your hand?
Turner: Between two pillows
Crabtree: Those aren't pillows
Turner: I know, giggle.
Babich: Hey there's a Taco bell up ahead, can we stop, hu hu, can we stop, can we, PLLEEEAAASSEEE?
Lovie: It's a six hour drive back to Chicago and you think I am gonna let you eat Taco bell. Last time that happened Devin was in the car and now he can't return punts.
Rod: How about KFC?
Lovie: Well that sounds pretty tasty
Babich: THATS NOT FARE YOU ALWAYS GET HIM WHAT HE WANTS, I HATE KFC, YOU LIKE HIM BETTER, I HATE YOU!! OWWW STOP HITTING ME ROD, YOU SUCK TOO, I HATE BOTH OF YOU I DIDN'T WANT TO COACH THE DEFENSE ANYWAY.
Lovie: Well if you don't like KFC when you get home you can call up Brian and you two can go out Taco Bell and play battle farts all night for all I care. Never seems to effect that boy anyway, swear to god old Q Ball takes a fart better than any man I have ever seen, it's like hitting a tree with pebbles.
Babich: I like Pebbles she was my favorite character on flintstones
Lovie: Yeah probably should not have let you coached the defense the last two years
Rod: Yeah No S###, probably shouldn't let him near the players
Lovie: Yep
Turner: Moon river, Wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh dream Maker, you heart breaker
Wherever your goin', Im goin' your way
Lovie: Oh thats a nice song hmm hmm hmm
Rod: I think im gonna be sick.

Creighton needs to keep his day job and get off of the blogs. You say that Oher could easily be the first guy taken? Then he would be a steal for the Bears at 18. A solid RT who can run and pass block. Or maybe the Bears should take a safety who can be found in the third round? Or a receiver because they always become pro bowlers in the first few years? They are hit and miss like QB's. The dumbest thing the Bears can do is wait for the "solid pure RT" later in the draft. Find a guy who can step in and play now and then build around your O-line. They only have one "legit" tackle on the roster and he has not started a game in his career. There is not a tackle worth spending a multi year deal on left in free agency. Get a one year stop gap or let the rookie start. Next year is the time to make your money as a GM Jerry or hit the road.
Creighton for GM. Go back to NE bugeater!

Like I said earlier last week, Orton is going to be running for his life next season and Forte is going to have the same problem.
Done deal. Bears finally go down the tubes and Lovie finally get fired along with Angelo.
Now the team has a chance to rebuild.

You bloggers all suck!!!!........But not as much as Orton!!...He is horrible and the sooner you all realize this (You too, Lovie and Jerry).the better!!!....We can not go on with this half-a$$, weak-armed, loser anymore!!!!...Defensive coordinators laugh when they watch film of him...When they prepare for him and this offense it is the easiest week of the season!!!!...(Eight in the box, bump the receivers, sit back and wait for #18 to underthrow and f#@k it up!!!!!! Without a decent defense (like he had his rookie year) he SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good article on Free Agent Tackles

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/11389628/rss

I feel now that the Bears might sign St. Clair and consider that an upgrade. He did a serviceable job last year, IF Buenning were to play RG ferocious then that might work. But who knows what Buenning can do?
Barnes does look like the best option to us but we know JA will try to be cheap about it and go with St. Clair and tell St. Clair he will start just to sign him cheaply.

Creighton that actually is hilarious. You pound this blog day after day for a year with the same bad tune about Angelo drafting an injured player. Now you have a man crush on a wide receiver who can't work out at the combine because of bad wheels. Pure genius.

DaC, boys in your age group often have trouble thinking of anything but chicks. I'm sure if you talk to the grown men in your life they can tell you that this will always be a problem for a man. But, as you mature you can eventually focus on other things for short periods of time. Since you are probably relatively new as a football fan, let me give you some homework before your next assignment. Google the names Favre and Payton.

Oh, one more thing. Given where you keep your nose, I'd be a little nervous about Creighton telling fart jokes.

Carey did get a nice deal for himself, but as a 28 year old tackle coming into his career prime, that is about right. We signed Tait to a similar deal when he came over (obviously inflation has had an effect), and we are just getting to the end of the deal and Tait wants to retire. I wonder if the lack of urgency over St. Clair is because a) Tait is considering coming back for this season to complete his contract, as $5 mil is enough in this economy to get him through a few more decades of blissful retirement. Or b) Fred Miller is capable of doing well enough for a season while a young player is being developed. He basically got the year off to get healthy last year, and is loyal to the Bears for some reason I can't figure out...

I think Miller is god-awful, but if my choices are a few more years of St. Clair or one more season of Miller followed by a youth movement, I might even take Miller as a one year band aid. More than likely a decent rookie like Oher or Loadholt would beat him out, and we would drastically be improved on the edges protecting Kyle this season.

So the question I would have is this....Should we take the best OT available when we draft, or focus on the right side? I think we load up on good tackles, regardless of side, and get the two best ones on the field. If nothing else, we can move one inside or trade for value in either players or future draft picks. Jerry could pull a 1-2 punch like he did with Tommie and Tank and go with OL in the first two picks. I would applaud that if we didn't have so many other needs. But I do think that 3 of our first 5 picks need to be offensive linemen. If we get a third and a 7th for Berrian, Ayanbadejo, and Gilmore (should get a 6th for Ayanbadejo since he went to the Pro Bowl and signed a pretty good deal for a special teamer, but they like to hose us on comp picks as a general rule it seems), we have a shot at getting a WR and 3 OL by the end of the 3rd round.
We need a center of the future, unless they are convinced it is Beekman. Luigs, Mack, and Unger could all be gone by the end of the second, but Wood might be there in the mid third. At guard, most of the guys are sliding into the 2nd and 3rd, and guards are never very highly valued in the draft, which I still do not understand. They can be very valuable in the run and pass game, yet no one thinks they deserve to be first round picks. There are a ton of tackles it seems like that will be drafted, and don't be surprised if Jerry takes a risk on another injury guy later in the draft, like with our extra 6th rounder.

That leaves WR, LB, and FS as areas that need to be addressed. We can pretty well assume that QB is not on the menu, and DL is a given for every draft. Expect another Ervin Baldwin in the 6th or 7th because we don't need talent, we have Marinelli, right??? We could get a guy like Maclin in the 1st round, or hope Nicks or another WR drops to the second or late first if Jerry trades back. If we go OL early and often, Robiskie would be a guy I would like to take a look at. Runs solid routes, has good hands, but is not a blazer by any stretch. Has good track speed, but doesn't translate well to the field. That is why we have speed and strength coaches. We can work on his explosion with a trainer, because we can improve speed and quickness enough to make a slight difference. but route running and hands are two things our WR coaches just don't seem to know how to teach. Berrian ran lazy routes, and Hester and Davis don't seem to run very good routes either.

We need a finished product, and there aren't many outside of Crabtree, and despite our "attention" towards him, we aren't getting anywhere near him in the draft, unless we are planning on trading someone big-time to Seattle with the #18 for him. Robiskie and Nicks may be the best talents with polished route skills, but they fit in very specific spots in the draft. Nicks in late 1/early 2, and Robiskie in late 2 or into 3. We would probably need to move up or down to get either one without reaching.

DaC,

I twist Creighton's tail occasionally because he asks for it. I sit and look at the Billy Wade autographed football on my shelf and think I might know enough about the Bears to have a say too.


I don't always agree with you, but I've usually found your posts worth reading. You disagree with people with man talk, but usually stop before you call someone a retard or a moron. After you've had your say, you move on. I may either agree or disagree with you, but it's always fun to exchange news and ideas with other Bear fans.

You just read what happens if you want to play another game. Wouldn't you rather just talk about the Bears? I would.

I told you all how we can fix the right tackle position......Israel Idonije....perfect size, long arms..."Big Cat II"...

Its tough to say what the f JA might do - he has always ignored offense or drafted offense badly (except Forte - hit the barn wall every now and then)His best offense came with signing Tait and company few years back, so I am still hoping he will sign a Free Agent Tackle, but if not then who knows - he picked one tackle last year and then a bunch of rejects in later rounds, so maybe thats his plan again this year? and with St. Clair moving out of LT he figures he has a RT already? and with Buenning signed last year he figures he has RG at least at backup already? I feel he should sign 2 Olinemen early no matter what Joe as well, as we need some youth in there but it is really a tough call untill Free Agent starts. and I agree our WR Coach does not seem to understand the situation.
I hope Tait retires!!!! no matter what or JA will assume he doesnt need any Offensive linemen.
Its funny as we said last year that JA had to go Oline but he only poicked one early now we are saying the same d... thing a year later, and it's gotten worse.

I keep saying this. The Bears need to trade DOWN in the first round and get either 2 late 1st rounders or a later 1st and early 2nd. Take either Oher, Loadhoft or Britton with our 1st pick and grab Nicks with the second. Any of those guys will be a good RT for the next 5-6 years and Nicks will be a stud. Think A. Boldin with less attitude. Guy catches everything and can get up, perfect compliment to Hester!

Too many of today's bloggers think invective of one kind or another is sound reason. Forget the name-calling and offer some analytical insight or just keep quiet. We all are simply at the mercy of the Bear management, and I doubt they would pay any attention to us anyway, but some good insight regarding the Bears' needs and likely draft picks would be a pleasant change.

Game manager means you can't play!!!!!!! Need I say more?????

Game manager means you can't play!!!!!!! Need I say more?????

MsBearFan,
I was screwing around with my post not actually attacking you. Next time I'll put up the sarcasm flag. Lighten up Francis :-)

As for Creigton is concerned I have called him retarded on several occassions; I do like his takes because if you get through the prickly rants and the over the top persona he actually does provide some very good analysis ... unlike NeckBeardSucks who basically posts the same damn thing ad nauseum.

Moses ... you did NOT just suggest we move one of our most athletic and versatile defensive lineman to offense did you? Did you??? No! Bad Moses! No biscuit!

Kevin and Randy thanks for the free agent information. I have to admit I have been too busy to follow football lately but these past two days I am getting caught up. Also it's almost draft time which is my favorite time of the offseason so I am going to be compiling as much information as I can so I can call Jerry Angelo a farking twit when he does not succumb to my will.

Paul Manter,

Thank you Paul for giving us your opinion of how people should respond on this message board. I couldn't agree more when someone writes "Forget the name-calling and offer some analytical insight or just keep quiet." ... I guess you must have accidentally hit SUBMIT before offering any of your own ... that or your a self-important, hypocritical douchebag.

// I'm a douchebag and I approve this message.

Man what with all the hate MS? I told you thats not Crabtree at the combine the Bears kidnapped him. Thats Brandon Lloyd. This fake Crabtree measured in at 6'1 same as Brandon Lloyd and had a foot injury same as Lloyd. I am telling you it's a kidnapping.

By MsBearsFan on February 21, 2009 9:10 AM
Creighton that actually is hilarious. You pound this blog day after day for a year with the same bad tune about Angelo drafting an injured player. Now you have a man crush on a wide receiver who can't work out at the combine because of bad wheels. Pure genius.

I do? Who do I have a man crush on? The Bears actually surrounded him at the combine, Brad and a couple of other writers wrote about it. So how do the Bears surrounding a guy suddenly make me have a man crush on him? That simple little piece I wrote confused you didn't it? You thought I was saying how awsome Crab was, when all I was doing is pointing out how desperate the Bears are at reciever. So the very blatentent and simple joke went flying over your head. Oh thats awsome. I'll stick to knock knock jokes when your around, I wouldn't want you getting confused to easily ok Forrest.

By Anonymous on February 21, 2009 12:08 AM
Creighton needs to keep his day job and get off of the blogs. You say that Oher could easily be the first guy taken? Then he would be a steal for the Bears at 18. A solid RT who can run and pass block. Or maybe the Bears should take a safety who can be found in the third round?

You could gosh at least post your name smart guy. Now you do realaize your post makes no sense right. I said Oher could be the first OT taken, and he could be. Would he be a steal at 18? Yeah. But I never said he wouldn't be and what does that have to do with Marvel Smith? Then you bring up drafting a saftie?? Why? Who said anything about safties in round one? I swear to god I am amazed some of you can use a keyboard. Get an idea and write it down so it makes sense thats all you ahve to do. Right now your talking about Me, then Oher and then a saftie and then Me and then Angelo and then your trying to tie it all together without connecting the statments. Whats really strange is you almost act like I don't want a tackle and would rather have a saftie for some strange reason. When nothing could be further from the truth. I have been talking Oline on these board sense forever. If you don't know me and have not read my stuff than don't address me with the wrong intel and act like you understand what I am talking about. Your like one of those people who jumps in the middle of a conversation and doesn't know what either person is talking about but throws his two sense out there anyway.

Randy you are close but I will bet Buenning goes to LG and Beekman sits. Randy remember one thing we have been talking Oline for years, not just last year, and QB and WR oh and DE, FS, the Bears have been looking to fill those needs for a long time. Look how many safties and Ends we draft every year.

Kevin. Barnes? The Jags gave up more sacks than anyone in football. He sucks. Get your head together your better than that.

Here is a little list of teams the bears and there needs coach, just so you can guess what teams may do before the bears. I usually try to figure in the best player available + 1 of these needs. You may be able to guess who the Bears will be looking at. This is pre FA and will be changed but it will help bring you up to speed on the draft.

Det. QB, OT, LB, DB Stafford
STL. LT, C, LB, QB Oher I think goes here
KC. PR, QB, WR, (May switch to a 3-4, Dorsey will be on the market)
If they switch to a 3-4 Raji goes here and Dorsey is traded.
SEA. OL, DT, WR, QB
CLE. OLB, CB, RB,
CIN. OL, RB, PR
OAK. OT, DL, WR
JAC. DT, LT, S
GRB. DT, DE, TE, PR, CB
SF. PR, OT, S
BUF. DE, WR, C
DEN. DL, S, LB
WAS. DE, OL, LB
NO. CB, S, RB
TEX. DE, LB, RB
SD. RB, DE, RT
NYJ. QB, DE, CB, WR
CHI. GM, HC, OT, WR, DE, NT, FS, CB, QB
TB. DT, WR, QB
DET. OT, LB, DB
PHI. OT, RB, TE
MIN. QB, RT, DT, CB
NE. CB, RB, WR
ATL. TE, LB, SS
MIA. WR, CB, OG,
BAL. WR, CB, TE
IND. WR, DL, CB
PHI. OL, RB, TE
NY. WR, OLB, DT
TEN. DT, WR, DB,
ARZ. RB, OLB, C
PIT. OL, DL, DB

Hey,DaChurch, it's good that you know yourself.I offered no advice or analysis because I don't have any. Actually Larry Mayer seems to me to make the most sense and even he has been pretty circumspect about Bear needs.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 20, 2009 4:30 PM.

Covering the bases: Four questions for four offensive linemen was the previous entry in this blog.

Receivers in motion? Texas Tech's Crabtree to miss up to 10 weeks is the next entry in this blog.

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