Besides what does impress ND fans?
I think there will be room on our 53 man roster this year for an UDFA o-lineman. I think Golic and Embernate will put up quite the battle in Latrobe for a roster spot. Golic is more student-of-the-game and Embernate is more aggressive and nasty. Perhaps one makes the 53-man and the other ends up on the practice squad. I'd like to see Jake Long's little brother Joe get a shot at camp too after we added him to our P.S. late last season.
Gilbert, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, and Adams are our presumed starting five. Our gameday backups will likely be Beachum inside and Whimper outside. We will likely keep 9 OL, and the last 2 guys should be gameday inactives until someone gets injured. I'd say that John Malecki likely has the inside track for one of those roster spots, and the last possible spot would go to one of the following: Justin Cheadle, Nik Embernate, Mike Farrell, Mike Golic, Chris Hubbard, Joe Long, and Joe Madsen. I'm hoping that a couple of those guys (say, Long outside and Embernate inside) impress enough at camp to make Malecki expendable, but we'll see. I wouldn't mind having Golic on the practice squad.
Eight in the Box: Canít-lose players
June, 28, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Other than the quarterback, which player could each AFC North team least afford to lose to injury? Here's a look:
Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive tackles. The Steelers will see one of their bigger fears play out if right tackle Mike Adams isn't ready to start training camp after getting stabbed twice in an attempted carjacking. Each of Pittsburgh's backup plans at tackle carry a great deal of concern. The Steelers can go with Guy Whimper, a free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars who led the NFL in sacks allowed in 2011 with 14, and gave up four sacks in six starts last season. The other option is Kelvin Beachum, who started the last five games at right tackle for the Steelers last season. But moving Beachum to right tackle would hurt the interior of the line. Beachum has been working this offseason on becoming the top backup at guard and center after Willie Colon was released and Doug Legursky wasn't re-signed. In other words, Pittsburgh can't afford for Adams or left tackle Marcus Gilbert to get hurt.
Baltimore Ravens: Wide receiver Torrey Smith. The Ravens can't afford to lose Smith to an injury, especially with Anquan Boldin gone. Over the past two seasons, Smith has averaged 17.1 yards per reception and scored 15 touchdowns. The group of receivers who would replace him -- Tandon Doss, David Reed, Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter -- have 21 career receptions combined. Baltimore would go from a proven playmaker to a big question mark. The Ravens don't have to rely heavily on their wide receivers with tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson along with running back Ray Rice. And Jacoby Jones can stretch the field like Smith. But the Ravens don't have a reliable and consistent presence outside without Smith. Other areas where depth is a concern are the offensive line and safety.
Cincinnati Bengals: Wide receiver A.J. Green. This may sound like a similar situation to the Ravens, but this is more magnified with the Bengals. The one player on the team the Bengals can't afford to lose is Green. The Bengals have a good supporting cast at receiver with promising second-year target Mohamed Sanu and shifty slot receiver Andrew Hawkins. But neither is a dynamic playmaker like Green. The Bengals' entire offense changes without him, and it changes how defenses would play Cincinnati. Depth was a problem at receiver after the Bengals lost Sanu to a season-ending injury last season. In the final five games of the season, quarterback Andy Dalton averaged 205.4 yards passing with four touchdowns and six interceptions.
Cleveland Browns: Cornerback Joe Haden. The only established cornerback on the Browns is Haden. It's a major drop-off after that, which is why the Browns can't afford Haden to miss any time. Covering wide receivers was a problem last season, when Cleveland allowed 22 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, tied for second most in the NFL. The Browns did the minimum to address depth at cornerback, drafting Leon McFadden in the third round and signing Chris Owens in free agency. McFadden is going to endure growing pains as a rookie, and Owens was benched at times last year when he was the nickelback for the Atlanta Falcons. The only other option at cornerback is Buster Skrine, who committed nine penalties. Needless to say, this is where the Browns are most vulnerable.
Chip Off the Old Block
Steelers rookie offensive lineman Mike Golic Jr. on Pee Wee hockey, having his NFL dad as coach and moving on from mistakes
By Peter King
PETER KING: Growing up as Mike Golicís son, you must have wanted to be a football player. Or no?
MIKE GOLIC JR.: When I was a real young kid, I played hockey a little bit in Arizona. But my brother and I spent too much time in the penalty box. We were bigger than everybody else, and our stick skills and skating werenít quite as refined as some of the other kids. So, you know, we went with the Bash Brothers mentality, which was a lot more acceptable in football than it was in hockey at the time. We started to gravitate towards football because it was okay for us to be bigger guys and hit people then. Thatís when we really fell in love with football. Our dad was our first coach out there, and just getting to spend time with him and learn about the game that we were growing to love from a guy who grew up loving the same game was an awesome experience . That really added to how much we care about football.
KING: Whatís the biggest difference between life at Notre Dame and life in an NFL training camp?
GOLIC: The biggest difference is that this is a full-time job. Back at school, youíre worrying about class and about your other obligations to yourself and to the university. You can work on your craft all day at training camp. Thatís where having guys like Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey and being able to learn from them helps so much. At this level, everyone is big and strong and fast and very athletic. Itís how you can refine your technique and use things like your hands and your feet that really determine if you can make it at this level. And, of course, Dad has his little pieces of advice every day. He canít help himself.
KING: What been his best piece of advice during camp?
GOLIC: Have a very short memory. Donít turn one mistake into two.