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4-1-Zoo: The Offensive Line Battle

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pitt coach Todd Graham seems to know who most of his offensive linemen will be.

However, where those players line up is still in question.

The offensive line, a big question mark in 2010, is again in a state of flux and Graham is looking for certain players to step up and separate themselves from the group.

Jordan Gibbs, Lucas Nix and Chris Jacobson appear to be locks on the line, barring injury — Gibbs and Nix on the outside. The inside, however, is very much up in the air.

“We need to focus right now on developing another offensive lineman and continue to develop the ones we already have,” Graham said Tuesday.

The ones he already has are Ryan Turnley, Cory King, Matt Rotheram and Arthur Doakes.

Turnley, a junior, and King, a sophomore, seem to be the likely candidates early on, or at least the guys Graham is hoping will step up. On Tuesday he went as far as throwing King’s name in the mix with Gibbs, Nix and Jacobson.

“It’s essential there to have Jordan Gibbs, Chris Jacobson, Lucas Nix and King,” Graham said. “We have the most confidence in those guys and they have the most confidence in each other, but we need to develop one more guy that has some depth.”

Most likely that fifth guy is Turnley. Graham noted on media day that Turnley’s development and subsequent performance in training camp will determine the offensive line’s interior.

If Turnley comes along at center to the point where Graham feels comfortable with him as a starter, that moves Jacobson to guard with King. If not, Jacobson is an option at center.

So let’s say Turnley performs well at center. You’re starting offensive line would look something like this:

Nix-Jacobson-Turnley-King-Gibbs

The entire unit is still very much up in the air. But that seems like what Graham is hoping for coming out of camp.

That and no injuries, because it appears depth will be a big issue across the offensive line.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog
Twitter.com/Chris_Gates
Chris.Gates@cbsradio.com

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