At the end of July I put together a list of training camp battles that included the participants, who I thought was leading at the first turn and some brief thoughts. At that time I figured I had covered just about every significant battle. One of those battles was backup offensive tackle. The first line of the brief thoughts said the following:
Assumingstays healthy (certainly a big assumption), will be backing him up.
Well it might be time to toss that assumption out at this point. Marvel Smith seems to be healthy, but he's rolling with the second team offense at this point. I bring this up now because I noticed a Yahoo Sports article about the competition at right tackle. Smith has been eased back into play due to lingering concerns about his back. At the same time, I find myself extremely curious as to when he'll get to the first team offense, if at all. Smith commented on the situation:
"But it’s not just like you’re going to come in to a new team and they’re going to give it to you," Smith said. "Anything worth having you are going to have to work for, so I don’t mind the competition."
After starting the first seven games of 2008 at left guard, Adam Snyder was moved over to right tackle for six games and finished the season once as a DNP and once as an Inactive. Not exactly an awe-inspiring season. Over at Scouts, Inc., Snyder was described as versatile with some good skills, but overall "he is just an adequate overall athlete who can struggle to recover or adjust in space against good pass-rushers."
In describing Smith, Scout's Inc. said he can recover well if initially beaten and brings some serious size and athleticism to the position. They described as not super explosive and while they didn't mention it, the injuries are obviously a big concern.
I know there are some folks here who do not think highly of Adam Snyder in the least bit. For me, I think he can be a very serviceable backup option, even if he'll never blow you away. At this point in training camp it would be easy to declare him the leader at the first turn of the competition. It sounds like he's gotten most, if not all, of the first team snaps at right tackle.
At the same time, there is a lot of preseason football to be played. A possible analogy would be Takeo Spikes last season. Spikes was a late addition to the team, signing on August 10, while Smith has been on the roster since well before camp began. At the same time, the back issue would seem to slow his development so that he's just getting up to speed. Spikes didn't enter the starting lineup until week 4. If Smith was going to take over the starting right tackle, I'd like to think it would happen before then.
Do we have any defenders of Adam Snyder for starting right tackle in the house?