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Not all right

September 9, 2010 - Mike McLain

Coach Eric Mangini can't feel comfortable with the situation on the right side of the offensive line.

Floyd Womack had knee surgery early in camp. He's practicing and could play Sunday against Tampa Bay, but he admits that the knee will never be as strong as he'd like. Rookie Shawn Lauvao had a good camp, but he suffered a mild ankle injury Wednesday and might not be available Sunday.

All of that has to be good news to Bucs first-round draft choice Gerald McCoy, the third overall pick in the draft. McCoy was considered by some to be better than Ndamukong Suh, the second overall pick in the draft. If that's the case, the Bucs have a great player in the fold because Suh looked strong in a recent preseason game against the Browns.

McCoy lines up on the left side, which means he'll be opposite Womack or Lauvao. If neither of them play, the Browns might go with Tony Pashos or John St. Clair or perhaps Billy Yates.

No matter how it pans out, the Bucs have an advantage in that matchup. The Bucs use a four-man front, which means center Alex Mack can give help on McCoy.

The right side of the line has been unsettled since the start of camp. Womack and Pashos weren't healthy. Lauvao missed one week for a personal reason, and St. Clair was gone longer for a personal reason.

There's nothing more important for an offensive line than continuity. The lack of time together for everyone on that side of the line could spell trouble, at least early in the season.

Look for the Browns to run to the left behind tackle Joe Thomas and guard Eric Steinbach a lot.



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