It appears that the coaching staff is giving Duke Robinson every opportunity to win the RG job. Despite coming into camp a few pounds overweight, Robinson has still managed to work his way into reps with the first team.
Has Duke just been that impressive in practice? When a young guy makes a bonehead move like eating too many midnight snacks before training camp, you'd expect him to be firmly planted in Fox's doghouse. So how has he managed to rebound so quickly?
It's simple. The coaches really want to pair Duke Robinson with Jeff Otah on the right side of their offensive line. And why not? When you can put a six and a half foot, 700lb wall in front of Double Trouble, you are almost compelled to do so.
As one of our favorite beat writers, Darin Gantt said about the pair, "with a block-out-the-sun right side, DeAngelo and Stewart could run behind them all day long."
The prospects of putting these guys in their respective spots for the next decade is exciting. I still have a great deal of enthusiasm over Geoff Schwartz and Mackenzy Barnadeau, but I see them as perhaps being more valuable as versatile backup players.
For example, Schwartz, for now, is best suited at tackle. He did not once get into a three-point stance at Oregon, where they ran the spread offense. He has been making this transition for the last year, but it will take more time before firing off the ball or getting up into a pass-pro stance is like second nature to him. Schwartz, in a pinch, could be an effective left tackle (or guard) as well.
Bernadeau has even more value as a backup. He would more than likely be the first man in at center or either guard position. To have a guy that can come in at any interior O-line position and pickup where they left off is invaluable. Geoff Hangartner did this for the Panthers for several seasons before getting his chance to start in Buffalo.
Assuming Duke Robinson can get up to speed, and keep his weight where it should be, I suggest getting accustom to seeing him in the starting lineup.
And folks, this looks like the best fit considering where it is the Carolina Panthers hang their hat--and that is on the beastly hook, so to speak.