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Battle Royale'

photo courtesy of Jay G. Tate and The Montgomery Advertiser.

There is a battle raging on the Plains. It's a battle to see who starts this year at the right tackle position. What has been thought by most media personnel as a three man race, actually was opened to all the offensive line guys not currently locked down at other positions. This past Tuesday Jerry Hinnen opined on this issue in his daily blog.

We are going to take a look at the gentlemen embroiled in the competition at right tackle, and give you as much information as can be gleaned from an Auburn Tigers roster under Gene Chizik. The coaches at Auburn really play it close to the vest, and nobody is letting any secrets out, I mean nobody. Not that I disagree with this philosophy at all, frankly I would do the same, given the choice.

Coach Chizik's background, lends itself to this type of environment, and the discipline this team shows is evidence enough for me. I'll take what information I can get, and find out the rest on game day like everybody else.

The right tackle position is counted on heavily for pass protection and run support blocking. While not as seemingly important as say the left tackle position to a right handed QB in the passing game, it's none the less a very important role in any offensive game plan.To be successful, the style of offense Auburn runs depends on each and every one of the linemen doing their job correctly. Making the right call, on who will play or not, can make or break Auburn's run game this season.

The gentlemen in charge of paving the way for Tiger running backs are expected to be among the best in the conference, if not the country. The only reason, it seems, that they are not listed as the best in the country, is the fact that nobody knows who the right tackle will be.

The Tigers have no less than four guys trying to make the starting lineup this upcoming season, and that's just the ones we know about. In no certain order,

78 Roszell Gayden OL 6-6 315 JR New Hope, Minn. (College of Sequoias JC)
75 Brandon Mosley OL 6-6 299 JR Jefferson, Ga. (Coffeyville J.C.)
71 John Sullen OL 6-6 312 SO Auburn, Ala. (Auburn)
77 A.J. Greene OL 6-5 291 JR Madison, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy)

Roszell Gayden has had a terrible fall camp due to injury. Not that he can't do a great job mind you, just that he isn't working with the best of wheels right now. Gayden, by default, may not make it on the field this year. That would be a shame because of his huge potential. In fact he has been in the competition to start at right tackle until recently.

Competition is a good thing. most coaching staffs would love to have two or three guys that could play each position. Players that have to play every snap ala Craig Stevens, and Josh Bynes circa 2009, get tired too quickly. So, this writer for one, is happy to see that there are several players competing.

There are others that we may yet not know of, that could challenge for this position. The cupboards are certainly not bare. The talent is there as well. However,what has most people on edge is that it is less than two weeks away from the start of the season, and the staff has not named a definite starter.