Center – The rookie versus the veteran, et al
The main players in this battle are long-time reserve center Joe Looney and Wisconsin (read: Travis Frederick wannabe) rookie Tyler Biadasz. On the one hand, Looney started the entire 2018 season while Fredbeard was out battling Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Looney looked okay statistically, not getting beat a lot by his direct opponent. On other hand, quarterback Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times, 24 higher than the previous year, according to Pro Football Reference.
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Many blamed this failing on the absence of the All-Pro Frederick and his football brain calling out defensive schemes along the line. Which means this skill wasn’t in Looney’s repertoire at the time. Might he be better at it now? Hmmm …
Biadasz, despite his inexperience, gets high marks in the football brain department, and in run-blocking too. But will the Badger center have recovered from his shoulder surgery enough to compete for the starting slot right out of the gate?
Even healthy, can he muscle the seasoned veteran out of the way? That’s what we’ll all be waiting to see.
2019 third-round draft pick McGovern is more likely to battle for the guard slot (see below), but hey, in training camp, crazy things happen. Redmond is the super-duper, green-light, bonus-round wild card.
He’s won adherents as a backup and is likely to make the roster. But can the UDFA beat out the more established players? Ehhh, probably not. But it’s not called a sport for no reason. Stay tuned.