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Rich RodriguezWith all the hype about free agency and the big names we've resigned and acquired, I started thinking about what my biggest concerns would be going into the season. Aside from the obvious question about how Tua will perform with all this surrounding talent, one other concern I have is the defense.

I know we wax poetic about how good this defense is, but let's not forget what we saw during the first half of last season. The defense was putrid. It seemed as if they were playing less aggressively, particularly when it came to pressure packages. We were getting run on, which obviously meant fewer opportunities to roll out those exotic blitzes on third down. Then we heard the rumors about Flores taking over the defensive play-calling, which we now hear is not true. But did he have some influence?

So with Flores gone, it will be interesting to see how the defense performs. If it performs like it did the first half of last season, we're in for a long season of whining and groaning about how Grier is awful and we wasted all that money and those picks for nothing. So Boyer's performance as defensive coordinator is key. Because he basically has all his pieces back. Ogbah, X, Jones, an emerging Phillips, Holland. All the key guys and emerging young players will be back so the expectation is to build upon what we saw in the second half.

The other major concern for me is STILL the offensive line. Armstead only solidifies that line when he is healthy and chances are he will miss games. And we still have huge question marks at center and tackle in Dieter, Jackson and Eich. If the right tackle position is not solidified, Tua's blindspot is a risk. If the center position is not solidified, running the ball won't be as easy as we seem to think it will be. I'm not toooooo worried about Dieter, but Jackson and Eich.... oh boy. And if Armstead goes down, which he inevitably will.... ooooooooooooh boy.

So, with all these offensive line and running game gurus, we have on the coaching staff, they better bring it and coach BOTH of these guys up significantly. Because we will need them to perform. One as a starter and one as a back up.

Outside of those two areas and of course QB, I think we don't have a lot of question marks as a team. These are the areas, that in my opinion, will make or break this season.

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