On target to take the field for this first time since last year's season-ending loss to the Dallas Cowboys, starting left guard Todd Herremans is anxious to begin a season for which he has high expectations.
"I'm real excited, especially to see somebody in a different uniform and just get out there in front of the fans and be able to play," Herremans said. "For the offensive line (this year), the sky's the limit. As soon as we get everybody back and healthy and able to work together, I don't think I've ever been on an offensive line that's had this much talent and is this deep. So it should be exciting."
Herremans added that there are at least eight starting-caliber players on the offensive line at the moment. Aside from the "projected" lineup of Jason Peters, Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Stacy Andrews and Winston Justice, there's also Nick Cole, who started 16 games a year ago, Mike McGlynn and Max Jean-Gilles.
"I think overall with our size, this is the best balance of size and athleticism that we've had for a while," We have guys that are big but they can move like they're linebackers and we're definitely strong and everybody's motivated this year. So when we come out to practice, everybody's taking the attitude that we're going to work. We didn't exactly end the season like we wanted to last year, so we've got a lot to improve on."
And while Herremans has plenty of faith in the guys like Cole and McGlynn to get the job done at center, he's as anxious as anyone to get back his right-hand man on and off the field. Jamaal Jackson returned to practice this week and has said he's still targeting week one for his return to action.
"It would be good to get (Jackson) back," Herremans said. "You don't ever want to see your quarterback of the offensive line walking around not being able to participate with you guys. I know how he feels just not being able to go out there and stuff so I know he's pushing back to make it back as fast as he can, while being smart at the same time. We've been trying to assemble this starting five for quite some time now, so it'll be a lot of fun once it happens."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:00 p.m., August 23