Discussion post! Huzzah!
Professional football isn't about loyalty. The best player plays and veteran leadership only gets you so far. Unless you can bribe Faux Mike Smith with a twinkie, you're never immune from bench warmer status.
As much as I respect him, Todd McClure may learn that lesson the hard way this season. He is 35 years old; as far as I know, he hasn't discovered the fountain of youth. It will only get harder to stay healthy and recover - there's nothing he can do about that.
It's worth noting that McClure isn't known for his run-blocking ability. If our intent is to rely heavily on the passing game in 2012, perhaps Joe Hawley or Peter Konz are better fits.
We know Peter Konz is being cross-trained at guard and center. Admittedly he's put in more work at guard during OTAs, though he did play center at Wisconsin. Joe Hawley has some game experience; and he's got the size/mobility you look for in a pass-blocking center.
McClure is a reliable veteran. That can be an invaluable asset. But he does give up a lot of pressure. In fact, over the past three years, he's allowed pressure 51 times. That may not seem like a lot, but it is. It's the fifth most pressures given up by a center over the past 3 years.
I'm not sure how this will all play out. As much as I hate to see it happen, even the greats fall off sooner or later. Is it McClure's time? I don't know. It may be. If I had to guess, he will start the year on the first team. If something happens, we have capable depth behind him. That's pretty reassuring in my mind.
What do y'all think? Discuss!