Max Unger was a 2nd round pick who is entering the 3rd year of his 4 year rookie contract. Unger had a pretty good first year at guard despite being on a team coached by Jim Mora (Sorry I forgot we’re not to speak that name on the site).
There was serious talk about moving him to center by the end of his rookie season. This leads me to believe that Unger harbors an intelligence he has yet to demonstrate in regular season games.
Unfortunately, Unger was injured early last season and was forced to watch the offensive line unravel as a result of aging players and revolving lineups.
This year could be different. This year may very well be the beginning of Max Unger.
This offensive line has lacked leadership since the departure of Robbie Tobeck. Tobeck was a guy who could read the blitz and change blocking schemes correctly in less than 2 seconds. A guy like this is the key to any great offensive line, and as of this season, Max Unger is the guy who needsto fill that role.
This offensive line is loaded with young talent that will take time to gel. Expect a season of bumps and growing pains. Outside of Gallery, two offensive linemen are rookies and the other two barely have a season each. There will be mistakes, but there will also be development, and this offensive line could become great in upcoming season. Much of this rests on the shoulders of Max Unger now. I liked him loads in his rookie season, and I hope he can learn and develop into a Tobeck type center. I think one of Unger’s best resources this season is Tom Cable, the tough as nails offensive line / assistant coach acquired from the Raiders last season.
Let’s be honest with ourselves as fans for a moment. We are in the 2nd year of rebuilding an entire Franchise. These things take a minimum of 3 years, so this year might not be the one that turns the corner, but I would maintain that this team has gotten better. It just might take a season or 2 more to recognize the potential of our current roster.
Hang tight Hawk fans. This season will have some exciting moments, and the development of Max Unger and this offensive line is one thing I am looking most forward to, however, I still think we are a year or maybe even two from making a serious run at the playoffs.
That being said, I also believe that this offensive line has the potential to be one of the best in football if Max Unger can learn to make the right calls, something Chris Spencer could never really get the hang of.
This is just a thought, but how about pulling Robbie Tobeck out of his insurance office and making him some type of coach for Unger. I never realized how special Tobeck was until he was gone. If anybody could turn Max into a “Robbie” type player, it’s got to be Tobeck himself. I am pretty sure he still lives in or near Seattle.
Good luck Max Unger and welcome back. Now get to work!