Max looked ugly at LT in preseason, but that's not to say he can't step up. If Marvel were healthy and we could survive a shuffle, what about everyone taking a step left?
LT - Max
LG - Faneca
C - Simmons
RG - Colon
RT - Marvel
Bad as Simmons has been at RG, he has to have more strength at the POA than Mahan. Mahan looks like the new Chukky to me, career backup.
And I've said it before, but if Kemo doesn't have the smarts for OL, why not try him at backup NT? He's got the bulk and the meanness. Rather than have him become the new Nkwenti.
I think Marvel's got some health issues this year. When 100%, he's better than Starks. Max's strong suit is his size and run blocking, which would seem to be better suited for RT.
Other than swapping Marvel and Max, though, the suggestion has a lot of appeal to it. I've been also banging the drum about Colon being more physically suited for OG than OT. But Finny's suggestion could be even better...
I guess the issue for me goes back to 2003, when Hartings was on one leg, and the PS were dealing with a reduced Simmons and an inglorious FordRoss right side. The problem wasn't so much that one player was bad; it was that you couldn't compensate for two or more suckees in tandem.
The P-G article quoted over at BSG alluded to Mahan having a problem with the NT lined straight up over OC, rather than in more typical 1-Tech position (usually the gap on Mahan's left). The defense can simply threaten to send in the ILB on Simmons and effectively leave Mahan in isolation. As Dr. Phil would say, "And how's that workin' for ya?"
It's sort of a Catch 22 for Tomlin. The PS can probably squeeze out wins against the Bungles and Rams (and/or Ravens) and likely win the division at 11-5 or 10-6, even if they tank games against the Pats and Jags to do it. Fortunately, the Browns D is bad enough to be suspect against everyone on their schedule. The prime goal is always to make the playoffs. But status quo leaves them fatally flawed on the O-line with virtually no shot at a SB.
BTW, I'm admittedly not a hardcore X-and-O's guy, but geez, it's a real painful glassy-eyed experience to listen to some of the explanations of a two gap DT at the local fan club bar. I wish that I could load up a DVD on the TV screen with something like this:http://football.calsci.com/Positions8.html