Last offseason, Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus had to recover from knee surgery. His starting spot at right tackle was up for grabs going into training camp, but he outperformed the competition and locked up the starting job. Cherilus was one of the biggest question marks going into last season even after being named the starting RT, but he played quite well and was a pleasant surprise.
This offseason, he is once again recovering from knee surgery after getting hurt against the Patriots on Thanksgiving. Although Jim Schwartz wasn't ready to say that injuries won't be a recurring problem with Cherilus in the future, he feels much better about the situation at right tackle now than he did at this time last year thanks to Cherilus' solid 2010 season.
"I'll just say this about Gos," Schwartz said. "Gos had a lot of questions last year at this time. He had some injuries, he had off-season knee surgery last year, and he hadn't been a very consistent player that year. When training camp came, Gosder won the job by being consistent and showing the consistency that he needed to as a player, and I think that continued through the year.
"He's still a developing player. He's still a young player. He's had some setbacks with injuries and how far he goes in the future is going to depend a little bit on each of those. But I feel -- I think we all feel -- a lot better about where he was this year as a player than the year before."
If the Lions were to draft an offensive tackle, chances are Cherilus would face competition for his starting spot yet again. Based on last year, though, that would not be a bad thing by any means, as Cherilus was motivated in training camp and carried that attitude into the season and played well as a result.