Well, technically he was, I guess. . .but if you're looking for a reason for the drop-off that the big right tackle had from his rookie season in 2009 to his disappointing 2010 campaign, Chip Scoggins has gotten what could be the reason from the man himself at the Arctic Blast snowmobile event.
Scoggins, in a series of tweets, tells us that Loadholt tore the labrum in his right shoulder during his rookie season against the Arizona Cardinals. . .the same game where E.J. Henderson got carted off of the field. He didn't have surgery on the shoulder until February, after last season had concluded, and apparently wasn't able to lift any significant weights until just before training camp started.
I was one of the many folks that was high on Phil Loadholt after his rookie season in 2009. The guy is a humongous human being, and had demonstrated all of the skills needed to be an outstanding right tackle in the NFL. The fact that he had fallen so far off the map in 2010 was disheartening. . .but if he wasn't fully prepared or fully able to prepare for the season, then that changes things.
In light of this. . .I don't think an offensive lineman needs to be as high on the list of needs this year as we may have previously thought, particularly when it comes to the draft. If Loadholt is finally able to do a full off-season worth of preparation work to get ready for the 2011 season, I don't have a problem with rolling into the season with him and Bryant McKinnie manning the tackle spots again. I think that Phil Loadholt is much closer to the player that we saw in 2009 than the player we saw in 2010.