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Position preview: Offensive line

Posted Jul 9, 2014

The Panthers offensive line must now adjust to life without their longtime stalwart and leader on the left side, Jordan Gross, who retired this offseason.

The competition for his vacated left tackle spot is one everyone will be watching in training camp. Additionally, this evolving unit led by center Ryan Kalil will welcome the healthy return of Amini Silatolu and Garry Williams, last year's opening day starting guards who suffered season-ending injuries early on.

RETURNERS

Ryan Kalil
Center was named to his fourth career Pro Bowl after starting every game in 2013. ... Was a team captain for first time in his career. ... Missed 11 games due to season-ending foot injury in 2012 and returned to win Ed Block Courage Award last season.

Byron Bell
Played in all 16 games with 14 starts at right tackle in 2013. ... Undrafted rookie from New Mexico in 2011 has been team's starter at right tackle for better part of three seasons. ... Will compete for starting left tackle position in 2014.

RELATED NEWS

Amini Silatolu
Played in just three games in 2013 due to torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Week 5. ... Second-round draft choice in 2012 out of Division II Midwestern State started 15 games at left guard as a rookie. ... Earned all-rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA.

Nate Chandler
Converted defensive lineman played in 16 games with eight starts in 2013 (six at right guard, two at right tackle). ... Competing with Bell for starting left tackle position in 2014. ... Undrafted rookie from UCLA played 10 games at defensive line as a rookie in 2012.

Garry Williams
Opened 2013 season as starting right guard and tore left anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in Week 1. ... Played in all 16 games in 2012 with nine starts at right guard and two at right tackle. ... Can provide depth at multiple spots along line.

Chris Scott
Signed as a free agent and started first eight games of his NFL career in 2013 (seven starts at right guard, one at left guard). ... Suffered a knee injury in Week 9 and did not play in the following six games.

Edmund Kugbila
Fourth-round draft choice out of Valdosta State spent entire rookie season on injured reserve with knee injury. ... Will look to compete for playing time at guard.

Brian Folkerts
Signed as a free agent and played in 10 games in 2013. ... Saw action as a reserve center, in goal-line packages and on special teams.

Andrew McDonald
Attended training camp with the Miami Dolphins before spending last 10 games of 2013 season on Carolina's practice squad. ... Signed as undrafted rookie free agent from Indiana by Miami in 2012.

ROOKIES

Trai Turner
Third-round draft choice from Louisiana State will compete for starting guard spot in 2014. ... Played in 25 games with 20 starts at right guard for the Tigers and entered NFL following sophomore season.

David Foucault
Signed as undrafted rookie free agent after four seasons at University of Montreal. ... Played left tackle for the Carabins after initially lining up at right guard. ... Selected fifth overall in the 2014 Canadian Football League Draft by the Montreal Alouettes.

Andrew Norwell
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after playing in 50 games with 39 starts for Ohio State. ... Three-time All-Big Ten Conference selection. ... Started final 34 games of career at left guard.

Jared Wheeler
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent center from Miami. ... Played in 38 games with six starts for the Hurricanes.

RECENTLY ROSTERED

Derek Dennis
Signed as a free agent guard this offseason after brief stints on Chicago Bears' practice squad in 2013 and 2012. ... Played in 52 games with 37 starts at Temple. ... Started at guard and tackle in college.

Kevin Hughes
Signed as a free agent tackle this offseason. ... Attended training camp with the Green Bay Packers in 2013 but was waived in final roster cutdown. ... Played in three games for the St. Louis Rams in 2011.

Oscar Johnson
Signed as a free agent tackle this offseason after spending four games on Tennessee Titans' practice squad as a rookie in 2013. ... Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Tennessee.