The word “luck” doesn’t sit well with Auburn fans.

Naysayers believe that it was luck that propelled Auburn in their thrilling wins over Georgia and Alabama last year.

Yes, there was a certain amount of luck involved in Ricardo Louis’ catch against the Bulldogs but the Tigers weren’t lucky against Alabama; they outplayed Alabama.

In terms of the Tigers overall season, they were not lucky. The stability and consistency of Auburn’s offensive line played a huge role in the Tigers successful – not lucky – season. Left tackle Greg Robinson, left guard Alex Kozan, center Reese Dismukes and right guard Chad Slade started every game at the same position – a dream scenario for an offensive line coach. Patrick Miller started the first five games at right tackle while Avery Young finished out the year there.

Was that a little bit lucky?

“I believe there is a fine line between luck and preparation, and I think we probably had a lot of both a year ago,” Auburn’s offensive line coach J.B. Grimes told the Montgomery Advertiser during the offseason. “When you go through a season and you basically play six offensive lineman, that doesn’t happen a whole lot. Our strength coach (Ryan Russell) and his staff do as good a job as anybody in the country at preparing guys. You can’t count on that every year.”

Five days into fall camp and the Tigers had two setbacks already on the offensive line. Head coach Gus Malzahn opened camp on Friday announcing that Kozan will miss the entire year due to a back injury he suffered in the offseason. Then on Tuesday, the first day the Tigers were in pads, Slade stood on the sideline without his pads on during the 25 minutes of practice that was open to the media.

No coaches were available after practice to give an update on Slade’s status.

The first four days of practice Slade was lining up at left guard, filling in for Kozan, while Shon Coleman was next lining up next to Slade at left tackle. Coleman’s taking over for the No. 2 overall pick in May’s NFL Draft, Greg Robinson. The development of Slade and Coleman on the line’s blind side was the biggest thing to watch for going into practice with pads.

“I’m not worried about that,” Coleman said on Tuesday referring to Slade’s injury. “I’m going out there just to help the whole team and the whole o-line do our job. I’m working on what I need to work on to get better at certain things.”

Its been musical chairs thus far for Grimes’ group. Coleman said having been through one year of Malzahn’s offense though will give the o-line a sense of continuity regardless of who the five starters wind up being.

“The chemistry is a lot better than last year,” said Coleman. “We’ve been engaged in the offense. We are a step ahead of last year as far as awareness of things.”

Better to have the injury bug in camp than during the season.