Getting ahead of the Offensive Line Narrative
Most BC fans agree that Oline U hasn't been itself for two years. We've been inconsistent and worst of all, the guys didn't always play well as a group. BC had talent, but the parts were greater than the sum. Who was to blame? There was plenty of finger pointing. Some say it was scheme. Others blamed coaching. Maybe BC's coaching turnover and talent attrition just came home to roost.
BC enters the season with a new offensive coordinator and three new starters on the Oline, so the excuse making is starting already. But we fans shouldn't accept this narrative just yet. Look at the talking points and then the reality.
1. BC lost three starters on the offensive line. Although it is technically true, the impact and importance of those starters is subjective. Castonzo started all 13 games and is a loss. Claiborne was in and out of the lineup last year and only started eight games. Lapham was inconsistent prior to his injury and the line play actually improved once Cleary stepped in for him. Lapham only started 8 games. Now the good news:
-- Cleary started 10 games
-- Richman started 10 games
-- Spinney started 11 games
-- White started 3 games
-- Davis earned 1 start
Plus BC has some promising depth on the roster. But look at that list of 2010 starters again. Spaz could open the season with an offensive line with an experienced starter at every position. That's a nice problem to have, especially since the media won't notice.
2. The offensive line has dealt with numerous coaching changes. The four oline coaches in four years was a nice tidbit
excuse the media could trot out when covering BC the last few years. Now we've had a bit of stability. The current OL guys on the roster have only had two position coaches: Jack Bicknell Jr and Sean Devine. Most only know Devine. While they are learning another system, conceptually it is still "pro style" and shouldn't be a huge adjustment.
3. They were recruited for a different system. The zone blocking body type is overrated. Most good players on the Oline can do both. And if the oline and its coach are not capable of teaching and adapting then Spaz has a big problem on his staff.
I actually think the Oline will be good next year. If we get the right guys in the right positions things should be much much better.