Sunday, June 29, 2014
2014 Preview Questions: How good is the Offensive Line?
Given BC's history with OLine play, it is surprising that it took until last year for an offensive coach to say "forget skill players, maybe we should just put out eight offensive lineman." The jumbo packages combined with the spread proved to be a good wrinkle. It played to our strengths and depth. I am sure this year we will see new wrinkles, but I don't think teams will be as surprised or that we have the same depth to pull it off. The big question is how good can this Oline be? Their success as a unit will impact BC's season more than any other.
During the decline under Spaz, the most obvious weakness was offensive line play. Mistakes, confusion and sloppy technique were evident. One of the reasons for last season's turn around was simply better position coaching. Which shouldn't have been a surprise since Addazio was a former OLine coach. You assumed that he would put an emphasis on the unit and find a good position coach (which he did in Justin Frye). In Year 2 -- with another year of good coaching -- things should be better. But it is not always that simple.
The middle of the line returns. Vardaro, Gallik and Williams should all probably be in the same position as last year. But those three were also the most inconsistent of our starters last season. Vardaro and Gallik would play really well some games and struggle in others. With Gallik receiving a series of preseason accolades, I assume the coaches are expecting a big season season from him.
But who replaces the Tackles? It is assumed that it will be another Florida transfer Ian Silberman and Seth Betancourt. But the coaches could easily move Vardaro and Williams wide and use Silberman and Betancourt on the interior. It really depends on what Frye thinks is most important, position familiarity or putting you best talent at Tackle.
I also don't know if and how often we will go big. Opponents have had a whole offseason to prepare. Without the surprise will the big packages be as effective? Also, do we have the depth? Are the guys on the bench able to come in and play? Are we better off with multiple Tight Ends? Unlike our questions at WR, I have more confidence that the Oline will come together. The talent and coaching is too good for it not to come together. And if it doesn't come together...we're screwed.