Monday, November 03, 2014

How good is BC's Offensive Line?

In most of the pregame previews of BC, announcers and writers will note BC's veteran Offensive Line and point to the unit as the team's key for success. The Oline has been good, but is not an all-time great OL crew by BC standards. They are probably not even as good as last year's line. The fact that we are playing as well with this group is a credit to the coaches and to Tyler Murphy (who is making them look pretty good).

Virginia Tech played heavy run all day and it made things feast or famine with our offense. The line did okay with their overloaded numbers but still had some problems with the Hokie speed up front. As I mentioned in my review, there were plays when the line looked great and others when they didn't. As a whole this group is not as consistent as great OLines should be. For a group that is not asked to pass protect much, they are pretty good at it. Rarely when Murphy drops back does the pocket collapse. They also haven't missed many blitzes. They move pretty well with the pulling. The bigger issues tend to be winning at the line, getting to the second level with consistency and speed guys on the edges.

Gallik will probably earn All ACC honors. He's been good, but the award will also be in part due to reputation and wanting to reward BC's offense. Silberman looks all conference one week and then average the next. With a few more good games, he might get some conference honors. The rest? Probably not. I also don't know how much NFL talent is in this group. Gallik will probably get drafted, but the others all look like potential Undrafted Free Agents. In my opinion, the best Lineman we had this year was Harris Williams. His injury hurt, but his 6th year will be a good foundation for next year's line.

If I were to rank this group among the other BC offensive lines during the last 20 years, I would put them behind all the Henning lines, the early and middle TOB lines, last year's OL and the Jags lines. I would put them ahead of TOB's final season (which had a shaky interior line) and the final two Spaz seasons.

This all might seem like whining while we are still winning. I am not trying to be negative. This group is a reason for our success. However, I think they are being coached up and supported by the guys in the backfield. If everyone else wants to chalk it up to "OLine U," that's fine. I just want us to keep on winning.


mod34b said...

Patchan was really outstanding last year as a pulling guard/tackle. He leveled quite a few LBs and DBs freeing Andre to do his thing.... such a joy to watch on the replays.

I don't see anyone this year with that level of mobility and athleticism on the OL.

Patchan did not make TB this year .... injured.... seemed like a guy who could have a pro career -- maybe

Big Jack Krack said...

As I have said before, these current players are 25 to 30 pounds lighter than some of our OLines of the past.

Most top teams this year feature linemen in the 325 + range.

It's tough for our guys when the opposition stacks the box against them. They haven't got that extra weight to simply blast away, so to speak.

Yet they are playing pretty well, and my hat is off to them.

Go BC - keep it up.

Hoib said...

They look pretty solid to me. On every big play there is a great block. I'd also put the receivers in there too. They are hybrid linemen. All in all I'd say they are 6 & 3 linemen. As Bill Parcells would say.

JBQ said...

The blocking schemes and coaching this year are very good. Has it been that long since the newest "thing on the block" was zone blocking which confused the heck out of our o-line? This was a contributing factor to 2-10. Blocking isn't that hard. You just put your big un against their big un and push and grunt. The "hogs" of Redskin fame are a case in point. Blocking is an art of "leverage". The five graduate blocks of cement are doing a great job. They just create a little wedge and Murphy slips through. It's been fun with three blips along the way. Louisville has a blitzing linebacker who is "out of this world". If he can be stopped, BC will win.

eagleboston said...

I think this offensive line is underrated. They are facing 9-10 defenders in the box every play and yet BC consistently averages nearly 200 yards rushing per game. The pressure on them is immense. We only throw 15-20 times a game, so defenders almost know with certainty that BC is going to run. Given that, I am impressed with their blocking. I wish BC would pass more to keep defenses honest, but I am not going to argue with a coach that turned a 2-10 team into a 7 game winner in Year 1 and possibly even better in Year 2.

Hoib said...


We are 1 and 3 in games where we threw 18 passes or more. The only game we won was UMASS. Against them we could have run every play or passed every play and still won, due to the talent gap. If we have any chance to win either of the next 2 it will be by continuing to pound the ball, move the chains, and in so doing keep it away from our opponents high powered offenses. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

EL MIZ said...

Frye and Addazio have done a great job of coaching these guys up. the same players that looked bad as Spaz offensive linemen get the job done currently.

i am excited to see the next group of linemen emerge. two of our better recruits from MA last year (Hendren and Baker) are redshirting this year. our two highest rated incoming recruits (Wyatt Knopfke from FL and Palazolo from CT) are offensive linemen. their high school height/weights are impressive. Knopfke is a 6'4 290 lb guard and Palazzolo is a 6'6 315 lb tackle. add those two to Hendren and Baker, bring Harris Williams back, see what Frank Taylor can do at C; i have little doubt we will be able to build as good or better of an O-Line as we have this year.

Big Jack Krack said...

Former NJ POY Jim Cashman is in that mix as well.

Big Jack Krack said...

Speaking of Offensive Linemen - Is Jeremy Trueblood still in the League? 6'9" 330 while at BC.

John O'Donnell said...

Baker has played this year.
I agree that Harris Williams was probably the best of the group but his replacement, Aaron Kramer is doing very well.
I think Frye is a great coach but will have to be outstanding next year. The o-line next year could be a big issue. Every starter will be gone . . . and we have untested redshirts and seniors for replacements.
What about Williams sixth year? Has that been granted? Does he want to come back for 2015?

CT said...

I think you can tell that pass protection has been helped by defenses being unable to pin their ears back at snap, relying instead on gap discipline and containment to prevent our best athlete from doing his USC impersonation on them.

BJK, Trueblood got picked up off the scrap heap last season to play here in Atlanta at right tackle after all the injuries. It wasn't pretty.

If BC ever fails to recruit capable offensive lineman, I'm giving my diploma back.

BCFBfan said...

I believe we will have Harris Williams back next year. I thought Coach Addazio mentioned that during one of his recent press conferences(???). I trust Coach Frye, I think he has done a great job with this unit. In 2 seasons at the Heights, he has gotten the very best out of his offensive lines. Also, I can't imagine we won't pick up a Graduate Senior or two on the O-line. I mean we are "O-Line U," what GS o-lineman wouldn't want to play here. I'm sure the coaching staff will be out looking for some potential GS linemen. Fired up for Saturday night! Go Eagles!