Jim Tressel: Offensive Line Looking Crisp
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel met with the media on Tuesday and discussed the offensive line in addition to a number of other topics going into the first game of the season against Navy on Saturday. He feels the offensive line looks crisp and a number of players have moved to their natural positions which improves their performance.
By Steve Patterson
Coach Tressel discussed limiting the number of plays for the line as a way to get them more comfortable this fall. “So we had narrowed down a little bit of what we might do.” he said. “And I thought yesterday in full pads, it wasn't like it was shorts or anything, in full pads, our offensive line looked a little bit crisper and quicker and more confident in what they were doing than I had seen them in the last week or so.” he told everyone about the play of the line.
And Andrew Miller has really progressed from coming in as a tight end, switching to the offensive line, and taking over the left tackle position this camp. “I thought they were showing some signs, you mentioned Andrew Miller, I think really going as far back as last spring, he was coming along and taking advantage of opportunities and he's a tough guy.”
Plus a number of players are now in their best positions to perform well on the field according to Coach Tressel. “To me the key with the offensive line is no different than with the quarterback. If you do what they can do, then they're going to have a lot better chance of being successful because the other guys are allowed to try too. But you've got to do what they do best.”
Michael Brewster is the only returning starter in the same position as last season with Jim Cordle moving to tackle and Bryant Browning moving to guard Coach Tressel explained. “Well, Michael [Brewster] did a good job stepping in as a freshman and he had some tough moments. Every play wasn't wonderful. Every game wasn't wonderful. And I'm sure we have to remind ourselves that he's a sophomore. But I think he's pretty darn solid and understanding what we want to do.”
Jim Cordle now takes over the right tackle spot on the line where he can use his quickness against smaller defensive ends. “Jimmy Cordle has made the move outside, which a little bit like what Doug Datish did, and Jim Bollman felt Doug had his finest year, the year that his quickness could kind of take over and not have those 320-pounders over him all the time and that type of thing. But Mike has been solid this summer and Jimmy's move outside seems to be a good thing and Bryant is steady. Bryant is good at tackle and I think even better at guard.”
And the final piece of the line is healthy after a short break to heal a knee that got tweaked several weeks ago. “Justin [Boren]'s been back now for five or six practices and looks very good.” Coach Tressel reported. “We tease him a little bit because he's got fresh legs, everyone else is exhausted, he's out there because he didn't practice for a while.”
“So I'm sure that as you look at any lineup in game one, it isn't going to look exactly the same throughout the year, if you're lucky to have no injuries or something, you're awfully fortunate, but hopefully we can build a little bit of depth, but that's going to be key.” Coach Tressel explained about his hope that the young freshman listed on the two deep depth chart will be able to fill in when they are needed this year.