After serving as the offensive coordinator for BYU for the past six seasons, newly hired coach Robert Anae is taking on a different role in Tucson as the team's offensive line coach and running game coordinator. He's only been with the program for a short time, but so far he likes what he sees in Tucson.
"I love it, I love this place," Anae said. "What I love most about it is that it's a chance to work with a group that really cares. They really care."
It's no secret that the offensive line is perhaps the biggest question mark heading into the 2011 season. After all, the unit graduated all five starters and lost its coach when Bill Bedenbaugh left the program for West Virginia.
To Anae, who has nearly 20 years experience coaching offensive lineman, the prospect of completing building an entire offensive line is not a daunting task, but a challenge he's excited about.
"I don't think it's a challenge, I think it's a great opportunity," Anae said. "We replaced the coach, we replaced the group, and we're all rookies. That's something I'm looking forward to."
With the group in transition, Anae is attempting to put his own stamp on the offensive line and on the entire football team.
"We're working on football and a couple of things that are important in football," Anae said. "We're trying first and foremost to create a culture with our offensive line. To me, that stems from how hard you are willing to try, how much you are willing to give to the group you represent."
Even though he's only worked with his new players for a few days now in Spring football, Anae likes what he's seeing from the offensive line thus far.
"I'm encouraged and pleased all at the same time," Anae said. "I'm pleased that we do have a group that cares, and they have been busting their butt up to this point. And I'm encouraged because that caring and that effort to really take the steps we're looking at are going to have to show through spring ball."
While Anae has been pleased with the progress the group has made in the short time under his tutelage, he is not ready to name starters or a standout amongst the group.
"I'm not really one to single a person out because our whole effort is how five guys are working together," Anae said. "When you ask for a single guy, that's so counter-culture to what we're trying to do."
Anae will also take over a rushing offense that ranked eighth in the Pac-10 a season ago, but says that having the offense operate at its peak potential, and not just the running game, will be his focus.
"I think every play is important, whether we pass it or whether we run it," Anae said. "I'm looking forward to every play working, whatever it is. And if it doesn't work, then we're going to fix it."
Anae looking forward to challenge
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