Army O-Line rebuilds for 2007

Carson Williams steps back in the pocket, surveys the field, before hitting wide receiver Jeremy Trimble for a big gain. Carson Williams takes a blitz and is sacked for a 10-yard loss. Let's hope Williams does more looking down field than looking for cover.

The key to much of his success, Army's success, in 2007 could be the play of the offense line. It's a rebuilding unit with plenty of questions surrounding it and new faces.

Army's offensive line enjoyed a rebirth under then offensive line coach Stan Brock in 2004. It also helped that the Black Knights had star running back Carlton Jones running behind them. But the guys up front have been riddled with consistency up front the past two years. Now the man in charge, Brock says he wants to pound the ball with the running game. He can't do that if the offensive line doesn't block; that also will make Army as predictable as last year. But despite the inexperience and questions, Brock does have two things going for him.

Tim Walsh replaces the predictable Kevin Ross as offensive coordinator. He appears to have a better offensive mind (but, don't worry: we won't drop the term "wrinkles" here). John Tice, cut out of the same mold of Brock, takes over as offensive line coach. He seems like the perfect man to bring the offensive line back to life. Tice played tight end in the NFL for 10 years and was a teammate of Brock's with the New Orleans Saints from 1983 to 1992. He played in 134 games at tight end during his professional career, including 56 career starts. Tice previously spent seven years on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff.

But Army's success in the trenches will ultimately come down to the guys battling in them. There are questions, but also reason for optimism. Senior center Trey Miranne returns as a starter. He's the glue that will keep the unit together.

Ray Zelenak starts at left tackle after receiving several starts last year. He continues to develop. After that, there isn't much experience. Junior Brandon Cox is slated to play left guard.

He would have started last year if it weren't for injuries. Mike Lemming, who Army is very high on, is the man at right tackle. He could end up being a big-time player up front. Senior Connor Wicklund will hold down the right side with Lemming.

Waiting in the wings is 6-foot-6, 282 pound sophomore Joe Muldoon and 300-pounder John Keller. You figure both Keller and Muldoon will each see time this fall.

Let's hope every offensive lineman does his job this season. So Carson Williams can do his. Top Stories