Q & A with OL Coach Mark McHale

Offensive line coach Mark McHale discusses the most consistent linemen this spring, Dumaka Atkins injury, David Overmyer's move to guard, Shannon Boatman's play and adjustments they've made to counter some new looks from the defensive line.

Q: Who's been your most consistent player this spring?

McHale: If you took all the grades, the most consistent player is Mario (Henderson).

Q: Were you expecting that given what he had done at the end of fall?

McHale: Probably. Second most consistent position is both the centers.

Q: How's Dumaka's knee injury coming along?

McHale: He had 25 plays and then had his knee rolled up.

Q: Nothing serious?

McHale: No. Bruised bone.

Q: Were there any specific areas you wanted to see him improve?

McHale: Everywhere. He hadn't played. I think he's doing a really good job. I really do.

Q: Overmyer's move to guard - was that to get Boatman some more reps at tackle?

McHale: It was to get Overmyer and Boatman from splitting reps to both of them going against the ones on every rep. Overmyer knows the assignments at tackle.

Q: How has Overmyer done at guard?

McHale: He's adjusted well.

Q: So, is that another possible option?

McHale: It's a possible option.

Q: When we talked earlier about Boatman, you had mentioned that he had some work to do on the mental part of his game. How is he coming along?

McHale: Still coming along. He had a sack out there. Blocked a stunt draw. But he blocked a run instead of a pass.

Q: How is his run blocking coming along compared to his pass blocking?

McHale: His pass blocking the first three scrimmages was good, but now his run blocking is better than his pass blocking. He's starting to lean in his pass blocking and he has never done that. In our system, it's not just that you have the guy. It's how you get them. He's still thinking.

Q: That decision on how to play the defender - does that come from you on the sidelines or is that something they have to decide at the line?

McHale: We teach presnap looks for which set you take.

Q: A couple of scrimmages ago the defense put in some new looks along the line. What kind of adjustments have you had to make?

McHale: They had a zone blitz and Dumaka was blocking the wrong guy. They bring two backers inside and he was blocking the wrong back. It's assignment football. The next scrimmage we corrected it.

Q: Has everyone been doing a good job with their assignments otherwise?

McHale: I think it's been pretty good. We're emphasizing the running game. All the zone blitzes and twists we're getting a hat on a hat.


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