Q & A with Coach McHale: Part Two

Renegade Report.com caught up with offensive line Coach Mark McHale discuss his position unit for the upcoming 2006 football season.

What is your plans at right guard? Do you have a player in mind who will start out the fall practices as the starter?

Your front runner based of spring football practices would have to be David Overmyer. With Niblock not participating in the off-season workout program or playing in spring, he's got to prove that he can win that position. You got Matt Hardick coming into the puzzle so you have to see what he can do. He may come in and show us he's everything. He might also push Jacky Claude for a starting position at left guard so we should have good competition at the guard position in the fall. They will get plenty of reps in the first two scrimmages of two days to fight it out.

Who will battle Shannon Boatman for the right tackle spot?

You have Daron Rose who is coming in at tackle so we are going to see if he can play. We'll know by the end of two a days there. Overmyer started every single football game there last season so he's a legitimate candidate to repeat there but the question you have to ask is what combination makes us the best. We got more options this year. Regardless who starts the backups will get playing time.

How do you feel about the offensive line now that spring has come and gone?

You have to feel a lot better this spring than last year during the spring. Compared to the fall, Mario Henderson, especially after the Virginia Tech and Orange Bowl game, he proved that he's a legit left tackle. He went against two fine football players in those games and he got better in the spring. He's gotten stronger and he's gotten motivated. We got more experience at left guard with Jacky playing in every game. Frady is starting at center but Dumaka Atkins is pushing him. They are rotating their grades back and forth so there's good competition at center.

How is Cory Niblock coming along?

He's coming along. He was just in my office a few minutes ago. He's at the point now where's he's able to start working out with full weights on the leg. He's rehab is going to be big and he think he's on schedule.

Where there any walk-on offensive lineman who you think can help you?

Marcus Ford showed a lot in the spring and he certainly can give us some depth in there. Cory Brookins is a center which is very valuable to us. If something happen to the other two guys, we wouldn't want Brandon Davis to play because we want him to redshirt. Those two walk-ons stood out.

I noticed that Mario Henderson has really improved. Do you think that has to do with working with you over the past year?

I think that was a big-factor. Feeling him out last fall, I decided to move him to left tackle. Mechanically he was better on that left side. He had about three weeks worth of work during practice and drills. When Niblock went down, he had to go in there at left tackle. He probably would have told you last spring that he wasn't into it the way he should have been. He had a decent spring but he got his head down when he wasn't starting in the fall. When he got his opportunity, he was ready to go.

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