How did the offensive line summer workouts go?
All summer we worked on trying to gel together. Our playing ability was there. Our athletic ability was there. Just cohesiveness amongst the line is there. I think we got that because we got together 2-3 times a week. Not just on the field, but off the field. I think we are realizing how beneficial that was.
How is the second unit coming along?
Our whole second unit has been surprising people. They have been getting a lot experience in case anyone goes down with an injury—they can go in.
How would you describe the play of fellow offensive lineman Tony Tella?
When it comes down competing for the left guard spot or the right tackle spot Tony is one of those guys that is going to be out there on every play giving it his all.
How is Derrick Morse progressing?
He needs to concentrate more on his technique. He is a guy that can be out there and might ball, but he could take out three others guys on the defensive line. If a play breaks down, Derrick is a guy that will go out there full speed and try to take people's heads off. He comes off the ball real well and gets downfield.
How are the freshmen Tyrone Byrd, Jonathan St. Pierre, and Chris Rutledge coming along?
The guys coming in we explain to them the different plays and calls, but the biggest change for them is going to be the game experience. You don't learn without doing things wrong. The freshmen have been doing a good job of picking up the offense.
You have played some at right tackle throughout fall practices, how do you feel there?
If they need me to play there that is fine. I am more comfortable at guard—I have been there the last three years. If they need me to play tackle, then I will. I have worked in practice occasionally on it before now and I know what I need to do. The mental aspect is pretty much the same thing as far as the scheme goes. It is just the speed rush around the corner is the only difference.
What are your overall thoughts on the offensive line?
I think we have the most depth that we've had in the last couple of years. We have guys that can step in at any time if someone gets hurt. Last year we barely had a starting line throughout the whole game. Once Rashad comes back, I think we will be pretty good.
There has been a lot of talk about how you guys are a closer-knit team this year, what are your thoughts on that?
That is the biggest change from last year. When we are getting together we are all giving encouragement to each other. Last year it used to never be like that. This year everyone has been making a point to do it and saying ‘good job.'
How important is that for a team's success?
It is the biggest thing you need on a team is the cohesiveness and encouragement. If someone makes a mistake they will be down and they don't need to hear about it in the huddle the next time. They are going to be thinking about that play next time in the huddle, but they just have to forget about it and move on.
Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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