Offensive Line still work in progress

Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin says the success of the entire MSU offense and the team, rests upon the Spartans coaching staff finding and coaching up a core group.

EAST LANSING - There's no time like the present and that's time for the heralded MSU recruiting prospects to step up and be players.

In fact, Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin says the success of the entire MSU offense and the team, rests upon it.

"We're switching guys, moving them in and out ( of the lineup). We're not as physical as we need to be," admitted Baldwin.

"I'd like us to dominate the line of scrimmage. I know we're a spread offense, but that doesn't mean we can't run the football so we need to a little more physical there," he said.

With talented returnees such as Kyle Cook, Roland Martin, John Masters just to name a few, why isn't MSU as physical as they should be?

"We've been a good offense for the last two years because we've had a good offensive line. It's the key to everything we do. I think this group is as talented as a group, they're just younger, they just need a little more (seasoning)."

Baldwin is looking forward to Friday's final scrimmage (open to the public at 3:30pm) as a way to get his young charges some much needed reps.

"We need this kind of live competition, the more 'live' we get, the more physical and demanding it becomes the better they're going to be."

Baldwin says observers are right when they say that a offensive line may have talented individuals but its only as good as the sum of its parts.

"I think we're using seven good guys right now with Peter Clifford able to play left guard or right tackle. We might have a problem because our three left guards ...if (Kyle) Cook would come back and Peter Clifford and Kenny Shane, they might be the most talented group that we have of all the linemen," he said. All three are stacked behind each other.

Baldwin talked about what he might do if all three were available to him.

"Peter Clifford could go to right tackle, Cook could go to center and those type of deals, but that's a good problem to have. As an offensive line they need five guys to play together and get the cohesiveness. Its not one guy doing and an assignment, it has to happen simultaneously, five guys making the same call and then something happens."

Right now, it appears the line will be made up of Jesse Miller at right tackle, Roland Martin at right guard, John Masters at center, Mike Gyetvai at left tackle and Cook at left guard. If Cook, who is returning from injury isn't ready, then Clifford would likely fill in at his left guard position.

Baldwin is in a hurry to see his starters emerge so that the team can begin working out the kinks in their collective play, some of which was exposed by heady strong safety Nehemiah Warrick.

"We ran a screen out here, explained Baldwin, "and Nehemiah Warrick made a great play but if our guard gets out like he's supposed to we might get a piece of him and then we're scoring. It's the live fast speed that we need to see that happen and we just didn't do it with that one unit on that one play but that's what this practice is for."

Coach Baldwin talks more about the overall offense. Read the article "Baldwin talks about offensive expectations."

MSU will wrap up workouts on Friday at 3:30pm.

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