O-line ... O-no!

They say "It's what's up front that counts," and what's up front for Tennessee's offensive football team is struggling this spring.

The offensive line hasn't done a very good job opening holes for the running backs and it hasn't done a very good job protecting the passer. The blockers were especially inept in last Saturday's full-scale scrimmage. Offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe is aware of the shortcomings but isn't ready to post memos in the dormitories seeking O-line candidates. Not yet, at least.

"I don't think you make any snap judgments," he said. "We didn't get a lot of things done but we've got a lot of people playing all different kinds of combinations and places."

Because he is a proven player, senior tackle Arron Sears isn't getting much work this spring. As a result, the first-team line for Saturday's scrimmage consisted of Eric Young and Ramon Foster at tackle, Michael Frogg and Anthony Parker at guard, David Ligon at center. Freshman Josh McNeil and junior Steven Jones saw significant backup action.

Except for Sears' tackle spot, the other starting jobs remain up for grabs. No one else seems capable of putting a lock on a first-team berth. With so many players shuffling in and out of the lineup, continuity can suffer.

"We're not doing anything consistently," Cutcliffe noted, "but we've got what we've got, so we'd better go to work and get it done."

Knowing who his top five linemen are leaving spring practice would be wonderful but that's a luxury the coordinator simply doesn't have.

"It would be great if we could make that decision but I don't think we're at that point," Cutcliffe said. "A lot of it's going to depend on who comes back in the right shape to play. Quite honestly, some of them aren't there right now."

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