Post-Spring Interview: Tom Cable

The new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, <b>Tom Cable</b>, has some interesting post-spring practice comments, particularly about the state of the offensive line...

New offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tom Cable spoke with us after the practice/scrimmage Saturday at Spauling Field.

With spring practice now concluded, what's your preliminary evaluation of the offense and the offensive line?

"I think with the entire offense, the one thing I feel really good about is the foundation that's been laid, in terms of the changes in the system, the tweaks, and where we want to go with it. I feel good about that. I think we can have a good summer, and the kids are set to do some good work on their own. Then they'll come into fall camp with some attainable goals, rather than be starting over, wondering, ‘What are we going to be? What are we trying to do?' So, in that light, I'm very pleased.

"In terms of the offensive line, it's difficult right now to feel we're here or we're not here. We don't have many numbers, just not very many guys healthy right now. But again, with them they understand what we've asked them to do. They understand the scheme we're going to use, both running the football and throwing the football. So that part I feel good about. I don't feel very good about who will be where, who will grind and compete on every play. I think today (Saturday) that really showed to me. You have some guys out and there's a great opportunity for some other guys. They got the opportunity to step up and go get some reps, and some guys kind of folded. That's a concern. That's not the personality that I want, or that I am, or that this offense can be. We have to be a lot tougher, and a lot stronger mentally. We're not there yet. So, from that standpoint, it was a little disappointing."

Was that your impression just today or overall in spring?

"That's my feeling for the spring overall, but today it showed. It's gotten better, and it will continue to get better. I think we can be competitive (on the offensive line). But there are so many questions. We've come out of the spring, and I know that there are about 2 ½ guys that can play."

A half a guy?

"Well, that's the deal. I have a couple of guys that I don't think we're getting everything out of, in terms of what they bring to the table. Between the two I have a half."

Looking at specific positions, does Paul Mociler look like the starting center?

"Maybe. He's done some good things this spring. But yet, it'd be nice to have Mike McCloskey and Robert Chai back, to find out where those three guys really fit. It appears right now that Paul is getting it, that's he's going to be pretty good there. The other two guys can play guard, they're pretty athletic, and they both have already played center. So, again, we have to have them all healthy, at practice, to sort it out."

If Chai gains some weight, can you see him as a guard possibly?

"I just think it's good to have the ability of three guys that all play inside. Then you have the other guys coming in and you have Eyoseph Efseaff. So there's a lot to be decided."

Among the incoming linemen coming in, who has the best chance of contributing next season?

"I think you have to approach it like they all have to come in and compete. On paper right now, Shannon Tevaga is the bigger, physical guy. Chris Joseph is now 280 pounds. Aaron Myers is 280. Scott Glicksberg is 280 now. Brian Abraham is about 275. So those kids are doing a nice job in weight training and getting themselves prepared. In physical terms, they're all doing the right thing. Maturity? That will be the question when they get here."

Do you see Tevaga as a guard or a tackle?

"I see him as an inside guy. I think a lot of those guys are inside guys, to be honest with you. Abraham and Joseph I would think will probably come in and we'll start them at tackle."

The offense overall, where do you want to take it for fall? What's the objective?

"Coming back in fall there will be two really key focus points. One is the discipline in which we play at. That means a couple of things. How sharp we are in terms of level of focus. How disciplined we are emotionally, not being so up and down, as I saw this spring. It's being able to get up to a high point and staying there, and competing at that level, and staying focused. The second things is how detailed we can get. And that's coaching. How much we can demand out of them. How exact we can get them. Between those two things I think we can be pretty decent."

How pleased were you with Drew Olson's spring performance?

"Very much so. He really jumped from week one to week two. And then jumped from week two to week three. Confidence, execution, making plays, timing. All of those things are really on the come. This week I thought offensively for a number of reasons we went into highs and lows, peaks and valleys."

So the second and third week of spring practice they reached a higher level of consistency?

"Absolutely. This week I don't think we made as much improvement. I think we still made strides. The thing I walk away feeling good about is that the foundation is laid now and now we can go and be productive offensively."

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