Interview: Coach Robbie Caldwell part II

VandyMania spoke with offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and got an update on each of Vanderbilt's offensive lineman. In this segment the coach talks about the veterans. In our next segment Caldwell gives us his overall feelings on this year's line compared to 2005 and also comments on some of the incoming freshmen for 2006.

Q: Talk about some of your veteran lineman?

Mac Pyle (6-4, 320):

Mac Pyle is . . . recovering from surgery; he didn't get to go through spring. He did do a few drills and helped coach a little bit. Mac got his academics a little more in line here and is doing good lately. He's got to really get himself in shape. Basically hurt himself last year by being too big, not conditioned enough to carry that weight in his return back to the program. That's what he's got to understand, particularly now with having surgery on his knee. He's got to get down in the 300-315 range. Mac's a very good player, can be, and can be very good for us. He's got great knowledge; he sees things and knows what's going on better than most. We need playing time out of him. He's a good player in the run game. You know we are just throwing the ball so much. Pass protection is where he has been lacking.

Elliot Hood (6-5, 300):

The other one, Elliot Hood, served primarily as a backup at tackle. He played some guard in the past. He kind of pulled a muscle in his back but he battled through it. It's hurt him a little bit in the weight room, not being able to squat and lift. He's a very athletic guy, he's got to turn up his game; we've got to get some help out of him. He can be a very good player; I think he wants to. His confidence has been a little down. He's struggled with pass blocking. He had never done much of it and primarily play action pass but when you start dropping back and throwing the ball and blocking guys in this league coming off the edge, it's pretty demanding.

Merritt Kirchoffer (6-5, 320):

Merritt Kirchoffer is one too that has recovered from surgery. He went through spring. He had shoulder surgery. I hope to get some great quality minutes out of him, if not a starter. Just the fact that he is going to be playing a little more comfortable, not as in pain as last year when he played with his shoulder strapped down so that's going to help.

Brian Stamper (6-5, 305):

Chris Williams and Brian Stamper had great springs. Brian had a little bit of a pulled muscle in his back. Little disc problem. He tells me it is doing fine. He went through just about everything in the spring. We tried to protect him a little but he's the type that wants to be out there. He has a great knowledge of the game, a guy that's never been redshirted. He'll be a true senior and made all-conference last year. We look for good things out of him, good leadership.

Chris Williams (6-6, 315):

Chris Williams is doing great in school now, academically, much more confident. Our goal for him was to improve in the running game and become more physical and he really stepped up in that regard, even though we didn't get to work on it as much as we would have liked, because our running backs were hurt most of the spring.

Josh Eames (6-5, 310):

Josh Eames had a real good spring. Josh is just very steady. We can always count on him doing the right things. He's just a good, solid player for us. A lot of people are going to take notice of him this year.

Hamilton Holliday (6-4, 290):

Hamilton Holliday has really just upped his game this spring in moving in there to center and directing traffic. He's got knowledge and has gotten smarter each year. He too is one that has never been redshirted and it's really coming into place for him.


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