Interview: Robbie Caldwell, part II

In part II Vanderbilt Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Robbie Caldwell discusses Rob Ashanbranner; more on the younger linemen such as Richard Cagle, Michael Bryant and Caleb Welchans; he also gives more thoughts on Reilly Lauer. He discusses up and coming players that he has observed on the Vanderbilt defense.

Robbie Caldwell: Rob Ashanbranner at center had his best spring yet. Of course Rob had a course conflict and missed one day a week in the spring, of course that got him behind. Hopefully he'll have a good summer. He hasn't worked as hard as I'd like to see him work in that weight room but I think now with the opportunity to see a little bit more playing time down the road. I think he's got a little better commitment in there. The younger ones, Rob, Richard, Caleb and Michael, they got to commit in the weight room and get in there and really get big and strong. Caleb is up over 300 and still can move now. They are making progress but they are not as committed to it as they need to be; they still want to eat those foot-long hot dogs and look at them girls and stuff. They need to get their butt in there and be a little more committed in that aspect of it. That'll come with the time and experience if they want to get on the field. Like James Williams, James had a great spring and he's just got to get more physical and finish blocks. He's has all the tools; he's about 315 pounds and can run and move and just everything you want. He's exactly what we thought he could be and he's probably a little bit ahead of schedule. He'll just be a sophomore.

Of course, we are out beating the bushes right now. We are probably going to sign four this year; that'll hopefully give us some depth. Originally we had lost a couple to the defense that we thought would be offensive linemen so we kind of picked up a little bit of a surprise when we got Ryan Seymour. I think he's got a chance to be just outstanding because he does have that drive to just finish them off. I look to see him on the field this year as a red shirt freshman so he'll give us some added depth there. Hopefully Reilly is going to have a good summer and get into the weight room and get to work. He's a good player for us; we need him and he needs to commit and get a little more weight so people can't throw him around. He's got that attitude that he'll get after them when the lights turn on.

Don Yates: Are there any players on defense that you are thinking, "that player is really going to help us in 2009?"

RC: I see mostly the defensive front. The DBs, Sean Richardson is one that comes to mind along with Casey Hayward, those two did an outstanding job. The linebackers, Tristan Strong, I thought he had a good spring. He's a physical guy who'll thump 'em. Defensive line wise, all those young ones have really progressed, they are putting on weight and they are getting there. Kadri's got an opportunity and has got the talent, if he'll commit himself. Of course, he's young and he played some this year. Coach Logo has done a good job with him. Obviously Steven Stone did a super job. Broderick Stewart wasn't out there because of his injury. Hopefully he'll be ready and he looks like it. The young defensive linemen they did a good job of getting more physical and stronger because Greg Billinger wasn't out there, he was recovering from a knee scope or whatever it was. You'll see some of those step in there. Coach Logo can tell you about them individually. Tim Fugger has a great chance to really help us. What a great athletic guy, he's gotten bigger and stronger. He's just got to toughen up and stay healthy. He's been nicked up all the time; hopefully he'll grow out of that. That's a pretty impressive group; they've gotten a lot better. I think you'll see a lot more of them on the field this year than last year. We had to play with so few up front. I think they depth factor going to really help.

DY: Do you think this is the deepest defensive line since you've been at Vanderbilt?

Probably is, just numbers, but I can't really comment on who is what because I don't coach them, just going against them. I know they just had a slew of players over there that just kept banging and getting better. The more times we can rough them up in a drill the better they are going to be.

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