All eyes turn to offensive line

A team can have the greatest running back in the world but if the offensive line can't block the back likely won't be successful. As Vanderbilt nears its 2010 season opener questions loom. Look inside to hear what they are saying about Vanderbilt's offensive line.

Head coach Robbie Caldwell on whether or not the inexperience of the offensive line limits his game plan:

"Yes, it limits some what we can do but we feel like we got 7 or 8 guys that we can count on and they have the knowledge to do a few wrinkles we haven't done before. We started working on them in the spring and got a little bit of work at it but some of it will have to be basic, particularly in the long yardage situation. "

Joey Bailey on whether or not the offensive line is ready for the challenge:

"I think we are. The guys have been working extremely hard, especially the freshmen, to get themselves ready for this moment. Everybody just wants to prove all the doubters out there wrong. I've got all the faith in the world in those guys that they are going to be ready to play."

Bailey on the Northwestern defensive line:

"They are big, some big strong guys up there; play hard, well coached. Just looking on film, effort is never a question with them, they are going to give you everything they got on every play."

Defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone, who faces the offensive line every day in practice and was asked to rate the offensive line from 1 (terrible) to 10 (great):

"Coming into camp honestly, I would have to grade them really low but after three weeks of working with Coach Hand, he's done a tremendous job bringing them in here. I would say they are up anywhere from 8 to 10, completely ready for this game. They are gonna be a bunch of cutting fools, just taking knees and just playing hard. Coach Hand has just been pushing and pushing and pushing them all practice long so they've gotten head over heels better."

SCANNING THE OFFENSIVE LINE

LEFT TACKLE


STARTER: Wesley Johnson (6-5, 280, R-Fr.)- Coach Robbie Caldwell raved on Johnson in yesterday's press conference and said he'd fight a chain saw and it running. Caldwell made a similar comment about Bradley Vierling a few years ago.
BACKUP: Chase White (6-5, 280, Fr.)- White has good feet and quickness. He'd likely benefit from a redshirt year but he answered the call and got his weight up to 280.

LEFT GUARD

STARTER: Jabo Burrow (6-4, 290, R-So.)- Jabo was moved from the defensive line in the spring. He's has grasped the new position well although he had to fend off a late threat from Mylon Brown.
BACKUP: Mylon Brown (6-6, 310, R-Fr.)- Brown was moved from tackle to guard in the spring. A massive lineman, the fact that he gave Burrow a good challenge means there is good depth at this position.

CENTER

STARTER: Joey Bailey (6-4, 290, R-Sr.)- Fifth year senior and team co-caption. Bailey was Bradley Vierling's backup at center in 2009. He started the first five games in 2008 at guard, all victories.
BACKUP: James Kittredge (6-3, 275, Fr.)- Kittredge was one of the heaviest recruited of the incoming freshmen. He's got a good motor and is very coachable. He's moved from several positions already and still earns place on the depth chart. Caldwell has raved on this young player to the media.

RIGHT GUARD

STARTER: Kyle Fischer (6-6, 305, R-Jr.)- Probably Vandy's most sound lineman. Fisher has played both guard and tackle. Started seven games at the end of the 2008 season and had six starts in 2009. Earned SEC All-Freshman honors in 2008.
BACKUP: Logan Stewart (6-4, 290, Fr.)- As mentioned above, Stewart was moved from center to guard about halfway through preseason camp. Stewart is a serious, tough player who is very coachable.

RIGHT TACKLE

STARTER: Caleb Welchans (6-5, 305, R-So.)- Welchans played in 10 games last year but didn't garner a start. He's got the quickness and footwork needed for a tackle.
BACKUP: Kyle Fischer (6-6, 305, R-Jr.)

ALSO

Ryan Seymour (6-5, 310, R-So.)- Seymour saw significant minutes last season and started versus Florida. Earn Freshman All-SEC honors. He'll very likely be a regular in 2010.
Justin Cabbagestalk (6-3, 290, R-Fr.)- A talented player who has been sidelined throughout preseason practice.
Andrew Bridges (6-6, 240, Fr.)- Bridges has the frame and footwork to be a great offensive linemen. Even without the weight needed to compete in the SEC he has been fundamentally sound in practice and has a bright future ahead of him. Chef Majic and Coach Sisk will be hard at work on Bridges.
Grant Ramsay (6-5, 285, Fr.)- A hard working freshman who has the build and drive to be a great player. He'll likely benefit from a redshirt year.

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