Spring Q&A: Tyler Marz

Behind three seniors a season ago, left tackle Tyler Marz is now the senior with the most experience on Wisconsin's offensive line, a role he is taking seriously with the youth around him heading into the summer.

BadgerNation: As the senior of the group, what is the main thing you are focusing on with your group over the next several months as you prepare for fall camp?

Tyler Marz: I just think I need to lead more with the three or four guys that need to step up in these positions. I am going to take them under my wing, whether that’s meeting more on the side or staying after practice in the summer workouts and work on any little thing that they need help on the most.

BN: Coaches have talked about continuity and communication on the line, something your group had a lot of last year with so much experience. Have you noticed that the group has had to rebuild that because of the guys you lost last year?

TM: A little bit, yeah. Michael Deiter does a great job in there but when you lose your center who is kind of the main guy, the main communicator, it throws things off a little bit. Deiter has done a great job and the fact that he can play both center and guard is huge for us. I think that is big. It starts with the center and knowing the looks, especially against our defense with how crazy they can be. It braches out from there. We need to get our guards a little bit more vertical and get their eyes up so they can see some things. Having Dallas (Lewallen) last year with some center experience helped. We had both mentalities there. We’ll get into that once we get a little bit more experience and more reps.

BN: Having Dan Voltz and Ray Ball out for parts of this spring, was that a good test for your group if guys go down during the season?

TM: You can look at it as a bad thing or a good thing. A lot of times on the offensive line you get your shot when someone else gets hurt. They have to step up and produce and this was another opportunity for those guys. Instead of just having to fill two or three spots this spring, we’ve seen who could fill the next five, six, seven spots on the line. Usually an offensive line doesn’t stay healthy for 13, 14 games. We’re going to need guys to step up and it was good for them to get extra reps.

BN: Is there concern in your group now or is it too early for that?

TM: No I don’t think we need to worry too much, but we need to keep that edge. We need to hit the weight room hard, hit the film and make sure we’re working drills, but I don’t think we need to start panicking about anything.

BN: Where have you improved your game from last year to this year that could help this young group move forward?

TM: I like to lead by example, especially being at the left tackle. I had Ricky Wagner ahead of me. I always tried to watch his game and do what he did, and I still do. I think Jake Maxwell, whatever tackle is playing behind me or the right tackle try to watch my game, see what I am doing and try to pick up some things. Even if I am doing them wrong, learn from the guys in front of you. I still try to watch the young guys when they are taking reps and try to find their mistakes. I really think dialing into those reps you aren’t getting, you see those mistakes and recognize that you shouldn’t make them because you have seen it already. That’s huge, especially for a young guy. I tried to do that as much as I could with Rick, and he’s been a pretty good player. Hopefully I can be that for them.

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