Interesting note from practice today on the OL

Boomergump

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Honestly, I don't know whether to get worried or excited right now or not. GT is the only team I follow closely, so I have no idea if this OL thing we presently have going on during spring is par for the course across D1 football or not. Maybe you guys can fill me in on that. I sincerely don't know. As far as GT is concerned, I have always heard how numbers are low across the line in spring, going way back (for reasons already mentioned).

As far as cross training and experimenting is concerned, now is the ideal time to do it, IF you are going to. Would I love to see continuity, where we all know what position each guy is going to be at for their entire tenure and all slots are filled with able bodies? Duh, of course. I just don't know how realistic that is. We have seen some huge success stories over the years with guys making position moves. Sean Bedford, Mansfield Wrotto, Tony Hollings are a few names that come to mind. Who knows, maybe Burden will become this "all world" tackle who gets out in space and cuts people to the ground like a chain saw. If he does, it will all have been well worth it. People talk about how bad the OL was last season. Well, they were really good in some ways and they were bad in others. IF IF we find a good guy to move out to OT, that will help resolve one of the ways we were bad. It is high priority in my mind.

As far as recruiting more OLs is concerned. I don't really know where I stand on that either. You have to pay real close attention to the 85 number and make sure. My gut tells me that the swings and misses on former recruits have been more devastating than the deficiency in number of guys we have signed, in terms of numbers planning on the roster. We say the same thing about DL too, but we don't seem to be swimming with kids at other positions. 85 is a hard number to keep to and get ALL of the guys you want. That may be a good discussion for another thread. How would you apportion the 85 schollies across the position board? How many of us have actually sat down with a grease pen and a hog board and tried to lay that out? I know I haven't.
 

vamosjackets

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Again, I'm concerned about the Center position. I'm going to do some speculation and reading between the lines here (dangerous I know). Last year we had a situation where Jay Finch was hurt in preseason and the coaches and everyone were lamenting what we were going to do. It was at that point that O'Reilly was moved to Center and the reports on him at that position at that time were very bad. I remember CPJ was asked what he was going to do about Center and who would play if Jay was unable, and he said STTE "We need Jay to play". So, Jay ended up playing, and I think he played at less than 100% all year. Obviously that was still a much better option than O'Reilly playing.

The reports about Freddie Burden were all glowing. But, he got injured, which was again one of the things that was causing panic about the center position with Jay hurt because Freddie was considered the future of the position (Scout team player of the year the year before).

In my mind, the whole position was going to depend on how Freddie Burden came back from a major injury, and it looks like he hasn't come back as well as hoped. And, I think the coaches are feeling the same way. Here are Sewak's comments:

Mike Sewak said:
"I've been waiting for Freddie to do something, and I haven't seen it yet," Sewak said. "We had a couple guys go down, and so I got a chance to get him out there . . . so I could see him play hard and fast.

"I want him to be the center [but] . . . as many snaps as he's missed; he hasn't played in a year, he wasn't [being] as physical as he had been, and today was really the first time I saw him be physical."
So, Sewak wants Freddie to be the Center. That's what they were hoping for. But, Freddie hasn't come back the same player (not as physical). So, they're going to have to go with O'Reilly and maybe Freddie could contribute at OT, where we're also struggling a ton.

It isn't good. I think the Center position (and maybe the OT position) could end up holding this offense back this year. That's where you're going to see the difference between us having a chance against a good defense/team and getting shut down. If we can't make people commit the right amount of people to stop the dive, it means the dive isn't a threat, and the outside will be covered, and it won't make a hill of beans how fast our QB is.

The only hope here to me is that O'Reilly is much better than I'm giving him credit for and is a legit player and can get the job done well. There are a couple of posters on here who believe that, so that gives some hope. It's quite possible he had the talent all along and just needed the knowledge, experience, and body work to get to a high level of play. And, hopefully that's what has happened since last summer. Hopefully it's that and not just what has been forced to happen by default due to Burden not returning as the same player (yet).
 
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AE 87

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@vamosjackets I recall last summer differently. I recall CPJ saying that they found that center was O O O'Reilly's natural position. I think the light came on for him last year when he could see himself playing and has made improvement. Of course, he was no Jay Finch, but Finch was really good, imo. I'm guessing that Freddie was just playing a little gun-shy coming off injury and will play himself back into the groove.
 

Techster

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There's an AJC article that talks about O'Reilly's transistion to C. What he talks about in that article is what I've pointed out previously: O'Reilly has only really played C for half a season, and he had to do it on this level against live bullets while learning. Ever since his transfer here from Auburn, he's been repping at guard. So there was no development at C...which has a LOT of responsibilities. Now that he's had a whole offeseason and spring to devote specifically to what a C is responsible for, the game has slowed down for him. The physical attributes are there for him to be a REALLY good C, it's just his mental grasp of the position was stunted because of experience.

I think we'll be fine at C. I'm MUCH more worried about our Tackle spots which seems to be an issue every year.
 

vamosjackets

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As vamos says...could the system lend its hand to do this and be ok??? Maybe....I don't know. I never played in this system, but I am just offering my viewpoint on one thing that I think could contribute to our OL play. Its just an opinion.
One thing that makes sense in my mind also with our system having OL changing positions is that it's always an inside guy changing to outside and never the opposite. This makes a lot of sense if you think about how in general we want our best guys at GCG in this offense. So, you start them out there and then move them out when either the pecking order is established such that you have the extra man to go there or if the need arises. You want your best guys at the most important positions but also want your best guys on the field, so you put your best of the best inside and then once you're established there then let the best of the rest fill in the gaps at OT.

Usually in other offenses, the best OL are usually at OT, and that is usually based on their pass blocking abilities. In ours, the best are at GCG, and that is based on their run blocking abilities. So, those are major differences that bear out the way we're seeing.
 

MidtownJacket

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My understanding is that CPJ likes to have his OL guys cross train to make them more aware of the blocking responsibilities for each position so they know what to expect from the other positions. That said - I can't disagree that we have been struggling at OL the last few years.

Hoping this year is different.
 

Whiskey_Clear

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Again, I'm concerned about the Center position. I'm going to do some speculation and reading between the lines here (dangerous I know). Last year we had a situation where Jay Finch was hurt in preseason and the coaches and everyone were lamenting what we were going to do. It was at that point that O'Reilly was moved to Center and the reports on him at that position at that time were very bad. I remember CPJ was asked what he was going to do about Center and who would play if Jay was unable, and he said STTE "We need Jay to play". So, Jay ended up playing, and I think he played at less than 100% all year. Obviously that was still a much better option than O'Reilly playing.

The reports about Freddie Burden were all glowing. But, he got injured, which was again one of the things that was causing panic about the center position with Jay hurt because Freddie was considered the future of the position (Scout team player of the year the year before).

In my mind, the whole position was going to depend on how Freddie Burden came back from a major injury, and it looks like he hasn't come back as well as hoped. And, I think the coaches are feeling the same way. Here are Sewak's comments:


So, Sewak wants Freddie to be the Center. That's what they were hoping for. But, Freddie hasn't come back the same player (not as physical). So, they're going to have to go with O'Reilly and maybe Freddie could contribute at OT, where we're also struggling a ton.

It isn't good. I think the Center position (and maybe the OT position) could end up holding this offense back this year. That's where you're going to see the difference between us having a chance against a good defense/team and getting shut down. If we can't make people commit the right amount of people to stop the dive, it means the dive isn't a threat, and the outside will be covered, and it won't make a hill of beans how fast our QB is.

The only hope here to me is that O'Reilly is much better than I'm giving him credit for and is a legit player and can get the job done well. There are a couple of posters on here who believe that, so that gives some hope. It's quite possible he had the talent all along and just needed the knowledge, experience, and body work to get to a high level of play. And, hopefully that's what has happened since last summer. Hopefully it's that and not just what has been forced to happen by default due to Burden not returning as the same player (yet).

Vamos...you are buzz killing my ridiculously high preseason expectations.....not sure if that is good or bad :p
 
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