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OL Development

  • OK guys, just to make conversation, what do you see from next years OL?

    Our OT's struggled against speed this year, but were not horrible, losing Matulis really hurt IMO. Shell is still young, do we see him take a major leap forward?

    How about Robinson, not bad for coming from no where. Man did speed give him fits. Without a healthy Matulis is he the guy, do you have confidence in him making that huge leap forward?

    Honestly disappointed that Stadnik isn't living up to the bill as a top OT recruit, Tony's last has him projected as a OG, so does that mean we need Zandi to be that next guy to improve the lines production? And is Gibson just too small to be effective?

    Any true freshman that can help? IMO - Not at Tackle.

    Honestly not too worried at C, I think TJ was a very steady guy and his snapping went from just bad at times last year to pretty good this year, but IMO Waldrop with the RS is a guy that can step right in. Maybe a bit of a drop off early, but by end of season he'll be fine.

    OG's scare me, not so much AJ who has been steady, but not spectacular. By the way tough for a OG to be specatuclar, especially with a OT learning the ropes. But RP still worries me, could Stadnik or one of the other step up and lock down the RG spot?

    Overall the line was ok this year, but not close to elite. We've had multiple good recruiting classes (3 + 1 to enroll) now between Wolf and Elliott. When do you expect (not Hope) to see an OL that can be considered a top of the SEC type line?

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  • I think you'll see improvement next season with the possibility of being dominant in 2014. There is a ton of young talent. I do think it's inevitable that one or more tackles move to guard.

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  • About the only thing I found worthy in that Michigan blog posted yesterday was the analysis of our OL. I think they could be really solid with experience.

    I don't know much about OL/blocking schemes but it seems like our hybrid zone run/drop back passing offense would be really difficult to master as you're basically doing 2 different blocking schemes depending on the play.

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  • Agree on all points. I think OL will be better next year if Waldrop is as good as projected with good spring and preseason camp. I think both tackles have a chance to be really good.

    The biggest need for improvement is Patrick at RG as he was easily tricked on delayed blitzes and stunts. He consistantly over committed to helping out Shell on outside when Shell didn't need it opening the door for LB or stunting DL to exploit his vacant gap. He needs to learn to stay in his lane and scan his area.

    I don't think Gibson is competitive enough at this point. Matilus was going to be a good one, but we'll have to see how his rebuilt shoulders hold up. Others like Zandi have chance to compete as well.

    Our OL has a chance to be special in 2014 with Robinson, Shell, Cann, Waldrop all having alot of experience, size and talent. Not to mention the Dillon duo.

  • CockOfAges

    I think we see overall improvement from the unit, if guys stay healthy.

    You've been pretty hard on younger guys lately...I think we may have been spoiled by a few players recently that were ready to come in and contribute quickly. I really have no expectation for an OL to be competitive in the SEC until his second or third year.

    I don't think it's a knock on Brock Stadnik to be moved inside to OG as much as it's just the reality of the depth chart at OT, which is good to potentially great. I certainly hope Matulis' shoulder injuries don't limit/end his career, but they certainly can. Even if that happens, I think you see steps forward from Robinson and Shell, who have all the talent in the world for OTs. Cody Gibson has potential to contribute (perhaps at guard), and the returns on the Zandi Project are good thus far. The OG battle then comes to Cann, Patrick, Stadnick, and maybe Gibson/Sport. That's not bad, and two should emerge. I'm actually more concerned about Center, as you don't often replace a 4-year starter with no drop-off. I think Waldrop can do it, but we'll have to see. I don't expect any true freshman to help, or be needed to help, barring injuries.

    As far as a "top-tier" OL, I'm not sure we'll meet that elusive criteria any time soon, in part due to Spurrier's system. The long drops, the protection schemes, etc., make it difficult for an OL in today's SEC to avoid sacks in the pass game, and we don't power run enough as part of our identity for our group to become "dominant" over the course of a season. As long as we have a Shaw/dual-threat type QB, teams will stack the box and dare us to throw, making dominant running difficult at times. I also think many fans' expectations for an OL are unrealistic in today's SEC. Even Bama doesn't show up and just blow everyone off the ball anymore and not give up any sacks. We should have the talent, coaching, and (finally) depth to put a good to very good OL on the field for the foreseeable future.

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  • I think they should continue to improve next year but they should be a force in 2014. The only senior is Patrick so I'm looking at 2014 to be a huge year for the OL.

    2014 OL:

    seniors -- Cann, Gibson, Matulis, Robinson
    juniors -- Shell, Sport
    sophomores -- Stadnik, Stadnik, Waldrop, Zandi

    Looking ahead to recruiting for the 2014 class, we're stocked in the lower classes, especially if we get Na'Ty Rodgers. Heading into spring practice in 2014 we would have 15 OLs on the roster if we get Rodgers and assuming we don't lose anyone to transfer or injury. Depending on the development of the younger guys between now and next fall, I could see us only taking 2 or 3 OLs in the 2014 class. With so much talent in the state next year (and us leading for many of them) I could see us taking guys like Donnell Stanley and Christian Taylor and being done with it.

    Looking at the current scholarship breakdown and needs for the 2014 class, I think we're going to need 3 DTs and 3 WR so we may have to cut back on 1 or 2 OL to make it happen due to how much OL depth we already have. It looks like we will have only 6 seniors in 2013 plus Clowney and possibly guys like Quarles and Hampton leaving early. Either way, it still looks like we will only have around 8-10 guys leaving after next season. We'll also only have 83 scholarships to work with so the 2014 class certainly won't be a full 25.

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  • I agree with you about young players and on guys moving around.

    I do not agree with the bit about Spurrier's system preventing us from being a top tier OL.

    first, we are basically a zone read, ball control team right now. With Shaw at QB we maybe call 25-30 passes a game, and he runs on 10 of them.

    If we could blow people off the ball, we would have been doing it.. Witness several of our wins the last three years where we simply pounded it. If we show we can get that going, Spurrier and Elliott will feed the ball to the back.

    second, if an OL cannot block the folks it must account for long enough to get off a long pass then it isn't much of a top tier OL.

    If the issue is the other team bringing more defenders than OL, then the problem is on the QB, or RB. If it is a coverage sack you would put it on the QB or WR or play caller. You would not put that on the OL and it would not stop them from being top tier, IMO.

  • I think we take four OL in the next class if we can.

  • Stanley and Spain would be a great start.

  • CockOfAges

    I think that goes back to my issue with what is a "top-tier" OL? What criteria are we using? I think that's the problem. Does GT have a top-tier OL because they almost always lead the nation in rushing? Does the OL that gives up the fewest sacks make it the best? I just don't think there's any magic number/criteria that you can say unequivocally, yes, this is a top-tier line. To the extent you can run your offense, and run it well the majority of the time, I think your line is doing a good job. In the SEC, I just don't think you're going to see "dominant" OL performances from any team week after week.

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  • I do not expect any new guys getting much p.t. next season, other than at C.

    Zandi is likely a year away, and we will have 4 OTs ahead of him in 2013 with a lot of experience.

    Unless we try Shell at RG, I expect the same G starters.

    I expect the OL to be more consistent in 2013 and very solid in 2014. The 2013 class is a good one, and if we get Spain, Stanley and at least one other good prospect in the 2014 class, we should be solid for several years.

  • Gibson and Matulis look almost the exact same size to me. Both are tall, and have a little build to them, but not particularly heavy looking. I think that is the kind of tackle you need to throw the ball; someone with quick feet. I do expect Robinson to maybe get moved around. I'm not sure on Shell. I think Shell would make an awfully good guard.

    I think Zandi is going to be on the field. I saw somebody walking around a lot, that had a scruffy beard, wore camoflouge, and was HUGE. I cannot figure out if it was Zandi, or Waldrop, but this dude was enormous.

    We need to do better at tackle, and guard next year, and we will.

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    Ally will beat the crap out of Uga.

  • Robinson and Shell both need to improve their flexibility and quickness. Shell especially is just way too slow off the ball, but that will come with time.

    If those two can develop and improve, I think we should move Gibson and Matulis inside to battle for the RG spot.

    This post was edited by joetheogre 19 months ago

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  • "I do not agree with the bit about Spurrier's system preventing us from being a top tier OL."

    I totally agree with VB. In Spurrier's system you would certainly want an OL equally good at run and pass blocking. You just have to be sure you are talking about Spurrier's system and not the zone read we have been better suited for up until the past couple of recruiting cycles.

    With the cu game as an example, I think the match-up of Shell/Robinson vs Crawford/Goodman was in our favor. There seemed to be more trouble handling the 225 lb quicker Beasley off the edge. Those 280 pounders were easier to stay with and lock onto. Matulis/Gibson might be a better match-up against smaller DEs...maybe.

    Our improvement should be significant next year but, it will depend heavily on the effort put in this off season. The game experience and red shirts this year are only part of the process.

  • Spurrier's passing system exposes the offensive line more often, and for longer, than most systems out there. It is the known weak spot in his offense (everyone seemingly has some weak point). We could still have a top notch line and give up a large number of sacks because of that system.

    His system bets he can expose the areas where we have a mismatch, or an opening in the defense, before the pressure gets to the QB.

    While I agree you can still have a top tier OL with his system, I don't think they will ever look great statistically from a sack standpoint.

    I so believe we've only had two solid recruiting classes in a row, with this year being a chance to make it three in a row. The class in 2010 yielded one quality OL and another pretty good one. The three previous to that were a complete joke in terms of numbers and quality. Some had one good OL and very few numbers. One had nobody that ever played. They set us back many years.

    We could have played a bunch of really young guys and may e developed a strong, experienced OL by 2012, but we couldn't sacrifice the present (SECe title) for the future. We had to piece together what we could.

    I expect some improvement next year and a bigger step up the following year.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by ospop4690 19 months ago

  • I forgot all about Spain!

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  • eddy

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    "People always ask me if I wish I were bigger. I tell them no. I always wanted to be a miniature badass." Dustin Pedroia

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  • O Brown would be a nice get also.

    "Act like you've been there before and expect to be back." - Bear Bryant