Blog Bag Answers: Let’s Talk Offensive Line

I guess y’all are saving up for next week. That’s cool. Lets me get out of here a little sooner so I can pop open a Sweetwater Blue. Just two questions this week – one with a long answer about the offensive line – so let’s knock ‘em out.

Q: Do you know when the SEC will release the kickoff time for the Jackson State game?

A: First off, let me say I’m pleasantly stunned that this questioner did not also ask about TV. Anyway, the SEC will release the kickoff info when they feel like it, so I can’t give you an exact date. But I believe it will be very soon, so stay tuned. And no, I don’t know what channel it’s on. Hopefully we find that out soon, too.

Q: What can we look forward to with the offensive line?

A: Good question, because that seems to be the greatest unknown with this team. It was riddled with injuries and shifting lineups last season, and there is plenty of room for improvement. The interior of the line should be very solid, especially if right guard Tobias Smith can finally stay healthy. Left guard Gabe Jackson is an All-SEC player, and center Dillon Day seems to be developing nicely.

So the key will be the tackle spots. Sophomore Blaine Clausell needs to be much more consistent (couldn’t hold the job last year), and the right tackle spot still looks to be up for grabs between sophomore Damien Robinson, sophomore Archie Muniz and transfer Charles Siddoway, although we saw quite a few guys switching between right and left tackle in the spring. Might see Siddoway at left tackle. Much remains unsettled.

Here’s what quarterback Tyler Russell had to say about the offensive line earlier this week: “I think they’re getting better every day. They’re young, and you’ve got some older guys up there that have done it, so I’m really not worried about it too much. Once we get into camp, we can see everything.

“I think they did a fantastic job in the spring, and really on some things, like somebody was blitzing, the young guys might not know what was going on. They might have to make a ‘fire’ call or something. Well, they didn’t make it, so it was my job to point it out and tell them, all right, this is what you do. So it’s really helping me out, and it’s making the offensive line better, and it’s making me better at the same time. I do believe once we go through camp and stuff and get ready for the first game, that they’ll be ready.”