I’ve tossed around the question to a few folks. What should Hugh Freeze fix first?
It’s not as though there is magic dust to sprinkle from position to position skipping merrily across the practice field, but there is one group that really needs a fast start.
There’s lots of work to be done, and certainly focus from fans will begin with the quarterback position.
But that’s not where it should start.
In a perfect scenario either Barry Brunetti or Bo Wallace will quickly emerge at quarterback, and a starter will be named with lots of camp remaining so that he can get more reps and more preparation before the season starts.
The bottom line, however, is the offensive line. It sounds like coach speak, but if the Rebels can’t get decent play up front, a negative chain reaction is set in motion.
Collectively the group didn’t set the woods a fire in the spring. That was not surprising to Freeze, he said, because the line is typically the last group to really understand what he’s trying to install with an up-tempo offense, the last group to really speed up its execution.
Perhaps that’s why only 50 percent of the offense was installed in the spring.
There’s a decent amount of experience from guard to guard with Aaron Morris, Evan Swindall and A.J. Hawkins listed as starters going into the spring. Pierce Burton has to play like a veteran, not a first-year junior college transfer, at right tackle. Emmanuel McCray at left tackle is an unknown. Patrick Junen, currently listed second behind Burton, offers a little bit of experienced depth.
If this group can get off to a fast start in camp it can make things go smoother for the quarterback competiiton and the installation of the rest of the offense.