The Key to a Successful Season for the Auburn Tigers
By AubTigerman /firstname.lastname@example.org on August 22, 2012
Has there been a week go by all summer long, when there
hasn’t been something in the news about the importance of the quarterback race
I know the decision of who will be the field general for the
Tigers is crucial … I get it. However, while much of the the focus has been on the
quarterbacks, a more important barometer for predicting success on The Plains may be how the
offensive line shakes out.
A team that finished last season ranked 100th in total
offense needs more than a quarterback. It needs a mean, quick, aggressive,
offensive line. A cohesive unit that is not only talented but gels together to win the battles of the trenches.
Gene Chizik knows that and that’s precisely the reason he
has loaded up on lineman talent in the last two recruiting classes. Ten of the
thirteen O-Linemen on the roster are either freshman or redshirt freshmen and
the other three are sophomores. While the three sophomores are veterans, only
Center Reset Dismukes started all 13 games last season.
Gone to the pro’s are last year’s seniors A.J. Greene and
Brandon Mosley. The vacuum left four positions open at the start of camp. And
according to reports coming from The Plains the last couple of weeks, Line
Coach Jeff Grimes has been rotating player after player through drills.
With the Clemson game now just nine days off, the starters
could be named as early as today. Most suspect that Dismukes will be joined by Freshman
Greg Robinson protecting the blind side at left tackle and teaming up with Sophomore
John Sullen at left guard; with right guard being held down by Freshman Alex
Kozan teaming with versatile Sophomore Chad Slade at right tackle.
If that is the lineup, what has happened to Christian
Westerman, the guy that Grimes said last year was one of the most talented
freshman he had ever coached?
The answer is simple, he will be in the rotation along with
top recruits, Avery Young, Jordan Diamond, Patrick Miller, Shane Callahan, and
In fact this group, though young, will give Auburn the best depth on
the line in the four years of Chizik’s tenure. Which could mean that opponents rotating defensive
lineman will not be able to wear down the first unit.
Every one knows that the QB and running backs effectiveness
depends on the play of the big uglies. With all the accolades heaped on Cam
Newton and the running backs on the Tigers National Championship team, it was
five grizzled lineman that made it all possible.
Yes the QB is important … very important, but even the
best QB can’t get the job done with defenders in his face. The key to a
successful season depends on the line
maturing and finding the right chemistry
That’s why I believe the first 4-5 games are the most
important games on Auburn’s
schedule. By the fifth or sixth game, these young guys have a chance to have grown,
to have developed chemistry, and to have matured into one of the best offensive
lines in the SEC.
If they do that, then look for Auburn
to win at least 10 game this year and play in a New Year’s Day Bowl.