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Everything Begins Up Front

By on August 14th, 2013 in Football 12 Comments »

Much was made in 2012 about Auburn’s poor quarterback play. But often their performance was hindered by a lack of blocking up front.

In football everything begins up front. The front five is the foundation for the entire offense. Much like a house will not stand that has been built on a week foundation, a football team is only as good as it’s offensive line. And the 2012 O-Line  bears a lot of the blame for an offense that finished the season ranked 12th in the SEC.

However, this writer believes their performance had more to do with an offensive coordinator that was in over his head than with the talent of the big uglies. A more discombobulated offense I have never before seen.

The change back to Malzahn’s structured offense will be a difference maker for this unit. That coupled with new coaching for the quarterbacks should spell success for the Tigers in 2013.

After Saturday’s practice, O-Line Coach J.B. Grimes indicated who four of his five talented starters will be – starting with the anchor, Reese Dismukes.The junior from Spanish Fort has started 23 games and was named to the coaches’ All-SEC Freshman Team in 2011. He was rated as the top center in the nation coming out of high school and the top recruit from Alabama by 247 Sports and

This summer Reese was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, which is annually presented to the nation’s best center. The veteran will be the leader for a group that only lost one starter from last year’s line.

The coaches are also excited about the performance of

Greg Robinson who has a lock on left tackle. Line Coach J.B. Grimes calls the 6′,5″ 320 pounder, “A tremendous athlete.” The other two spots will most likely be held by junior Chad Slade and red shirt freshman Alex Kozan who has raised eyebrows in fall practice.

Patrick Miller, who started nine games last year at right tackle is battling redshirt freshman Avery Young who started the first three before being sidelined by an injury. However, Shon Coleman just may win the position. The cancer survivor is a fighter and has shown versatility working at  both tackle positions.

From all accounts this group has developed a good chemistry during the summer workouts and fall camp. An important commodity for a unit that has to work together to make the offensive machinery function smoothly.

Another positive is that Grimes has a stable full of talented linemen; giving the Tigers a depth chart where the number two or three guy can step in without missing a beat.

Acid Reign pointed this out here in his review of the A-Day game when he said, “The second team offensive line at times, drove the starters back, and they pass protected pretty well for the most part. Those backups from left to right were Shon Coleman, Devonte Danzy, Tunde Fariyike, Jordan Diamond and Shane Callahan.”

So the Tigers seem to have the foundation in place for everything to begin up front. In fact Tight End Coach Tim Horton opined last week that the O-Line has, “got a chance to be one of the better lines in the league.” Of course that remains to be seen. Still it has to be good news for whoever wins the job as Auburn’s quarterback .


  1. daledotwd says:

    War Eagle

  2. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    In my humble opinion, one of the things that was less emphasized in the magic year of 2010, was the play of those wonderful Auburn men on the offensive line. It’s obvious that Cam was the younger brother of Superman, but he would not have been nearly as prolific had he not had those guys blocking for him. Here’s hoping that this year’s offensive line can imitate that bunch from 2010. It’s time to GET IT ON!


    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    • AUJTJarhead AUJTJarhead says:

      I absolutely agree with Domaucan! the o and d lines in 2010 were the unsung heroes. The o line boys always provided Cam a hole to barrel thru. The d line and linebackers kept us in games despite our d backs leaking like a rusty bucket. I know we have a plethora of young linemen on the current roster, but you can’t recruit enough big uglies. I am concerned that we don’t have many o line commits for next year, but I trust the “Gus”.

      • sparkey sparkey says:

        That is the one area not to trust the “Gus.” He hired J.B. Grimes who is just too old for this kind of thing. The guy did just go through some kind of heart surgery though they didn’t exactly give too many details on it. The one area of concern about Gus I have is the O-Line. They have not been recruited very well at all.

  3. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    No team can be successful without a good offensive line. The 2013 Tiger line has a chance to be REALLY good. All of these guys were highly recruited HUNH offensive linemen.

  4. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    If this line comes any where near what Coach Horton sees then not only should the qb have a good season but Tre Mason, Cam Artis-Payne, and Cory Grant should put up big numbers in the running game too.

  5. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    In the HUNH offensive a well conditioned, strong, offensive line is paramount….I think we have one.

  6. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Fantastic read Tigerman… This has been my main frustration with the last two seasons and last year the OL was the worst I have ever witnessed on the plains. The left side was solid enough on the run but pass protection was nonexistent across the line. The players on the line performed more like individuals rather than a unit… A severe symptom of the dischord on the team last season…. The coaches failed to create the chemistry a team needs to be complete, to be a team. And it does seem like this is in the past… I expect this team to shock the pundits who see us as nothing more than a bump in the road in the SEC west. War Damn Eagle.

  7. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    This a quote from one of Auburn’s currently targeted OL recruits:

    “What I’ve heard about the coaches who were there before is that there’s a big improvement with the new staff,” He said. “The coaches are pretty awesome and I think I know what they’re doing and I might want to be a part of that.”

    Malzahn’s and staff are changing perceptions and attitudes. Next comes performance.