Everything Begins Up Front
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 ESPN.com.
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 .