Josh Kendall

September 27, 2013

Kendall's Morning Meeting: Are offensive linemen tougher than defensive linemen?

South Carolina offensive line coach offers some theories on why defensive linemen rotate throughout a game, while the same five offensive linemen play almost every snap most Saturdays.

Josh Kendall

News and views about Gamecocks football

         South Carolina probably will not rotate centers Saturday against UCF, and it’s not because Cody Waldrop and Clayton Stadnik aren’t healthy enough to play.

    It’s because that’s not what offensive linemen do. While defensive line coach spend a lot of thought on how to rotate their players to keep everyone fresh and operating at their peak, offensive linemen play the entire game.


    “That’s a great question,” Gamecocks offensive line coach Shawn Elliott said. “You need to ask the defensive line coach that.”

    The reason Elliott and most offensive line coaches don’t rotate players in consistency.

        “Running in and out, I don’t think they ever get in the flow of a game,” Elliott said. “I’m not speaking for the defensive line by any means, but as an offensive line coach, I want a guy that has blocked power, inside zone that has protected against that (defensive tackle) over and over and over again. I think it’s our job to get them conditioned to go out and play the entire game.”

        It’s also easier for offensive linemen to find moments to rest during a game, Elliott acknowledged.

       “All defensive players chase the football,” he said. “You want a backside defensive end to run down a sweep I would imagine. Where probably a backside tackle will (move to) a weakside defender, cut him and that’s probably the end of his play right there.”

        Around the SEC:

    Whether it’s because a nine-game SEC schedule is coming or just plain, old-fashioned greed, it looks like we may have seen the last of elite college programs froom separate conferences scheduling home-and-home series. On Thursday, Alabama announced it had canceled an upcoming series against Michigan State. Why would the Crimson Tide ever give up a payday by playing in a true road game when every neutral site game (and there are more and more each day) is willing to throw dollars at them every year?

“What are we going to do with all of these neutral-site games that we have gotten into playing one every year, which continues to be an option for us in the future," Alabama coach Nick Saban said on his radio show. "We play West Virginia next year in Atlanta and Wisconsin the next year in Dallas. And those games our kids really enjoy. And from a business standpoint and a financial standpoint, they're much more beneficial than playing home and home with someone because we get paid every year, not just the year we play at home. So it's twice as good from a business standpoint."

    It won’t be long before South Carolina is traveling to Columbia, Mo., to play Missouri, and the Tigers so far aren’t the train wreck of a team the Gamecocks played last year in Columbia, S.C. Missouri is the only remaining unbeaten team in the SEC, and a big reason for that is the bounce back season of quarterback James Franklin, whose miserable 2012 season helped him learn to deal with adversity.

     “As far as handling critical situations with a lot of negativity, it's really helped me with attacking it and not letting it bother me," Franklin said. "People always say things, and you go through a lot. You start to doubt yourself. Things like that. I just have a strong mentality not to pay attention to that and just to really let it go and be positive about everything."”

    If you haven’t seen the wackiness former Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips, who is now Florida’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, is putting on Twitter to help sway high school prospects, you should take a look at it here.

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