Thursday, July 22, 2021

Improved offensive line the key to a more productive Quack Attack

 Beef. It's what's on the Oregon offensive line. This year, they're gonna sizzle.

Oregon's offensive line struggled last year. Covid interrupted their training and development.

It was a jury-rigged season, particularly after generational left tackle Penei Sewell elected to leave early to begin training for the NFL.

The collaboration of Mirabal and Cristobal will produce better results in 2021. Having to send the players home, interrupting practice and workouts, losing an Outland Trophy winner, it all worked to destroy a carefully-developed process.

That led to a series of shuffles and a patched-together front. The coaches rotated players on a strict schedule, partly to protect the team from a rash of unavailability.

This year there is better depth, and the unit has had a full year to develop cohesion.

 The position to watch in fall camp and versus Fresno State is left tackle. Five-star freshman Kingsley Suamataia will push holdovers George Moore and Steven Jones for that spot, and getting more consistent play at the line's most critical position makes the whole unit work better.

That keeps everyone in their natural spots, gives the unit an anchor. Coming out of high school, Suamataia is the highest-rated offensive lineman the Ducks have ever signed, even higher than Penei Sewell as a prep.

How quickly he develops sets the ceiling for the Oregon o-line.

Last year the Ducks finished 7th in the conference in sacks allowed, 10th in the conference in tackles for loss allowed--too many negative plays.

For the truncated 4-3 season the running game generated 167 yards per game, Oregon's lowest total in 16 years. By contrast, the 2008 team, with Chip Kelly as the offensive coordinator and Steve Greatwood tutoring the line, cranked 280 yards rushing a contest. Coming closer to that standard would translate into more wins.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that covid messed up last year more than we know. The O-line definitely needs to improve, but "we have the beef" is a true mantra.
    Maybe Wendy's will sponsor the O-line for nil.