|Shon Coleman will figure heavily in who plays right tackle this year||. photo from Google images|
I had an idea pop into the vast open space that is my mind, and this is what I got out of it.
Good or bad, there are some similarities from the BCS Champion 2010 Auburn football team and the upcoming version for this next season.
The first area where such a similarity exists is the offensive line. In 2010 Auburn's offensive line would return 4 starters. The core of this group started at the exact same time, against a very good Florida team. That start would prepare them for the pressures of that Championship run in 2010.
In 2014 Auburn will start a core group of linemen with plenty of experience as well. Their accomplishments went quite a bit higher their first season, than the "O" line class of 2010, where they came within a few seconds of winning the Championship.
Let's go back in time and see what we posted about that then upcoming offensive line group.
From the ATB files. March 19th, 2010:
I don’t know if this falls under cautious optimism or just plain drinking the Kool Aid….
Auburn’s offensive line returns some of the best talent in the conference and maybe in the country. These young men are experienced, proven, and reliable. Let’s first look at who they are, and then, how having an experienced line helps Auburn’s team this coming season.
Looking at them from the Quarterbacks view, from left to right, we’ll start with left tackle Lee Ziemba.
Left Tackle Lee Ziemba 6’ 8” 308 Senior
Left Guard Mike Berry 6’ 3” 311 Senior
Center Ryan Pugh 6’ 4” 289 Senior
Right Guard Byron Isom 6’ 3” 291 Senior
Right Tackle To Be Determined
There are a number of variables here that we as fans don’t have first hand knowledge of. One of which, is how and if the existing group will be moved to make room for the open spot. It is possible that Bart Eddins is named right guard and Byron Isom is moved to right tackle.
And of course the usual suspects of incoming players, red shirt freshmen, and underclassmen that improve dramatically to fill in the open spot.
The one sure thing this coaching staff has proven, that they will play whomever is the best for this team.
How does an experienced line help the Auburn Tigers this season?
On many levels, some listed above, it’s a huge advantage for this coaching staff. Four starting seniors is the recipe for the making of a special group.
At the Quarterback position, knowing the linemen have been there and done that, together makes learning the job much easier. That’s where Auburn is, in the QB spot. Learning and executing the complicated, and often spectacular, Gus Malzahn offense, with precision and fierceness, is the order of the day for Auburn’s quarterback.
At the running back position it’s the biggest blessing you could imagine to have this group in front of you. You can bet this group of backs knows how valuable an experienced line can be to production. Look for another 1,000 yard rushing performance from an Auburn running back this season. Coach Chizik has penciled in the name of Mario Fannin as the heir apparent to Ben Tate’s spot, vacated by graduation. He will have to earn the spot though.
As you can see, the offensive line is a primary reason for Auburn’s offense to succeed this coming season.
Making things easier for all the other players to complete their tasks on each play, having confidence that these senior linemen will do their part.
The future is now! Auburn has an opportunity to excel on the field this fall; with all the right pieces in place a special season is ahead for our Tigers.