I am pretty comfortable with the OL except for Jackson who I don’t think is big and strong enough to run block as well as we need him too,He is built more for Pass blocking IMO.I like his athleticism but unless he has gotten much stronger I see him sgtrugling in the run game…what do you think??
That’s the if for this bunch. I wrote about it today.
thanks Clay…I think Jackson can be pretty good he’s just not that dominant in the run game or wasn’t last yr but I love his feet a lot of potential…hope he gets there for us!! good article!!
Listening to Kurt Anderson yesterday, it sounds like Colton’s biggest problem is more mental than physical.
I too am in the camp believing our team’s destiny this coming year is tied very strongly to the performance of our OL. It seems almost misleading to say that our OL will be improved from last year’s struggles… I’m hoping it would be very difficult for these guys not to exceed last year’s performance. The question is will they be able to sustain a running game, even against the better teams, and can they protect the QB. If we can give AA time to throw and have success in short yardage and red zone running, I think we win 8-9 games and can compete with anyone. If not, we are .500 at best.
So it concerns me that our biggest question mark is out LT. While I realize this is the only position where we do not have a returning starter, I still believe it is a position that can make or break your OL. We usually hear comments from the coaches about trying to get the best 5 on the field. Is there any chance there could be more shuffling to achieve this “best 5” goal and to be sure we can protect the QB from all the SEC freaks teams have at the DE position? Maybe Ragnow stabilizes the LT position if needed?
I could be way off base, but I think they’re very comfortable with this 5. Bret and Frank have talked about continuity a ton this offseason and this has been the 5 without any tweaks from the spring on.
There’s always a chance performance or injury could dictate a change down the road, but I don’t think they’re considering making any moves at this point, which is a big contrast from last fall camp.
For whatever reason, I tend to think this line will be much better, so it was interesting to hear Phil Steele give them praise today. They have the experience now. I do agree Colton is the biggest question mark.
From those I have talked to, Colton is not problematic. He is the least experienced of the starters, playing the all important LT role, and they are just pushing him to reach his potential. He had a good off season and summer supposedly.
I think it was Frank who mentioned what a difference there was in how Colton looked last year compared to now. Praised his work ethic. If he is solid this fall, I think there’s a chance the line could be really good.
I love Colton’s Potential just have not ever seen him be a dominant run blocker.he does look a little thicker in the videos shots I have seen of him so far so he may can turn into one,hope so.would be a huge help to this offense!!
I am very excited about the Oline. I think there are a few things that play into my positive outlook:
-4 first year starters last year combine with Ragnow as starting 5. Those 4 plus another part time starter in Raulerson were thrown into the fire because of Oline talent busts and Kirkland leaving early. The 4 that will start with Ragnow are extremely talented physically, yet need to develop and gain experience. Wallace took 2 years to finally see the light mid season. Gibson is a walk-on that took over for Raulerson when his ankle injury severely limited him. Gibson is a beast that we were fortunate to get in the program a few years ago, because he negates one of the Oline talent busts. Froholdt is being recognized as a serious talent OUTside of Arkansas better than he is by our own fans. Froholdt is another player like Gibson that covered up an Oline talent bust by switching from DLine to OLine. Froholdt is athletic enough to play Dline, has a physical build that is perfect, and he is smart. Colton Jackson was a Freshman thrust into starting at tackle in the first 3 games last year which is a testament to his talent AND our talent busts. Colton Jackson, Wallace and Froholdt are very athletic Olineman while Gibson is athletic with impressive strength.
-We have our best group of back-ups that I can remember that will drive serious competition…and continuous improvement. Zac Rogers and Raulerson are good enough to be starters if needed. Merrick, Ramirez and Malone are an improvement over previous 2nd stringers the last few years. All 5 will push these starters for the first time since the HDN days with some good 2nd string Olineman.
The combination of 4 starters that will be 2nd year starters means there is a strong likelihood we see dramatic improvement this year.
Would rather be concerned with one and not all 5
I agree with Hag Treat. I think this offensive line will be, barring injury, one of the best we have had in recent memory. Last year’s “throw them in and let them swim” scenario will be this year’s building block.
I think we will have a really salty offense. Really salty.
My worry is still safety play. I hope Ramirez plays as well as we are hearing. But we still have to get decent pay from the other slot.