The Carroll College offensive line is in over haul mode replacing three seniors lost to graduation.
“I’m trying to mix and match and find my top five combination,” Offensive Line Coach Jim Hogan said.
Step one in the remodeling process moved last year’s starting guards, Chris Emter and Willy Clements, to tackle.
“They bring a good physicalness, athleticism and they are good critical thinkers,” Hogan Said.
Tackles are the last men on the line of scrimmage and often face an opponent’s fastest and most athletic defensive linemen by themselves. With minimal substitutions, tackles must be in shape.
“I don’t sub a lot in terms of rotating the offensive front around,” Hogan said.
Moving to tackle is also a promotion, as the position makes the protection calls. Or at least that’s how right tackle Chris Emter views it.
“A lot more calls to be made,” Emter said. “A lot more responsibility put on tackle as opposed to a guard.”
Tackles also are important in securing the edge on runs and pass protections. Willy Clements moved to left tackle and found the big adjustments are the smallest details.
“Even the stance in the transition is big,” Clements said. “It’s about getting the little things down.”
Coach Hogan said the offensive line is a work in progress, but now his attention to step two: The Center.