14 August 2010
Last week someone asked me about Norwell moving over to left tackle since it looked like Shugarts and Hall had right tackle nailed down. As I started to write the response it hit me what a great idea it was to move him over.
I have been opposed. I see Norwell as a natural right tackle, being agile enough to handle front side rushers but I think it would be asking alot of him to take on elite speed rushers on the left side. I think the same about Hall. Both would probably get beat more than an offense can afford to have its left tackle beaten.
Part of my response was to say that none of the incoming freshmen should be put over there. They are not a good fit for right tackle let alone left tackle. They are all at their best as guards, or centers in the case of Bobek. It made me think about, and wince, at the previous experiments with guards at tackle. We saw it last year when Jim Cordle was rolled under the bus. He put up a valiant effort but was just out of position. We saw it on the other side the year before with Bryant Browning being asked to play right tackle. He is a solid guard and might be a good guard by seasons end. He can't play tackle. The casebook example is Steve Rehring. He was beaten consistently as a tackle. He was out of position. As I was writing my response I was clicking those names through my mind and running plays where I remember them looking bad, no fault of the player.
Latest news is a slimmed down Marcus Hall getting a look at left tackle. His pictures as he arrives for fall camp show a guy who looks more like a defensive lineman than an offensive lineman.
My response to all of this is, great. Yes, I said that. Why? Thinking about those natural guards playing out of position and how it impacted the offense. Hall and Norwell will be out of position, yes, but they are not going to be out of position as much as the other offensive linemen on the roster. I think Hall is a bit more athletic while Norwell has the better left tackle body. I would put them both over there, keep the better pass blocker and send the other back to right tackle. I would not make this move if I was not going to give the kid a boatload of reps. Miller and Longo would have to sit.
One big question to think about. Why is this happening? Is this simply a matter of having a kid ready to step in, grooming so to speak, or are we seeing more coachspeak about where Adams is in his development? We will find out in a few short weeks. Week two Allen Bailey comes to town. If Adams is not better, it might look like Purdue all over again with our quarterback running for his life and on his back too much.
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