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Concerned about the OL? (me too)

Most Pack fans have real concerns about the offensive line. Will the new guy do as well as Ledford?

Recently DD said of the OL, "Offensive line is continuing to get better and better..." That statement is subjective. We don't want opinion, we want FACTS, right?

At FAU:  Coached the offensive line and served as run game coordinator, inheriting a unit that had lost three starters from the previous season. His 2018 line ranked 14th in the FBS in sacks allowed, giving up just 1.17 per game. The Owls also led Conference USA and ranked 14th nationally in rushing with 241.8 yards per contest. 

At UNLV: During his first season in Las Vegas, the Rebel line helped the team post a dramatic improvement in the run game, finishing 36th in the nation in yards per game. In 2017 the Rebels finished 15th in the country in rushing and set the school record for fewest quarterback sacks allowed...

At Nebraska: In 2013 (OL coach), the Huskers ranked 19th nationally with an average of 215.7 rushing yards per game. allowing an average of only 1.3 sacks per game, a total that ranked 23rd nationally... in 2012 Nebraska ranked eighth nationally with 253.4 rushing yards per game... In 2011, Garrison helped develop an offensive line that paved the way for a Husker rushing attack that ranked 15th nationally, averaging 217.2 yards per game. (2011, 2012 asst OL coach) 

Interesting reading IMO. These are the FACTS about John Garrison's OL coaching record. Looks to me like DD hit a home run with this hire. We can speak with some skepticism about the competition at FAU and UNLV but not Nebraska.

We haven't played a down yet but I've gone from worried to excited about our OL.


  • Pack78Pack78 Posts: 401

    Poster on TOS listed the following (I can't vouch for the accuracy):

    • Last year, our top 6 linemen took 92% of all snaps (4,666 our of 5,068).
    • Last year, our top 7 linemen took 97%

    4 of those 7 return: Witt (800 snaps), Fedd-Jackson (705), Sculthorpe (572), & Riley (253). Add Gibson who is moving Sculthorpe around, that's a solid starting OLine. With McGirt and Speas reserves at multiple positions. And if a hungry FR want's to push to break into that top 7 like Fedd-Jackson did as a true FR then all the better for everyone.

    Believe we will start OK on the OL and improve (barring unusual injury numbers) through the schedule...

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654
    edited August 2019

    Pack78 - Thanks. Interesting stats.

    Go Pack!

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,153PFN Referee

    Remember that the line lost its captain, who was an All American, and who played the most important position. Expect some regression regardless of the quality of coaching.

  • YogiNCYogiNC Posts: 458

    Hopefully someone will step up to that leadership position. O linemen are REALLY a different breed of player. The defensive front 6 -7 are all of pretty much the same mindset, but there are only 5 on the O line, 6 if you have a great blocking tight end. They are almost always outnumbered. The really good running teams usually have a blocking back in there to help. They really are cut from a different cloth.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    Rye - We averaged rushing 142.9 ypg last year. FAU averaged 241.8 ypg -- nearly 100 ypg more than the Pack. Those are the facts. Maybe the quality of coaching makes no difference but it sure looks like it does. Not only do I not expect some or any regression, I will be surprised if we don't average over 200 ypg.

  • The QB and running game, along with the OL are the big question marks.

    Given that, I think having a more mobile QB to start has the potential to make up for some of the offense's collective sins to start (assuming good decision making on when to tuck and run).

    Once we see what we have, I wouldn't be surprised with some changes.

    With these questions, if we regress at the QB and the OL or RB, we we will have bigger trouble. Personally, I think the RBs will be fine, although I worry about the power running game we lost with Reggie.

    I think QB will drop, but I like having multiple options waiting. As for the OL, I actually feel pretty good. Not sure why though

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,664PFN Referee

    also, the preferred vernacular is #MeToo

  • I meant I think the QB level of play will drop (duh)

  • Regardless of the coach its hard to replace Garrett.  I think this will be a wait and see what happens deal. 
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,153PFN Referee
    We may or may not have upgraded at OL coach.  I don’t think we’re going to know that for another ~ 3 years.  I think that would be a tall order given that I felt like Ledford was the best OL coach we have had in my lifetime of watching NC State football.  My hope is that we’ve made a great hire.

    I am mindful that we have lost one of the best OL players in NC State’s history, and we lost it at the most important position. Even if Ledford were still here, I would expect some regression.

    I fully admit that last year’s OL took a while to gel in the run game.  There weren’t a lot of holes early.  How much of that was scheme, versus players banged up, versus play calling, I don’t really know.  I just know early that Reggie had little room to operate and we were trying to run him in the stretch play.  Later he was rumbling but it also appeared we were giving him more North/South looks.  

    FAU did run for more yards, but they also had much more commitment to the run.  They ran it 566 times vs 364 passes and averaged 5.1 ypc.  By comparison, NC State ran it 483 times vs 496 passes, but only averaged 3.8 ypc.  NC State played a much tougher schedule, finished with better records, was sacked fewer times and controlled the TOP better.  My point is that there are lots of stories that can be pulled from the stats.
  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654
    Rye - No question Ledford was one of the best OL coaches we have had here at NC State. Larry Beightol and Robbie Caldwell, currently Clemson OL coach, are 2 I would rank along with Ledford. I used to go to Holtz's practices and wind up watching Beightol coach. 

    Jim Ritcher, center 75-79, won the Outland Trophy in 1979 for best offensive lineman. Ritcher may have been before your time but I would rate him slightly above Bradbury.  I feel the same way about our LB corp with Germaine Pratt being drafted. I'm just not one to think a football team unit is going to fall off because the best player graduates.

    I hated to see Ledford go but I'm happy with Doeren's replacement choice. It will be interesting to see how our offense fares this year -- especially with all the concern for QB, RB, and OL that has been expressed.

    2 more weeks. I don't know if I can stand the wait.  ;)

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,153PFN Referee
    Grey: I never saw Richter play live.  I started watching State play in 1981. Since then Bradbury is the best OL I have seen at State.

    I liked Ledford more than Caldwell.  Prior to Ledford I would have said Caldwell was the best I had seen at State.

    I sincerely hope in 3-5 years we all think our new coach was the best we’ve all seen....
  • Listened to a podcast today about our OL. I think it will come down to health. We’ve been fortunate to not have major extended injuries in the recent past. Hope that continues this season. Witt, Sculthorpe, and Fedd-Jackson are really solid starters. If McGirt is truly ready it will go a long way. Gibson’s play at center will be important too. Regarding Ledford, I agree he seemed to be a great coach, but recruiting in 2018 was really disastrous. Not all necessarily his fault. But, in CF it’s all about recruiting - not that we get 4 and 5 stars all the time but we have to consistently get a good production from each class. I’m hearing good things about the freshmen, to the point we may see some of them play this season. But our veteran O-linemen have got to stay healthy for the most part.
  • While I didn't get to see Richter play in person at State, I did seem him in the Pros.  Consumate pro and total Stud. Even had the chance to meet he and his family at a Clemson game years ago along with the Bostic brothers.  Richter seemed like a really great guy and the stories those guys could tell about what playing OL in the NFL was like would keep you in stitches.

    Btw, if you ever get to look at the hands of a former NFL lineman , beware.  They don't look human ... In size OR condition. 
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 2,513
    I was pumping gas on Western Boulevard my freshman year and the guy on the opposite side of the pump had this massive thing coming out of his shirt sleeve. Looked more like a tree trunk than an arm. The other guy pumping gas was Jim Ritcher. 
  • Pack78Pack78 Posts: 401
    Also had brains-worked as a commercial pilot for American Airlines after his playing career...
  • RickRick Posts: 2,358PFN Referee
    While I didn't get to see Richter play in person at State, I did seem him in the Pros.  Consumate pro and total Stud. Even had the chance to meet he and his family at a Clemson game years ago along with the Bostic brothers.  Richter seemed like a really great guy and the stories those guys could tell about what playing OL in the NFL was like would keep you in stitches.

    Btw, if you ever get to look at the hands of a former NFL lineman , beware.  They don't look human ... In size OR condition. 

    Marty Jacumin is my pastor and he has huge hands. How does that happen? Genetics?
  • I'm excited about the size/weight of the new OL guys coming in. It seems like we are getting freshmen that are bigger than alot of the guys already in the program and without alot of bad weight either. I'm interested to see if it's possible that our o line could get even better. These last couple of years I have been really impressed with the guys we have had. 
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