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LSU Offensive Line Remaining Confident Despite Early Season Struggles

Center Shanahan says Tigers are better than what has been put on tape, outlines areas of focus for group
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The Tigers offensive line understands the miscues they have made to this point in the season and continue to remain upbeat about their improvements. Nearing the halfway point of the year, there is still time to gain chemistry and hit their stride.

With a new coaching staff, it makes it difficult to click right away as a unit. Offensive line coach Brad Davis didn’t get to Death Valley until the backend of spring, making it hard to pinpoint direct issues during the offseason.

“In some sense, it’s been tough because we didn’t have spring ball with Coach Davis,” Liam Shanahan said. “But we’re a better offensive line and a better offense than some of the stuff we’ve put on tape. I’m looking forward to getting back to it in practice this week. We still have a lot of time left this season to improve and grow into the team we all believe we can be.”

Shanahan harped on the mental mistakes and technique issues this unit has had through the first few weeks of the season. As the little things add up, it’s made it more difficult for this offensive line to gel.

“It’s just the little stuff week to week,” Shanahan said. “Like fitting the block a little longer. Playing with better pad level. There’s some common things week to week but it’s not specifically one thing for me to identify. It’s a culmination of a few different things that seem to change. Hopefully this week we can work and get it corrected.”

As this savvy veteran group corrects the mental errors to help with protection issues, the offense hopes to open up the run game in order to expand Jake Peetz’ playbook. Staying committed to the run game and improving that facet of the offense is something this unit must do to see growth.

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“Based on my time playing and watching football, offenses can get in a rhythm when they get the run game and then when the run game and pass game can complement each other,” Shanahan said. “It just seems offenses get some mojo going throughout the game. Hopefully we can get that going this week.”

With players that have been through the ups and downs of what college football has to offer, especially within the offensive line, this unit remains optimistic. 

Though this is not where the Tigers hoped to be with five games under their belt, there is still a glimmer of hope within the locker room.

“Obviously there's been stuff this season that’s been frustrating,” Shanahan said. “This isn’t where we wanted to be at this point in time, but we still have a lot of games coming up and a lot of good teams we’re playing. I know me and my teammates believe we can beat anyone we play and we’re right there. We just have to put it together and that starts with a really good Kentucky team.

As the big boys up front take action on their lackluster play to this point, it’s not too late to hit their stride. An offense can only be as good as their protection and as the Tigers shift their focus to game week against a solid Kentucky team, Shanahan remains upbeat about what’s to come with this squad.

“The only thing we can do is keep moving forward,” Shanahan said. “We have a good team we are having coming up this week in Kentucky. We don't have time to be sad about the [Auburn] game. We have to get back to the grind and get better for this upcoming week's game.”