Miami's Starting Offensive Line Should Be Working As A Five-Man Unit Soon
There was one thing UM offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said Monday on The Joe Rose Show (560 AM/WQAM) that was attention-getting. Lashlee, in his first season at Miami after running a high-powered offense at SMU, said the Hurricanes’ offensive line isn’t yet set. That’s not the concern. The concern is what he said next.
“There’s also seven or eight guys that can help us win,” Lashlee said. “It’s not like, ‘Man, I hope we can find five.’ We feel like seven or eight, maybe even nine guys can help us, which we feel like, in a year like this, can be big because you never know who you’re going to have to count on.”
This is almost akin to that old saying that goes something like, “If you say you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.”
You know what Lashlee is saying. He’s saying there’s close competition at a few positions.
That shouldn’t be the case.
And it might not be the case. Perhaps Lashlee was just using coachspeak, saying every position is a battle because he doesn’t want backups getting discouraged. Or perhaps Lashlee and coach Manny Diaz aren’t yet ready to publicly announce offensive line starters.
I’m thinking the latter is the case.
Lashlee said him and offensive line coach Garin Justice “have a pretty good idea of what our starting group will look like for the most part” and I tend to believe that assessment.
Miami should be set at center with returning starter Corey Gaynor, right guard with returning starter D.J. Scaife, and right tackle with Jarrid Williams, the transfer from Houston who was a multi-year starter for the Cougars.
“He doesn’t say a lot, just kind of goes out there and goes about his business,” Lashlee said of Williams. “He’s meshing well with the O-line room, and they’ve received him well and he’s going to help us win.”
Left tackle should also be pretty close to being set with John Campbell Jr.
Left guard should be the only starting position up for grabs.
This isn’t picking on the offensive line, it’s keeping an eye on a group that's already being eyed with suspicion.
Yes, there should be competition across the board but no one should be pushing Gaynor, Scaife or Williams unless it’s a young stud (and Miami doesn’t seem to have many on the offensive line). And Campbell should be wrapping up his starting job soon.
Miami’s offensive line won’t be a team strength this year, but it can’t be a team weakness, not again.
The Hurricanes, at this point, should know their five starters and be getting them ready to work as a unit for the Sept. 10 opener against UAB.