Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tice on the Offensive Line

I think most of us remember Mike Tice as the befuddled-looking coach of the Vikings, but as an offensive line coach he seems to know what he's doing. Here's a really great interview with him from ESPN.com that I highly recommend you all read.

The things I like most are when he talks about what Chris Williams needs to improve upon as well as his potential, rather than just heaping praise upon him like Tom Thayer. I agree that Chris really looked promising after the switch to left tackle. Given the importance of that position, if Chris takes that next step the entire offensive line could improve.

The other thing I really liked was this:

"We’re very athletic. So we’re gonna try to get our guys out in space. I think we’ll be very good in the draw game. I know we’re gonna be able to run the inside zone because in my tenure, everywhere I’ve been, we’ve been able to run the inside zone. So we’ll be able to run the inside zone. We’ll dabble a little bit with power, but probably not as much as they ran it here last year."

Part of the problem with last year's offensive line was Turner's dedication to the power run game. I think the zone run game, and the inside zone particularly, is a great way to open holes through scheming and athleticism rather than pure physical power, and that'll help compensate for some of the issues the line had in blowing their guys off the ball last year. Smarter, not harder, as they say. Obviously, as he says, the draw play should be effective if the passing game improves like it should.