Wed Apr 10 02:06pm EDT
Offensive line coach John Schlarman is trying to solve a puzzle this spring. He needs five players out there, but with starting left guard Zach West injured, he's had to do some shuffling.
West is playing as he's able, but missing some time as he recovers from shoulder surgery. With the sophomore out, the starting offensive line in spring has been (left to right) Darrian Miller, Teven Eatmon-Nared, Zach Myers, Kevin Mitchell, and Jordan Swindle.
Here's what he had to say about each of those guys on Wednesday:
"Darrian Miller, I've been really, really pleased with him this spring. He's really had a good spring. He's played very, very consistent. I know we still have two practices left, so I hope we don't jinx it. He's been really consistent all spring long. Come to work everyday with a great attitude and done a great job on that left side. I've been really pleased with him."
"There are a lot of guys who would have just gone through non-contact in the spring and nobody would have said anything, but Zach (West) isn't that type of guy. He wants to get out here and get work in. I'm proud of him for that, first and foremost. He's got to continue to learn the offense and learn the details of the position he plays just like anybody else, but I'm proud of him getting out here and getting these reps because they will really pay off for him in the fall."
"Zach Myers has made good progress. Right now, he probably stands out of the guys we've worked in there. I think he's gotten a lot better from day 1 to 13. He has to play with great pad level. At that position, in the A gap, you go against some war daddies in there for some other teams, great defensive tackles. If you play high, it's not going to be a good thing. A lot of times, as a young guy coming out of high school, they didn't have to play low. They dominated competition by playing high, so that's something he's learning. I feel like this last week of spring that's started to set in for him, so that's been key."
"I'm really pleased with the progress Kevin (Mitchell) has made inside at guard. He's really gotten in there and done well. Teven Eatmon is a guy who has really come on in the last two weeks of spring. He's a guy we didn't have a lot of tape on from last year, but he's come on and shown some really good signs, especially in the last two or three practices."
"Jordan Swindle is a guy who there were some uncertainties. He's still a freshman, basically. There was a lot of uncertainties coming into spring practice, but I feel like he's had a really, really good spring. He has to eliminate those plays where he gives up that pressure on the edge. That's a tough position in this conference because you're going against great defensive ends, and he has to lock those guys up in two-minute drills and pass pro. He's learning, making progress. Some of those pieces are coming together."