Florida Gators offensive line looking to make a statement


One word senior linebacker Mike Taylor used to describe the offensive line for the Florida Gators. A word that wouldn’t have been used last year.

2014 is a year of redemption for the Gators, especially the offensive line, which saw constant rotations, injured quarterbacks and a stifled passing game because of it.

This offseason, the line has received rave reviews from players on both sides of the ball.

“If they can hold their own against our players and against what we’re doing in practice I feel like they can hold their own against anybody out on the field,” Taylor said.

A projected starting lineup full of juniors and seniors has also boosted the confidence in the running backs.

“Those guys got so much experience with big Chaz [Green], big D.J. [Humphries], big Trenton Brown, all of those guys, Max Garcia,” halfback Kelvin Taylor said. “I feel like the offensive line man, those guys are going to do great. They’re very smart, our offensive line coach, he’s a great guys and he’s going to have those guys ready to play.”

An emphasis on finishing blocks has been placed on the line, opening up running lanes for the backfield. The line’s new direction is to take a bite out of the defense, according to center Max Garcia.

“Taking the next bite is like if a guy’s about to fall over, you put him over,” he said. “Just don’t stop the play, don’t give up. If he’s going to the ground, just put him on the ground.”

In addition to more aggressive play on the team, consistency is big with the Gators this year. The offensive line was riddled with injuries last season, hurting the rhythm of the position and affecting the offense overall. Offensive Kurt Roper said keeping a talented, healthy front on the field will be key as the line of scrimmage is the most important part of the game.

Currently, the depth chart has Trip Thurman and Trenton Brown at the guard positions, but Tyler Moore has also gotten significant action at practice. Brown has looked good in practice, standing strong against the bull rush and moving players around.

The Gators’ much-discussed offensive scheme calls for a faster offensive line, so to play in a style required of them, the line worked on speed and agility drills, allowing the m to move faster than before, thus allowing the offense to move faster than before.

The criticisms on the offensive line last year were plentiful, as a team the Gators  look to right the wrongs of 2013 through a renewed focus and chemistry with players like running back Matt Jones.

“Getting together with those guys it feels like we can be unstoppable,” he said. “So when we communicate with them on the same level, we feel great about it.”

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Ryan Randall
From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_


  1. The offensive line, even with two new coaches who appear to know what they are doing will no doubt stink this year. Even though these coaches seem to be able clean up mistakes and sloppiness I have no doubt they will forget how to coach once on the Gator sidelines. Based on last season, because nobody ever improves from season to season in college football, this offensive line might be the worst in the country. Don’t listen to what they say about making a statement it’s simply not possible in my opinion. I hope I am wrong.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. The biggest thing the line is going to have to do in order to have any success is stay healthy. All the planning, the new focus, the new scheme, none of that will mean anything if they’re injured again this year. If they can stay healthy, that will go a long way to building chemistry, which will in turn build some consistency and a good line. Time will tell, but they welcome the challenge of erasing the memories fans had of them last year.

    • I was just funning around. I was bored waiting in the South Carolina/aTm game to start and decided to post these before the actual Snowprint came in with his usual doom and gloom outlook. I am one who actually hopes for the best until I see otherwise. I have no doubt this bunch is going to do their best to change things this year. Nice article, btw.

    • At least a couple people got the obvious *wink* I was trying to portray when I posted these. Nice to see a sense of humor still exists.