2017’s OL; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

This is the fourth of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.

Football people talk about an offense revolving around the quarterback because he’s the first player to get the ball and decides what to do with it; that it is his talents with the ball that will make the play successful or not.

My thoughts are that if the offensive line isn’t doing its job correctly the QB is screwed any way you look at it.  This year in particular that may be true and we’ll discuss that in more detail later in this article.

When we look at any college football team in its transition from year to year we first have to recognize what the unit was like the previous year and what players we lost from it.  Aside from the singular person at QB our OL is, in my opinion, having to rebuild more than another unit.

You might say that the linebackers over on defense would be the unit doing that and that would be a valid point – but they had more in-game substitutions at those three positions than the OL did in it’s five so the LBs are re-loading with rather experienced players whereas the OL has to replace two positions completely.

That isn’t to say that we’ll have to have football virgins walk up and start playing for the first time – but we’ll see a big drop in how many starting games the OL has under its belt as compared to last season. 

That in itself is worrying and opens up a lot of questions about the 2017 unit as a whole.OL 16.png

Here is who we saw on the OL at the beginning of last season.  The two personnel losses that jump out at us right away are the departing left side tandem of All-American Dorian Johnson at Left Guard and All-ACC Adam Bisnowaty at the all important Left Tackle position.

Bisnowaty racked up awards during his career at Pitt:
2016 First Team All-ACC (Coaches)
2016 Second Team All-ACC (Media)
2015 First Team All-ACC (Coaches)
2015 Second Team All-ACC (Media)
Four-time All-ACC Academic Team

and in doing so was a stalwart on the line for four years.  His 45 starts and his superb play will be hard to replace.

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