The film room is an important teaching tool for Alabama’s offensive line.
That’s where overall performances are assessed, missed assignments are reviewed and where adjustments are made.
It’s also a place where Crimson Tide linemen can sit back and have a good time watching as they “absolutely destroy someone” on the defense.
There have been several of those types of plays this season. Right tackle Jedrick Wills had one two weeks ago against Ole Miss.
“It’s a warm feeling,” Wills said.
There have been a lot of warm feelings for the offensive line this season, which was a position of concern at the start of the season after having lost so many key pieces.
After five games, Alabama coach Nick Saban said the offensive line has shown improvement but needs to continue to get better as the season gets deep into SEC play in November.
“I think the offensive line has done a good job in pass protection,” Saban said. “That’s going to need to continue as we play against better defensive teams, better rushers. I think the big focus has been to finish. Finish blocks, finish plays so that we can finish runs and create the type of balance that we’d like to have offensively.
“We’ve been pretty good at getting a hat on a hat, but the big emphasis has been to try and finish the defensive player so that we can have more positive runs.”
Saban said he’s not disappointed with the offensive line but that there is room for improvement. It isn’t helping matters much with players being moved around due to injuries.
There could be some moving around this week with center Chris Owens dealing with a knee injury. That would mean right guard Landon Dickerson moving to fill in at center. The good news is that Deonte Brown, who missed the first four games due to suspension, is available to fill in for Dickerson.
Players shifting on the line from week to week isn’t as big a deal as some folks make it out to be, Wills said.
“We kind of develop that throughout the week,” Wills said. “We rotate guys in all the time. So when you get to the game, you aren’t missing anything, you are right there with that guy that you were with there on Tuesday.”
Alabama averaged 3.5 yards per carry in its season opener against Duke, 3.0 yards against South Carolina, 5.0 against Southern Miss and 5.2 yards against Ole Miss. So there has been steady progression from week to week.
“As an offensive line that’s what you want to do, run the ball,” Wills said. “But we have great players on the perimeter that teams have to respect and guard and if you don’t, you get torched. But as an offensive line, you want to run the ball, that’s our emphasis as a unit.”
Reach Edwin Stanton at 205-722-0226, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @edwinstantonu2