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Texas Tech Red Raider Notes for 08-21-07 - Changes on Offensive Line

Texas Tech Football:

DMN's Kevin Sherrington has an excellent article on Coach Leach and his ability to "weather any storm". As I do with a lot of articles, I'll just tell you to go read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did.

LAJ's Don Williams focuses on the questions that have yet to be answered on the defense. Williams breaks down the positions battles where either starters or backups have yet to be determined.

As far as linebacker is concerned, if forced to choose between having either Fehoko or Bird play or sit the entire year, I'm beginning to lean towards having both of them sit. The thought of seeing Bird and Fehoko play is certainly enticing, but there are guys who are just as talented at each of their positions. I'm excited about what Duncan, Williams, Howard and Hunter can do at the linebacking positions. If these guys are talented, and I believe that they are, then let the freshmen wait.

Perhaps more interesting is the battle at defensive end, where we learn that Brandon Sharpe has a walking cast on his lower right leg (that's bad news) and Tyler Yenzer was out last week with a neck injury. Earlier in the year, I believe Sadler or Setencich said that Williams and Ratliff would be at the strong-side end this year and I get the feeling that Riley will start at the rush end position with Phillip Jones also in the mix.

Lots of good stuff.

DTN received mention in DMN's College Blog from professional blogger and former Texas Tech beat writer, Tim MacMahon, late Sunday evening as the Kliff Kingsbury and Graham Harrell comparison caused some folks to really consider what Harrell could have in store for our beloved Red Raiders.

DMN's Brandon George uncovered some strange quotes from defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich.

"They don't care about defense down here," Setencich said from Lubbock, Texas. "We're just here to practice against the offense.

"Mike wants to play good defense. But he's more interested in us just getting them the ball back."

Is that OK with you?

"Hey, at my age," the 38-year coaching veteran said with a laugh, "I'm just glad to be alive."

I think Setencich's comments were meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it still doesn't instill a sense of confidence in your team or in our program. Also, the words "lit up" and your team's defensive coordinator should never be used in the same sentence, but they are with Setencich. Sigh.

Don's Red Raider Notebook has some shocking news on the offensive line:

Incoming transfer Jake Johnson was promoted to first team at right tackle, which led to a shuffling of Texas Tech's offensive line, head coach Mike Leach said Monday.

If the Red Raiders had a game this weekend, Leach said they would go with Johnson at right tackle, Brandon Carter at right guard, Shawn Byrnes at center, Louis Vasquez at left guard and Rylan Reed at left tackle.

Wow. I'm speechless about how quickly Johnson has progressed this spring and how quickly the coaches have moved Marlon Wynn to the bench. I thought he was a better talent than that, but perhaps he was the weak link (as perceived by the coaches) on the offensive line. Remember, Vasquez was moved to left tackle, where Wynn was previously, and Wynn was moved to left guard. Now Wynn is out completely and Reed, who may be the most physically gifted offensive lineman is playing the most important position while Vasquez is moved back to left guard. So I guess this is how the line should shake out?

  • Left Side: Vasquez at guard and Reed at tackle while Chris Olson should find time at guard and Marlon Wynn at tackle. I assume that Jerrod Gooch is still projected as a left tackle and Lonnie Edwards is still projected at left guard.

  • Right Side: Jake Johnson is now at tackle and now Brandon Carter will start at guard while Stephen Hamby fills in at guard on occasion. Mickey Okafor and Dominique Delpeche are both projected at right tackle.

  • Center: Shawn Byrnes and Justin Keown seem to be the only ones set at their position..

I'm still a little surprised that there's still so much movement on the offensive line with only 2 weeks before the first game, but I'd have to believe that the coaches want the most talented players on the field and this is the group.

I'm looking forward to the first game now more than ever.

In other Texas Tech news, Danny Amendola, Chris Parker, Paul Williams and Graham Harrell are your Red Raider captains for 2007. Also mentioned in the notebook is an update on Dwayne Slay, member of the Chicago Bears.

Don additionally notes that Colby Whitlock will definitely be in the defensive tackle rotation this year.

DMN's Brandon George notes that coach Ruffin McNeill's mother passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach McNeill and his family.