According to Luke Meadows, Kansas Offensive Line Coach, the team hasn’t quite narrowed down its list of offensive line starters. And per an article by Shane Jackson with KU Sports, “that is by design.”
In short, Meadows is taking the approach to play and/or start 10 different guys instead of starting the same five players. He explains this will help guys to stay fresh and it’ll give reps to players that will return for next year putting them ahead of the curve.
This is all well and good, but it’s of my understanding that not many teams use this approach. And it’s because you want your offensive line unit to flow and have cohesion. That is, you want them to have worked so much together they will always know what their teammate next to them is going to do even before they do it.
The only way to accomplish this is to play as many snaps together as possible. But if players are constantly being subbed in and out, they aren’t able to develop that cohesion. They lose snaps and with that you lose the opportunity to grow and develop more effectively.
Also, in football there is the issue of extreme fatigue by the end of the season. I understand that and many coaches are finding ways to decrease that fatigue in order to keep their teams in tip top shape even towards the end of the season.
But every team deals with fatigue, not just Kansas. It’s a natural part of the game. And by trying so hard to limit that fatigue it’s almost as if the team is preparing for the last game instead of just the first.
In my opinion, that first game is just as important as the last. And it needs to be treated just that way.
I’m not saying this the wrong approach. Meadows is a coach and has been for quite some time. He’s also been a very successful coach. So naturally he’s more qualified to make these decisions.
I also trust Les Miles. If he has trust in a guy, especially one of his staff, I’ll blindly follow until proven otherwise.
But, I’m just not excited about it.
I even asked if many teams use this philosophy of subbing offensive lineman in an out during games. To which Scott Chasen, 247 Sports and CBS Kansas sports beat writer responded, “KU, last season.”
Not the most reassuring of answers.
And to put it bluntly—if a team doesn’t have five offensive lineman, they don’t have 10. Just as if a team doesn’t have one QB, they certainly don’t have two.
Either way, I’ll remain optimistic until I have a reason not to. I trust Miles and staff, and I trust this year’s outcome will be more promising than what we’ve seen in nearly a decade.