Pam Pack offensive line looking for efficient play

Published 5:05 pm Monday, July 22, 2019

Returning players are a big key to the offensive line heading into the 2019 season for the Pam Pack. The last two seasons have been highly productive for the Washington offense, both in the top seven of the most efficient offenses in school history. Despite the skill players being the ones in the end zones, the battle is won in the trenches with the big heavies.

This year, a veteran group will take the majority of the snaps.

“We’ve got a lot of returning players on the offensive line that we’re going to count on pretty heavily,” Pam Pack head coach Jon Blank said. “We’ve got junior Robert Pollock back who started for us last year. We’ve got a senior in Stephen Hartley who’s going to be our anchor on the offensive line for us, and we’ve got big Ben Swinson, who’s going to anchor one of our guard spots. Our left tackle and center positions are still up in the air with a few kids battling it out.”

At practice Monday morning, the coaches were working closely with the offense on a plethora of running and passing plays that primarily focused on getting the athletes on the edge.

“We’ve got to improve our edge run. I thought we were pretty good between the tackles last year, but we want to get outside a little bit more this year,” Blank said. “We want to continue the consistency we’ve seen with offensive line play. We’ve rushed for a whole lot of yards the last couple of years and our quarterback has been pretty well protected the last couple of years, so we want to keep that consistency going.”

Offensive line coach Kevin Chapman said he was happy to have some returning starters on the line, but they did have to switch some of the positions around.

“We don’t have to replace much, but we just had to switch around some personnel to get the best guys in the right spots,” Chapman said.

With the changing of position comes a whole new learning curve, and Chapman said that they just need to learn their positions before the beginning of the season.

“Once they get comfortable with their positions, I think they’ll be a pretty dominant O-line,” Chapman said. “They’re accepting coaching really well, that’s the biggest thing. Week to week we’ll watch film and correct mistakes as long as they listen to what needs to be corrected and try to apply it, continuing to get better every day.”

Pollock, the junior, said he was excited about the offensive line’s potential with their size and have maximized that in the weight room this offseason.

“We have a lot more size than we’re use to having,” Pollock said. “We used to not be big, used to have the smallest line in the conference.”

Swinson echoed his teammate, and says they now have the biggest offensive line in the conference.

“This year, we’re definitely the biggest line in the conference,” Swinson said. “And our strength is up now, so I think we’ll be able to compete with the best of them.”