Jim McElwain rightfully concerned about Florida’s OL depth
Remember when Florida offensive line were caught blocking each other in a game? It happened in a game against Georgia Southern in the 2013 season. It happened again last November against South Carolina. Whether or not new Florida head coach Jim McElwain is aware of those dubious moments is unknown, but with visual evidence like that out there you can excuse the new Gators coach if he is having some concerns about the state of the offensive line in Gainesville.
“There have been a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure out how we’re going to practice,” McElwain said about the offensive line in an Associated Press report. “We’ve got good players. I’m not saying anything about players. I’m just talking about structurally about how you practice to get the most out of it. It will be a little different.”
McElwain’s concerns are more focused on depth than ability and ball awareness on the field. Florida is left with just seven scholarship offensive linemen this spring with fifth-year senior Trip Thurman set to sit out the spring. Thurman is out with a chronic shoulder injury. Right now the goal is juts to get him to be available for the fall, which is not a certainty at this point in time.
“His shoulder is such that if we can get an eight-month cycle off of it, then maybe we’re able to piece some things together with him next fall,” McElwain said. “We’re very, very thin at offensive line, to the point that — we all knew this was coming, so it’s not a shock — but we’re going to have to adjust how we practice, the amount of reps we get and the different ways in which we do things from a practice structure.”
Florida’s spring game scheduled for April 11 may undergo some changes as well in light of roster depth concerns. A traditional spring game may not be able to be held due to the roster limitations, so McElwain may have to get creative to have something for fans to check out.