Bret Bielema is bringing his power-running offensive philosophy to the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2013. The first step in implementing his offense is reinventing the offensive line which has been built to run more of a spread-offense system. They didn’t start out ready to handle the change, but Bielema says the offensive line has made the most progress of any unit on the team this spring.
They are still a work in progress, of course, but they have committed to being the lynch-pin for the Arkansas renaissance under Bielema. Center Travis Swanson knows that the group still has plenty of work to do before next season, but says the improvement from the beginning of spring to now has been tangible:
“As a line I feel we’re a lot better than when we first started spring ball. Coming into this, we knew what the technique would be. We never essentially practiced it like we are now. So if you work at something for days at a time you’re going to be better now than when you first started it. It’s a good process. Hopefully by the spring game we’ll be better than what we are now.”
There is no understating how different this year’s offense will be along the offensive line. For years, Arkansas has been a pass-heavy team that has asked little in the form of run blocking from its linemen. Bielema will change all of that and will demand a physical offensive line that will move defenders off the line of scrimmage, paving the way for his run-first philosophy.
The progression of the offensive line will be instrumental in how successful Arkansas will be in 2013. Without an offensive line that can open up holes in the running game, the Razorbacks’ offense under their new head coach will be stuck in neutral. Can the pass-happy Arkansas linemen turn into yard-churning hogs before next season?