Ask fans what the one weak link on the Clemson football team was last season and most would probably say the Tigers’ offensive line.
Head coach Dabo Swinney raved about the potential of his offensive line throughout fall camp last summer, but for a number of reasons the group just never could put it all together.
For the most part, Travis Etienne struggled to find any running room, as the interior of the line had issues consistently opening up holes as the ground game took a major step backwards.
However, Swinney is insistent that the offensive line won’t have those issues this season. The Tigers have opened up the competition at every position in an effort to get their best five on the field and are also dedicated to developing the necessary depth that it takes to win at the highest level.
“No ain’t nobody found a home, we’re cross-training everybody,” Swinney said. “We got guys cross-training all over the place. We have to come out of spring with the type of depth we didn’t have last spring. Last fall camp, we came out of it with six guys we thought could play winning football for us. We were lucky the top five guys pretty much stayed healthy.”
The Tigers’ head coach has been extremely pleased with what he’s seen thus far, despite the fact that he says no one has found a home, and Swinney is confident that come September, the offensive line will be ready to go.
“We are way ahead now than this time last year on the offensive line and it’s not even close,” Swinney said. “I’m excited about that. I do think we can come out of this fall camp with hopefully 10 or 11 guys. Part of that is experimenting, cross-training, and developing different types of chemistry and roles. At the end of the day, you want to get your five best on the field. And then your sixth, seventh, and so on. We are in that process now. But nobody has found a home.”