Green Wave Offensive Line

Green Wave Offensive Line

Featuring four seniors who have made a total of 117 starts in their combined careers, the offensive line if not decimated by injuries, should be a rock of strength of the Tulane football team in 2005. However, senior guard Donald Madlock may miss the season after undergoing surgery on both shoulders prior to spring practice

Featuring four seniors who have made a total of 117 starts in their combined careers, the offensive line if not decimated by injuries, should be a rock of strength of the Tulane football team in 2005. However, senior guard Donald Madlock may miss the season after undergoing surgery on both shoulders prior to spring practice. Junior tackle Derek Rogers has some type of back problem which affected him during spring practice but did not prevent him from returning to the field before the end of the spring sessions.

Madlock's presumptive replacement is redshirt freshman Michael Parenton. But if Rogers' problems worsen, his replacement will be harder to identify. Redshirt freshman Tom Danel should improve his level of play as his number of practice and game snaps increase, but the learning process is not what's needed in 2005. Alex Kropog is probably in approximately the same boat as Danel. Redshirt sophomore Scott Holt is a possibility but has not yet shown that he's ready for game time. The result could be a shuffle with redshirt sophomore center Aryan Bart moving in at center, starting center Joe Traina replacing his twin brother Matt at left guard, with Matt moving to the right tackle spot.

Tulane's offensive philosophy prefers the passing game, which puts a premium on the mobility of the upfront blockers, a side effect of this philosophy is that the o'line tends towards the smallish-to-average size as college o'lines go in the modern era. In 2002 and 2004, the offense was more nearly balanced as Tulane broke in new quarterbacks in both seasons.

Let's take a look at the balance between run and pass in each of the past three seasons before we move on to examine offensive production.

2002
rush attempts: 475
pass attempts: 438

2003
rush attempts: 405
pass attempts: 425

2004
rush attempts: 376
pass attempts: 338

The return of Lester Ricard at quarterback should put Tulane back on track to throw the ball more in 2005, although Jovan Jackson and Matt Forte represent a formidable running back tandem.

Ricard is probably less athletic than his immediate predecessor at quarterback, J.P. Losman, now of the Buffalo Bills, but probably more athletic than Losman's predecessor, Patrick Ramsey of the Washigton Redskins.

Sacks of Tulane quarterbacks
2004 - 24
2003 - 27
2002 - 42

The decrease in the total sacks from 27 in 2003 to 24 in 2004 might merely be a result of the Green Wave having played 11 games in 2004, as opposed to the 12 games of 2003. In 2002, counting the Hawaii Bowl, Tulane played in a total of 13 games. On the other hand, the difference in mobility between Losman and RIcard is fairly considerable and that consideration, plus the liklihood that a new starter at quarterback is more likely to be caught with the ball and nowhere to throw than a veteran, indicates that there was probably some improvement in pass protection by the o'line over the course of the season.

The number of sacks in 2002 reflects the loss of four starters from the 2001 offensive line.

Moving on, a comparison of the team rushing stats for the past two seasons shows some minimal decline, while stats for both years represent a substantial increase in rushing yardage production over 2002. Touchdowns are another story and improvement in rushing effectiveness inside the redzone should be expected given the experience and maturity of the o'line.

Average rushing yards per carry
2004 3.7
2003 3.9
2002 3.0
Average rushing yards per game
2004 126.5
2003 132.4
2002 109.4
Rushing touchdowns
2004 11
2003 10
2002 14

Chris McGee
A fifth year senior, McGee is the o'line's anchor at left tackle and a possible NFL draft pick. He plays almost every snap and averaged a grade of 84 for the season, a respectable number. A good senior season puts Chris on the all-conference team. Has made 36 career starts. Redshirted in 2001.

Matt Traina
He's not big enough, not strong enough and not talented enough but he does a pretty good job. If someone moves him out after starting for three seasons, then it means we are substantially upgrading our o'line. Average grade for the season was a team leading 85. Has made 36 career starts. Redshirted in 2001. Another potential all-conference candidate.

Joe Traina
Probably the least athletic of all of Tulane's starting offensive linemen. Some observers like Joe's attitude though, finding him to be a tough, hardnosed type player. Redshirted in 2001. Has played in 28 career games, making 23 starts.

Donald Madlock
Will most likely miss the season and redshirt, although some feel he could return. A very strong player, Madlock's weakness throughout his career has been consistency. Has played in 33 career games, making 22 starts.

Derek Rogers
Replaced Jimmy Kosienski when injuries kept Jimmy K. off the field at times in 2002 and 2003. Listed as the co-starter at RT with Kosienski in 2003. Has played in 23 career games and made 4 starts. Redshirted in 2002. Probably at worst, Rogers replacing Kosienski is a wash.

Michael Parenton
Received a medical redshirt although he played in the first two games of 2004. Moved into the starting lineup in the sprng after surgeries benched Don Madlock. How well Michael fares if he's needed as a starter in 2005 depends upon how accurate his reported strength numbers are (reportedly benched 405# and squatted 515# in high school), and how well he gets after guys in different colored jersies.

Scott Holt
Played briefly in two games in 2004 and is now technically a third year player, although he'll be going through his fourth August camp and has put three spring practices under his belt already. Injuries have kept Holt from reaching the potential that many saw in August 2002 before a broken ankle sidelined him for his true freshman season. In order to spend more time rehabbing, Holt 'grayshirted' that season and joined the team at the end of the fall semester, in time to start his college football career with a trip to Honolulu for the Hawaii Bowl. Redshirted in 2003. Listed on the depth chart behind Matt Traina at left guard but could play some at either right guard or right tackle. The question is whether he's ready to play.

Aryan Barto
Third year player who played briefly in three games in 2004 after redshirting in 2002. Barto appears to be the eventual heir at center but, barring a shuffle caused by injury, he won't be in the game rotation next season. Size is a cause of concern and adding some bulk as well as strength is an imperative. Listed behind Joe Traina at center on the current depth chart. Missed most of the spring after breaking the small bone above the ankle.

Alex Kropog
Was expected to grayshirt last season but signed late and reported to pre-season camp. Reportedly a comer, he needs some seasoning but could wind up being forced into action if injuries mount.

Robert Hand
Was reportedly not in school in the spring for personal reasons but is expected to return in August. Has played some at offensive tackle in 2002 and some at both tight end (1 start) and offensive tackle in 2004. Has played in 11 career games and made the 1 start. Redshirted in 2003. His return would bolster o'line depth.

Chris Bordelon, Tom Danel, and Percy Huff would not be expected to play except in blowout situations. Bordelon redshirted in 2003 and did not play last season. Huff and Danel redshirted last season.

The three incoming freshmen: Travis Rice, Johnny Landa and Travis Olexa need at least a season on the bench.

Depth chart for the Louisville game, December 4, 2004

LT
68 Chris McGee.....................6-4 285 Jr.
64 Derek Rogers...................6-5 290 So.-R
LG
72 Matt Traina.........................6-3 288 Jr.-R
73 Joe Mitchell.......................6-3 310 Sr.-R
C
55 Joe Traina.........................6-3 287 Jr.-R
51 Aryan Barto.......................6-4 272 Fr.-R
RG
66 Donald Madlock................6-4 300 Jr.
73 Joe Mitchell.......................6-3 310 Sr.-R
RT
76 Jimmy Kosienski...............6-7 293 Sr.-R
OR 64 Derek Rogers.............6-5 290 So.-R

2005 post-spring practice O'line depth chart
LT
68 Chris McGee.....................6-4 296 Sr.-R
77 Troy Kropog......................6-4 287 Fr.-R
LG
72 Matt Traina.........................6-3 280 Sr.-R
74 Scott Holt...........................6-5 282 So.-R
C
55 Joe Traina..........................6-3 285 Sr.-R
51 Aryan Barto........................6-4 262 So.-R
RG
66 Donald Madlock.................6-4, 295, Sr.
65 Michael Parenton...............6-3 292 Fr.-R
RT
64 Derek Rogers.....................6-5 309 Jr.-R
78 Tom Danel..........................6-7 314 Fr.-R

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