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.
rush attempts: 475
pass attempts: 438
rush attempts: 405
pass attempts: 425
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
Average rushing yards per game
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
, 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
68 Chris McGee.....................6-4 285 Jr.
64 Derek Rogers...................6-5 290 So.-R
72 Matt Traina.........................6-3 288 Jr.-R
73 Joe Mitchell
.......................6-3 310 Sr.-R
55 Joe Traina.........................6-3 287 Jr.-R
51 Aryan Barto.......................6-4 272 Fr.-R
66 Donald Madlock................6-4 300 Jr.
73 Joe Mitchell.......................6-3 310 Sr.-R
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
68 Chris McGee.....................6-4 296 Sr.-R
77 Troy Kropog
......................6-4 287 Fr.-R
72 Matt Traina.........................6-3 280 Sr.-R
74 Scott Holt...........................6-5 282 So.-R
55 Joe Traina..........................6-3 285 Sr.-R
51 Aryan Barto........................6-4 262 So.-R
66 Donald Madlock.................6-4, 295, Sr.
65 Michael Parenton...............6-3 292 Fr.-R
64 Derek Rogers.....................6-5 309 Jr.-R
78 Tom Danel..........................6-7 314 Fr.-R
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