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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Offensive line sees improvement

%26%23160%3BCenter+Mike+Matthews+makes+a+block+during+a+scrimmage+in+practice+Wednesday.%0APhotos+by+Cody+Franklin.
 Center Mike Matthews makes a block during a scrimmage in practice Wednesday. Photos by Cody Franklin.

The offensive line was the topic of discussion in a press conference with Texas A&M football head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive line coach B.J. Anderson after Wednesday’s practice.
Sumlin spoke about the current competition on the offensive line and what he would like to get out of his front five.
“I think of the line as a whole and when you return four of the five [starters], you got to feel good about it,” Sumlin said. “The idea is to not have five pennies, you need to get a nickel. Everything needs to work together and that’s what we’re searching for right now.”
Junior center Mike Matthews — younger brother to Aggie offensive line stars Kevin and Jake Matthews — was another hot topic on Wednesday. Coach Anderson gave some thoughts on Matthews and how he is improving in his third year.
“He is doing great,” Anderson said. “I’m pleased with where he is at as far as targeting goes and we’re working on some other techniques and stuff. He has a list just like everybody else. Each one of those kids has a list of stuff that they’re working on and we’re grinding away at it.”
Coach Anderson said that sophomore offensive lineman Germain Ifedi — who was a Sporting News Freshman All-American in the 2013 season — has improved also, but still lacks the experience to run away with a starting five position.
“He has done a nice job and we’ve got some more depth at our defensive line right now,” Anderson said. “We’ve got some true power guys that you’re able to see him have to anchor. Then we’ve got some true stand-up speed guys that he’s having to put a true wide-set and punch a guy around the quarterback.”
Both Matthews and Ifedi spoke after practice, commenting on where they stand as players and what areas they can improve on.
“I’ve gotten a lot better coming from my freshman year and having to learn the offense,” Matthews said. “Every year I’m just learning more and more and this year, I’ve got the offense down. It’s not as much knowing the offense now as it is getting better with my technique, but I feel like I’ve progressed a lot.”
The 320-pound Ifedi — who recently converted to tackle from guard — said transitioning to tackle required a bit of a learning curve, but that he was adapting quickly.
“At guard, I could use my aggressiveness a lot more, while at tackle I have to be more patient,” Ifedi said. “I think that would be my biggest adjustment so far. I think I’ve settled in pretty well. I’ve worked really hard at it and until you go out there live and do it, you can’t really see where you are. But I think I’ve done well, I’m still a work in progress and you can always get better.”
Sumlin said he thought the team’s energy was good and that they managed to make some plays.
“What we’re trying to do, just like everybody else this time of year, is figure out who from last year has improved, who’s the same and who that we brought in here, can help us right now,” Sumlin said.

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  •  Center Mike Matthews makes a block during a scrimmage in practice Wednesday. Photos by Cody Franklin.

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