Colorado opened preseason football camp on Thursday, and I was able to catch up with offensive line coach Klayton Adams afterward.
The Buffaloes are still trying to find their starters up front, but appear to have had a great offseason. Although offensive linemen are tough to evaluate before the pads come on, I wanted to talk to Adams about how his group looks after a full offseason of conditioning and workouts.
Buffzone: After spring evaluations and offseason workouts, has anything changed in terms of you developing a solid depth chart up front?
Adams: I think it’s definitely too early to tell at the end of the practice No. 1 and before you put the pads on and everything, but what I’m really eager to see (this early in camp) are what kind of jumps people have taken and, really, everybody needs to have taken a big jump because I think we had a really good summer. It’s the fundamental stuff and playing with great technique and playing with great effort to the end of the play. The other thing we talk about a bunch in our room is that it’s great for everybody to communicate everything on every play, but at some point, we have to be able to get up to the line of scrimmage and go, “There’s the look and, bang, we’re blocking it” – without having a whole orchestrated deal. When we can find five guys that can play with unbelievable technique, that can play with great effort and can communicate almost without having to talk to each other, then we’ll know we have the chemistry we need. It’s great when you can find seven; right now we just have to try to find five.
Buffzone: Although it’s just Day 1, do you the feel the guys are better at that after going through the player-run practices over the summer?
Adams: Absolutely. Just getting the call out of your mouth a bunch of times (helps), and the center just looking over and not even getting a call from the tackle and just knowing, “That’s the look and he’s going to block it.” We go into the meeting room and the answers are coming quicker, so that’s a good sign for sure. It’s hard to tell without looking at the film, but it felt that way out here a little bit today. The physical part and the technique part comes a little bit more when you get the pads on, but in terms of assignments, without seeing the film, it felt a little more natural.
Buffzone: It seems that every time there’s a new roster released, nearly every lineman has an extra 5 pounds on the listing. Is that legit?
Adams: Those guys have gained a lot of weight. The guy who has gained the most is Isaac Miller. He’s kind of working through some stuff that he finished the spring with, injury-wise, but I think he’s 285 pounds. Aaron Haigler, I don’t know how much weight he gained, but he looks bigger. Alex Kelley’s body has changed a little bit. Gerrad Kough just continues to look more and more like a Pac-12 offensive lineman that’s played a lot of games. Jeromy Irwin looks great. Shane Callahan’s body has changed some. It’s a testament, No.1, to coach (Drew) Wilson in the weight room, but I think those guys have bought into it and really enjoyed being in there and grinding it.
Buffzone: Kelley, Jonathan Huckins and Callahan are three that I noticed have lost weight.
Adams: Oh yeah. All three of them leaned out a little bit. If you’re strong, are you going to squat more at 330 than you do at 305? No. Alex somehow got stronger this summer, because he’s a really strong dude, but he leaned out a little bit, so I’m excited to see how he looks.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.