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Old Apr 22, 2012, 07:18 AM   #1
Dan
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Butkus tackling a challenge

From Chicago, Butkus moved to the Seattle Seahawks, where Beckman became aware of him through his brother, Ted Beckman. The Illini head coach was immediately impressed by Luke's desire to help his alma mater.

"We're not here to run a million schemes," Butkus said. "Whether it's spread or I-formation or two-back, our job is to move people up front, and to protect the quarterback in the passing game. Ours is the hardest position because offensive line technique is unnatural. You don't grow up to be an offensive lineman."

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Today's [Ohio State spring game] attendance: 81,112. Suck it, Saban.

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Estimated crowd of 60,000 at #BlueWhite Game, marking 13th time in last 17 years 40,000+ attend #PennState spring game

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[Minnesota spring game] announced crowd of 3,512 on an overcast day at TCF Bank Stadium

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RT @KyleTucker_CJ Announced attendance at Kentucky's spring game: 4,500. To be clear, not 4,507. Exactly 4,500.

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Old Apr 22, 2012, 09:00 AM   #2
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From Butkus:
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We're going to play the five best linemen, regardless of position.
It sure sounds like there will be some OL position shifts in the fall.

What do we know about the guys not named Pocic and Thornton?
LT: Cvijanovic (rs-SO), Flavin (rs-FR)
LG: Hill (rs-SO), Boles (rs-FR)
_C: Feldmeyer (rs-JR), Durkin (rs-FR)
RG: Karras (rs-FR), Sands (rs-SR)
RT: Heitz (rs-SO), McDowell (rs-FR)

McDowell and Flavin have both been tried at both tackle spots, so there is some flexibility with those guys. It seems to me that Pocic is less likely to move simply because we don't have a strong backup center (Durkin might be a year away).

How about this lineup from left to right: Thornton, Hill, Pocic, Karras, McDowell/Heitz?

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Old Apr 22, 2012, 09:16 AM   #3
AHSIllini32
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
From Butkus:

It sure sounds like there will be some OL position shifts in the fall.

What do we know about the guys not named Pocic and Thornton?
LT: Cvijanovic (rs-SO), Flavin (rs-FR)
LG: Hill (rs-SO), Boles (rs-FR)
_C: Feldmeyer (rs-JR), Durkin (rs-FR)
RG: Karras (rs-FR), Sands (rs-SR)
RT: Heitz (rs-SO), McDowell (rs-FR)

McDowell and Flavin have both been tried at both tackle spots, so there is some flexibility with those guys. It seems to me that Pocic is less likely to move simply because we don't have a strong backup center (Durkin might be a year away).

How about this lineup from left to right: Thornton, Hill, Pocic, Karras, McDowell/Heitz?

Based on what we've heard about Hill and Karras that could be a pretty decent line actually. The left side would be our stronger side if that line comes to fruition.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Based on what we've heard about Hill and Karras that could be a pretty decent line actually. The left side would be our stronger side if that line comes to fruition.
The key to that lineup would be Thornton at LT. He has played some LT in the past, backing up Allen, right?

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Old Apr 22, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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i like Thornton LT Hill LG Pocic OC Karras RG Heitz RT

Karras seems to be beating out Sands which is good for us Karras RS Frosh getting experience at a young age

getting Simon out of the starting lineup i think is a good switch due to his footwork is great just needs more strength

Hill started a few games last year and did solid for us hope to see him grow as well

(Hill and Karras can develop into 2 young OG's for us...like it)

Heitz played a lot last year is big and strong enough just needs to continue to be consistent with his footwork.....and he's still a young guy as well i think RS Soph

projected this years Oline

LT- Thornton LG- Hill OC- Pocic RG- Karras RT- Heitz

next years projected Oline (shot in the dark)

LT- Simon/Flavin (Battle) LG- Hill OC- Durkin RG- Karras RT- Heitz/McDowell (Battle)

Durkin needs to put some solid weight on him i think he's around 280 he needs another 10 to 15 lbs to anchor the line

Hill and Karras will have developed and getting experience this year is huge

Flavin and McDowell both need to gain big time weight another 10 to 15 solid lbs for roughly both of them to be ideal weight and strength to play big time OT
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
The key to that lineup would be Thornton at LT. He has played some LT in the past, backing up Allen, right?
Thornton played more RT iirc, playing across from Jeff Allen. Super early, I would go:

LT: Cvijanovic (rs-SO)
LG: Sands (SR) / Hill (rs-SO) / Karras (rs-FR)
_C: Pocic (SR)
RG: Sands (SR) / Hill (rs-SO) / Karras (rs-FR)
RT: Thornton (SR)
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 10:28 AM   #7
BigStan97
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I dn a lot about Thornton going from LG to RT or LT but i do know this:

Sands has not played well...

Karras seems like the starter right now at RG.....

if Thornton does move from the LG spot to one of the OTs i feel like Sands is gonna have to battle Hill for the Starting spot

i feel like Hill and Karras will be our young OG's if Thornton does move to OT

i think if Thornton is going to move to OT it should be LT....keep him on the same side and i think Simon is less ready at LT then Heitz is at RT
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kramer116 View Post
Thornton played more RT iirc, playing across from Jeff Allen. Super early, I would go:

LT: Cvijanovic (rs-SO)
LG: Sands (SR) / Hill (rs-SO) / Karras (rs-FR)
_C: Pocic (SR)
RG: Sands (SR) / Hill (rs-SO) / Karras (rs-FR)
RT: Thornton (SR)
I'm pretty sure that Thornton was our backup LT, and shifted into Allen's spot whenever the latter player had to leave the game.

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Sands has not played well...
This has been the story of his career at Illinois. Every year since 2009 the coaching staff has hoped he would be ready to step on and contribute (he even started a game or two in 2009 if I remember correctly). And it hasn't happened. I get the sense he is big enough and athletic enough, but just doesn't have the drive needed to succeed at this level.

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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
I'm pretty sure that Thornton was our backup LT, and shifted into Allen's spot whenever the latter player had to leave the game.


This has been the story of his career at Illinois. Every year since 2009 the coaching staff has hoped he would be ready to step on and contribute (he even started a game or two in 2009 if I remember correctly). And it hasn't happened. I get the sense he is big enough and athletic enough, but just doesn't have the drive needed to succeed at this level.
So what is our backup plan in the case that Sands really bombs? Not saying he will, just wondering.

Do we use a rotation then?
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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I'm pretty sure that Thornton was our backup LT, and shifted into Allen's spot whenever the latter player had to leave the game.
Don't know how to link a PDF, but pulled up the Illinois-Purdue game notes from the 2009 game:

He started at RT that game, making him the 6th true freshman to play that season.

As of 10/18/09, he was listed #1 at the depth chart at RT with Ryan Palmer #2 and Corey Lewis #3.

He also started the week before at RT against Indiana.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 12:18 PM   #11
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Dumb question, but is Karras related to former NFLer (and Webster's adoptive father) Alex Karras?
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 01:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kramer116 View Post
Don't know how to link a PDF, but pulled up the Illinois-Purdue game notes from the 2009 game:

He started at RT that game, making him the 6th true freshman to play that season.

As of 10/18/09, he was listed #1 at the depth chart at RT with Ryan Palmer #2 and Corey Lewis #3.

He also started the week before at RT against Indiana.
Yes, Thornton started at RT as a true freshman. He was thrown into the breach when we were once again desperate for a RT (Allen also started as a true freshman at RT before being moved to LT). Then he was moved to LG, and for the past two years he has been our backup LT.

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Old Apr 22, 2012, 01:46 PM   #13
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So what is our backup plan in the case that Sands really bombs? Not saying he will, just wondering.

Do we use a rotation then?
Sands? Right now he is our backup RG, so I'm not sure why you think he is critical to the success of the line.

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Dumb question, but is Karras related to former NFLer (and Webster's adoptive father) Alex Karras?
Yes.

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