Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Football

Mirabal Talks OL Chemistry

August 9, 2019

Oregon offensive line coach Alex Mirabal spoke with media Thursday following practice. He talked about guys getting into better shape, the rotation of the offensive line unit and forming experience.

Coach Mirabal also talked about guys like Steven Jones and Penei Sewell, and their breakout in the offensive line unit.

Below are the highlights and the video is posted below.

What’s just been your overall theme of impressions so far?

“It’s going well, physicality and working on that. Trying to work on building some depth with the younger guys and the second group and some of the third group guys. One of our big goals in camp is to hopefully get 8 or 9 starters out of it since you’re going to need more than 5 guys. We feel like we have 8 or 9 guys we feel can go and play in pac 12 football. We’re focusing on getting those guys up to that same level, so there’s no dropoff if they have to go in and play at some point in time.”

On position battles:

“These guys are rotating on a daily basis. They’re all battling and competing against a room. Like coach Cristobal says, it’s an organizational depth chart,  not a depth chart. Our job is to get the best five guys on the field, and if one guy goes down, who are the next best five? It’s not who’s the third head behind the right tackle, it’s who’s the next best guy.”

On fall scrimmage and forming experience

“To me, experience is overrated. Experience has nothing to do with preparation, you still have to prepare whether you’re a guy who started 38 games like some of these guys have. Or if you’ve started 13 or 5, experience doesn’t do anything. Experience is just what happened in the past, it’s what you do now and what you do going forward so it’s just about continuing to prepare. We expect the same thing out of a guy like Thorckmorton as we do of a guy like Malaesale or Randazzo. You go out and execute and get better. We coach them as hard as the guys that just got here.”

On guys losing weight and getting in shape

“It’s a tremendous tribute to the strength and conditioning program. That’s a tremendous tribute to Coach Feld. These guys they continue to challenge themselves. Not just trying to get faster and a little quicker. They might be losing a little weight but they’ve gained power and they’ve gained strength and gained explosioness.”

On Penei Sewell

“He was a guy who played above his years, and the next step is to just dominate. Be a dominating player play in and play out. The consistency of it, the durability of it. He has a higher level of expectation of himself now that he’s done it for a year. He’s the one who’s continuing to push himself to get better. He’s very very hard on himself when he messes something up during practice, or technique wise and hand placement. He’s a guy that wants to be the best that he can be right now.”

On playing multiple guys

“They have to earn that time. If you’re going to pull as a coach a guy like Throckmorton, that guy has got to earn that time. When I say we have 8 or 9 starters, you could take a lot of guys on our second line and every other o line coach in the pac-12 would want that person.”

On Steven Jones

“People are sleeping on him. He’s a heck of a football player and he’s got a tremendous future. The future is going to come whenever he finally goes and takes it. He’s a tremendous football player.”

On who will start

“First of all, the synergy between that group, nothing will come between them. They don’t allow the competition to come between the brotherhood that that whole group has. So from that standpoint, it’s really easy to do that.”

On playing different people

“Those six dudes are going to play. They’ve earned the right to play here. It doesn’t mess up the continuity of the group. You do it in practice just like you would do it in a game. It becomes routine when it comes to a game.”

On where the Synergy from the O-line unit comes from

“First of all, the character of them as human beings. You can talk about their football stuff, but they are good human beings. They’re graduated already, they’re smart, they’re character kids.”

On embracing Warmack and other new-comers

“When warmack came here, they didn’t feel him as an outsider, they felt that he was a brother that was coming into play and they openly embraced him. That’s just the way they are as people. You gotta know that when you’re recruiting them, you got to know you’re recruiting the right guys that won’t see these guys as threats. These guys are here to compete and make the room stronger. You have to be a selfless individual to play the O-line. If you’re selfish you’re not playing the O-line.”

On recruiting

“You have to recruit them everyday. You have to recruit the parents everyday, it’s a marathon.”

On a healthy scrimmage

“That we all come out healthy, and that we establish the run and keep #10 healthy. Protect him. We don’t worry about the scoreboard, to me it’s all about us executing.”

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