Who Will Replace Taylor Lewan in Starting Lineup?

To say that the Michigan offensive line struggled last season would be a massive understatement.

However, the position group, which faced constant shuffling because of poor play and injuries, did have one bright spot: offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.

Brady Hoke now needs to replace Lewan while hoping that the interior of the offensive line drastically improves from last season. After last season’s poor play, every position is up for grabs, but the following players are the top candidates to replace Lewan.

READ MORE

After Further Review- Michigan Football Offensive Line Troubles

2013-03-umakron-014

In my post-game Michigan-Akron article on Bleacher Report this week, I discussed the problems the Wolverines are having on the interior of their offensive line:

Gardner was able to lead the Wolverines on a late touchdown drive, and Michigan escaped with a 28-24 victory, but Akron exposed a serious flaw in the Wolverines offense.The interior of the offensive line has not shown itself capable of consistently containing pressure.  Michigan Football: Wolverines Weakness on the Offensive Line Apparent

The line has been a question mark throughout the season. Against Central Michigan Center Jack Miller had a tough first quarter:

He was spun around by a defender, missed a block, found himself dangerously close to being illegally downfield on a 36 yard passing play and contributed to an illegal procedure penalty when the offense took off prior to his snap of the ball.  Offensive Line Concerns Linger as Michigan Prepares for Notre Dame

Yesterday offensive coordinator Al Borges admitted being frustrated at the lack of improvement from his offensive lineman:

“There is an expectation that we should improve. That’s my biggest issue with (the Akron) game. I don’t think we took a step forward, and that irritates me more than anything.” via Mlive

Michigan is 3-0, but breaking down tape it’s obvious that the interior of the offensive line, center Jack Miller and guards Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis,  are struggling.

If he decides to pull Jack Miller, the replacement might be Graham Glasgow, who himself has struggled. It also breaks up the rhythm between Miller and Gardner.

Does Gardner need to get used to a new snapper heading into the Big Ten season?

For now it appears that Michigan will stand pat.

“A lot of our issues are still fundamentals and techniques. That sounds like coach-speak, but if you watch the tape, that’s exactly what it is.” Al Borges via Mlive

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with his assessment. The problem is that guys are getting beat-plain and simple. The are too many times on tape you see members of the interior line with their back to the line of scrimmage, chasing defenders they missed.

The Wolverines play their first read game against Connecticut this weekend. It may be time for Borges to shuffle his lineman.

Update:

Add to the mix  the injury of Taylor Lewan and his mystery walking boot this week and fans have serious cause for concern.