OT Caleb Rogers has a new position but will that make all the difference?
Back to the offensive line we go because, just like the linebacker spot on the other side of the ball, it is the biggest question the offense has to sort out this fall. One key will be the play of veteran tackle Caleb Rogers who did not perform well last season at left tackle.
Now, Rogers has flipped tackle spots with Mills meaning that Rogers is headed to the right side of the line. But will simply flipping spots actually make a difference? Call me skeptical.
The simple fact is that Rogers is going to have to elevate his play this fall, regardless of where he’s lined up. The good news is that he did improve over the course of the 2022 season helping Tech to a 4-0 finish to 2022.
Still, at times he was absolutely abused by good pass rushers. Take the game against Houston in Lubbock. That afternoon, the Cougars’ defensive end Derek Parish had his way with Rogers to the tune of 10 tackles 4.5 sacks, and 6.5 tackles for loss all while playing with a cast on his broken hand.
Almost all season, Tech had to scheme around Rogers’ struggles and send extra help his way to keep the quarterbacks from being ambushed from their blind side. This year, the hope is that a year of technique and physical improvement combined with fewer encounters with elite pass rushers by means of his move to right tackle will help Rogers be less of a liability.
However, teams are certain to test what they will likely perceive to be the weakest line in this O-line until Rogers proves he’s a better player this season. If he can be a league-average tackle this fall, it will do wonders for an offensive line that enters the year with no starter returning in the position he manned last year.