November 30, 2013

John McDonnell Q&A

Tulane offensive line coach John McDonnell had the toughest job on the staff when he arrived in 2012, working with a group that consisted almost entirely of newcomers or past benchwarmers. Finally, in the latter half of this season, he is beginning to see the fruit of his labor with improved play up front. Earlier this week, he talked about the line's performance in the Green Wave's 45-3 win against UTEP and discussed several of the linemen individually.

How fun was it to watch the gargantuan holes the offensive line created against UTEP after seeing very little of that for most of the last two years?

"It was a great day. It really was. It was just fun to see the kids perform and get everybody to play, the excitement that it all brings. It was just a good day."

What is the offensive line doing better now?

"Once again, it's just a maturation of continued work. Progressively we're better. We're still not where we need to be, and obviously the biggest thing this year is consistency. At times we're real solid and then at other times we're inconsistent. It sounds like a broken record, but we're still very young and playing a lot of guys still. That's going to bode well, but the cohesion, their work ethic and really just their overall attitude of trying to get better each and every single day in practice and as the season unfolds has really been a credit to those guys."

Mike Henry started at center against UTEP. He started all of last year but had not started a game this year. How did he fare?

"We've got a number of kids that started almost every game last year and they haven't seen as much time this year, and it's just really a credit to the them because they've been nothing but supportive and showed great leadership and are hugely respected on the team. Then when their number's called, they perform very well, as was the case with Mike Henry."

Colton Hanson has been playing a lot more recently. What has he done to get better, and what do you like about him?

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