Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari
November 4, 2016
Q: How would you assess the offensive line at the mid-point of the season?
A: Weíre coming. Thereís a lot of things weíre trying to improve on everyday and every week. Weíre making progress. It never comes quick enough but we need to continue working on our technique and fundamentals.
Q: For the line perspective, the running game hasnít clicked. Why do you think that is from the line perspective?
A: I think the key thing is just doing a better job with the fundamentals. Keep improving in our fits working together. Thereís some areas that I think weíre getting better. Itís just the consistency. I think weíll get better each week. I truly believe it.
Q: How much harder is that to do when youíre only running the ball 15 times a game?
A: Again, we have to eliminate some things offensively as far as staying on target. Itís just a matter of us getting a little bit more consistent. The guys are working hard and doing a nice job in the classroom and on the practice field. I think itís going to come together.
Q: Who do you look at as the leader of that group?
A: Theyíre all working hard. The veteran guys, they all work hard. To point out one, I think Weston does a nice job at the center spot. Justin and John have done a nice job. Itís fun to see Ereck as he continues to grow and develop. They all have some leadership ability and they all do a nice job.
Q: They get a lot of criticism at the idea that because the offense isnít performing itís the offensive line. Do you have to coach around any of that because your players hear it?
A: No. Again, the thing is to stay consistent. Thatís the most important thing. I think itís something theyíve done a nice job of. You see it from week-to-week. Theyíre working hard and progressing. Itís a matter of that synergy. Working together and being able to function as one. Theyíre getting better. They really are. Itís going to come together. Itís going to come together.
Q: What gives you confidence thatís going to happen?
A: The way they work. The little things on the film. You break down one spot, one position, one technique and thereís a breakdown, you donít get that four-plus yards. We have to get that plus-four. We have to keep the chains moving. The other thing is how theyíre working in the classroom in the sense of their concentration. What theyíre doing. The little things as far as communication, growing as a unit. The way they work on the football field. You see the sense that theyíre getting better in their techniques and development. Itís a journey. It never comes quick enough for the coach and the player. We have to score more points and get that run game going. Thatís a big part of this week.
Q: Have you been extra cautious with Marshall Newhouse? When he does get back does he go right back in over Bobby Hart?
A: Bobby has gotten better. Itís going to help us that all of a sudden there is more depth on the offensive line now that Bobby has played and has some games under his belt. Heís getting some confidence. John is doing a nice job adjacent to him. Theyíre coming along. Marshall is working hard. Heís getting real close. Ben will make that decision.
Q: Every week now, you can identify two or three guys on a defensive front that can wreck games. Do you see that? Does that make it harder to grow?
A: Thatís the NFL. Thatís whatís awesome about the NFL. Each week you have a great challenge. Every week there is a particular player that is their bell cow that stands out a little bit more than the others. Thatís every week in the NFL. Itís the awesome thing about the NFL. The offensive line, the key thing about the offensive line is to stay on track. To be consistent and develop a technique, a fundamental that you can always rely on. It doesnít matter who youíre going against because you always want to build off of your fundamentals. You always want to build off of your techniques. Stay consistent and on course. Donít deviate or change up your technique.
Q: How would you assess Ereck Flowers?
A: I think Ereck is progressing. I think heís doing a nice job in the classroom learning and developing. When you say as a coach in the classroom, those are things that you donít see or the normal football fan doesnít see. As a coach, thatís so important because youíre building your young foundation. As a young football player in the NFL, every week is a new challenge. Youíre building that foundation. Again, youíre seeing his technique and his knowledge improve. Again, it never comes quick enough but heís getting better. Youíre seeing that in his development as a football player and an offensive lineman.
Q: Is technique the biggest thing for him?
A: Yes. When I say that to you, itís knowledge of the game and a sense of a feel. Yes, the technique and the fundamentals is something that every man is striving for. Thatís the key in the NFL. Itís to be and have outstanding technique in fundamentals where youíre successful in your execution.
Q: How does this Eagles defensive front differ from some of the fronts youíve seen the past few weeks?
A: This is a nice front. Very talented. They do a nice job. Theyíre heavy-handed and show great gap control. They do a nice job. They have a nice job of exchanging personnel. Theyíre in and out. Cox does a beautiful job in there. Logan does a nice job, Graham. This defense changes from a 34 to a four-down. Those defensive ends setting the edge has really complimented his style of play and the type of athlete he is. They do a real nice job of changing things up. Theyíre fresh and very well coached.
Q: Where does Will Beatty stand?
A: Itís been a while since heís played and put the pads on. Itís really hard to come in without training camp. You really put stress on your techniques and fundamentals. He continues to ascend as he develops. Heís getting better as an offensive lineman. Heís right in the mix as he continues to grow.
Q: Is Bobby Hart a tackle?
A: Heís a tackle. Can he play guard, yes. The thing is, the nice thing about moving an offensive lineman from a tackle to a guard is that everything happens so much quicker at guard. You have to be more dynamic with your hands. It helps you develop as an offensive lineman. Itís something that you want to work as a guard and tackle. In the NFL, a high percentage of teams are only suiting up seven offensive linemen each week. You have to have versatility. Obviously you have to have one lineman that can be a backup center. Your six and seventh guy has to have versatility. You never know when you have to go in and play guard. Youíre always working that ability for him to have that versatility.
Q: Have you ever discussed changing the line up?
A: Right now, Bobby is the fifth best offensive lineman. Heís ascending and heís getting better. Heís doing some nice things. The hard thing for someone like a Bobby Hart, a young offensive lineman is consistency. Thatíll come. Heís working at it and doing a nice job in the classroom.
Q: Heís the fifth-best including Newhouse?
A: Yes, the fifth-best right now. Thatís why heís starting.