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OU offensive line reserves may see some time

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, Modified: August 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm •  Published: August 7, 2010

— Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said competition on the offensive line is closer than it's been in recent years. That's why the staff might consider rotating in a few reserves.

An offensive line is viewed as a cohesive group that needs to play together. O-linemen are different than wide receivers, defensive tackles or other positions where backups routinely rotate in.

That's changing.

While it's still ideal to have five clear-cut starters that develop chemistry to pick up blitzes and produce gaping holes for running backs, some teams no longer play all five offensive linemen all 80 snaps.

"Some guys may only play 45 or 55 snaps a game," Wilson said. "Maybe because we don't have a phenomenally superior great one, maybe our second guy is about good as the (starter). We'll see... Will all 12 guys play? No. But the space from 12 to 1 is a lot closer than it's been the past couple of years."

Some coaches insert the second-team unit a few series every game. Others pick spots to insert a reserve or two.

The trick is finding opportunities to rotate in offensive linemen.

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