Booker Seeks More OL Improvement
Guard Tyler Booker is preaching to the Alabama offensive line congregation heading into Saturday's SEC Championship tilt with Georgia.
“What I am reiterating to our offensive line is let’s keep getting better,” Booker said Tuesday. “Week by week, we’ve been getting better. And I’m just making sure everybody remembers what people were saying about us in the beginning of the year, you know what I mean.
“JC Latham and I came out and piled a lot of big expectations for us. We didn’t meet them at first, but we’re meeting them now. Let’s keep proving people wrong. Let’s keep changing their mind. Let’s keep playing Alabama football.”
Booker knows that's what it will take to beat the top-ranked Bulldogs.
“What they do that’s unique to other teams in college football, they bring third-down pressures on early downs,” Booker said. “Like it’ll be the first play of the drive and they’re running a third-down pressure. They’re running what we like to call their ‘needed’ pressures, they need a sack. That’s just keep us on our toes and make sure that we’re being very communicative through the whole offense, not just the offensive line.”
Booker explained why the offensive line has improved after struggling against Texas and South Florida.
“We’ve grown and evolved as an offensive line so much and in so many ways, but I’d like to point out how we’ve kind of gelled a lot better,” he said. “We’re getting a better feel for everyone on the offensive line. Our technique has gotten a lot better, as well. It just took a little bit of time, you know? Every week, every day in practice, we’re getting better.
“We find something else to get better at, and that’s just due to us really wanting it and Coach Wolf driving us.”
Reporters wondered why practice footage showed the offensive line going through drills sans helmets.
“'Coach Wolf' [line coach Eric Wolford] has us not wear helmets during some drills so we don’t lean,” said Booker. “Just like if you don’t have a helmet on and a guy runs at you full speed, you’re not going to throw your head in there as if you did. So it’s just conditioning us to keep extension and make sure that we’re not leaning because once you lean, that’s when you get thrown by.”
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Gallery Credit: Buck Wilde