Earlier this week, Missouri junior offensive lineman, Elvis Fisher, took time to visit with ShowMeMizzou. The Tigers' starting left tackle talked about last week's game, and his performance, as well as that of the Tigers' offensive line, and about their upcoming opponent, San Diego State.
Against McNeese State, Fisher only played about half of the game before giving way to the number two unit. Fisher said that he felt better physically following a shorter than usual stint, a said that the entire first unit would benefit from the rest afforded by having such a big lead that the back-ups could get such extensive work.
Fisher talked about an interesting phenomenon that may be unique among this year's offensive linemen. Fisher, Dan Hoch, and Jack Meiners are roommates, and are good friends with the other offensive linemen, as well. He said that after the game, they all get together and rehash the game, and discuss what went on during the game. Not only do these sessions build camaraderie, but it also helps build communication, and helps with the development of the younger players.
Elvis pointed out that he was the only one of the top three tackles who played just one position against McNeese State. Hoch and Meiners each played on both sides of the line during the game. Hoch played left tackle when Meiners played on the right side, then Meiners played on the left side when Kirk Lakebrink came into the game at right tackle. Fisher also pointed out that Justin Britt and Travis Ruth each played both center and guard during that game.
Fisher said that everyone along the offensive line graded out well against McNeese State, and talked about everyone benefiting from the post game get-togethers.
"I've got to keep learning," said Fisher. "Plus, when I help (Jayson) Palmgren or Britt learn, it helps me learn. Because, I try to see things that they ask questions about. So, it's good that everyone talks to each other, and everyone communicates, so we're all on the same page."
Fisher said that he thinks the Tigers' offensive line is a lot better than a year ago. He cited experience, improved blocking technique by everyone, and improved communication. He also indicated that they are better at film study, too. It was interesting to hear him talk about all of this, especially since I've witnessed the improvement on the field all throughout pre-season camp, and in the early games.
Looking ahead to San Diego State, Fisher addressed some of the challenges that the offensive line faces this week.
"They look like they're a good team," said Fisher, talking about the Aztecs. "They look like they blitz a whole heck of a lot................ They play hard. They literally twist and do some kind of blitz like every down. So, we've got to be prepared. We've got to prepare just as much or even more than we did last week."
Fisher may not realize it just yet, but he's becoming one of the leaders on the team, especially among the offensive linemen. They're an experienced unit, and a close-knit group with good camaraderie. Those factors spell improved communication and improved cohesion.