Here's the second half of my conversation with new Michigan State offensive coordinator Dan Roushar.
Also check out Part I.
It seems like in the Big Ten, it all starts with the offensive line. Where do you see that group going and what needs to happen for you guys to reach a higher level?
Dan Roushar: We're going to have to develop more consistency. We think we've got some young players who are very, very talented, who have the makeup we're looking for, but they haven't had an opportunity to go out and prove themselves. So they've kind of been waiting in the wings and at times, getting closer. I do know this: When you look at the Big Ten or anywhere, it starts up front on both sides, your offensive and defensive lines. It'll be important that we develop guys who have playing experience through the year. We have to find two tackles to start, we get both guards back and we have to find somebody to play center, but I think we have those types of kids in the program.
What will your involvement be with the offensive line?
DR: I'm going to be involved with the offensive line. Mark Staten and I worked together up front. He's been technically the tight ends/tackles coach and I've handled the offensive line. You'll see more of a role reversal so that I can be involved in the entire offense, including the passing game, and have the opportunity to have relationships with each guy at every position. Sometimes in that offensive line room, you can get consumed with those five guys you're coaching and the 16, 18, 20 guys on the team who play that position.
You've been a play-caller before, but what will be the adjustment going back to that role?
DR: I'm looking forward to it. Sometimes as a play-caller, you can get far too much credit and far too much criticism. From an offensive coordinator standpoint like [Don Treadwell] did, you become a leader. You use all your resources including your coaches and develop the single most important part: your plan, your plan of attack going in on Saturday and then implementing and practicing that plan throughout the week. I've been very fortunate to be a play-caller at every school I've worked at except for Cincinnati, so I'll draw on those experiences. Like having a bad play, you'll have a bad call, but at the end of the day, you've got to be able to move past that. The key is playing to your strengths and also recognizing where you aren't as strong and protecting your weaknesses.
What's your relationship like with Kirk [Cousins]? How much have you worked with him in the past?
DR: I never felt like I've been removed from our skill guys. The offensive line and the quarterbacks, [QBs coach] Dave Warner and myself, we've worked very, very closely together. I've had the opportunity to be around Kirk at his very best moments. He's got a lot of passion for football. Over the course of the last couple years, he and I have had a lot of opportunities to share thoughts and go back and forth. We've got a relationship, and I'm looking forward to having that relationship grow. We're very lucky to have coach Warner coaching the quarterbacks, very lucky to have Kirk returning and we've got a talented guy in there behind him in Andrew [Maxwell]. So that's a positive thing.