As most everyone knows former NY Jets Offensive Line Coach Tony Wise has been hired. Wise had been an NFL Offensive Line coach for 18 years. In 1977 he was on the same Pitt staff that Dave Wannstedt got his coaching start on. By all indications Wise is a trusted friend of Wannstedt and has worked with him on several occasions in the NFL.
What does this all mean for the Panthers beleaguered O-Line? Well I think the main improvement to the O-Line is going to be technique. You don't work for 18 years in the NFL without knowing a thing or two about technique. Hopefully, Wise can bring some fire and enthusiasm to our talented albeit young offensive line. Guys like Lucas Nix and Chris Jacobsen have all the talent in the world to make it at this level and Wise is going to have to nurture them. I'm pretty excited about the change in coaching for the offensive line just because of the way that players seemed to regress under Paul Dunn. Also anybody who throws an injured player back into a game and cost him the rest of the season deserves to lose his job (Jason Pinkston playing at Michigan St with one arm).
Losing a projected first round pick in Jeff Otah is going to be the immediate task in spring. The obvious choice is to move Pinkston to left tackle but perhaps Wise goes another way. We have plenty of bodies now; barring catastrophic injury situations which seem to be a Pittsburgh disease over the past few months. We are going to be replacing two 5th year seniors at right guard and center. Center appears to in experienced hands with Rob Hauser the JUCO transfer. Guard is going to be a great battle going into spring ball with Joe Thomas and Chris Jacobsen the front runners. Also who is going to be the other tackle?
Wise is coming into a much improved situation over what Paul Dunn had to deal with last year. With the level of talent we currently have at O-Line he needs to have an immediate impact. Young players are going to need to be ready by the opener against Bowling Green. I don't see how anybody could do much worse than Dunn so Wise should be an improvement.