Roushar guides Tulane offensive line toward continued growth

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Tulane football linemen spring camp
(Photo: Parker Waters)

It’s what’s up front that counts.

That phrase comes from an old cigarette commercial (remember those?) but it could be applicable for the 2023 Tulane offensive line.

Veteran coach Dan Roushar has been tasked with maintaining the level of integrity and success that the Green Wave established this past season. He spent the previous decade with the Saints with five of those as the offensive line coach. He also coached running backs and tight ends for the Black and Gold.

Roushar, who has also spent 29 seasons on the collegiate level, has been am offensive cooadinator and quarterbacks coach as well.

Needless to say, Tulane head coach Willie Fritz found a qualified man to coach his offensive line.

Roushar made a major impact on a number of linemen with the Saints, and many sing his praises. Four-time Pro Bowl tackle Terron Armstead attributes much of his NFL success to Roushar’s guidance.

“His attention to detail and demand for excellence drove me to new heights in my career,” Armstead noted.

Zach Strief, now the Denver Broncos offensive line coach, played 158 contests with New Orleans and served as a fine professional right tackle.

“Dan helped me to continue to develop as my career wound down but more importantly, he brought back my love for the game. He will do a terrific job, not only developing talent but also developing men of high character. It’s a huge win for Tulane’s program.”

The Green Wave’s starting unit from 2022 returns virtually intact, plus there is solid depth. It’s a luxury not often afforded to the program previously.

“Four starters return. It’s a good group,” stated Roushar.

To provide more quality and depth, LSU transfer Cam Wire and other up=and-coming talent are working to fulfill their promise.

“The addition of Cam Wire (helps). You have some young players in Sully Burns, Trey Tuggle. You have some good experience to draw from. We are most interested in putting the best 5 out there that we can. There is competition everyday and nothing will be handed out. Everything will be earned.”

Roushar has made it clear that there will be a high standard that will be upheld. No one returning will be allowed to rest on their laurels.

“From the older players, what we are looking for is to take a step forward in their improvement,” Roushar explained. “The tenacity and the ability to finish blocks. You have to sustain your target. That’s what we’re striving for. I am encouraged, but there is still really a lot of growth to be had.”

The offensiv eline is the most misunderstood unit on the football field for the average observer. Blocking up front is where effort is vital and learning technique plus the value of teamwork takes time and diligence. It must be played with controlled aggression and discipline. Not everyone can play there.

“The first thing that you look for is toughness,” Roushar elaborated. “You want mental and physical toughness. It’s not an easy thing to evaluate, but it’s something that you have to look closely at when you’re recruiting, when you start the evaluation process.

“The offensive lineman has to be smart. They have to make calls and communicate. They have to adapt to what they see defensively in order to do what we’re asking them to do in the run game and in protection. They have to be on point and they have to do it together as a unit.”

Dan Roushar
(Photo: William E. Anthony)

It is Roushar’s job to break it down for his players in simple terms, more so as a college coach. He is optimistic about his return to this level.

“We’re striving for improvement each drill, each day, each step. It’s been an exciting transition. It’s great to work with young players. They work really hard on the drills. We try to carry that over into team functions. I’ve been really impressed with the room. They are really a mature group, very smart. We have some young players who are growing. We see the improvement. We want it to be a consistent improvement.”

I asked Roushar to give me a brief analysis on his top options on the Tulane roster:

– OC Sincere Haynesworth, a three-time team captain. “Smart, a great leader,” Roushar said.

– RT Rashad Greene, a junior is “a very smart, very consistent player.”

– LT Cam Wire, the LSU transfer, is a talented, long prospect at 6-foot-7, improving daily. “He has to understand how to play with leverage.”

– RG Prince Pines, the 2022 FCS All-American transfer from Sam Houston is “a big man that has to learn to bend his knees consistently and apply the power he is blessed with. Very smart.”

-LG Josh Remetich, a junior our of Holy Cross, “is a very good technician.”

– Trey Tuggle, a redshirt sophomore, “has starting experience. Very good technician who can play multiple spots. Has flexibility.”

– OT Sully Burns, a long and talaented redshirt freshman at 6-7, 320 “is improving, he needs to become more physical. He has traits that we’re excited about.”

– OG Caleb Thomas, a junior, “is very smart, dependable. He can play center or guard. He has starter’s experience.”

– OC/OG Shadre Hurst was a high school wrestling champion. The red shirt freshman boasts a bench press of 405 pounds and asquat of 545 “(He’s) growing. A lot of talent, We’re figuring out where he can go. The sky’s the limit.”

One major asset for the offensive line the quarterback, and Michael Pratt enters his fourth season as the Tulane starter. Roushar’s line blocked for Drew Brees while with the Saints. He understands what it’s like to have a special signalcaller in the huddle.

“Anytime that you have a young man with that talent it makes us a lot better. He can get us out of trouble when things break down, with his feet. He throws the ball really well. He’s a good decision maker. He’s a great leader.”

Playing in the Pit is a challenge physically and intellectually on every single play. Not only must the individual succeed, but he must be in sync with his linemates. If blocks are missed, plays fail. Turnovers happen. Games are lost.

“The line will see multiple pressures,” Roushar explained. “You have to look for an athlete with movement qualities. You look for power traits. You have to have someone that demonstrates power, but has balance. That’s contact balance, ability to react and recover with change of direction. You put all of those things together. You want a special group of guys that come together. That believe in team, that are selfless in their action and tireless workers. They must have a passion to improve.”

Dan Roushar understands that many seemingly little things add up. The challenge is to stack successful plays one after another.

“A little improvement is really a lot of improvement,” Roushar said. “If we can improve daily we should be putting a strong product out there.”

Based on Tulane recent success and Roushar’s longterm track record, one would be wise to bet on the Green Wave offensive line continuing to play its part in a winning formula.

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Rene Nadeau


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…

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