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Coach Q&A: Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu

How did you go from being a defensive tackle at Springfield College to an offensive line coach?
"It was funny, my very first job I was going to be a graduate assistant at Ithaca College and I went there as the defensive line coach and when I showed up the offensive line coach never showed and the head coach Jim Butterfield, came to me and said 'Hey, I'd like you to work on the offensive side of the ball.' Then I kind of liked it and stuck with it for however many years it's been."

After working 24 years at the collegiate level before coaching in the NFL, how do you think coaching college players differs from NFL players?
"I think college kids have a lot going on. They have school, more time restrictions. The great thing about coaching in the NFL is the only thing you really have to really do is football all day. It's more of a job. They're here in the morning, work a full day and then they go home to their personal lives and college they have 9,000 things going on and it's a little bit different."

Does having so much college experience help in the NFL?
"I think football's football. The biggest difference I see is in college, you have a smaller offense and you practice more as far as the number of plays and as opposed to in the NFL, you have a greater number of plays and practice them less. I know that sounds funny, but that is reality. Sometimes you might not have an opportunity to practice everything on the call sheet during the week, but somewhere along the way it's been repped and it's a concept."

How beneficial has it been working with Head Coach John Fox for so many years?
"I think the thing that's good about is I know what he expects. It's kind of like being married, I guess. I know some of the things he's going to say before he says them. We have a good working relationship so it's been a smooth transition for me."

How important is it having Ryan Clady back?
"I think the two most important things going into this year is obviously having Ryan back, because he's one of the be premiere left tackles in the league and moving Orlando inside. I think those have been two things that have helped us out tremendously."

Are you happy with progress of the line as players have been moving around so much?
"Yes, I still think we have a long way to go and we need to keep working on the details and being a little bit more specific. I think we've made a lot of progress and I like the direction we're moving right now."

How important is it for linemen to be versatile and able to play multiple positions?
"I think the more you can do, the more valuable you are to a football team. I'm not going to move Clady around, he's going to play left tackle, but we have Orlando who can play right tackle if he had to, he could actually go over and play left guard and right guard if he had to. Louis [Vasquez] has played right tackle. Manny's [Ramirez] played guard. I think when you have flexibility, if God forbid, if there is an injury, you can play the next best guy and you might have to make two moves to get the next best guy on the field but it gives you different options."

How did that versatility help the line when Clady got hurt?
"That gave Chris Clark a lot of playing time, a lot of experience and whether it's on the right side or the left side, the mental part of it, at least he saw a lot of different looks. He experienced a lot of different things, so that's a positive."

How helpful is it for the offensive line to go against DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller in practice?
"I think that stuff is priceless. We do spend a lot of time working against the defensive line and some of the best experiences I've had with players making players better, we were in Carolina and Jordan Gross worked against Julius Peppers every day and it's good competition but they help one another. Here you've got DeMarcus, his expertise is rushing the passer. He's very detailed and he helps the tackles out along with Von and the rest of the defensive line. I think we do the same for them. We do spend a lot of time together, saying 'Hey, if you're doing this, I'm going to do that.' It's like a chess game. So if those guys keep exchanging what the next move is, both sides of the ball really do get better."

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