Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Eichenberg Seeing Growth From Notre Dame Offensive Line

April 4, 2019
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Notre Dame’s offensive line shined in moments in 2018, but the Irish knew there was much work to be done as they left the field following the loss to Clemson. 

Left tackle Liam Eichenberg has been one of the offensive lineman leading the charge to improve in 2019 after starting for the first time a year ago. 

“After every game, you get better and more comfortable,” Eichenberg stated. “You get used to seeing the blitzes and pressures. It makes it easier on you.” 

Consistency along the line from a personnel standpoint has also helped Eichenberg’s growth this spring. Left guard Aaron Banks has become a steady force with Josh Lugg also working in at the position. 

“I have a guard I’ve been playing next to for a while,” explained Eichenberg. “I know how he’s going to set a block. Josh Lugg is getting in there and doing a great job, but I’m playing next to guys who know what I’m seeing and we’re going to call the same stuff out. We’re not as tentative to make a mistake. I know they’ll have my back if I make a mistake. I’ve just attacked it this spring.” 

The Ohio native has always been honest with his assessment of his own game dating back to his recruitment. Eichenberg knows where he needs to improve as an individual and has made sure to focus on it this spring.

 “The biggest thing I need to improve on is bending my left leg in pass pro,” stated Eichenberg. “I need to be conscious of it and keep my left leg strong. I see it on film and I’m trying to work it in drills. It’s slowly getting there. 

“I want to attack in the run game. I want to get to the second level, attack them and knock them back.” 

As a whole, the offensive line has focused on its weaknesses from a year ago and the changes have been positive. 

“Banks has improved his footwork a tremendous amount,” said Eichenberg. “He’s not tentative or hesitating. He’s attacking it and driving his left leg through and gaining ground. It makes my job easier. Jarrett Patterson is doing a fantastic job stepping in there. He’s a great ball player and seeing everything we’re seeing. 

“Tommy (Kraemer) is the same guy as the past three years. He’s going to go in there play consistent and do his job. Rob (Hainsey) is the most consistent guy on the line. He sets the standard.” 

Notre Dame will need Patterson to step up in a significant way as losing Sam Mustipher won’t be easy to replace as he was the heart and soul of the Irish offensive line. 

“I think our offensive line is coming together well,” said Eichenberg. “Having Sam Mustipher leave was a big deal. He was a three-year starter, captain and he led our offensive line. It’s great we have Jarrett stepping in there. It’s good to have a guy who knows what he’s doing and is a physical guy who loves to attack.”

 
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