Success starts up front for the Red & Black

Success starts up front for the Red & Black
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:19 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Watertown Red & Black are off to a 4-0 start for the first time in recent memory and the defending EFL champs’ early success on offense can be attributed to the big boys up front.

Most battles on the gridiron are won in the trenches and that’s not different for the Red & Black.

The Red & Black boast one of the best offensive lines in the Empire Football League, which has helped the team get off to a quick start this season.

Watertown offensive line coach Michael Briggs says the key to the success of his group centers on depth and talent.

“We have the blessing of depth this year,” he said. “We have gotten some news guys come in. A couple of guys from Plattsburgh, a couple rookies that we’ve been able to add to the room and we are deep. We are deep and we are talented and we’re just trying to show our multiplicity there.”

Briggs says the Red & Black currently have 11 offensive linemen on the roster and adds he feels comfortable plugging any one of those players into the lineup at any time.

“It’s imperative that we have that much depth,” he said. “It’s a long season, it’s a grind -- guys get hurt, we do have some guys that are in the military that are going to get deployed so to have that kind of depth and optionality at the position it’s going to pay big dividends going into hopefully the postseason.”

As for the players up front, they say despite not getting much publicity, they know their teammates recognize how important they actually are.

“It’s rough and yeah, none of the lineman really get much, any talk about,” Nicholas Embry said. “It’s crazy because we do the heavy dirty work and heavy load lifting of every team. They’re happy that we’re doing a great job in protecting them and getting them their yards.”

“Everyone has good chemistry, everyone gets in,” Cody Hartle said. “We do a very good job of getting a good rotation and I think everybody gets an even amount of playing time. There’s no one that’s better than the others and we have a really good starting five that can get the ball running whether it’s the ground game or the air game.”

Briggs says working with this group has made his job a whole lot easier.

“These guys have really come together and bought into the system, bought into each other and it’s a beautiful thing,” he said. “They’ve come together on the field and off.”

The Red & Black face off against Plattsburgh Saturday night in their first home game of the season.

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