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Monday, March 31, 2014

Rutgers' Chris Muller works on pass blocking as starting five returns

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Following a season in which Rutgers was tied for 102nd nationally in sacks allowed per game, right guard Chris Muller says pass protection was a priority in the offseason.

"It’s finally starting to improve," Muller said last week. "I feel like I’m a lot more confident in my steps. I’m doing a lot better with it so far. Hopefully it just keeps improving.”

Muller said he worked on his hand placement, stance and agility during Rutgers' winter program. His pass protection drew early concerns because of his history in a run-first offense in high school.

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Rutgers allowed 35 sacks last season, a 24-sack rise from 2012 while introducing three new starters, including Muller.

All five starters return, along with new offensive line coach Mitch Browning, who arrived during bowl practices after Damian Wroblewski was fired.

“It’s one of the things that runs the team, the offensive line," left guard Kaleb Johnson said. "Going into this (Big Ten) conference, it’s one of the things we know we’re going to have an advantage in with all us guys together.

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