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Cole Cubelic Believes Matt Elam still has the Ability to Play in the NFL


Matt Elam transformed from a powerful five-star recruit to a fizzling reserve.

Elam was used sparingly as a freshman before he was forced into a starting role as a sophomore, following Melvin Lewis’ season-ending injury.  With 23 tackles in 2015, Elam appeared to be turning a corner, set up for a breakout junior season.  Instead, he was absent from the stat-sheet for ten games and recorded just nine tackles, two less than his freshman total.

Even though Elam’s trajectory tends to favor the pessimist, Cole Cubelic believes Elam can still turn around his career.

“It’s pretty obvious that we’re all waiting on Matt Elam to sort of morph into what he can be.  His ability is not mythical.  It’s there,” the former Auburn center and SEC Network analyst told Freddie Maggard on The Depth Chart Podcast.

“It’s just, he’s gotta harness it.  He’s gotta get his weight under control and find some consistency.  Then he could play in the NFL for a really long time because you don’t just get guys who are 6’5″-6’6″ and over 330 pounds that can move that way.”

For some, push has to come to shove for the player to decide it’s time to change.  With just a year left, Cubelic believes urgency can transform Elam into the player we thought he would be.

“If he can get in shape.  He was 340 at one time last year, and that’s manageable for him.  If he balloons back up to over 355-365, that’s when it gets problematic because you get two good plays and you’re done.  I think he’s a guy that if he can find a way to get into shape, and a lot of times that light goes on right before the senior season or late in the career.  Guys realize all of a sudden, ‘Man, I’ve only got one more year to do this.’ That’s when it comes on a lot of times.  I saw it happen firsthand.  So if he can come around, I think the gut on the interior of that d-line could be solid.”

Hear everything Cubelic and Freddie had to say on The Depth Chart Podcast.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

10 Comments for Cole Cubelic Believes Matt Elam still has the Ability to Play in the NFL

  1. WeareBBN
    12:02 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, don’t know who this Cole guy is but he must be a comedian. I have said from day 1 Fatt Elam is overrated, huge guy playing small schools against kids that simply could not move his weight. He is too slow and gets no drive up the field. Has this Cole seen him play, the comment about he can move that way was almost funnier than the title. Love my C-A-T-S but Elam was a wasted scholly.

  2. snarkster
    12:24 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    I think at this point, anything positive from Elam is a bonus. I have no idea if LeBlanc is better, worse or pretty-much the same as Brumbaugh in terms of coaching ability, but I do know he is not the same person and just maybe he’ll be able to reach Matt and flip a switch. Maybe not, but there’s not much to lose.

  3. blueballs80
    1:24 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    Anytime you have a juco player come in and take your nose tackle spot after being in the program for 3 years, that says a lot. Either he is not motivated, gets discouraged easily or is not cut out for the position. Either way if he can’t get it done this year, that would not make a good ending. Then again how many nose tackles are 6″5 ,6″6. That has to be hard on his knees getting good pad level. I always felt the coaching staff should have moved him to the Oline.

    • StuckinLville
      8:58 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

      Just realized you said the same thing. Glad I am not the only one then.

  4. Angelo
    2:18 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    Seahawks might kick his butt into a defensive line slot. Half the team is undfafted free agents…

  5. Walter White
    2:37 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    Elam is a waste of a roster spot and has been overrated since before he got here. He has no motivation or drive. In high school the coaches tried to get him in shape by doing a “biggest loser” challenge with him. All the coaches lost weight and Elam gained.

  6. playmorezeppelin
    6:16 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    I thought this was a Herald Leeder article at first.

  7. StuckinLville
    8:56 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    I still say he is playing on the wrong side of the ball. He’s just too tall for a DT because he can’t get under anyone. I’ve noticed his stance is terrible, he squats like the O Line instead of down in the dirt. I’d say the kid does have talent, but it’s up to the coaches to put these players in the best position possible and it reminds me of Micah Johnson playing LB instead of DE. No reason he shouldn’t have had a decent NFL career, but he was playing the wrong position.

  8. TJY
    9:05 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    Is there any chance that UK wanted a 5 Star guy so badly, to beat out Alabama for a player, that they treat him differently than other players? To compare look at the way LSU treated Ben Simmons vs if he had come to UK to play. Cal has plenty of 5 star guys so he treats them as players that need to learn and work to get better but other schools are just happy to get the 5 star player and will walk on egg shells and treat him with kid gloves. The only other option is that Elam doesn’t really like football and doesn’t want to put in the work. I really expected him to shed weight and turn fat into muscle…if you don’t love football, if you don’t want to do it for yourself, no one is going to be able to get the results out of you.

  9. W F Reserve
    9:56 am February 23, 2017 Permalink

    Matt Elam needs to redshirt this season and dedicate it to getting in better shape. A year of weight room and managing his diet. Then, he might have a chance to play at the next level.