Weekend Wonderings

Written January 12th, 2014 by Ken

th_chimpWelcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The Buckeye football season ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The basketball teams are beginning to engage in conference play to keep our attention.

Hopefully none of you suffered too much from the recent polar vortex induced weather. And if you did, you’re thawed out by now.  Grab whatever beverage you’d like and let’s proceed.

The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society  just announced the award of  $12.5 million in grants to 21 studies in 6 areas. Please click the link to get the details. Among the awardees:

  • Robert Baiocchi, M.D., Ph.D., The Ohio State University Research Foundation. Targeting PRMT5 expression in DLBCL and MCL

In response to requests for proposals (RFPs) from researchers in these six critical areas, LLS has awarded these grants under its Translational Research Program (TRP), an initiative designed to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from the lab to the clinic. Each grant is for a three-year duration with a total value of $600,000.

Good luck Dr. Baiocchi.

Here’s a two-fer for you. Sign up for a fitness boot camp conducted by John Simon/Anthony Schlegel and make a contribution to the Urban and Shelly Meyer Fund. It’s never too soon to start on your New Year’s resolutions while contributing to a significant cause.


The football season is over and the Buckeyes ended it with a whimper, not a bang. Jason did a nice article on Wednesday. I want to riff a bit on it. My take, briefly, is that whatever performance issues OSU had were due in large part to the coaching staff structure.

  • Too many Coordinators: Having 4 co-coordinators, 2 on each side of the ball, is 2 too many. On offense, it was Herman and Warriner. On defense it was Fickell and Withers. There may be responsibility, but not much accountability. There needs to be one functional head. Maybe Urban had to hand out “Co-coordinatorships” to entice coaches to build his staff.
  • Too many Coaches: .. on Defense. Particularly in the Secondary. A quick bit of research indicated that a significant majority of good defensive teams had either a Secondary Coach or a Defensive Backfield Coach. They did not have a Safety Coach nor a Cornerback Coach. At least structurally, this may explain why a unit that was supposed to be a team strength (defensive backfield) turned out to be a liability.  Yeah, yeah, I know about injuries; but that doesn’t appear why the ‘next men up’ appeared to be unsure of what to do. Unless they were coached to faceguard and not look for the ball.
  • Furthermore..: As long as I’m on the topic, the Special Teams were a bit confusing to me as well. Kerry Coombs was listed as SP-Coordinator, yet Urban took them under his wing.
  • Dual duty coaches: I’d like to see a change or two here. With Fickell, maybe the dual duties of DC/LB coach are too much. I’d like to see him with a season of one or the other in the offseason. Now, with Herman, as the season progressed, I’m not sure the playcalling did. The down-the stretch playcalling in the MSU and Clemson games didn’t seem to be all that coherent, and it seemed we veered from our strengths at the most inopportune times. Trying to get too cute rarely works,, as we saw.
  • Which leads me to..: Urban really needs to reassess his Staff. Part of our defensive issues may have been resolved when Everett Withers to the HC job at JMU. Coombs needs to be closely evaluated as well. He either was or wasn’t the ST-Coordinator and the cornerback play was iffy, at best. I was pleased/impressed with the performance of the units coached by Warriner, Drayton, Hinton, Smith and Vrabel. Apparently, others have as well. This week, Mike Vrabel has accepted a coaching position with the Houston Texans. Mr. Vrabel, thank you and best of luck you you and your family.
  • Does anyone have Jim Heacock’s phone number? Just asking..
  • Finally: I did quite a bit of snow shoveling these past few days, and after each “session”, I place my gloves and knit hat next to a furnace vent to dry them out. The bonus? They are toasty warm for the next day’s shoveling. Ah, the small pleasures of life.

Sunday’s Song

While we’re waiting for the snow to melt in western NY, we’re seeking Shelter from the Storm.


  1. CharlesNo Gravatar
    January 12th, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Definitely good news for The James, love your updates on the good work being done there.

    I agree with you on the number of coaches issue, as the old saying goes, too many cooks spoil the soup. With that many coordinators it is hard to hold people properly accountable.


  2. KenNo Gravatar
    January 12th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks, Charles. The staff at the James dies crucial research and treatment work, and I think it’s important that people are aware of their efforts.


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