tBBC Roundtable: Spring Wrap-up

Written April 17th, 2014 by WVaBuckeye
The BIG show with Matt Finkes is on The GAME

Finkes makes it a BIG Show!

tBBC loves to do round-tables and I in particular really enjoy the interaction that I have with fans and  former Buckeyes who have helped out here. This round is no different, we welcome back my buddies from The Game in Columbus 95.5 and the guys from the new BIG show with Matt Finkes, and producer Adam Sabie. They can be heard weekday mornings from 9-12 and bring you some great co-hosts, and have a nice format for all.

I will be introducing you to a super fan in this round of questions in Michael Doty Sr. who is a U.S. Air Force veteran, a huge Buckeye fan and as many others do, put’s his family first. I had the privilege of meeting Sr. recently as he stopped in my area for lunch on his way to a party in Columbus called the Spring Game, which just happened to be his first time in #TheSHOE. Sr. does his homework and knows his Buckeyes, we welcome him to his first go around with us.

Sr and me before he heads on to Columbus

Before the Spring Game

As usual, we have our own guys putting in their most important two-cents worth. I have included links in all of our participants names so you can follow them on that twitter thingy. Lets get started!

From the start of practices to the game Saturday, who stood out to you the most on Offense and why?

Matt FinkesBrionte Dunn. Stronger more physical and has home run speed now.

Adam Sabie –    I want to say that Cardale Jones stood out the most on offense to me.  Not because his performance in the Spring Game was great, but because he clearly has potential and that, if it were developed, could be great for the Buckeyes.  One thing he and Barrett definitely need to work on though is their deep ball passing.  Jones is still a year away, so let’s hope that he can practice on that for whenever he takes over for injured Braxton mid-season.
Michael Doty Sr. - Let start by saying no player stood out but I will say that Brionte Dunn looked like all business out there.  Very improved and ran hard and determined….I see him be #2 on the depth chart with fall practice opens. I was also impressed with Corey Smith’s ability  to get open and his speed, needs to work on his hands though.
MaliI was impressed with Jacoby Boren, to be honest… we know he comes from good stock, but there’s always been a concern that he was undersized for the center position.  On Saturday, I thought he played pretty well, and I’ve been really excited to hear about his role as a team leader throughout the pre-season.
Patrick - I guess I’d have to say the receiving corp. You keep hearing good things out of Michael Thomas and Corey Smith. No doubt this group needs to improve.
WVaEven though he did disappoint in the spring game itself, I was impressed with Nick Vannett and him stepping up with Heuerman being out of commission. Nick showed some flashed last season of being a guy who should be on the field at the same time as Jeff. There’s only so many footballs to go around but Nick has probably earned his reps now.

From the start of practices to the game Saturday, who stood out to you the most on Defense and why?

Raekwon is in the house already and maiking an impact now

Raekwon is in the house already and making an impact now

 Matt Finkes - McMillian. He has the natural instincts and doesn’t repeat mistakes. Has a way to go but my $ is on him to start.
Adam Sabie - RAEKWON MCMILLAN.  This guy is a stud.  Simply, he looks like he already belongs and that he is a seasoned vet as a freshman.  Clearly there will be a learning curve once games actually start, but as a Buckeye fan, I am excited to see what he plays like down the road.
Michael Doty Sr. - To me this is simple. Eli Apple played a great game. He was all over the receivers and proved he is a hitter. Tyquan Lewis with two sacks and I can’t remember how many disruptions…..but the kid is a player and will be in LJ’s rotation. That leaves me to Michael Hill #77……this kid was a disruptive force on that DL Saturday… in my opinion we will be seeing great things from this kid who seems to fly under the radar.
Mali - In general I really liked watching the secondary- a lot more aggressive (as was to be expected) and disciplined- only one “guy running around wide open”, in spite of the fact that it was a “mix and match” unit of first teamers and backups.
Patrick - Again, the name you keep hearing is Raekwon McMillan. He’ll be huge for the success of the defense. 
WVA -  There’s a really good reason for the new press coverage scheme and movement of players to include two safeties and maybe no more star. That reason is the beastmode d-line that we saw on Saturday. The new d-line coach, Larry Johnson and secondary coach Chris Ash are going to give opposing QB’s less time to throw the ball and that in itself will effect accuracy. We saw this in the two back-ups on Saturday. Pressure all around will be the key to getting beat every so often versus every pass play.

Who disappointed you in regards to their lack of input to the spring that you maybe expected more out of?

 Matt Finkes - No particular guy but thought the WR group would show up a little more than they did.
Adam Sabie -  I have to go Rod Smith here.  Where has he been? Wasn’t he at one time heralded as the next Eddie George?  It seems that Ezekiel Elliot and Dontre Wilson, by committee, have left Smith no chance for time on the field.  Rod Smith had the chance to take over the running back position once Carlos Hyde left, but unfortunately he hasn’t taken advantage of that opportunity.
Michael Doty Sr. - Every offensive lineman with the exception of two, with that being said I’m not sure if they were that bad or our DL was just that good.
Mali - Offensively- I’ve been a fan of Rod Smith since he was in High School… it’s heartbreaking to see that he’s not managed to make that next step for whatever reason.

Defensively- Trey Johnson got some playing time last season, but hasn’t been mentioned at all this spring… as much as linebacker is a concern, you’d think that he’d find a spot to blow some people up.
Patrick - The quarterback play, I was hoping to see a lot out of JT Barrett
WVa -  I am in the same boat as Matt Finkes here. I am surprised the WR group didn’t perform more as a whole. But in past springs we have seen QB’s favor one receiver over another. Let’s face it, we probably didn’t need to really see a whole lot out of these guys as much as we think. If they come out on fire in the fall? That will be a different story.

Which back-up QB performed the best, why you feel they did and give us a Kenny G rating for them. On a scale from 1 – 10, 1 being nowhere near the smooth one and a 10 being Kennylicious(yes I said it).

"You get back out there and play another year . . , right now"

“You get back out there and play another year . . , right now”

Matt Finkes - Jones 6, Barrett 4
Adam Sabie -  I liked Cardale Jones, but there is some clear improvements that he needs to make as far as passing goes.  He’s no where near “Kennylicious”, but on a scale of one to ten, I’ll give him a 6.
Michael Doty Sr. - I was not impressed with the QB play at all. Cardale has his moments and I would grade him out a 6 due to experience and JT Barrett a 5. I was disappointed to say the least.
Mali - Cardale was better by far, although that’s not saying much. It’s really hard to assess the QB’s- the defense knew they were throwing it, and were prepared accordingly.  I’d give him a “6″ on the G-meter.
Patrick - Neither, and I give them both a grade of Bausermanesque. (new word?)
WVa -  Let’s be honest, there will never be another Kenny G. The kid will honestly be a legend in Buckeye lore because of what he did on the field in Braxtons absence. To be honest, I have been a Cardale fan from the get go and think he did pretty well considering what was asked of him. I’ll put him right in the middle on the G-Meter at a 5, but he’s has a tremendously talented upside, much more than Kenny did and we know we will see Cardale during the fall at some point.

In as many words as you need, what are your over-all feelings about the spring? Anything from Tix prices debacle to Coach Coombs winning the game.

Matt Finkes - Spring is never a great measuring stick for competition it’s good for learning and I think that was accomplished. 

Adam Sabie - Excitement, but steadfast in the sense that we won’t really know what this team will look like/be like in the fall.

Michael Doty Sr. - It was a great time, with a great turnout. I never try to over analyze the spring game for many reasons, so I try to enjoy the whole experience. Tailgating Friday Night, standing in line with other TOSU fans at 930 AM, watching TOSU pounce scum in Lacrosse, seeing my favorite players and coaches working there craft!!!! One of my favorite times of year.

Mali - Excited about the spring, because FOOTBALL!!  The ticket prices thing was a joke that the University should have seen coming a mile away.  It’s been interesting to read about Coach Johnson and Ash, and what they’ve brought to the defensive side of the ball.  Still not enough critical longsnapper news, though…

Patrick - A glorified scrimmage that we got to listen to a million stories from Glen Mason and we are all probably scared to death now if Braxton gets hurt. 

WVa -  For me, spring is definitely a right of passage for some of these players. The seniors are gone, it’s time to step up and take the position that they feel is theirs for the taking. There are only a few issues on offense that need shored up, Hyde’s replacement for the power game, and the big guys up front blocking for that RB. Defense is another story and it appears as though the youth moevment will continue after mentions of players who won’t be here until fall. A few that are already there have taken their opportunity to jump in feet first. Darron Lee was the star of the spring for me.

1 Comment

  1. KenNo Gravatar
    April 17th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Good roundtable, WVa, thanks.

    So, any photos of “after the Spring Game”, or did they get deleted?


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