After losing three starters from last season, one would think the secondary would be in rebuilding mode at camp. Like the rest of the defense, that has not been the case at all. The starters (with one small exception) have been set from day one.
Continuity in the secondary is important, and the Buckeyes have had plenty of it so far. Outside of the offensive line, communication and coordination is more important in the secondary than anywhere else on the football field, and having the same players together helps out tremendously.
I have been very impressed by the secondary during practice. Despite three new starters, they all play (and most importantly communicate) like seasoned veterans.
Bold prediction time: despite the attrition, the 2011 defensive backs will be better than a year ago.
Here is a player by player breakdown of the two-deep. Read More
After much speculation and rumors, the article that possibly expedited the end of the Ohio State careers of Jim Tressel (and Terrelle Pryor?) went online at Sports Illustrated this evening.
In it, author George Dohrmann raps up a six week investigation into Ohio State football and other aspects of life in the WHAC. As you can imagine, it’s not flattering.
Sports Illustrated is alleging that the number of student athletes who have exchanged memorabilia for tattoos is actually 28, and not the 6 that were originally named. After interviewing former employees at two Columbus area tattoo parlors, this number also includes nine Buckeyes currently with the program- Jamaal Berry, C.J. Barnett, Bo DeLande, Dorian Bell, Zach Domicone, John Simon, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, and Nathan Williams
Also in the piece, SI alleges that some of the exchanges of memorabilia was for marijuana, and that players often partook while they were at the various tattoo establishments.
The Buckeyes have to reload on defense more in 2011 than any year since 2006. If you remember back, the 2006 defense had to replace all time great A.J. Hawk amongst many others. The task was daunting, but players like James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins quickly emerged as the next great Buckeye defenders. A defense full of newcomers helped lead the team to a perfect regular season and a trip to the national title game.
Will Etienne Sabino be the next Laurinatis? Will Travis Howard be the next Jenkins? If anything, the players this season have more experience under their collective belts than the 2006 group did, which bodes well for the silver bullets.
Jim Tressel has received plenty of criticism on offense over the years, but on defense there is not much to complain about. The Buckeyes have been a top ten ranked D annually under Tressel regardless of attrition each year, and this season should be no different.
Here are the players to watch in the spring game who will look to continue the defensive tradition of excellence. Read More
With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.
[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]
This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.
Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.
So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.
My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!
My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.
Redemption through wins.
Off field BS be damned.
Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.
Like the annual haircut (whether needed or not), a new “look” makes a world of difference, no? Since all of the cool kids were getting new school clothes, we thought in only appropriate to join in on the blog couture arms race.
Big thanks to Chad of Digital:Construct, an OSU alum who was great to work with (even upgraded the old Etch-a-Sketch) throughout the process.
Now, news and notes from the intertubes:
REPORTER: You’ve lost 41 times playing other Ohio colleges.
COACH TRESSEL: You said that last year but you used 40.
REPORTER: Can you imagine what it would be like –
COACH TRESSEL: You asked the same question. You’ve got to get new material.
REPORTER: I need a better answer maybe.
COACH TRESSEL: What was my answer last time?
REPORTER: I don’t remember.
COACH TRESSEL: Then how do you know it wasn’t good? You weren’t pleased with it, but you don’t know what it was. Man!
No Clue At All: I know I’m a little late on this, but it’s been a busy week…
in various online fantasy football and baseball leagues. In all instances, he paid an entry fee and played for a chance to win prizes, which meets the NCAA definition of sports wagering.
Not only did the former head coach participate in wagering, he also purchased an online fantasy football business and oversaw its operations as part owner and managing partner. In 2008, the former volunteer coach, who was already employed by the university at the time, was hired by the former head coach to work in this business. The former volunteer coach acted as “commissioner” of the fantasy leagues, coordinating the competitions and monitoring the selection of players by those who paid entry fees to participate. In the spring of 2008, he traveled to Las Vegas to oversee a live “draft.”
Today is full of all sorts of goodies. First the interactive guide, now the newest depth chart has been released.
The biggest surprise is that not only has Andrew Sweat surpassed Etienne Sabino (the front runner in the spring) at strong side linebacker, but Sabino is now listed at middle linebacker.
Another big surprise is C.J. Barnett listed ahead of Orhian Johnson at strong safety. Johnson was also the favorite for that spot in the spring.
Some pleasant surprises from the young guys include Johnathan Hankins cracking the two deep at tackle, Adam Bellamy listed as the primary backup behind Heyward at strong side end, Christian Bryant listed as an alternate at Star, and Andrew Norwell as the primary backup at right tackle.
These moves are clearly a reflection of who stood out during the jersey scrimmage this past Saturday or during fall camp in general. Either way, they give us a good idea of where things stand heading into game week.
Some of the changes could also be motivation for certain players to pick their play up as game week approaches, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some additional changes by next Thursday.