I wanted to talk about some of the talent we have on defense and how the Buckeyes’ new defensive staff will bring the most out of this talented young roster. This will be a two part article as I look at the linebackers and defensive backs.
Before I get into the staff’s new package and way of thinking defensively, I want to say something about our old “bend but don’t break” defensive package. While it was effective for many years, I think it’s just a little too passive with the development of College Football and all the spread offenses the past 5-10 years. With that being said, there is still a place for it, but that would be more for situational uses.
The one issue the Buckeyes could run into is not ensuring the defense has a true understanding of the scheme while keeping it as fresh in their minds as possible, which could turn into a nightmare. This is a good defense to play when the Buckeyes have a sizable lead that does not warrant the old “Pre-Vent defense” (which I absolutely loath).
Under the former defensive staff, our defense (attempted) to limit offenses with gadget plays or a breakdown in the scheme as their only options to move the ball. It was also easy to man up on receivers when you were giving such a cushion to the WR’s. The Buckeyes would just seek a big safety to play as the fifth defensive back, while removing a LB from the field.
That brings me to Coach Ash and his “Walkout Linebacker” role, which will be asked to do an awful lot. Finding this type of player to successfully play this position is going to take some serious evaluating and recruiting. This player must be linebacker sized and will be expected to step out and cover the slot receiver at times.
Needless to say, most linebackers do not excel in coverage, so again this will need to be a special player with speed. I mean if linebackers were that good in coverage, you would see the death of the nickel and dime packages as teams would never get out of their base defense. This position needs a new, much more “Badass” name….I think that would work right there as they will need to be one to be successful.
This could turn into a very big positive for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail as well. How great of a selling point: if you become a Buckeye, you will be able to compete for the “Badass” position and stay on the field all three downs. If you think about NFL teams and what they are looking for, a “three-down linebacker” is one (see Seattle Seahawks). That is really what it will take to be a high first round draft pick as a linebacker going forward; He must be able to cover as he will be expected to stay on the field for all three downs. Read More
Mike checks back in with part two of his post-spring look at the Ohio State football team, getting defensive this time:
When asked to write about the Silver Bullets, I cannot express to you the level of excitement and overall outlook for our beloved Buckeyes that got me pumped for the passing of summer. This will be an improved and potentially dominating defense that will make us proud as fans.
As far as I am concerned it started with the addition of Chris Ash (DC) and Larry Johnson (DL). These coaches are difference makers at practice, game time and recruiting. The impact is already present as witnessed by over 61,000 Buckeye Fans at the Spring Game.
The scheme employed by Ash will be simple, yet aggressive in the back end of the defense. He will allow the players to use their instincts and athletic ability to make plays on a consistent basis. This will mean more press coverage and much less of the “Bend Don’t Break” mentality we have witnessed in the past.
With that being said I would like to highlight a few players that stand out to me in the secondary heading into fall:
I am very confident in our young players and Coach Ash’s ability to scheme and motivate. Once healthy, this unit is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses in the passing game as well as run support. We will be a young secondary from day one but very solid and a group that will improve vastly as the season progresses.
The Linebacker group is the most concerning to me as a whole. Read More
Quick notes from week two of Ohio State’s pre-season practices. Obvious soundtrack is obvious
After a momentous day for Buckeye football, and after a few frosty beverages, here’s the staff’s reflections on the epic 2013 recruiting class!
Who’s the player on offense/defense who will make the biggest impact during his career at OSU?
Ken: Mike Mitchell. I think he has potential to have a Spielman/Katzenmoyer type career at OSU
WVa: Offense: I am going to go with one that has been in the fold for a good bit. Jalin Marshall is the guy I see coming in right away and contributing and will have a great career in Scarlet and Gray.
Defense: Tracy Sprinkle is my guy here. He looks to me to be the perfect fit to take over where Nathan Williams left off and really reminds me of my favorite Buckeye to come out of WV Darrion Scott. Good size and plays low and will show early what he has in that motor that never quits.
Tim: For me, the player who will make the biggest impact will be Cam Burrows. There is a question of whether he will play safety or corner at OSU, but wherever he finds himself playing, he will be an impact player on defense. His combination of size and speed could enable him to be a great one.
Jason: Jalin Marshall. All these kids have tremendous talent and endless possibilities, so I’ll put my eggs in the basket of the one who’s the best player in Ohio
Eric: The biggest impact defensively is likely going to be on the Defensive Line, where the Buckeyes are going to be making up the most ground. A good freshman, like Joey Bosa, could step in and really make life easier for the defense.
Offensively, that’s a little trickier. The answer is going to be whoever manages to fill the playmaker role for Urban Meyer the best. It could be Ezekiel Elliott, James Clark, or Jalin Marshall. It could also be any one of a dozen others who may prove to be extremely effective as a fast, shifty, playmaker.
Mali: I think that we’re going to see some amazing things from Dontre Wilson… I watch what DeAnthony Thomas does in Eugene, and what Harvin did with Meyer at Florida, and I can’t help but envision some fireworks from the moment he steps on campus.
I’m also excited to see what Chris Worley will bring to the table- a safety that hits like a linebacker, or a linebacker that can run with receivers… as the game gets faster, it’ll be great to have a counterpunch.
What new recruit will most likely see early playing time? Who redshirts? Read More
The weekend was just another building block for Urban Meyer. There were 50+ recruits in town that got to see a great environment, the coaches and players at an all time high in terms of excitement, and how close knit the team is. In addition all the coaches and players showing respect for the seniors that will be leaving and the field littered with underclassmen making impacts all over the field. So lets just say that all recruits were excited, they had a great time, enjoyed the game atmosphere, got to see Urban Meyer’s championship rings, and loved how everyone felt like it was a family atmosphere.
Now that we got that out of the way way we can talk about the information that really matters:
Thursday’s cup of Mulligatawny, carefully crafted for the best damn fans in the land… since you know how to ask. Fingers crossed for good weather on Saturday!