One Fan’s Opinion: Defensive Dreams

Written April 29th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

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:

  1. Doran Grant gets forgotten about at times with all the talented youth waiting in the wings. We need to remember this is a former 5 star recruit who is suited to be more physical at the line of scrimmage using his hands and size. I really think he has a big year and finally shows he is the player we recruited. He will also be counted on to be more of a leader this year as we have a lot of youth on the depth chart.
  2. Eli Apple/Gareon Conley will both play a lot this year, though it will be a dog fight to see who gets the starting nod if they can beat out (Armani Reeves), which I think happens by mid-season at the latest. Both players are taller cornerbacks (6’1) that are rangy with speed and good hips. One play during the Spring Game I seen Apple “lay the wood” to Corey Smith as he attempted to catch a pass over the middle making me realize what a good hitter he is as well. Conley covered very well and had his hands involved frequently. In a nut shell, if they both stay healthy and out of the dog house, the sky is the limit for both these young men!
  3. Vonn Bell if healthy is penciled in as one starter at Safety. He missed most of the spring with a torn MCL, and it’s being said he “should” be ready for fall camp which we need. He is fast, athletic, a strong tackler but most impressive is his Ball Hawking ability. He will be fun to watch.
  4. Cam Burrows is a 6’0 converted Cornerback that I think will be the other starting safety. He has good coverage skills and will also be able to be an enforcer up in the box when asked. I am really excited about his potential and cannot wait to see him live in action. The only area of concern right now is depth (especially with the Thompson transfer) but once the rest of this recruiting class arrives, we improve right away in that area. Erik Smith is the one kid who I think will be in the 2 deep almost as soon as he walks on campus and contribute!

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

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? Read More

Inside Ohio State: Questions Heading Into The Spring Game

Written April 11th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Our friends at Campus Insiders get you ready for the Spring Game with this look at the aspect of the Scarlet and Gray that has gotten the most attention from Urban Meyer:

New Silver Bullet Points In The Clip

Written January 15th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Welp, here we are Buckaroos… the Basket Bucks and Football version both have two game losing streaks. Nevertheless, there’s great things happening in Columbus…. give this a listen as we dive right in.

Buckeye 411

  • Choose Wisely- Amidst the chaos of the past week or so in Ohio State shootyhoops, it might be easy to miss that Aaron Craft (swoon) has been named a finalist for the Wooden Cup, a great award that recognizes on and off court performance and certainly doesn’t look anything at all like I thought it might.
  • n00bs- Ohio State welcomed seven new Buckeyes earlier this month, as the January enrollees began their steps toward their scarlet and gray legacies.  So, it’s now officially OK to start getting excited about QB Stephen Collier, LB Raekwon McMillan, OL Kyle Trout, OL Marcelys Jones, WR/DB Curtis Samuel, K Sean Nuernberger, and WR Johnnie Dixon
  • Coaching Hires- The biggest news on Tuesday was the conclusion of the Ohio State coaching searches, with both defensive positions being filled within a 12 hour period. (Technically, they can’t be filled until posted for a certain amount of time, but it’s all but done). Monday night, whispers started that former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. had been approached by Ohio State to fill the position left when Coach Vrable left to join the Houston Texans. “Approached” soon turned into “All but accepted”, and by Tuesday it was all but considered as a sure thing. This was solidified around lunchtime, when the news then broke that Ohio State had found their defensive coordinator, former Arkansas and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash (who also worked with Tom Herman at Iowa State and Brady Hoke in San Diego).  After the jump, we’ll give you a chance to get to know these new fellers a bit more, but for now- Welcome to Buckeye Nation!
  • More Coaching Options? With all of the shuffling around, it was interesting to hear that Jim Caldwell, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts had been tabbed as the new leader for the Detroit Lions.  What made it especially unique was the possibility that he might bring former Buckeye coach Jim Tressel along with him… which certainly makes sense, given their brief relationship with the Colts and the obvious other reason. Alas, it looks like the possibility may have just been wishful thinking on the part of Buckeye fans wanting to troll that state up north.
  • Still Crankin’ Out The Hits- Even though it’s the off-season, Ohio State’s Sammy Silverman brings great visual reminders of Buckeye excellence, including our header photograph and this great gem: Read More
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