Friend of the BBC and draft aficionado Jeff joins us again to talk the NFL Draft. Jeff is a contributor on Indian’s Baseball Insider, has contributed NFL draft coverage on Sports Time Ohio, and can be found on twitter @jeffMLBdraft.
With about two weeks to go until the NFL draft, things are falling into place. The All Star games are done, the combine is long over, and pro days are all but done as well. Ohio State wrapped up their own Pro Day, so at this point things are pretty set in stone for the players.
The Pro Day was the last chance for a lot of these guys to show off what they could do, and prove to teams not only are they worth drafting but drafting high. The downside to this is that the top showing at the Pro day and the only guy who seemed to turn heads was Troy Smith, who used the Pro Day as a chance to try and get back into the NFL. It’s been frankly a rough few months for the guys in grey, so let’s see where their stock is and where I think they end up going.
Jonathan Hankins is the star of this class. When he declared some people had him listed as a top ten pick and the second defensive tackle on the board behind Star Lotulelei. Since then others have rocketed up, and while Hankins hasn’t hurt himself he has still fallen. This is often a problem for underclassmen, they don’t get to participate in the all star games and this in turn can make them forgotten. The other issue is that while the talent is without a doubt there for Hankins to be a first rounder, the question following him is why he failed to produce and why he seemed to be a low effort player. When no one can see you play, the low effort and little production will hurt you.
The NFL Combine is over. Basketball season is getting good and maybe, just maybe the Buckeyes are catching their second wind. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
NFL player factory
Seven Buckeyes were selected to participate in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. John Simon, Jonathan Hankins, Jake Stoneburner, Zack Boren, Reid Fragel, Nathan Williams and Etienne Sabino were poked, prodded and dissected by doctors and NFL executives. They then went onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for tests of agility, speed and overall skill. Read More
Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.
Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.
Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.
WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?
Gary: Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!
Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job. That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago. It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.
I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC. Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys. I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.
Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!
JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map. I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.
Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans. In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati. We don’t do this without you.
The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon. And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them. Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.
At times it hasn’t been pretty, but the bottom line is that Ohio State is still unbeaten on the 2012 season–Urban Meyer’s first as head coach.
Through just six games, the Buckeyes have had less than impressive victories over Cal and UAB. But they also had a hard-earned victory on the road against Michigan State and had an offensive outburst in a win over Nebraska.
There’s no denying Meyer’s impact on the Ohio State offense. The Buckeyes rank second in the Big Tne behind the Cornhuskers in total offense (431.5 ypg) and scoring offense (38.5 ppg).
The defense, though? Not so good. OSU ranks sixth in scoring defense at 20.5 points per game and tenth in total defense, giving up 386.5 yards per game. Both numbers will need to improve as the season goes on.
But one thing most Buckeye fans will say is that it is exciting to watch Ohio State football again.
Through six games, though, there have been ups and downs, surprises and disappointments. With that, I present to you my 2012 midseason awards on both offense and defense.
Offensive MVP: Braxton Miller (QB)
Probably the easiest choice of the group. Ohio State would not be undefeated if it didn’t have Miller. The OSU quarterback has thrown for 1,060 yards, run for 763 and accumulated 17 total touchdowns. Simply put, Miller is everything to the OSU offense.
Most Improved Player: Corey “Philly” Brown (WR)
I must admit, I didn’t see much out of Philly Brown in his first two seasons at OSU. But this year, under Meyer, Brown has improved greatly as a legitimate threat at wide receiver for the Buckeyes. Brown has 35 catches so far this season (he had just 14 last year) for 352 yards and one touchdown. Going forward, Brown will be a big part of the offense’s success.
Biggest Surprise: Offensive Line
There are no stats to back me up here as I’m just going with what my eyes see. But this year’s offensive line is the playing at the highest level we’ve seen in quite some time. With most of the same guys back from last year, and Reid Fragel moving into the starting right tackle spot, the offensive line has been extremely consistent.
Biggest Disappointment: Jordan Hall (RB) Read More
Jason joins us again with another review of the roller coaster that was this week’s game:
Have you caught your breath? Did you wake up this morning feeling a little better about yesterday’s Buckeye win? I hope so, because despite a myriad of defensive issues and an offense that at times was stuck in the mud, the boys are 3-0 and looking ahead now to Alabama-Birmingham at The Shoe this Saturday. For as angry as some aspects of the Buckeyes performance made you, you have to admit this one was pretty exciting as a spectator!
Ok, we’ll start with the bad since that’s what everyone wanted to focus on during and at the conclusion of yesterday’s 35-28 win over California. I can’t recall an Ohio State defense that tackles this poorly and takes such horrible routes to the ball carrier on the edges.
It makes my head hurt seeing guys fly to the ball and put a shoulder on someone and expect them to just go down. Football players are taught at a young age to parallel their shoulders, lift their head up, wrap with their arms and drive with their legs. It really is that simple. See what you’re hitting and wrestle it to the ground. Etienne Sabino, Christian Bryant, CJ Barnett and, unfortunately this week, Ryan Shazier I’m talking to you.
And how in the world is it possible that we see these guys chasing running backs from behind just a few yards across the line of scrimmage in the manner that we do? Are they that completely out of position or is it the angle they take to the ball carrier? I have to assume it’s a little bit of both but for the most part it appears to me to be the latter.
A lot of people blew up my twitter account during the second half with comments on how badly Luke Fickell was calling the game. I can’t speak to that, and honestly neither can any of the people claiming his defensive calls were wretched. I can tell you undoubtedly that in the first half he did an excellent job of mixing up his blitzes and keeping the Bears guessing where an attack was coming from. I can agree that, yes in fact it appeared as though they went away from that strategy in the second half. However, it doesn’t in any way indicate that Fickell was calling a bad game. His players were in positions to make plays, the problem is that they were either taking terrible angles to the ball, getting caught in the wash or being blocked.
It’s pretty apparent to me that there are some issues with communication in the back seven. How can a guy like Keenan Allen run free between Etienne Sabino and Chrisitan Bryant while both watch him go by and then chase? This type of communication breakdown has to be cleaned up or it’s going to cost them a game. Read More
Another Wednesday, another mainstream media member making less than accurately informed statements about issues they think they understand…
Jason joins us again with another review of this week’s game…
The old adage of “a win is a win” certainly rang true on Saturday. The Buckeyes performed well enough to walk away with a somewhat convincing win, 31-16 over Central Florida. And this is in way to take away from UCF’s accomplishments Saturday afternoon, but that was what we call an “ugly” win as errors in the secondary, offensive line issues and penalty’s plagued the good guys all afternoon. Let’s look back.
The back 7
It’s early, but for the second week in a row we have seen major issues in the secondary and back seven in general in passing situations. Corners leaving receivers assuming they have safety help and linebackers chasing slot receivers across the middle are disturbing and happening too frequently. I don’t believe talent is the issue as some of these guys are athletic freaks of nature. A combination of miscommunication and being in the wrong place seem more likely.
Obviously, these are problems the coaching staff will address and get corrected. Sometimes maybe it’s making things simpler. Sometimes it’s a need to take pressure off guys who may be trying to do too much. Other times it’s running the snot out of someone and repeating reps in practice over and over until it sinks in. Whatever the case, Urban Meyer doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who is going to let it work itself out. I imagine he’ll start with conversations with Kerry Coombs, Everett Withers and Luke Fickell. They’ll work it out. Expect improvement.
One of the things I was looking closely at was our defensive line and their gap protection. To be more specific: How would our defensive line protect their holes against a UCF team that was said to have a more conventional running attack in that it was to come more straightforward. Central Florida started the game trying to hit the Buckeye defensive line between the tackles and did have some success early on in finding gaps and exploiting them. But this was very short lived success for the Black Knights (I) for two reasons: 1. Ohio State tightened up and 2. They went away from it shockingly early. Despite early success, UCF shifted to what you see in your everyday spread offense. Read More
Coach Meyer’s comments following the win over the Central Florida Knights, courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio: (transcription provided by the Ohio State Athletic Department)
As always, I like to give credit to a very good team we faced in Central Florida. We knew going in they would try to run downhill on us.
I think this is the second week in a row we held a team under 100 yards rushing. However, pass defense, we have a long way to go. Getting pressure on the quarterback.
Offensively, we’re down to our third tailback, and it looked like it. We have to get better. The guys carrying the ball are talented, just terrible mistakes. Penalties and turnovers are not ‑‑ in the first game, very minimal penalties and zero turnovers.
And then this week was not good. So just gotta fix it. We’re going to have to really ID who is going to touch the ball. We have to go back to the drawing board and make some decisions on who is going to physically touch that ball and they have to take care of it, obviously.
So I would also like to thank our fans and our student body. Tremendous. And also the weatherman did a nice job for us. So appreciate his effort. And got a big one next week, but we’re going to enjoy the win. Winning major college football games is a tough duty, especially when you face a quality opponent. Read More