Once again we’re joined by a faithful reader and great Buckeye fan to give us his thoughts on the Ohio State program. Today, Mike checks in with a post spring-practice look at the areas where Ohio State will look find leaders to step up for the 2014 season. See what you think about his look across the offense, and be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
This is what I see the biggest needs are on Offense after the team’s Spring preparations. I will hit on a couple of positions, depth (or lack thereof), and finally I will give you who I think breaks out this year on offense. For the sake of this reflection, I’m not going to address our stable of Running Backs or Tight Ends… Ohio State is an embarrassment of riches at those positions.
Of course, when the fall comes and the rest of the rookies join the program, there may be some changes.
Our true biggest need is replacing 4 starters on the Offensive Line. We know Decker can play and will start at LT, he has gotten stronger and a potential leader that this offense will surely need especially with such young guys needing to step up. Next up, Pat Elflein who will most likely line up next to Decker and start at LG as he has some experience and proved he can play at this level, maybe not elite but better than average. Then you have Jacoby Boren, who I think will be the starting Center day one. I know what everyone is thinking, what about Billy Price? Well I see Billy Price starting at RG and becoming a dominate player of the next couple years. His mean streak and strength is what every Offensive Lineman (or Defensive Lineman for that matter) should have.
I would have loved to see Kyle Dodson be that starting RT, but unless the light comes on by fall camp, I see him as depth right now (which is a shame due to his talent level) which would open the Door for Evan Lisle to step in at RT. I think this RT battle will continue through spring with one of these two guys as the starter. The one wild card here Kyle Trout (He will be a Tackle) who is enrolled early, if he can get the system down after being in the weight program with Mickey Marotti he could be the real sleeper in this Offensive Line group, in my opinion.
With all this being said, we have some nice freshman coming in who will provide some much needed depth. This is my biggest concern on the Offensive side of the ball right now. We need young men to be developed and then they need to “Step-up” and seize the opportunity.
Quarterback: Read More
Happy Wednesday, and happiest birthday to the young Buckeye in my avatar photo. Given all of the excitement here on the left coast over the past weekend, my choice for today’s soundtrack was pretty much decided for me. Thoughts and prayers go out to our friends in Chile and South/Central Americas as well…
So much has happened since the last time we ventured down the RSB path that I really had to put forth some thought into what I was going to talk about. There are a lot of things to discuss before tomorrow title match-up with Sparty that I want to briefly hit them before Rumblin.
As much as it hurts me to say this, I applaud the TTUN coaching staff for their game plan last Saturday. What’s funny about the plan is that everyone in #BuckeyeNation saw it coming, they just weren’t too worried because it was TTUN and their struggling offense. What most were saying was how easily the Buckeyes were going to roll and those fans couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Game or The Rivalry, whatever you choose to call it, has rarely disappointed in regards to level of competition. As Buckeye fans know all too painfully, the underdog has had the sun shine on its back side quite a few times in this series.
What their coaching staff did, and it’s why most people in TSUN love Hoke, is keep their focus on the prize and that was destroy the Buckeyes season. They came into the game ignored by many, including the Buckeyes defense, and just about put it to them. If not for the gutsy, putting it all on one play, decision by Hoke to go for two, the Buckeyes may have lost in OT and be settling for the Outback Bowl, again. I tipped my hat to a couple TTUN twitter friends after the game, they could feel a little bit of pride for the way their team performed.
As I have said before, I could go on and on every week about Carlos Hyde and what he has done in his abbreviated season. One of the relationships on twitter that I have enjoyed this season has been with Corey Linsley, who last week was named First Team All B1G Center. He is the anchor to that offensive line who has been destroying the opposition this season. Read More
Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.
Absent- Donovan Munger has missed most of camp thus far with some academic issues, and now has a medical (blood clot?) that will see him redshirting for this season. Najee Murray was also not present today, having been suspended for the team for at least the duration of training camp for a violation of team rules. Lots of speculation on this one, but at this point it’s only speculation.
While camp is in session over at the WHAC, it’s important to remember that in 1936 another Buckeye was rocking the world this week. By this time that year, Jesse Owens had already won three of his four gold medals in the 100 and 200m, as well as the long jump; the fourth would come on August 8th. So, as excited as we are for the speed that OSU has gained on it’s football team, it’s important to also remember someone who was so talented that he broke another barrier. Today’s soundtrack is a song that was at the top of the charts in both Europe and the United State in 1936 as well… pretty appropriate for August.
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.
Not So Fast… Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.
To get Buckeye Nation ready for the first Spring Game in Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeye Bloggers Network wanted to take an in-depth look at each position following spring practice. Be sure to check out all of the coverage!
The easy comment on the offensive line, be it at Ohio State or nationwide, is that the season will hinge on their performance.
Again, that’s the standard answer, but I have to believe that this year it bodes more true than ever in Columbus. There are playmakers elsewhere on Offense, and the Defense (while thin in places) has the potential to be terrifying for opposing offensive coordinators.
But the Buckeye Offensive Line is a mystery at this point; which was evidenced merely looking at Coach Meyer’s emphases on the recruiting trail beginning last season. It’s not enough that they are replacing both tackles and their four year starter at center. It’s not enough that they are now “loaded” with talent amassed by James “Meh, one guard a year is all we need” Bollman, who annually defined the word “reach” with the recruiting offers he seemed to facilitate.
Nope, in addition to those obvious concerns comes this- the team’s offensive identity is taking a major shift. Gone are the days of “Dave, Dave, Draw, Punt”; we now have an offensive scheme that requires linemen to a) be in top cardiovascular shape and b) pass block as effectively as run block. In other words, there’s some coachin’ to do.
So, if you’re like me (my condolences), you’re incredibly interested in seeing how the anchor of the team’s successes will look on Saturday. Will Braxton’s runs in the fall be designed or out of necessity? Will long runs be due to Jordan and Carlos and Rod and Brionte’s talent, or due to the gaping holes that are waiting for them? Will my summer be spent in quiet confidence or wondering instead how what the record for most “three and outs” by a Buckeye team might be?
Saturday gives us our first clue. Onward.
What will be most different this year than last?
We’ve talked about the tempo and scheme being gently called “the polar opposite of Tresselball”, let’s take a look at the new faces in the new places. First, the team lineups: Read More