One Fan’s Opinion: Offensive Wish List

Written April 22nd, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

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.

Anchor

Offensive Line:

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

Silver Bullet Points. Shaken, Not Stirred.

Written April 2nd, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

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…

Ken has his beverage, I have mine

Buckeye 411

  • He Guapo’d Me With Science! In news that’s sure to make Charles and Eric gleeful, former Buckeye Carlos Hyde will be involved in an upcoming edition of Sports Science. He also got some tips from a legend today as a part of his trip to Los Angeles… there are exciting things ahead, for sure!
  • Injury Bug Strikes- Already missing Vonn Bell and Jalin Marshall, the Scarlet and Gray announced today that starting tight end Jeff Heuerman will miss the rest of the spring following surgery to address an ankle sprain. According to Meyer’s press conference on Tuesday, though, Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh are more than picking up the slack in practice.
  • Good Day For The D… Coaches continue to rave about the defensive line and their efforts during Spring ball; and Coach Meyer pointed to Josh Perry as someone who’s also rising to the occasion at the linebacker position.
  • …Means A Bad Day For The O- Taylor Decker and Cardale Jones were both identified as players who struggled Tuesday, although Curtis Samuel was mentioned as someone who’s really catching on quickly in practice. We’re also hearing solid things from Mike Thomas, who’s work in the off season may be starting to pay huge dividends.
  • On Collars- Coach Meyer again addressed his passion for having a “blue collar” team, and said that the defensive side of the ball was what needed the most attention in this area; that the “culture had slipped”. Later, though, he talked about his belief that college student athletes, while working hard, are not employees… but also said that they deserved a greater stipend than what they currently received.
  • Something To Keep In Mind- Using the NCAA’s Strength Of Schedule Metric, Ohio State’s upcoming season is ranked #35 in the country. The mighty Crimson Tide come in at 95… out of 128 or so.  Roll Freakin’ Tide.
  • Hoop Hope From Hokie? Thad Matta has already added one “big man” via transfer this season, might seven footer Trevor Thompson be next? Would certainly change the face of the team…
  • Spring Game- Will be televised on BTN, and livechatted here at tBBC.
  • Student Day- If you’ve still got your BuckID, head down to the WHAC on Saturday for the third annual event. If you needed motivation, Sammy Silverman provides it: Read More

Rumblin, Stumblin, Bumblin: B1G Championship Eve

Written December 6th, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

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.

Gardener carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

Gardner carried the day, with 450 yards against a depleted secondary

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.

Rumblin

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

Silver Bullet Points: Media Day 2013 Edition

Written August 11th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.

  • Senior Photo

    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.

  • Dinged- Curtis Grant is at MLB, but has been out for concussion issues; Jalin Marshall has also missed time for a similar injury. Norwell’s still struggling with plantar fasciitis and Linsley is also feeling the impact of practice schedule- both are expected to be fine. De’Van Bogard will also return to practice on Monday.
  • Off To The Races- The running backs are a “position of strength” for the team, according to Coach Meyer. Carlos Hyde is practicing hard, in spite of being suspended, and is helping the younger players develop. Jordan Hall will be in the “H” role, and says he feels healthier than he had in a long time- that he’s regained his passion to play. Ezekiel Elliott almost lost his black stripe on Saturday, but a late scrimmage fumble disrupted those plans.
  • Texans- Kenny Guiton talked about his hand being close to completely healed, and that he hasn’t lost any velocity off of his passes. Mike Mitchell was identified as a player that is sure to see some action this fall; he also spoke about how Ohio State’s stock is on the rise among Texas preps. Dontre Wilson was a highly sought after interview today- Coach Meyer indicated that he brought something to the team that was totally new, and numerous players spoke about how difficult it was to tackle him in space.  Wilson said that he ran a 4.33 during testing, and that he’d be willing to race Bradley Roby anytime.  He also spoke about practicing at running back, and carried with him a lot of confidence regarding both his abilities and the expectations for the team.
  • Speaking Of Roby Read More

Silver Bullet Points To Gold

Written August 7th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

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.

Buckeye Bullet: Ohio State Speed

Buckeye 411

  • We’re Talking Practice! Day three in the books, and based on comments from Coach Meyer, it was a pretty good one. He was impressed by the strides that Braxton has taken and where he is with his leadership/communication. He also talked frankly about freshman Dontre Wilson, that he had electric speed and brought something they didn’t have in the past.
  • Line? Up- Taylor Decker seems to be leading the battle for the starting right tackle slot, while Marcus Hall has trimmed down significantly in a move that has helped his mobility/agility- Coach Warriner commented that he needed a belt now.  Corey Linsley is still recovering from off season foot surgery, but there’s no concern regarding his being ready to play in a few weeks.
  • That Being Said- Coach Meyer singled out the line and the linebackers as still being areas of concern, particularly in terms of depth.  When asked what would help get these positions to look more “Ohio State-ish”, he replied “another recruiting class”.
  • Good News! No one was in trouble with the law this week! W00t!
  • In Fact- Carlos Hyde, Marcus Baugh, and Bradly Roby were all part of practice on Tuesday.  No decisions have been made re: Roby, as Meyer stated that he was “still getting information” on the situation.
  • For Kicks- Cameron Johnston is the starting punter, according to Meyer, and has athletic ability to the point where they are able to do some “different things” with the punting game this year.
  • The Downside- As powerful as the offense is expected to be, we might not get to see Johnston or the amazing Bryce Haynes work their magic much this season. Alas.
  • Triumph From Tragedy- News broke on Monday that B1G programs would be recieving “refunds” of sorts, as the Penn State bowl allocation would be split among the rest of the conference due to their sanctions. Ohio State announced that they were donating the amount to child advocacy groups, which is pretty cool, given the circumstances. No word on how other programs are planning on using their allocation.
  • Buckeye Pron- Looking for a schedule wallpaper for the old laptop? Well, this one from Sammy Silverman will do nicely, I think: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Is Conflicted

Written August 15th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Well... uh....

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.

The problem? It was on one of the ESPN channels… and you know how we feel about those fine individuals.

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.

Buckeye 411

  • Earning Your Stripes- Or, more correctly, earning their removal. Today Tommy Schutt became the next defensive player to have his rite of passage and his “newbie stripe” taken off his helmet by his big brother. He joined Noah Spence and De’Van Bogard as the first three who were “welcomed” to Buckeye football. This afternoon, their numbers grew as Taylor Decker was the next first offensive rookie to cross the line into “Buckeye manhood”.  Really excited about this process, and it sounds like it’s something that everyone has really bought into. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Is Appealing

Written August 8th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

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.

Buckeye 411

  • Always. Forever.

    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.

  • Dunn Update- Brionte spent much of the day with the second team offense. He will be a part of this year’s successes offensively.
  • Granted- Curtis Grant was back at practice after spending time in Virginia with his ill grandfather Josh Perry was back as well.
  • That’s Nate!  Also out today in helmets and shoulder pads was Nathan Williams, who did some contact drills without a brace on his leg. It should be noted that the contact was only 3/4 speed, working technique with tackling sleds and dummies.
  • Abandon Hope, B1G QBs- Shazier is now up 25 pounds and is actually faster than last year, although he’s honest that he played too fast last season. He talked about being able to let the play happen rather than rushing past it.
  • On The Blocks- Orhian Johnson blocked a field goal attempt in today’s competition.
  • Tackle Football- Reid Fragel and Taylor Decker split time at tackle today, with Decker working with the #1s during the final segment. This may be due to hydration issues from the heat today.
  • And So, It Begins-  The “We still love you, can we be besties?” between the Buckeyes and ESPN kicks off with this coverage from ESPN The Magazine Read More

BBN Ohio State Spring Game Preview: Offensive Line

Written April 20th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

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!

Thank you to all the writers who are participating in this, and a HUGE thank you to Grant from Buckeye House Call for creating our graphics!

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