Urban Meyer: State of the Program

By Kyle Rowland on August 12, 2012 at 4:41p
40 Comments
With each passing day, Urban Meyer is feeling better and better about his BuckeyesThe Buckeyes are on track for Sept. 1

Ohio State's annual media day took place Sunday afternoon. Among the interviews to take place was the head coach's "State of the Program" speech. Through one week of practice, Urban Meyer is pleased with what he has seen. But to become elite, he knows strides still need to be made. 

The biggest news out of Ohio State this afternoon centered on Jake Stoneburner. The previously suspended tight end is now a reinstated wide receiver. Because of Stoneburner's versatility and the emergence of Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett, Meyer feels moving Stoneburner to an underwhelming wide receiving corps is warranted. 

  • Urban Meyer compared the taking over of Florida and Ohio State, saying the transitions were very similar. Both are big schools and Ron Zook and Jim Tressel were good coaches.
  • Through one week of practice, Meyer said the quarterbacks are on schedule. He said the level of play is much different from the spring.
  • Meyer called Carlos Hyde “really solid.” He said Hyde has caught his eye and stepped up in camp. Meyer said he’s been one of the biggest surprises.
  • On defense, Meyer singled out Joel Hale as a surprise performer. Meyer said you have to give him credit for where he was in the spring to now.
  • Meyer said Ohio State had arguably the best linebackers in the country in the past decade. He said he didn’t see that kind of unit last year. Meyer said Etienne Sabino and Ryan Shazier are two guys that have been great in the spring and fall. He said Curtis Grant has to keep improving.
  • At yesterday’s scrimmage, Meyer said David Perkins was “great.” Meyer described Perkins as a “fly and hit someone guy.” Meyer said he is a guy you want and that he will play this season.
  • Most Improved Player: Meyer mentioned Carlos Hyde, Marcus Hall and Nick Vannett.
  • Meyer said Vannett is going to split time with Heuerman. Meyer called Vannett not functional in the spring.
  • Vannett studied the playbook all off season and worked a lot with Tim Hinton, Meyer said.
  • Jake Stoneburner is now officially a wide receiver.
  • Meyer and the entire offensive line raved about the coaching of Ed Warinner. Players have talked about how much he’s improved their on-field knowledge. 
  • Right tackle is still a battle. Meyer said it’s not a battle between all-Big Ten players. “The production is not where it needs to be.”
  • Meyer phrased the quarterbacks as being “caged tigers.” He said they are limited in practice because of restrictions and their style is changed because of that.
  • Scrambling was a topic of conversation. Meyer said there is difference between scrambling while running and scrambling with your eyes down field. He said they practice the art of scrambling often in practice.
  • Meyer said he wouldn’t mind coming up with package where Braxton and Guiton are on the field at the same time.
  • He added that neither knows about the possibility.
  • Meyer deemed the wide receivers “not Ohio State caliber” yet. He did say Devin Smith, Philly Brown, Michael Thomas, Verlon Reed, and Jake Stoneburner were performing well.
  • Evan Spencer’s injury is not as severe as though. Meyer said he will be back this week.
  • The wide receivers have numbers but are still improving on quality, Meyer said. He added that he is much more optimistic about the position.
  • Meyer said Bri’onte Dunn and Rod Smith are in a battle for the backup running back spot.
  • Meyer wants team players and he said everyone better hand the ball to the official. He said if they don’t, it will be the last time they score.
  • Meyer said this week will be the hardest week of camp. He said it will make or break the team.
  • Meyer started using the black stripe at BG to stop hazing. But he said every program has some sort of initiation. Meyer said the coaches and players love it. “It’s a rite of passage.” Meyer said guys who are committed tear up and it’s emotional when the stripe is removed. De’Van Bogard and Noah Spence are the only two who have had their stripes removed.
  • Nathan Williams’ return takes the Ohio State D-Line to another level, Meyer said. He said it will be an SEC line. “If you want a bad football team, have a bad defensive line.”
  • Meyer called John Simon as good a player as there is in college football. Also said “Oh Boy” when Adolphus Washington was mentioned.
  • Bradley Roby is a great player, but Meyer said he hasn’t stuck out until the most recent practices. Meyer said Roby is a different person. “He’s grown.”
  • Ohio State’s move to semesters is a disadvantage. Previous coaches told Meyer that they could have the players 24/7 before.
  • Najee Murray is no longer a candidate for the No. 3 hybrid position. He’s too good on defense, Meyer said.
  • Jordan Hall is ahead of schedule in his recovery. He’s currently wearing a walking boot.
  • Meyer said he has plans on paper for the offense and defense once Hall and Williams return.
  • Asked about Honey Badger, Meyer said he tells his players 1,000 times to stay out of trouble and that it can happen to anyone.
40 Comments

Comments

DefendYoungstown's picture

Very promising conference. This is going to be fun.

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

OSUBias's picture

Urbs compared Tressel to the Zooker? Ouch. Accidental slap in the face for Tress. I know Meyer has to be PC and all, but I don't think anyone on earth thinks those two coaches are in the same category.

Slider...you stink

fanatic buckeye's picture

Good point.
I read that as a compliment to Zookster, as we all know, as does all College football Tress was a great coach with a super conservative offensive style, I think Urban was being kind to Ron Zook there.  
IMO you are correct.  Performance shows they are in different galaxies.

College Football Junkie

703Buckeye's picture

Or you could look at it from a recruiting standpoint. Zook and Tressel were both great recruiters, it was player development and gameplanning where the Zooker fell off.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

california_buckeye's picture

Although you have to give Zook credit for his portrayal of Bill Lumbergh in "Office Space." Tress could've never pulled that off.

cplunk's picture

"Meyer and the entire offensive line raved about the coaching of Ed Warinner. Players have talked about how much he’s improved their on-field knowledge."
This is my favorite quote of the offseason, and possibly since 2002. 

Crimson's picture

Of course the players raved about Warinner.  The oline returners have a coach for the first time!

SonOfBuckeye's picture

This is my favorite quote of the offseason, and possibly since 2002.

Especially if you remember the '08 USC game:

"You can tell they don't practice full speed," Moore said of the massive Buckeyes who made it "easy" to fly past them."They were still getting into their [first blocking] move, and we'd already be into our second move [on defense] and past them," Moore said.

buckeye76BHop's picture

I'm not sure he really meant the coaches were equal...just the situations were similar.  These are majority of Tress's guys...just like it was mostly Redbird Zooker's players when he took over in Gainesville.  Just saying that's what I believe was meant by that answer.  He knows what Tress did...9-1 or 8-1 vs tTUN isn't something to shake a stick at and UFM knows this.  That's why he has film of "The Game" playing in the locker room and other places at the WHAC.  He knows what he has in front of him as HC at OSU.  He was an assistant under Earle who had an ok record vs tTUN 5-4...but nothing like Tress.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Ohio1St81's picture

Is that a Loudonville crack? Awesome. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

Yes...I'm from Bellville/Bulter area...they "used" to be our rivals (Clear Fork vs Loudonville).  Homecoming my JR. year I blocked a punt and scored a TD to put us up 21-0 at half as a DT.  Boy oh boy was I popular that weekend;-)  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

CowCat's picture

UFM has already referred to Tress as a "future Hall of Fame coach", so he gets it.

There's also the interview with Shelley Meyer on YouTube where she defends Tress, as the families know each other.

The history, connections and tradition are what make Ohio State different than a lot of programs.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

setman's picture

Meyer wants team players and he said everyone better hand the ball to the official. He said if they don’t, it will be the last time they score.

The more Urban says, the more and more I am going stir crazy for the season to begin.
 

NW Buckeye's picture

That is one of the things I really wanted him to hold over from the Tressel years.  I'm glad to see he is taking that stance, because it didn't happen like that all the time at FL. 

thorvath22's picture

I dont recall Florida players dancing or being disrespectful on the field.

ShadyBuckeye's picture

if only we could have Simon, Nathan Williams and Hankings next year... such a shame their senior seasons wont get a chance to play for the NC. I wonder what group will be better, this years defensive line with Simon, Williams and Hankins or the one a few years down the road with Spence, Washington, Pittman and Bosa? I cant think of anything more exciting than an ELITE defensive line. It does so much for a football team besides get after the QB.

703Buckeye's picture

Hankins is a junior.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

buckeyedude's picture

Hank the Tank may be a junior, but he's gone after this year. Mark it down. High to middle first round.

 

 

Buckeyejason's picture

I agree, it's hard to pass up being drafted that high. Who replaces him next season, Hale?

BUCKEYES BABY!

Buckeyejason's picture

Bennett, Adolphus, Hale, Spence/Miller in 2013? Not what I predicted but what the heck.

BUCKEYES BABY!

db31103's picture

Stoneburner is back but what about Mewhort?

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying." - Woody Hayes

MotownBuck's picture

No mention of Gigglef****s?

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

dmurder's picture

Meyer wants team players and he said everyone better hand the ball to the official. He said if they don’t, it will be the last time they score.

I look forward to seeing this 8 - 10 times a game.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Sgt. Elias's picture

"Nathan Williams’ return takes the Ohio State D-Line to another level, Meyer said. He said it will be an SEC line. “If you want a bad football team, have a bad defensive line.”
"Meyer called John Simon as good a player as there is in college football. Also said “Oh Boy” when Adolphus Washington was mentioned."

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

buckeyedude's picture

Meyer called Carlos Hyde El Guapo “really solid.” He said Hyde El Guapo has caught his eye and stepped up in camp. Meyer said he’s been one of the biggest surprises.

 

 

 

Buckeyejason's picture

Really intrigued with Stoney at Wideout. I think he'll be less productive there then he would be at TE, where he would create mismatches.

BUCKEYES BABY!

sox33osu's picture

A 6'5", 245 lb WR that runs in the 4.5 range doesn't create mismatches in a conference that isn't known for producing top flight defensive backs?

Buckeyejason's picture

I don't care what his 40 is, it's going to be tough for him to beat corners. 

BUCKEYES BABY!

bassplayer7770's picture

Something tells me Coach Meyer knows what he's doing.  Plus, I recall him saying Stoney may be his "Aaron Hernandez" type player, which isn't a surprise.

Buckeyejason's picture

Stoney doesn't have Hernandez's agility and quickness..shaking guys..east-west ability.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Crimson's picture

All Urban is going to do is position his team to create mismatches.  I don't think he'll be a traditional WR.  Okay, maybe he'll be a traditional UFM WR . . .

Buckeyejason's picture

I'll be happy to eat crow if he tears it up at WR..but as of now I have my doubts.

BUCKEYES BABY!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Jake Stoneburner=first round pick....
HA! No I jest. I find it interesting that he's going to be moved out wide. I get him lining up in the slot and abusing third DB's or LB's in coverage but I do worry about his abilty to serparate himself from #1 and #2 corners. I think Meyer is still going to move him all over but if he's out wide, i don't know...

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Buckeyejason's picture

I've been waiting for a voice of reason..and not the typical..he's tall and runs fast in a straight line so he'll dominate at wideout!!!! 

BUCKEYES BABY!

BrewstersMillions's picture

People are short selling the difficulty of the WR position. There's a reason Devin Hester, who by all accounts is one of the 5 most athletic\explosive dudes in football hasn't grasped the position in 5 years of trying. Stoney has things working for him, size and speed, but so does TY Williams and he isn't a threat to break into the lineup any time soon, right?
WR is more than 'run and catch'. You need to read a lot and have a ton of body control. Its not a huge step for Stoney from TE to WR the way Hester's was from DB to WR, but it's not just going to be easy. I hope he kills it. I hope teams are terrified of a guy his size running clean routes and fighting through jams, but to just say he's going to tear it up and not think about how hard his new role will be is a bit short sigthed.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Buckeyejason's picture

^thankyou

BUCKEYES BABY!

cjkanski's picture

Getting in a day late, but Gotta add...I'm not saying it'll be easy or that blow up crazy numbers, I just think Stoney with his size, great hands, and know how will make a very good target as a WR. Everyone on the opposing D is going to get caught with one eye on our backfield.   

Kurt's picture

Wow, really interesting to read about the mention of Miller and Guiton on the field at the same time!  Was this a reporter probing or Meyer divulging something?
A friend of mine was already talking about the potential of these two being on the field shortly after having hired Meyer last year and sent me this link.  Given how much football schemes today are borrowing from ideas from over 50 years ago, this is interesting to think about how Meyer and Herman could spin it into a present-day reality!

Sgt. Elias's picture

Huh..That Double T would be good to break out in big games to keep `em honest. You couldn't run that all the time of course but it's very interesting. Some of the read option plays that lean towards the pass look unstoppable were it NCAA `13. Making reads as an opposing LB would be head-spining if you went Oregon fast for a series or two with that set.  I'm no x's and o's guy though. To those that are, what say ye?

Sow all the confusion. You have Hyde or Boren  in that psuedo FB spot that hits the flat on the left, Stoney running the circle route, Braxton as black dot#1 "under" (or off-right) center. Hall as the halfback going right and Kenny (black dot#2) running the "go" route, maybe slightly delayed.  I'd watch that for a dollar. It's like a pro set on adult brownies.  Maybe I have no idea how this play works in real life :/

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here."