Under Pressure

By Kyle Rowland on September 11, 2012 at 10:00a
88 Comments

Just two games into the season, it appears that all those adjectives used to describe Ohio State’s defensive line were greatly exaggerated.

Elite, great, stout, dominant – throw them all out. At least for now. 

Simon and his linemates still have time to make an impact.

Three sacks – none by John Simon or Johnathan Hankins – and five tackles for loss are all the front four has to their name. And this is from a unit that was hyped as being one of the best in the country.

The lone sackers have been freshmen Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington and sophomore Steve Miller. The lack of production is partly due to the opponents’ style in the first two games. Miami (Ohio) and Central Florida each used three-set drops to quickly get the ball out of the quarterbacks’ hands. As the defensive stats show, the opponents’ goal was accomplished.

“It’s very frustrating,” Washington said. “You prepare to get off the ball and get to the quarterback, and all of a sudden you get there and the ball is already gone.”

UCF head coach George O’Leary said there was good reason for the quick passes.

“Ohio State's front seven is outstanding,” he said. “John Simon is as good as anyone in the country. You don't want to take your time passing against them. The quarterback can't take more than three- or four-step drops.”

But with All-American candidates and possible first-round draft picks, pressure, knock downs and sacks should still scatter the stat sheet. For two Saturdays, however, that hasn’t been the case.

The veterans who have excelled in college already and the freshmen that entered Columbus with so much promise have instead been stymied. All of it has left Meyer mystified.

“The negative I see right now is I don't see the quarterback getting hit,” he said after Ohio State’s 31-16 win over UCF. “And that's something that has to be addressed. That's going to solve a lot of problems in pass defense. We'll address that and have a conversation about that this week.”

Even the players have been startled by the lack of hurries on opposing quarterbacks. It’s a task co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel stress to the defense. A segment of each practice is dedicated to ball pressure drills. So far, that magic formula hasn’t been discovered.

“I’m a little surprised,” Spence said. “We just have to keep working hard and keep getting better every week.

There's been a short learning curve for Spence. 

“I feel like when we get to the game, we forget about all our moves and everything. It’s easier to forget about our assignments sometimes. I don’t know, we’re just not living up to our potential.”

On Saturday, UCF converted seven of 15 third downs and had scoring drives of 84 and 78 yards. Those are stats that give credence to Meyer’s frustrations. The Knights were able to line up across from the Buckeyes and not only display confidence, but also punch them in the gut.

“We need to find a way to get off the field on third down,” linebacker Etienne Sabino said.

Injuries have played a part in the lack of pressure, which directly correlates to quarterbacks being successful. Two of the team’s top defensive linemen – Michael Bennett and Nathan Williams – have missed action. It’s a conundrum that has caused head coach Urban Meyer and his defensive coaches to go back to the drawing board.

UCF opted to take Simon out of the game with double teams. Add Bennett and Williams into the picture and the opportunity to eliminate Simon wanes. The question becomes, which defensive lineman steps up when opponents move Simon out of the way? And might the run defense suffer if the top four pass rushers play together? So far that hasn’t been an issue. The Buckeyes field the eighth-best rush defense in the country, allowing 51 yards per game. Miami didn’t even gain a single yard; instead, it was held to negative-1.

“We do a drop eight which means there's only three pass rushers,” Meyer said. “Teams made a decision when they drop back to pass on quick game, they are getting guys out. On a non-quick game, they are max protecting, which is not usual. So teams are doing a good job of defending us and defending our best pass rusher. I think Nate Williams would help on the other side. Right now we are counting on a true freshman to be on the other side of Simon.

“I could list a multitude of reasons and excuses and so on and so forth. We have to get better pressure on the quarterback or it's going to be a long year. There's two ways of doing it. One is defeating a man on a pass rush…(the other is) I'm going to blitz and try to confuse you. And the answer is, we need to do both.”

Ohio State has never been a blitz-heavy team, though Fickell and co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers do have experience with blitzing. At a 7 a.m. meeting on Monday morning, Meyer and his defensive coaches discussed the possibility of relying on blitzes as the season goes forward. The personnel the Buckeyes have to work with prompted the conversation.

“Michael Bennett is a guy we counted on, Bennett, (John) Simon and (Johnathan Hankins), and then you have (Garrett) Goebel,” Meyer said. “Those are kind of our four guys. And now you're playing with freshmen and some other guys are getting better out there, but just we were kind of counting on that.

“So as all teams deal with injuries throughout the course of the year, that's kind of set us back a little bit. It's not discomfort, but traditionally, are we a huge blitz team, as the Buckeyes have been for the last decade? No. But that's certainly in our package and that might happen this week.”

On the season, opposing quarterbacks have completed 56 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns. But when the pressure comes, like it did for UCF signal-caller Blake Bortles in the third quarter on Saturday, turnovers follow.

Future sack machine?

The saving grace has been the secondary, a unit that ranks third in the nation in passes intercepted. Cornerback Travis Howard is the owner of three of those interceptions, tied for the most by a single player in the country. It also tied his single-season career-high.

“It’s better to bend, not break,” safety Orhian Johnson said. “But you’re not happy bending too much. The whole team steps onto the field with a chip on its shoulder, and we all have that ‘hold them’ mentality. We’ve been doing a great job at stopping the run. Now we just have to find that happy balance.”

Cal receiver Kennan Allen is projected as the No. 6 overall pick in the latest CBSSports.com mock draft. If ever pressure was needed, it’s against the Bears.

Howard, Johnson and Sabino helped intercept three passes against UCF, the first three-interception game for Ohio State since the 2009 Michigan game. But the secondary will be affected if the Buckeyes do decide to blitz.

“Anytime you add guys into the rush, you’re taking them out of the coverage,” cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said. “There’s a give and take there. Whether it’s a zone-pressure or a man-pressure, you’re going to sacrifice something out of the backend in order to add to the rush. I think our kids are very good man-coverage guys. They’re capable and able to do that. If we’re going to add guys to the pressure, we’re going to shorten the clock for the quarterback, and if we’re doing that, that’s great news.”

A positive side effect from Bennett and Williams’ absence has been the emergence of Spence, Washington and fellow freshman Tommy Schutt. The three first-year players impressed the staff the second they walked on campus, and nothing has changed since the dawn of the season.

Spence and Washington have been regulars in the front-four rotation and Schutt started in place of Bennett last Saturday versus UCF.

“They are great, great guys,” Meyer said. “They work their tails off and then they are talented. There's no issue as far as want to, and there's no issue as far as try hard. It's just freshmen playing defensive line.

“So it's going to get better and better and better and as a result, you're going to get many learning issues or production issues. We had some just flat misalignments and that's usually one of those kids that just lined up wrong. So as they continue, those are three good names that the Buckeye fans are going to like to watch for the next several years. We just have to get them ready sooner.”

Schutt said it was an “unreal moment” when Meyer announced the first-team defense in the locker room on Saturday.

“It was unbelievable,” Schutt said. “It was something I had to take in and something I'll never forget.”

Meyer doesn’t forget, either. He has a long-term memory, and what’s currently on his mind isn’t an up-tempo offense; it’s a slow-moving defense that can’t reach the quarterback.

Ohio State may be near the top of most defensive statistics, but it doesn’t fool Meyer. At this point, it’s all a mirage

“We have a long way to go,” he said. “You’d think we’d have a little more pressure. He had far too much time to throw the ball.”

88 Comments

Comments

tampa buckeye's picture

You know how you stop three step drop plays?  Its called press man coverage.  Roby and Howard are good enough to atleast give it a shot.  
You don't see the NY Giants playing soft.  That is what makes their d line so effective.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Only at Ohio State can we be 2 - 0 and have people running around screaming the sky is falling.  Yeeesh - calm the f@#$ down people!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

vitaminB's picture

Look at Alabama.  That's where we need to be.  Urb gets it.

tampa buckeye's picture

Agree with VitB. The SEC is the measuring stick right now for college football.  Its not enough to go undefeated in the Big Ten anymore.  When Michigan was good it was impressive now it should happen every year for Ohio State.  
Urban Does get it and this guy wants winners playing for him.  If your not a winner jr. or senior your ass is on the bench.  I think he is sending a message to the team winning is good but at Ohio State we play to win the Crystal Ball thats the goal.  Lets see if they respond.

Kyle Rowland's picture

I wouldn't say people are saying the sky is falling, just that majoe improvements are needed. That is all. I mean, the coaches and players have said as much, I'm just reporting it. 

BucksfanXC's picture

Yes, and at Alabama where the media and fans are saying nice things every week, it pisses the coach off. Because it makes the players complacent. If Urban and the fans are still not impressed, the players know they need to work harder to get better and not rest back on reputation.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

My point is in the fact that we have a completely different mindset on both sides of the ball being taught by a completely different set of coaches (outside of a few holdovers) to a very young group of kids.  The bottom line is that we are 2 - 0 and already the gist of the articles seem to be trending towards gloom and doom of not living up to expectations already and I think it is highly unwarranted!  Perhaps it is our expectations of how they should be performing that need to be adjusted instead of penning articles on why they aren't living up to our expectations.  I believe Urban said it perfectly:  Hey, we're freakin 2 - 0!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

chitown buckeye's picture

Agree with you completely,  Arizona! I posted a similar comment yesterday talking about all the negativity.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

bassplayer7770's picture

I believe Urban said it perfectly:  Hey, we're freakin 2 - 0!

But that's taken out of context.  He said that while talking about things that needed to improve, which is what we're discussing here.

Clown Baby's picture

Exactly...OSU started 2-0 last year and that turned out AWESOME!

buckeye76BHop's picture

 this^^^^

"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 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Total false equivalence and not even remotely relevant to this year's team.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

cinserious's picture

Urban is the loudspeaker for all our collective voices. When he says things aren't right, its true. There are things that need to be worked on BIG-TIME. After that, hopefully we get to the point where we can tweek a few things and perfect everything. That being said, Urban also said "were freaking 2-0!", sure we appreciate winning the games we have but remember the competition will undoubtedly get much better. Most fans see this and know this and Urban is trying to strike a balance between letting the players know we're not BCS caliber (hypothetically), while at the same time being appreciative of the wins we do have.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

buckeye76BHop's picture

@ AZBUCKEYE:  Wow...I don't see where you get the sky is falling from (either from comments or Kyle's article).  I believe he's saying despite stats not being what we may have predicted in preseason, this Dline is going to do great things.  Just a slow start...play calling's the problem...not the players.  Urban knows it, pointed it out to Vrabel and Fick on the sidelines on Saturday.  They either get it fixed this year and soon or they'll both be pumping gas at Citgo...no matter whether we're 2-0 or not.  UFM will not tolerate mediocrity...he wants this...dominance.

"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 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

We obviously are reading things very differently!  Personally, I get the fact that we have a very very young team trying to learn a much different system so I am more tolerant of the fact that we are not overwhelming offenses at this point in time!  However, many of the comments on here, including the article itelf seems to be taking on a tone that is coming down on Simon and company like they are not living up to expectations, even calling them overrated.  I think that is entirely wrong, given this is so early in the season.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

cplunk's picture

I don't think "overrated" really applies. I DO think, though, that maybe there was a belief from the coaching staff that the line was soooo good that we didn't need to worry too much about blitzing, stunting, or scheming; we'd just overwhelm anybody with sheer talent.
I think we've discovered the talent level is not THAT talent level. However, it is still a really high talent level. In effect we've been playing with one hand behind our back and there is a lot we can do to perform much better.
Of course, the downside is that the "lot" we do will put more pressure on the LBs and secondary. I think the secondary is actually pretty good, but I'm not sold on the LBs yet.
In short, I think our scheme has been fairly vanilla and we've vastly underperformed. Based on some of the secondary breakdowns in communication you can see why the coaches would wat to try to keep things simple for now.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The good news is that, in spite of the lack of QB pressures and several blown coverage assignments leading to big plass plays, the Buckeyes pass D is giving up only 5.92 yards/pass attempt (37th in the nation). If the DL can get rolling and the DBs "communicate" better, the pass D could be fierce.

Maestro's picture

3rd down defense was really poor last season (65th nationally) and the trend has continued unfortunately (55th in the country) this season.
2010 - 5th in the country
2009 - 12th in the country
2008 - 31st in the country
2007 - 14th in the country
The coaches and players have to figure out a way to end drives or this will be another 3-4 loss season.

vacuuming sucks

sir rickithda3rd's picture

washington and simon as the dt and williams and spence on the edges with press coverage... would this not solve some of the problem? i know williams was out last game., but even wasington goebel spence and simon with press coverage should create some havoc right?

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

BrewstersMillions's picture

John Simon-First Rounder....
HA!

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Matthew's picture

Was he ever thought to be one? Isn't he undersized for a first rounder even if he had a good season?
I thought Big Hank was the guy seen as a first rounder potentially. Even as high as top 10 if he does well this year.

Class of 2010

BrewstersMillions's picture

This board has been very pro-simon-first-rounder. I have been very anti. A LOT of people have christened him as such.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Matthew's picture

A reminder of how biased members of this site can be, I suppose.

Class of 2010

Squirrel Master's picture

I'm not biased, I have seen Simon on mock drafts in the first round! Not everyone of them but on a couple. I think Simon can be a very effective 3-4 DE in the NFL. and with any player, I would take a hard working player over a uber talented player who doesn't put in the effort. I would take John simon on my pro team than Dez Bryant! At least I know he will try!
Simon will be a specialized player. Pro teams are taking them in the first round now! Not saying he will be an all-pro or an immediate starter, but he could be useful for a team out there. I just think it is possible for him to be drafted in the first round.
Not to mention, in the 2 games I have seen this year, Simon has been in on a lot of pressures of the QB. I have seen him get his arms around the QB a few times and the QB barely gets the ball out. The guy is still doing work even with teams keying in on stopping him. I think you guys are seriously underestimating him! He gets doubled every play! Especially since OSU is not blitzing, teams have a 2nd blocker available on him. Lets see what happens when he gets a true 1-on-1 a few times. I bet he makes some noise!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Kyle Rowland's picture

Just an FYI...in my article when I talk about the first-round possibility, I am referencing Hank. All-American mention is about both Hank and Simon.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

hes still being regarded as one to which you said would never happen HA

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

Ahh Saturday's picture

I love Simon, but I think he was a little over-hyped this off-season.  He was touted as this one man wrecking crew who couldn't even practice because he was too disruptive for the QBs.  I wish it were true that he was being double-teamed each play, but it isn't. There were plenty of instances where he was just stone-walled at the LOS by a single blocker.  I'm sure Simon would be the first to tell you he hasn't performed up to expectations.  As far as the draft goes, he doesn't have the measurable so he has to have the numbers.  If he doesn't put up 10+ sacks there is no way Simon goes in the 1st round, and maybe not even the 2nd.

BrewstersMillions's picture

He shouldn't be. He's been stifled by NFL length. The book is out on Simon and his one move. Low pad level, stand him up and he's rendered useless in the pass rush. If Miami (more scheme than anything but was still being stoned at the point of attack) and UCF can keep him off of the QB, better\bigger tackles will do the same. Ends rush the passer, Simon hasn't rushed the passer well. He just isn't a first rounder. Short, slow, and no second move.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Maestro's picture

He isn't an end pass rusher.  He is out of position, and has been since his junior season.

vacuuming sucks

buck-I.8's picture

You guys make it sound like one OT is handling him, and he's not making a difference on the line. If we had a 4 man rush more often, we'd see Simon's effect more clearly. Against UCF, he ate up double teams all game. If Hankins isn't dropping back, then they would both rush and Olines would have to pick their poison

BrewstersMillions's picture

He hasn't been double teamed every time he's stepped on the field and he isn't making impact plays that make scouts say "He's one of the top 32 players available". He can't beat one on ones consistently at this level because he's been figured out. NFL Tackles will eat him alive because they are longer than he is and much, MUCH quicker out of the blocks than he is. Simon has to improve several facets of his game to consider anything higher than a second round pick in my amateur (and that's all this is) opinion. Strong? Yes. Elite NFL strength to offset a lack of closing speed? Nope. He has to either play bigger or faster. He's a fourth rounder at best in my opinion.
Simon is a high energy\effort guy who can carve out a few good years in the NFL but he lacks the top end measurable a defensive end needs to break into round 1.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

William's picture

3rd-4th round in my opinion and I don't even see him playing Defensive End in the NFL, ever. Some team will draft him and try and peg him in at OLB hoping that they have the next Clay Matthews, or some other Rush Linebacker, because even as a more traditional linebacker he'd be too much of a liability covering the pass. Simon is a tweener and that will seriously hurt him when he goes pro.

BrewstersMillions's picture

A man who gets it. He's a project. Projects aren't first rounders. If Simon gets taken in the first, someone over reached and made a costly mistake. 

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The NFL draft is in April 2013, isn't it? Until then, I'll take my chances that John Simon the cfb player wreaks havoc this season.
Half of us (me included) don't care the much about the NFL draft. I'm not saying that I don't speculate on the draft potential of various Buckeyes - I do. And I am interested in your armchair analysis of his strengths and weaknesses, which might be spot on for all I know (I've never coached DLmen).
But the degree to which you're sort of critically dismantling Simon's game seems a bit out of sequence to me two weeks into Simon's senior season, in an exciting new era of Buckeye football.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I like the dude but as a player I've always felt like Simon has been very over rated with each passing year. We all fall in love with the attitude, work ethic, and leadership but in a year when the spotlight is on him brighter than ever he has (so far) under performed. I took a lot of heat this summer for my stance on him not being a first round talent but thus far, everything I've said about him has (again 2 games) come to fruition. I don't mean to offend anyone. The draft is weirdly my favorite part about football at any level-that doesn't mean I know it any better than anyone else, I just like watching guys at this level and trying to estimate where they grade out at the next level. There are holes in Simon's game that affect his collegiate play (and thus his future draft status) that the semi-clothed eye can see. I'm critical of him as an NFLer, sure, but those same criticisms translate to what he hasn't done thus far this season.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

No offense taken but I think you are wrong about Simon! I have seen many players taken in the first round that was thought to be a reach and they panned out fine. I have seen many take a sure fire all-pro and the guy is a bust! All it takes is a pro team to believe they see something that is more than pure talent and they like it enough to take a swing!
and I have seen Simon get double teamed quite often! Maybe not every play but there are some plays that are not run at Simon either. I have seen a lot of run plays go away from his side of the field and QB roll outs away from him too. Listen to all the coaches who might know a little more than the rest of us and they say the first person they are concerned about is Simon. That is not by accident!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

I'm not disputing a single thing you have said. Of course 'reaches' work out and 'sure fires' bust. That's the very nature of the NFL draft. When general managers are in a war room and have a list of their teams needs next to the players available, in the first round they had absolutely better fill one of those needs with a guy they think can help his team IMMEDIATELY. This is a 'win now' league-the times of giving rookies, at least highly drafted ones, time to develop are over. 5 rookie QB's started week 1 this year, 5. And that's at the position that people think requires the most development. If a team wants to 'take a swing' on Simon because they think they absolutely have to have him in round 1, good for John. More cheddar for him....that GM, however, will have screwed up his draft. That's all I'm saying.
John is a fine college player-the kind you do have to keep an eye on if you are game planning against the Bucks. So was Corey Moore. Do you know who he is? There is a reason you may not. He was arguably the most dominant collegiate pass rusher of the 00's. 31 sacks in two seasons-terrified opponents and coaches constantly watched his location each play he was on the field. He was also a guy who raised questions about his ability as a pro because of a lack of (see if you've heard this before) a pure position and elite NFL size. Of course there are guys who buck trends, but John Simon isn't a first rounder. If he is, good for him-shame on the GM and team that picks him in the top 32.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I hope I didn't give the impression I was offended by your analysis of Simon or that you should discouraged to give your objective, unvarnished take on the strengths and weaknesses of different Buckeye players. I enjoy reading your comments.
But your analysis kinda put you in a position where you've "cut down to size" Simon's game. As if you're looking at him as an ice cold NFL talent evaluator. Now, I know from reading your excellent comments over the past months/years, that you're a "true Buckeye" (Pryor would approve of you). Yet if Simon goes on in the next 10 games to register 13 sacks and a bunch of other tackles of losses, that won't necessarily prove you wrong about his NFL draft prospects, but it might make you feel just a wee bit sheepish. You'll be just as happy & exicted as other Buckeye fans every time Simon makes a big play, but we all want to proven correct in our analyses/predictions.

BrewstersMillions's picture

If John Simon peels off 13 sacks in the next ten games, you won't meet a happier dude than me. With that said, he also might prove my opinon wrong. 13 sacks in 10 games is some serious work-one would have to assume some serious 'burst' and a second or third move would be show cased.
I'm not opposed to changing my mind about a guy either. If my nothing but amateur opinion is-he lacks the elite pass rushing skills to be a defensive end in the NFL in the first round-and he shows elite pass rushing skills, I'll change my tune. I'm not stuck in my ways at all.
I don't really get offended by anything anyone says, for the record so don't worry there.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think Simon would fit what you mean by IMMEDIATE help! He is probably better ready for starting right away in the NFL than most potentially better players. I think Simon gets it and would contribute in his role at first but does have a limited ceiling. Between Simon and William Gholston, I think Simon is better prepared to start right away. I think Gholston is a better prospect down the road with his elite talent. But with the immediate need, I believe a team would take Simon over Gholston! I think a GM will look at Simon and know what he has is a strong leader who will work harder than most and play his role. I think the same GM will look at Gholston and see a sack machine that could become the next LT. Problem with that is if it was a GM that was once bitten, they might be twice shy and go with what they know! Then again, look at the Jets! They take linemen early all the time! They have been bitten by Vernon, who has NFL caliber talent but we all saw he took plays off, and now they drafted Coples in the first round. They are trying to shoot for the moon when if they took a Simon type of player, he might still be playing for them instead of being off the team.
I think if a team looks at Simon as a 4-3 end pass rusher or 3-4 OLB, they are mistaken. He is not fast enough we both agree on. I do think he can handle another 20 Lbs (and with him it would be pure muscle) and play very well at a 3-4 DE whose primary responsibility is to stuff the run and play his role. He is a role player, I just think teams will feel more confortable knowing what they are getting. A workout warrior that actually has produced at a major program. He doesn't get 3 sacks in a game like Vernon did, but he won't take a play off either.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

I would take William Gholston 100 times out of 100 times before John Simon. There are a lot of intangible things that John Simon has going for him. As I've stated before, we all fall in love with guys like him. He works hard, he says\does the right things, he appears to be in charge of that locker room, and is a good, solid football player. What makes you think William Gholston doesn't work hard? Don't confuse elite talent like Gholstons with a lack of a work ethic of any kind. I really don't like that road at all.
You are contradicting yourself, by the way. Saying Simon is going to make an immediate impact as a 3-4 DE is a contradiction. He'd have to 1) Pack on 20 plus pounds (in reality, he'd need about 40, most of your 3-4 ends approach 300LBS) and learn an entirely new position-one unlike anything he's played in college. The most important piece in a 3-4 is a 2 gap nose tackle. The second most important thing is a two gap end. Not to say Simon couldn't do it but to say he could pick up that position and the weight and make an immediate impact is a stretch I don't really want to make
He better do more than lead. Its the NFL man, you need more than that. You can be George Patton in the flesh for all I care but if you can't beat an offensive lineman off the ball you aren't any good to your team no matter how much you inspire.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

William's picture

Agreed, when it comes to defensive ends, if I were a NFL GM I would draft William Gholston 100 times out of 100, before I would draft John Simon. I'd take Simon in the 3rd round and see if he would make it as a Rush linebacker like Clay Matthews. 

Squirrel Master's picture

William, you would be wrong then and wasted a draft pick. Simon will never be a rush linebacker like Matthews. He doesn't have the speed. Be better off putting weight on him and get him down on the line. Go ahead and take Gholston, I like players that fit in a team and will be there when he is needed. Guys like Suh, Haynesworth and Gholston don't belong in the NFL anymore and like Haynesworth, might get kicked out of the league if he doesn't watch his temper!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

William's picture

Simon has plenty of straight line speed, it's his lateral speed that is lacking. Simon is 6'2" 260. Clay Matthews is 6'3" 255. If Simon drops 10 lbs. he'd be a much better fit at rush linebacker than he would be by adding 15 lbs. and being thrown in at DE. Also another thing, his wingspan is too short, it prevents him from being able to shed blocks from offensive tackles with much longer arms.

Squirrel Master's picture

so what you are saying is a short arm length is okay for an OLB who constantly goes up against OL just as much as a DE unless they are in coverage which is what I mean about simon not being fast enough. Simon is fast enough to sack the QB from the OLB position. Is he fast enough to cover a TE like OLB sometimes have to do? I don't think so.
Being thrown in at DE? He is playing DE. I am just converting him from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 DE which his body and playing style is much closer to than an OLB.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Please see below. John Simon's body style matches almost none of the current 3-4 Defensive ends starting for their respective teams. In order to match the body style of 90 percent of them, he needs to add 25 pounds at an absolute minimum and grow 3 inches. He's a better fit as a WDE ina 4-3 and even that is iffy. 3-4 ends aren't expected to penetrate gaps (an obvious strength in Simon's game) they are expected to hold them so their LB's can roam free. Hankins is probably a 3-4 End in my humble opinion or a Nose in a 4-3. I wonder about him as a nose in a 3-4 but that is a talk for another day.
 
Again-when you have to put out this many 'well if he does...' comments, that isn't a first rounder. I'm not sure what more I can say about this.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

I haven't put out more than 1 if he does. and that is gain a reasonable amount of weight. You think 3 inches helps with leverage. Shorter Dlinemen are better! Its a fact! They get better leverage, hence why no one wants a 6'7'' NT. They are too tall.
264 is his listed weight (which I argued above that I think is listed light). Add 25 lbs to that, he is at 289. I think with his strength, which you have to agree he is strong right?, at 289 he could be just as effective as someone weighting 295-300. 5-10 does not make that much of a difference when someone has the strength. Now if you are talking 20-30 lbs difference, then fine, but at 289 he could compete.
Point being, despite size or whatever position you want him in, there is a possibility (slight as it might be) that a team would take him in the first round!
to be absolute when you don't know what is going to happen is close minded! I am not saying he is for sure a 1st rounder, I am saying that I think a team could very easily take him between 25-32. I have seen much worst drafted at those spots!
If you don't want him on your NFL team, which is who?, then fine. I will. Much rather have a guy who gets it than a guy I hope gets it!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Shorter DLinemen are better huh? Well none of the 3-4 ends I listed, save for 1, are 'short'. You are pining for Simon as a 3-4 end and say shorter is better yet each and every starter I listed is taller than he is, again save one. So what am I missing here?
Of course I wouldn't mind him on my beloved Bears but the entire point I'm making is that he does not have first round build, measureables, or talent. Take him in the 4th and youve absolutley stolen a piece in the draft. Take him in the first and you've made a bad pick because you've taken a guy you can get much, much later and still fill your roster with 3 better players before taking him.
So just answer this one thing for me-In your mind, John Simon is a first round pick because he can gain 30 pounds and play end in a 3-4 system despite his build being NOTHING like the mold those same position players are in. Do I understand you properly?
 

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

Not sure what MOLD you are discussing but I see a guy who can hold more weight and I am pretty sure he can pack on the weight too. He didn't come to OSU as a DE! He started at DT but when the ends started dropping, he was moved to end. Maybe I am incorrect but I remember in 2010 it was Nate williams and Cam Heyward that were ends with Simon as a tackle. Heyward actually bounced from tackle to end a bit also.
I find it funny that you think the guy is a steal in the 4th round but say he is overrated in the 1st round. If you like the guy, take him. Because by the 4th round, you are not getting a John Simon. It would be utterly ridiculous if a player like him would fall that far, and I am not saying that because I am an OSU fan. Even the lowest rankings have him at 66 and a second round pick.
Listen to the words that I am typing Brew! I am not saying Simon will be drafted in the first round because he will do all those things! READ!!!!!!! I am saying that a team in the NFL will see a player that A) will be productive in his college career B) will get that workout warrior label in the combine which usually shoots up someone in the draft (see Dontari Poe) and C) the perception of his leadership and team player attitude that some NFL GMs value more than potential.
I will say it again! Do I think he is a lockdown 1st rounder? NO. Do I think he is a reach at 1st round? I say no to that as well. Do I think a team in the lower first round could possibly take him because they see something? YES.
The weight gain and position is what I think he CAN do. If he ends up at OLB, fine. I would just hate for teams to sleep on him and he proves them all wrong. Meanwhile they take potential and the guy is a bust!
Edit: FYI, when he was recruited, John Simon was 280 and listed at 6'3'' as a DT. Who knows what he really weights or his height.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Dontari Poe is 6'5 350 lbs. Teams fell in love with that before he lifted a weight off of the rack. You aren't paying attention to anything I've said. Any player in the nation can be taken in the first round, it can happen. GM's don't take guys for JUST their unquantifiable 'leadership' characteristics or 'workout warrior' monickers. You have to make plays and translate to a position at the next level. Simon is a great college player, probably an all time Buckeye according to most people. He lacks a pure position in the NFL. Too small to play DT and 3-4 DE. Too slow to be an OLB, I like him best as a WDE in a 4-3 scheme opposite a great player like a JPP\Peppers. On his own, he will get washed out of the league. He isn't as good as we want to make him out to be. I've begged you for reasons why he is a first rounder and you've not answered them. I get it. You like him. He's a rah rah guy. Great. Talent evaluators in the NFL give exactly 0 craps about rah rah guys if they can't provide the team with more than that. You don't want to answer the questions, that's fine.
This is going no where. He's a reach at 1, 2, and 3. Steal at 4. I'm done here.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

I have given you reasons but you fail to understand them. You even repeated what I have been saying all along. "Any player can be taken in the first round, it can happen" EXACTLY! So to type it so you can understand, here's your sign!
Where the hell you getting Rah Rah. Who the hell are you talking about? a cheerleader? This is John Simon. He lead the team in sacks last year with 7. Rah Rah!
Don't have to like a guy to know that teams take players higher than they should because of many reasons. and okay, Poe might not be a great example (although if you read a lot of nfl blogs, especially if you are a chiefs fan like I am, many believe he went a lot higher after his combine than before he was predicted. at no time before the combine was he mocked to go to #8. after the combine, he was !) and ESPN is wrong. Poe is absolutely not 6'5''. His combine says 6'4'' and I think that is even a reach. Teams have been known to take workout warriors from the combine in the first round. Maybe you don't follow the NFL that much! its kind of a big topic during the draft. Rah Rah!
You want examples. First one on the list. Bruce Irvin for Seattle! Undersized DE,6'3'' 248. Rah Rah! 2011 - Robert Quinn. 6'4'' 264 (sounds very close). Sat out a whole year but still was drafted in the first round. Rah Rah! AND MY FAVORITE! 2010 -BRANDON GRAHAM. 6'2'' 268. DE IN THE NFL! RAH FRICKIN RAH! You might think they suck but guess what, drafted in the first round! and a lot higher than I am even saying Simon can go. Maybe I am wrong, maybe he is a PERFECT 4-3 DE instead. but undersized to be drafted in the first round? Proven not!
If you don't like the guy and think personally he isn't a first rounder? fine. but don't try to say he absolutely won't be drafted in the first round because you sound dumb. Not that you are dumb, you just sound like it when you say something is going to happen 8 months from now.
now we are done!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Nope. We aren't. Let's keep it going.
Irvin I'll concede on-he was a weird pick by Seattle but one that filled a pass rushing need as he was heralded as the best pure rusher available. No true position, but did one thing (supposedly) better than anyone else around him. John Simon will do NOTHING the best in next years draft and won't be the strongest player available either-run tell dat.
I'm not saying he WONT be drafted in the first round. I'm saying he SHOULDN'T be drafted in the first round-those are two completley different things. The lists of players who should have been taken higher or lower than they did are both long and distinguished. The depths of NFL GM stupidity are boundless-the mere fact that Tim Tebow was taken in the first round lends creedence to your hope that Simon is a first rounder. I am saying that he should not be. I am saying that if you want to draft 4-6 players in any given draft that help your team, you can get John Simon to fill one of those spots, but you can help your overall team depth in the draft by taking him LATER where he should be picked because his skill set doesn't lend itself to filling an immediate need. Whether you want to admit it or not you are proving my case for me by talking about him as a project player-You haven't used the word 'project' but by your estimatation that he can play 3-4 DE, you are making him exactly that.
Quinn was a possible #1 overall before his suspenstion hit because he's a natural end with a natural build and a natural position-things Simon all lacks. Graham is the closest thing to Simon you are able to offer up that went in the first round that was a reach. You've taken my point of Simon being a guy that shouldn't be taken in round 1 to mean he CANT be taken in round 1-but for your artistic liberty with my own argument, you don't have anything. Again. HE SHOULDNT BE TAKEN IN THE FIRST ROUND. HE MAY BE TAKEN IN THE FIRST ROUND. IF HE IS TAKEN IN ROUND 1, SAID GM OF DRAFTING TEAM MADE A TERRIBLE, BRANDON GRAHAM\BRUCE IRVIN TYPE MISTAKE.
Anything?

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

bup bup bup....you can't say done and then say more! You say done, its done. I just finished. If you have more to say, don't do a preemptive done!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

whobdis's picture

Then you'd be wrong 100 times. That's part of the problem imo with NFL draft scouts. They get enamored with combine numbers and look past gametime performance. Gholston frequently dissappeared in games..just didn't have a high motor. I could rattle off quite a list of players who fit in this category.

William's picture

And Simon doesn't disappear during games? Like Brewsters said in the liveblog, Simon has been on a Milk Carton so far this year.

Maestro's picture

He does have 0.5 TFL's though.

vacuuming sucks

Squirrel Master's picture

Brewsters says a lot during liveblog as we all do. Doesn't mean Simon sucks! Have you seen the double teams? Have you seen them run the ball and rollout away from Simon!
Again, you guys are all talking like I say he is the next great defensive lineman like Suh. I am not saying that nor is anyone else. I am saying NFL teams will know who they have with him compared to others who might be more potential than actual production. If they like it, they will buy it. and I believe near the later part of the first round, a team will take him because they believe he can play in the NFL. Not all teams take potential in the first round!
FYI, Gholston has how many sacks so far? Milk Carton indeed!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BrewstersMillions's picture

What on earth am I reading....why is it assumed natural athletes like Gholston can't work hard\don't play hard? Because Simon has to work harder doesn't make him any better. Gholston's build and skills aren't simply God given. That is earned. I implore you, or anyone to find where its been said by anyone that matters that Gholston is lazy (A fact NFL teams will uncover for the record while doing their research on prospects). This notion that the less talented, harder working (on the surface, fact is you guys are just guessing on WG) will make the better pro is just mind boggling.
I'm asking for measurables. Reasons. What in John Simon's game makes him a top 32 pick?
I can give you plenty for William Gholston. Mainly, elite size and speed. Long arms, quick first step, ability to rush the passer and play the run, he's already showcased multiple moves this season, can beat a man inside, outside, or down the middle, and has the vertical leap to take away passing lanes.
Other than "Works hard, is humble, leader" what in Simon's game challenges that? Intangibles are nice. We love them in players, but without TANGIBLES they are nothing.
 

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Squirrel Master's picture

A 3-4 DE can be effective at 280 and Simon is at the very least 15 Lbs from that. I would even hazzard a guess that 264 is light for what he really weights. I also want to point out that he has been deliberately lean so he can play a 4-3 end in cfb not to mention he is on the Marotti plan right now which likes their linemen leaner. I can see Simon easily putting on 20 lbs, perhaps even 30 to get closer to the magical number of 300 lbs linemen need to weight. Simon has the body type. I know you agree he is out of position at DE, and we both know he doesn't fit a traditional 4-3 tackle. Straight up in the middle, Simon doesn't produce the strength to go right at an inside OL. But in a 3-4, which is gap responibility, he can hit that gap as hard as most of the 3-4 ends I know! FYI, Cam Heyward was drafted to play 3-4 DE and he weighted in at 288. I personally don't see Simon too far off of Heyward even though some might.
William, like his brother Vernon, doesn't have the reputation for being a hard worker. More of a elite talent player. William is a hot head, gets flags and loses control. He stomped a player last year for crying out loud and was suspended for an important game against Wisky. Some NFL teams take risks on those players, some stay completely clear despite the talent level.
I fully believe that Bill Belichick would take Simon over Gholston for that reason alone. Which also makes total sense because most likely NE will be drafting around 28-32 and they have a strong need for a DE. Simon doesn't play 3-4 end, but he belongs there in the NFL!
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

tennbuckeye19's picture

FWIW: Vernon and William are cousins not brothers.

BrewstersMillions's picture

The following is a list of plays who play end in a 3-4.
PIT-Ziggy Hood(6'5 300) Bret Keisel (6-5 285)
BAL-Arthur Jones (6'5 315) Haloti Ngata (6'4 340)
NYJ-Muhammed WIilkerson (6'4 315) Mike DeVito (6-3 305)
KC-Tyson Jackson (6'4 296) Glenn Dorsey (6'1 297)
WAS-Adam Carriker (6'5 305) Stephen Bowen (6'5 310)
DAL-Kenyon Coleman (6'5 293) Jason Hatcher (6'6 305)
This isn't the entire NFL, just the names off the top of my head I knew did. Looking back at it-San Diego and Green Bay also have ends that are 6'2 or taller and 295 or heavier.
So that is exactly one player who somewhat closely resembles John Simon's build-and that's Glen Dorsey who played DT in college and had to make a less drastic change to 3-4 end than Simon would.
Soooo which DE's in a 3-4 play at 280? None that I listed are close short of Keisel who also has three inches on Simon.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

William's picture

I'm telling you guys, Simon isn't even going to play defensive end. He's better suited as a tweener to play OLB, and mainly as a rush/blitzer. 

BrewstersMillions's picture

The point of this whole excercise should properly illustrate that he isn't a first round anything.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

beserkr29's picture

Before the season started, I am pretty sure one of the players remarked that man coverage would still be a part of the defensive scheme.  We haven't seen it yet, which has led to up and down results for the D.  Yes, the defense is very susceptible to the short passing game.  The inside slant and WR screens have been open the entirety of BOTH games.  In going back over the games, though, I think this is almost by design.  The Howard INT that came off of SAB's hands came because Bortles didn't see the different look on the zone.  SAB was right at the line of scrimmage, but dropped as soon as the ball was snapped.  That's very much a pro look, I think that right now OSU just lacks the pass rush to make things truly lethal for opposing defenses.  If things can come together, it should be a sight to behold.  If not, the defense will be forced to rely on timely forced turnovers to keep points off the board.  High risk, high reward can be exciting, but sooner or later you get burned.

bassplayer7770's picture

Coach Meyer basically said some of the bad plays on D would take care of themselves with more pressure on opposing QBs.  Ultimately, I'd say our D is performing pretty well so far other than getting pressure.  We have 5 interceptions without getting much pressure.  With the D mixing coverages to confuse opposing QBs, I can only imagine how many interceptions we could get this season if we start making opposing QBs uncomfortable in their backfield.

Ahh Saturday's picture

Great thread.  Our most effective pressure package from UCF was (left to right) Simon, Hankins, Washington, Spence.  The interception that led to OSU's 4th TD was the direct result of this line up.  Spence was pressuring from the outside, Washington was collapsing the pocket right next to him, and when their QB tried to step up Big Hank was pushing two men right nto him.  He had to roll out and as he did Simon was in hot pursuit and Shazier was closing like a laser.  QB panics and chucks it up for grabs, next thing you know it's Buckeye ball on UCF's 30.  Don't know why we haven't seen more of that, but I think we've got the personnel to get pressure on the QB.

Kyle Rowland's picture

Yep, that is the play I am referencing in the story when I mention Bortles. 

Maestro's picture

The coaches are still finding the best mix at this stage.  The above mentioned group is very solid.  When he gets healthy I would love to see Simon, Hankins, Bennett, Spence.

vacuuming sucks

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Not only is Simon being double teamed, but when he gets through the double team, he is being chipped by the back. I saw it numerous times against UCF. I don't care how dominant you are, getting past three blockers and getting to a QB that is only dropping back 3-4 steps and throwing the ball is effing impossible at any level. The dude is in the backfield almost every play. He was held almost every down against Miami (OH) in week one. Not making excuses for the guy, but he has A LOT of attention and blocking thrown his way. I think its Big Hank and the other linemen that need to get to the QB with all that attention being put on Simon.

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

Squirrel Master's picture

This may not be a blitzing defense but even so you need to bring it every now and then to keep the offense honest! I mean seriously, if they know you will never blitz, then they will do the best they can to double the most concerning threat, Simon. If necessary keep the RB in to help double another. If you just rush 3 and they have 6 blockers, that is a double team on each one! There is no way you can get to a QB in 3 seconds or less with your whole pass rush getting double teamed! and please don't bust out that crappy ass delayed blitz! BRING 5 GUYS RIGHT AWAY AND MAKE THEM BLOCK 1-ON-1! Simon, Hankins, Spence and even Shazier could beat a guy 1-on-1.
and as said above, press coverage! A team can't throw on a 3 step drop if the WR are tangled up with coverage! Why does this defense not play pure man coverage? Doesn't OSU recruit some of the best talent in the nation so they can handle their jobs better than others! If Roby gets burned on a deep ball because he played press coverage and the Dline still couldn't get to the QB, then that is on the players!
If you play zone and only rush 3, the QB will have all day to pick this team apart in 3 seconds! This team doesn't have to be a blitzing defense, but at least put it in the game plan so that teams don't know what you are doing! I am sorry to say, but this defense has alot of Walrusball style to it right now!
I just hope this week we see a double team on Allen and at least Shazier or someone rushing the passer at the snap, not 5 seconds later when the ball is thrown!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

buckeye76BHop's picture

It's not time to press the panic button just yet...it's not great in the stat sheet but as dumb dumb O'Leary said,

“Ohio State's front seven is outstanding,” he said. “John Simon is as good as anyone in the country. You don't want to take your time passing against them. The quarterback can't take more than three- or four-step drops.”

I can see many teams trying this against OSU...the problem has been defensive play calling not being aggressive enough.  Look for this to change this weekend...just as Kyle said...it's been said by players and coaches it has to change.  They know what needs to be practiced and I have confidence they'll get it done.  The skill is definitely there...it just needs to be utilized correctly.  Not just the Dline but the LB's need to have some blitzes in there as well as stunts on the line (not to mention a CB or FS blitz as well).  If this transpires on Saturday, then you'll see OSU with 5 or more sacks and all this banter of overrated Dline starts to go away.  If they try this scheme (or something like it ) and fail this weekend and possibly next week...and another QB throws for more than 300 yards, then it may be time to start to press the panic button with OSU's defense being overrated.  I have faith this will get figured out...it has to by MSU...or OSU is in trouble.  

"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 

Buckeye06's picture

Hankins is never going to put up 7 sacks, he's a DT.  His job is to do what he's doing, stuff the middle to force RBs outside.  The DEs are mainly responsible for the pass rush, and only when the QB steps up do DTs have the sack opportunities.
No reason to worry from me yet; we're not healthy.  Take away 2 of your top 3 guys who are supposed to pressure the QB on any team and see where that leaves them
 

cinserious's picture

I love the Adolphus Washington: "pondering destruction" picture!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

timdogdad's picture

i'm tired of seeing nate williams in the jersey and sweats and i'm sure he's tired of it too. we need him rushing the qb.  just need pressure everywhere-on the qb and receivers.
an amatuer psycholgist wold conclude that even though urb demands much, the players know they will win these first 4 games.  hopefully by the msu game, the o will be running better and the d will be corrected.   and we'll know we need to bring the best game we can.   i'm psyched to see this team improve.  i'm sure we will.    at least we don't have wisc problems.   in two years they went from scoring 80 to almost getting shutout by an unranked team.

cplunk's picture

^ This
Nate Williams is not the most talented player on the defense, but he is the most disruptive player. Everytime he's in he is all over the ball or the QB. He gets in the backfield much more often (percentage-wise) than anybody else on the d. He's a difference maker.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think that role was taken last week by Washington! Even from a DT position he has been getting into the backfield often. It just seems when this team does get pressure on the QB, the 3 guys there most often are Williams, Simon and Washington! Spence is getting there but I think the other 3 are more prolific. Difference is Washington seems to be doing it up the middle while the others are rushing on the outside.
all I know is it isn't enough and I believe it is because offenses know who is coming before the play. Need to bring the blitzes to change it up!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

cplunk's picture

When Williams was healthy, he was leagues ahead of where Washington and Spence are right now. He was in the backfield constantly. 
No where Washington and Spence might be by next year, that's another story...I'm very high on their long term prospects. Great talents.

Squirrel Master's picture

Well yeah, Nasty Nate was going to dominate last year before his injury. I think last year could have been worlds different on defense if he was healthy last year!
Future is very bright. Between those two and Schutt as well, that is 3 awesome talents! Throw in Bosa possibly getting a lot of PT and that is a monster in the future!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Dougger's picture

"Nasty Nate"
I like that.
Even though we're picking this apart and people have already said it, it's really good we have these two games ahead of us - hopefully it will give the coaches a chance to iron things out by putting players in their correct positions and having them communicate properly. I can't see this going on well into the year, I think the coaches know what they're doing

I like football

gobucks96's picture

When we need a pass rush, we'll adjust. right now, I believe the staff is testing the other units.. and motivating the D-line..
Course, I'm in very optimistic mood this week...

Crimson's picture

I was half wondering after the UCF game if they're just trying to test parts of the defense.  They're running a new zone cover scheme, and the line is only rushing 3-4 most of the time.  I'm hoping that they're doing this for the nonconference to work on their cover 4, and to make the d line work harder.  Then once the conference games start, they'll switch to mixing between what they're doing and playing man with blitz.  Add in some different versions of the two, and they could confuse the QBs to no end.  We'll see how happy I am after Sparty.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Ah - all the bantering back and forth about Buckeye football brings a smile to my face and although we may not be on the same side at times - I think we can all agree on one common thought - It is great to be a Buckeye and glad WE ARE - not PSU!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Tom57's picture

Urban said before the season that he needed Nate to be in the mix, or the DL was only above average. To be elite we needed an experience edge rusher.
He also said coming out of spring that we needed Curtis Grant to emerge as a solid Mike LB.
We have neither and until Spence comes of age, or Nate comes back, Simon and Hankins are playing out of position much of the time.
Until Grant emerges and we have to play nickel the whole game Simon and Hankins have to play gap sound and keep the play in front of them.
I only noticed Simon cheat once last week and it was on the power sweep where took and inside lane to get to the QB and he was easily turned inside.

SilverBulletInCincy's picture

I think Curtis Grant has played well to this point.  His snaps have been extremely limited due to us being in a nickel package.  The reason Grant isnt on the field in this package is because he is a mike linebacker and clearly Shazier and Sabino are better athletes and are better in coverage.  The other thing I notice and has probably been mentioned is that we were playing with 3 d tackles in obvious passing situations.  That simply cannot happen if we want to get to the quarterback.  I wonder why they havent used Pittman yet.  I also dont understand why when you have 2 really quick linebackers in Shazier and Sabino, you arent blitzing them and playing bump and run coverage.  The team as a whole is a work in progress and I think we will see steady improvement from week to week.  This is a damn good football team, keep your heads up boys!

kb1's picture

^This. The article mentions corner blitzes but doesnt address the LB blitz. I hate the corner blitz especially against a quick pass game. It doesnt work. We can stay in nickel put both lbs on the line to blitzthat and play press coverage. Havent seen it yet. I think it would help.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Did Urban really drop an "and so forth"? 

Roger's picture

This will probably get buried but I've noticed the same misprint in every transcript of Urban Meyer's comments:

"Teams made a decision when they drop back to pass on quick game, they are getting guys out. On a non-quick game, they are max protecting, which is not usual."

That last line should actually be "which is not unusual". Obviously, it's very common for teams to go max-protect in the long passing game. 

Haybucks's picture

I'm extremely happy to have Simon on our team and even happier he is not playing against us.  Where he goes next year is not relevent to how he plays for us.  His motor is always cranked and he brings out the beasts in the kids. I feel bad for Nate, but his injury has to be mentally hadicapping his performance.  Hopefully, he will feel more sure that it has healed and can forget about it.  I want to see him disrupt lik before.  That will only help Simon and the kids get free to pillage.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
- Edward Gibbon