Tom Herman Talks Newly-Installed Diamond formation

June 19, 2013 at 6:27p    by DJ Byrnes    
49 Comments
Tom Herman breaks down his offense to the BTN's Gerry DiNardo

Ohio State's offensive coordinator sat down with Big Ten Network's Gerry DiNardo and shot the breeze. The whole piece (video included) is quite informative, but here are some of the best bits:

On the new-wrinkle Diamond formation:

It’s kind of an inverted Wishbone. Dana Holgorsen did a good job with it a few years back at Oklahoma State when he had (Brandon) Weeden and (Justin) Blackmon. He was getting into it to get single coverage on Blackmon. He would put three backs in the game, or two backs with a fullback/tight end guy. And Dana would have a two-play check to where if defenses double Blackmon, they were going to run it. And if they didn’t, they were going to throw it to Blackmon. I have been studying it for a couple of years.

It has evolved a little bit to where guys are running a lot more plays out of the formation. It has been fun. It has been fun for our guys because we are pretty deep at tailback. Carlos (Hyde) and Rod Smith, who probably could start a lot of places in this league. And we have two young guys in Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball who deserve to see the field a little bit.

On last year's toughest defense:

Absolutely, Wisconsin. Without a doubt. Their defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who I knew from my days at Iowa State and am good friends with … I felt like I got out coached. He was very simple. He did not call one blitz on first or second down. He called one front and one coverage. Within that front and coverage, he could adjust to any formation or motion we gave him. And he had his kids extremely well coached up on recognition of plays and alignments.

Herman continues to show adeptness with the media that will serve him well once he moves on to be a head coach.


49 Comments

Comments

brandonbauer87's picture

Herman has forgotten more about schematic football than I'll ever know. 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Tommy H is a dreamboat!

OSUs12-OH's picture

He's definitely not a turdburgler that's for sure;-)

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM

Chief B1G Dump's picture

It's true!
Tom burgles no turds...

Basso Profondo's picture

The fact that he has been studying the diamond formation "for a few years" should be frightening enough for many, I wonder how well he knows it by now.  I wish he would never leave, but he certainly is earning that head coaching spot. 

Hovenaut's picture

Woody approves of the Diamond.

Three yards and a vapor trail......

Hovenaut's picture

As an integral component of the power run game?

Coach?

Me without a Ouija board.....

Natron D14's picture

I don't think very much excites me more about the 2013 S&G season then seeing this wrinkle perform. Hyde, Smith, Dunn/Ball, for multiple power option/read plays, or sub in shifty-ness of Marshall/Wilson for a NASTY speed option... 
 
*Insert Goosebumps*... <---That just happened  

AT1 (AW) Dawson - Buckeye Born and Raised 

hail2victors9's picture

Did someone say Goosebumps?  Ermahgerd!

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

toad1204's picture

So you're saying a diamond is a guys best friend?  This flies in the face of everything the married guys at work tell me.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

TheGhostofWoody's picture

Funny to see how excited people get about things they think are really new and advanced.  This has been around for a long time.  It should work pretty well with the skill at RB, though it does help to have a really elite WR, which we obviously don't yet.

Natron D14's picture

When was the last time you saw S&G line up the same number of backs as the Maryland I in the 'Shoe? No it may not be new to the game in concept, but it is definitely not a formation that would have been called in the last 2 or 3 eras of tOSU coaching staff. 
I recognize how a lot of critics are less than sold on the concept, but you can not argue that it presents us an opportunity to put multiple play makers on the field simultaneously. Should it be used as a base formation? absolutely not, but it shows promise when it comes to our skillset, especially having a QB that runs damn near as well as any of our other backs. As a wrinkle, bad ass, Just Sayin' 

AT1 (AW) Dawson - Buckeye Born and Raised 

TheGhostofWoody's picture

A lot of people here (not necessarily you) need to understand that the most critical part of any offense is blocking.  Yesterday, some were suggesting that we put 6 skills players on the field in addition to the QB.  Somebody has to block.  The reason I don't think the diamond is that amazing is because it's redundant and doesn't create any new gaps for the offense.  You can get the exact same advantage with a fullback H-back tight end, unless of course you're planning a triple-reverse.  It's not that there's anything wrong with it.  It's just not that innovative.

Gametime's picture

Gotta disagree. With the combination of blocking schemes, personnel, and play calling it can be extremely innovative. You can run power packages with Hyde, Smith, and Dunn or speed packages with Dontre, Jalin, and EzE, all of whom can catch and do damage in space out of the backfield. 
You have sweeps, counters, shuffle passes, play-actions, and not to mention most of a fullback/TE/H-back doesn't really give you the exact same advantage. While they may give you better blocking overall and/or a big target in the passing game, they don't create the same mismatches with LBs or Ss if one of these guys were to slip out the backfield or run a wheel route down the sideline nor does it give you a legitimate viable rushing threat.
I think you're underselling how much damage can be done with this formation, especially if our WRs get in gear and can beat some guys 1 on 1 if the opposing safeties get caught with their eyes in the backfield and with our opponents likely to be unfamiliar with how to stop it.

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

TheGhostofWoody's picture

Dontre, Jalin, and EZE?  So you want to line up three freshman near or under 200 pounds in the backfield?  Again, who is going to block?  Alabama linebackers would be laughing at that formation on their way to a 5-10 yard TFL. "Sweeps, counters, shuffle passes, play-actions" - every one of those can be done out a single back set. 

Hovenaut's picture

You make sound points against the use, but you do realize this isn't a full-time formation, right?

It's a change-up....nothing more. Something for defenses to look out for, a matchup advantage, etc.

Just another look from the spread, not a base set. With the athleticism this offense will be seeing the next few years, it could work.

Herman and Meyer seem to have that offensive thing down.

Just my .02.

TheGhostofWoody's picture

Oh I know, and I'm not hating on it.  I just want people to realize what it is.  It's not a new shiny miracle offense.

brandonbauer87's picture

I'm late to the party but I'll toss in my two cents.  You're correct in saying it isn't a new formation.  I disagree about the advantages though.  It actually can and does create blockers and running lanes.  You can use your offensive line to block for an off-tackle left run.  When the defense recognizes this, they react accordingly.  You can then use two (or three) of your backs and sweep right.  This is only one example of many I could dream up.  There's obviously other things you could do with this or any offense.  What this does is put multiple weapons in a position to attack from multiple angles.  It's not the spread circa 2003, but it's definitely unusual and useful.

Gametime's picture

Um, YES. I want to line up three freshman who are all 4.4, 10.5 track guys and laugh as Alabama's LBs and Ss get over aggressive from their 50 set and get burned down field. 
You say that as if their stature matters - have you seen what guys like um, I dunno, LaMichael James, Keyon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas, Tavon Austin, Percy Harvin, etc. can do? (and the heaviest of these guys is 195 and as light as 173) These guys are in that mold, have that kind of potential, and would be an excellent change of pace and wrinkle to our other looks.
You keep saying "who's going to block," like there aren't still aren't SEVEN other guys on the field, the five offensive lineman, perhaps a double TE version or the WRs who'll block down field, not to mention the misdirection from the backs that don't get the ball will carry defenders with them and they'll block down field also. 
Not to mention a single back set doesn't create matchup problems or blown assignments if a guy motions out of the backfield or starts a route across the formation or even a slip screen with a combination of two of the bigger backs and a smaller speedy back.
Use your imagination man! 
 

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

TheGhostofWoody's picture

I am.  However, unlike you, I'm actually being realistic.

Gametime's picture

No, I'm not being unrealistic and you're actually just being pessimistic.
Don't confuse that with realism or reality.
Reality gives way to probability and possibility. So let's ask ourselves this: Is it possible that these recruits can be as good as the guys I've mentioned? Absolutely. Is it probable? And again, the chances are very high that in this system they'll find similar success as similar players who've played in similar systems. Repeated observations of players with similar skill sets and stature suggests that.
Of course with those players mentioned, we have to observe them situationally, but nothing I've said is "not realistic", but in fact optimistic of the apex of of those possibilities and probabilities. 
 

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

TheGhostofWoody's picture

I'm not being pessimistic.  Freshman are uniformly bad at two things:  Blocking, and understanding the offense.   You want to put them in a position where they likely have to do both really well.  It's not going to happen, nor should it happen.  

brandonbauer87's picture

I'll argue the merit of the formation, but not personnel.  Under no circumstances should 3 freshmen be in the backfield. This should be Miller, Hyde, Smith, And Dunn. 

Squirrel Master's picture

I was going to argue that maybe he meant sprinkle in the 3 freshmen with the upperclassmen of Hyde, Smith and Dunn...
but now I see he actually meant use all 3, as freshmen, at the same time. That I won't agree with. I think if Hyde and Smith were in, adding in Wilson would be a great idea for that speed purpose. Or if its Hyde and Dunn, bring in Eze. Mix and match. But at no time should it be multiple freshmen while the vets sit on the sideline. No way! I don't care how good the freshmen are getting.
I do understand the original point that the diamond is really a new way of saying "wishbone" but it can be inovative to take an old offense and make some changes to suit the new game of today. The pistol is a change to the pro-form. Instead of having the QB and RB all the way back in shotgun, move the QB closer to avoid the faults of the shotgun pro-form.
 

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

tampa buckeye's picture

Those freshmen are going to play a lot this year. Clark might be the most explosive out of everyone. Time will tell but one thing is for sure this is the most talent on offense since 06'

TheGhostofWoody's picture

I doubt that they're going to play a lot.  A couple of them, sure, but most will not play much at all.

Gametime's picture

You are, because you're assuming that they can't; thus you're expecting an unfavorable outcome to the possible scenarios which by it's definition is being pessimistic. You're also being "unrealistic" if you think it's definitely "not going to happen".
Obviously the coaching staff knows that freshman can struggle with the playbook and blocking, but that's also why the make things easy for them by having them focus on a chunk of plays until they get better acclimated and that put them in the position to utilize their skill set and succeed.
Also, you make the assumption they will all have to block and that may NOT be the case, they could run misdirection and/or safety/hot routes. Occupying a defender is just as good as a block and that could easily prevent a team from blitzing with so many threats on the field.
They could also use any combination of the backs as Jalin and Dontre are expected to compete for time at the Pivot position this year; but that doesn't mean all three freshman will be out there at the same time. It could easily be a mixture of the any of our playmakers for the sole purpose of passing with none of them in the backfield blocking and 5 receiving threats.
It's done in the 5-Wide look all the time, accept in the diamond formation you have to respect the run and keeping LBs in the game to do that can create mismatches against the faster Hybrid type players out of the backfield especially with Philly, Spencer, and some of the newcomers who could be big deep threats.
 

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

You don't have to pancake guys to run plays out of this offense.  All they really have to do is get in someone's way and block the edge on the sweeps.  Taking advantage of the speed mismatches is the ultimate goal. 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I've heard of a second diamond where four receivers are bunched together on one side of the field, designed primarily for screens and QB draws

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Cubbies115's picture

I believe John Moxon created that, it's called the oopty oop

Hovenaut's picture

Nice Varsity Blues drop.....

Now all I need is a pic of that cheerleader in her Cool Whip outfit.

AndyVance's picture

You're welcome. (It's a picture of Ali Larter in a Cool Whip bikini - consider yourself forewarned if you're offended by hot chicks wearing nothing but imitation dairy topping.)

Hovenaut's picture

*Mentally travels back in time, a simpler place. An unmarried, simpler place*

MN Buckeye's picture

Maybe Herman will hang around two or three more years to learn from the master before taking over his own program.

Haybucks's picture

I hope so.  Maybe he'll carry on Coach Meyer's legacy.

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

Becool12's picture

I love how honest he was in the interview. Herman is possibly my favorite coach on the roster because of that. Coaches tend to talk up players, make them have a big head, which I believe levels out their playing. Here, he clearly said Philly wasn't a homerun and probably won't ever be, that Dunn and Ball deserve carries, and that he was outcoached. I can't wait to see what he is going to do with this offense this year. 

LadyBuck's picture

I feel like Urban and Herman are two mad scientists together in a lab, proclaiming that it's alive. It will be quite interesting to see how this plays into our offense.

buckguyfan1's picture

Let's just call it "Angry Science!"

Haybucks's picture

Just one more monster for the rest of the B1G to worry about.

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

Maestro's picture

I predict that diamond will cut a lot of shit up.

vacuuming sucks

Haybucks's picture

Hyde and Smith are awesome, but I'm all in for effective ways that get the younger backs some playing time.  

And we have two young guys in Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball who deserve to see the field a little bit.

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

Buckeye06's picture

His honesty was striking with how quickly he admitted being outcoached by Wisky. 

acBuckeye's picture

Diamonds are a Braxton's best friend.

CowCat's picture

The main thing I like about the diamond - and the pistol - is the symmetry of the formation.
In our standard inside zone, we're often stating to the defense which defender we're reading (e.g. the DE to the RB's side).    The defense can then use scrape exchanges and other tricks to confuse the read.
With a symmetrical formation the defense doesn't know which side the QB is reading.   And, with the diamond formation you can have a FB on both sides, so the strength of the formation isn't clear either.

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

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Things like this really make me wish Hermann could stay forever.  Unfortunately, he's much more motivated to succeed in life than the Walrus.  I hope we have him for 2014, but I don't see it happening.

OSUs12-OH's picture

Is it August 31st yet?

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM

twalsh's picture

The Bleacherreport had a good article on the Diamond Formation at tOSU.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1596594-ohio-state-football-can-bucke...

tdible2132's picture

Definitely really interested to see this offense in action in the coming years.  I think it could really take our offense to another level.