Who Was His Position Coach at Ohio State Again?

By Ramzy Nasrallah on July 29, 2013 at 1:36p

Jim Tressel once called Ohio State's quarterback "the most important person in Ohio."

After long-time QB coach Joe Daniels lost his battle with cancer, rather than find a qualified and proven mentor for this critical job Tressel elevated Nick Siciliano, his former player at YSU and his quality control coordinator to manage that position for the Buckeyes.

Siciliano coached quarterbacks for all three of Pryor's seasons at Ohio State. How did that work out for him now that he's playing for the Oakland Raiders?

Pryor worked diligently on his footwork and lower-body positioning to the point where he said his arm never gets sore despite a nonstop offseason of throwing passes.

Well that's a nice little trick to have in your bag. Anything else?

"I never really knew how to throw a football before," Pryor said. "It's coming along. I'm getting way better. I probably missed four or five throws out of 80, 85 throws today. I might ice my arm as a precaution tonight, but it feels great.".

"They've got me going in the right direction to be a pretty good quarterback who knows how to throw the ball," Pryor said.

A reminder that while Tressel was a wonderful program steward, failing to report his players to the NCAA for selling their belongings was only his second-worst crime against Ohio State football.

Also: Viva Tom Herman!


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buckeyefan808's picture

i cant wait to see how much growth he has made. really hoping he earns that starting spot.

jkrk's picture

Still, I bet Pryor learned how to make an amazing pot of coffee.

jeremytwoface's picture

What are you talking about?? I think Pryor had excellent throwing abilities.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Geesh, hearing that kind of stuff makes the Tressel years seem that much more impressive and disappointing at the same time.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

AndyVance's picture

Like Tampa said below, I'm loyal to Tressel to a fault, but things like this really live me scratching my head... How did he think not having a competent QB coach (I'm using the words competent and QB together, not implying that Nick isn't otherwise competent at whatever he does) was a good idea? I suppose recruiting freakishly good athletes makes up for some of that, but, wow.

kmp10's picture

Tressel didn't hire a QB coach after Daniels left the program because Tressel himself was the de facto quarterbacks coach... and that's the way he wanted it. Giving Siciliano that title (and the money that goes along with it) accomplished two things: One, Tressel got to help out a friend of his. Two, Tressel got to play the part he always fancied himself playing - a quarterback guru. Tressel, as GREAT a head coach/winner as he was, was not what he most wanted to be; a great developer of quarterbacks. He just wasn't...

AndyVance's picture

Good perspective K, and one I honestly hadn't considered. While I don't have a Tressel tattoo, I'll always be a huge fan of what he accomplished at Ohio State. What he could have accomplished, on the other hand, still boggles my mind.

Kvs66's picture

I have not been a Pryor supporter since the conspiracy that hurt OSU football, but it was obvious he either could not be coached, or he was being coached by people incompetent in their methods. The Walrus and his stupid blocking schemes that made 5 star linemen suck, did not help OSU either. MSU should suffer greatly unless Dantonio is smart enough to demand a more effective method. 
Tressel should be commended for winning most of his games with these drawbacks. Defense and special teams had to be the difference in most wins.


JKH1232's picture

Thank god we got rid of that joker, with his 10.6 wins a year and eight B1G championships in 10 years.

tampa buckeye's picture

He did the bare min. With the talent he had. One more national title would have been nice. I'll never forget tempe.

cplunk's picture

No, I think the bare minimum would be Cooper's record against TSUN

cal3713's picture

The bare minimum?  Don't be ridiculous.  

tampa buckeye's picture

Jim t. Loyal to a fault.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

I really didn't mean what I said to come off in that tone jkh.  More of a what could have been way.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Joe Beale's picture

Pryor's total passing yards in 2010 was the third-best in school history, and his total offense that season set a new school record. In 2009, despite suffering an injury that hobbled him for much of the season and despite a steady dose of BollmanBall play-calling during the regular season, Pryor still managed to put up a passing total that ranks 14th all-time and total offense that ranks 3rd all-time. For his career, Pryor is 5th all-time in passing yards, 3rd in completion percentage, and tied with Bob Hoying for numero uno in touchdown passes. Source

I know I'm alone on the staff in this view, but I think Siciliano was not the worst we could have done. He was working for Jim Bollman, for crying out loud! I think we're all spoiled because of Daniels.

AndyVance's picture

Joe, thanks for bringing some data to the party. While I enjoy making fun of the Walrus as much as the next guy, there are times when I think we (as a community) forget that these men bled scarlet & gray as much as we do, and they gave us some great memories. You can't have the best position coach in the game at every position in every season - it just doesn't work that way.
I'm thankful that we're continually improving with every season, every hire, every team. It's been a good decade+ to be a Buckeye, that's for sure.

ChazBuckeye's picture

Great points but OSU's coaching staff during 2008-2011 was one of the worst we've had possibly in history besides Heacock, Drayton and Fickel.  The defense was good until 2011 but the offense could have been SO much better if they were coached better.  Bollman and Siciliano were cronies...nothing more.  Just look at the Arkansas game that supposedly never happened.  That should have been 52-20...not 36-28.  Perfect example of get a lead, play prevent, and don't lose the game.  IMO, that's a direct result of coaching...not just players playing in the game.  
On another point, I love hearing TP say he likes being coached on how to throw the ball correctly bc I always thought he had a shot-put throwing motion (and still threw OK).  Which is why I feel Braxton will be a better throwing QB if the next year or two goes how I think it could.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

Bolt's picture

I would've loved to see what Joe Daniels could've done with TP. A lot of the reason TP came to Ohio State was because of Joe and the wonders he did with Troy Smith (Not to mention guys like Marino, Kelly, etc). Joe recruited him to Columbus and then his health issues took a toll on him forcing him to step aside where Siciliano stepped in. I think if Joe was still really in the picture during TP's playing days we would've seen some ever far scarier stuff on the field during TP's time here.

ChazBuckeye's picture

Very good point...I totally forgot about Joe's health problems towards the end of his coaching career.  

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

TheShookster's picture

Even after seeing this, it's still not as mind-boggling as starting Joe Bauserman over Braxton.

He ain't even stretch doe!!

Nappy's picture

Yeah but think about all those extra souvenirs Bauserman threw into the stands.  Braxton would have thrown them to open receivers and all those kids wouldn't have footballs to cherish forever.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

TheShookster's picture

Valid, so what you're saying is Joey B would be a fan favorite in the Arena league where they are allowed to keep the stray footballs

He ain't even stretch doe!!

buckeyedude's picture

I don't recall, but did the fans get to keep the Bauser Bombs thrown into the stands like a foul ball in baseball? Is that true? No wonder Braxton finally got the nod. It was costing the university too much to replace all of them. LOL.



Kvs66's picture

Agree, it made the entire coaching staff  look ignorant. Most HS QB's in the stands could have done better than Baurserman. Every fan knew it, but it eluded the coaches responsible to make good decisions. What a joke.


Alpo's picture

TP still looks good in Scarlet and grey!(red&silver)

Maestro's picture

Did his hands grow?  Good lord he makes that ball look tiny.

vacuuming sucks

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

That was the first thing I noticed in the picture.  And I don't care what anyone says about TP.  Dude was a stud at tOSU.  Sure, he made his mistakes and said some dumb shat, but at the end of the day, dude was the reason we were competitive during his career. 

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

741's picture

That football looks like a walnut in his hands. The kid was and is a specimen.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Terrelle Pryor's unseen physical tools were wasted by Tressel and the Bollrus. It will always go down as one of the few tragedies of the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State. His heart attack inducing style of play would have gone by the way side if he knew how to properly utilize Pryor. Clearly the questions about Pryor's work ethic should be answered by the fact that he's busting his behind in Oakland. Dude was a huge success by Ohio State standards from a statistical standpoint and still played most games with handcuffs on. Shame on Jim and Jim.

Denny's picture

I am the EggDave, We are the EggDaves, I am The Bollrus! Koo koo ka choo!


Idaho Helga's picture

Hiilarious comment!   PLease feel free to repeat that when we are commenting on the Sparty games in the future.

741's picture

Respectfully, I think you may be attributing Pryor's apparent 2013 maturity level to 2009 and playing a trick on yourself. I think JT did the best he could (and we seemed to have a good amount of success as I recall) with the mental tools Pryor was bringing to the table back then. The kid is simply entering into full grown man intellectual status as we speak. I'm rooting for him!

cal3713's picture

The lack of perspective in many of the comments here simply boggles my mind.  The staff wasted his talent??? Let me just copy and paste Joe's post here...
"Pryor's total passing yards in 2010 was the third-best in school history, and his total offense that season set a new school record. In 2009, despite suffering an injury that hobbled him for much of the season and despite a steady dose of BollmanBall play-calling during the regular season, Pryor still managed to put up a passing total that ranks 14th all-time and total offense that ranks 3rd all-time. For his career, Pryor is 5th all-time in passing yards, 3rd in completion percentage, and tied with Bob Hoying for numero uno in touchdown passes."

BuckeyeinExile's picture

I hope they give Tom Herman whatever type of bonus he wants at the end of this year to keep him in Cbus!

TheShookster's picture

Looks like everyone is getting downvoted...is Nick Siciliano a member of 11w?

He ain't even stretch doe!!

Squirrel Master's picture

Something tells me it wasn't the coaches that weren't coaching him, I believe it was him not listening to the coaches.
Who really believes that during his 3.25 years at OSU that he NEVER really knew how to throw a football? Come on! Even if Braxton was still being taught by Nick and the Walrus (band name!) he still would be going to get lessons from George Whitfield and QB coaches. I highly doubt Pryor's whole time in the program they refused to teach him anything or he didn't take it upon himself (since he had aspirations to go to the NFL and wasn't getting taught anything, don't you think he would have tried to learn on his own at least) to learn on his own. He isn't that dumb! and that coaching staff wasn't THAT bad! Maybe walrus was.
I put this on Pryor himself if this was true. How can you go 3 years and not think "how come they aren't teaching me anything about throwing". I call BS!
and if you throw at me "well he wasn't taught how to properly throw", I still say how come he didn't question this till now, 2 years into the NFL?
They were teaching him, he just wasn't listening! Now his ass is on the line and he has this realization. I'm a big fan of Pryor and loved watching him play. I hope he does well despite being a raider, but I don't believe this one bit.

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

Earle's picture

Thank you.  I have a really difficult time believing that Tressel was so much on cruise control that he would allow someone of TP's caliber to go virtually uncoached.  There was simply too much to gain by teaching him how to throw properly.  It's much more likely that a prodigiously talented teenage knucklehead with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement thought he could get by on talent and tuned out the coaching staff.
That is not to knock Pryor (at least not too much).  As a largely untalented knuckleheaded teenager, I thought I was smarter than everyone around me, too.  I had hoped TP had grown up in the last couple of years, and maybe he has, but these statements are certainly not evidence of it.  It sounds more like empty excuses for unfulfilled potential to me.
Best of luck Terrelle.  Keep listening to your coaches.  We're all rooting for you.  So is Jim Tressel, I'm sure.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

Idaho Helga's picture

Squirrel I have to disagree and I might say why:
1) Tressel did think he was the quarterbacks coach.  And the special teams coach.   Tressel shines as a game day coach, organizer, I could go on for about another 8-10 things but quarterback mentor doesn't make the list.
2) It would have served the QB's (all) if there was really a true quarterbacks coach and something not named Bollman.
3) Terrelle is extremely athletically gifted.  Imagine if he would have had a better QB coach.  Maybe there wasn't one available.  The fact that he has revamped his throwing style speaks volumes.
4) Yes, I get that you can't have the top coaches at every position. 
The proof is in the pudding.  Urban has had Brax360 under mentors to improve his skill set.  Is the skill set of Braxton and Terrelle that much different?  I say no (except Terrelle had the best stiff-arm in college and Braxton ducks & dodges slightly better).  Let's see who makes the Junior leap better in passing.

Squirrel Master's picture

Helga, he is saying he wasn't taught anything on how to properly throw a football. You seriously going to say that since he didn't have a good QB coach and that Tressel thought of himself as a QB mentor, but Pryor wasn't taught anything? Over 3 years he wasn't taught anything about throwing a ball and didn't question it? come on!
and I am not comparing Pryor as a passer to Braxton. I am comparing Braxton taking it upon himself to get proper coaching whether or not he was getting it at OSU or not. Pryor never took the initiative upon himself no matter how good the QB coach was.
My point is the #1 overall recruit who is supposed to be the next big thing in the NFL at QB and he doesn't do anything about getting better on his own? Other QBs who are at his level go out and seek training. George Whitfield has coached many QB's over the past 5 years including RG3, Manziel and Braxton. Also Cam Newton! the top QB in his class.
You can put his inability to pass in college on Nick and Tressel, fine, but don't say he was never taught anything until now that he is in the NFL because that is BS! His attitude kept him from learning more, not the people around him.
and I find it hard to believe that Tressel and Nick didn't say "maybe we should work on that ARM PUNT!" You can talk about culture and being the star but many stars, including some on his own team, took it upon themselves to get better because they wanted to succeed in the NFL. Pryor has no one to blame but himself for his inability.
AND....didn't he work with a QB trainer when he was preparing for the supplemental draft? I guess they never taught him anything either! I don't need to see "who makes the junior leap better in passing" because it has nothing to do with Pryor and his responsibility to get better himself. READ a DAMN BOOK! there are plenty of them on "how to properly throw a football". GO SEE A SPECIALIST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!

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

Idaho Helga's picture

Sad that you and I aren't on the same page here, because I almost always agree with you.
But the trip Braxton took to California had to have cost more than a few greenies.  Pryor sold his stuff for $300 in tattoos.  I don't think this was ever an option for him unless he would have sold even more crap...let's just not go there.
You can say he should pick up a book, but really?  It's not even close to have a coach for whom that is his job and focus, reviewing you, your film and helping you to make improvements.  I stick to my thoughts that Tressel was overextending himself trying to do too much and should have had at least one more position coach, a QB one, at the time. 
You can read physics from a book and learn to do the math.  But the teacher gives you the education and makes it all make sense and tie together through the practical lab experiences of motion and action.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

DV troll strikes again.
helped where I could

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

droessl's picture

Spike Lee says thanks! 

razrback16's picture

I choose to look at it as a funny dig at schools like Michigan who Pryor, a QB who admittedly did not know how to throw a football in college, beat 3 times in a row. lol

idontsmellgood's picture

I definitely miss him stiff-arming defenders and burning everyone to the corner time after time.
Now we get to watch another freak own defenders in a totally different way.

"This kid scares me a little bit because I've seen him on film drop back and ...boom, boom, boom." Tuberville moved his head, mimicking Barrett checking through his progressions. "That scares me right now. Has all week."-Tuberville on JT Barrett

BuckeyeSki's picture

"Everybody throws spirals, in-routes to you, post-routes to him...whatever"

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Buckeyejason's picture

Troy Smith seemed to know how to throw a ball pretty well...


William's picture

He had Joe Daniels as a QB coach, who passed away in 2011... Pryor had Daniels as his coach for one year, which means the amount of time he spent with Daniels in comparison to Smith was minimal at best. 
Also here's the reality of measuring Pryor's numbers against other OSU QBs; it's dumb and pretty homerish, considering that OSU, throughout its history, has been pretty lacking in elite, pocket-passing QBs. Also, throughout our history, with a few exceptions, like Schlichter, Hoying and Germaine, we have pretty much always relied on a stable of running backs. We aren't a university known for producing QBs, so trying to act like Tressel/Siciliano were good QB coaches because Pryor put up numbers that were good in comparison to other OSU QBs is dumb, because it lacks perspective. 
Pryor was held back by the system he played in, and any argument about how he didn't have it between the ears is pretty stupid. I mean Cam Newton and Vince Young won national titles and I'm pretty sure those guys weren't getting 34s on the ACT....

AndyVance's picture

Fair argument, William - I think many of us question Pryor's mental game because of his numerous and infuriating off-the-field issues surrounding the infamous scandal and throwing OSU under the bus afterward, as the kids say these days. It's not that we think he's dumb, but that he lacked a certain maturity that you see in Braxton Miller, in other words.
That said, you are correct that Ohio State is known far more for its running backs and defensive units (linebackers in specific). Comparing players across coaching regimes, and even from one recruiting class to the next is extremely difficult, as I've learned from writing the "countdown to kickoff" series at my 11W blog. Was James Laurinatus better than Chris Spielman? Was Spielman better than Jack Tatum? The answer is that those types of questions are the wrong questions to ask.
Pryor was an amazingly gifted talent who was probably constrained by the system in which he played, but Tressel may have kept the proverbial cuffs on him because he didn't trust his maturity as a decision maker to operate with any more freedom than that.

btalbert25's picture

I know everyone loves Tressel and people get pissed if you don't talk about how great his era was, but I'm going to do it anyway.  Can you imagine what the status of this program would be if Urban or someone else was at the helm during those years?  The dominance of a bad Big 10 and Michigan were awesome, and I know we had success in BCS games, but honestly the program was in position to do better.  The talent was there, the killer instinct and swagger always wasn't.  Plus, the staff just didn't trust the talent they had.  
I don't mean to sound like I was constantly disappointed with Tressel, I wasn't at all.  In fact, when most were piling on the guy I was defending him.  My perspective has changed and perhaps that's because we went from having a very good college football coach, to a guy who when all is said and done could potentially be a top 5 all time college football coach.  I just can't imagine what Urban would be able with a talent like TP.  What would Urban have been able to do with Teddy Ginn(he had a very good career but we weren't necessarily creative with the guy). 

AndyVance's picture

I see where you're coming from, but I think you can't get to point X without having to go through everything that went before it. Without the Tressel era, their is no Urban Meyer era, in other words. Tresselball may have been all you said and more, but I think the program needed a return to solid, fundamental, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust, Beat Michigan first, smashmouth defense brand of football before it was ready to move to a lights-out, hang 63 points on Nebraska style of game.
And, not for nothing, Tressels mantra(s) of "Defense wins Championships" and the punt is the most important play in the game did yield results... We did win a national title, we did get to two other title games, we did beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl, we did beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, and we did - regardless of what the official record says - beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl... Oh, and beat Michigan damn near every time we played them, of course.