2014...Growing Pains?

Bucks777's picture
December 23, 2013 at 10:07a

   We will be missing Carlos that is for sure, If Braxton goes it will also be a huge loss. Sure we have great Freshman who have not seen the field and have very little experience especially in Big Game Atmosphere.  There are always Growing Pains!

   I believe the first 4 games next year will be huge in showing us exactly what we are dealing with.  We will know by then if Brax is coming back, let's assume he doesn't for the sake of argument.  We will have a very inexperienced O Line, Inexperienced Backfield; minus  the beast in Hyde. The QB spot as far as experience goes in non existent.  I believe if we start a a New QB (braxton gone) he will have some tremendous early challenges: NAVY ( no sleeper, look at them this year!) ; VIRGINIA TECH (very good team); Kent State (not a bad 2014 squad, a lot of seniors); Cincinnati ( very Tough); Maryland (again not a bad team);  Out of the first 6 games there are 4 very good opponents! 

    A young inexperienced QB no matter how good will face some huge challenges and battles in those games.  I think everyone knows that a true freshman will not run like Brax did; for one he will not have the O line from 2013, and he will be inexperienced / lacking confidence early on. 

   The O line play in the Beginning of 2014 will be crucial in developing the next QB; again assuming Brax leaves!  If the line falters and allows some really bad sacks (hard hits) it is very hard on a freshman in the begriming of his career to get past that type of punishment.  It will affect his footwork in the pocket. Many a QB that have gone through these situations have become nervous in the pocket because of the hits they take early in their respective careers.

   If I am Urban I am focusing on the O line becoming Tough as nails and leak proof to the point of if you need to hold momentarily then do it, rather hold a guy or tackle one that is going to put a BIG HIT ON YOUR YOUNG QB. I know everyone that just read that cant believe I said it, let's face the facts people there is holding on every play in college and pro's I know because let's just say I have been there and done that. With that being said you never teach a lineman to hold except when he has a guy that he is up against and he is a bruiser type that can destroy the QB. If so you get your hands to the inside of his jersey and play the game; whatever it takes to keep him off your Mother(QB) There will be sacks, and bad plays they will happen, but to limit them to be non excessive and less disruptive is the ideal.

   Navy, VT, & CIN all have very good Defensive lineman coming back next year, It will be a real challenge early on for this new line to take up an identity, and play together on every play; developing a cohesive unit will enable the Offense to run at a smoother pace; and allow the QB to develop under normal circumstances. This will do wonders for his future!  A strong start by our O line also means keeping the offense on the field, giving our defense the rest it needs, and putting points on the board early and often will go a long way in developing this younger talent on both sides of the ball.  It all starts with the O line

    How long for them to gel together as a Cohesive unit?  What game do you think will be the crown jewel showcase for the O line?  If there is a new QB, does he sputter early on, or do we get through the first 5 games without a loss?

Go Bucks!!!

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Hovenaut's picture

Youth will be served.
I look first to the offensive line, with the defensive back seven in the corner of my eye. I hope (selfishly) that Coach Warriner stays to get this group afoot. Excited about the talent, but Warriner gets this group entrenched (pun intended) better than anyone I can think of.
Keeping with the offense, I'll miss El Guapo, but excited about the overall speed and ability at the skill sets. EzE looks the part, but I hope to see Rod Smith turn in a strong senior year as the power back to keep the engine in gear.
Would like to see Braxton back...period. JT Barrett seems to be the heir apparent, but I've yet to see what Cardale can do throwing the ball - I know he can move for a big guy.
On the other...side....of....the....ball....
Well, the defensive line should be one of the best, if not the best, in the country. No worries there, and glad Mr. Bennett is returning.
My heart wants RDS to stay and Christian Bryant to get that medical redshirt, but my head says they both will be gone next season.
The secondary.
Again, youth will be served. I think Doran Grant played well this year. Excited to see Vonn Bell step into a full time role, he really hustled on special teams down the stretch. I thought Cam Burrows shined when he had an opportunity to play, maybe he slides to FS, allowing Eli Apple to lockdown the other corner spot. Hope that Gareon Conley, Ron Tanner and (yes) Armani Reeves solidfy the depth.
The linebackers.
Josh Perry improved over the year and I thought Trey Johnson played well in relief/as needed.
(Slow exhale)
Curtis.....I'm an eternal optimist. Holding out hope Curtis Grant does ROI his senior year. He made strides this year imo - though in run support mostly.
Very eager to see the youngsters round out the depth there. Maybe the "Abusement Park" arrives in 2014, maybe Devin Bogard (if he is moved to LB) gets a shot, maybe the Raekwon begins his Buckeye career early and with a splash...reminiscent of Spielman or Katzenmoyer.
Overall, I believe we're looking at an intriguing mix of young talent and solid experience. It's going be a challenge from the start, and I'm eager to see it.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Absolutely, Hove, all of this. 
I guess I am perpetually the glass half full, not empty guy...and I just have to believe that with the extraordinary talent we have added the last few years, that it will now begin to show up on the field.  A few misses can be understood, but with the plethora of playmakers and dominating performers, these next years of Buckeye football are gonna be something special to watch.
I am salivating...nay, drooling, to see it.
So...will there be some "growing pains"?  Yes, there will.
However, I think the "pain" will be largely felt by those who line up against us!

I like cookies.

Hovenaut's picture

A fan of your response SSB....it sounds Time-Travler-esque.

armybuckinva's picture

these next years of Buckeye football are gonna be something special to watch.

How many years have us Buckeye fans been saying this now?  A National Championship, BIG titles, owning "m", multiple BCS bowl victories, and you're telling me it's going to better?  Such a great time to be a Buckeye fan.  Cheers, mate.

TMac's picture

My level of apprehension is directly tied to where Coach Warriner is coaching for the 2014 season!

ONE Not Done!

fanfarris's picture

Lets wait n see who is the new DC.If things stays the same on defense,then we are in for a long ,hard season next year.We are going to loose key players on defense and for sure many on  offense.next year the defense has to carry the team.Go Bucks.


HattanBuck85's picture

I really liked Curtis Grant's development despite his pass protection woes. My concern for him going forward is his health. I thought I read somewhere that he has had 5 concussions already. Fickell is gonna need to develop Chef Raekwon...quickly. 
I think we have the athletes in the secondary, but I think it's mostly about putting them in position to succeed. No more 10 yard cushions on 3rd & short. I like Doran Grant, Tyvis Powell & Vonn Bell in the secondary, but I am worried about the others. Who is going to fill the other spot(s)? Conley? Reeves? Burrows? Apple? Who knows. 
Go Bucks!

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

Bucks777's picture

Agree. Everything seems to play off the offense.  If the offense struggles that means, less points, and less time on the field. Which then directly affects the outcome of the game.
1) Defense on the field much longer.
2) Lees Points means the defense is under pressure to not allow points, cant pin ears back and just rush the QB as much... however if the offense is productive it keeps the defense on their toes and moving downhill.
3) Offense struggles often lead to Defensive breakdowns; giving short field, not enough time to rest (do to short drives/3 and out), Must be able to run the football and control the clock, need O line to be able to be effective.
Go Bucks!

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

I'm already prepping Brax to be on the up-and-out. He is not doing a very good job of covering up his decision with what he is saying recently.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Bucks777's picture

I agree do you pass up the big money $$$ to trade another year of playing college football?  I heard he has a kid also, not sure if this is true, but would expect him to leave for the money. Especially after a good win against Clemson.

Crimson's picture

True.  There have been many posts about his kid, although he doesn't bring it up, so we don't bring it up (much).

Buckeyejason's picture

If Braxton leaves I think this is at least a 2-3 loss team next year.


Bucks777's picture

I unfortunately must agree and true 1st year QB is going to make mistakes in the BIG Show! Extremely rare for a first time caller to come in with zero experience, and lead a team in the BIG 10. Call it jitters, inexperience, lack of confidence, etc... He; who ever he is, will go through all the phases.. Not to mention an O line that has not been together yet?  Although I admit they look tough, we will see.  I am hoping for the best that Braxton comes back to give the other younger QB's ; Guiton playing time this year! To prepare them for the future.

gobucks96's picture

Where are the loses? At michigan state will be the toughest test..

Chise47's picture

What if your '1st' yr. starter is 3 yrs. removed from high school, 6'5" 250 ? Has a CANNON of an arm. And can RUN ?
Covers a lot, IF the OL is going through growing pains. I've sat back and watched the Buckeye faithful just anoint J.T.Barret the heir apparent on this site & have chuckled. One 'tweet' killed this kid,("Didn't come to Ohio State to 'play' school !!"; even the deep south had fun w/this one.), same as one interview did Maurice. ("The mob is fickle." One of the best movie lines ever!!! What movie ?)
Upgrade @ WR,(love Philly, Devin will be special on 9 route with a QB with a big time arm!! And all, including Evan Spencer, could block an avalanche down field. Yet, none of them put FEAR into a D the way a Jeff Green, Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith or Curtis Samuel,[the rest will be red shirted!], can & will !!!),   The big unknown is: WWMTD ? (Michael Thomas) Staff must really like him, because he could have easily been out with Najee Murray for his social media interaction.(For those of you who keep up.)
Relax, enjoy, our future is so bright that your blue blockers ain't even preparing you for this!!!

45has2's picture

I agree on C.J. How many people in the world can say they never opened their mouth and inserted a foot when they were 18-19 years old? Cardale is a specimen! Somebody made a crack about him looking like Byron Leftwich in a Buckeye jersey. We should be so fortunate. I watched Byron Leftwich play a game against Akron with a broken leg. His linemen carried him down field for the next play. How many times did T.P. throw a would be tackler to the ground? Size matters people and that's why Slick Nick will take a big athletic kid over a smaller more skilled player. He knows he can coach up the skills but you can't coach size. 

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Chris Raiden's picture

I keep forgetting about Greene. He has potential in this offense.

Crumb's picture

I'm more optimistic for the future where as under Coach Tressel (Who was still awesome) almost every off season we had huge unknowns that would worry me, now I'm just more excited to see the team continue to grow and move forward.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

armybuckinva's picture

The only thing that will set the team back is if Braxton decides to go to the NFL.  However, that doesn't rule them out from an undefeated National Championship run.  Just ask Todd Boeckman.  I'm not worried about RB or the o-line.  WR and the entire defense will be better.  I predict the defense to be miles better than what we saw this year.  Should be another fun year with visions of that crystal.

Bucks777's picture

I agree the only set back would be if Braxton leaves, just too big of shoes to fill and not enough experience to do that quite yet, though the future looks very bright indeed.

bucknasty's picture

Really hope Cardale or JT can distribute the ball to our playmakers.. I'm not at all confident that we'll see Braxton in '14

seafus26's picture

With JT, I think we'll be able to pitch and catch and not see the ball hit the ground or fly incomplete completely uncatchable, anymore. I look forward to seeing a QB in Urban's system that can finally give home the running ability and pitch and catch hitting receivers in stride with chance for YAC. Who's you say gas been his best QB at this so far through the years? Or has he had that combo? Would be interesting.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

bucknasty's picture

Alex Smith had a huge year in '04.. Can't forget Tebow, of course. I'd be pleased if JT comes anywhere close to those guys. 

buckeyedude's picture

I said during last summer that 2013 was our year and that 2014 had too many "?"



Bucks777's picture

I am optimistically looking at 2014 ,2015, & 2016 to be our years!!!  After that if Meyer is still here,I will say it for those years continuing forward as well. Looking at next year just the 2014 Squad, a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. I have heard that Brax is coming back for his degree, so we will leave it at that. my opinion anyway.  The O line will be dominate, we have one of the best O line coaches in the Country, and with the personnel coming back and how well I hear they are doing in the bowl practices only makes  me more confident. 
     Our weakness in 2013 was defensive pass coverage.  I look at it this way, it cant get any worse with the new talent coming in.  I am not convinced yet that we have the right coaching staff for the DB and the Safety but time will definitely tell the truth on that story!  Last year many true freshman started for major programs across the country at DB and Safety; and they all did very well.  I expect nothing less from The Ohio State to have the right coaches and schemes in place to take us to that same level of play! We definitely have the talent. 
*** Bell, Apple, Burrows,Powell, Bogard, Conley, Grant, Reeves, Tanner, Webb, & Worley.(I am sure I have missed a couple incoming freshman).  Really some very excellent talent in there to work with!!!  I see the Defensive line only getting stronger and becoming more disruptive over the next 2/3 years!!!
    The offensive line will be fine, and we know we have running backs, and receivers so I really see 2014 and beyond as OUR years!!! We will be able to reload every year because of the great recruiting that Meyer and the staff are doing!!!  Get ready for a Dynasty ...it's coming and you heard it here first!!!!  


The Buckeyes get past VaTech next year I think they'll be unbeaten when they go to Sparty on Nov. 8. Let's hope the D is fixed by then. (keeping fingers crossed). That will be what decides the season for them.
Regardless of what happens, aside from the Alamo Bowl season in 2004, a down year for OSU under JT was 1-2 losses and a major bowl. If that's the case for 2014 where the Buckeyes finished 12-1 or 11-2, maybe miss the playoff but get a prime bowl anyway I'd be happy with that. OSU is still going to have a ton of starters back for 2015 and 2016 and have guys like EzE, Dontre, Bosa and Vonn Bell as upperclassmen.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Rjr88's picture

If I was Urban, I would pay Ed Warriner whatever it takes to make him untouchable.  He is certainly worth more than Chad Morris at Clemson, and they locked him up for $1.3M.
He has repeatedly proven that he can develop offensive lineman, and once he starts working with the new recruits we are going to be unstoppable. 
We have the luxury at OSU of having more money than we need, so let's use our competitive advantage and pay our assistants better than anyone in the country. If they leave for head coaching jobs, good for them...but let's make sure we did everything we could to retain them. 
Retaining Warriner greatly enhances our chances to keep Braxton for another year. And Warriner's top notch Offensive line will help bring in the QB/RB recruits as well