Real issue in defense

DocBuckeye's picture
October 23, 2013 at 11:58a

This is a section from GAMETIME's post and I think its one of the most insightful  posts and gets to the heart of the problem (though I dont think I would agree with the last line, also dont know the source of  the research he quotes). What do you guys think  :


Withers IS just as much to blame as Fickell. After doing some research, I found that they made a collective decision to have the DBs play further off the ball in an attempt to let them attack/play the ball rather than watch the play develop. This was the input of Withers who suggested they run an "NFL-style" defense on the back end that let's the DBs make plays on the ball. There's a double edged sword with this apparently. With Whither's defenses at UNC his defense recorded INTs in high teens including 20 in on season, but apparently the UNC fans had an issue with him playing a prevent type of defense later in games.

With that said, I don't think Fickell's (Heacock's) D and Wither's D meshes. Whither's D is dependent on pressure on the QB, which forces QBs to make quick decisions and throws, which plays more to the DBs playing soft because that doesn't give routes time to develop and the DBs can focus on watching the ball and ball-hawking.

Fickell (Heacock's) scheme doesn't create as many turnovers, but requires more press-man and much smaller cushion in coverage. It's designed to force more 3-and-outs, not necessarily be disruptive.

So essentially what we have is a conflict in defensive philosophy that's directly contributing to our defense getting gashed. With Withers playing the DBs so far back, it takes away the small cushions that Fickell/Heacock's D would normally have and because the Fickell scheme isn't an aggressive pressure scheme, the coverage makes for easy completions underneath.

We can't have this blend of schemes, we can only have one or the other. I'd say stick to the original Fickell (Heacock) scheme on 1st & 2nd down, then on obvious passing downs and 3rd down, run the Wither's scheme.

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calebhouser9's picture

Whatever they do, they need to figure it out! Way to much talent and speed to be giving up this many yards, touchdowns, etc. I agree...looking at the 7 yards cushion automatically given by our DB's drives me crazy! Time to get on track!


BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

The "playing soft on sure passing and 3rd/long downs" is NOT a recipe for the good. You will give up more "plays" than you would if you are aggressive. If anything it's a recipe for disaster. Magnified by missed tackles. Yet anything bad would be magnified by missed tackles. Historically at TOSU and all of the great Ds have been aggressive. Where did the term "Silver Bullets" come from? By playing aggressive. No D can be "great" if the play soft or by playing soft here and there. Personally I loved Freddie Pugage (don't know how to spell his and the way he ran the D years ago. I just think that pressure and aggressive play is a key for "great" Ds. But you HAVE to tackle. You can't blow tackles, period. If you can't make the tackle, slow him, keep ahold, and gang tackle. A swarming D happens when a player is slowed up. Need to wrap up after the hit. If you do that and not make the tackle, your buddies will be there very soon. That's 50% maybe more that is the problem for this D. Coaches, schemes, etc. will only get you so far but the players HAVE to execute what the coaches say to do.  It's about the players. This D has the talent to get it done and be a great D. So go out and do it would be what I would say to them 

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

Brent Clay's picture

Thanks for sharing....... this makes sense, however, something does need to give! Our team cannot expect to operate this way the rest of the season and come out on top every game.  At some point this style of defense is going to bite us in the ass and cost us the game.
I must say, I like our old ways of playing defense!  BUT , remember how many times we would give up a big play on a deep pass?  :(

buckskin's picture

Very few football defenses can operate effectively with co-coordinators.  It can be done, but the 2 men must work well together.  Agreed we need to get it figured out and go a different direction.
I'm going to throw something out there and see what you guys think.  I love Kerry Coombs.  His intensity is legendary; but intensity alone doesn't make a great college position coach.  Our DBs haven't been wrapping for 19 games under him.  They often look lost and out of position at times.  I know that college coaches are hired for their connections to a point, but I'm wondering if we sacrificied coaching ability at the hands of recruiting (and I love recruiting). 

FitzBuck's picture

Thanks for posting.  This makes a lot of sense.  Who's going to start the first fire Withers thread?  (Please don't). 

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

DefendYoungstown's picture

Just get yourself between the receiver and the QB and knock the damn ball away, have only seen it once or twice this year. I remember the play in the game last week when it happened, I was giddy...

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

Kaceybrown's picture

Doran Grant has had a consistent year so far, had a huge pass break up last week against Iowa 

Maffro's picture

I'm both an OSU and UNC fan, and I've been saying similar things to my friends. I was never particularly pleased with Withers's defenses at UNC, especially considering the talent that they had (their defense was at its best IMO the year Chuck Pagano was DC).

Dougger's picture

This is really interesting. I knew that as co-coordinators one guy couldn't be the blame. I just want one complete game of defensive domination. You'd presume their minds could scheme something up to be cohesive. Let's see it this Saturday. 

I like football

TraptnMI's picture

The linebackers can't cover shit in a cat box. Ether you got it or you don't. Play nickel and man cover press Mr. Combs, until they get it, just like the good teams do. Looks like 7on7 drills! Perry, Grant and even Shazier gets lost at times. We're talented enough for christ sakes. C'mon Man!

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "