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Observations on Mike Mitchell, Fickell, Vrabel.

BuckeyeWags's picture
February 10, 2014 at 8:03pm
84 Comments

Message to Mike Mitchell. All our best to you and your family. God speed to you. We were proud to have you as a Buckeye. You conducted yourself with grace and maturity. We understand, but we all wish you would return.

What I do not understand is why this immense talent was benched and redshirted while we were paper thin at linebacker. When Curtis Grant had a series of concussions. When we were forced to play an inadequate, unready, Cam Williams and Joe Burger. Might Mike Mitchell have stayed if he had gotten playing time? We will never know. We never got a down out of him. I have to question the decisions, yet again, of Luke Fickell. I wonder why Cam Burrows, Tre Johnson, Eli Apple, and Gareon Conley did not see playing time in another troubled area of our troubled defense. We have the athletes, our defensive coaches were simply to boneheaded to play them in a season that we had a shot at the big prize. I wondered why, in the MSU and Clemson games, Vrabel did not rotate our immensely talented and deep defensive lineman, when the starters were clearly gassed and Joey Bosa was hopping around on one leg. I further wish to point out just how corrosive Fickell has been within the coaching staff if the stories of Vrabel laying his hands on Meyer over Fickell, are true. When I think of Fickell I think of poorly coached positional players, horrible defensive calls, ridiculous decisions on redshirting and substitutions, and, dissention on the coaching staff. "Did we win"? Please! I don't care how "great a Buckeye" he is.

WedgeSplitter's picture

Leave it to an osu fanatic to blame the defensive coordinator when a young man moves to be near his ailing father. 

+4 HS
teddyballgame's picture

I didn't really get that from it at all.  I think the main point he was trying to make is that we had quite a few really poor defensive players out there last year while more talented kids were sitting on the bench.  I think they were coaching scared and also felt something like "hey nobody can criticize us for starting juniors and seniors, right?".  Watching Armani Reeves get burnt by a huge TE last year almost made me physically ill.  It was nice to get a glimpse of Vonn Bell at the end of the season though.

+16 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

we had quite a few really poor defensive players out there last year while more talented kids were sitting on the bench

Because people who watched 5 minute highlight videos know just as much and are able to evaluate talent just as well as those who attend and watch every minute of every practice everyday, and who make a living on doing it.

Read my entire screen name....

+18 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

As usual, spot on Optimistic. Some folks are simply assuming that MM is a very talented cfb player. Maybe he is; maybe he's not.

+1 HS
Jabba the Hoke's picture

I don't think there is any question as to whether he has the talent. I think the reason he didn't see the field was that he hadn't fully learned the position yet. I wasn't at practice every day to know that, just my thought.

+2 HS
teddyballgame's picture

You're right, we should give more credit to the people who delivered probably the worst defense OSU has seen. 

CC's picture

So ere the people calling for Vonn Bell to start all season wrong?

+4 HS
buckeyeinthechi's picture

Agree on your Armani Reeves comment, I was screaming at the TV while it happened "CATCH HIMMMMMMMMMM"

Boggles the mind how Vonn Bell wasn't given a chance sooner, rather than waiting until the last game.

 

There are three different types of people in the world.....those who can count, and those who cannot.

Crimson's picture

I further wish to point out just how corrosive Fickell has been within the coaching staff if the stories of Vrabel laying his hands on Meyer over Fickell, are true.

Considering this has been widely reported as not true, I'm really not sure what to make of the rest of your post.

+19 HS
nrbuckguy's picture

Maybe there are some facts in your  post about Fickell not meshing with Meyer and making mistakes with his personal, but one thing that I am sure of is that all of the players you mentioned weren't playing, were all true freshmen! Maybe they simply were not ready to play, we won't ever truly know.  What I do know is that Fickell has been a valuable recruiter, the players still want to play for, which to me is by far the most important thing.  I have faith that Ash will be able to patch up some of the play calling issues.

In Urban We Trust

+7 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

From what I'd heard reported Mitchell likely would have gotten playing time had he not gotten hurt.

+6 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm curious about that explanation, though.

MM was reportedly upset that his red shirt wasn't burned. If his injury had been only relatively minor, causing him to miss reps in camp and possibly keeping him out of the first game or two, AND MM is as talented and game-ready as he believes he is, then wouldn't we have expected him to get some plays on special teams and in mop up duty?

On the other hand, if his injury was more debilitating, how can he be upset about his red shirt not being burned?

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

Did you miss the article in the ozone where he Fickell debated on putting Mike in but didn't saying "And then just last week, you have a situation, do you put a guy in that situation, or do you try to hold him not knowing what the future holds, as a redshirt or something". So the excuse he was injured is why he did not play doesn't hold water.

BuckeyeWags's picture

They may be unrelated, but maybe they are not. Cam Williams and Joe Burger getting reps over Mike Mitchell... Do you think he was happy with the redshirt. Do you think he should have been redshirted. Do you think the other redshirts and the substitutions patterns were any where near optimal... or even logical? Come on, address what I am saying without resorting to tired old bromides like fanatic. 

-3 HS
krodawg's picture

No, I assume he was pissed off he got a redshirt. He's a highly competitive athlete that probably felt in his heart he could do better, or at least no worse, that those playing in front of him. 

Do I think he or the others getting the redshirts was optimal, patterned or logical? I have no freakin' idea. I'm on a website, not the practice field or in the film room with the rest of the trained staff. These types of decisions impacting the team I cheer for are above my pay grade.

+11 HS
Iwearmocs's picture

Dudes.  The guy was raw, got injured over the summer, and was a true freshman who didn't enroll early.  He had incredible measurables, but his tape was mostly him being more athletic then high school players, not making reads and being able to succeed as a D1 linebacker.  If he was redshirted, it was for a reason.  He has a high upside, but other then a crazy Sparq score (which technically has nothing to do with a guys ability to play football) why was he supposed to be great?  He certainly has the ability to get to that level (you can't teach athleticism you know), but I liked Trey Johnson better, and IMO we should be way more excited about Raekwon, who's got the measurables and the seasoning to play Linebacker right away.

+18 HS
cplunk's picture

Amen. I've said from the beginning that although Mitchell was the better athlete, their high school film looked to me like Johnson is the better linebacker.

That said, best to Mike. I hope we get to see Johnson, Raekwon, and Mitchell all play Sundays.

+5 HS
CC's picture

Isn't that the same reason Grant (the #1 lb in the country) didn't start?  I don't get it, isn't it the coaches job to get the kids to "get it"?  There are too many talented kids on this team who sat the bench because they didn't get it, while older guys were on the field, who also apprently didn't get it.

As far as the 2ndary goes, could it really have been any worse?  The LB's to some degree played ok, but looked weak in pass coverage.  It's not like he wanted to play over AJ Hawk, he wanted to play over a perpetual under-performer who was often hurt.

 

Brandon26841's picture

"He has a high upside, but other then a crazy Sparq score (which technically has nothing to do with a guys ability to play football) why was he supposed to be great?"

Good post and I've been saying those same things ever since he committed and all throughout the 2013 season. That's one thing that drives me NUTS about highly rated incoming freshman recruits or freshman players - when people just ASSUME every one of these kids is going to be great from their star rankings / measureables / 40 time / offer list, and if they're not starting or contributing early (not playing over the older 4 and 5 star players that fans were also enamored with about 2 years ago but are now deemed "terrible") then the coaching staff is blamed for holding the kids back. The best players will play, simple as that. If you're not out there, then you don't deserve to be out there. Some guys that fans either complained about / wanted gone or have seen enough of: Josh Perry (4 star, #13 LB in country), Armani Reeves (4 star, #8 CB in country), Cam Williams (4 star, #17 LB), Curtis Grant (5 star, #1 LB), Dorant Grant (4 star, #3 CB), Evan Spencer (4 star, #22 WR), Philly Brown (4 star, #8 WR), Pitt Brown (4 star, #11 ATH)

 

And yet people just assume that Conley / Burrows / Apple are infinitely better than Reeves, or McMillan will come in and just easily start over Perry / Grant. All you're doing is just setting yourself up for disappointment. The only time I'll ever truly get excited about a young player is when I actually see him out there making plays on the field. 

+6 HS
bucknut94's picture

Wasn't Mitchell injured before the season started? Or injured early in the season?

+1 HS
Crimson's picture

He and Marshall had concussions before the season (maybe fall practice) and maybe sprained an ankle later on.

Stoicpaisano's picture

Mitchell was on the travel team for all the road games.

i do tend to agree with Iwearmocs...Mitchell at this point looks great in a t-shirt and shorts but didn't play the best competition at Prestonwood. He looks better in jeans but Trey Johnson--despite being undersized--saw the field earlier in part due to respective high school upbringings. 

Fickell obviously isn't afraid to play freshmen with five in 2012 and Johnson and Darron Lee (who naturally got hurt in game two). Because Angry Ohio State Linebacker-Hating God.

+2 HS
Crimson's picture

Because Angry Ohio State Linebacker-Hating God.

YOU'VE JUST MADE THIS A THING.  DAMN YOU!!!

I think without the injuries, Mitchell could have been in just like Johnson if they were in the same boat.  Of course, I'm just speculating, as are you.

Stoicpaisano's picture

You are correct on speculation. I remember a mid-August story on freshmen hitting 'The Wall' in camp, and how the linebackers were coping with it. Don't recall if this is before or after Mitchell got dinged.

sorry if this message is garbled, the new site hates my tablet.

+2 HS
bafiesta's picture

You are exactly right and Fickell specifically mentioned that Mitchell had 'hit a wall'.  He ust wasn't ready to play the scheme early in the year.  I assume once he missed the first 4 games they figures better to red shirt than to get him in garbage time.  

I still think he could be an outstanding LB, I just hope there is a chance it might be here.  

+1 HS
rampageripster's picture

This is a perfect example of why we need to be able to downvote forum topics again...

This fanbase is OBSESSED with blaming Fickell, it's like a drug to some of you people.

Cause I couldn't go for three

+14 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

You got my stuff?  Gimme my stuff!  

Read my entire screen name....

+1 HS
gm3jones's picture

It is the offseason, Ramp. It makes people go all crazy

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

Actorjonnyb's picture

I thought this was a spot on post. I also see a bunch of fickel apologists on here as well. His point was made in the Clemson game when Vonn Bell came in game ready and was the strongest defender we had that night. After the game fickel says who knew he could play like that. Give me a break. This is the same coach that had Braxton, Kenny G. , and Carlos hyde on the bench when he was head coach in 2011.

Rampageguy - Blaming fickel is exactly what needs to happen. He is the DC of the worst defense in school history...Get real

buckeyeinla

-9 HS
TNbuckeye91's picture

oh man i was waiting for someone like you to comment. You must know everything about this team and football in general. why aren't you our head coach actorjonnyb? Forget Urban Meyer.. Actoryjonnyb for Ohio State football head coach!!!

-6 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm not sure that the point was made in the slam dunk fashion that you think it was.

In preparation for the Orange Bowl, the team had - what? - 18 additional practices? Vonn Bell might have made significant improvement between November and January.

Also, when the Buckeyes lost to MSU in the Big Ten CG, all thoughts about keeping the defense together with duct tape and baling wire, riding the offense to the NCG, was out the window. At that point, they had nothing to lose by playing Vonn Bell. No question, he is talented, but it's not like throwing him out there against MSU would have been a low risk proposition.

jameslee203's picture

Throw Vonn Bell out there after Whisky when Cbryant was injured.  Do you really think coaches thought Pitt was better than VB?  He would have had entire season to get better.  

+6 HS
luckynutz's picture

I beg to differ that bell was the strongest defensive player in the orange bowl. Bosa was an absolute monster in that game...and did so playing most of it one legged. Marcus was pretty fantastic as well. Bell was solid, but did have his share of what the heck moments as well.

And just quit with the 2011 talk...its been proven that all decisions on offense that year were made by the offensive staff. And if you remember, Hyde did get some reps early in the year. And when Herron came back, he was given the nod at running back. And hyde had a meltdown about it. Also...fickell is the one who made the decision to switch to miller at quarterback halfway through the season. Tired of this continually being your freaking pulpit to stand at and preach from. Its a broken record...and its wrong. Just leave 2011 where it is...in the past.

+2 HS
KBonay's picture

I didn't realize Fickle made the call as to what players were red-shirting....

+2 HS
kmp10's picture

Really? I'd bet that as "Defensive Coordinator" Luke Fickell has a significant say so regarding who will and who will not redshirt on his side of the football. Do you think Urban Meyer walks into the defensive meeting room and says 'redshirt Mitchell' after Fickell has made it clear that Mitchell should play? Based on comments Meyer has made since the Orange Bowl, it seems the defensive staff pretty much ran things on their side of the ball without a lot of input from Urban himself. It also seems that Meyer is determined to change that in '14 and be more involved with the defense. I don't know for certain whether or not Fickell decides who redshirts on defense, but I cannot fathom that Meyer doesn't / didn't lean heavily on Fickell's opinion with regard to this, if not letting Fickell make the call entirely. 

None of this is to say it's Fickell's fault (or anyone's "fault") that Mike Mitchell is transferring… only that it's hard to believe that Fickell doesn't have tremendous influence (at the least) when deciding who does or doesn't redshirt on his defense. 

+6 HS
Stoicpaisano's picture

I think the position coaches rightfully have final say over their groups, but it may be a stretch to say--and this is a hypothetical--that Fickell should determine a Vonn Bell's playing time. Two reasons for that: (a) Withers was Bell's position coach and nominally equal to Fickell; (b) Withers handled Bell's recruitment personally. I don't have a problem with Fickell not knowing Bell's strength as the entire defensive unit doesn't meet that often. That said, Fickell needs to own the play of his linebackers...he thinks MM wasn't ready for whatever reason, I think he has the bonafides to make that call. Obviously Meyer can call anyone on the carpet if he disagrees (see: Coombs/Conley).

What is mind-bottling to me is that the CBs and safeties were apparently split up in film and positional meetings. How the hell do you teach install during the Summer in separate rooms, let alone run a grading session during the season? I trust that Ash will improve internal communication to make DBs a more cohesive unit, and hopefully that extends to the defense as a whole.

+1 HS
another-navy-buckeye's picture

It did feel like there was little communication among the position coaches. As a coordinator of anything he should always be in the other coaches ears, keeping abreast of his players. We will never know if MM would have been better... Truly hope Ash provides more continuity and corrects the lack of communication.

Apologize ahead of time for any formatting issues. My tablet and this website do not get along...

DenverBuckeye

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

They can't get over the fact that Urban is the coach and not them.

-1 HS
DenBuck's picture

It's easy to blame but none of us knows the entire circumstance. Certainly a combination of things. Wish the best for Mike and his family. Perhaps the staff will learn moving forward. It's a huge loss....I was really excited to see him in 2014. 

Buckeye For Life

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I wish some of these people who are just pissed at the world and love placing blame everywhere had a chance to be a coach for one day. I'd have to bet their viewpoints change immediately.

I get what the post was trying to say but, man, can we just let this subject go?

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

speaking from the football side of this subject: how many times does this happen for every school? Talented kid doesn't receive playing time, is disgruntled, and transfers. This was probably not his primary reason as Im sure his father was the main concern (and should be). But, Im sure there was also a contributing factor from the lack of playing time. There has been a weak development of top talents at LB and sure our defense in general is terrible (a subject beaten to death here), but this general issue of immediate playing time impacts all top programs.

Buckeye06's picture

All of this talk about how there were more talented guys in the wings...do you remember that Camren Williams was a top 10 player at his positions in his class?  Yes Mitchell was rated higher, but it isn't like Williams was a walk-on scrub.  He was a top 200 player in the country, and still has 2 years to put it together

This post has nothing to do with Mitchell, and is another blatant attempt to rip on Fickell. Urban Meyer is the head football coach, and he is in charge of putting the guys in positions he thinks they will succeed.  If he thinks Fickell is the man, then Fickell is the man.  Everyone loves to say "I trust Meyer" but they sure as hell don't in regards to Fickell

+6 HS
ek68's picture

This is my opinion. I only wish the best for Mike & family. I want to believe the reason for transferring is to be closer to his Dad & family. As always there is more to the story. I don't know Mike, but from all I've read, yes he had injuries (minor) and more than likely set him back. and this would slow his progression. I don't believe his red shirting made him so mad he wants to transfer. I would think it would make him more determined to perform better. He just does not come across as one who would gives up that easy. I will not put this on any coach and believe this is a family issue. 

 

 

 

+2 HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

You'd have to have never seen a game of football in your life to look at Mitchell's highlights and say he's anything but Raw.  He flourished while being the best athlete on the field, and needed coaching.  He could've been great but he needed the time as a Freshman to wait and learn.  The injury also set him back and compiling those things were just a little much for him to overcome as a freshman.  It happens all the time folks.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

+3 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

Still trying to understand how:

Vrabel goes after Meyer = Fire Fickell

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+4 HS
smith5568's picture

"When I think of Fickell I think of poorly coached positional players..."

In my opinion, you lost all credibility with this statement. It has been rehashed ad nauseam, there may be questions about Fickell as a defensive coordinator and a head coach, but there is absolutely no question that he is one of the best position coaches and recruiters in the nation. Hawk, Carpenter, Spitler, Rolle, Lauranitis, Homan, Sabino, Sweat, Shazier, and Boren all seem to contradict your statement about his abilities as a position coach.   

+6 HS
jameslee203's picture

No one doubts Fick's recruiting abilities.  I dont think he's much of a coach at all.  All the Fickell people talk about it AJ Hawk and Lauranitis, those guys were born animals, they we going to be great football players no matter what happened.  Start in 2011, it took Luke and VraBro 7 games to play Shazier, who was best LB on team all yr.  In 2012 D was weak until we put in Boren at LB, which was Urbs call BTW.  2103 D was weak all yr, esp LBs (outside of Shazier).  Look at Orange Bowl, Clemson sent 2 guys to block Shazier every play, no one else wanted to make a play on D (minus Bosa).  Look at Vonn Bell, how is he on bench all season?  I understand if you dont want to bench an AllBIG player for a frosh who only might be better, but what AllBIG players were there?  The idea that we keep sending out the same guys hoping for a different outcome week after week was insane.  Coaches did not improve players, coaches did not give other players a shot, coaches had weak gameplans, ect. Sounds like pos coach and D coord issues...

+4 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

so what you are saying is that Vonn Bell who had a decent game, not great btw (did you NOT see him get burned a couple of times), should have started more based on a small sample size that you?

I assume you watch all the practices and are in all the meetings? I assume you know everything that is everything to say that Bell was more ready than others? I assume you know that defensive backs are Fickells call?

yes it is true the defense was awful but don't say it would have been so much better just by putting in a bunch of true freshmen. The talent on the field was good enough, it was a scheme issue the whole time. Could have put the best players in the country at each position and it still would have failed. Had nothing to do with NOT playing freshmen.

and playing Mike Mitchell wouldn't have altered his decision anyways! HIS FATHER IS ILL!

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

-4 HS
jameslee203's picture

I 100% agree that the schemes were horrible.  Also, let's agree that the schemes did not get any better as season wore on.  So like I wrote, same players doing the same things hoping for better results.  If you arent going to change scheme, change players for the same scheme.  Or do what we did this yr and have the worst D in school history lose us the BIG title, shot at national championship, and a bcs bowl game

I get that Luke is a "great Buckeye" but we easily could have lost to Michigan, because of our D.  What would you say then?  The same "you werent at practice bro, its not Luke's fault."  I dont think so....

Squirrel Master's picture

I didn't say anything about "luke being a great buckeye". I was just saying even if he had the foresight to put in Mike Mitchell, Vonn Bell and others, I still think this defense would have been the "worst OSU defense ever" because it wasn't a lack of talent on the field. I don't think Vonn or Mike would have added that much more to the defense to make it that much better.

and as I said, Vonn proved that despite his emense talent, he still made mistakes against a more seasoned player like Sammie Watkins. I truly don't think just switching out players would have done anything except get more experience to those players. But that is a tricky situation because you could seriously hamper a young growing player who isn't ready. Bosa was ready, he played. Vonn became ready later. I don't think Mike Mitchell was ready.

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

+1 HS
another-navy-buckeye's picture

Less talented players at lesser schools have been coached to perform in much more efficient ways then our D last year. The key word is coached. It absolutely has much to do with coaching... 

DenverBuckeye

+3 HS
Buckeye06's picture

So Hawk and JL were going to be animals no matter what?

Is that why AJ Hawk was ranked 30th AT HIS POSITION his year of high school?  And why JL was ranked 28th at his?

If you want to rip Fickell for scheme etc, go for it.  Something went hugely wrong this year on defense.  But show me 5 guys who have done a better job coaching up LBers in all of college football in the past decade?  Maybe the LBer coach at USC in 2008 with those 3 beasts, but that group wasn't much better than 05 OSU's LBer corps, even if they were

+2 HS
jameslee203's picture

I dont know, Sparty threw in a 5th yr former walk on at Mike to win the Rose bowl.  Wiskys LBs are better, Iowas were better this yr.  Take your pick of 4 to 5 sec teams.  If you want to go back a decade go ahead, but that was Tressel's team and heacocks D, not Luke's.  

+2 HS
nm_buck's picture

"AJ Hawk and Lauranitis, those guys were born animals, they we going to be great football players no matter what happened."

That's funny to me.  Hawk and Laurinaitis never ranked higher than a 3-star... apparently all the experts thought otherwise.

Just sayin'.

rampageripster's picture

SLOW CLAP

Cause I couldn't go for three

Squirrel Master's picture

so what you are saying is that if Mike Mitchell STARTED every single game last year and became a heralded freshman AA, that he "wouldn't" have left the program to go back home?

get out of here. Mitchell left for a very clear personal family reason. I doubt any amount of PT would have mattered in the fact.

and I am sure Fickell had some say as to whether or not Mitchell should be redshirted or not (MM was a raw talented player that had to learn a lot WALKING IN let alone after an injury that set him back), but don't tell me that Urban didn't have final say on which players were redshirted. sure Fickell could have said Mitchell wasn't ready and he didn't want to play him but Urban would have known. Even Urban himself during the season said the starters are doing okay but the backups are really behind. That statement included Mike.

I think you are trying to find some explanation that will justify things to YOU when the simple truth is the kid wants to be closer to his ailing father. There is no reason to start drumming up crap towards Fickell for this.

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

Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

I was also wondering if Urban had any say on who redshirted after he blasted the lack of development at that particular group. He called out the coaches for making mistakes and redshirting some kids that shouldnt have been. Called out coaches for not getting the players on the field quick enough and developing them as much as he would like. He has been pretty vocal about the LBs not being up to tOSU standards. One thing is for sure and that's we just signed one of the best LB classes ever so if this problem continues into next season Im sure he will have to take action in some shape or form.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

Squirrel Master's picture

I would find it hard to believe that Urban wouldn't have last say on redshirts. There is no way Fickell makes that decision without Urban agreeing.

and I don't recall at any point Urban calling out coaches for "not getting the players on the field quick enough and developing them as much as he would like". Urban called out the backups and said they weren't developing fast enough, but he didn't say it was the coaches fault for the slow development. Could you link that for me?

well if Raekwon doesn't see the field at all because he isn't ready to play next year, then I think there will be a bigger issue at hand than not developing.

looking back, I see Shazier was developed. I see Josh Perry developed nicely. I see Trey Johnson producing when he got on the field but he was basically behind Shazier the whole time. I also see many linebackers leaving the program. Cam Williams looks like a miss so far but he is still only a redshirt freshman too. So really the only two linebackers that weren't developed "fast enough" were the much maligned junior in Curtis Grant and the true freshman Mike Mitchell, who was a very raw talent.

I also agree that there was a lack of development in the secondary with all the influx of talent there (Cam, Eli, Gareon and Vonn), but that would be more on others and not Fickell. As far as linebackers and Dlinemen go, there wasn't a whole lot of underdevelopment outside of two players. There was even Bosa and Mike Hill (before he got injured himself) who say that they were trying to get true freshmen on the field.

so I say again, blame the scheme and play calling, but blaming Fickell on what just happened with Mike Mitchell is reaching quite a bit. The kid went home, like many out of state kids do from time to time. Last year it was an offensive lineman (Joey O'Connor).

sometimes LIFE gets in the way of our dreams. Mike's life is putting a break on his, but we shouldn't blame others for this.

 

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

another-navy-buckeye's picture

I dont think he was saying MM would not have left, only it leaves some to wonder. I think he still would have, family is much more important... I do however think it is a shame that we never got to see what MM had to offer. There were a few occasions where perhaps we should have.

DenverBuckeye

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

When they are good it's because they are animals and when the just don't have it the reason is coaching. No win scenario. Double standard. 

-1 HS
bull1214's picture

if u blame fickell for underperforming lb'ers shouldn't u also give him credit for shazier? nobody seems to do that.

meyer stated recently that the incoming lb'ers wouldn't redshirt so id say he clearly let everyone know that HE has the final say on who redshirts and who doesn't. end of story.

whithers ran the secondary so any problem with the db's shouldn't be pointed at fickell. but once again, meyer has the final say on the roster.

damn near every recruit every year wants to play right away whether they're ready or not. u cant take the players words about being ready as the truth. the coaches know more than they do and more than we do.

+2 HS
hcazualcc's picture

is this the appropriate place to say the new layout sucks?

+1 HS
BuckeyeWags's picture

What we do know is that Cam Williams was unready. We know that Joe Burger was unready. Why not use the high potential Mitchell, or Apple, or Conley, and let them learn under fire as opposed to players with lower ceilings. What no one is even touching on this thread, which, I initiated, is the extremely negative and divisive impact that Fickell quite obviously has had where Vrabel felt he should lay his hands on Meyer to defend Fickell's coaching performance. Can no one here conclude just how catastrophic that is to the smooth performance of the coaching staff? Duhhh!

-3 HS
kmp10's picture

Listen, I agree with SOME of the things you say about Fickell. I'm not a Fickell supporter, to the contrary, I'm a Fickell detractor. I would prefer that Ash be given the coordinator title and Fickell be a position coach / recruiter (or gone)… but this stuff about "Vrabel laying hands on Meyer" and somehow connecting that to Fickell is just ridiculous IMO. Have you not seen the Tweets from Shelly Meyer and Jen Vrabel saying, essentially, that that story is entirely untrue? It's so absurd, in my opinion, that it isn't even worthy of discussion.

What is worthy of discussion is Mitchell, why he was unhappy in the program, and what role, IF ANY, Fickell played in this. Maybe Mitchell is leaving for the sole purpose of being near his ailing father… but I find it hard to believe, had Mitchell been happy playing football at Ohio State, that he wouldn't be returning at some point to continue his career here. If we were hearing something like 'Fickell didn't think, after watching Mitchell in practice every day and in linebacker meetings, that Mike would be able to contribute to the defense at this time', I certainly wouldn't have a problem with that in the least. But that isn't what's being reported, and I just don't believe it's as simple as 'Mike loves it here, but his dad is ill so Mike's permanently leaving to be close to home.' I get that he wants/needs to be with his dad (so would I), but that he has (per reports) essentially removed himself in totality from the program while still attending class at OSU leads me to believe that this is about more than a redshirt year and an ailing parent. 

+1 HS
nrbuckguy's picture

I really see no evidence that Mike was unhappy here at all.  Why would his younger brother ever commit here if he knew that Mike was having a miserable time?  That just doesn't make any sense to me.

In Urban We Trust

+1 HS
kmp10's picture

Although it was reported by ElevenWarriors.com yesterday that Mitchell wants to transfer to someplace near his family’s home so he can be closer to his ailing father, Ken, it was known during the late fall that Mitchell was not happy in the OSU program.

That's from Tim May's piece in Monday's Dispatch. May is a respected OSU beat writer who's been in and around the program for a few decades. This is, in my opinion, evidence that Mitchell was "unhappy". 

+1 HS
bull1214's picture

j.t., cardale and guiton were probly unhappy as well. what can you do? 1st half starters play-2nd half backups are in-if we go in to OT the rest of u get ready.......

bull1214's picture

buckeyewags still believing the vrable/urban fight story just shows me how some are so bent on being right they overlook obvious facts to the contrary.

the reason coaches put so much emphasis on young guys in the bowl game practices is because during the season the week is spent on gameplanning for the opponent, NOT getting young guys reps. its very hard to claim a starting spot DURING the season. the bowl game practices are the time when a young guy can move up and overtake a veteran, like bell did.

+1 HS
BuckeyeWags's picture

I truly hope the Vrabel jacks up Urban story is wrong. However, we all know that Urban has been critical of the D, of the linebackers, of the secondary and of the way the D units work together. It is not a stretch for me to believe the story. Of course it makes the program look bad, it makes the coaching staff look bad, it makes Fickell look bad, it makes Urban look bad, and it makes Vrabel look particularly bad.

Because Urban' s wife and Vrabels wife use tweets to disavow a horribly discrediting episode reflecting on their husbands and the program, does not mean it did not happen. If that is all we have to say that this incident never happened, think about it, it aint much. In the end, we do know that Vrabel went, and he went quickly and unexpectantly. This does not sound like a coaching staff that is entirely unified. I think that Urban handled this very well.  We are lucky to get Larry Johnson, and Ash. I hope Ash can handle the situation.

-3 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

So it's Vrabel's and Meyer's wives v. your "it's not a stretch for me to believe the story".

I'll take the wives.  And, perpetuating this rumor makes everyone look bad.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+1 HS
BuckeyeWags's picture

Bucknuts broke the story on 6 Feb. I just checked their boards and there is not one posting alluding to the Vrabel incident. No postings, no follow up, no retractions. Do any of you not find this strange? Do you think that, maybe, Urban or Gene Smith maybe called Dan Rubin and told him to black this out or lose access?  And, nothing official, just wife tweets! Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the tooth fairy, Easter bunny....

Whoa Nellie's picture

BN broke the rumor on 2/6, and since then not one person in the world has confirmed that anything happened.

What I find strange is assuming a vast conspiracy to cover something up, rather than doubting the original story.

No one is talking about it -- it MUST be true!

 

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

nm_buck's picture

lol

some people believe everything they read in the BH over at BN... except the disclaimer at the end of every story.

must be true 'cause it's on the internets.

bigbadbuck's picture

Grassy knoll anybody?

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here its a war room

+1 HS
BuckeyeWags's picture

When the cop says nothing to see here.....move along, I guess you move along.

MichiganBuckeye222's picture

Reading 11W and watching a couple of high school videos gives my opinions more credibility as a professional who actually sees these kids practice daily.

Representing the Buckeyes in the Mitten State since 1987.

www.septemberheisman.com

 

+2 HS
Humbuck's picture

Mitchell wasn't going to survive as mike or sam LB as a true FR.  He came in around 215 and there is no way he would have made an impact. Our MLB/SLB crew goes 235-245.  Not saying he wouldn't have grown into the role but he wasn't there last fall.

Mike Mitchell has WLB written all over him.  The problem was we had an NFL draft-caliber WLB who rarely left the field.  Johnson won the back up job and that was all she wrote. 

Brandon26841's picture

Size wise, I agree that he's got the body size of a WLB. But skill-set wise... I don't know. To me, there was just something off about his game (just from watching his highlight tapes from high school) and to be honest I never really saw him as a Mike linebacker. Here's what I posted about him last January; it's kind of interesting to look at in hindsight, and now I'm just curious to see how his career ends up. I always felt like he was just super raw.

 

Humbuck's picture

What gave Mitchell a shot at wil his FR year was his speed.  His size was going to keep him out of mike and sam last year.  He was light but he is also really tall so he came off as even more lanky. 

I agree, he is physically gifted but there is something slightly less appealing about his game than Johnson's.  Trey Johnson played tentative as a FR, something to be expected, but he wasn't taking bad angles and his tackles were fundamentally sound.  He looked the part even if he was still feeling his way at times. 

 

pig4skin's picture

I am not in the mind of Mike Mitchell nor was I a coach of Ohio States linebackers, but I remember specifically that M Mitchell stated prior to committing that he had no intention of red shirting. I am conjecturing that MM did not appreciate OSU using the preseason light injury as a pretext for keeping out for the entire season. If Fickell actually communicated with the  few linebackers under his tutelage, then the team would have been appraised of this grave concern. I think MM would have stayed with the team in spite of his father's health concerns. I am curious to see what his brother decides to do.  If he stays with OSU, it will lend credence to my argument.

As much as I like Urban, his coaching left a lot to be desired in the Wisconsin game. W had a game plan to shut down Miller, thereby 70% of the offense, by assignment defensive personnel on him throughout the game. OSU should have made them p

Crimson's picture

I can't find it, so maybe it was lost in the great forums fire of 2014, but here's my memory of why Mitchell would have been a beast here.

Dontre Wilson: "Why did you hit me so hard?"
Mike Mitchell: "I had to get rid of this black stripe."
Dontre Wilson: "Man, I know."
 

Jordan Wagner's picture

I didn't read this thread but I'm sure I could guess what was being said. 

I was told before the season started that Mike Mitchell came to Ohio State and absolutely dominated for the first week or so. He then hit the wall and I was told he just looked flat out bad. Tons of mental mistakes and just didn't look as good. They tried to work with him, but nothing was working. It wasn't an injury that caused him to lose focus. I know people were confused but realized he was just a freshman.