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Suppose our D finishes in top 20 in 2014, who gets credit? LF? CA&LJS? All 3?

Ericgobucks's picture
March 8, 2014 at 2:33am

This is a little bit of a different slant on the Fickell article/interview. Say we do see a pretty stark improvement in overall defense and the pass defense ends up at or near the top 20 defenses in the country. What does that mean to you? Do you credit Fickell since he's bore so much of the blame for the past 2 season as defensive coordinator or do you credit Chris Ash and Larry Johnson, Sr.? I also think there will be an increased presence from Urban, as well. I personally feel that the defense will be much improved this year and I wonder what impression people will take from that. What's your say?

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VintonCountyBuck's picture

  I think it will be hard for Larry Johnson to get much of the credit, unless the D-line just absolutely dominates every opponent this coming season.  

  Luke Fickell, being the Defensive Coordinator in title, naturally will be given most of the credit by the media.

  However, my opinion is that Cris Ash will be the most responsible.  To improve a unit 26 spots overall is a pretty major task.  While, in retrospect, it is only a difference of some 27 yards/game to move into the top 20, it will be light years away from where his inherited-unit was at last year.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Realistically the D-line should dominate next year.  We will have a lot of depth with experience.  Spence, Washington, Marcus, and Frazier are all juniors.  Bosa is coming back after starting the majority of last year.  Bennet and Hale are both seniors.  Carter and Schutt are both juniors. Larry Johnson is known more for developing the talent and rotating in fresh bodies.  There is no reason we shouldn't have a dominant d-line next year.  The d-line should cause chaos for opposing QB's. 

+1 HS
BuckSince79's picture

If I'm not mistaken, Hale was moved to the O line and to my knowledge will be staying there his senior year.  I'm sure if injuries pile up on the D line side of things he could certainly move back.  He actually received several compliments during practice so far.  More along the lines of him being very athletic and having good leverage during run blocking but really raw and lacking technique which one would expect during a position change.

+1 HS
TUNBUCK89's picture

If that happens (and let's hope it does) and URBAN credits him publicly with that, he is here to stay unless he gets offered a job that he really wants.

TMac's picture

As Luke Fickell is the Defensive Coordinator he will get plenty of credit, but to do make that jump they are going to need to play a more aggressive style and that I think would be credited to Chris Ash. Figuring out who to credit would be be a Great Problem to have, and a much more enjoyable repetitive forum topic!

ONE Not Done!

The Rill Dill's picture

I don't care WHO fixes it or HOW it gets fixed------JUST FIX IT.

+12 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Preach brother! I have dished out my fair share of Fickell criticism, but ultimately I just want a solid defense. I will take a top Big 10 defense to start.

almurray10's picture

If we have a top 20 defense next year, I won't care how it got there, I'll just be glad that it did. Chances we make the playoffs without that happening aren't good.

Wesleyburgess1's picture

I would probably give the credit to Urban Meyer because he was able to make the right hires to fix this defense in one year.

ODEEZ330's picture

If we have a top 20 defense we'll be in playoffs for sure. I'll. Credit ash

stark county football

-1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

How about the entire defensive staff? I don't think it is necessary to pin the success on any one coach. They are all on the grind to make the buckeyes better.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+5 HS
BroJim's picture

The head coach should get most of the credit and most of the blame. I'm mot sure why Fickel gets all the blame. What about Withers, Combs? Just seems a little odd. . .

I season my simple food with hunger

+4 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

Meyer isn't calling defensive formations and coaching the D; that is why he doesn't get the blame. LF is the DC.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

-1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

Definitely not LF; he's been the common denominator in the last 3 crap Ds.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

-2 HS
BroJim's picture

And a "common denominator" in our success since 2003! Am I saying he is the best, no. Am I saing he should not held accountable, no. I'm just saying pinning "the last 3 crap Ds"  solely on him is unjust .

I season my simple food with hunger

+5 HS
cinserious's picture

Truth is, without Jim Heacock, Fickell has been exposed pretty bad. Urban Meyer's fast paced spread offense kind of exacerbated the problems Fickell faced.

In comes Larry Johnson and Chris Ash to work WITH Fickell on changing the defensive philosophy into a more aggressive, attacking mode.

With a big leap in success on the defensive side of the ball,  I feel Fickell, LJ, Ash, and Coombs should get equal credit. Lets just hope this scenario transpires.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

45OH4IO's picture

Good question.

Since Ash is the new ingredient, he will get the majority of the credit. Especially if DB play improves.

The benefit for Fickell is the blame from last year will be shifted to the missing ingredient (E. Withers), thus allowing Luke to vindicate himself for the poor performances.

+2 HS
MacG91's picture

Depends if its the Dline, LBs, or DBs dominating the most. But if it is a top 20 D, then all 3 should be playing well, so I guess equal credit with more going towards Ash because it is his scheme. 


TUNBUCK89's picture

it is his scheme

 Do we have info that the Bucks will be playing Ash's scheme and not LF scheme ? Who says it won't be a scheme that the defensive coaching staff, as a unit, will develop, agree upon and implement ?

MacG91's picture

I assume it will be Ash's scheme since Fickels 8 yards off the line didnt really work out. Ash said he wants to bring a tight, aggressive bump and run style and Urban agreed that thats the type of defense he wants. Im sure they will all have a say in some part of it but I expect Ash to be the main controller.  Also to make most in game adjustments. 


BuckeyeRealist13's picture

Ohio State's defensive line was never in question last year, wether that be getting after the QB or stopping the run. So that takes LJ out of the running. So that leaves either Luke Fickell or Chris Ash. It comes down to if the LB's step up this season, or the DB's. If it's the LB's that play like "Ohio State LB's" then the credit goes to Fickell, if it's Ohio State's DB's that step up by playing more aggressive in your face man to man, then Chris Ash gets the credit. My prediction, Chris Ash is responsible for turning around the defense this year. Go Bucks! 

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

Buckeye06's picture

Out dline got smoked by misdirection at the end of the year.  They were the best part of the D but they had problems too

+1 HS
BuckAlum09's picture

When we rebound I think the credit will go to (in this order):

1.) Added pressure from Urban demanding an overhaul or bust.
2.) Luke Fickell answering the call and putting his best plan to the test under the spotlight of #1
3.) New staff additions bolstering the already quality staff and years of top 5 recruiting classes. Young ones will step up this year.

Great topic, great question and some great answers in this thread. Happy to see there are still worth while discussions here. I got worried for a couple months! Go Bucks!

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

+3 HS
allinosu's picture

The only thing I hold onto against Fickell right now is losing Mike Mitchell and I will eventually get over that.

-1 HS
ab1993's picture

How was that Fickell's fault at all?

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

Read about Fickell in the ozone deciding not to play Mitchell when the opportunity arrived and he didn't because of a possible redshirt. Then read up on Mitchells father's interview in Northeast Ohio news during this years NSD where he is no worse than he was before and said the reason Mike picked OSU was the great chance at early playing time. Plus that Mitchells don't like to sit on the sideline and watch. Then when asked about the transfer he clammed up. A kid who would give up so much for his family would have been praised by his father. He was willing to talk about any child including Mike but not about the transfer. 

OSU_ALUM_05's picture


Yeti's have feelings too.

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

I think Ash would pickup a lot of the credit.  He was brought in specifically to repair the most deficient part of our defense...

buckguyfan1's picture

I might give Bert some credit.  If he wasn't such a douche, we probably would not get Ash. 

buckskin's picture

Like many of you, I could care less, I just want to see a silver bullet defense again!!  But I do think that the credit has to go to the new hires.  As much as I loved the old guys (Vrabel and Coombs/Withers), these 2 are going to be teachers of the game and not so much screamers.  Johnson's experience coaching top notch D-lines will be invaluable and Ash really focuses on teaching fundamentals to the secondary, something ours has sadly needed the last couple of years.  I am ready for fall.

TCOB_6's picture

Luke Fickell should never get any credit for anything. EVER. Luke Fickell is the DEVIL!

+1 HS
TCOB_6's picture

Lol at the down votes on the sarcastic Fickell comment. I expected there to be more with a sense of humor.

+1 HS
nm_buck's picture

+1 for the chuckle.  

Gotta be careful with the sarcasm font.  Some people see it as emphasis.  

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

bull1214's picture

the credit should go to the PLAYERS. as should the majority of the blame when big plays are given up. many different coaches win and lose with many different schemes. in the end, its upto the players to make plays.

Ericgobucks's picture

You are correct, players make plays, but they much be properly coached, be put in a position to succeed, and all be on the same page. We have great athletes and an inexplicable reason for such poor results. In my opinion, its absolutely on coaching. 

Seattle Linga's picture

I don't care who gets credit - JUST WIN BABY

btalbert25's picture

Who cares who gets credit.  If the D turns around that much in a season then we'll be in great shape.  I personally just want to see a serviceable defense, it doesn't have to be elite.  Just one capable of stopping bad offenses much less good ones 

btalbert25's picture

Maybe Urban Meyer should get some credit.  Didn't he say he's going to have more input on what happens with the defense. 

krodawg's picture

Should the D turn the corner this year I'm more willing to place credit on the dynamic and cohesiveness of all the coaches than individual parts. Credit should go to Urban for hiring the right blend.