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McShay says Roby "could have been coached better"

kmp10's picture
May 4, 2014 at 9:01am

Unlike Mel Kiper, Todd McShay actually played football. He was a college quarterback at  Richmond, then a G.A. at the same school. He has football experience; playing, coaching and scouting. It's interesting to me that he feels Roby "could have been coached better". Last season Kerry Coombs was the second most polarizing coach on the Ohio State staff (Withers wasn't polarizing. Most agreed that he was more problem than solution), and I thought Coombs deserved almost as much criticism for the defensive collapse as Fickell. Many (11W staff included) seemingly believe that Coombs walks on water. I'm curious, what is it about Coombs that people are drawn to? His 'passion'? His sideline demeanor? To me, the results speak for themselves… the corners regressed in the two years Coombs had them. That Chris Ash was given control over the entire secondary (while Coombs will now assist with the cornerback position) is telling… but Coombs, improbably in my opinion, was retained despite dismal results. All the yelling, screaming, cheerleading and "funny" comments about kickers are fine as long as he's getting results. All that ancillary stuff works great if you're getting your kids to ball, but it wears thin when that's all you're bringing to the table. Yes, Coombs seems to recruit well (as does Fickell), but Vrabel recruited well AND developed his players. LJS recruits well AND develops his players… same with the entire offensive staff. Recruiting is half the equation, not the entire ball of wax. At Ohio State, it seems a reasonable expectation that all coaches on the staff should be some of the best in college football at both recruiting and player development. Does Coombs have what it takes???

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

You had me, then a rant ensued.

+29 HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Coombs worked for Withers. One does not keep his job very long if one argues with or disagrees with one's boss.

Fickell had NOTHING to do with the DBs..

Vrabel and Urban DID NOT see eye to eye. Urban wanted an 8 player rotation on the D-line. Vrabel fought to play only 4.

Roby was a cancer..


-3 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Where did you ever see / read Roby was a cancer? He appeared to be a good teammate and a good leader on the field. To call a kid a cancer should be reserved for only the harshest of indictments, if ever.

Roby thought he was too big at times, leading to a reported decrease in work ethic. His ego got in his way, but as a corner you need that ego and that edge.

Little respect for your assessment.

+2 HS
Crimson's picture

You just replied, seriously, to someone with the name Toilrt Paper, fyi.

+3 HS
Crimson's picture

Crimson says Roby could have been coached better, doesn't lay all of the blame at Coombs' feet.

+10 HS
nikolajz1's picture

I dont think Coombs was in charge of scheme though. When you have an athlete as great as Roby, it makes zero sense to use him  in zone. They should pressed the boundary  a lot more. 

+15 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Could have been coached better by having a better scheme in place. Don't know if you ever thought about that or not. Also, I actually think Doran Grant showed crazy improvement. Cam Burrows seemed to be a beast when he got into the games against Iowa and Indiana. Also Urban raved about Gareon Conley saying how they shouldn't have redshirted him. You see blown coverages and think that automatically means that Coombs isn't a good coach. I would say yes he could have been coached better in a different scheme when both coaches actually know what the other is doing... Would love to have watched Roby in this years upcoming defense under Ash. Seems to be more his style.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+9 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Bingo x last 3 comments. 

FROMTHE18's picture

Roby stated last summer he should have gone pro then said he was fully committed to the team. IMO, he definitely wasn't focused throughout the year on college football, he was thinking about his NFL career. He was still a great player but was inconsistent and didn't have the same impact I thought he was going to. His film doesn't look spectacular from last season because he wasn't all in. 

+10 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Vrabel didn't develop players.  They just endured him. 

The only reason the D line was the bright spot on the Defense was because the rest of the "back 7" sucked so bad.

As for Coombs....I agree.  His rah rah demeanor got him a pass from a lot of this fanbase...and it was never known who the bigger cluster fuck was a coach, him or Withers.

+7 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

Yea too often Vrable only played like 5-6 guys and it wore down the defensive line.  Especially when teams were consistently taking 3 step drops and getting the ball out fast the dline had no chance at sacks.  What we didn't see from the dline was a willingness to take a passive approach when the quick drop and throw were in effect to get in the passing lanes and bat the balls down or tip them to get interceptions.  With as great an offensive line we had last year there were still plenty of times that Braxton had to scramble or tried to throw quick passes and 70% of the time his balls were batted down.  We rarely if ever saw that from our dline in previous years. 


Another plus is Raekwon McMillan.  He looked excellent in the spring game as to being aware in zone coverage and either getting a hand on the ball to tip it or forcing the overthrow because he was in the correct spot to defend the passes coming towards him.  Too often Josh Perry was beat on seam routes because he did not redirect to receiver in his area.  2 of the touchdowns in the Clemson game were due to this and it made Bell look bad because he didn't have the time to peel off the #1 receiver and get back to the #2 guy running the seam.  Hopefully we see some dramatic changes this year.  I hate losing because of a thousand papercuts the opposing offense dinks and dunks all the way down the field.  Defense's from OSU past were a ton better at forcing 3 and outs and getting off the field on 3rd downs.  I hope we get back to that mentality because we have the athletes to do so. 

luckynutz's picture

Did you forget the fact that injuries plagued the d line depth last year? Michael hill was injured early and redshirted. Munger had a health issue that kept him from playing and redshirted. Schutt broke his foot and was out for 2 months. Washington was banged up most of the season. Outside of the starting 4, you basically had hale, marcus and steve miller as backups. And all 3 saw meaningful snaps.

People can bemoan the lack of a rotation all they want...but the fact is the depth wasnt there til late in the season. Most coaches tend to stick with the guys they trust at that point...especially when the last 3 games were the biggest 3 on the schedule. And the reason the d line was so highly routed in spring ball is because everyone is healthy.

+1 HS
Horvath22's picture

Aaaahhhh, coach McShay.

+3 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

He definitely could have had better coaching. Especially if he would have gone pro a year earlier. That's not necessarily an indictment on Coombs or anyone else. 

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

McShay is right, he could have been coached better, but is this really a bold statement? Who here has ever had a perfect coach? There is always room for improvement when coaching. 

Have your opinions of Coombs but the reality is he is a coach at OSU and deserves our support. What good does it do to bash him? I'm sure he is doing the best he can.

P.S. Coombs can recruit with the best of em'!

I season my simple food with hunger

+3 HS
Earle's picture

Players have to accept coaching. Not placing blame squarely on Roby or Coombs, but Roby's displayed enough knucklehead tendencies to at least question how coachable he was last year.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

+10 HS
buckeyes1934's picture

This is a joke. The easy excuse is to blame coaches. Dre Kirkpatrick could easily been coached better in college considering he has been awful for the Bengals. Do you know who takes control of the secondary for Alabama? Nick Saban. Kerry Coombs is probably the best recruiter on staff and was coaching a scheme he wasn't comfortable with. He has always coached an aggressive style dating back to his days at Colerain and UC. I think CB will be one of the strongest positions on the team this year. We all need to quit blaming every coach known to man, and just accept that Roby didn't play well bc he wasn't there mentally most of the year. 

+7 HS
saltybuck61's picture

I think a lot of Roby's struggles had to do with more the scheme than his actual play, like several have mentioned above. Last year Roby was spectacular in run support, and much of this was due to him playing a flat zone. It would have been interesting to see him play man last year with his sheer athletic ability. He and Doran Grant were the only two real bright spots of the secondary after Bryant went out with injury.

I definitely agree with you on Coombs though. The cornerbacks will greatly benefit from a change in scheme.

+3 HS
NCBuckeye2011's picture

I agree with one of the above posters in that he would thrive if he was in Ash's system. Roby has great size, strength and athleticism but maybe lacked a little on the technical part of his game. If Ash would have been the coordinator when Roby entered the program and he was coached into Ash's philosophy he could have been a monster. Imagine Darqueze Dennard, the guy was a stud at MSU. Now imagine Roby in Narduzzi's system for 3-4 years. Nothing against Darqueze (I really like his game) but Roby could have been something else if he was getting coached up in that system. 

This is not to say Coombs was a bad coach for Roby, but I agree that in another system/philosophy Roby could have been a little better. Roby going to the Seahawks would be a great fit for him, I bet Sherman, Chancellor, and Thomas could coach him up and make Roby an effective member of their "Legion of Boom".

-2 HS
Oxley's picture

I'm sympathetic to the comments about being limited by the scheme, but let's be honest, there isn't a single coverage scheme that involves NOT teaching guys to turn around and look for the ball when it's in the air.

It's one thing when you're just beat and trying to catch up, but I couldn't believe the number of times last year guys had decent position and then got flagged for PI or didn't make a good play on the ball because they just didn't turn the head around. As a former cornerback that just kills me.

Now, not being a fly on the wall in practice, I can't say whether that's a coaching problem (and if it is, whose problem) or if it's just a lack of execution on the players' part. But I would sure like to see a lot less of it this year.

+5 HS
gumtape's picture

Coombs also saved the day against ttun when he told tyvis powell exactly what play to defend against. We should not forget this.

High and tight boo boo

+14 HS
otrain2416's picture

It's easy to forget the little things like this and the fact he wasn't calling the defensive plays. One thing Coombs was in charge of last year were the special teams and those looked pretty damn good.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

+4 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

Coombs Al Borges also saved the day against ttun when he told showed tyvis powell exactly what play to defend against.


-1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Todd McShay actually played football.

So what?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+3 HS
tussey's picture

Here is the deal, Coombs is a puppet coach, in that he is at the mercy of the defensive coordinators and the scheme they have in place.  Honestly, I don't think anyone can be a top coach when he is tasked with teaching a scheme that he doesn't believe in (off zone).  He has an aggressive and in your face personality and so this new scheme fits him and I think you will see him thrive in coaching it.  

+1 HS
oh_dad55's picture

Roby didn't seem to be playing at the same level last season that he did the year before.  Whether it was due to coaching, injuries, attitude and determination, or playing to avoid injury are all at question.  We'll find out what the NFL scouts think on draft day.  If it's coaching, he'll be drafted early.  If it was attitude (and off field problems), we'll see a drop.


+2 HS
Lincoln's picture

TIL - some people think Kerry Coombs does not walk on water 

Bugsyk's picture

Any player can be coached better.  McShay probably didn't have his monthly quota met for irritating Buckeye fans, so he went passive aggressive.  More than anything on the field, I think Roby has proven he needed more maturation.  Guidance from a coach would've helped him in those efforts.

Coombs is a team guy.  He was brought in as a recruiter helping put a fence around the Cinci area.  Under Withers, he pushed his guys hard to do what he was told.  He's now pushing them hard under the Ash scheme.  I could go either way on his coaching prowess, but he's a good motivator, and an elite recruiter.  He's the guy that can get talent, and Ash is a guy who can develop talent.  Sounds like a good complement if they can put each other in positions to succeed.

+1 HS
dc28's picture

The DB coach coaches based on the overall defensive scheme. The DB's can't play pressed coverage if the Defensive Coordinator doesn't call for it. I place the blame on the Defensive Coordinator. I am still confused on how in the hell you blitz but play soft coverage? It makes no sense at all. In that scenario the defensive coaches are not even giving the DB's a chance to make a play. Think about it, blitz comes and the receiver has an 8 yard cushion. Whats the point in blitzing then?


"Never Settle For Second When First Is Available"


whobdis's picture

My only real complaint from a coaching standpoint was teaching the guys to look for the ball. Now this really only comes into play few times during the season but they are important times.The rest (like everyone here is saying) is scheme. By the time your a Junior you should have the fundamentals down..it's just a matter of knowing your coverage and responsibilities.

Seattle Linga's picture

I cannot wait until the season begins