The Urban Meyer Coach's Show: "Navy is a Concern"

By DJ Byrnes on August 28, 2014 at 12:59p
Urban Meyer at Purdue, 2013
72 Comments

Navy is on deck for Ohio State football, and Urban Meyer took to 97.1 FM's airwaves today to talk Buckeye football in the first coaches show of the 2014 season.

As such, there was much to talk about.

Urban says the final week of practice "has been good," but admits the loss of Braxton is a "major hit." However, there are plenty of "young players" who are capable of stepping up.

Captains are responsible for filling the leadership void of Braxton, according to Meyer. Taylor Decker is a player who Urban identifies as coming on as "a vocal leader." Urban stresses the importance of leadership from the offensive line, as Ohio State is "an offensive line driven program."

Urban admits the offensive line was "unstable" in the spring, but Urban says the line has since solidified. Despite the inexperience, Ohio State will have plenty of fluid, diverse options along the line.

Urban says sophomore Pat Elflein might be the best center on the team, but they can't afford to move him from guard. Jacoby Boren, though talented, is a bit undersized to go against Navy, who puts a "320 lbs guy right over top" of the snapper.


What are some of the biggest challenges freshman meet?

  • Homesickness, and "maybe not making the right decisions," are two factors Urban cites, but he knows NCAA's relaxed rules — allowing contact with freshmen for the first time — helped in that transition.
  • The speed of the game is another factor, but cites Dante Booker and Joey Bosa as players who weren't affected by the speed of the college game.

Most depth at the offensive line since Urban's arrival?

"I think so," Urban says, but admits "it's one of the most inexperienced groups I've had." 

On Daryl Baldwin:

"He was a guy buried on the depth chart everywhere," but "he'll be a success." He could be one of the best guys in pass protection, according to the defensive line. "To see a guy develop like that is neat to see."

On J.T. Barrett:

  • "He reminds people a lot of Kenny Guiton." 
  • "He does everything very well."
  • "We haven't had short gains that turn into long plays. We haven't had that."

Who does wide receiver Corey Smith remind Urban of:

  • "Somebody ought to write a book on him some day."
  • "It wasn't going well for him [in May]. He was 177 lbs. Now, he's 199 lbs. He needs to continue to battle the battles to remain focused. ... To say he's not the most talented receiver; I think he is."
  • "Now he's at Ohio State ready to embark on a game-changing career."

Can Ezekiel Elliott pick up where Carlos Hyde left off?

  • "Different style of runner... dynamic, explosive guy. He's on the 'can't wait to watch' list."

On Rod Smith and Bri'onte Dunn being surprises:

  • "Rod missed most spring practice due to academic issues. But credit where it's due [for turning things around]. It's his last shot. I hope he makes something out of it."
  • "Dunn turned heads with his effort."

On Navy:

  • Urban experienced Navy at Notre Dame and Air Force at Utah. First service academy game since he's arrived at Ohio State.
  • Navy is "the dominant academy." Academies run the wishbone because they have "disciplined young men." Navy is "very athletic" as a "very good team."
  • "[Navy] is obviously a concern."
  • "It's a system offense, but that's not fair to their players... This is the best 'personnelled' academy I've faced in my coaching career."
  • Urban says the coaching staff has been scheming for Navy since the spring. "A lot of brain power went into this. A lot of time. I love our plan."
  • Urban says he was warned to try not to "outscheme" Navy, but to "outplay" them. 
  • "Our scout team did a wonderful job [preparing Ohio State]... Jalin Marshall played quarterback."

Urban then took calls.

Larry asks a rambling, three-part question about last year's defensive struggles and then signs off with "Love ya, brother."

  • Urban admits last season's defense was "abysmal." 
  • "We've kept a lot of rush principles," but "I'm anticipating a complete overhaul of our pass defense." We won't see the true scheme until Virginia Tech, however.
  • On Darron Lee: "A guy from New Albany is starting linebacker at Ohio State... think about that."
  • On Josh Perry: "He's a tremendous person. I think he should coach... He's a leader. ... He's got a bright future ahead of him."
  • Dante Booker moved up the depth chart via injuries, but he's "right in the mix."
  • "We had to replace Mike [Vrabel] with a home run, and I think we did with Larry Jonhnson."
  • Adolphus Washington "had his best camp." Says calling him an underachiever is "unfair" to Adolphus, but they're starting to see him reach his potential.
  • Rashad Frazier will "for sure" be in the defensive line mix.

A caller immediately calls-in and asks "Hey Urban Meyer, what are we going to do this year on the defensive line, buddy?" [Insert everyone laughing]

Jeff in Tennessee: "Not everyone can come in for Coach Tressel and make him an afterthought. Well, not an afterthought, but you've done a marvelous job... You seem like you enjoy being here... What do you think of the fanbase?... I'm so fired up I can't really talk right now... Love ya brother, go Bucks!"

  • Urban says he told Florida's staff Ohio State fans would "find a way" to get into the stadium for the national title game. Raves about Ohio State fans' performance at Bekeley."
  • "We have the best student [fans] in the country."

On classes beginning, and Ohio State's rising academic status:

  • "We don't cluster our athletes," in classes. "We try to make sure we set our athletes up for life after football."
  • "The quality of student walking campus in Columbus is as strong as its ever been... It's a boost for recruiting."
  • "The right kid has to come here or he won't survive."
  • Jalin Marshall "will be all over the field for us."
  • Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell and Erick Smith all give Ohio State depth at safety.
  • Erick Smith is "a little further ahead" of Damon Webb. Says Webb is a "competitor" but he needs to get "stronger and faster."

On the Nick Vannett/Jeff Heuerman tandem and the tight ends:

  • Vannett will play "quite a bite." 
  • Heuerman is a "bit behind" due to injury, but he'll "be a great player for us."
  • Marcus Baugh gives added depth as he continues to work his way out of Urban's dog house.
  • Sam Hubbard is "floating back and forth" [between tight end and linebacker]. "He's a smart guy. he can handle it."
  • "We need to keep recruiting tight ends."
72 Comments

Comments

apack614's picture

A lot of brain power went into this. A lot of time. I love our plan."

I can't wait to see it unfold! It will be great! Go Bucks!

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

+7 HS
JoeAndSo's picture

yea, that makes me both relieved and nervous.  I'm happy to see he's really prepared for this but at the same time I hope there wasn't too much time spent it. There are 11 to 13 other games where a lot of what they are prepared for wont be used.

Mercy is for the weak.

ohiobobg's picture

Correction: 12 to 14 other games. ;-)

OhioBobG

Hovenaut's picture

I need Saturday...stat.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+7 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

I started pacing the floors on Wednesday.  Can't help it, won't apologize for it.

osu07asu10's picture

On Darron Lee: "A guy from New Albany is starting linebacker at Ohio State... think about that."

That is neat coach but...

On Josh Perry: "He's a tremendous person. I think he should coach... He's a leader. ... He's got a bright future ahead of him."

So is Josh Perry (Olentangy)!

2 of the 3 starting LBers hail from the greater CBus area!

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+9 HS
buckeyedexter's picture

I think he said Darron Lee was a QB from New Albany playing LB at Ohio State.  He seemed to be making the point that he's gifted enough to make the transition from QB to starting LB at Ohio State in just a year; that what I got from it.

+2 HS
d1145fresh's picture

That Corey Smith section was pretty interesting. I know a little of the back story there but it seems like there is a lot more going on. Hopefully he can keep focused and become a playmaker on and off the field.

OSUBias's picture

Becoming a playmaker off the field is...um...less important than on the field?

Shitter's full

+1 HS
RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

History's most noteworthy off the field playmaker:

+5 HS
Killer nuts's picture

Great update, much appreciated!

WezBuck28's picture

Hmmm...jalin marshall running qb with the scout team...interesting! My mind is wandering on this...and me likey!!

+2 HS
osu07asu10's picture

It will be interesting to see but I doubt Jalin stays at QB for scout team. This was because of Navy's run/option style offense and they probably didn't want Collier or Jones taking so many hits with 1 QB already down.

The scout team reps are invaluable for Collier and his development. Plus Jalin is going to do big things at the H this year. He was simply helping the team prepare for Navy.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+2 HS
WezBuck28's picture

I get that part, just excites me to think of future possibilities with some potential trickeration plays..

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

I guess there is potential to see something like this....

But I wouldn't expect to see it more than we saw Ginn's trickeration too. 

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+3 HS
WezBuck28's picture

Ginn wasn't coached by Meyer either...I would love to see urban throw some nasty stuff at some defenses just to say listen here fellas, you can't run with the big dogs..not while I'm the alpha male..

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Eh, although Urban has somewhat of a tendency to use trick (or "special" plays as he dubs them) he usually breaks them out when the odds are stacked against him or his team. Definitely saw more at Utah than at UF, and so forth (h/t Tress).

So far his "special" plays at OSU have largely been with the extra point formations (with KG) and also fake punts. We may see a few trick plays, but it would probably come at a time when tOSU needs it most in a bigger game.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

jrunyan's picture

Wowzers. Poor #24 gets trucked there.

The old let-the-person-trip-over-your-body-as-you-lie-helplessly-on-the-ground block. I made a quite a few of those back in my playing days! 

+3 HS
Jpfbuck's picture

24 was our kicker Drew Basil and the guy trucking him appears to be a LB, actually if you watch that play closely it appears the snapper blocks the wrong direction,,,he steps left when the play is obviously designed to go right, hence why the db has any shot at KG at all, ie missed assignment led to completely blown block and then a 1 on 1 fight to the goal line

Seattle Linga's picture

Teddy was so fast it looked like he was the first one giving Rory a high five after the touchdown.

whiskeyjuice's picture

Yeah but Brax has been down for a week and a half. I think Marshall was playing scout QB before Brax went down.

"You'll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face." -- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Toilrt Paper's picture

Jalin is the closest thing to Braxton athletically at Ohio State. With work he would better for Navy's offense than what they now have AND the current Navy QB is the best they've had.

Humbuck's picture

It is because he ran a triple option his senior year of high school.  Ran it really well too, 325 yards rushing against Moller who had a great defense and won a state title. 

+1 HS
ohiobobg's picture

Woah!!!! Never heard that before. Quite telling. ( Moeller has been a decades-long boil on my Wayne Warriors ass.... )

OhioBobG

sjOH1OSt's picture

Reading this article through lunch at work was a poor choice.  I should have waited until Saturday morning or Friday evening.  Who wants to go back to work after this?  Great recap!

"I will pound you, and pound you, until you quit!" -Woody Hayes

+7 HS
jdagrava.1's picture

What is this "work" that you speak of?  It's Kickoff Week, isn't it?!!?!!

"It takes a little something special to be a great player.  What you got in you, we're going to find out.  And if there's a touch of greatness in there, how cool would that be?"

-Urban F. Meyer

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

Oh, coach-speak. Is there any team that Meyer won't describe as "athletic" ? 

+1 HS
904buckeye's picture

TTUN ?

GO BUCKS. BEAT MISSAGAIN

+9 HS
Idaho Helga's picture

Best thing I read here ( J.T.):

He reminds people a lot of Kenny Guiton.

Oh pleeze, pleeze be right about that coach.

+1 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell and Erick Smith all give Ohio State depth at safety.

Ouch.  Sounds like Vonn is the backup.  I love Cam, but  this is concerning to me.  The reason Bell likely won't start is three fold:  1) Cam is good, 2), Vonn got a little dinged in Spring, and 3) Vonn never got to play much last year.   This last one is on the coaching staff.  Whoever thought Pitt was better than Vonn should be FIRED - oh I actually think this  happened (Whithers).  I have to be honest, I am worried Vonn might transfer.  I believe he has the talent and desire to be a future NFL player and I think everyone at the school knows that.  But you probably won't be drafted unless you play.  Logic dictates the unfortunate conclusion barring a change in circumstances.  

-2 HS
Zimmy09's picture

I don't think that is the case from this statement.  Tyvis Powell is the known starter at the other safety spot and he is mentioned here.

+3 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Thanks for the clarification.  Let me ask you all a question on the Safeties.  Why does it seem the FS and SS are not as interchangeable as I would have thought, i.e, like the CBs.  It seems like Cam and Vonn are battling for one position, but what about the other safety spot?  Is it because Tyvis is head and shoulders better or is that such a different position, the others are not suited well for it?

Thanks

Zimmy09's picture

I personally have wondered the same thing, why not just start Bell and Burrows at the two safety spots?  They are both young enough that it could have been taught to them last year but I trust that Powell is simply better than they are for the assigned responsibilities otherwise the staff would have moved one of them.  Who knows though.  

cdub4's picture

They also have different body types, and different coverage skills. Powell is taller than Burrows and Bell, and Burrows and and Powell are converted corners I believe and may have better cover skills than Bell, which is important in a Cover 4

Toilrt Paper's picture

If you have  a VERY bright player he could handle learning both safety positions. Their responsibilities are quite dissimilar. Compared to the 2 corners. Where foot work is the biggest difference between the cornerback positions.

Idaho Helga's picture

I might be wrong, but I think they are not interchangeable because some blitz packages will have the free safety come up but not the strong one.

rosenbuck's picture

I'm pretty sure there's nothing to worry about.  I wouldn't even be surprised to see some nickel with 3 safeties (instead of Armani, who I hope proves me wrong). All three "starters" are good cover guys, but the two safety spots are different positions, as the SS has more responsibilities to help in the run game. That physicality (and lack of in-game film/experience) could be part of the reason for the extended competition between Bell and Burrows.

All that being said, if Vonn Bell never sees the field again at OSU, it's because Urban Meyer thinks someone else is better.  I trust UFM.

+1 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

Yeah, from what I understand, the SS plays more in run support and can help cover tight ends, RB's out the backfield. Whereas FS play more in WR coverage or over the top help with CB's. 

"You'll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face." -- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

whiskeyjuice's picture

Damon Moore and Mike Doss were good SS and there scheme was kinda obvious as they were in on a ton of tackles on the RB's and screens. In contrast, Gary Berry was a good FS and he was constantly making plays in the pass defense and coverages.

"You'll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face." -- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

Agreed. One could equally infer since Cam was not mentioned, and a known starter (Tyvis) was, that Vonn Bell is starting.  Either way, it is still anybody's guess.

+3 HS
BucksLoverInPGH's picture

There's so much to digest here.  I'm really excited for a lot of things, but Larry Johnson's work with this defensive line and moving Adolphus Washington inside permanently might be the most intriguing aspect of the offseason for me.  I'm expecting wonders from the DL.  Hopefully it covers up the inexperience at LB and in the defensive secondary.

"They're gonna have skill at the skilled positions where guys have great skill sets." - Brady Hoke

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I wished he would have talked more about how JT might not be Braxton but we don't need him to be Braxton to run this offense. I also wished someone would have asked him that we know JT will be a distributor in the passing game but how much of a threat is he in running the ball. I really think it is underestimated how good of a runner JT is and how much that will surprise Navy on Saturday.

I don't understand the "Bell, Powell and Smith are good depth at Safety" comment. I know Powell is starting, so how is that good depth. and if he is talking the overall position, then why leave out Cam Burrows. It just seemed like an incomplete thought.

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

rosenbuck's picture

He actually does this a lot, and with different positions. He's got 100 guys on his roster and lots of competitions at spots all over the field, I think he just misses names from time to time and we tend to freak over it.  I've heard before that he doesn't love the media portion of the job so I'd say its fair to assume he's not necessarily 100% dialed in for a call in show.  That's just my interpretation of it though.

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

good point.

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

Toilrt Paper's picture

Braxton 4.32 Forty. JT 4.7 Forty. Does that answer you're question? 

Humbuck's picture

Correction:  Braxton 4.32 thirty nine.

I like Urban a lot but he BS's 40 times and has for years.  JT's 40 time came from the opening.  I bet he runs a 4.5 on Meyer's track. 

Toilrt Paper's picture

JT looked slowish in his HS recruiting video.

Toilrt Paper's picture

JT looked slowish in his HS recruiting video.

BartGK's picture

Jalin in the wildcat would be nice to see. Keep JT health!!!  

BartGK

+1 HS
braneli's picture

I have so many mixed feelings about our debut Saturday – both good and (potentially) bad, but either way, at least it's FOOTBALL SEASON! WOO!!!

"You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."

nikolajz1's picture

"We haven't had short gains that turn into long plays. We haven't had that."

I really hope this means our defense is just incredibly good and not that our WR are mediocre again like last year.  

+2 HS
sivaDavis's picture

I take it as maybe he means the WRs haven't been as dynamic as he would like since he arrived at Ohio State. He always says he wants his receivers to be able to take a short pass and make a big play out of it. Wants his players to make big plays in space.

"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

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

I am as eager as Urban to see a receiver make somebody miss...

and make a huge gain.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+1 HS
kalabuckzoo's picture

I think this is a reference to last season as he has mentioned this in prior interviews.  I could be wrong but I don't think he is referencing what he is seeing in practice right now.

+2 HS
ohiobobg's picture

I took it to mean JT does a better job than Brax in leading his receivers to the ball allowing for YACs.

OhioBobG

JohnnyKozmo's picture

I really like he grouped Booker with Bosa when talking about Freshman coming in and having to adjust to the speed of the game, but said those 2 weren't affected by the speed.  We saw how Bosa peformed last year, lets hope Booker follows in the same footsteps.

ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

I need to come up with a diddy for the offense for this season... something like:

Jalin to the left, Jalin to the right

Eze up the middle, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

JT in the drop, Corey on a dime

Dontre running loopdy loops commitin' on-field crimes

[drops mic]... I'll stick to my day job

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+7 HS
ibuck's picture

How about this?

Jalin to the left, Samuel to the right

Eze up the middle, Oh what a night!

JT in the drop, Corey on a dime

Dontre breakin' ankles and other on-field crime.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

Excited to see Jalin take the field. I know he has never taken a snap but he is my favorite Buckeye right now.

I season my simple food with hunger

tussey's picture

"Our scout team did a wonderful job [preparing Ohio State]... Jalin Marshall played quarterback."

I'm calling it right now, this will be a game changer.  He is the perfect person to be running the scout team QB.  He probably provided the most realistic look the defense could face outside of game day.   

+2 HS
shizawn9415's picture

But what are we going to do with our Defensive Line? haha

+1 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

Hang on Sloopy, Kickoff is less than 41 hours away!!!!

"You'll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face." -- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
ArizonaBuckeye's picture

Call it just a "gut feeling" but I think OSU's defense will be straight-up dominant this season. Can't wait to see that run D on Sat. Go Bucks!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Read on ozone that Tre Johnson is a bit banged up. Part of the reason for Booker's 'Or' listing. 

+1 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Ozone also quoted Meyer as stating Elflein and Price will be starting guards. Sorry if this had been discussed. I looked and didn't see it. 

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

As I said in a previous post, the defense really has no excuse for poor play against Navy. Plenty of time to prepare and the defense faces mobile QBs in practice everyday. Someone mentioned the point about 2009 and how we had TP and all that and still struggled. There are two things that separate these games in terms of preparation, 1) 2009 team underestimated the hell out of Navy, and 2) we didn't have a QB on the roster that could mimic Navy's like we do now. I believe a walk-on RB, Joe something, acted as the navy QB for the scout team in 2009, Jalin is much more similar to Reynolds than Joe (walk-on) was to Dobbs (Navy's 2009 QB) and ran an option style offense in HS. If Urban is happy with the plan and prep, then so am I, I just hope the boys go out and execute…and TACKLE.

+1 HS
JBuckeye's picture

Anyone else worried they schemed too much?  Herman and Meyer have shown a tendency to stick to a game plan/scheme even when the hot hand is clearly evident.  Hopefully they learned from that last year and have grown the ability to adapt and go with what is working. 

Either way I cannot wait for tomorrow! 

+1 HS
ohiobobg's picture

Same here: my only complaint last year about the coaching staff ( besides GIVE IT TO HYDE, DAMMIT!!!!!! ) was the lack of on-the-fly adjustments. You can't wait till halftime to fix a problem.

OhioBobG

JBuckeye's picture

besides GIVE IT TO HYDE, DAMMIT!!!!!! 

 That is exactly what I'm referring to.  Cooper would have rode Hyde until he couldn't get up off the field if his mojo was working it that day.  But Herman and Meyer seemed at times to be confused when their plan wasn't "going to plan"