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Is Luke Fickell's job in jeopardy?

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BuckeyeNation's picture

I think the concern about our defense is a little premature still, so I don't think is job is in jeopardy...
 
not yet anyway.

LouGroza's picture

Coaching jobs are always in jeopardy. Just ask Bret Bielema.

GoBucks713's picture

It's spelled B-e-r-t

-The Aristocrats!

lcrumley89's picture

I know I am in the minority believing that Fickell will be given another year to prove himself, but it is hard to believe that he will be fired because of the amount of injuries and lack of true talent at linebacker this year. I think it is more likely that his playing calling responibilities will either be reduced or taken away completely.

“There are some people addicted to alcohol, some people are addicted to gambling,” Luginbill said. “Urban Meyer is addicted to football, and he’s addicted to winning.”

Doc's picture

How many "demotions" will Fickell take?  At some point in time wouldn't you think it would be an issue of pride?  It's time for Luke to move on, IMO, I have no faith in his abilities anymore.  I'm not alone on this either.  A lot of my patients I talk to say the same thing.

"Say my name."

RoyWalley's picture

Yes his job is in jeopardy.  To be a championship team we need a championship defensive coach. 
I like Luke, but he is in way over his head, just like coaching the team last year.
 
 

DMcDougal24's picture

Nothing against Fick, but it better be in jeopardy after 38 to Nebraska and 49 to Indiana. We can't settle for that

OldColumbusTown's picture

I COMPLETELY agree.
When you give up 87 points over the span of two weeks, it doesn't matter how many injuries you have.  At some point, you have to slow down the other team.  There is talent and athleticism on this defense, even with the youngsters.  A good scheme with players who are taught and coached on doing their jobs are able to do that.  Maybe it is time to simplify the defense if the younger guys are having trouble picking up the scheme.
Now, I think Fickell can start to get this thing turned around.  Based solely on the last two weeks, he shouldn't get canned.  However, if there is no improvement, or if the defense continues to regress/give up big plays and points, then I would have to think talk begins as far as what is best for the program going forward.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Thank you OldC...finally someone who agrees the Def. coaches need to be held accountable.  We've given up more points in two weeks than the entire year of 2002 when OSU won a NC.  If OSU gets one more 40 spot put up on the defense, then there will be some shuffling.  I'm not sure Fickell or anyone will be "fired" unless OSU loses like we almost did vs Indiana.  That's my prediction.   Not sure if anyone watched EPSN this morning but it didn't sound good for the defensive coaches.  Meyer will be taking over the defense...that's not a good sign.  

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

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

bassplayer7770's picture

If ESPN said Meyer was taking over the Defense, then they're incorrect.  He will get more involved in meetings and gameplanning, but he is not going to call defensive plays.  More than anything, his presence will provide more motivation for the defensive players and coaches.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Which part of what I said makes you feel he's calling plays.  I'm sure he'll leave that up to Fick and Withers.  However, did JT ever do this...???  NO!  Just for the record...I don't want Fick fired.  He's done too many good things while playing and coaching to be fired.  However you'd have to be delusional not to see a change is necessary for OSU to improve and grow on defense.  It bothers me when ppl can't see what's happening right in front of them.  If OSU struggles again against a spread offense this weekend then what???  Please don't defend what  indefensible.  Tired of the injury and other excuses...it's making me sick to my stomach personally.  Accountability is a word OSU "fans" need to become acquainted with IMHO.  

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

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

bassplayer7770's picture

Which part of what I said makes you feel he's calling plays.

The part where ESPN said Meyer is "taking over" the Defense.
And nowhere did I say the Defense doesn't need to improve and the coaches don't need to be reevaluated at some point.

Doug Funnie's picture

I saw that too and wondered if Meyer is really going to live up to his "pink contract"  I hope he doesn't burn the candle on both ends, b/c if he stays healthy OSU could be BCS champion bound(excluding this year of course).

NoVA Buckeye's picture

No one should put "ESPN" and "correct" in the same sentence.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Who has mentioned anything about settling?  You think the players and coaches are thinking that?  "well we won, so what the defense gave up damn near 50?"  "we won"  
No.  no one is saying that.  No one is settling. 
Give him a chance to get guys healthy and right the ship. 
Two games.  Two games that we did win and his job better be in jeopardy?   I do not agree sir.
 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

DMcDougal24's picture

I'm not saying fire him now, but if these performances continue then his job better be in jeopardy because we cannot settle for a defensive coordinator who is not getting the job done. I think you misinterpreted just about every section of my post

buckeyeEddie27's picture

I don't want him fired now either.   I agree that if by seasons end what we've had is what we end up with, then yes he needs re-evaluated.  
But when you said, after 38 then 49 points his job better be in jeopardy -  you lost me.   Two bad games by the defense isn't enough to warm his seat.  imo. 
Sorry if I came on a little strong.  This is a hot button issue with me cause I really like Fickell and just hate seeing things go this way for him. 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

SPreston2001's picture

Two bad games?? The defense has been underperforming all year! Its not just about the last two weeks!

buckeyeEddie27's picture

That comment was directed towards a previous post concerning luke fickell's job security after the nebraska game and the indiana game.  I was trying to say (in response to the comment) that two games (per the post) is not a large enough sample size to judge lukes work and make a decision on whether or not to keep him.  
I certainly agree the D has underperformed.  I also agree with the idea of using the whole season to judge Fick's job performance.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

SPreston2001's picture

Agreed. I would never think someones job should be in jeopardy after two games, but the fact that the D has been struggling all year concerns me...

buckeye76BHop's picture

I believe fans that don't understand all phases of football are sure settling...not sure about coaches or players at OSU.  However lots of fans seem to be content with winning anyway possible this year bc we can't go to postseason. I find this ridiculous and shows the difference between "fans" and actual ppl who "know" football.  Coaches and fans see things differently...just facts.  

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

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

xtremebuckeye's picture

@buckeye76BHop   How many years have you been a coach?
 

O H I O is the Buckeye State

chitown buckeye's picture

Didnt Withers say something to the effect... "all I care about is that final score" ? Or something to that effect when discussing the defensive woes early in the season. Not sure if that is the attitude of Fickell but I doubt that is the attitude of Meyer.
What doesnt bode well for Fickell AND Withers is the fact Meyer has a checkbook at OSU now. He will have the ability to bring in a sure fire, proven defense of coordinator if he sees fit.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

tennbuckeye19's picture

Yes, I believe his comment came after giving up a ton of yards to UAB. He said something like 'all I care about is that we gave up 15 points'. 

cjkanski's picture

As a side note, Meyer also stated that this year he knew with the injuries and new scheme that the D would five up a lot of yards.  He said the goal of the D was to keep them out of the endzone.  I think his increased involvement is a result of those last 2 scores by Indiana where it looked like the D was playing half-hearted. 

BoFuquel's picture

Still undefeated this season.If the TEAM wins one more game this year, I'd call it a huge improvment and call for raises all around.That would amount to a 25 percent profit increase year over year.That's hard to achieve in any job fierld.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

cplunk's picture

Really? 
Look, if my company makes a massive profit this year but our HR group bungles the benefits and costs the company money, I can guarantee the HR group isn't getting bonuses, raises will be affected for some individuals, and some folks will be fired.
Winning is a measure of the success of the team, just like profit is a measure of the success of a business, but winning or profit does NOT indicate that all portions of the team are operating at peak, or even acceptable, efficiency. 
It is possible for a team to go 12-0 and still have coaching personnel that need to removed. 
 

bassplayer7770's picture

If the D doesn't improve and players aren't developing like they should by the end of the season, I could see Fick being on the hot seat.  As of right now, I think Coach Meyer still trusts him and thinks the D will improve.

GoBucks713's picture

If anything I think he gets a demotion. Maybe he's just not ready for a big boy job yet, as we all witnessed last season.

-The Aristocrats!

Earle's picture

Not only do I think his current job is in jeopardy, but I think his next HC job is in jeopardy if he gets demoted/fired as DC (or Co-DC).  I think the mindset last year was that he was put in an impossible situation, but that he would be a HC someday, and a good one, but if the D continues to struggle, I think he would have a hard time convincing anyone that he has what it takes to run team.
Having said that, all will be forgiven if/when the Buckeye D become the Silver Bullets again.

Just say no to italics abuse.

bassplayer7770's picture

I heard a clip of Fick on the radio this morning basically saying, "No excuses, no whining, etc."  I swear he said that same thing numerous times last season.  That does not make me feel very comfortable...

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I had to vote yes because we are supposed to be a title contender in 2013 and 2014. With this defense there is no way we win a title. If we made it to the title game, we'd get hammered. Defense has to improve before next year. Personally, I'd just take his play calling duties away and let him remain as LB's coach. 

Northbrook's picture

Nature of the profession. A coach's job is in jeopardy every year. Moreso because of how the D is playing? Yes, but at this point not so much he will lose his joib.

xtremebuckeye's picture

If his job is in jeopardy this soon than everyones job is
Maybe Fickell could use some different coach's in the problem areas of the defense?
or
Maybe the other DC also asst. HC is the problem?
As a fan it would be an uneducated guess for me to say who is at fault and that is why I'll leave to the HC to figure this one out.

O H I O is the Buckeye State

Ethos's picture

Why is this poll just about Fickel?  I believe there are TWO DC's.  If one is on the hot seat then the other one better damn well be as well.  
 
I do not believe he is, but obviously things need to improve.  I don't see him OR the other guy here next year if their defense continues to allow 30+ points the rest of the season.  

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Earle's picture

There's plenty of blame to go around.  I think the focus is on Fickell because Urban brought Withers in while the decision to keep Luke (and Vrabel, for that matter) was in question when Meyer was putting his staff together.

Just say no to italics abuse.

Oyster's picture

And in my opinion, that is the crux of the problem.  You can't have 2 bosses.  Pick one, and let the other coach his area of responsibility.   

buckeyestu's picture

injuries and a lack of talent, sure lets fire fickell, heck fire all the defensive coaches. makes sense?
a lot of knee jerk fans in the buckeye nation, to be sure.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Wrong...80+ points in two games is not a knee jerk reaction.  Wake up and smell the coffee brewing.  OSU will never be content being a WVU this year or Oregon in the past few years.  Bank that STU.  All this injury and this and that are excuses.   I can't make excuses in my job or I'd get fired if the excuses become habitual as well as my performance.  This is not a knee jerk reaction my friend...it happened right in front of our faces last two weeks and in two of the first 4 games as well.  Seem habitual to you???

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

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

BucksfanXC's picture

He has no depth, has a Co-Coach, has had injuries on that side, it's only been one year, and he recruits really well -- all reasons not to fire him.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Earle's picture

I haven't seen anyone advocate firing Fick or anyone else on this thread.  There are a lot of reasons why the defense is not performing up to expectations, but the question posed is whether there are coaching jobs at risk if they don't turn it around.  Maybe yes, maybe no, but nothing will happen until after the season, if at all. 
We have five games left.  I really hope we have no reason to discuss potential coaching changes when the season is done.

Just say no to italics abuse.

yoderdame's picture

My reason for voting yes comes down to the comparison of the defensive players at Michigan versus Ohio State. Who can argue that Michigan's defensive roster is better and should be averaging a TD and 120 yards less per game? That's on the coaches.

Doug Funnie's picture

I would like to see how the D performs the rest of the year before making a decision.  So far,the D has underperformed, we have given up too many points, had many injuries, and many fundamental issues such as poor tackling.  To be honest, if Fickell does not address the current defensive issues he will probably be gone at the end of the year, if the D improves over this back half of the season, I think Meyer will give him another year.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Agree 100% with you Doug...however if they give up more than 40 points against anyone remaining on the schedule, then I'd say that's not fixed as Meyer said it will be on Kyle's Wed. post practice article.  I'd say then the switch/firing/whatever it takes to get OSU's defense back in the top ten...where it belongs!

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

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Northbrook's picture

Part of some fan's dissatisfaction with Luke is based on how things went last year.

chitown buckeye's picture

And some people put their blinders up on his performance as a coach simply because he was a former player.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Oyster's picture

But you can't deny his success in the years prior as the LB coach. 

OldColumbusTown's picture

No, you absolutely cannot deny that success, but this is a different situation.
This is Fickell's first chance as the head-honcho of the defense, designing it himself (obviously with much coordination from Withers and the help of the rest of the defensive staff), calling the plays, and having final say.  This isn't a position group he has to worry about.  This is a much broader, more macro view of the defense he must have for really the first time in his coaching career.
I'm positive there is a learning curve involved here.  The issue lies in whether or not Fickell and his defensive staff can start gaining some positive momentum as this season winds down, rather than going in the opposite direction.  If the issues and big plays we've seen lately continue through the end of the year, then there is no doubt in my mind questions will be brought up as to whether or not Urban Meyer is comfortable in keeping this same direction going forward.
Just the nature of the business.

chitown buckeye's picture

Certainly cant deny that success. There is no doubt Fickell is an asset to the Buckeyes. Wonderful recruiter who can sell OSU to almost anyone. Did a wonderful job as a postion coach of the LB's.
I believe he has shown that he has trouble when he has executive decisions to make. He hasnt shown any ability in the last two seasons he has the confidence to be the executive. He was lost as a head coach and now seems lost as a DC. Injuries and a young team havent helped the situation but as in our Head Coaching position, OSU is not a place to learn the job. Position coach fine, but not a Coordinator. I hope issues get resolved but I do think everyone on the defensive staff is vulnerable at this point.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

OurHonorDefend09's picture

I have a question to everyone because I honestly just don't know the answer.
Who was the primary defensive play caller in the past 10 yrs and is Fickell the lone defensive play caller now? Some guys just aren't meant to call plays so I sometimes think that maybe that's the problem.
However, the big plays OSU has given up are also due to lack of proper technique (angles/tackle form/etc), as well as being out of position. Myself, and I imagine the rest of BuckeyeNation, are probably wondering what the hell is the problem with this defense?
The injury excuse is bs, if you are at OSU, you have the talent to play. As long as they have enough to play 11, that can't be an excuse. Fickell was a valuable member of the defensive staff under Tress for how long? I feel like he and the other members of the defensive staff couldn't have just forgot how to coach.
 
I realize this post has zero structure and is sloppy, but I really am just confused on what the hell I've watched in 7 games so far defensively.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

Buckeye06's picture

I just think OSU fans can't grasp the fact that our LBers are crappy, and our safeties really aren't much better.  The young excuse can't last much longer, as many of them are now 2nd year starters.  If you have 4 guys on a starting 11 that aren't good, the coach can't do much.
I don't know how much blame goes on players/coaches but it has to be split in some way.  I don't think Fickell has any worries this year myself

NYC Buckeye's picture

Sorry but saying his job is in jeopardy RIGHT NOW is a massive over reaction...  There are still 5 games left, and that is plenty of time to show improvement and turn things around, especially in a season which is basically an "exhibition" run...  
With that said, if the current play of the defense continues all the way to end of the season, capped by Denard Robinson accumulating over 400 yds of total offense in The Game, well then yes, his job will be in serious jeopardy...

onetwentyeight's picture

EVEN IF YOU AGREE that it's not his fault and that he SHOULDN'T be fired, you can't discount the objective fact that he IS facing a ton of scrutiny now. Justified or not. No question he's on the hot seat. 

tommrkr's picture

I'm of the opinion that we're winning games, and until that becomes a problem, I don't think there will be a shakeup.  I don't recall a lot of people wanting to fire Tressel because we "just barely" won the NC.
(Oh wait, yes I do.)
There were some tough Tressel-era losses where the defense looked just like this one and would roll over for anyone (Illini.) And I'm sure people called for Heacock's head (a sizeable portion of which are here today praying for his return.)
In fact, for as long as I've been following the Buckeyes, the fickle (no pun intended) fan index has had very little bearing on people's long-term employment.  
I'm not paid to worry about it, so I'm not going to.  Besides, a perfect football team would be pretty boring for me to watch.

Ethos's picture

Well Said.  I agree there were some pretty bad defensive games against lowly opponents.  We often, under Tressel, seemed to play down to our opponents, and thanks to his conservative play calling, we seemed to always allow teams that were far inferior to hang around.  

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

tennbuckeye19's picture

As you know, Tressel is no longer in charge. What happened with his defenses and his wins and losses means very little in reagrds to this year and moving forward.  
I'm not of the opinion that anyone should be fired just yet, but I don't think it would take losing for Fickell to be replaced. We could go undefeated this year, and if Urban thinks there needs to be a change, he'll make it. 

tommrkr's picture

You're right, we could very well win out and he could be out if they don't see eye-to-eye philosophically.  If they are on the same page, UFM could keep him around even with a few losses if they are working together.  Only Luke and Urban know that, though.
My message was referring to the fact that picky fans are always picky, but I hope people don't forget that we've had some pretty porous defenses at times that have been slowly forgotten because of the number in the W column.

phxbuck's picture

You mean like 41 in 2007 and 38 in 2008.

Poison nuts's picture

A sticker to you sir for a good post...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckeyestu's picture

looks like i touched a couple of raw nerves with my knee jerk comment. never said our buckeyes should settle for the crappy defense the past two games. the defense coaches have worked together for what 7 games? and there have been injuries and there is a lack of talent at some spots, and that all is a factor. i am not happy with 38 and 49 points being given up. i want to see shutouts.

pcon258's picture

I love 11W, but I'm getting a little tired of people calling for fickell's firing. I'm not saying that we should be happy with how the defense has performed (although they did beat what had been considered the big tens best defense, sparty, in a defensive battle...), but I just think it's premature to start looking for personnel changes. 
 
To draw a corollary: Imagine, at your current job (or past if you're not working at the moment), you get a new boss. He completely changes the culture, everyone's excited about his new ideas, etc. He assigns you to work on a project with 5 other people. Say two of those people had a sudden family emergency just days before the project was due to your boss's desk. You and the remaining people do your best to scramble to finish the project, but its just not your best work. He fires you and the other two people you're working with. Is that fair? 
 
Give fickell, withers, and meyer till the end of the season before anyone gets fired

LouGroza's picture

Have there really been that many proclaiming they want Fickell fired? Or are they simply expecting improvement or it could possibly result in that? Could have missed some but saw only a handful actually said they want him fired now. Wanting improvement is a constant but especially in our current position.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I don't know what to put. His job as playcaller is in jeopardy, but his job as LB coach isn't.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

I can't remember a single moment of any game when I thought to myself, why the heck is Fickel calling the game like this?  Can you elaborate on your thought?

"The revolution will be televised."

Nkohl13's picture

I think it all depends on how we end the season. If the D finishes strong this will be looked at as a fluke. If the trend continues he is in some trouble. I dont think he is on the hot seat yet, but it is getting warm.

Kurt's picture

Getting in on this late but ARE YOU KIDDING!?!?!  After all he's done, absolutely not in jeopardy.  Needs time, the talent is down, we'll be fine.  It's a fixable problem we're having.

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

Word.  Half the staff is new.  He's not the only DC.  Lots of new elements have been added.  Our LB corps is as weak as it's been this century (albiet a young century).  Unless he directly starts f'ing things up (which I wouldn't say has happened, yet), I think he will and should be fine.

"The revolution will be televised."

Kurt's picture

Also note that it's not like every offense type of offense is lighting us up.  At least we shut down Michigan State.  Somehow - and ironically - spread offenses are kicking our ass.  It will be fixed.

AngryWoody's picture

Urban left Florida because he was out of his mind with stress from having to babysit everyone. For his own health he needs coahes who he wont have to keep tabs on. He made that a huge priority in his hiring. Fickel and the gang are making that impossible, and I think at the end of the day Urban will do whatever it takes to keep his promise to himself and his family to KEEP THE STRESS DOWN and stay healthy. Honestly I wouldn't blame him for giving any of them the axe.

Our Honor Defend!