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Comment 24 Jul 2015

Not sure if others have said this (too many comments to read through) but I think Meyer is partly wanting to leave no doubt that this decision is Braxton's.   If Meyer sounded too eager for the switch, some (not me, but some) might think Meyer behind the scenes put this in motion to add clarity to the QB controversy.   I am sure Miller has some work to do in terms of route running and other aspects, but with his knowledge of the pass game, knowing the offense as well as he does and more important where a QB likes the receiver to be on the field when certain routes are called, I'm sure the coaches will soon see this as a great idea.   

Picturing a jet sweep to Miller with Cardale and Elliott leading the way and Corey Smith or Mike Thomas out on the edge driving back the corner gives me chills.    

Comment 24 Jul 2015

I think Barrett is the more complete QB, allows the offense to be more diverse, and gets the start.  But I can't feel too terrible for either guy.  With the schedule we have this year, and the offense we're putting on the field, especially now that Braxton will be part of the mix at H-Back, I think the #2 will see the field plenty, a lot of weeks.  I imagine at least 2 or 3 games where the starter is sitting and the back-up is in just by middle of 3rd quarter, as it's likely we'll have a lot of weeks where we're up at that point by several TDs.   

Ideally, JT gets the start, continues to improve, and is set to possibly shatter more records in 2016.   Cardale, as back-up, still gets close to 20% of the snaps a lot of weeks because we are likely to win comfortably a lot this year.   Those reps, combined with his magical 3 wins as starter last year, will prove more than enough to get him a good place in the draft for 2016.   

Comment 24 Jul 2015

So now that QBgeddon is down to two great QBs, is it an easier call to make?  Personally, I was a JT "lean" most of the way, but could see Braxton getting the starting position back if he showed in camp that his arm could handle the throws.   

Jones has the stronger arm for sure, but now Barrett is the most athletic choice, the one who is more a "dual threat" guy, the one who I think best complements the offense we run.  Either of them would do great things as the starter, but I think Barrett is the more complete QB.   Will still be an interesting camp, for sure.  

Comment 23 Jul 2015

I think Mike Thomas will be the one who steps up as the standout leader for the receiving corps.   I think his physical play, great hands, and effort will be what helps open up the field this year.   I don't think it means that he'll catch a lot of deep balls necessarily, but I think he'll be the guy who does enough damage all over the field to open things up for the rest of the receivers.   Corey Smith and Marshall are also pertty experienced, but I think Thomas has that knack for making a play when needed.   We have a lot of proven talent at receiver, but it is the one skill position where one or two injuries could quickly limit production.   

Comment 23 Jul 2015

 I think it helps a lot that Meyer doesn't emphasize and stress talent, but effort.   If a team's goal is to be the most talented, OSU has nothing left to work for.   They've shown it, and they've convinced most of the country.  Most of the time, complacency comes when talent and victory is the end game, because teams reach a place with those things where there's no longer much to build towards, because they've already arrived.    Meyer preaches work and effort, every day.   It's what Darron Lee was getting at, I think, when he said that he wasn't interested in hearing about the national title.   

As for the "tough to repeat," line, I think complacency and loss of leadership are big factors in that.   Case in point - when Chris Leak left Florida, everyone just sort of shrugged because, hey, Tebow is a pretty good QB.  And Tebow was a great QB for them, 2006-2008.   But in 2007, I think Tebow as LEADER was not yet the known commodity that it was by the end of his years at FLorida.   Last year, Evan Spencer and Curtis Grant were not at the top in terms of any on the field statistics.   But their leadership and how they carried themselves was emphasized over and over by Meyer as part of the reason for OSU's success, and that showed up big time against Bama, especially with Spencer.   He made an incredible, near perfect throw to Thomas for the TD that changed the momentum of the game and set Bama reeling.   He took out two LBs with one block to spring Elliott for the game winning TD.   He snagged a tricky, perfectly executed on-side kick to avert disaster for the Buckeyes.   On the stats sheet, it didn't amount to much, but it could be argued that Spencer was an MVP of that game.   

Injuries could be a problem for us - especially up front on either side.  At skill positions, our depth will absorb just about any loss.   An interesting question would be which skill player on such a deep roster is the one that would be hardest to win without.   My pick is Mike Thomas.   His strength, speed, and hands as a receiver, and his experience and knack for making plays will be pretty crucial with Devin Smith gone.   Yes, we still have Wilson, Marshall and others out there, but Thomas is kind of special, I think, and would leave a hole in the offense if injured.  Zeke is incredible, but has good to great backups in Samuel and others.   Obviously at QB, we're flush.   On the other hand, the drop-off from our OL starters to back-ups would likely be troubling if an injury occurred.   And on the DL, were Diesel or Bosa to be injured, the impact would certainly be felt.     

Comment 10 Jul 2015

I think at least two of  the three will play plenty.   Most of the first half of the season are against teams where we should be up comfortably, enough to bring in #2 for the final quarter or more.  Let's suppose Jones/Barrett are 1 and 2, in no particular order, and Miller accepts a role in another position.   I could see a scenario where even the #2 sees the field enough to get in enough attempts to possibly account for 1000 yards of total offense.   

Comment 17 Jun 2015

Great insight on the VT coverage scheme.   Makes sense that it really disrupted things last year, though it shouldn't this year.  Funny thing, in spite of VT's defense we left a TD (on a flat out drop by Corey Smith in the end zone) and a short FG (actually two, but one of the missed FGs was on the drive with the dropped TD pass) off the board.   In other words, a couple of what appeared to be unforced errors in that game cost us 10 points, which would have had us up in the final minute instead of needing points and throwing an ugly pick-six.   

Comment 12 Jun 2015

I still see Barrett as best all around, but I'm sort of warming to the idea of Braxton as starter and Cardale as #2, with the potential of JT being able to red-shirt one more season (if that's possible).  He's the one of the three that can most afford to sit idle (for Miller, it would end all hope of the NFL, and Jones had a great 3 games but needs to show more to the NFL).  Then, after both Miller and Jones enter the draft, Barrett reclaims his place.  

Comment 10 Jun 2015

As usual, Ramzy hits it out of the park.    

Comment 03 Jun 2015

Thank you for the explanation, and the reminder that what Zeke did this last year, he did with a wrist that was not quite right.  Makes an extraordinary season even more impressive.   Barrett's injury, while it took him out of the post-season and spring camp, I think was not nearly as bad as it initially looked.   Still remember the slo-mo replays of his injury, and thinking that we'd just lost him possibly for 2016.   

Comment 31 May 2015

I think my favorite re-watches were the SEC/Finebaum film room version of the OSU/Bama game (for the complete dejection and defeat that he and his crew were experiencing by the end of the game) and the film room version of the title game, featuring Spielman, Narduzzi, Mike Riley, and others.    

Comment 27 May 2015

I hope Braxton makes a full recovery and has the final season he deserves.   But I still fear, based on previous years, that he is the least likely of the three to make it through a full season without missing games due to injury.   

Comment 27 May 2015

Definitely agree with 1 and 2.   The win over Alabama reminded me of the "Miracle on Ice" game in the 1980 Olympics in that our defeat of the Soviets was NOT what won us the gold medal, but because of the team we beat, it is the one we remember the most.    

Also agree that the win in East Lansing was bigger than the conference championship win over Wisconsin.   It was the game that announced to the nation that we were back in the hunt.   

And I think the loss to MSU last year lit a fire that led to the blowout of the Badgers.   

Comment 27 May 2015

I saw Hackenberg actually referenced as a Heisman candidate the other day.  I don't get why everyone is still so high on this kid.   I get that he has potential and was great in high school, and he hasn't had a lot to work with at PSU, but he's like a statue most of the time in the pocket and just hasn't been that good.   

Comment 26 May 2015

Makes sense.   Smith can't teach them to be play-makers.   But a big part of being a play-maker like Devin Smith is when the fundamentals (route running, technique in getting separation, knowing where you are on the field, etc) have been coached up in such a way that these things happen automatically, it frees up a receiver to be exceptional.  Sort of like the way a linebacker starts to dominate when he no longer has to over-think things and can just play.   

Kudos to Zach Smith.   Prior to 2014, in spite of OSU's success in 2012 and 2013, I'd have thought him to be a bit "on the hot seat" with the less than great play from the receivers that left our offense lopsided in favor of the run game.   I realize that with Miller and Hyde in 2013, it was always going to favor the run somewhat, but it wasn't even close to balanced between run plays and pass plays. Also, up until 2014, the pass game seemed to struggle where the lights were brightest (especially against Wisconsin and MSU in 2013).   After last season, I think Smith has more than proven himself.    

Comment 26 May 2015

I know that Simon, and Hyde, and Guiton, and others did not "earn" a national championship at OSU, but I think in some real ways they were key contributors to what we saw this past season.  Whereas in 2002 it felt like that team came together during the course of that one year, the 2014 team at least for me felt like it came together over the three years under Meyer.   To me, we aren't the team that we were in 2014 without John Simon's leadership and example and toughness in 2012.   His work ethic and level of play made it possible for Meyer to change the culture, brought the attitude and mentality that became the 2013 team, and then 2014.    

Comment 26 May 2015

In Urban we Trust.  There will always be a few outlier fools that loose all perspective and demand a personnel change after one INT or a few bad series.   But hopefully most will recognize that whoever Meyer goes with, he does so with very good reason.   

Comment 24 May 2015

I think Corey Smith could be the new deep threat   He caught or was at least in position to catch a number of deep balls last year.   Pretty good speed, needs to hold onto the ball.  Then again, I also like Smith's skills as a blocker.   His slobber-knocking hits last year along with his work on special teams reminds me of Spencer's ability to make plays away from the ball.   McLaurin seems like he could become a deep threat guy, but I think 2015 is a year too early for him to emerge much.   

Comment 24 May 2015

Gotta keep stockpiling.  In 2011 and 2012 we had a slew of really great LB prospects.  A few transfers and a couple of dismissals later, the position went from being potentially our deepest to our thinnest and the weakest link in the defense.   We are stocked at WR right now, but 2012 was only a few years ago and Meyer remembers what the receiving corp looked like when he arrived.   

Comment 22 May 2015

OSU's defense in the final three games was exceptional.   Shutting down Gordon, then keeping Cooper's numbers relatively harmless in the Bama game, and then the job they did on Mariota, holding Oregon to probably less than half the points total that even some OSU fans thought we might see, was incredible.     

The biggest thing was the turn-around with the linebackers.   I was concerned it might take 2 or 3 years to get the LB unit back to being a strength instead of a liability.    Fickell, Ash, and Co. turned it around in less than a season.