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Member since 04 January 2013 | Blog

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  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2003 National Championship game with OSU beating Miami

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Comment 17 hours ago

Braxton has elusive qualities as a QB and could launch the deep ball.  Guiton ran the read option much better than Braxton (Braxton sometimes looked like he guessed which option to use and his athleticism would bail him out on many occasions) and also had the short passing game down better than Braxton (better "touch" on the ball).  There is never a substitute for experience, which is where Braxton has it over either Guiton or Barrett.  However, Guiton was not a cripple and neither is Barrett (both good Texas QB's).  I have no doubt that J.T. will surprise both fans and opposing teams with his ability to use his legs.  He also has a great deal of experience (like Guiton had) with the read option offense, so he'll be fine.  He also has a very good short passing game, as reported by the coaches.

All in all, I expect J.T. Barrett to show as much athletic ability as Kenny G. did when he came in, but KG had the advantage of sitting behind Braxton studying, while J.T. has only been around for one season.  I really believe that teams will come after Barrett and try to blitz the hell out of him .... that is, until he cuts them to shreds with screens, dumps to the backs, TE shots across the middle and short crossing routes behind the backers.  He'll be absolutely fine and each game will allow him to grow in confidence, plus his teammates will be putting in that extra effort since Braxton won't be around to bail them out when the game gets tight ....

Comment 14 Aug 2014

Johnny Cochrane isn't getting this guy off ..... The victim never took his hands out of his pockets the entire time, so at no time was he making any threatening gestures to York's buddy.  York cold-cocked the poor SOB while his hands were in his pockets - total punk-ass bitch move and for Hoke to even consider keeping this girlie-boy on the team speaks volumes .... What a gutless move by both York and Hoke (nice touch by York to work on his 40 once he delivered the punch) .... Wow !!!!!

Comment 14 Aug 2014

While we're only looking at snippets of practice, I'm not so concerned with the secondary, as they seemed all around the ball or right on top of the receivers.  I'm more concerned with the QB and WR play watching this short video.  Big Decker looks pretty comfortable settling in at LT, but there was one OL that got caught leaning on a pass rusher instead of sitting down and the defender pulled on him, then cut inside leaving him grabbing at air.

Can't wait for the 30th to see what we really have this season.  One thing I'll bet - our defense will be back to the Silver Bullet style and my hope is that the offense can keep pace with last season, but I'm of the opinion that by loosing 4 OL starters and El Guapo, we won't be as dynamic an offense as last season - hope I'm wrong .... 

Comment 09 Aug 2014

Let's try to remember that Ash is only part of the defensive equation, so I'm not sure you can label him a Dantonio or Heacock .... He was brought in to shore up the back end of the defense, which is something that Withers wasn't able to do.  Luke Fickell is the other half of the defensive equation and obviously, the Fickell / Withers combination didn't work very well (again, we don't know if there was conflict between those two when dreaming up their game plans, but, Withers is gone and Luke is still here, so Urban must have drawn his own conclusions) .... I believe that Fickell / Ash will be the much better combination and certainly Ash's approach to a more aggressive secondary will suit Coach Coombs (who isn't exactly a sit-on-your-hands type of coach) .... One thing we should expect from the defense - big plays (some good and some not so good).  Anytime you play pressure defense from the secondary, you risk giving up the big play when there's a breakdown by an individual.  Should be exciting this season !!

Comment 07 Aug 2014

Withers is gone and Fickell is still Co-DC, so that should speak volumes (unless you believe that Meyer doesn't know what he's doing) ....  We'll never know the full story behind the relationship (or lack of) between Withers and Fickell, with regards to scheme or game planning, but I firmly believe that it was Withers responsibility for setting up the secondary system, which provided us with the biggest headaches.  Hopefully, if the defense returns to the Silver Bullets, Fickell will get as much credit from fans, as he did take the blame for the defense's shortcomings the past few seasons.  Fair is fair ....

Comment 31 Jul 2014

Absolutely agree that a 2 game suspension, a drop down to the scout team requiring him to earn his way back up the to actual playing time and an apology to the entire team and coaching staff should be the maximum he should get.  I would find it hard to believe that he would ever jeopardize his position on the team again.  Hyde was in the wrong place at the wrong time, put his hands on a girl, took his punishment with the team and came back with his best attitude and effort ever.  Meyer knows the best way to turn young men around and I firmly believe that this young man deserves another shot ..... after he's paid his dues to the team. 

Comment 10 Jul 2014

Interesting coincidence - Today is my 60th birthday, while my mother-in-law (who passed away two years ago), also has the same birth date as me.  July 10th - only the best of the best were born on that day (it was also the day the Allies invaded Sicily and my sister was born on June 6th (D-Day)) .... Happy Birthday, Urban !!


Comment 03 Jul 2014

I also noticed that his dad was pretty quiet.  Wasn't dad the big ND supporter in the family ??  Not picking Iowa was also a good move for Justin's brother, since I'm sure Justin didn't want to steal his brother's "thunder" in Iowa.  Besides, much easier for the family to get to Columbus to watch a game, than at Iowa or ND ....

Comment 28 Jun 2014

Braxton is certainly worthy of Heisman discussion, but at this point, I'm not convinced he's in the top 5.  To be a legitimate candidate, he'll need to vastly improve in two major areas - his passing skills and making the right reads move consistently on read/option runs.  Also, without the team winning at least the BIG championship, or (it would be nice) the NC, it'll be tough for him to crack into the Heisman club.

Hopefully, Navy's QB will be out of contention after his first game of the season (otherwise, we'll be opening 0 - 1) ....  Love Braxton and what he's brought to the Buckeyes, but still not convinced that he's got all the tools to carry home the statue - truly hope he proves me wrong .....

Comment 19 Jun 2014

Bingo, Rill Dill ..... The old expression, "Use it or loose it" seems appropriate here .... Michigan, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, etc ... all use their TE's far more than OSU, so the kid made a good choice for his career.  The fact that he'll never win a game against OSU, or sniff a Big Ten title, or win a Bowl game is just a by-product of his decision.

Comment 02 Jun 2014

Much smaller base to draw from, but there are some good ones up here .... The number 8 QB "on the continent" in the 2014 class chose Penn State (Michael O'Connor).  The 4-star QB was from Ottawa, played a year of HS in Tennessee and then down to Florida to Chris Weinke's team.  Very good player ....  Gallimore would look very good in Scarlet and Grey ... Last great DE from Canada to play for the Buckeyes - Brent Johnson (came back home after graduation to enjoy a lengthy career in the CFL) ....

Comment 29 Apr 2014

Michael O'Connor was a 4 star Pro-Style QB (rated 8th best in the nation by Rivals), who was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada.  He played all his football in Canada, until his sophomore year when he went to play at Baylor H.S. in Tennessee.  After beating out the senior QB for playing time and leading the team to the playoffs, he was approached by Chris Weinke (former Florida State QB) and transferred to play QB at IGS (?) Academy in Florida.  I brought him down to a couple of camps in Adover, Mass. and he blew away the competition as a 15 year old (against seniors).  Matt Light (former All Pro OT from the Patriots) was shocked by how good he was and some of the Patriot receivers who were on hand for demonstrations, only wanted Michael to throw them the ball.

At 6' 5" and 230 lbs. with some decent wheels, he's only going to get better.  He's got a tremendous arm, but most importantly, is a student of the game and a dream to coach.  Mark Dantonio made Michael the youngest player he's ever offered, when Michael stopped by for a camp assessment at MSU.





Comment 18 Apr 2014

Not really a big move ....... Michael O'Connor, from my home here in Ottawa, Canada, left to play one season in HS at Baylor HS in Tennessee, then went to IMG (Coach Weinke wanted to work with the kid) in Florida for his senior year.  Michael ended up being a 4-star QB (ranked as 8th best Pro-Style QB in the nation) and went on to sign with Penn State (watched his Spring game on BTN) .... His final three schools were Michigan State, Vanderbilt and Penn State, so he was happy with the replacement for O'Brien).

Comment 12 Mar 2014

Well, I see it a bit differently ..... Both Ash and Fickell will be sitting down prior to speaking with their assistants on defense and run the systems by Meyer (you can bank on it).  I think Ash will have more to say about the back end of the defense, while Luke will be responsible for anything close to the LOS.  This will not be a case of Ash bringing in a new system, but rather Luke and Ash mutually committing to a defensive scheme that the defensive staff and personnel can execute at a higher speed than the past couple of seasons. 

Don't believe for a minute that Withers didn't have input into the secondary system played these past two years.  Luke would always be comfortable with handling the front 7, but the secondary is not his area of expertise, so I have no doubt that Withers leaving was not an unhappy issue for Meyer.  Moving Coomb's responsibilities towards the Special Teams should also give you an idea of why Meyer didn't move Luke out of his position. 

Bottom line - defense improves, then credit should go to the entire defensive staff, including both Coordinators.



Comment 12 Mar 2014

Don't confuse the "safe" choice with the "smart" choice.  One thing you didn't mention was the problem with playing freshmen too soon and risking the self-confidence of a player if he makes too many mistakes.  When a defensive tackle makes a mistake, there are people behind him to help.  When a linebacker screws up, especially in the middle, it affords a running back or TE the opportunity to run amok in the secondary (never good).

Also, in a position like MLB, defense is much more than stepping across the LOS and throwing a fit.  As the article states, there are calls to be made and keys to be read, which a senior can generally do much better and quicker because he's done it in previous games.  I don't believe that a Meyer's coached team doesn't do anything but play the best players regardless of status.  Von Bell is a perfect example.  While he did make a big play by picking off the ball against MSU, he also was beaten badly on a few plays.  No one on this board knows what he looked like during practice (which is generally where you are given an opportunity to prove your worth).  I like Bell and think he'll be a great player, but I'll yield to the coach's decision as to who plays and who sits.

Comment 12 Mar 2014

So, based on what some of you are saying about Ash calling the plays on defense, will that now place the blame for any lack of progress on defense squarely on Ash's shoulders ??  Since everyone was so quick to crucify Luke, despite him sharing the DC title with Withers, this can be the only conclusion, right ???

I firmly believe that there was not a happy relationship between Withers and Fickell, which translated into the game planning and onto the field.  Add to that Kerry Coombs limited skills as the corner's coach (which is why he's been relegated to running special teams this year) and you had a recipe for problems.  Let's throw in some untimely injuries to key personnel .....

I think both Fickell and Ash will be a little more in sync with regards to scheme and as a result, you'll see a significant improvement on defense.  But, if that should happen, it will be the result of BOTH Fickell and Ash working together, unlike the unit did the past two seasons, so both should be given the proverbial pat on the back .....



Comment 07 Mar 2014

Maybe the film that Braxton should be watching during Spring drills is this kid's film.  Very quick and accurate release.  Nice touch on the deep fade and can certainly throw into tight windows.  Probably has Guiton wheels, but with our improving receiving corps, we need someone who can hit the receiver on the break, not once he's open.  As for his height of 6' 1" - well, it didn't seem to hurt Tom Brady or a certain short QB from Purdue ......

Comment 18 Feb 2014

Slip of the keyboard, Einstein - up here we can use both spellings (i.e. Staples Centre or offensive center) .... but nice to know that you're dwelling on the most important things in life, Crimson ....  Just to set the record straight - I'm from Canada, which is neither America (as in United States of America) or England (as in the United Kingdom), but I guess my handle of CANUKbuck wasn't obvious enough for you ....

Comment 16 Feb 2014

Offensive centre is the most difficult ..... responsible for making most of the O-Line calls prior to the snap in most offenses, having to focus on making a clean snap and then taking on a defender immediately on the snap of the ball, having to reach out to second level on some run blocking schemes and usually taking on the biggest defender (NT).   Sports Illustrated once did a survey to find out, among college teams, which positions had the brightest students.  QB was number one, but the second brightest group was found on the offensive line.  It might answer the question as to why certain players can learn the position quickly (simply, they are brighter student athletes).   It's also been said that the defensive line was little more than, "stepping across the LOS and throwing a fit" (not sure I agree with that, since gap integrity has become so crucial these days) ....  Anyway, my vote is for the Center position.

Comment 05 Feb 2014

It seems pretty obvious that MM is not coming here, which opens the door (and scholie for Slade) .... Would love to have MM's talent and athletic ability, but I have a bad feeling that his work ethic (both in the class and on the field) is no where near five star status.  I think we dodge a bullet with this miss .... Good luck to him at MSU (and good luck to MSU dealing with him) ....

Comment 05 Jan 2014

Not completely on board with your evaluation of responsibilities:

  1. Personnel - agreed.  Recruitment is the key.
  2. Player Development - incorrect.  Players are developed by their position coaches, not coordinators.  The weakest part of our defense has been the secondary, which falls on Coombs and Whithers, not Luke.  The LB's have been patchwork, due to injury, for most of the season.
  3. System - Developed by the Coordinators (Luke and Whithers), installed by the Position Coaches and Coordinators.  Both Whithers and Fickell are responsible for the game plan, not just Luke.  Game adjustments are in the same category.

Luke Fickell is dealing with a defensive coaching staff that was handed to him by the Head Coach, so in essence, the ultimate responsibility falls on Urban to make the decisions on his staff, not Luke.   Luke played an aggressive type of defense when he was a player and was brought up coaching with the Silver Bullet mentality, so I find it interesting that everyone thinks he would willingly give up that aggressive nature once Urban showed up. 

Going to be an interesting off-season .....