I don't understand how Philly Brown will affect anything about Michael Thomas...While I do get that Brown's 60 catches over each of the last 2 seasons will be missed, these guys really only are alike in the fact that they are both WR's. Thomas seems to be a downfield threat that stretches defenses as Brown's numbers show us that he was really the "go-to outlet as a short pass catching WR" or a "possession WR". I guess I'm more hoping that we can get the short kind of numbers out of the TE position. We really need to get Philly Brown's numbers as a necessity while Michael Thomas, Devin Smith, Dontrelle Wilson, and Evan Spencer really need to be those "down the field, stretch the defense" type threats. I guess I'm more worried about the Buckeyes replacing Philly's "go -to, first down receiver" presence as he averaged around 62* catches and 11.6* ypc. over the last 2 seasons. Brown wasn't a big play threat in either of the last 2 seasons as his 11.6 ypc is more important than it seems because he lead the Bucks in receptions over the last 2 seasons with 60 and 63 catches in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
I guess I'm just worried about having that "underneath passing weapon" to help the other bigger playmakers to average around 18 to 22 ypc. Whether it is a combination of Heuerman and Baugh, or another more SUREHANDED, UNDERNEATH presence to keep the safeties rolled up, allowing for the other receivers to be more of the big play threat. Having a "Philly Brown type", blue collar short threat will keep the safeties more rolled in so the bigger playmakers can make plays instead of being tackled by the first defender. Michael Thomas is bigger and seems like a totally different kind of receiver than Philly Brown.
I know that the Buckeyes have been playing the screen game more and more...but I really think that the Buckeyes need the RB's to step up and be that underneath presence where the OL lets the DL through as the OL gets blocking downfield after a 2 yard pass to our REAL threats, which to me, are the RB's and H-back catching a few screens instead of the WR's handling them all. I guess I just have more hope in RB's handling screen passes more than putting trips out for an instant pass to the short receiver with just a WR or 2 blocking downfield kind of screen pass. To me, the screen pass to the RB is really the threat we need to pull defenders in and make the rest of the receiving corps to average closer to 18 to 22 ypc. After all, opposing teams have eaten us up with that kind of play and the Bucks don't seem to have that in their attack.
I admit that I know the Buckeye defense much better as most people haven't realized that one reason that the Buckeyes have struggled in the pass game is not having a true Leo (viper or 7-tecnique) and Star as the defenses are really playing the same type sets as Silver Bullets of the past. I don't think it is a matter of a changed defense as it is simply being a bit young on the DL and having issues like losing a starting safety are more the defensive issues. I'm no guru, I just know defense better than offenses and I think Spence will be a better "viper" than he has been and a healthy Bell may help the defense have a true STAR
...if Chris Ash's concepts do not totally change EVERYTHING the Buckeyes did in the Heacock days which ended up in top 10 defenses more often than not. Sorry about the length, guys. Go Buckeyes!!!