First off, I love the passion and energy that's coming from everyone on the team, players and coaches alike.
My opinion, as a fan, and someone who buys Ohio State ties, shirts, jackets, pullovers, phone covers, grill covers, calendars, basically anything under the sun with a Buckeye on it, and someone who has traveled to NOLA (08, not this year), East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis, etc. to watch our team play, and someone who spent 5 years at Ohio State because I couldn't spend 6 - my opinion does matter. Disclaimer: I've never played a snap of football, but I'm decently intelligent, I watch A LOT, and have learned a lot from the articles on 11w.
Last year's defensive struggles weren't the only reason why some fans, including myself, called for Fickell to be fired. The defense had been sub-par since 2011. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. I looked at it as "you change or I will change you" (as in replace you). Urban Meyer openly said, and fans agreed, that we needed to have more aggressive defense and more press coverage. But we kept seeing the defense get torched in soft coverage. "We won the game didn't we?" So it was a lot of "FIRE FICKELL! He sucks as a play caller and game planner!"
But just like we couldn't run a full spread offense until we had the proper athletes, I don't believe we could have run press coverage as much as we wanted to in 2011, 12, and 13. I don't think we had the athletes. Ohio State always has good or great athletes, but we recruited and developed DBs to fit a zone defense more than man because that's what we ran. Now that we are recruiting a different style athlete and developing them for the type of defense we want, we are able to run more man-to-man press coverage - and seeing the results.
This isn't about Fickell waking up and relenting to change or Ash coming in and saving the day. This is a change that has taken years to make. I have pulled back from my Fire Fickell days. He has proven himself as a LB coach time and time again, and we seem to, at times, have a complete defense that is sound in the run and pass. I hear him on the hype videos, he's more motivational than I would have thought, and he is more Buckeye than just about anybody. I like the co-coordinators because it's not one guy. You've got 4 guys in the room coming up with a plan and working together to put the best product on the field.
So needless to say, I am all in with this staff and with these players, but it has taken time and results. I firmly believe we will play the absolute best we can play tomorrow, maybe even better than we are. BTW I am wearing the same tie Urban wore to his introductory press conference because I wore it Friday Dec 5 and Wednesday before ttungiving and it makes me feel like a boss. GO BUCKS!!!