You pick a school like Duke over Ohio State because of Thad. Coach K is a +/- minus guy. "If I put you on the court and you score 20 points a game you can be below average on defense and we have a better +/- with you on the floor". That's not Thad and Ohio State. YOU HAVE to play defense to get a chance to play offense. VERY tough sell on an 18 year old kid who wants to score 40+ a night. Look at every five star kid who wants to leave early this year and you'll see draft notes like "needs to work on defense" or "terrible at the defensive end of the court"... You learn defense in the pros. And I'm NOT saying Luke has zero interest in playing defense just that it's a lot easier to get on the court at Duke if you can fill up the bucket then it is under Thad. Duke was 105th in points against this year and 129th last year.
Duke. Not a shock. Coach K does the +/- thing that every kid who wants to rack up points loves. Wish we could have landed him but wish him nothing but the best. On to the next one...
Never been a fan of stars/potential so based on what I have seen on the field in games where it mattered top 4 below. Elliot has all the potential in the world but took very few meaningful snaps this season. Next year I'd expect him to be top 5 easy.
5. Everyone else
Love his style but again if he's not calling plays the scheme will dictate what our defensive backs can and can't do. If Ash is coaching our DBs to play nose to nose on the line of scrimmage and Luke is calling a scheme that calls for the DBs to be 8 yards off the WR we will continue to have the same problems next year.
Not sure I would say we "ended our slump"? Did the same things we did the previous four games just against a lesser opponent so we got the W. Until Thad is willing to sit Craft and sit Scott and just have one of them out there at a time we will continue to struggle to put up points. Any team we play from here on out has enough athletes to just play zone and dare guys like Craft and Scott to shoot and cheat off both of them making it hard for the other guys to get good looks.
Give me 10+ minutes a night of Scott, Williams, LsJr, Ross and Loving and they'll score.
Even if that group is okay on defense for 10+ minutes who cares. Just about every NCAA final 8 game and beyond is about stopping teams on D at the end of the half and the end of the game. Got to be able to score points to win. You will NEVER cut down the nets being awesome on defense and ok on offense. Never.
Still wish Thad would have 15 minutes or so a game with just one point guard on the court at a time. Let Craft sit for 7-10 minutes and just let Scott run the point and vice versa. Maddening at times watching those two play hot potato outside the arc trying to decide who is PG 1 and who is PG 1A. Neither of them is a 2 guard. Very least gets Scott some much needed PG 1 playing time to get him ready for next year. Also, there will be times this year and especially in the tourney where all the defense in the world won't win games.
If Ash isn't calling the plays tells me Tat-gate is the gift that keeps on giving until next year. Most DCs would be fired let alone demoted after the past few seasons. If Luke is still calling plays come next year it's because he has it in is contract that he can't be fired/demoted etc. until after the 2014 season because he took one for the team when Tressel was let go. Nothing else makes sense. We ran Heacock's defense. Withers was not calling the plays. Luke was.
Hopefully we'll find out here in the spring Ash is indeed calling the plays from the pressbox and I can come back off the ledge.
Everybody deserves a second chance. He had is. Time to move on. Free up a schollie.
We're just seeing what happens when Thad banks scholarships. Can argue both sides of the way he does things. Could have used scholarships this year to add a kid who can knock down 3's and add a kid who is a serviceable big man ( every team in the country goes three/four deep on the frontline).
Flip side is if Thad doesn't bank scholarships we don't get the Oden team and we don't get the class coming in next year. Ohio State will probably never be a one and done pipeline like UK, Duke and Kansas so it's on Thad to decide what years to go for it and what years to bank scholarships.
This year though really was a perfect storm. He's got a team that's a cast of characters that's better fit to be around a scorer. Thad whiffed at all the five stars he went after this year and he struck-out talking DT into sticking around and he struck out trying to get Rodney Hood to come to town. Thad gets DT to stay or lands one five star kid or talks Hood into playing for the Buckeyes and it's a different conversation and a completely different team. Just one legit scorer lets Q be Q, slides LsJr to natural 2G position, stretches the floor for everyone, allows us to play 1 PG and everyone would get better looks at the basket.
Completely agree, but until an OSU guy becomes that guy Coach Meyer will continue to say we are looking for "Percy Harvin" types. Here's hoping 3 years from now he's saying "Jalin Marshall/Dontre Wilson/Johnnie Dixon/Curtis Samuel" types :)
Should be an interesting spring and 2014 season. Neither Smith or Spencer have shown anything that warrants starting playing time yet and as far as we can tell no one stepped up to take their playing time away from them.
Here's hoping Clark, Greene and Thomas step up and we finally get Braxton a WR for his senior year. He's had to deal with "Percy Harvin" types and track guys trying to play football.
Braxton has had a legit WR for three games ( Posey for 3 games after his suspension). Always admired Philly Brown's heart but talent wise he would have been a 3rd or 4th guy on the depth chart in just about any year prior to the Braxton Miller era.
and FWIW WR position was slipping before he got here but this is a make or break year for Coach Zach Smith imo. Will be his third chance to get "his" guys on the field. So far no one he has recruited has stepped up. Smith, Brown and Spencer all Tressel/Hazell/Drayton guys.
Surgery two weeks ago. OSU said "ankle" injury so guessing no ACL/MCL knee stuff.
Great list. How about a follow up... Top Five Helmets...
Dontre with kicks, rushes and receptions I don't think it will be close for second. Other guys will most likely do RB by committee until later in the year. Could have 4 or 5 different 100 yard rushers by mid season.
Love this team but not built for close games ( right now ). Amir is out of gas at the end of games and teams just going to zone and playing off Craft begging him to shoot.
Heacock = no. The game moved passed him. He's on the record dozens of times saying spread is a gimmick that he doesn't have an answer for. Five-ten years ago it was a gimmick. Today pretty standard to see it or some version of it every week.
Tressel : if he's qualified sure but have no interest in hiring "the Senator's nephew" just because of who he is. How's Earl Bruce's grandson working out? WR play at a several decade low. How Zach Smith escapes the "coach who should be let go" talk amazes me.
We need a guy who can call plays, control the defense from rotation to calling blitzes and who can recruit. Would be nice if we could find someone with the Super Bowl rings like Vrabel ( that stuff should not matter but listening to kids it absolutely does ) but that's probably wishful thinking.
Until proven otherwise still think SEC style teams are who we are going to face in a playoff if we want to raise the crystal. Would love to go out and get someone who can recruit the heck out of the South and who has been in the trenches calling blitzes and rotations in the SEC.
Professional and college sports history is riddled with talented teams of athletes who don't produce because of poor coaching. Anyone who has watched tape on Withers at NC knows he wasn't in charge the past two seasons. Luke ran the ship.
The fact that rumors are swirling that Urban is looking at defensive back coaches with NO play-calling experience tells me two things. Fickell is gone and we don't know it yet and a new DC will be named. Or tat-gate is the gift that keeps on giving and Luke was granted 100% job security until his contract expires after next season ( April 2015 ).
No coach survives two seasons of spear-heading the worst defenses in school history unless they have it in their contract that they are not fire-able. Nothing else makes sense at the point.
Still think the biggest problem is we have a head coach for the better part of two plus years describing how he's going to bring his offense to the B10 and bring an SEC type of attacking defense to the B10. Urban then goes out and recruits SEC type kids and then we try and plug them into a Heacock 2.0 defense.
Very few moving parts in SEC country on defense. If it takes you four seconds to throw the ball I'm going to recruit kids who can hit your QB in three seconds. Corners are going to play up and attack you at the line. The gamble being if your WR gets behind our D we are either going to have your QB on the ground/scrambling or have guys in the defensive backfield who can track the wr down ( saw that from Roby a lot this year ).
If you want to beat SEC teams or SEC style teams ( FSU/Clemson) why not get a guy on the defensive side of the ball who has actually coached in the SEC?
Appreciate everything Luke has done but he's shown no signs in two plus years of anything other than being Heacock without the in game adjustments.
Great read. Still think "attitude" is such a problem with these coaches on defense. Constantly trying to scheme/trick/stunt other teams instead of lining up 11 guys and saying "we are better than you". Still early in the Urban Meyer era but still hoping that SEC style of "it takes you 4 seconds to throw the ball and my guys are going to hit your QB in three seconds mentality" finds its way to the OSU defensive side of the ball.
And 100000% agree on Pitt Brown. When Bryant went down we had just cleared our one hurdle on the schedule ( Wisconsin ). Garbage games after that until the showdown in Michigan almost two months later. We could have played with 10 guys and won most of those games. Light wasn't suddenly going to come on for Pitt Brown. You knew what you had with him. That was the time to go to Bell or Powell as you suggested. A head scratcher...
Two things. Not sure how you can grade any area of this team on defense because it seems there is ZERO trust. DL covering for LBers, LBers covering for secondary. Safeties not trusting corner and LB play. You just had a lot of guys out of position because they didn't trust someone to do their job.
Second. Still think the biggest problem is scheme matching talent. Urban came in here two years ago suggesting we were going to run a SEC style defense and has gone out and recruited SEC type defensive players. Guys who get after the guy with the ball. What does Luke do? He plugs those kids into his scheme. Noah Spence isn't dropping into coverage in the SEC. Guys like Roby/Grant etc aren't lining up 10 yards from the WR in the SEC.
Liked Luke as a player and admire what he did when Tress stepped down but when your head coach says we're heading to an SEC style defense and you do nothing to take steps in that direction maybe it's time for a change.
Wish someone would ask Urban if Braxton is "playing" 100% healthy. There's a BIG difference between having a healthy knee and playing like it's healthy. Might be a few more games before we see a 100% healthy on the field Braxton Miller. Has had no top end speed with the brace on and seems tentative to kick it into gear.
Any truth the the rumor he just found out his girlfriend is pregnant? Would explain a lot of the last minute confusion.
I hope that Luke & Everett look at all guys on the defensive side of the ball and put them in the best spot to make the team better. I don't want to see our 3rd and 4th best D Lineman on the sideline because they are down the depth chart at end.
Still think Washington, Bennett, Schutt and Spence makes the most sense.
If we are truly going to move to an SEC like front four then we need big men in the middle that can hold the line and explode at the QB as needed. Also, would LOVE for this to be the year we mimic the SEC, NY Giants and countless other teams that go lighter ( four d ends) on obvious passing downs. Time to move past the DE, DT, DT, DE on just about every play.
Porbably didn't word that right :) Wasn't talking about blitzing just about the philosphy in coaching and the atheletes in the front four. Luke seems to be tied to the past ten years. Dline who can stop the run and dline who can pass rush and mixing those two skillsets into a dline. Seems like Urban wants guys who can do both? Four athletic dline guys who can explode off the ball and run stop and cover as needed. I don't think he wants Buddy Ryan either but it' doesn't seem like Luke is using the guys the "Urban" way.
I believe with last years class and this year Urban is already at 9 new Dline recruits. A position that at the end of last season most thought we were "loaded" at. Obviously Urban wants a different set of athletes on the dline, right? A guy like G. Goebel would be a perfect example of what I'm seeing. Guys a beast holding the line and against the run but isn't going to give you much in coverage or in a pass rush capacity. In a passing down with no blizting it puts us 3 against 5 essentially.
I suppose what we are seeing is a defensive philosophy that is changing and that chaos that comes from that when you don't have all the right pieces to make it work...
Ross, great read. How much of the "problem" in your opionion is coaching philosphy? Sure sounds like Urban wants 7 athletes causing havoc around the line a la Alabama, LSU, NY Giants and San Fran 49ers. However on game day Luke seems to be dialing up a lot of smoke and mirrors with movement, dropping lineman and even putting players like Hankins out of position trying to "fool" the defense. The defenses I mentioned above all have one thing in common. They don't care if you know what they are doing. Our athletes are better than yours. Take 4 seconds to run your play and my guys will knock your QB down in 3 seconds.
Seems like we'd be much better served "dumbing" down the defense. Every time I see Hankins at end or Williams dropping into space I think the opposing coach must be thinking "thank you".
I'm sure I'm wrong but on paper I'd think we'd get much more mileage out of a much less cererbal and more vanilla defense. Way too many players overthinking their assignments.
On a sidenote. I'd LOVE to see a few series with Spence, Hankins, Simon and Wiliams on The DL in attack mode. VERY simialr to the 49ers and how they use Justin Smith.
Again, GREAT read.