Catching On?

By Jason Priestas on August 11, 2008 at 8:00 am
If caught in the flat, you'll get stiffed

With all of the talk of exotic formations currently being considered by the staff, I couldn't help but start to daydream a little about using Beanie out of the backfield as a receiver this year.

While Saine would figure to be the receiving option of the two in the pony formation, the pistol will often times see Beanie as Boeckman's only backfield mate. Occasionally he'll be kept in to block on passing plays out of the set, but if the line is anywhere near as good as it's supposed to be, Bollman and Tressel should look to get the tank out into the flat.

Using Beanie in the flat would not only serve as a safety valve for four wide receiver sets, but it would also force defenses to respect his presence, opening up the middle of the field for guys like Hartline and Sanzenbacher to do their thing. Should Boeckman (or Pryor) need to go to him, he's a matchup problem for any type of defender he encounters. He'll simply outrace lineman, juke linebackers and destroy the face of any defensive back unfortunate enough to find himself in the vicinity. At the very least, he's a dump pass check-down on 3rd and 7 with excellent odds of converting.

Although I've never heard that Wells has stone hands, you'd think he did based on how often he's been thrown to during his stay in Columbus. In his two seasons at Ohio State, Wells has caught a grand total of seven passes. Last season was his breakout year when he caught five balls for 21 yards. Contrast that with the 278 touches he's come across via hand-off.

Tressel and Bollman are not exactly averse to throwing the ball to their backs. Saine caught 12 balls as a freshman last season, Pittman regularly put up respectable receiving numbers and Dirty Mo shined catching Krenzel balls in 2002.

Also, it wouldn't be asking too much to think that Beanie could improve significantly on his receiving numbers from last season. Eddie George caught 16 balls his junior year before setting a team mark* for receptions out of a back with 47 for 417 yards his senior season of 1995.

Showcasing his catching ability will only help Beanie's draft stock and if there's one common theme of the spreads, sons of spreads and grandsons of spread offenses that are spreading like wildfire in the college ranks, it's the notion of getting your best players the ball, regardless of how they get their hands on it.

Some minor site tweaks: We cleaned up the sidebars a little so that only relevant information is displayed on interior pages (no worries -- the home page still has all of the flair). We also updated our football schedule pages and brought back the terminology page, so readers can more easily decipher some of the crap we spew. Oh, and all non-post pages (schedules, terminology, etc.) now allow comments, so if you're dying to get something off your mind about that noon kickoff, you have an outlet.

Correction: In my Sanchez post on Sunday, I wrote that his injury was a major break for the Buckeyes following my conviction that the win is most important goal (you don't hear Obama saying he wishes the GOP would reanimate Abraham Lincoln so he could beat their best), but in light of the national perception of the program, we need a healthy Sanchez with no excuse avenues for Trojan fans or the media. I did 5,000 push-ups as punishment.

* I'm 99% sure on this.