With Washington in As LB Coach. Who Starts?

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

I think the popular answer here is the three best players - not the kids from the three best families.

Harrison, Browning, Mitchell

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huffdaddy's picture

Jones in the mix, too.

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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Kangarooman's picture

Jones is a better man than me. If I were him there's no way id be able to watch last year without getting a shot.

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andretolstoy's picture

Once in a while I'll read stuff like this: not the kids from the three best families and not know what the heck it means. 

So, what is being inferred here? 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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DefenceWinsChampionships's picture

Yea, I usually think people overreact to phrasing like that, but it screams of racism... is he insinuating that Borland and Werner were only playing because they were white? If so, that's an awfully big assumption to be making.

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BtownBuckeye's picture

An even bigger assumption than assuming a stranger is racist based on vague comments?

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FeedZeke420's picture

nothing to do with race, its harder to bench a kid when he does everything right and the talent just isn't there and you know the family well and its just a hard decision. Especially when you are trying to teach kids hard work pays off and someone may work half as hard as someone else, but their talent is just better and they play and you don't.

Go Bucks!

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RK84's picture

I think its more based on Urban speak of great kid, great family, etc  no intended or unintended racial connotations.

It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

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gumtape's picture

Can't we just play 7 DBs like the chargers did against the ravens?

High and tight boo boo

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

That's what Washington did against the Buckeyes, too...

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I think that was up more to Don Brown than Washington though. I would pray Washington would know it's dumb putting LBs on wideouts.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Not Al Washington, the University of Washington.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Ah my bad. I was like, wait what? :-P

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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CptBuckeye24's picture

You'd think Davis and Schiano wouldn't put Werner on Rondale Moore but they did.

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Timbucktoo's picture

Schiano was slow to get out of the base 4-3 or moving DBs around to match our best DB against opponents’ best receivers. Purdue picked up on this and often put Moore in the slot to take advantage.

Schiano was stubborn to a fault, but not our problem anymore. 

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Schiano was stubborn to a fault, but not our problem anymore. 

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Jackhollis4's picture

I would hope so. Their defense stood zero chance against every wideout and they got burned so many times. To be fair OSU wideouts are top tier players, but still we don't need that next year for OSU.

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tcm1968's picture

As a Chargers fan I thought that was awesome. First snap Jackson and the Ravens OC was like what the heck... they've got 5 freaking safeties out here...... and they never figured it out..  should be a good blueprint for teams next year as well..

Go Bucks!

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The Rill Dill's picture

I think that will be seen a lot in coming seasons, across all of football.

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My Dad Is A Wolverine But I'm A Buckeye's picture

Definitely Harrison. Browning has to improve his mental aspect of the game. Didn't see a lot from Mitchell this year to make a call. Three best should play, no question. 

Number 1 rule in life: always beat That Team Up North. 

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krakatoa64's picture

Browning should play OLB. It was stupid to switch him to MLB

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CardaleFTW's picture

Harrison, Mitchell in the middle, Browning. Werner is just too damn slow to play linebacker at Ohio State.

It's a beautiful day in Columbus, Ohio... and TTUN still sucks.

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InTressITrust's picture

Borland has great instincts but is slow; Werner is fast but has terrible instincts.  

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

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chibucks's picture

Borland needs to rehab that achilles and make sure it's 100% and not come back as a wounded veteran and we'll see how well he performs.  He looked hobbled a lot of times during the season.

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Jay_sizzle's picture

Again im all for bashing werner..... but dont use false claims like he is slow.... when is literally our fastest LB on the team 

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Steps1110's picture

I don't think he's the fastest

Steps

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BuckeyeCrusdader's picture

Werner isn't slow at all.. he plays apprehensively.. gives him the appearance of being slow

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DefenceWinsChampionships's picture

Agreed. If Werner stops thinking so much and starts playing as fast as he is capable, he could be a complete stud. Its a matter of getting the mental aspect of the game down. His brain is slowing him down too much. I could absolutely see him making an enormous jump this coming season and being one of our top two backers.

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CardaleFTW's picture

My mistake everyone. Meant to say Borland is slow, not Werner.

It's a beautiful day in Columbus, Ohio... and TTUN still sucks.

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UA Buck's picture

Werner may be the quickest LB on the team.Should NEVER start a game,but quick.Borland is far too sliw for a P-5 LB.

Joe Swartz

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BuckeyeatTSUN's picture

Things faster than Borland ... molasses, techtonic plates, evolution...

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BigBuckeye1976's picture

Maybe NOT as slow as the Meat Chicken offense, just saying?

BigBuckeye says Go Bucks
Muck Fichigan!!!

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Buckeye_bob's picture

Werner is prob the fastest LB in camp, he was recruited as a Safety, lol. Ran a 12.4 100 meters as a freshman in high school, Mitchell made 3 tackles on special teams and everyone thinks that he is a starter. Werner is the best LB we have had in coverage in a long time.

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Jay_sizzle's picture

But here’s the thing Werner is an excellent cover guy .... but his primary jobs (stop the run & rush/pressure the passer) , he sucks terrible at them , he could definitely be our Derwin James/Jabrill Peppers if we finally start using the Hybrid SS/LB (star back) , I hope mattinson is balsy enough to do it 

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OSUFlash's picture

Sorry but running a 12.4 100m as a freshmen is very average. Now Parris Campbell's 100m time as a freshmen is impressive which I believe was in the high 10's to low 11's.

osuflash

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Hovenaut's picture

Throwing a (potentially, knock wood) healthy Justin Hillard's name in the ring.

Got M...igan gossip? Bang it here.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Nice Hove, also a kid from your neck of the woods would like a shot - Keandre Jones.

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Hovenaut's picture

The depth...completely blanked on KJ, 3M.

I think Washington gets what's needed out of this crew, no matter how the lineup shakes out.

Got M...igan gossip? Bang it here.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Completely agree, Hove.  I think that hire was a

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Tulsinator's picture

I'll always give an upvote for a gif of The Kid. One of the prettiest swings in baseball.

UNDISPUTED

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gobucks96's picture

..was a montage of Ken Griffey Junior's swing?

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buckzilla1's picture

Its never iffy if its Griffey

Jim Harbaugh is to coaching what Lou Glutz is to Motor sales. 

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tekk69's picture

AGREED!! Hilliard at Mike!!

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Sanantonefan's picture

The three best.

Browning has the tools, but looked out of position or took wrong angles all too often. Mitchell impressed on special teams. Borland was a revelation last year, but didn't look as good this year. Was it health??? 

Hopefully, these young studs take the next step in their development. We have the players--let's coach them up!

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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luckynutz's picture

Borland was coming off an Achilles injury, which arent easy to recover from.

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Sanantonefan's picture

100% true. I'd bet he will be a much better player next year.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

He was coming off of an injury, but if they were playing him and he wasn't properly healed, shame on them on more than one level.  

If he wasn't healthy, they shouldn't have risked further injury. 
And, if he wasn't healthy, he wasn't as effective as someone else would have been, and his playing placed the team at a disadvantage because guys just ran away from him week after week, after week, after week. 
He looked like he was constantly being caught on his heels, or flat-footed, instead of being on his toes in a proper athletic position.  If that was due to his injury, then it should have been seen, and he should have fixed it or sat.

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RK84's picture

All year long I thought, man they aren't putting these guys in a position to be successful, maybe he wasn't healed yet, but was the best available? Maybe they valued experience over mistakes? Which happened anyway.

It has been odd to see a position OSU is famous for struggle so much with the caliber of athletes on hand. Which leads to the obvious...

It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

maybe he wasn't healed yet, but was the best available?

If this is the case, then there are serious problems with Jones, Hilliard, and Browning - just for starters. 

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Timbucktoo's picture

Yep, I re-watched the Rose Bowl and observed on multiple occasions where Borland read the play well, but couldn’t cover ground quickly enough to stop it.

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luckynutz's picture

Glad you saw that as well. It isn't a lack of football IQ, it's more that his body couldn't catch up to his eyes. He knows the game, and knows his reads. Just a step slower.

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Sanantonefan's picture

Like I said above, it seemed to me (no expert) that Browning was often out of position. Reacting quickly to the wrong place isn't helpful. I am confident he takes a step forward this year.

The good thing is, I don't expect Washington to make Davis-like decisions.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

I think Browning may explode with better coaching.  I think that a huge problem is with development at the LB position.  I have consistently maintained that Davis was ill-prepared to teach these kids how to play LB.  I think that they were poorly taught how to read without diving into holes, and how to get off blocks.  

Now, I'm hardly a professional, but it seems glaringly obvious to me that when the Bucks had turnover in the LB position group that coincided with Davis' hiring, everything went wrong.

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Sanantonefan's picture

Agreed--I believe this is a clear case for Day's insistence that he wants the defense to play a simpler style where they can fly to the ball. We have all the talent in the world in our linebacker room. We just need to coach them up.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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aboynamedtracy's picture

Thought he should have been a red shirt, but no one asked me.

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neo's picture

Harrison, Browning, Jones maybe?

"Let's beat the shit out of Michigan. Have a good night." - UFM

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blocko330's picture

I just want the three best guys on the field regardless of age or experience.   Now that Ryan Day has the keys I hope there is no more blind loyalty to guys just because "they started last year."

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

Harrison

Mitchell

Browning. 

Werner mixed in. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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gobucks1966's picture

GANT ???? In some ways I would like to see earning your job through Sp. teams done away with. There is some merit to that but I never saw Borland and others on Sp. teams ever.

Denny

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Trebor40's picture

Borland set the blocking for punt formation for Meyer 2 years in a row, Werner was a freaking gunner for half of his freshman year at LB and was devastating! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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buckslan's picture

I hope it's our 3 most athletic/talented guys. So that would be Harrison, Mitchell/Hilliard in the middle, and Browning. 2nd teamers would be Werner and K Jones. Al Washington could take our linebackers to the next level If he could get the most out of those starters and 2nd teamers. It must be nice to walk into a coaching job with high 4 and 5* players that are athletics freaks.

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ITWASME's picture

Harrison is a lock as he actually made plays even with awful coaching. Borland will probably still start, at least early, but we will probably see rotation there. Finally, I think Werner will be spending quality time with the bench and we will get to see either Keandre Jones or Browning on the outside.

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I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

I'd post but this was my thoughts exactly. I think we're going to have to get used to Borland, and can just hope he wasn't healthy this year on that Achilles and finds a step or three by next year. 

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Timbucktoo's picture

Unless Borland increases his speed, I don’t see him starting. Even when he properly diagnosed a play, he was too slow to reach the ballcarrier outside the tackle box. 

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cmillertime247's picture

I think there will be a spoil of riches at the LB position. I think you may see some shakeups in regards to who starts but with a new scheme and new position coach, I think we will see all of these LBs elevate their games. Which would mean if you have 6-7 guys who can battle for starting spots we should have a deep rotation and be able to keep all of them fresh during games. The other thing I would like to see if the return of the star position. A guy who can be a hybrid LB/DB. We had this with Lee but haven't really seen it since the Tressel days. When teams are in clear passing downs I love the Nickle set up but when you have spread teams or RPOs I think its important to have a guy who can be a hybrid. And not someone like Werner who is clearly a LB and you are trying to make him a DB on certain plays. I'm talking about that guy who is 210-220 LBS and can be both. 

Go for two only because you can't go for three

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buckslan's picture

We have/had star position guys since. That would be Dante Booker, Jerome Baker, and now Malik Harrison. All those guys were/are tasked with covering in space, especially man to man.

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Mean Mr Mustard's picture

That's the walk out LB.  Jerome Baker was good at it too.

Werner is playing it.  He is more of an huge nickleback right now which is something we ask of the position.   He is better when he is walked out on the perimeter than when he plays in the box.   Going from Quarters to man has forced him to lock up on a WR than field side flat zone like Baker and Lee did a lot of the time

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Ludwig Yards's picture

I know a lot of fans hate Werner but maybe if he isn't asked to cover WRs half the time he could be more successful. That said, he'll hopefully need to earn that starting job in 2019. Let's see how a possible scheme change looks. I'd agree that Harrison probably has a spot nearly locked up. 

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I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

Covering WR wasn't what made people mad about Werner.  It's that he was completely lost in the run game and/or blitzing the QB, and looked like he had glue on his uniform because every time an opponent engaged him in a block he was stuck there for next 10 seconds.

Lol I'm just remembering a play in the Rose Bowl where he must have had an assignment to cover the RB on a passing down. The RB was lined up on Werner's side to the left of the QB and stayed in for a 2 count to block, so Werner started rushing the QB since his man wasn't going out for a pass.  Well when the RB released he went right, crossing over the QB.  So Werner being a robot with zero instincts started chasing the RB and runs RIGHT by the QB who still had the ball in his hands starting to throw a pass to the left across the space where Werner was.  It just was a standout example of a guy who is out of place and not a natural at what he is doing.  Blame it on coaching I guess, but the sample size is too large for me.  Werner would need to improve massively to be considered and OSU-caliber LB. 

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gobucks96's picture

Sadly, I remember that play.. Created some space around me on the couch during my minor fit of rage...

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EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I literally yelled, "Werner, where the hell are you going?"

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Earle's picture

I think Harrison is a given, based on performance.  The other spots are up for grabs, but it wouldn't shock me if, with new (read: better) coaching, we see some familiar names on the field on August 31.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Starters- 

OLB: Browning, Harrison

ILB: Mitchell

Passing: Werner 

2nd string:

OLB: Jones, Hilliard

ILB: Borland

Passing: Gant

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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RK84's picture

I think Harrison, Borland probably retains the Middle, good/average player. Nose for the ball IF he can get there. The other outside I have no idea, Werner hasn't impressed me, but you have to have someone take it from him.

I think scheme and lack of dev hurt this group more than available talent. Hope to see that change.

It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

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Triv's picture

Can't see Washington leaving Borland in the middle. He's coming off Devin Bush manning the center of his defense, I imagine he'll want someone who can at least come close to that athleticism, be it Mitchell or Browning.

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

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RK84's picture

If and this is a big IF, he can get  to 100% work on some things and get better, I could see him playing. Will all that actually happen I don't know.

I am excited to see a younger guy with no loyalties come in and evaluate.

It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

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Triv's picture

Borland was a sophomore captain, he'll almost certainly be a staple on special teams and maybe some short yardage situations/goal line formations. I just don't think he has the athleticism OSU is going to demand from the LB position with the way offense south of Michigan are running things.

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

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RK84's picture

For some reason I put him in the Ross Homan class of MLBs. Good LB, not elite, but works hard (insert all the other clichés here)

It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

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Buckfrombirth's picture

"...high-character guy, great motor, terrific family, natural leader...love that guy. One of the best guys I've ever been around."

How'd I do?

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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Maka's picture

Dont sleep on Stover y'all.

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Jay_sizzle's picture

Stover is converting to DE sadly 

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analyticalguy's picture

Let's see who he coaches up and by how much.  I don't think Davis' biggest fault was deciding who ought to be playing (although that could have been part of it), but that, in general, the LBs under his tutelage hadn't been developed to be as good as they might have been.

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osu992's picture

Here's to coaching so good the choice doesn't matter, and a choice so good because loyalty doesn't matter.

New Day for OSU. Same noon for TTUN.

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niblick's picture

So far, only Malik Harrison has earned the right to call himself a Buckeye LB.  They rest have been trash.  We'll see which 2 step up and learn the position + have tools.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

Harrison is a lock, no question, he will be the leader of that group.

Browning should be a favorite just because his athleticism has never been in question.

I'm hoping Keandre Jones finally cracks the starting line up.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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Trebor40's picture

I am very interested in the way Washington looks at our players he has seen from the other side and if there is someone he felt he was glad was not out there to attack his team. It will be interesting to see how he has evaluated our LB's from his own time as part of our nemesis! 

OLB Harrison 

MLB ??? (Mitchell, Hilliard) 

OLB Werner/Jones

I know it is unpopular yet speed matters and Werner can cover in the flats, I just do not know how good he can become if developed by a true COLLEGE coach! 

I actually have as many issues with an uninjured Browning during the games as an injured Borland yet Borland causes RBs to fumble when (if) he hits them! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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krakatoa64's picture

Browning just needs to move outside. Just unleash him as an athlete

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I am surprised more talk hasn't been made regarding Hilliard in the middle.  He has the size and speed to be not only effective as a run stopper, but also able to make some plays in space in the short passing game.  

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wpbbuckeye's picture

No idea who will start, though presumably the three best.  Suggest your headline be changed to include "and Day in as Head Coach" too.  I have a feeling that Urban may have put his thumb on the scale for Tuf and Werner last year. He loved their "intangibles" whereas I prefer tackling.   

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tcm1968's picture

Give me Harrison, Werner at Star in passing situations and then the next two best linebackers... if I have to see Browning on the sideline because he has the second best grasp of MLB but is one of the best LBs I'm going to scream.

Borland was SLOW last year before the injury... he just needs to be a depth guy at this point. There's just no place in Championship level football for a guy a lot of offensive lineman would beat in a 40..

Go Bucks!

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sivaDavis's picture

Harrison/Browning/Gant

I think Mitchell plays sparingly and could crack the lineup if Browning isn't getting it done. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

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seltsaC's picture

Borland & Werner should not be playing at all, much less starting. I hope Mitchell or Hilliard will start at MLB. Harrison is a lock to get one of the outside spots and Browning & Jones should battle for the other.

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The Rill Dill's picture

Let Washington start with a clean slate, evaluate, and make his own decision on who will play. 

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CedarBuck92's picture

I want to see Washington determine what is expected from each LB position then play the best fit for each. I don't care if its all upperclassmen or underclassmen or a mix. 

But more importantly, don't be like a couch QB who wants some benched forever because they missed one tackle/assignment. Give each guy a fair shot at earning/keeping a position. No one wins if everyone is always looking over their shoulder and afraid to make the wrong decision. 

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GunnerBuck's picture

If we're talking about athletic ability it would probably be Harrison and Browning outside, Mitchell in the middle or Jones in the middle if you want to go with 3 pure athlete LB's. 

"Come on, you sons of b!tches! Do you want to live forever?" -- Dan Daly, WWI

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mmp15f's picture

Assuming our base defense is still a 4-3/4-3 under, I predict a 2-deep of:

Sam: 1) M. Harrison, 2) K. Jones

Mike: 1) T. Mitchell, 2) J. Hilliard/T. Borland

Will: 1) B. Browning, 2) K. Jones/P. Werner

If we see more of a 4-2-5 base defense like TTUN has used in recent years, I predict:

Mike: 1) Mitchell or Browning

Will: 1) Harrison

Hybrid: 1) Browning or Jones or Werner

This one is harder to predict because it's not what we've been using and I only did 1-deep for that reason. We know Harrison would be one if the inside guys. But we don't know if the other inside backer would be somebody like Mitchell, or if Browning would be better at that position over top of the guard than over top of the center (it's usually easier to read guards).

The hybrid could be anyone. Werner proved to be solid in coverage for the most part so he could retain a starting spot in that defense. But, depending on what the coaches do with the inside backers, it wouldn't surprise me to see Browning or Jones take that spot.

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Ortonhallalumni's picture

Hope we see a lot of players early so we can see who can get the job done. Best players on the field. Should be lots of depth next season.

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