Across The Field: Q&A with Michigan Beat Writer Isaiah Hole on What Greg Mattison, Al Washington Will Bring to Ohio State

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flying-banana's picture

Where he really shined – and what Michigan really needed at the time – was a reboot in fundamentals. What he inherited was a group of players that were certainly talented (look at current NFL players such as Jake Ryan or Frank Clark) but were either put in bad positions or didn’t have the technique necessary to compete at a high level. Mattison changed that nearly overnight.

I'm sold. Let's do this

With all the talk of loyalty and how Ohio State is the enemy, I’ve heard that they’re already feeling like fuel has been added to the flames on the defensive front.

#RevengeTour2019

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avail31678's picture

Agree - fundamentals please!  Tackling can always be better, and our cover guys need some technique, although Shaun Wade and Jeffrey Okudah definitely were starting to shine by season's end.  I would be perfectly OK with teaching our corners to look back for the ball from time to time.

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stpetebuck's picture

Haha. Banana, I copied the same quote.  Mattison could be the best pick up in terms of needed coaching triage. 

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

My big wonder is about the TTUN defense and their inability to stop a running QB.  Did Mattison have any blame here, or is that all on Don Brown?  DJ also had the same issue.  I just DO NOT WANT to see our defense struggle (or as TTUN did, fail) against the QB read option.  We have been fairly decent at defending it and I would hate to see us take a negative step or steps back against it.  I do believe the QB read option and running is a fade that will have a long lasting effect in college football.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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stpetebuck's picture

To be fair they stopped most teams rushing attacks overall.  Buckeyes have elite ol players and throw out the bowl game due to key players sitting out and dinged whineyvich. Even with the last two games they ended up 2nd to MSU in total yards and 22nd versus the rush. We would’v killed for those stats.  

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HYI3RID's picture

I think Mattison just has to be thrilled that he's going from a basketball school to a football school to coach. lol

Vires Et Honestas

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avail31678's picture

Great insight from Mr. Hole.  

The betrayal/revenge thing concerns me a little, except that this year was their Revenge Tour and that fell so short.

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

I thought that too but then thought it’s THE GAME. There is intrigue and rivalry throughout both teams. 

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3ydncloudofdust's picture

 it starts with technique and fundamentals, and given how the back seven for Ohio State struggled in that area in 2018, expect that to be shored up quickly in 2019.

Just what we need. Focus in fundamentals. And if so, coupled w the talent level, this D will be exponentially better!

"Three things can happen when you pass the ball, and two of them are bad." - Woody

 

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Hovenaut's picture

That's the line here I honed in on as well...and that will be most welcome. 

Great assessment from Isaiah Hole.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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IGotAWoody's picture

Isaiah Hole... the only way to improve that name would be if his first name was Alvin.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Tater_Schroeder's picture

After gleefully perusing mgoblog over the last week, it's a little bit jarring reading thoughtful and insightful comments from a 'Michigan Man'. 

Pray for potatoes with a hoe in your hand.

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avail31678's picture

Yeh, I don't know if I disagree with anything he said.  Very sober, seemingly unbiased and accurate responses.

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Avail - that is something you rarely get from any TTUN fan.  It's nice to see a fan that can be honest and not blame the refs for a change, LOL.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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SuburbanMeyer's picture

Well it certainly can be the same thing with some Ohio State fans. With big fan bases come a LOT of undesirable people.

Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions without going to jail for it.

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stpetebuck's picture

Tater, yes very fun reading the suicidal Mgoblog comments. But many delusional ttun fans saying, ‘meh, mattison not that great because of 62-39’. They’re mostly wrong  

They haven’t really considered losing 3 key superstars on defense and completely rebuilding a defensive coaching staff with a mentally deranged hc. 

They could possibly have the worst year ever under Harbaugh if they don’t play there cards right. 

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BluntedBrutus's picture

I think poor safety play time and time again has killed TUN when they play OSU...look at how we struggled when we had problems at safety...I know it's one of the hardest positions to play, but man when you have a good one it's a big difference maker.

"Conversely, Urban Meyer and his players are an unstoppable army of football automatons that feel no emotion and win in any and every setting."

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stpetebuck's picture

Just imagine that mediocre offense of this year with a 50-60th ranked defense. That could be 4 losses. 

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Brutus865's picture

Could he have downplayed it anymore? Lol

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TXNut2488's picture

Haha, that's the exact same thing I thought. Which, to be honest, I don't blame the guy. But he made it sound like these were 2 low-level coaches and just shrugged his shoulders at. Washington is a huge loss for them...blowing smoke up our ass by saying "well he really wasn't the LB coach" and "well he didn't really recruit any high level guys"...c'mon now.

Also, Revenge Tour 2019 comments. It worked so well this year, why not try it again.

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CTownBucknut's picture

Honestly I didn't get the sense at all, but we all have our opinions and ways of viewing things.  I felt he was fairly forthright, and he credited Mattison with turning their defense around quickly, and said he expects him to have an immediate impact here.  As for Washington, he was only there for 1 season, so I get why he would say what he did.  He's an up-and-comer, as he stated, but it's not like the equivalent of losing LJ or Coombs.  I don't think he meant the recruiting portion as a slight, but rather what a great job he did just to get as close as he did with Harrison, given all the negative factors he had to deal with.  

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Extramedium's picture

I don't see how you got that sense from the interview.. I mean he wasn't committing suicide on paper over the news but he's was being interviewed for the facts of the matter, not to embarrass himself.  He's a professional writer, not just a forum over-reactor. 

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SCbucknut's picture

This is very encouraging 

What he inherited was a group of players that were certainly talented (look at current NFL players such as Jake Ryan or Frank Clark) but were either put in bad positions or didn’t have the technique necessary to compete at a high level. Mattison changed that nearly overnight.

...

 Really, it starts with technique and fundamentals, and given how the back seven for Ohio State struggled in that area in 2018, expect that to be shored up quickly in 2019. Mattison is a master at diagnosing where players are faltering and turning that around.

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BuckeyeJay's picture

I think it is pretty clear that Mattison was brought in to bring the defense back to top 30 and then have Hafley learn under him. He is quite long in the tooth and I can't see him being more than a 2-3 year tenure

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SCbucknut's picture

Agree, and possibly groom Washington for a future DL/DC. Learn from LJ and Mattison? Yes please!

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Here's to hoping that Washington will have a very long and successful coaching career at TOSU.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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RUNTOWIN's picture

Yeah, right.  The departure of these coaches will lead to a best effort from TUN.  This just adds another layer of trauma to their already fragile emotional state when it comes to The Game. With all the pressure to win The Game and the repeated failure to do so, these kids probably almost wet their pants every time they see the color scarlet.

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TNT's picture

They're getting desperate. Which isn't a good path to success.

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MTS's picture

If UM needs extra motivation for revenge after that drubbing in the Shoe, then i don't know if two coaching defections will do much more for them

MTSugarfree

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RUNTOWIN's picture

Exactly.  Sometimes I think you can be TOO motivated to accomplish something.  It forces you to over think, get overly tight, and completely take you away from being able to perform at your highest level.  Kind of like people who are poor test takers.  Study, study, study, fail.

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Extramedium's picture

I feel like this was the main issue during the Cooper years.  It became such a "thing" it felt like the players who lit up every other team all season suddenly tightened up when it was time for The Game

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

MTS - what if our guys score more than 62 against them in AA?  That would be AWESOME!!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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Darksungm's picture

The Michigan writer they interviewed was impressively objective.

Negativity is a choice.

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Cptnvideo's picture

Absolutely agree. Not what I was expecting him to say.

My favorite team? Whoever is playing TTUN.

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stpetebuck's picture

Don’t be surprised . The most vocal critics of the wolverines work at the Detroit Free Press. They lambasted Hairball after the last two games. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside as a Buckeye fan. 

Oddly, the guy they won’t criticize is Dantonio. All is forgiven for that sourpuss 

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HoyaBuckeye's picture

I think the reason Dantonio seems to always get the pass is that he's a perennial underdog, even when he really shouldn't be. It's the identity of his team, and so I feel like no matter his success at Michigan State, it's like anything above 6-6/7-5 should be something he is applauded for, and if his team is doing really well, 9/10+ wins, and they falter at the end (in a bowl game, for example) then everyone is like "oh, well, they shouldn't even be here."

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Extramedium's picture

Weird as it is, we even have people on these boards referencing Dantonio's program wistfully after we have a particularly close game, or experience a single loss. 

He's somehow managed to get a ton of credit for being aggressively average and never seeming to want to be anything but aggressively average.

And don't tell me it's because he does "more with less" because it's his job to make sure they don't have to constantly deal with having less.

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buckeyes763's picture

but the lure to Ohio State was too strong with his family, especially after Urban Meyer left.

Really interesting tidbit about the recruitment of Zach Harrison.

From reading this it's hard to say if these were "homerun" hires or not. It seems more like "serviceable" is the appropriate word, which is still an upgrade from last year but obviously we are hoping for more than that. Certainly time will tell and these coaches now have more talent at their disposable than ever before, and I'm excited to see what they can do with that.

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TXNut2488's picture

Eh I take his comments lightly. Obviously he's not going to say what a major loss each coach is to the program. But the fact is, it's massive to TTUN. A guy who's been there what? A decade?...packed up his shit and strolled across state lines like it was nothing. The beat writer or whatever he is, while thoughtful, certainly downplayed the impact. Look no further than his comments about how betrayed the team feels. If it was just a "serviceable" guy, doubt they'd have that reaction.

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WC Buckeye's picture

He and Washington both (and perhaps Don Brown - the comment about his potentially taking the Temple position was interesting, I thought) may be privvy to something cooking surrounding a potential Hurlbaugh departure. If they lose any position coaches on the offensive side of the ball, that might just confirm it.

I hope it doesn't happen, FTR - I hope he stays and/or is given that "lifetime contract" that was being bandied about - but there is some rumbling about it, anyway.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

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Earle's picture

Mattison may be a short-time in Columbus, but he is exactly what the Ohio State Defense needs right now.  I think Washington will be here a long time.

Axe leukemia!
#Poppystrong

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Fatpants's picture

Michigan was Harrison’s preference all along, but the lure to Ohio State was too strong with his family, especially after Urban Meyer left.

Interesting. 

PG <3 PG

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BuckeyeJay's picture

I thought this was pretty well known that Harrison loved Day and LJ, but just did not mesh with Urban at all. 

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TXNut2488's picture

Agree with Jay here, thought it was common knowledge that Day taking over pretty much finalized Harrison coming to OSU. That and the ass-whooping we gave TTUN.

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

Really? That's interesting and the first I've heard of it.

Any insights into why? Wondering if it had anything to do with the ZS debacle last summer or just Urbans demeanor.

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BrutusB's picture

I think both.  The rumors on 247 (take with a grain of salt, but seems to be mirrored in CB calls by those in the know) were that he just hated Urban and was all but committed to Michigan.  Urban leaving allowed him to go to the team he would have wanted to go to all along if they had a different coach.

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avail31678's picture

I read that Urban's demeanor played a part.  Zach is a quiet guy, and through some reports, just isn't that intense of a player (at least not yet), whereas Urban is all energy and juice etc.

Ryan Day being more laid back I think helped seal the deal with a more quiet guy.  

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Crimson's picture

Urban Meyer is all intensity and in your face.  Ryan Day is laid back.  Zach Harrison is laid back.

Birm has been reporting this since the commitment.

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Glendora's picture

If Michigan fans are seeing red now, wait until Mattison rolls into Cass Tech wearing the scarlet and gray for the first time.

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Speaking of the S&G, can we NOT see any more of the block M pics of our two new coaches?  It's making my eyes bleed.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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Major H's picture

Yes! First order of business is new photos in S & G! Personnel office can do contracts, IDs, payroll, etc. later. New photos now!

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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brothadudeguy's picture

This makes me feel a lot better about Mattison. He didn't have much to say about Al Washington. I understand that they only had him for one year but it's kind of concerning that Don Brown was also responsible for the linebackers. We hear all about his ability to recruit which is great but for the 2019 season we really need someone to develop all the talent we have at linebacker. Does anyone have any info on Washington's ability to develop linebackers? I'm sure anyone has to be an upgrade over Bill Davis though. 

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cuttyrock's picture

Mattison has no postiotn to coach so I can envision him helping with front 7 specifically LB. Al Washington is an amazing hire because great coaches can’t teach anything. He’s an elite recruiter and can coach several positions. 

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brothadudeguy's picture

I imagine you meant "can teach anything" instead of can't. I was just looking to see if anyone had actual examples of Washington developing players at linebacker. 

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Arizona_Buckeye's picture

What I love about all of this.... TTUN was totally deflated after getting air-raided in Columbus and in the Peach Bowl.  They're laying on the ground, huddled in a corner in the fetal position for a few weeks.  Then it hits them that Urban is gone and a little sliver of hope crawls into their brain.  They finally feel it is safe to arise, go outside, and breathe in some fresh air in the new year and BOOM... two coaches going to Ohio State.  Talking about a massive blow to the groinal region with no forewarning... beautiful.  Just. Plain. Beautiful.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

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TobyMagic's picture

This makes the Mattison hire sound exciting and like his track record. Unfortunately, based on this, it sounds like OSU still doesn't have a LB coach and hired a guy who almost landed 1 recruit. Washington is young and has great resources on the staff, hope he becomes a star.

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PhillyNut's picture

Not worried.  Coordinators and head coaches have a tendency to stick their noses into one particular area even if there are other coaches who by title supposedly have that group and would be fine if left alone to do their jobs.  Happens in the private sector as well, especially when someone is supposed to worry about broader issues but cannot step away from an area that they came up through. When Brown was the DC at Boston College he was also the linebacker coach.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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TXNut2488's picture

Eh, not really going to listen to intently to what a Michigan reporter is saying about Washington. Especially considering Washington's background and upbringing as basically an Ohio State guy. Pretty clear in this article this guy tries to downplay these moves as a big deal which goes against basically everything that everyone else has said about it. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in the middle as it tends to be with everything.

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Agree TX and I think Coach Washington will work even harder at being a coach back in his hometown and at the school where is daddy played.  I think he may become great...

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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TobyMagic's picture

I'm with you guys, have to consider the source. Was just saying if the points he makes are true Washington had little to do with their LB production. I hope he's part of a OSU staff that starts spitting out AA LBs, but I'm in wait and see mode.

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McGrind's picture

He got six (?) guys form OH...but not anyone OSU considered a take or certainly a must have. But was he making inroads and a name for himself...absolutely. Would only be a matter of time before he landed a big fish. Watch what he does at OSU with resources and support. 

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

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Trebor40's picture

Honestly I am excited for the coaches exactly how described, Greg can build the players confidence in the fundamentals and Al Washington can provide him with OH guys do that with! 

Plus as much as I admire Fickell (a great deal) having someone ready to battle him for local players is VERY important if the growth of UC is what it appears it can be! 

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

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PhillyNut's picture

I think the whole thing on being extra motivated next November will disappear by that game.  How both teams are doing at that point, what else changes, etc. is going to make these moves feel like ancient history.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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BBQ_Fan's picture

Nice interview. Glad his parents didn't name him Andrew instead of Isaiah. Writing "A. Hole" for your name would not be a good look. 3rd grade would have been rough.

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brutus360's picture

Sophomoric minds think alike.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

OOOOOO I smell another Revenge Tour 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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spiBuckeye's picture

Burnt rubber covered with dog poo?

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Buckeye Hill's picture

I'm excited for the new coaches!

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buckeyepastor's picture

Day is doing brilliantly, so far.   Plucks an offensive coach from a perennially explosive Big 12 school and on defense he brings in two young but very talented and well-regarded coaches to be on a staff with Mattison and Larry Johnson, two guys who are older but highly successful so that mentoring can occur.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

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0H-10's picture

Let's face it, hiring coaches from that school right now seems somewhat like end zone showmanship after a touchdown, unneccesary and short-sightedly arrogant; except that these two guys are exactly what OSU needs right now...and it's not like that school has never hired coaches or brought in players with a Buckeye pedigree before. Heck, the brightest names on the skunks' HoF are Ohioans. It'd be interesting to see a story detailing how much of this has gone on historically...guys changing colours either Scarlet or bleu.

o||||||o

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Hole said "Some will draw it up as an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ type of deal, but I think at his age, he just wanted one last shot to oversee a defense at a big time program. And it doesn’t get much bigger than Ohio State."

Now that is a HUGE compliment that I NEVER thought I would hear from any TTUN fan.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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QBYBuckeye's picture

Would you please put some decent clothes on these two!!!

New York Buckeye

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WC Buckeye's picture

Putting out the Barf-signal. Where are you, Barf? HELP!!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

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Dillon G's picture

This doesn’t get even for Bo’s treachery.

#walkaway

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Capt. Kline's picture

Or Moller's, Woodson, Desirae, Heater, Kolesar, Lytle, Miles, Grabac....I'm missing the 120 Ohioans that went there.

Born and bred a Buckeye - Buckeye 'til I die

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RK84's picture

Thought it kind of came off like, well they're ok. I mean they didnt do all that much, but they were here.

Like when a school misses on a recruit "its fine, we didn't want them anyway, but good luck I guess"

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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BrutusB's picture

"Guess he's scared of competition smh"

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RK84's picture

It wasn't a committable offer anyway. We cooled on him.

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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thedewman10's picture

I think it’s clear Mattison is the best choice right now for OSU. He does bring stability with him. He will probably help groom Washington for a DC job with the experience he has. And In terms of skill, let’s face it, our LB’s as a whole seemed lost a lot of the time. If both can help turn that around it will make a huge difference. Washington or both will def help on the recruiting trail.

TheDewMan10

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CreekBuck's picture

Excellent article and insight. The MeatChicken Man did downplay the loses of the coaches but pretty objective in his assessement of their abilities. 

You win with people.

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BuckeyeJAK's picture

Now go beat ttun

Mark May is a mental midget

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Sdoles's picture

I think I am more excited that Davis is gone...the LB corp couldnt take too many steps backwards so between the 2 new coaches I would say the back 7 will come around alot more this season esp since most have plenty of game experience!

Ohio born and bred- "Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn" - Woody

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Zone's picture

I believe Mr. Hole was objective. I am looking forward to the upcoming changes and the player assignment from these new coaches.

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buckeyeupnorth's picture

So how does Mattison simply shed the Michigan Man cape he’s been wearing and go full bore against TTUN in November? Either he never fully embraced it or he’s not fully embracing OSU.  I feel like Day should sleep with one eye open. 

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LeftCoastBuckeye's picture

How will they train him to never again say the M word?  Not a good look to smack an old guy. 

My aim, then, is to whip the Weasels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   - William Tecumseh Sherman (with apologies)

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fishleehooker's picture

It seems that Mattison is undervalued as a d coordinator compared to Don Brown and DJ Durkin, but those 2 never beat OSU as coordinators at Mich.  Don Browns vaunted D got torched by Day and it could have been worse. Mattison actually delivered the only win against us in many years.  He just gets less hype and is clearly undervalued by that fanbase.  I remember his D's being nearly the equal as the recent ones, and with less high end talent.  I welcome Mr Mattison for sure and am fired up about Washington and the Linebackers he inherits. 

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NOBLUE's picture

who gives a F**K what this guys opinion is

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

Thank you to Mr Hole and the 11W team. Nice read. 

And yes, fundamentals quote also jumped out to me. 

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

Imagine the reception Mattison will get in Ann Arbor next November. It won’t be pretty. 

I want the story about how this happened and how that phone call went down. Day to Mattison, was it Mattison to Day? Urban? 

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Steelydan54's picture

I like what he said about diagnosing weaknesses and providing schematic and technique fixes. We have both weaknesses and obviously Day wants them diagnosed and fixed; using better scheme and technique. Welcome to your last coaching gig before retirement Coach M. 

Steelybuck54

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Meek's picture

Q: Does blue have any more coaches or players that are good enough for The Ohio State University?

- OSU ISE -+-  Premium Banter -+- OH48 80k -

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Major H's picture

And eviscerate them even more? Good idea!

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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stxbuck's picture

So Urban retiring HELPED tOSU get Zach Harrison's signature?!?!? This is a matter for some intrepid research and investigation by the crack 11W staff.

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Rjpfish2's picture

Seeing lots of references to Rashan Gary and Jabrill Peppers even though Mattison was not the primary recruiter for either one. Still pumped for the hires! Go Bucks!

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nickel beer's picture

Death of the m-man.  That program is at historical crossroads.

half machine

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Eph97's picture

With our offense, we don't need the '85 Bears defense to win championships. Just a competent defense and not the sieve we had this past year. Think Mattison and Washington can at least do that, if not more.

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Tvcamper's picture

Just hope Mattison didn't leave TTUN to pad his 401k. Just not sure what kind of recruiter he will be and whether he has the stamina to chase after these young recruits.

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