Jeff Hafley’s Former Players, Colleagues Envision Success at Ohio State

Comments Show All Comments

Dstacify's picture

The practice well argument doesn't sit very well with me. According to Grinch last year Jahsen Wint and Isaiah Pryor both played early in the season over Brendon White because they "practiced well" and White did not. There are plenty of circumstances where players who are known practice warriors completely shrivel up in actual games. I hope Hafley is aware of that.

11 Strong.

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

That also could have been Grinch throwing someone else under the bus because he was angry he wasnt the DC as he was promised. 

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

HS
85ThruTheHeart's picture

True, but notice how Powell only got in for 2 series. He didn’t automatically usurp the position, but rather got a chance to showcase what he could do in a game environment. I can’t see anything but good coming from that. Test the young guys out who are showing progress and give the starter motivation to see their spot isn’t necessarily guaranteed. Who knows, had White been put in for a few series after a few great practices they may have discovered his upside earlier.

"He has that look in his eye when it's time to start feeding the beast" UFM on EZE

HS
TraptnMI's picture

Excellent!

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

HS
stxbuck's picture

"Practice warrior" and "film junkie" aren't the same thing. Hafley clearly considers one trait more essential than the other-and rightly so.

HS
Bukirob's picture

Then you don't know much.   I'm going with the guy who is doing it in practice 10 out of 10 times.  If you aint doing it in practice how the hell are you going to do it in a game, live...

I just have to laugh at people who think that your better off with a name who is failing in practice but things that said person will star in a game.  

Im just SUPER glad you aren't coaching!

You WIN with people.

 

 

WW Hayes

HS
Dstacify's picture

Glad I found the coach who thought Pryor and Wint were our best options at safety last year because they "practiced well." Game situations are different from practice and the reality is many players who practice well don't handle the clutch situations of an actual game as well. Once it became apparent that that was indeed the case with those two bums they shouldn't have been on the field anymore, simple as that. The reason why that concept doesn't sit well with me is because it is the same justification Grinch used last year as an excuse for not playing Brendon White earlier in the season.

11 Strong.

HS
CharlieBuckeye's picture

Dstacify - no DV from me... but why call two players “bums” - if you or I don’t perform well at work are we “bums” - I think not.

Bad day; bad coaching; not good eneough - combination of a hundred scenarios for poor performance on field - Who knows.

But I do know none of these young men deserve to be disparaged because they did not meet our lofty expectations. It’s very easy for us to be critical when we are sitting on our collective asses and  not the ones playing the game.

GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!

"To have a great life simply follow this rule:  Do not bring undo conflict into your life..."

Charlie Baker - OSU - 1986

HS
buckzilla1's picture

While I tend to think that practice pro's are just that until put into live action, i wouldn't term these youngin's as bums. Maybe the light hasn't turned on yet like Malik Hooker or Michael Thomas. Sometimes the practice loaf and play well a la Maurice Clarett. Thomas by all accounts has taken practice to an all new level in New Orleans and it shows me that sometimes it may be a bit of both. Until they prove otherwise, when preparedness meets opportunity that is where success is. Lack of one is indicitive not having success. 

Hey Cancer! This ass kicking is brought to you by the Guernsey county mafia. Give it Hell 84!

HS
Extramedium's picture

To be fair none of us know if they actually practiced better or not.  That's just what Grinch said when he tried to explain why our best safety hadn't seen the field all season despite our secondary getting torched nonstop.

The week Grinch was forced to play him also just happened to be his best week in practice according to what he told reporters. What an incredible coincidence. The simple explanation is that he just played the guys with more experience and had no clue who was actually the better player.

Seriously can't believe people wanted to keep him on staff.

HS
stxbuck's picture

Big difference between not knowing your assignments due to screwing around and running around like a bat out of hell w/ it's head cut off against the scout team. See Lawrence Taylor and his career-smartest guy on the field, NOT a practice warrior.

HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

"There are plenty of circumstances where players who are known practice warriors completely shrivel up in actual games. I hope Hafley is aware of that."

Somehow, even though I don't know Coach Hafley, I think he is aware. Call it a gut feeling, IDK...

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

HS
mittenst8buck's picture

Exactly, early on in the year the best guys in practice should play. But once you get a few games in...if those practice warriors are not cutting it come game time...try rotating in the backups because you never know.

HS
Buckloving's picture

It doesn't mean shit. How many times have we heard Urban bragging about how someone practiced and then we didn't see them the rest of the year. We can he first got to Columbus he would tell it like it was but that didn't last long. Coaches say all kinds of stupid shit. They generally play who they like

bobbyd

HS
Extramedium's picture

Exactly. I don't even know why this is a point of debate.. unless we are there to witness the practice, we have no idea who is actually performing better. 

After what I've witnessed in all my years of watching CFB, I've come to the conclusion that the practice argument is just used as an excuse to explain why the clearly better player was on the bench.

Tressel did it with Troy Smith.. Grinch did it with Brendan White. there are many other examples but I'm working on 3 hours of sleep.

HS
CC's picture

There were 22 starters last year, if only one was a mistake based one being the best practice player that seems pretty good.

how else would you know he’s the best player?  If he doesn’t practice well why would you put him in?

you know they run plays and watch film of practice right?

so what should I have determined who started?  High school tape? Smack talk? Other? Again by your argument you can’t use practice.

HS
CowCat's picture

I just think that practice and real-time game play are very different things. In practice you work on fundamentals and what you think an opponent might do.In a game the opponent can throw you all sorts of curve balls you weren't expecting. 

I think Hafley is right in his approach. Teach the defenders to see what the offense is likely to do, apart from the physical practice. They're already good athletes, but great plays come from recognition before reaction.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

HS
CC's picture

You know they run plays in practice right?  You know they scrimmage right?

HS
CowCat's picture

You know they run plays in practice right?  You know they scrimmage right?

Of course they do that. But it is just a simulation of what might happen. What I was pointing out is the mental game. Is a team mentally prepared for anything the opponent might throw at them?

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

HS
PhillyNut's picture

I would prefer that his family situation was better. Something's not right when he used to have his family close to the program and then he could barely make time for the birth of his child? I hope that part of the move to Ohio State is because the NFL was wrecking his family situation and somehow he and his wife figured out something had to change.

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

HS
BuckeyeBen7.7's picture

Yeah that thought struck me too. Not a father yet, but when my wife is in labor, I ain’t leaving and I feel like that should be the same for any husband.

HS
MiamiBuckeye's picture

Last year's Ryan Day-schemed offense paired with even a Top 50 defense would have been a playoff team. 

But if Hafley can turn Ohio State's defense back into the top 20 monster we've been accustomed to and Ryan Day and Yurchich can maintain the offense's potency there's no one this team couldn't beat. 

"porque las estirpes condenadas a cien años de soledad no tenían una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra."

HS
awlinBrutus's picture

I think in 22 we got UT & ND on the schedule, pretty sick. I want espin to try and say we wont have #1 toughest schedule.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

HS
216ToThe614's picture

Great article, Colin!

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

HS
Colin Hass-Hill's picture

Thanks! Appreciate you and everyone else for reading.

Vabuck213's picture

Yea definitely agree, great article. Really liked hearing the perspective of all of the different people that he interacted with over the years. Seems like he made a really favorable impression on everyone that he interacted with. From his bosses, the players, and HS coaches at schools he was recruiting, sounds like we got lucky again with another unknown guy. 

HS
ibuck's picture

At times over the last few years, I would get frustrated with OSU's defense because it seemed they didn't anticipate what was about to happen or was already happening with the opponent offense. Again & again, it seemed, opponent tendencies were not known to the Buckeye defense.

I expect that will happen less with the film-loving Hafley. Players will know those tendencies.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
85ThruTheHeart's picture

Man I’m excited about this one. Seems like a great coach and all around great guy. Can wait to see what he can do with the talent we have!

"He has that look in his eye when it's time to start feeding the beast" UFM on EZE

HS
Dstacify's picture

Hopefully Mattison's disciplined approach and Hafley's emphasis on the DBs turning to the ball will lead to far fewer big plays being given up by this defense next season.

11 Strong.

HS
Ostate84's picture

Just hoping we as a team can stay away from the "one loss" that is completely out of character.

HS
Extramedium's picture

The big plays we gave up had much more to do with our guys seeming to have terrible instincts and taking really bad angles.  The whole "turning for the ball" thing was never an issue until last season, including when our secondary was one of the best in CFB.

HS
Weave77's picture

Well, I am officially excited to see our secondary perform this year.

HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

Well hell, let's go coach! I like what I'm hearing from him.

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

HS
MiamiBuckeye's picture

I hope next year is the year Ohio State finally puts it all together, and the defense and offense are both elite. 

2015-good defense, terrible offense (not really the players' faults, to be fair)

2016-great defense, okay offense that became crap when the opposition could match them athletically

2017-good defense, good offense, no discipline, and also Iowa happened

2018-bad defense, great offense, no discipline, and Purdue happened

Let's finally have a complete team in 2019 with a great offense, a great defense, discipline, and no embarrassing head-scratching slipups

"porque las estirpes condenadas a cien años de soledad no tenían una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra."

HS
bd2999's picture

It is really surprising, given the talent on the team, how much they were outschemed in some games. I get that it happens, but it is just something I never really got based on the team and the coaches.

Heck, you could probably argue in some cases that the lesser team had OSU beat in terms of scheme a fair bit in 2018 in particular. OSU was just saved by much better players and a great offense. Except for the Purdue game. Where Purdue played like this was their super bowl and OSU forgot how to score.

HS
ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

Low key my favorite hire this offseason.  Everyone this guy has come into contact with has overly positive things to say.  

HS
Ohbucksclan20's picture

Great article Colin! The more I read about coach Hafley, the more excited I get about this year's defense and beyond!!! Go bucks!!

HS
mockjocks's picture

He has all the makings of a superstar in waiting. Can't wait to see him in action with the secondary units.

HS
TJG32's picture

I like this guy a lot. He will have a huge impact on the defense this year. 

TG Proud Buckeye alumnus.

HS
ClarkGrswld4's picture

this guy seems awesome for OSU's program

HS
Icouldnotgofor3's picture

They are going to turn around and look for the football.......

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

HS
Extramedium's picture

Again, this was never an issue with Coombs.   It's not the problem

HS
Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Red Bull Coombs was NOT here last year and it WAS a problem.

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

HS
BuckNutChicago's picture

“For me, the best guys are going to play, and I mean that,”

I know this was mentioned above, but I have a different take... There was a bunch of "talk" last season on 11W that the best players were not playing.  I mostly defended the coaches because that made no sense to me.  Coaches are paid to win games, so of course they're going to put the best players on the field.  Welp, I listened to the interview with Cardale Jones on the Beanie and the Boom show.  Wow!  Go listen if you haven't done so yet.  I knew the 2015 season was dysfunctional, but damn, not that dysfunctional.  It demonstrates that sometimes coaches (even the great ones) can focus on the wrong things instead of the primary goal of winning the game.

Go Buckeyes!!!

HS
Vabuck213's picture

I think that most of what Cardale was referring to was Warriner and how he was playcalling/scheming. I could have to go back and listen to it again but that was my initial impression. Regardless, it was definitely quite the revealing interview and makes me think Beck didnt get a fair shake here and might have something to do with Texas's resurgence alongside Herman. 

HS
Extramedium's picture

We have to remember that coaches are humans and fall prey to human tendencies.  Most coaches get into coaching because they like the sport and want to be involved, but very rarely are they football geniuses.  They stick around long enough and move up through the ranks.  Hell Bill Davis is about to be a linebacker coach in the NFL.  Why?  Because he was the linebacker coach at OSU, and the living legend Urban Meyer probably co-signed for him.  Nevermind the fact that there were games our linebackers looked completely lost and has zero tackles as a unit.

He'll stand around and blow a whistle in practice, and as long as they are pretty decent linebackers (and they are.. they're in the NFL..) he'll rack up years of experience as an NFL assistant and move up to something else.

More often than not I suspect the coaches have no idea who is the better player until they are forced to recognize it based on pure game performance and stats.  And that's ok, not everyone can be a genius judge of talent.  But what's not ok is when the current  starters are getting torched and the guys on the bench don't get a chance until a starter is ejected due to a targeting call.

HS
mmp15f's picture

Such a good point about Davis, and it was a concern of mine the second he was hired. When you've coached professional football all your life, you're dealing with guys who are good enough linebackers to make millions. How much more do you have to teach them? They obviously know how to read plays. Even college football players at powerhouse programs still need coaching, and he obviously wasn't able to provide it

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

If he can bring our defense back, with Day's offensive mindset, this will be a fantastic year!!!!

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

HS
Hovenaut's picture

I'm stoked for the new regime, new staff. 

I think Hafley will do very well in Columbus.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

HS
niblick's picture

We've had some big time turds hired on this staff the since 2012 and that always surprised me about Meyer.  I know you're never going to go 10 for 10 every year on coaches but holy shit I can't believe we went through the run we did after 2014. The Warriner move was as dumb as dumb can get, Tim Beck was a bad decision from day 1 and Bill Davis was the Spaulding of Caddyshack on our coaching staff.  And I didn't even mention Everett Withers, good God.

I have the same feeling with Hafley as I did with the Tom Herman hire in 2013.  I think this one looks like a good one and I'm excited to see the improvement he brings.  He's inherited a shit load of talent so it shouldn't take long to get our answer.  Now as long as it ends better than the Herman hire did. 

HS
BrutusB's picture

 Brendon White didn’t start until injuries forced him to play, and he proved to be the safety the Buckeyes were missing

Ddin't White get his shot because Fuller got ejected for targeting?  

HS
kmp10's picture

I've been a member of this community for the better part of a decade, and this is easily one of the top five articles I've ever read on here. Outstanding insight into one of the primary coaches on Day's new staff... very interesting. I wasn't thrilled with all of the hires Day made, to be honest. I'm still not happy that Mattison is here, which has nothing whatsoever to do with his ability and everything to do with where he came from, and I was a little bit disappointed that a change wasn't made in the o-line room, but Hafley was one of the hires I was very happy about from the beginning, and now that I've gotten to know him a little bit and heard from him at the presser, I'm expecting big things on defense this season. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

I hope he becomes our Brent Venables... put the whole damn NCAAF world on notice that his defenses will be world class. Can't help but get anxious to see the product on the field between his ability to relate to players and coach them in simple form to knowing that he has been tested in the NFL crucible to know how to adjust during games. Having an answer during a game is so huge. It took Schiano halftimes to adjust, but I hope to see his quick recognition and adjustments to see us turn into not only the Silverbullets again, but more like Silver Nuclear Bombs.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

HS
CanadianBuckeyeEh's picture

Silver Nuclear Bombs

I Like it. 

"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland

HS
mmp15f's picture

I was just about to comment something along these lines. Seeing Day and Hafley form a long, successful partnership the way Swinney and Venables have would be awesome

HS
CanadianBuckeyeEh's picture

I finally watched the Hafley presser last night.  
Based on what I saw and heard, I LIKE this guy. 
Hope it shows on the grid iron. 
Go BUcks!  Beat TTUN! u

"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland

HS
SirRyanDay's picture

Excellent read, Colin! Reading this got me super pumped. Love the different perspectives from former players. 

HS
nickel beer's picture

I was just about to post the same thing about the article. 

And you know, if Tyvis says so, it's so.

half machine

HS
BuckeyeIn NY's picture

Colin, I know your specialty is the basketball beat, but I have to say, I enjoy the hell out of the articles you write on the football side.  They are well written, with loads of content.  The attention to detail and work that goes into your writing is truly evident.  

Keep doing your thing, it is appreciated.  

Ring the f**king bell, you pansy

HS
Colin Hass-Hill's picture

Much appreciated. Means a lot to hear you say that.

Jimmy77's picture

Love what Hafley has to say but after the first game when a DB makes a mistake or two, we'll call him out for saying one thing and doing another.  The guy who doesn't play, doesn't make any mistakes, so we know with 20/20 hindsight that he should have played.  

White is an interesting example.  The game after he was inserted into the starting lineup due to injury, he played really well.  The game after that, he was less than great IMHO.  The rest of the season was good and bad but we already had our story line.

Jimmy77

HS
Trebor40's picture

Hafley seems, from these descriptions, to be very similar to Ryan Day himself which might be why they are close. What becomes interesting is if true along with recruiting prowess we could have the advantage for the next few years over the entire B1G in tactics as well as talent! 

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

HS
Colin Hass-Hill's picture

I picked up on that same thing. Jim O'Neil coached with both Day and Hafley in San Francisco for a year and he agreed when I brought the comparison up to him.

Trebor40's picture

If we could have a pair of guys whose mutual respect along with friendship keeps them coaching together for the next 4-6 years with the talent that we as a top tier power 5 program have it could be a glorious thing! Honestly, will could be! 

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

HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Love this guy's personality and think it's going to sell with recruits. 

HS
Ludwig Yards's picture

“I don't know the numbers out of Ohio State as to where they pull kids, but I would think you're going to get the top two or three kids out of New Jersey every year,” O’Neil said.

Poor Chris Ash. 

HS