Special Teams Will Remain A Priority for Ohio State with Matt Barnes' Leadership

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osu_nerd's picture

Wasn't Fick a ST coordinator before he started coaching linebackers?

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Dan Hope's picture

You're right. I missed that in my research, because I had thought that he was a position coach at the same time he was special teams coordinator, but special teams coordinator was his primary role before he became linebackers coach. Thanks for the clarification, and I will correct in the story.

ClarkGrswld4's picture

let's keep the ball rolling and improve our punt return game coach. glad to hear it will still be a priority

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Turfgrad's picture

Bout time!

"I think Alabama would beat Ohio State if they played next weekend!" Clay Travis Fox Sports Post Championship Show 1.12.2015.  Needs no explanation.

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Moutarde's picture

And let's keep the ball stopping (on the 2-yard line) on the other side of the ball.  Hard to improve on punt coverage from last year.  Need to replace Dixon and McLaurin as gunners.

A thing repeated will happen a third time.

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Hovenaut's picture

Here's to early, and often, returns...

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Ohbucksclan20's picture

Coach Tressel approves!! Honestly love that day is taking special teams seriously. Underrated part of the game.

Go Bucks!

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Considering what a pain in the ass Maryland's special teams under Barnes were against us I am glad he is on our staff now. Looking forward to possibly seeing some special teams magic, maybe an actual kickoff or punt return for a TD.

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

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

Agreed. I think having it be his primary focus will be key.

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Seattle Linga's picture

Was watching a game clip yesterday from the 80's and when we kicked off to start the game, we kicked it out of bounds. Made me laugh how some things can bring back some bad memories.

Here we come dabo !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

Seattle Sounders 2019 MLS Champions

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fishleehooker's picture

Special Teams never was a priority.  Not IMO.  In the Iowa AND Purdue losses that cost us our dreams, both games featured the other teams scoring TDs on fake kicks. It cost us 2 seasons. The second one was obvious, but the first was pretty predictable too.  

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hetuck's picture

1. I will be curious to see if he keeps the Meyer kickoff strategy. 

2. I look forward to Garrett Wilson catching the pass from Chrisman on the fake punt. The design of that play at Maryland was the slickest I've seen in a long time. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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Steelydan54's picture

NCAA doing its best to eliminate kickoff return from the game. Would love to see the Buckeyes have a team capable of averaging returns past the 25 yd line just to show off. 

Steelybuck54

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Dstacify's picture

One aspect of ST that was never great under Meyer was the kicking game (excluding punters, Meyer had two very good ones in Johnston and Chrisman). Hopefully that ends up changing under Day and Barnes. Haubeil was kind of hit or miss in the PK department last season so hopefully he takes a major leap in that regard in year 2 in that role.

11 Strong.

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ClarkGrswld4's picture

agreed but I think he was better than Nuerenberger which makes me wonder why he wasn't the starter before Sean got hurt to begin with. Not as extreme but kind of a Brendan White situation if you ask me

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Dstacify's picture

I do think Haubeil was better than Nuernberger (Sean wasn't all that great to begin with) but he also seems easily rattled by the environment and the crowd noise when he kicks which is NOT what you want in a placekicker. Case in point that ugly shank he had against Purdue that was 100% due to him being rattled by the crowd. Hopefully he does a better job of tuning that stuff out this coming season.

11 Strong.

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Scooter's picture

Day hired Barnes because he was impressed with Barnes’ work last season at Maryland, where he led the Terrapins’ defensive play calling efforts last season in addition to his roles as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.

Sounds like he had a lot on his plate.  Sort of like what FSU's defensive staff may be doing.

Scooter

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Stoicpaisano's picture

And he developed two LBs into 2nd team all conference players. Watson was an Illinois grad transfer who had never been a full time starter. 

Brooks was listed at nickel, but played mostly in the box, leading the team in TFL. I’m interested in seeing what type of personnel packages Hafley prefers.

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Dstacify's picture

It sounds like Barnes is mostly going to be working with the DBs on defense. The LB development will probably mostly be on Washington. A big reason why Barnes wore so many hats last season was no doubt due to Durkin being away from the team and the coaching staff being shorthanded as a result (remember Durkin is a defensive-minded HC). That won't be an issue here given that Day has two DCs already in Mattison and Hafley.

11 Strong.

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Stoicpaisano's picture

It was muddled but I was trying to emphasize how LBs were a strength, though Barnes had to wear many hats. I hope ST turns out the same way here now that he can ‘drill down’, so to speak.

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Dstacify's picture

IIRC didn't Maryland also have a pretty dangerous return game last season (I specifically remember Ty Johnson returning a kick for a score against scUM and he did it against us in 2017 as well)? We all know how reliable KJ Hill is at fielding kicks but if Barnes is able to turn him into an explosive returner as well that's an added bonus. As far as our coverage teams go last year they were actually pretty good (2017 was when they had issues).

11 Strong.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

ST better damn sure still be a priority. That punt unit, WITHOUT A DOUBT, legit won us some games last year. The Senator would've shed a tear.

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

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Dstacify's picture

Chrisman is returning. So I'm not worried about the punt game in the slightest. That being said they shouldn't take that position lightly in terms of recruiting. IIRC Chrisman was a pretty highly touted recruit when we found him (3-star out of La Salle, number 1 ranked punter in the 2016 class).

11 Strong.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

It's not just Chrisman though. They need runners and gunners that take pride in working on the punt team like TMAC and the like.

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

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Trebor40's picture

^^^^ The importance of punt team was what won us several games! The difference in starting field position just strangled opposing teams and if we had a more functional defense would have served us well in the playoffs!

Side note rant - notice how when we got embarrassed the national media was Ohio State was a mistake, then when Clemson humbled Notre Dame it was Notre Dame does not belong - yet with Bama being destroyed CRICKETS! 

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

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Monclovabuckeye's picture

"Going to bring a lot of value to us.”

It's amazing how quickly these new coaches pick-up the jargon.

I don't give a damn for the whole state of Xichigan.

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tcm1968's picture

Still think it's crazy that we had Urban Meyer for 7 years, unlimited talent, top end speed, a number of cupcake games over those 7 years a NOT ONE TD return on a kickoff scored by our Buckeyes in the Urban Meyer era... just crazy..

Go Bucks!

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DefendYoungstown's picture

That's a head scratcher for sure...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Absolutely. You never succeed at what you don't try. 60% of kick offs and punt returns should be returned. Great coaching will teach the decision making. Also ensure proper catching and securing the ball to keep drops or fumbling at nearly zero percent. We should have significant return yardage often.
May not happen but I would love to see kickoffs go past the back of the end zone. The huge return yardage is a back breaker. Great coverage stopping them inside the 15 or 20 is fabulous but missed tackling assignments gives up huge yardage or a score. With improved defense we stop them with 3 and out and go back on offense.

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Rockfordbuckeye's picture

I am hopeful to see special teams improve next year - it’s been painful to watch for too long. 

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