State Of The Position: Ohio State's Linebackers Return Three Starters, Bring in New Coach After Underperforming Last Season

Comments Show All Comments

OSU725's picture

I’ll say it, the prospects of Werner and Borland starting in the LB core for the next two years worries me, hopefully they prove me wrong. 

HS
Jay_sizzle's picture

I have no problem with Werner since he is our best coverage LB , if he gains weight and fixes his positioning he is straight, but borland? Terrible 

HS
WorthyBuck's picture

Borland is not big, fast, and athletic to play here.  He is a liability.  

HS
gobucks1966's picture

I agree 100% and what scares me is we don't have anyone better behind them at least it seems that way if they start game one. Now the staff could be playing the game like they do at qb and getting kids to work harder and over take those two. I'm not sold on Warner in pass coverage either not sure were that came from that he is good in coverage.

Denny

HS
kybuckfan's picture

Did you watch the Michigan game?  He saved a touchdown and a two point conversion with pass coverage.  That should matter.  He also led entire team in passes defended.  

HS
fritziebuck's picture

Werner is one of the worst I've seen in a long time.  The guy could not stop the run, constantly out of position.  Watching Werner in the Maryland game was pure comedy.  They made him look like a clown.  He was thrust into a starting position too early, wasn't ready.  Needs to put on 15-20lbs in the off season.   Even if he puts on the weight, not sure he's a good enough athlete to play here.   

HS
Jay_sizzle's picture

Are you misinformed? Werner is our most athletic LB...

HS
mmp15f's picture

I'd argue Browning and Harrison over Werner, but point taken. 

Werner had his struggles last year, but he's gotten grouped in with Borland as being "non-athletic" by a lot of fans, which isn't the case. With the right coaching, I'm fairly confident that we'll see him improve quite a bit

HS
Moneymike's picture

browning and Harrison are more athletic 

HS
kybuckfan's picture

Maryland game?  Not one of those long runs was on Werner.  Watch the game again.  He's definitely athletic enough and big enough at 240 pounds.  Not sure he needs to weigh 255-260, as you've suggested.  

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Damn. The #Billydavisitis disorder will reverberate through Buckeye Land for years to come. So many talented LBs ruined by him and Schiano. They’re confidence shot. Only these guys could take the number one linebacker in the country out of high school and have him sitting behind these little slow dudes for four years. LB was one of the few positions on the whole team where I DIDNT want to see the young guys (Werner, Borland) supplant the veterans. I am really really hoping to see the guys we recruited to be All-Americans be able to attain that. 

HS
Northbrook's picture

"Ohio State does not have any linebacker commits."

That is all Bob saw.

HS
Weave77's picture

The Bobs are not impressed.

HS
ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

I'm in full wait and see mode with how Werner and Borland look in a revamped defense.  My only request for the coaches, if one of them is not working out and we see the same problems from last year, let's get some of the young athletic guys on the field.  Short leashes all around for a unit that looked lost last year.

HS
Cooper's picture

I know it’s beating a dead horse, but I am absolutely not excited about the idea of Borland starting for the next two seasons. Teradja should not have to wait until his senior season to finally make an impact. It’s a bit absurd, to be honest.

That being said, I don’t think anyone knows how the depth chart will shape up.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

HS
Buckeye614's picture

I like Craig Young at the Bullet position

HS
bd2999's picture

I am hoping the coaching change makes a big position. Given the experience in defensive coaching, the LB will have to be a big focus. They will have to be to stop those big run plays.

HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

Lots of "stars" in this group.  About time for them to step up to be sure.  I am still optimistic there are a couple studs in this group.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Malik Harrison is poised to have a landmark year.  Not very often this day in age that a player with his level of talents and potential stays for senior year. 

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

HS
B1Gbuckeye's picture

Remember how excited we were for Borland after the Army game in 2017? He had like 13 tackles in that game. He’s great against pro style and option teams, but is too slow against the spread.

HS
Spivan's picture

Speaking from personal experience...  an achilles injury will do that to you...

HS
WorthyBuck's picture

Disagree completely.  He is good against athletes the caliber pf those who play in a mid-major conference, like the guys who play for Army.  

He would be a huge liability against any offense that had good athletes.  He was clearly outmatched against Michigan in 2017, was a glaring weak spot.  And that was before the injury, so there goes that excuse. 

Borland is a lower level player who should play in the Patroit league full time.

HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

If we are to believe what Mattison has been saying, i would think we’d see adjustments in personnel along with scheme based on the opponent.  Against Wisky, I’d expect Borland in the middle. Against spread teams, I’d expect more speed there, at least the majority of the time.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

HS
CherryWine's picture

I expect Jonathan Taylor to run by Borland than

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time, no no

HS
CherryWine's picture

No. I don’t remember ever being excited about Borland. And won’t ever be. Slow, small and stiff. Liability and can’t stomach seeing him start for working more years. More talented player. Coach them up and play them 

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time, no no

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

I recall watching him chase after dudes looking like he was running in quicksand 

HS
McGrind's picture

I guess the good news is we won’t be watching a mass exodus to the League from this position group. Could even be looking at year 6 of Hilliard. 

ttun 2019 offense...same pig, different lipstick.

HS
mtrotb's picture

Let's hope not.  He has had his time.

mtrotb

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Maybe not the league but the transfer portal could be a real possibility 

HS
mathandler1's picture

Play our best,not who was starting last year on one of the worst defenses we have ever had here. Chasing behind a runner for fifty yards does not make for an experienced linebacker.

HS
BuckZealot's picture

Absolutely agree.  Play our fastest linebackers!  I would argue that our slowest linebackers could NOT be the best in any scenario. Speed kills.  Remember the lessons of the 41-14 2007 Natty which exposed the speed differential between UF and tOSU?

Enjoy the wins over *ichigan, ....I still remember the dark days of the 1990's....

HS
BuckNut_1974's picture

Chasing behind a runner for fifty yards does not make for an experienced linebacker.

 This made me laugh!!

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Agree!! I don’t give a damn who has the most experience. I want the most effective player. See when Brendan White finally came in last year.

HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

You won't have to look far to find athleticism in this group, the problem last year was how often these guys found themselves out of position and falling victim to play action.

I think Coach Washington is the right guy to have taken that spot. He's young, he's got energy, he knows how to coach up athletes, and has the fundamental sense to put them in the right spot.

This was the one group, save for Harrison, that I was hoping the entire game plan would be sort of torn down and it would be a start from scratch approach. Let the positions (other than Harrison) fight it out and absolutely put the best 3 guys on the field. Make them fight to earn every single snap. 

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

HS
Snake64's picture

I'm going to have to stop you there for a  minute. i like Washington and his energy and potential to recruit. But where are you getting this evidence he knows how to coach up the athletes and has the fundamentals to put the position in the right spots? 

The only other place he's coached linebackers was at Scum and honestly that position group was even better in 2017 than they were last year. Outside of Devin Bush the other two LB play last year was down a little from the previous year. He seems like a coach with promise in the future but i just don't see the evidence backing up that he'll save this position. Wish i shared the optimism ya'll do. And i'll be glad to eat crow if i have to but i'm just not sold this is the quick fix.

HS
BuckNut_1974's picture

100% agree. Not sure were people get this from, but I think fans need to temper their expectations a bit with him.

HS
Snake64's picture

Exactly, I think fans need to temper their expectations for Washington and Mattison both. I get why Day went after Washington (worked with him at BC and he was a hometown kid) but he hasn't really proven anything yet. His biggest bargaining chip is "recruiting" yet he hasn't landed anyone of significance at either D1 school he's worked at. Can develop a relationship with recruits but doesn't seem to have the closing ability yet.

Mattison makes me nervous as well. His position group consistently under-performed or simply didn't show up in the big games the last 2-3 years. Sure he's developed some talent into the NFL but his groups as a whole didn't do shit against good teams and caused a lot of their defensive collapses. Makes me nervous to think he's now in charge of an entire defense and we think that this won't bleed into the entire defense when the moment gets big or tensions get high?

HS
BuckIhateTTUN's picture

Good points on Mattison/Washington's histories, but I like the philosophy Mattison is bringing to the D this year with a limited number of packages the players know how to execute quickly and with precision. That alone should enable the D to take a step forward this year. All the BS formations Schiano implemented last year to confuse the opposing QB did more to confuse our own players and slow them down. And let's not forget those horrible compressed formations with 7 guys on the line that restricted lateral movement, allowing one blocker to block multiple guys and leaving no one to fill gaps or cover crossing routes (Rondale Moore really seemed to like that scheme). 

I'm not expecting miracles from Mattison and Washington--just a D that performs to its talent level. I'm willing to bet simplified scheme and better synergy between the front 7 and secondary allows our guys to excel and they get it done in 2019.

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer." - Frank Zappa

HS
CherryWine's picture

If you were looking at Borland you did 

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time, no no

HS
Port Richey Buckeye's picture

Just fix this damn mess.

Fuck eSECpn and fuck Mythigan.

HS
ohst8buxCP's picture

"Tuf Borland, second 3-time captain in Ohio State history "

*Vomits*

If him or Werner are starting AGAIN this year we're in a whole lot of trouble.

HS
Kangarooman's picture

Sounds like we're going to keep things the same....  Honestly, I'm fine to start it that way.  Give the players the benefit of the doubt because the scheme was an absolute train wreck.

That said, I hope Werner and Borland have shorter leashes.  I'm ready to see what Pope and Mitchell can do if Borland and Werner look the same.

HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Personally, I think we'll be fine... I think the previous staff completely over-complicated the schemes and there was too much for these kids to handle and they were routinely out of position or fooled by motion.  Let's get back to see ball, crush person carrying ball and see how that works out!  The great news - it really can't go anywhere but up from last year!

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

HS
GareBear's picture

From what I saw last year, you can also go sideways a lot ... then find yourself out of position 

Michigan sucks

HS
NOBLUE's picture

there is definitely more talent than two of the starters we had last season ...a coach with an eye for talent will see that..if the same 3 start again then i will have some doubts about the new coaching hires on the defense

HS
RBurgundy4's picture

Last year, the defensive brain trust stuck with Wint and Pryor at the one safety spot until they had no choice other than to put White in and it made a world of difference. Night and day. I think some folks possibly forget just how bad the D was until MSU, when White was inserted. It was a personnel miscalculation, clearly. That said, if the current brain trust keeps the same 3 LB's getting the lion's share of snaps I will be disappointed. My mind is open in terms of a different scheme and coaching changes, but 2 of the 3 just weren't good enough. One can tackle, but can't run a lick. The other runs really well, but can't tackle a lick. Together, they'd make one terrific LB. I'm afraid they are what they are, but I'd love to be wrong.

HS
Hovenaut's picture

Brand new season, some new faces, some new approaches...

I'm also in the optimistic line here - LBU re-emerges in Columbus.

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

HS
BtownBuckeye's picture

I hope this is not the case but, i have a feeling if we have the same starters at all 3 positions we are going too see a few transfers out of the linebacker room. 

HS
kullmack's picture

THIS IS A TERRIBLE ARTICLE LACKING IN ALL CREDIBILITY

BORLAND AND WERNER WILL NOT START THIS YEAR I HAVE INSIDE INFORMATION ON IT

IF BORLAND AND WERNER PLAY THIS YEAR THERE WILL BE AN ENTIRELY NEW DEFENSIVE STAFF NEXT YEAR AND RYAN WILL BE ON A SHORT LEASH

THOSE TWO PLAYED AHEAD OF 5 AND 4 STAR STUDS

KULLMACK

HS
kybuckfan's picture

How does this article lack all credibility? Borland and Werner are still here, but the defensive coaches are gone.  How about giving them the chance they deserve to fight for starting positions?  Apparently you didn't listen to most recent interviews, but Coach Matty is pretty high on Werner.  I'm assuming your credible inside source is in more influential position than Coach Matty.  

HS
kmp10's picture

THOSE TWO PLAYED AHEAD OF 5 AND 4 STAR STUDS

Those '5 and 4 star studs' were busts (Hilliard), perpetually confused and often out of position (Browning), or too young to make an impact (Pope, Gant, Mitchell). Pete Werner is going to play a lot, and Borland, while seemingly much too slow to be an every down MLB, adds the kind of leadership and experience on which Al Washington will lean heavily this season... and if there's "an entirely new defensive staff" in 2020, then something went abysmally wrong this coming season and Ryan Day being on a 'short leash' will be the least of his problems. 

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

HS
mmp15f's picture

perpetually confused and often out of position (Browning)

Borland and Werner were the same way. Mike LB in a pure 4-3 is not Browning's natural position, and he had a terrible position coach. He'll be a good player for us.

too young to make an impact (Pope, Gant, Mitchell)

Did you forget how well Raekwon McMillan did his freshman year in 2014? Or Ryan Shazier in 2011? 

Besides, look at all the true freshman we rotated at D-line. They were coached well and given a chance, and they made an impact.

Pete Werner is going to play a lot

One thing I'll agree with is that Werner will play a lot because I think he has the size and athleticism to become a solid LB with the improved coaching.

 Borland, while seemingly much too slow to be an every down MLB, adds the kind of leadership and experience on which Al Washington will lean heavily this season

"Leadership and experience" really don't mean much if you aren't good enough on the field. If that was enough for someone to start over another player who's better, Joe Burger would've started in 2016 when he was one of the captains. 

Everyone seems to be starting from square 1 in the linebacker room. Borland is already behind the curve with the new defense/making a case to the new coaches after missing spring, and he has his work cut out for him if he wants to beat out both Mitchell and Browning. 

HS
BuckIhateTTUN's picture

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer." - Frank Zappa

HS
CherryWine's picture

Borland. No thank you 

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time, no no

HS
BuckZealot's picture

As a captain, and the legacy of being  one of UFM's favorites, I get the loyalty to Tuf, but except for nominally getting the start, all the meaningful downs should be played by Browning and Mitchelll.

Enjoy the wins over *ichigan, ....I still remember the dark days of the 1990's....

HS
aerobuck's picture

last time OSU started a MLB like Tuf, Biakabatuka ran for 300 yards on us.

who gets the defensive call on the field?  MLB?

HS
mmp15f's picture

Might sound crazy/unlikely, but I think there's a chance Borland is 3rd on the depth chart at Mike.

HS
martin anderson's picture

I recall when forum posters were ecstatic when Borland and Werner committed and signed their LOI's 

HS
gobucks1966's picture

One thing that makes me chuckle is things like did you see this person do this and if not for Victors catch we lose to PSU another was the Hamby drop vs Texas some years ago. When we look at recruits film on here do they ever show the bad plays? No and I even had my moments as a high schooler so everyone has good games and talking about our lb's. Victor made that play and almost dropped it but who is to say Hill  or Dixon could of done the same or another TE drop that pass instead of Hamby. Hope you catch my drift because both lb's played bad as a whole last season and Victor should never play a down and I feel for Hamby that could of been anyone.

Denny

HS
stpetebuck's picture

What a difference a Day makes. 

I predict we will all be amazed by the difference ANY coach will make with the assemblage of 4-5* latent  talent.  The lb room is stacked and was severely under coached last year.    Other than Harrison, who will be off the charts, it’s anyones’ guess who the other future stars will be. 

HS
Turfgrad's picture

Wait and see.

"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.

HS
Jamarkus's picture

I’m just going to say it: Borland and Werner are just too darn white!  There, I feel better now. Thanks everyone...

Jamarkus

HS