Our LBs last season had a horrible habit of diving into a sea of blocks at the LoS and taking themselves out of the play as a result (Werner and Borland in particular were most guilty of this). Hopefully Al Washington coaches them out of those habits this coming year but Borland is also injured yet again and has yet to practice under Washington so far (and I suspect Borland's Achilles injury last year in the spring played a part in his struggles for much of the year as I did feel the coaching staff rushed him back a little too quickly). So at this point unless Borland gets meaningful reps under Washington over the summer and recovers quickly I'm highly considering starting Baron Browning or Teradja Mitchell in the middle come Opening Day.
The faster Borland finds himself a seat on the bench the faster this defense gets better. I don't want to hear the injury excuse. If your'e hurt then take a seat. Way to slow to be a buckeye linebacker. I'm willing to give Werner another chance. Most of his bad play was because of taking poor angles and getting caught up in blocks with the O line. I think this can be coached up. He did show pretty good coverage skills.
The only way Borland doesn't start this coming season is if his injury is serious enough to keep him out all year. The coaching staff and his teammates all love him and he's a captain (captains rarely ride the bench for a whole season at OSU, even in rare cases like with Boeckman in 2008 the other captains tend to take offense to it when it happens). I do believe if he misses 100% of the off-season work due to his injury but is medically cleared to play in week 1 he shouldn't start though (that would 100% set him up to fail). But I think the reality is we're likely looking at the same 3 starting LBs as last year with the hope that Bill Davis's coaching was the primary source of the problem (and I'm inclined to think it was considering how much Chris Worley and Jerome Baker regressed under Davis in 2017 after playing lights out during Fickell's last season in 2016).
Since your highly considering starting Baron Browning or Teradja Mitchell in the middle come opening day, have you talked this over with Coach Washington? How did that talk go? Lol. Go Bucks
Linebacker gap control at Maryland was stunningly bad, near Biakabutuka bad.
I think I had just taken my seat just in time to see McFarland's game opening TD run.
I'm not excusing the lack of help from the safeties in the open field either.
Hindsight is, and in, 2020
The defensive play in the Maryland game was completely and utterly vomit-inducing. Nearly every single time McFarland touched the ball he was off to the races. Nearly every deep throw Tyrell Pigrome attempted was completed due to our dumbass DBs being completely incapable of turning their heads to the ball (fingers crossed Hafley fixes that this year). Meyer should've forced both Schiano and Grinch to find another way back home to Columbus after that debacle. That was Schiano's stubbornness and unwillingness to adjust killing our defense at its finest.
Agreed in the first TD. I my actual tickets were in the upper deck. Moved down to th lower level mid way through the 1st quarter. We were walking up and heard the cheer...honestly thought Ohio State May have done something. Nope.
You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton
Schiano's fall camp plan of walking the LB's up to the LoS to create confusion for the other team's OL and simultaneously make it harder to double team Bosa, or free up Young, wasn't a bad plan of attack at all. What is maddening however is the fact that it clearly WAS NOT working well, and then when Bosa went down it was time to go back to the drawing board, but the D staff just refused to change course. Hope to see some flexibility from this new staff personally
Leave one wolf alive....and the sheep are never safe
"DATA POINTS: THE SILVER BULLETS COULD NOT STOP THE RUN OR BIG PLAYS"
We don't need no stinkin data points to tell us that! ;)
Is water wet? Does a bear crap in the woods? etc etc etc
Does TTUN still suck? etc., etc.
You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!
Shocked there wasn't Captain Obvious behind that caption. Let's hope those plays hitched a trailer to the majority of defensive coaching staff from last year.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
If it was only that simple
I appreciate stats, but looking back on our defense makes me nauseous. Any running back with a pulse last year playing us, were giddy in anticipation. Call me a homer but I am expecting a return to our proud silver bullets defense.
Any RB with speed was prone to destroying our defense last year. Power backs OTOH, not so much, considering our defense did shut down both Karan Higdon and Isaiah Bowser (while Bowser's change of pace, the speedy John Moten, subsequently burned us for an 80-yd TD in the B1G Championship Game).
I am expecting a return to our proud silver bullets defense.
I feel they should NOT be called Silver Bullets unless they rank in the top 30-40 defenses in the country.
I wonder if Urban Meyer in 2018 called them, what was his phrase—a clown show?
Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !
The defense last year was like a thousand paper cuts over and over.
“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden
I saw a pretty good breakdown of this by a former Buckeye linebacker (on another site, I'm afraid - and off the top of my head, I can't recall just where at this moment. I look at a lot of different sources) But he seemed to think it was mainly scheme. In fact, he said Pete Werner, in particular, could become an absolute star in the right system.
Incidentally, he was also very high on one of our 2020 recruits who is likely to play safety. Might not play much this season - but if he's right, we could be looking good there down the road.
I am very optimistic that the new defensive staff will turn things around. That wouldn't take much. And the talent is certainly there -
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers
Phi, I’ve heard more than one football coach say the LB problems last year were more about scheme than personnel. Hopefully we see marked improvement this year.
"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott
You seriously needed DATA POINTS to tell you what the eyes could plainly see???
Long touchdown runs vs Oregon State (80 & 73 yards) TCU (93 yeards) NW (80 yards), Maryland (80 and 75 yards).
That is just a few and ALL RUNS... And let's not even discuss that Purdue game...
Even in THE GAME, UM still scored 39 points.
We don't need data points to tell us what our eyes could clearly see. Our D was horrible last year...
The fact that you used roughly seven data points to prove that data points aren’t necessary to explain something is rather amusing.
Maybe you should actually read what I wrote.
And I use six data points not seven.
I did read it. You used seven (not six) very specific data points as evidence that the defense was bad. Two long runs against Ore State, two long runs against Maryland, long runs against TCU and Northwestern, and Michigan’s 39 points scored. You even went so far as to give the exact yardage of the runs.
I’d call that “data”: (noun) facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.
The data just confirmed what we saw. Sometimes our eyes and minds play tricks on us. Not last season. The data points also let us know just how bad that defense was in context. Yep, it was awful.
Captain Obvious salutes this analysis!
Ha! Apparently I should have kept scrolling through the comments before making my own Stx.
Well the 2019 season will yield the answer to this question about the 2018 defense: Was it the talent or the scheme?
Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72
Pro-type DTs still make a difference. Some holes were so big inside a few of us side by side could have run thru them. It ain't all the lbs fault. Win the line of scrimmage...with bigger, stronger DTs and the LBs look a lot better. We slant a lot because we don't have NFL type biggies to handle double teams or defeat one on one bigger OGs. NOT talking about pass rushing here, nor fat slobs. Even Landers got planted a few times. Seems our D inside is built to stop our offense.
Interesting point. Your observation about the DTs would also magnify any shortcomings in the LB corp, who wold have to pick up the slack in filling the run D.
There was more than one occasion that I saw DEs run right past the QB and RB, getting too far into the backfield and hanging the LBs out to dry.
You’re correct in saying that the issues are specific to each play, and all the blame shouldn’t be placed only on the LBs.
Under Meyer and probably with LJ's approval the Bucks liked the quicker faster DT's instead of the space eater/stonewall type DT's. This gives them the ability to play the field from sideline to sideline, quciker to play the run gaps and shed O line blocks. We hardly ever recruit DT's that are that much over 310 lb's and most are in the 290- 300 lb range. Depending on which type you recruit I would imagine the schemes you play would have to be different depending on the type of player you are recruiting and you wonder why with supposedly experienced coaches they didn't or would not adjust up for the type of players they had.
It is apparent, at least to me, that they did not do a good job of scheming and maybe even coaching up the D for what they were doing. Or were definitely not on the same page. I think you have to look at the change over in D coaches also that has happened. Besides LJ last year just about all the D coaches were new compared to with what Meyer started with. We have lost Fick, Coombs,Vrabel in the last 2 or three years, that is a big loss in what we know are very good coaches.
Ahhh you may be on to something, but 350lb DT's aren't up on High Street waiting to enroll at Ohio State. The whole unit was terribly undisciplined.
Be happy Greg Schiano is go, went, gone! And very good riddance.
iMHo, Urban Meyer’s biggest, by far, weakness was hiring friends. Schiano had not been a DC for more than a decade and should never gotten the job.
What’s crazy, Leatherneck, is most of us (including me) were ECSTATIC when Schiano stayed on after the Tennessee “Charlie Foxtrot” in 2017. Something was waaaay off between him & Grinch (who was a bit of a head scratcher hire, TBH). If I recall (and I don’t remember what the source was), he (Schiano) admitted the scheme was too complicated.
That begs the question: why the hell wasn’t the scheme changed after it became apparent it wasn’t working? Thank goodness Hafley and Mattison seem to be overhauling and simplifying the whole approach to how we play D.
Someday we will get the story of the war that was occurring between Greg and Grinch. They obviously did not mesh and the scheme showed it by players being out of position and confused to what was coming.
Fickell’s Fault for having ambition
Isn't Studrawa a friend also?
Wait. Are you trying to say we weren’t good against the run?
You win with people.
I still have nightmares of #20 getting tossed out of the rush lane like a toy and #32 getting outrun by offensive tackles. It was ugly
Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0
Heacock used to say “go through their throat”
Fickell used to say “It’s 11 on 11, somebody has got to whip someone’s ass”
Mattison calls it “knock back”
The message is the same...the DL must WIN UP FRONT...and win by DESTROYING The Blocking Scheme
”That way the LBs can play their game”
be careful you people critisizng this article ..i did that once and got banned for a couple weeks ...long live freedom of speech...haha not on this site
Bigger question now for me is this year will be how much does personnel change, was Borland just hurt or should our young bucks get in, same with Pete W? This year should answer a lot about last year personnel or schemes
Mattison and Washington want to get fired
The whole defense was horribly undisciplined, I mean stuff you see youth league players not do!! The LB's they were bad, but the DL didn't play the run particularly well for the first 8 games, Chase Young was a liability in the running game. He wasn't the only one who did not stay in their gaps take bad angles. I don';t know how many times I saw a play start inside to see Harrison or Hillard gamble and over run the play to the inside and watch the RB pop it to the outside. We used to watch the replay and laugh how basic the mistake was. As far as Borland early he was in the right place as was Werner but they missed tackles and I see people giving props to Damon Arnette yet he is the most undisciplined player on this defense!. To blame any one player or say they were at fault is not honest.The whole unit was BAD, poorly coached!! Most of the big plays they gave up was because of a basic and fundamental mistake. They must regain discipline.
LB's concept was a fucking nightmare!
"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.