Let’s get it done! I have high hopes for a solidified LB corps this season
I still think that once Mitchell gets onto the field and makes big plays that he will be playing, a lot.
Fields of Dreams
How does that get a down vote? Outside of a fat finger slip.
I've been saying all spring that we will probably see LB play by platoon. I have a good feeling about the LBs which makes this years defense a real force.
Thats fine and all, but what happens when we play a up tempo team that doesn't let us substitute players? I want fast LB on the field in our base defense. Not sure I would consider Tuf a fast LB.
I think Al Washington knows what he's doing.
Our linebacker recruiters were great at recognizing 3 star talent and terrible determining real 5 star talent. I hope Washington overcomes this issue. I do not understand how we missed on so many.
Can't wait to start the season! I'm done lamenting last year's defense and ready to see the new and improved product. Go Bucks!!
"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM
Anyone concerned about Mitchell getting so much praise early on saying he was pushing for a starting spot, and now not so much noise?? Feels like he’s gonna be primarily on special teams again, which imo sucks. I like Borland and his leadership but no way is he better than either Mitchell or Browning to start. If Borland starts to struggle early on, I seriously hope Washington will make the switch unlike Davis
How do you know if Browning and Mitchell are better than Borland? You don't. And don't refer to last year. Al Washington said so himself in this article that the linebackers had a clean slate, and Borland (and Werner) still impressed and still kept their jobs.
Serious question: did you play D1 football? Do you have access to practices?
We need to play D1 football to have an opinion? I cant stand when people say that. I guess the Bill Belichick shouldn't be picking his starting LBs.
With that being said, i agree with your second point. I will wait to see them on the field before I pass judgement on who should be playing.
another serious question: after last years awful performance by arnette, borland, and werner - don't you think opposing teams are going to target those 3 players and a MAKE them show they can make plays? if i was running the other teams offense, i'd do just that.
Exactly, I would run a heavy dose of RPO right at Werner early and often and make him stop it a few times. I would also run a lot of fades at Arnette. I am thinking that Arnette has a big year this year along with the rest of the DBs.
Ohio Against the World
Buckeye1964,Washington’s “Look @ the game film” comment, which are edited for ease of grading. Borland and Werner graded out 90% or better all year. So out of 72 defensive plays, Werner & Borland took care of their assignments 65 times rounding up, so on 7 plays they failed. Some of the bad plays you saw probably were not entirely their fault. When your DL isn’t getting a push even Lawrence Taylor will look bad on a few plays. Just like everyone blamed Beck for the play calling when Warinner was calling the plays. Borland also gets everyone lined up correctly. Werner was a first year starter last year, things should slow down for him now. I think we saw that the last few games against Washington & tsun.
MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS
I like Borland and his leadership but no way is he better than either Mitchell or Browning to start.
And you base this knowledge on?
[Mod edit: Changed first sentence to a quote for clarity.]
My fear is this is another Barrett and Haskins scenario. One is more talented and has more potential it one is a leader and has seniority
Buckeye fan in the heart of Badger territory.
Come on. Do you really think Washington walked in here to make a commitment to Borland like Urban did for JT? Washington is not in a position to risk failure by playing a lessor player.
I agree with Allinosu, I believe that the Barrett-Haskins situation is completely different. JT was a 4 year starter and captain and one of the best leaders the Buckeyes have had in recent memory. You can't teach leadership, and JT was the epitome of leadership. We also don't know if that one more year Haskins had to develop wasn't needed. Again, we are all on the outside looking in.
The best linebackers will get on the field. I hate to say Washington has no loyalty to the upperclassmen, but he doesn't. With reading all these updates, how do we know that Borland wasn't playing poorly last year because of injury? I have to trust the coaches.
Borland’s ceiling is lower than the level of play we need at MLB.
What's your current coaching salary ?
Here we go with another couch coach who believes he knows more that the coaches do even though he hasn't been to practice.
Weimerad - I have concerns with Borland/Werner based on the product I've seen on the field. However, the coaches are watching tape and observing the LBer play in practice, and if Washington says these are the best we got, I believe him.
Hopeful the new scheme will work wonders.
Two different coaching staffs have said these are the best three LB’s we have. I will take their word for it and root for whoever is in the game. Go Bucks
If a puppy doesn't bite, it won't ever be vicious. Keep dreaming Coach Washington.
"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine
All dogs bite.
It will if you beat it. - M. Vick
Think Coop used to say, "if a dog is going to bite, it's going to bit as a pup"
Often times that right, but hope it's not case here.
Cooper had a bunch of those Cooperisms. I wish he'd write a book.
If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die.
"It's time to get your chicken dinner and get on the bus"
"Time to put the hay in the barn"
I read blitz
I’m starting to think Werner might pull a Gareon Conley / Terry McLaurin / Paris Campbell and have Buckeye fans singing a different tune this fall.
Im not going to buy in 100% until I see these guys produce on the field, but this sort of high praise usually seems to come before someone has a big year. Consider me intrigued.
Werner has the talent, he is fast and can cover. Also made some nice hits on special teams. He just seemed to be thinking too much last year.
"You win with people" — Woody Hayes
Absolutely. After his freshman year on ST, we were all very high on his potential. I'm excited to see his development this year and I think we'll all be happy by season's end.
Werner get's blown up in the run. He can't get off blocks, gets run over. He's too small.
6'3'' 239 isn't exactly small. I'll reserve judgement on the entire LB core until i see them play a couple games under the new regime.
^^^^^^ This, Werner had a terrible sophomore year yet he was a true standout his freshman year and clearly was solid in coverage. While I also agree that Tuf will likely become a situational player and have far more reps on first down as well as redzone I do not believe that is the case for Werner - he is willing to hit (i.e. special teams gunner) and can cover so there is not much of reason to pull him!
I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk
I am not going to lie, I was skeptical of Werner at first. But that dude was all over the field last year. He is the one I am least worried about.
When a new set of coaches comes to the same conclusion on talent as the last set, you have to believe. That said, I believe Washington and Mattison will develop players better and be willing to change out players when necessary. Coupled with a new scheme, I have confidence in the LBs this year. In some respects, I am glad Washington is settling on the same set of LBs. It means last years experience can be put to use. I am optimistic Linebacker may not be strength. I don’t think it will be a weakness. That’s enough.
Just dont play 2-3 LB on the line of scrimmage all season and Im good.
You don't want Borland playing between the tackles, then chasing after the RB 10 yards down the field?
I agree Borland wasn't good last year. But all I ask is everyone gives the kid a fair shake heading into this season. If he's not good again then yeah it's fair to criticize. But being humble now and pulling for him to do well is better then eating crow later.
Noon games suck
Ur right glass city. Very nicely said.
Borland and Werner had their problems last year. You have to trust the evaluations that the new coaching staff has performed. We shall soon find out if scheme was actually the issue last year. Plus, with the different packages we keep hearing about, perhaps the coaching staff can keep the right mix of LBs on the field.
All we can go on right now is trust, so that’s what I’m going to do but, it’s COACH speak saying they didn’t watch last years film. Every single coach has poured over last years film, it’s vital information to every coach, they would want to know, was it bad play, bad coaching, etc, some players are practice warriors and others freeze in actual games. They won’t bash Davis, Schiano etc but since they are sticking and going with status quo. Players, I’m optimistic, that they believe last years coaches were a big part of not utilizing our players properly
Seeing that all year long over and over again may have been the most frustrating experience of my football watching career lol
I disagree. 2-3 LB on the line of scrimmage is a great scheme for our Field Goal block unit.
Hopefully last year's LB play was because of play calling and coaching. I have no doubt the kids can play, but we cannot have the same outcome as last year.
Think it is clear last year’s weaknesses on D were because of scheme/coaching. There is no other explanation.
Werner and Borland, the two linebackers that drew the most criticism from the fan base last year, have been the two that Washington and Mattison have been more effusive with in their praise.
There really is no other explanation. Especially with how much praise Werner has received. I guess we'll find out soon.
I think that Werner's biggest issue was getting off blocks. Hopefully the staff has taught him to use his hands to keep blockers from getting to his body.
Some players become completely different when they get experience under their belt. The game slows down and all that talent is able to shine thru
Some players become completely different when they get experience under their belt.
As well as hearing every day for the past year how bad they were last year.
I'm sure they worked their tails off this off-season to prove they belong on the field. I'm glad they didn't throw in the towel and I am pulling for them to be beasts this year. If they struggle, Next Man Up.
Could definitely see a Borland/Mitchell type platoon we saw with grant and McMillan. I know Browning is technically 2nd string behind tuf, just feels like he’s a little more multiple and maybe not pigeon holed into MLB so could also see time elsewhere
You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton
I think the "platoon" will be with Borland and Browning at MIKE, as it seems like Browning is going to sub in for Tuf in the nickel and on passing downs, while also giving him and Harrison a breather at the WILL occasionally. So not a starter but he'll get a good amount of snaps.
I actually believe Browning will end up at Will next season when Harrison (2020) moves on, THEN a Tuf/Mitchell rotation with Mitchell owning most the snaps.
So it really wasn't BD and UFM playing favorites... how can that be when so many knew better!!!
Who would have thought? It made perfect sense to me that high paid coaches would intentionally play inferior players and risk their jobs in doing so.
This reinforces what I've thought for a while now. Last year's struggles were more about scheme (and some conflicts within the defensive staff) than it was about talent and/or the players' willingness to do the things necessary to develop.
Harrison is obviously a flat out lock at weak-side linebacker. Werner has the potential for a major breakout now that he'll be free of whatever they had him trying to do last year. Plus, he'll be fresh since he'll be coming out of the lineup frequently to make room for the Bullet.
And the importance of calling the correct defensive signals cannot be overestimated - so Borland is apparently, the solid choice at MLB. I expect a nearly complete turnaround for the position group as a whole -
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers
Methinks Botland will come out when we deploy the Bullet. Better to take him out than the best pass covering LB in Werner. Then send Malik on the blitz :)
It’s been reported several times that Werner’s spot comes off in most of the the 2LB sets to make room for the Bullet.
Not for the Bullet so much - but the coaches have said that Browning could come in for Borland in obvious passing situations -
Agreed PHI. Everyone is focusing on Borland and Weiner when the dline had it's share of lost gap integrity and the DBs were taking bad angles and blown tackles. Some of what the complaints were about like Borland chasing RBs was him coming out of his gap trying to make a tackle by some ones blown gap responsibility. I'm not saying there were not problems at LB but that singling out on area when there was other areas just as bad is crap. Letterman Row used film to show how far off the couch potato coaches were in their analyses.
Yes, Allinosu. I saw the same thing on Letterman Row. And I agree with everything you said.
I would only add that since our DBs will be mixing in some zone with press man coverage in the new scheme - they will have a better view of what's developing in front of them more often. That'll help with tackling on the back end, as well.
Speaking of Zach Boren - did you happen to notice what he said about Bryson Shaw, by any chance? High praise from a credible former Buckeye defender. It was enough for me to keep a watchful eye on that young man - as early as this season, potentially? Wow!
What were his comments on Shaw?
I'm curious because I liked this film a good bit.
Boren raved about him. As I recall, he said he wasn't only athletic enough - but more importantly, smart enough to pick up our defense quickly. Thought he was such a hard worker that he wouldn't only excel on special teams - but could conceivably press for playing time on defense much sooner than anyone else is expecting at this point.
This was more than a month ago - not sure if you could still dig it up on that site or not -
Shaw for sure. Plus I haven't seen Tim May so excited about a player like he is about Proctor. We only have a little more than a week to see ourselves. I'm just as excited about seeing the defense as the offense.
Phi, your last point is spot on. Last year, for some odd reason, they had the secondary calling the plays in and setting up the defense. This year it will once again be the responsibility of the MLB to "QB" the defense. I think Tuf will shine here and this will be critical for their success. I also believe that Browning has never picked up this aspect of the game up and has kept him from being everything everyone thinks he could be.
West Coast Buckeye
I think much of the concerns of last year's performance by Werner and Borland will be assuaged by the very fact we won't have a dysfunctional scheme with dysfunctional DCs where one had his foot out the door and everyone was trying to work through the awkwardness of having to work together for a whole season.
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
Personally I find this pretty encouraging that last year's issues were a result of poor schemes, and in the case of Borland, injury.
They spent a year learning what not to do. Now it's time to let them loose!
"No we don't give a da*n 'Bout the whole state of *ichigan"
I hope better coaching and schemes help. But I have serious questions about Borland until I see it in game action. He was dreadful last year.
Werner has the tools but couldn’t get off blocks and was out of position. Hopefully that has been fixed.
Stay golden, Ponyboy.
In rewatching a lot of last year's games, it seems that Werner was doing exactly what was asked of him, taking up a blocker, slowing up the play and helping someone from the backside make the tackle. It happens over and over again, but there's never anyone there to make the play. IMO he trusted his teammates to do their 1/11, and the entire team was let down.
Brutus, you seem to have a serial downvoter after you.
Shocking lol. I just think anytime someone has something positive to say about Werner people get triggered.
I have faith the staff made the right choices. Can't say they are playing any favoritism as most of the staff had no ties to any of these guys last season. I can't wait to say the Bullets are back baby let's roll.
Breaking news: despite the key board coaches saying the opposite and calling for players to be benched, it appears that the linebackers we had last year really were the best players, and that the group as a whole was just really poorly coached.
Play them all, Al. They all need game experience in the event of an injury.
Seems like coaching and scheme were the biggest problems with last year’s D. Im still a shell shocked....the Bucks gave up so many explosive plays and drive-extending PI calls it was completely unacceptable. Let’s hope this is resolved.
Hopefully our coaches are getting it right. Let those who do best pre season start. But if the performance is lacking...hopefully some others get meaningful snaps and then from there decide. There are guys that do good in practice and camps and games...then there are those that turn on the juice once it is game time. Hopefully the coaches can spot the difference and make changes if needed. I'll put my trust in them as I have no other choice lol.
After last season’s disappointment, I hope for Borland and Werner’s sake they get it right. But if they get gashed again this year, a change would be mandatory ....
But will they play back or the line?
Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals! - Butch Cassidy
So Davis and Washington both saw who were the same best linebackers? How can that be?
I have the #fireWashington post template already prepared. Hopefully, i won't need it.
It shouldn't take long if we see Werner get caught up in the wash again and again and not be able to complete a tackle in space or Borland being to slow to close a gap. I hate the fact that last year was last year and this is all these new Defensive coaches can draw on besides what they see in practice but like Brendon White last year, I hope they dont wait to make corrections before it is to late. I still get the willy's knowing we have Mattison here.
Jim Harbaugh is to coaching what Lou Glutz is to Motor sales.
until if see them actually perfrom - i'm not sold.
Ouch! Werner is obviously the slowest linebacker since joe Montana.
I have to return some videotapes
last year...62-39..who the heck were the defensive coaches on that team we beat.....
The praise from Washington and Mattison on Borland and Werner can be viewed a couple of ways. Either those guys still aren't very good but we just don't have better talent behind them to step in, or -- and this is what I believe -- those guys are very good but just weren't comfortable with the scheme.
They replaced pretty much all the defensive staff, so those guys come in with a real clean slate. No loyalties to guys that played, no loyalties to the guys they recruited, no blind spots for certain players etc etc. For those guys to come to the same conclusion as the coaches last year (as it seems) speaks volumes. We know for sure there is talent there, now lets hope the scheme fits them better this year. Gonna be an exiting year on defense......
This better be because of them actually being the best on the team and not seniority. I’ll find out that by our first game. Hopefully it was just because of the scheme like laurinitis seemed to think it was
53 comments in and I can’t believe I’m the 1st to say this, but does anyone else think this is just coachspeak and talking them up as a way to soften the blow of them losing their job?? That is definitely my gut reaction. Anyone that has ever coached before will admit that the conversation you have with a player before cutting him or his playing time goes like this. You tell them how great they are and that the team is better because of them and so on. My prediction is both Werner and Borland start, but Mitchell, Browning, and maybe Pope see the majority of the minutes early on before taking over the starting spots when the meat of the schedule gets here. This happens all the time in basketball. A certain player may start, but a different guy is in the game when it actually matters. I see Werner/Borland playing the first couple series and then coming out. And then the same thing after halftime. I could be wrong, but that’s all I can think of every time Washington and Mattison have spoke on the topic
I posted in another thread semi-same thing but different take. Coaches saying they hardly looked at last years tape is coach speak, they poured over it, you can take that to the bank. Where our take is different, I think they would be cornered into admitting Davis and dB coaches, were awful last year. Schiano wasn’t much better. I charted last years game and shockingly, when Schiano called yo a blitz up the middle, it caused the defense over 50% disruptions or TFL plays but he only dialed that up less than 10%, in our vanilla corner press defense, we continually got smoked in 2nd and 5, especially against off tackle or trap runs. I’m convinced it was scheme
I have seen successful coaches who have taken that approach. It is the seniors/incumbent job to lose. They play in the early games but are substituted as needed, The new/underclassmen gets reps, proves himself in the film room, keeps a great attitude and by the middle/end/big games of the season the starters have flipped.
Not saying that is happening here but it does happen !
Are you fockin me , I see a lot of cut backs, slants and especially wheel routes. No way Borland or Werner can stop those plays.
Are you in practice every day? Do you see how all these guys perform each day, and who can (or can't) do this or that?
Coaches don't always get it right, and it's perfectly fine to have a different view than they do, but it's pretty telling that 4 or 5 different coaches have watched all the practice, all the film etc etc, and have come to a conclusion. What makes you so certain Werner and Borland can't stop those plays?
I just hope we don’t see a 70 yard run against us by FAU. The internet meltdown would rock us back to the dark ages.
I'm going to stay optimistic through the first 4 games.. they always say "does it pass the eye test?" We'll find out soon enough..
As a Reds fan.. I was not optimistic when Luis Castillo was named Opening Day starter.. turns out, I was way wrong. If Borland, Werner, and Harrison are our Go to 3 LB's.. lets ride them. This coaching staff is not blind to the results from the LB's last year, they are getting paid plenty of cash to determine who the best 3 are. We are all just arm chair QB's.. or LB's right now..
I can't believe how pessimistic this article is, along with many of the commenters. Both Mattison and Washington have coached and been around high-level linebacker play - if they say these guys are good, I believe them. Anyone remember Curtis Grant? Or generally anyone on our 2013 defense? The same song was sang the following year about the returning starters, and with different coaching, we won a national championship with most of the same players.
Anyone with football knowledge will tell you that the defensive scheme last year didn't give our guys good chances to succeed. We'll be fine.
Mattison and Washington have coached and been around high-level linebacker D-line play
This is the most concerning part of the team. Tuf will be great against the Wisconsins of the world, but hopefully we see a 3rd safety / nickelback (Wade?) out there with Werner & Harrison on passing downs.
I believe you'll see Werner coming off for the bullet. In those cases, I would expect you'd see Browning on the field at MLB.
I'm not sure why you got a downvote as I'm pretty sure that's their plan on how to use the LBs this year, so I +1'd you.
New coach, clean slate...same evaluation on who the top LBs are. Either these guys really aren't that bad and it was Schiano's scheme or the younger guys simply aren't any better right now. Or I suppose Washington could have lied about the clean slate (highly doubtful). I'm going to guess it was the scheme last year (plus Borland not being 100%). I guess we'll find out.
Class of 2010.
I believe that a lot of people get caught up with the ratings for these guys coming out of high school, and just assume they are going to be studs in college. Don't forget these guys are typically super athletic guys and are "see ball get ball" in high school because they out-athlete everyone on the field. They come into college with no real understanding of the position, and generally need time to develop.
For every Andy Katzenmoyer (high rated player who performed at an elite level), there are 2 guys like AJ Hawk and James Lauranaitis (low rated guys who performed at an elite level).
I believe that a lot of people get caught up with the ratings for these guys coming out of high school, and just assume they are going to be studs in college.
Happens every single year.
I simply don't buy into anyone's hype until I actually see production on the field. Who gives a crap what they did in highschool highlight films or how well they tested at some combine / camp... let's see it happen on the field. Way too many people have favorites when it comes to recruits and then get butthurt when they take a little while to play or underperform. Recruiting rankings are obviously an inexact science and there are plenty of misses.
My guess is that if Borland and Werner haven't improved from last season we'll see it early.
If that is the case, just have to hope the coaches start giving opportunities to the guys behind them to see if we've got a player behind them that can get it done more effectively.
But if those guys have done enough to prove themselves then they should start, and if the guys behind them have it in them to get on the field, they will.
Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.
will be a good study. Same players, different coaches. One way or another we'll know which is to blame.
"just a guy, nothing more, nothing less" ~ Some troll then *poof* he was gone
Small sample set, but currently leaning towards scheme and coaching as the problem.
I believe both Werner and Borland will improve - yet it is also clear that the Bullet and Browning will replace them for close to half the game, so everyone should get their way regarding seeing other players play!
When different coaches come to same conclusion with regard to who the starting linebackers should be maybe it’s time for people to accept that those guys are in fact the best players on the team at the present time.
Great HS players often fail to become great college players just as great college players often fail to become great (or even passable) NFL players. At each level of competition the need to supplement athleticism with technique, awareness and knowledge becomes increasingly important for success. Fans always assume that every athletically gifted HS recruit will be equality capable of making that mental transition to faster and more competitive college ball. That is simply not true and the evidence supporting that fact is overwhelming.
I would not for a second claim that coaches never get it wrong or that some players don’t show their ability under fire better than in practice, but I have never understood the pervasive belief of some fans that many of the teams best players never see the field due to coaching bias or incompetence.
wow. we saw horrific linebacking play last year. every game was highlighted by werner and borland chasing running backs downfield. maybe poor scheme, maybe lack of talent...we debated all winter. but if we face uptempo offenses, we will not have the option to sub these guys in and out. the two ex-_ichigan coaches say they love werner and borland. i watched the manchurian candidate last night! i say wow again.
I think you also saw Harrison chasing running backs downfield last year too, probably more often than Werner, who was in coverage majority of time. Point is, the schemes sucked last year. Why can the new coaches accept that and you can't?
Playing the same guys seems strange when failure was so common last year. I trust our new (and improved) defensive coaches will improve our total team defense.
Last fall we were dismantled by Purdue. 12 months earlier we also shit the bed against Iowa. Favored by probably 20+ and losing by 30 is a post season (hopes) dumpster fire. I want to know what will happen when we find ourselves battling back. Will there be vital and intelligent info coming from the press box so we can adjust and correct problems more quickly than halftime talks ?
Losing by 5 is not great but it's not a thrashing like we have shockingly experienced in each of the last 2 years.
What is the conversation started by coach Day if we're not getting the job.done ? That's an ugly problem that I hope is gone along with the coaches that weren't retained.
I'm starting to believe that Washington and Mattison were planted here by TTUN. Starting to remind of Storm Klein starting over Shazier.
Werner broke up a Michigan touchdown. There's a lot to like about him tbh. His mistake was being a freshman coached by Bill Davis and playing in probably Schiano's worst defense ever. I trust the linebackers will be much improved this year.
Also, Borland never going to drop a fast 40 time but the dude was coming off Achilles injury. Probably shouldn't have been playing considering the circumstances but we had a bad coach.
Those same guys may very well be the best we have. But, that doesn't make me feel real confident going into the season. So the coaches may very well be right and what they're saying, but maybe they missed on all the linebacker recruits. Let's hope not. I know all us Buckeyes want to see the Silver Bullets back.
I am all about giving these guys a chance to prove themselves and they want to. When Tuff first stepped in for Chris at Mike the defense changed for the better. He solidified the middle at that point, especially against the run.
I'm am chalking last year up to an issue with Alex Grinch thinking that he was going to be the defensive coordinator when Greg was anticipating to take another job, and Greg and Alex did not jive. Wasn't too high on Tavor either. It was a hot mess.
Looking forward to watching this group! Many years we have seen a lot of guys play early with the best players showing up and making plays. Can't wait!
I guess the reply's show how clueless the posters on this board are! Let the coaches coach and watch!
Al W. and the other D staff have had plenty of practice time to assess and evaluate their players, and I like it when coaches are first to take on the risk-weight for any change. Let the players' actual game-play within any new design demonstrate differently, that there needs to be further change.