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Kerry Coombs and the Bad 2018 Defense

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zeketolliver's picture
December 31, 2018 at 11:04am

I finally had a chance to listen to the Dubcast this morning. We heard, yet again, discussion of how much blame Schiano deserves for the mostly bad (p!$$ poor) defense we fans were treated to this year.

I still wonder how much of that lies directly with Schiano and how much with a horrendous confluence of events, which begin with Kerry Coombs.

1. Kerry Coombs was the position coach for, what 5 1st round CB's over 6 years, and 4 in the last three draft cycles. While you can argue few coaches have the opportunity to coach as much talent as Coombs had, but it is also my understanding that no other coach has put that many CB's into the first round in such a short period of time.

2. After performing so well in terms of coaching his position, Coombs left for the NFL after last season. While I have no qualms with his replacement, Taver Johnson, I don't think it is a stretch to say Johnson is a drop-off in terms of talent from a coaching perspective.

3. Of those 4 1st round picks from the Ohio State CB room, 3 were underclassmen. So, while Ohio State has recruited well, losing 4 talented guys from that room, perhaps 2 of them might have been expected to be on the roster in 2018, but none of them were. It is quite possible the remaining talent after the 2018 draft simply isn't of the same quality as in previous years, and that isn't necessarily a knock on this year's group, but damn that is a lot of talent absent from small, but important, position group.

4. I'm no so sure Meyer, or Schiano, expected Schiano to still be in Columbus this year. I have no idea what the actual plan was, but it sure looked like Greg was gonna be off to Tennessee as the HC for 2018. And then the fan base changed the mind of Tennessee trustees, and we got Schiano back for 2018.

5. Thanks to the NCAA rule change, Ohio State added a fifth defensive coach and Co-DC in Grinch. I have no idea what to think of Grinch at this point. I feel like his resume is better than Bill Davis (relatively speaking), but the 2018 defense was bad and he was 1 of 2 major changes to the defensive coaching room this season. STILL, I feel like the loss of Coombs in addition to adding a 5th voice, and 2 new voices overall to the defensive coaching staff could have resulted in some serious issues if all said coaches were not on the same page in terms of message, scheme, and talent evaluation.

6. I feel like Bill Davis and the LB's deserve a separate bullet point to themselves on this list. Again, I don't know how good of a coach Bill Davis is, and I know LB was one of the youngest positions on the team this season, but the 2018 performance of the LB's overall might be the worst in my history of watching Ohio State. The next closest might be the year after Hawk, Carpenter, and Schelegel all left for the NFL. I think all of the starters from 2007 eventually went to the NFL, but those guys were young and they and the defense did not perform as well overall, though that year was Laurianitus' coming out party. And, hell, they went to the National Championship that year. (1st world college football problems)

7. The loss of Bosa cannot be understated in my opinion. I grant the defense gave up 75+ yard touch downs starting with Oregon State and on through Northwestern (with a one game pseudo hiatus against scUM). But, the loss of Bosa set the team back tremendously and forced an already shaky defensive coaching staff to essentially reinvent the wheel in the middle of the season. Also, I'm not sure if anybody remembers, but Ohio State lost to Purdue by 29 points the same week Bosa officially ended his Ohio State playing career. I honestly think Bosa leaving the team was a massive blow to this team in terms of morale. I feel like the 2018 defense made this team susceptible to that kind of loss on any giving night IF the Offense had a bad game. Now, in my opinion, the blow-out loss against such a bad Purdue team with ONE offensive weapon is completely inexcusable, but I do think it telling that particular performance came on the heels of Bosa's withdrawal from Ohio State.


All that said, I think it important some changes are made to the defensive coaching staff. The 2018 defense is not championship caliber, and I think the coaching HAS to get better if Day is to have ANY shot at continuing the existing golden age of Ohio State football.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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