Urban Meyer Coach's Show Recap: Changing Kickoff Coverage, Improving Targeting Process, and the Battle for Right Guard

By D.J. Byrnes on October 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm
Urban Meyer's call-in show: Nebraska, Maryland autopsy

With No. 9 Ohio State slated for a primetime tussle with Nebraska in Lincoln on Saturday, Urban Meyer took to 97.1 The Fan's airwaves Thursday to discuss all things Buckeye football with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.

Paul Keels asked Meyer if Thursday is special teams day. "Every day is special teams around here, especially after last week," Meyer joked. 

He admitted Buckeyes will make some "kicking adjustments" with they'll cover kickoffs. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over [and expecting different results]."

"The good thing is we won and beat a team we have a lot of respect for. However, there are a lot of things we can get better at."

Meyer called Larry Johnson "the best defensive line coach in the country. ... That's one position I stay out of."

"There's been some energy these last couple days," Meyer said of the now wide open right guard battle. "These last few days have been exceptional."


  • Immediately cited the snowfall in Minnesota in 2014. "That was awful."
  • But it wasn't the worst. Meyer's Utah beat BYU for a Mountain West championship, 3-0.
  • "Alex Smith was our quarterback. They shoveled off the snow so we could see the line of scrimmage."

Meyer likes watching Tom Brady play because he's "amazing" despite being a stationary target. He will continue recruiting players that can run due to "defenses these days" being so tenacious along the defensive line.

Quarterbacks coach Ryan Day calls for "top shelf throws" in the red zone.

"Ben Victor, what you're seeing now... it's nowhere close to where he can be as a player."

On tempo offense: "The key is getting those first two downs."

Mike Weber "has some momentum but he's still not the Mike Weber I'd thought he'd be." Certain situations arise, and Meyer refuses to put him in harm's way. 

Demario McCall "has done everything we've asked. He's a guy we have to make a decision soon of if we're going to redshirt him... it's something I'm watching very closely." [ED NOTE: McCall has appeared in four games, which would seemingly disqualify him from redshirting.]

Meyer called Jerome Baker's play "average" to begin the season, but noted he has some momentum going now.

On Nebraska:

  • "Very tough outfit, very well coached." 
  • "Old school" 3-4 defense. Keeps plays in front of it and tries to create turnovers."
  • "I've only coached against a defense like this a couple of times."

What can be done to improve targeting process?

  • Meyer wants safety in the game. Greg Schiano sends out tapes to local programs on how to rugby tackle.
  • "The rules are very clear. Now you need to enforce them."
  • "People are worried about the replay official? I don't care about the replay official. Denzel Ward had to walk off the field in front of 105,000 people with millions of people watching on TV. And he didn't do anything wrong." Meyer spoke with Ward's mom about it.
  • "If a mistake is made, fix it."

Damon Webb "is the most consistent player in the backend of our defense."

The 2017 class is the best Meyer's has recruited. Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah, Pete Werner, Baron Browning, Shaun Wade all drew praise from Meyer with how they've handled themselves on and off the field.

Meyer again railed against his players having to play so many road night games, because players get back to Columbus after 5 a.m. "Anybody with common sense knows we have to have a discussion about that." Cited Billy Price, who is working on his Master's degree and has to get back up Sunday at 9 a.m.

On what made his 2014 team an "offensive-line centered program."

  • ​"It was just ridiculous with the attitude... and we've missed that a little bit around here... but I see progress being made."
  • Noted it can switch, too. Their defense didn't used to be very good, and now their defensive line can control the game."

Dre'Mont Jones will return from injury this week. Michael Hill also back from suspension. "I'm really happy with how he handled everything."

Injured Branden Bowen was Ohio State's third tackle. True freshman Thayer Munford filled that role.

If Meyer has a bad day, he goes and hangs out with the defensive line. Really happy with where they are as a unit right now, right down to guys like Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper.

Last time Meyer played in Lincoln at night, as a Colorado State assistant, they "got our brains beat in" by Tom Osborne and the Huskers.

"I think [Nebraska] is going to come down to if we can cover them, because they're going to have to take some shots over the top."

Also of note: The show concluded with no actual call-in questions, just the pre-screened "Coffee with the Coach Question" and an uncited "social media question."

[Full replay: 97.1 The Fan]

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