Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Reviews Oregon Loss, Talks Kerry Coombs, Says Defensive Play "Not What We Expect Here"

By Griffin Strom on September 14, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Ryan Day addressed the media Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the first time since immediately following Saturday's Oregon loss.

The Buckeye coach fielded plenty of questions about the Ohio State defense and defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs in particular after reviewing the tape on another disappointing effort defensively this past weekend.

Here's a bullet-point list of everything Day discussed at Tuesday's press conference.

  • Biggest concern was giving up too many points and too many yards.
  • Any personnel change at safety? "Sure, we're looking at all those things." Day says they will try guys at different spots.
  • When you look at the first two games on offense, 35 points on 21 plays and 600 yards of offense, "we've got really good schemes and really good plays." Day says the offense was hurt by penalties, and needs to do a better job of finishing off drives.
  • "When you're not converting fourth downs, that counts as turnovers." Day said looking back on it, he probably could've punted the ball a couple time to play the field position battle.
  • On whether Sevyn Banks is dealing with anything besides an injury issue: "No, nothing else."
  • "If they'd been playing at a high level, that wouldn't be a question." Day on whether or not the starting linebackers should get more time.
  • On potential structural changes to the defense, Day says it was hard to identify what the issues were on defense last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Day says when changes were made to help the pass defense, it may have hurt the run defense.
  • "The issues that are there get exposed, and you get a chance to really address it with this group, and you find out a lot about people when adversity hits." Day says this is a great opportunity for the team to grow.
  • "This loss doesn't sit well at all." Day says the Buckeyes had the Oregon game scheduled on the calendar for a long time.
  • Day says the conversations haven't been uncomfortable, they've been "real."
  • When asked to expound upon the structural defensive changes, Day says he'd "rather not."
  • Is there one player on defense that is playing great right now? "I think a lot of the guys have had very good snaps, but consistency is not there right now."
  • Plans to redshirt players? "If we think they can help us win, they'll play."
  • Day on his level of confidence in Kerry Coombs: "It's not what we expect here, it's not our expectation."
  • Day says he knew coming into the season that the linebacker group didn't have a lot of experience. "It's not like I don't think they can do it."
  • On Sevyn Banks: "He's not too injured to play."
  • On Harry Miller, Day says "he's been unavailable." The Buckeyes' projected starting center has missed the first two games.
  • Day on Stroud: "I thought he was really accurate on Saturday. That was not our issue."
  • "While they're very talented, they don't have a ton of game experience." Day on members of the offensive line, such as Dawand Jones, Paris Johnson Jr.
  • "We certainly haven't found an identity on defense yet."
  • Day says the Buckeyes have to help C.J. Stroud more by running the ball better and playing better defense.
  • "I don't think he was that tentative," Day says on Stroud running the ball. "He is a threat with his feet. ...We'll continue to build on that as time goes."
  • Troubled by the lack of production on the defensive line? "That is frustrating, for sure. We gotta create some disruption and affect the quarterback, and we didn't do that."
  • Is Kerry Coombs going to call the defense this week? Day says that isn't something that will be decided right now. "No hard decisions have been made yet."
  • On Paul Rhoads, Day says that he doesn't really know the players that well, and that it would be "unfair to him" to promote him to a higher role.
  • Will Day get more involved in the defense? "We have the coaches, we have the players, we can figure this out." Day says he's going to get more involved and "make things uncomfortable."
  • "We need experience on defense right now, so when you lose a guy like that, it hurts." Day on losing Josh Proctor.
  • On Jaxon Smith-Njigba: "You can see what his potential is. ...He has a chance to be really good for us." Day says guys like Julian Fleming "are coming," despite lack of snaps so far in their career.
  • Day says Kerry Coombs is still the defensive coordinator, but that the team will "look at everything."
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