Real Pod Wednesdays: Why Ohio State's Defensive Scheme Didn't Work in 2020 and How Kerry Coombs Can Fix It in 2021

By Dan Hope and Colin Hass-Hill on February 10, 2021 at 11:05 am
Kerry Coombs

Ohio State's defensive struggles in 2020 shouldn't be blamed solely on Kerry Coombs, and there's reason to believe he can fix the Buckeyes' defense in 2021.

Eleven Warriors' own Kyle Jones joins us on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays to explain that, as we spend about 30 minutes talking with our X's and O's expert for a deep dive on what went wrong with Ohio State's defense in 2020 and how Coombs and the Buckeyes could get things back on track.

As Jones also wrote about in his most recent Film Study, the problems with Ohio State's defensive scheme that opponents exposed this past season can be traced back to 2019, when Jeff Hafley was still co-defensive coordinator and Coombs was still with the Tennessee Titans. While Coombs has been in the crosshairs of Ohio State fans since the team's defensive issues culminated with the Buckeyes allowing 52 points to Alabama in the national championship games, Jones discusses why Ohio State's existing defensive structure and an offseason impacted by COVID-19 also led to the problems on that side of the ball.

Jones also shares his thoughts on Ohio State's decisions to promote Matt Barnes and Parker Fleming – which is what we open this week's show discussing before Jones joins at the 15:10 mark – as well as what changes he believes the Buckeyes are likely to make to their defensive scheme in 2021, why they relied on the 4-4 defense as much as they did in 2020 and why Bill Belichick is who he'd most like to sit down and watch film with.

Later in this week's show, we also discuss the continued rise of the Ohio State men's basketball team (44:35) – and whether the Buckeyes could really make a Final Four run – and answer some more listener questions (51:37) about Ohio State football, including what Zach Harrison must improve upon to have a breakout junior season, why the Buckeyes need to work on their offensive scheme this offseason too and whether the mythical “bullet” position will actually exist in 2021.

Listen to this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above or click subscribe to listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice.

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