Thanks for fact-checking me here. I think I got them confused with another team’s 2019 preview I read recently
perpetually confused and often out of position (Browning)
Borland and Werner were the same way. Mike LB in a pure 4-3 is not Browning's natural position, and he had a terrible position coach. He'll be a good player for us.
too young to make an impact (Pope, Gant, Mitchell)
Did you forget how well Raekwon McMillan did his freshman year in 2014? Or Ryan Shazier in 2011?
Besides, look at all the true freshman we rotated at D-line. They were coached well and given a chance, and they made an impact.
Pete Werner is going to play a lot
One thing I'll agree with is that Werner will play a lot because I think he has the size and athleticism to become a solid LB with the improved coaching.
Borland, while seemingly much too slow to be an every down MLB, adds the kind of leadership and experience on which Al Washington will lean heavily this season
"Leadership and experience" really don't mean much if you aren't good enough on the field. If that was enough for someone to start over another player who's better, Joe Burger would've started in 2016 when he was one of the captains.
Everyone seems to be starting from square 1 in the linebacker room. Borland is already behind the curve with the new defense/making a case to the new coaches after missing spring, and he has his work cut out for him if he wants to beat out both Mitchell and Browning.
I'd argue Browning and Harrison over Werner, but point taken.
Werner had his struggles last year, but he's gotten grouped in with Borland as being "non-athletic" by a lot of fans, which isn't the case. With the right coaching, I'm fairly confident that we'll see him improve quite a bit
I was one of Werner's biggest critics last season, but I agree with you. He has the size & speed to be good with the right coaching.
Werner had to prove himself from the start with the new coaches, and they see something in him considering the fact that they kept him at #1 on the depth chart. There wasn't enough talk about Pope during Spring for me to believe he beat out Werner.
As far as Borland goes, he lacks the necessary size & speed to be the starting MIKE at this level. The praise Mitchell received this spring says a lot, as well.
Why I think Cincy will give us some trouble: The variety of looks they give on defense could be tough for a 1st-time starting QB and 4 new starters on O-line. Those guys have to be well-prepared, and be comfortable with all the pre-snap reads, checks, calls, etc.
Why I don't think they can beat us: They lost all 5 starters at O-line from last year's team. Their new starters will be blocking one of the best D-lines in America, including Chase Young--the best D-end in college football.
I'm more confident in our offense moving the ball at the end of the day, even if we do have some struggles. Could possibly be close into the middle of the 3rd, but I think we'll wear them down sooner or later.
Might sound crazy/unlikely, but I think there's a chance Borland is 3rd on the depth chart at Mike.
I'm guessing you haven't been using this site for too long then, because it isn't an uncommon thing for people to say on here.
Is it "ridiculous" to suggest that Brendon White should have been starting much earlier, or that Dwayne Haskins should have been the starter in 2017? Apparently it's not, because those beliefs are shared by the majority of fans who have commented on the topics.
You can disagree, and that's perfectly okay. Suggesting that somebody is "ridiculous" for having those two viewpoints, however, is just being close-minded for no real reason.
My mistake, by the way, on that previous text I meant to say maybe Brenden White wasn’t a good practice player.
All good--I figured.
I only wanted an open competition at QB. May the best man win. I’m just not sure that was truly the case.
You're entitled to this belief! I don't share that view, but it doesn't mean you aren't allowed to see it that way. There's nothing wrong with you believing this until you're proven otherwise. We can both have our views regarding which players didn't get a fair chance until we're proven wrong. That's the point I was trying to get across.
But again, I really don’t question coaches’ decisions. My football IQ is not very high, I’m sure.
Nothing's wrong with that, and that definitely justifies your reason for not questioning coaches as much. There are fans who have played at high levels, coached at high levels, and/or have been coached by elite coaches though. Regardless, fans do have the right to question a coach about a decision (play-call, starter, staff hire) because a coach can't be absolutely perfect. There's no problem with contesting the views of other fans, either, but always try to understand why they might feel a certain way
I just dispute ANYONE making statements (such as yours), that the best players didn’t always play. You can’t possibly know that.
Again, you seem to believe that Fields wasn't better than the QBs who transferred away from OSU and he's just been handed the starting job, which means you fear that the best player will not be playing.
I don't agree with your view on that subject, but I'm not going to dispute you because I can't prove you wrong. You can't prove my statement wrong either.
We both feel the same way, but we feel this way about different position groups. At the end of the day, we're both implying that we think a player got the starting job at a position even if he wasn't the best man for it. Wouldn't you agree?
Well said from start to finish.
I think we'll see a lot more gap-scheme blocking, including the return of the power read/inverted veer.
And definitely make or break for Stud! I thought it was a little soon to declare that he should have UNDOUBTEDLY been fired, and I think replacing four starters with offensive linemen as talented as guys like Davis, Myers, NPF, etc. will be the perfect way to evaluate him.
You realize that your own comments on this site indicate that you think Fields was promised the starting job, right? That would mean you think that it's possible that the best player wouldn't be playing in that case. For example, here's one previous comment of yours:
Probably won’t happen. In my opinion, Fields was guaranteed the starting position, behind closed doors, of course. No proof (as of yet), but just my opinion. Two QB’s unexpectedly transferred (not including Burrow), and another recruit suddenly opted out (Mathis). I just feel they might have been told something we haven’t heard. Again, being a bit redundant, just an opinion.
So you seem to believe it's possible that some players might not get the chance they deserve.
Did you also forget how much better Brendon White was than Isaiah Pryor last season, yet he didn't start over Pryor until a targeting call that brought him into the game?
I also never said anything about evaluating talent. These decisions can be influenced by the seniority of the players, and the personal relationships coaches have with their players. Regardless, it's not as if coaches make the right choice 100 % of the time. They're humans just like us.
I hope you'll at least consider everything I'm saying instead of just coming back in an argumentative way. You're entitled to your belief that Fields was promised the job, just like I'm entitled to my belief that the best players weren't always the ones on the field in 2017 & 2018. Neither of us can technically prove that the other is wrong in this case. Again, coaches are not perfect beings, and even the best of them make mistakes.
I think “playing the best players” needs to be added to this list. A little thing that seems logical but we didn’t always do that over the last couple seasons
JK just needs to run like he did vs Maryland last year. He wasn’t making extra, unnecessary cuts and his willingness to just put his head down that game was what made such a difference.
On that note, and I mean no disrespect to Dobbins, but I wish we still had at least one back who was 225+. Carlos Hyde and Zeke Elliott were just able to bring a different type of force.
Linebacker U has lost some luster on the field by virtue of speedy NFL attrition and nepotism,
Love that the author included nepotism instead of dancing around it
Personally I just visit 11W and YouTube for the most part. I like to watch highlight videos on all of the projected starters, backups and incoming freshmen to get a feel for what type of team we'll see.
I'm the same exact way.
I also like the offseason content like Film Study so I'm more educated when watching or attending games.
The Film Study's are my favorite 11W series articles because I love talking about the X's and O's.
Although I never played at the college level, I played at a pretty big football high school and the two head coaches I had in high school are both now on Power-5 staffs (and have been for quite a while). We took it very seriously for a high school program and I was a player who watched a lot of film on my own too. Because of that experience, I know the game of football on a pretty detailed level and I'm able to see little things on any given play.
It's cool and I enjoy talking with other fans who are the same way especially because many other fans (including ones I've talked to on this site) know more than me in certain aspects of the game, or understand certain schemes better than I do, so I learn more along the way.
With that being said, the Film Study's on this site are always very well done. They're insightful, there's good depth to the content, and Kyle's break-downs and terminology show how well he knows the game.
My pick hasn't been named yet, but that's probably because he didn't quite turn out as we'd hoped. So, not taking performance at OSU into account, I'd say Dontre Wilson. I loved that we took him from Oregon, a team I've never liked, and his highlight film was unreal.
It's sad that injuries prevented him from reaching his potential.
Just like what some others have said, I think this is the perfect first game for our D.
Not enough to be a real threat/concern, but they run a spread (which we struggled against most last season) and their offenses have at least performed well the past couple years against other programs their size.
I'm happy he didn't let the pressure of staying home influence him into choosing a much less promising future.
This past season ruined PSU's chances of ever taking the step to "elite", in my opinion. The re-building period is over. They've failed to be consistent on D, they haven't been able to develop an O-line, and they can't win a big game unless it's at home (which happens to be arguably the toughest place to play in the country).
Going 9-4 after two 11-win seasons (which only happened because of Barkley & Moorehead) with a 35-point loss to UM and a bowl loss to Kentucky is not exactly a good look for the trajectory of the program. It's not like recruits don't notice that kind of stuff.
I love the pass, but there is a deep deep scepticism in my soul that we are on the verge of Chip Kelly offense 2.0 with the who we are recruiting and play calling from last year when RDay was the interim HC.
Don't worry--this won't be the case--and, remember, the play calling was more pass-heavy in general last year because Haskins wasn't a big running threat.
Also, I think you might be getting the Kelly/Helfrich tenures at Oregon overlapped with each other a little. Understandable given the similarities though (up-tempo spread, losing most of their toughest games, no defense, overhyped every year, etc.). Chip Kelly's Oregon teams, from '09-'12, actually relied more on their ground games though. Oregon's pass attack was their strength with Mariotta in 2013-2014 when Helfrich took over.
My other reason is that Kelly's offense at Oregon honestly had very little variety. They kept the playbook small and tried to become great at executing simple plays. This allowed them to get the plays in quicker, and not have to worry about as many pre-snap reads, which is why they could play with such tempo. Their tempo was unique but their play-calling/scheme wasn't, and this is why they struggled against the best teams they played. We know Day's a great offensive mind and, with Wilson and Yurcich also installing some of their own concepts, we'll have balance. We've already seen our offense show a lot more variety the last two seasons compared to what it looked like before.
Try not to worry about an offense that resembles Kelly's. You're probably just letting Day's history with Kelly influence your thinking a little too much, which is understandable, but they have shown to have their fair share of differences when it comes to running an offense.
Would love to see our defense back to being silver bullets who shut down offenses along with Day's high octane offense
What's awesome is that we have the talent to do this, and none of our coaches in the back-7 have any ties to those players so there can't possibly be favoritism/loyalty influencing depth chart decisions I'm incredibly optimistic about our 2019 defense. Even those who are returning starters were never named starters by the current staff so it doesn't matter, and that's exactly what we need.
I would've imagine. I think you're more likely to encounter rude fans of teams who either are currently elite programs, or used to be an elite program for a long period of time (and the size of the fanbase is obviously a huge factor). Washington is a good program right now but definitely not elite.
I agree that it was beneficial for Day to watch Urban hire some guys who he had previously coached with/had a personal relationship with and saw it fail first-hand. It should serve as a sign to be careful when hiring coaches you know well on a personal level. Just because you do know a certain coach personally, it doesn't mean that he shouldn't be hired obviously. When you do hire a friend, however, you need to be very sure that he's the best guy for that position. In the event that his unit/position group doesn't perform well and shows little-to-no improvement, you need to be able to part ways with him.
Bill Davis is a great example that you gave. Given his coaching history going from one team to another without ever being retained long and the fact that he had never coached at the college level, there was no reason to believe he was the best guy we could get. After watching mediocre LB play during 2017, which included Jerome Baker and Chris Worley underperforming when compared to how they played in 2016, and virtually no improvement throughout the year, he should've been let go. It's crazy to think that we likely would've had him for a 3rd straight year if Meyer didn't retire.
Like you said, if we can get an elite DC to stay with Day as long as Venables has stayed with Swinney (and he may never leave Clemson for all we know), that'd be great. The ease of knowing that our defense will be consistently good, even if we were to lose a bunch of starters to graduation/the draft, would be great.
It's also not likely, which you pointed out, but this doesn't mean we can't consistently have a good DC. There just needs to be a lot of diligence in the process of finding a replacement, and you can't hire close friends if you aren't willing to let them go if it's what's best for the program.
I'm hopeful that we'll see a Dabo/Venables situation with Day/Hartline.
Just asking because Dabo and Venables are on different sides of the ball while Day and Hartline are both offensive guys, but did you mean to say Hafley instead of Hartline here?
If so, my response is that I agree because it'd be great to know that we were in good hands on both sides of the ball on a yearly basis and not have to worry about a replacement hire at DC not working out.
I also think this isn't all that likely because most elite coordinators are receiving multiple HC offers every off-season and some of those offers might be really tough to turn down. Even when he came to OSU, Hafley said he was ready to make the move into being a coordinator and he could eventually decide he's ready to be a HC. Despite that, I don't think Hafley is gonna bolt the second he gets a tempting offer to be a head coach because of his relationship with Day, in addition to the fact that he's only 40 so he has plenty of time to wait for an offer that's truly worth leaving for (I'm still not sure why Chris Ash left being a DC at Ohio State to become the HC at Rutgers of all places).
I'd say, IF Hafley becomes the DC we're hoping he'll be, he'll be around for a fair amount of time, but Venables is going on year 8 at Clemson and it's very rare to see elite coordinators stick around for that long. I may definitely wrong with this prediction though, which I would be perfectly okay with.
I'm hopeful that eventually Hartline becomes the OC and "HC in waiting" and hangs around Columbus for a long time. Of all the Day permanent hires, Hartline and Hafley are my two favorites.
I'm not against the whole HC-in-waiting thing like some people are, but Day is way too young for there to be a HC-in-wating on the staff. That only happens when it's known that the current coach isn't gonna be around for much longer. However, I agree that it'd be cool to see Hartline eventually get some sort of coordinator title.
Nothing against Hafley, but my favorite hires are Hartline and Washington. Washington brings a level of intensity to the LB room that I think was definitely needed, and I honestly would've been disappointed with just about anyone being hired as LB coach besides him or Marcus Freeman because I felt like a younger coach was needed there.
Hafley will definitely will be great Secondary coach, but there just aren't any guarantees with how he'll be as a coordinator. I like Day's decision to have Mattison around for a couple years so Hafley could learn before he takes over as the primary DC, but there's still a risk involved and I would've preferred a guy who's shown to be a good DC at the college level already (which Mattison has done but he's already 69-years-old). I still think Hafley is a good answer for improving our pass coverage issues though.
My prediction is that there will be a balance, obviously, but more young coaches will be hired on offense than defense. Again, I'll allude to Nick Saban to explain my prediction.
Whenever Saban has had to replace a coordinator, defensively, he's always picked a younger guy.
-2008: Kirby Smart
-2016: Jeremy Pruitt
-2018: Tosh Lupoi
-2019: Pete Golding
I have a feeling this could be to avoid a clash of egos, even though that might not be the best way to put it. I just think it's possible that Saban knows hiring somebody who's already a well-established DC could lead to some hostility due to Saban overruling his decisions when he feels it's necessary, or when Saban wants him to coach in a certain way. Smart, Lupoi, and Golding were promotions from within, so it definitely seems as if Saban likes the idea of a DC that he knows will just respect the decision whenever he overrules them.
Although Pruitt had already proven to be an good DC, he was on Saban's staff at Bama for a while before taking his first DC job at FSU, so he picked up everything he knew from Saban and was probably just fine whenever Saban overruled him because he trusted that it was for the best.
On top of all that, if Day plans to continue calling plays, it's pretty unlikely that somebody in their later 40s or 50s who's proven to be one of the top offensive guys around would want to take a job where he wasn't the play-caller.
I agree, and this is also what I'm hoping for.
Washington has actually spent more time as a D-line coach than as a linebacker coach, and Luke Fickell was impressed enough by Washington to hire him as his D-line coach when he got to Cincinnati.
I also think that it would lower the chances of any D-line recruits de-committing.
Polite fans? ( not to steal the threat, but just add a brief diversion)
I'd actually enjoy reading some opinions/experiences on others on this topic, so you're not stealing anything at all.
I'll add on by saying my worst experience with opposing fans, and the fans who I thought were the most obnoxious, were the Clemson fans at the 2013-2014 Orange Bowl (side note: if only Philly Brown didn't muff that punt).
They were obnoxious, insulting, and didn't seem to actually know anything about football (or were just too rude/arrogant to converse).
I've been to a good amount of bowl games, and a few away games, and I've always been able to talk with opposing fans throughout my time visiting and/or at the actual game about college football and the actual game itself (stuff like how we matched up in different areas, what adjustments we think would help, etc). The Clemson fans just didn't.
I will say that every encounter I've had with Clemson fans since then has been a good experience though, and I clearly just got really unlucky during my time in Miami. Plus, arrogance from Clemson fans might not even bother me as much today due to what they've accomplished recently. I've rooted for them against Bama every time they've played and I will continue to do so whenever they meet again