Buckeye Football Notebook: ‘I’d be surprised if any of that stuff happens’

Al Washington Ohio State Buckeyes Linebackers Coach

Mr. Washington Goes to…Boston?

Every year at a successful program, a head coach has to prepare himself to lose talented assistant coaches.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day didn’t anticipate losing Jeff Hafley after one year, but that’s the situation he finds himself in currently. With Hafley taking the Boston College job, the football program is in a bit of a flux as it deals with the situation.

And when assistant coaches leave one place to take over at another, it isn’t uncommon for some coaches or staffers to follow. Over the past few weeks, OSU linebackers coach Al Washington had also been attached to Boston College, which is where he played his college ball and also cut his teeth as an assistant coach.

When asked this week if Washington could possibly be headed to Boston College with Hafley, Day seemed surprised by the suggestion.

“If that’s what he would want to do, I’d be very, very surprised. Be shocked, to be honest with you,” Day said.

“If that’s what he wanted to do, I’d support him. I don’t see that happening at all. I’d be surprised if any of that stuff happens. I think we’re in pretty good shape, pretty solid. I’ve not heard of anything otherwise.”

Chasing Chase Young

Chase Young had his 11-game sack streak — dating back to last season — snapped in the Michigan game a few weeks back.

The Wolverines threw everything they had at him. Double teams and triple teams. Chips, chops, chaps, and chups.

All of it.

And it worked. Assuming a 56-27 loss is considered “working.”

Then against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, Young again was held without a sack.

This was the same Badger offensive line that had given up four sacks to him earlier in the season.

Young has now been “handled” two games in a row and a bit of a blueprint may have emerged regarding how to keep him in check.

What exactly have teams been doing to limit Young’s contact with the quarterback?

“I think there’s all kinds of different things you can do,” Ryan Day said. “But at the end of the day, if they really want to slide, chip, put three guys on him, it’s going to be hard. That’s where the other guys have to step up.”

Those other guys have had some issues in each of the first halves of their last two games. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson had time to throw the ball for 250 yards over the first and second quarters, and Badger running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 135 yards in the first half of the Big Ten Championship Game.

The second halves of those games ended up much differently, however, as the Buckeye defense made its adjustments.

“Again, any time they decide to do something like that, put extra resources into stopping Chase, they’re giving up something else,” Day said. “Our defensive staff will be looking at that, try to figure out how we can get a schematic advantage.”

Day is also quick to credit the opponents, who were both very, very good on the offensive line.

“It’s a combination of two things,” he said. “They had a year’s worth of film. I think they did a good job scheming it. Those are good teams, they’re top-10 teams with good players. I think it’s a combination of two of those things.”

Joe Burrow’s Real Heisman Moment

As Joe Burrow accepted the Heisman Trophy last Saturday and thanked his offensive line, family, coaches — both at LSU and Ohio State — and failed to hold back tears, the nation saw why he is still so revered in the OSU community.

Then Burrow talked about being a kid from Southeast Ohio where so many families rely on food pantries to stay fed and brought a light to a subject that few people talk about.

Thanks to his speech, the Athens County Food Pantry has received around a half-million dollars in donations, making this his true Heisman moment.

Buckeye head coach Ryan Day was there in the crowd, and even shared a hug with Burrow as the quarterback sought out his former mentor.

“To be there and experience that was one of those things I’ll remember till I’m 80 years old,” Day said this week. “That was as cool a night and moment as I’ve ever been around. Although he thought that out, that was just him being himself. For him to go through what he’s been through, play the way he’s played, see the emotion of what this has meant to him and his family, unbelievable. Talk about class. There’s not a classier guy out there.

“I was just, you know, humbled to be in the room, to be part of his journey.”

7 Responses

  1. Regarding other coaches going to BC, HBO has a documentary on Saban and Belichek–much better than I’d thought it’d be–and they both are very strict on ass’t/position coaches that get head coaching gigs… they can’t take others with them. Saban said it’s simply respect and many of todays’s coaches don’t understand that concept. Saban said “I’ll help you get the job but you can’t take what we have here with you. We’ve taken time to build this and the continuity, you have to build your own”. Belichek was in complete agreement. I thought it was very interesting and an example of a philosophy for success.

  2. I have watched the Michigan game a few times and in slo mo and they did not double or triple team him at all. They held him at times same as Wisconsin. Mostly they just did a good job of slowing him down

    1. Sean, that’s what I saw too. I was sort of confused by hearing that he was double and triple-teamed because that’s not what I saw.

    2. good job, guys ‘Narratives’ tempt the best of men, and the better your integrity and your standards… the worse the ‘fall’ into ‘all the usual suspects.’

      Chase has been ‘handled’ these past 2 games… comparatively. We also reverted from our Great Leap Forward into ‘adjusting as required/on the fly’ back to the Stone Age of ‘waiting until halftime.’

      We, you could say, ‘sold ourselves’ for a couple transparent, shallow stories… like it was some great mystery novel.

      The Good News is, once we face it in our mirror, we can correct it… TODAY.

      1. I really hate the halftime adjustment talk. Well, not when it works, but I don’t get why it takes til halftime to do it. Clemson could put 35 on the board if we wait til halftime to adjust.

        I think Clemson starts out with just Carman on Chase with no help. They think he (Carman) is quite the stud, so they’ll take their chances on that for a series or two.

  3. I wonder if Hafley looked at losing the entire secondary next year and wondered if his window to be hired as a head coach would close or at least get delayed by few years if he didn’t jump ship now. I also wonder if Washington would not grab the DC position now with Jeff for the same reason.

    1. Two facets of assistants leaving and recruits reneging….

      LINKED by applying one’s integrity to large decisions.

      1-IF you espouse principled standards, it’s no longer a matter of whether you left or not… but why and how you made that call.

      2-It’s not a matter of who agreed or disagreed with your decision; it matters more if and how you kept your leader[s] informed of your considerations and intentions.

      It is of some relevance to note, for all of us, that for goal-setters and achievers, it is also a maxim that “the greatest single empirical factor in worldly ‘success’, is the willingness to sacrifice now for a greater return later.”
      [Emotional Intelligence; 1995.]

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