OSU Coaches Clinic- Defense
By John Porentas
The second day of the OSU coaches clinic was attended by around 700 coaches from around the state of Ohio. The morning session featured addresses by six OSU assistant coaches as well as Head Coach Urban Meyer. The speaker in the evening was Lou Holtz.
Donuts, bagels, muffins and coffee provided by Tim Horton's were served in the morning. A lunch was served after Meyer spoke, and a dinner catered by Lone Star Steakhouse was served in the evening before Ed Warriner and then Holtz spoke. Water, coffee and soft drinks were available at all times. Attendees also received a CD with the power point presentations used by the coaches on it. A "gift" was also given to attendees which was a fabric portfolio/shoulder bag with an OSU logo.
The event was staged in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on the practice field which was transformed into two separate speaking areas and a third "vendor" area. The ventor area featured vendors of weight room equipment, nutritional supplements, football equipment, etc. Curtains divided the field into the three sections.
Folding chairs were set up in front of the speaker's podium in the two speaking theaters and temporary bleachers were set up behind the chairs. Closed circuit TV projected each speaker onto screens flanking the podium, and a projection system was available to the speakers on which they could project a power point presentation, photos and video.
The defensive coaches spoke in the improvised "Theater" on the east end of the building while the offensive coaches, and later Urban Meyer, spoke in the middle area. The vendor area was on the far west end of the WHAC.
The theaters were in use concurrently, so it was impossible for any one person to hear all the presentations. For that reason, we covered the event with two separate reporters. Patrick Murphy covered the offensive end, while this writer covered the defensive presentations.
Kerry Coombs was first up and was his typical self. He was very animated and energetic in his talk. His talk was VERY technical with regard footwork techniques for cornerbacks and the drills OSU does to promote and form good technique habits. He had a lot of video of OSU practices and spoke not only about what the players were doing in the drills, but also about what the coaches were doing, what they were looking for, etc. If you were a high school defensive backs coach, it was a great lesson.
Coombs also got a laugh when he was describing the proper pre-snap stance for a corner. Coombs said that the player had to have one foot slightly forward of the other and his feet below his shoulders. He also said he had to have his rear end down low enough that if he took a crap, he wouldn't hit his heels because of how far down and back his rear end would be. That drew a pretty good laugh.
Everett Withers' talk was very different. His entire talk was on scheme, specifically on defensive schemes to defend offenses that were running their offense with an empty backfield.
He listed option after option on coverages, and talked about the value of scouting. His video support was different from Coombs in that it included a lot of NFL footage and not so much OSU footage.
When he summed it all up, defending the empty backfield formation comes down to understanding that they only have five blockers, so the most effective thing is to rush six and get to the quarterback. That leaves the offense with a numbers advantage out wide, but the trick there, according to Withers, is figure out who the decoys are and simply not cover those guys, thereby evening up the numbers.
Vrabel talked about preventing explosive plays. He had a very interesting graphic which showed that the the number of wins in an OSU season is inversely proportional to the number of explosive running plays the OSU defense allows. For example, the OSU defense gave up more than 20 explosive running plays in 2011, and only eight in 2002. Vrabel also talked about tackling. He said the goal at OSU was single-digit missed tackles in any game, and that if it can be 9 or less, the chances of winning are very, very good. Vrabel was also the "saltiest" speaker. In a room full of guys no one was offended by the language, but Vrabel was not exactly reserved in his use of language.
On that same topic, Withers used only one swear word in his entire talk. At one point he asked for a show of hands on how many high school coaches there took their players to 7 on 7 camps. Not many raised their hands, but he then went on to comment that they all do it now, and then they come home with some trophy and think they won something. He referred to that as "Bulls%#t", saying that seven on seven has little to do with football because there is no pass rush or hitting, adding that when they can do it in a real football game, not seven on seven, it will really mean something.
Patrick Murphy's report on the OSU offense will also include his observations on Urban Meyer's address.
OSU Offensive coaches at coaches clinic - By Patrick Murphy