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Last updated: 06/02/2014 0:47 AM
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Football
The-Ozone Mailbag: The 'Tale of the Tape' Edition
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — We may be in the dark pits of summer football nothingness, but there are still some things to talk about. In fact, sometimes it takes the solitude of summer to come up with some of these topics.

If your dark pit comes up with something that you want to talk about next time out, shoot me an email, hit me up on Twitter, or leave it in the comments below.

What are the current coaches opinion about "possible" spring football in Ohio? (or HS spring ball period?) - IndianaBuckeye

I can tell you that Urban Meyer is emphatically in favor of spring football in Ohio, which means that everybody else on his staff is in favor of it as well. Not only would it help to improve the level of play in the state, but it would also allow the Buckeye coaches to get a decent look at in-state prospects before summer camp season ever begins. OSU has to deal with in-state kids who get upset about not being offered right away every year, as the coaches instead would like to see a kid in camp before they offer prospects that they aren't sure about. Some of these prospects get so upset that they essentially take Ohio State out of the running altogether. Being able to see these kids in the spring would give them a better idea of whether or not they want to offer.

An opinion question. If Meyer had a choice between a dual threat QB and a classic passer, equal talent level, who does he pick. Or is his offense in need of a dual threat? - oldmanbuck

Urban Meyer has said in the past that his offense doesn't need a dual-threat quarterback to succeed, and as long as that quarterback can distribute the football reliably, he's right. However, his preference is to have a quarterback that can run at least moderately well, which in theory makes the offense more difficult to stop. The two skills aren't mutually exclusive, however, because there are plenty of quarterbacks who can run and throw, and there are plenty who can't run or throw. All things being equal, why not go with a quarterback who can also run the ball? If he is an above average passer, defensive coordinators will hate him.

Compare the upcoming team with the '02 team position by position. - BuckeyesRUs

Just when things were going quickly, you had to go and ask something like this. How about we do this in a "tale of the tape" kind of way?

QB - 2014
I'll take Braxton Miller over Craig Krenzel. Both have led teams to perfect seasons, but I'll take the more reliable passer here.

RB - 2002
I don't really like this answer because Maurice Clarett dealt with injuries all season long and the depth just wasn't there. I like 2014's depth, and I think Ezekiel Elliott is going to have a fantastic season. Still, Clarett is one of the best I've ever seen, so I'm not sure how I can go against him when he's healthy.

WR/TE - 2002
This is a bit of a no-brainer given that the 2002 Buckeyes had NFL'ers Michael Jenkins, Chris Gamble, Ben Hartsock, Drew Carter and Bam Childress on the roster. Heck, they were so deep that Santonio Holmes was able to redshirt.

OL - 2002
This may have been a different answer a season ago, but when you have freshmen like Nick Mangold and Rob Sims providing depth and also playing significant minutes, that's hard to say no to.

DL - 2014
Yes, I know this is sacrilege, and I originally went with the 2002 defensive line here. However, almost starter for starter, the 2013 defensive line was more productive, and since they all return (save for Joel Hale), then I have to go with 2014 here. Don't believe me? Take a look:

Will Smith 59 tkl, 12.5 tfl, 5.5 sks
Noah Spence 52 tkl, 14.5 tfl, 8.0 sks

Darrion Scott 43 tkl, 9.5 tfl, 8.5 sks
Joey Bosa 44 tkl, 13.5 tfl, 7.5 sks

Kenny Peterson 43 tkls, 9.5 tfl, 6.0 sks
Michael Bennett 42 tkls, 11.5 tfl, 7.0 sks

Tim Anderson 36 tkls, 2.5 tfl, 2.5 sks
Joel Hale 10 tkls, 0.5 tfl, 0.0 sks

LB - 2002
Considering A.J. Hawk was a freshman reserve, do we really need to examine this any further?

DB - 2002
Again, let's not make things anymore uncomfortable than they need to be. Let's just move on.

ST - 2002
Well, NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. Also Andy Groom was amazing without being even slightly Australian.

So I've got the 2014 team "winning" just quarterback and defensive line, and I know there are people out there who will violently disagree with me. I can understand those who disagree with me about the defensive line, but if you're disagreeing with me about the quarterback, then you don't remember just how average the Ohio State offense was in 2002. With all of that talent, it wasn't just Jim Tressel that was holding that offense back.

If/When Tom Herman is gone to head coach elsewhere next year, do you see a guy like Ed Warinner being able to assume the offense? - @BuxJackets

Definitely, but Urban Meyer would still bring in somebody as a quarterback coach, and that coach will likely be given an offensive coordinator tag as well. Who would call the plays? Considering the type of coach that Meyer would likely lure away, it would be hard to imagine the new guy not calling the plays. Of course, Meyer and Ed Warinner have more chemistry between them, so maybe Meyer would be more comfortable with Warinner.

What happens when Braxton gets hurt again this year? I hope he doesn't but unfortunately the odds are he will. - @browne66

That was much of the point of spring football, and it will be again come the fall. I don't think anybody expects Braxton Miller to not miss a single snap due to injury, including the coaches. What will happen if Miller goes down? That is still to be determined. Right now it would be Cardale Jones going in, and that might be the case in September, but maybe that changes in October or November?

The Chad Lindsay transfer got me thinking. Who among our starters could start for Alabama? - Nashville
Another interesting question. First off, even though he might be the most obvious player mentioned, I don't think Braxton Miller would start for Alabama. He's not Nick Saban's type. Offensively, I think tight end Jeff Heuerman would be in the running, with Taylor Decker at left tackle as being the only two players having a legitimate shot. Defensively, it's a bit trickier since Alabama plays a 3-4 and Ohio State plays a 4-3. I think Joey Bosa is starting at one defensive end, and Michael Bennett might be at the other. Adolphus Washington would also be in the mix there. I think Noah Spence could be a starter at outside linebacker. I'll also throw Doran Grant in the mix at one of the corner spots, and Vonn Bell since if he would have gone to Alabama, he'd probably be starting this season.

How odd is football? I have now sided with the 2002 Ohio State offense overwhelmingly over the 2014 offense, and now I've put half of Ohio State's defense in Alabama's starting lineup. Credibility is overrated anyway.

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