Ohio State offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day met with the media on Wednesday, as did defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. They provided updates on their players as the Buckeyes head into a bye week. Here are the highlights.
+ The offense has done a much better job of preparation during the week. They have done a much better job of executing against stuff that “surprises” them.
+ There is great communication during the week of what Urban Meyer wants to see and Wilson and Ryan Day in working together very well. They don’t have all of the answers, but things are smooth right now.
+ Can they keep the momentum going against a good team next week? That’s part of the point this week in practice. You lose momentum because there is no gameday Saturday. There is a lot of positive energy right now, so you have to keep that going through practice. They are doing a lot of “good on good”.
+ Earlier in the season they tried to force some things to the tight ends, but it didn’t work out. They didn’t really think about the tight ends going into last week and it turned out they were open in J.T. Barrett’s progressions. When the offenses are good, you don’t need to force it to anybody.
+ Rashod Berry is extremely explosive. “As innately physically skilled as any kid I’ve dealt with.” He is still learning how to play the position and he didn’t have a spring to help him because he was still on defense. He has the chance to be very special and Wilson is very proud of what he has done. “He gets by a lot with his athleticism.” The more he plays, the more comfortable and confident he will become.
+ Rashod Berry and Marcus Baugh need to continue improving as blockers, especially Berry.
+ On the offense: “I think we’re getting where collectively we’re better than we are individually.” The chemistry is growing.
+ J.T. Barrett seems to get better and more comfortable every week in the pocket. He grows each practice and you see it during the games. He is being protected and the receivers are spacing things out well right now.
+ He’s seen everything, right? “I wouldn’t say that, though.” Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers still see things they haven’t, and Barrett will see things in two weeks that he hasn’t seen before. They’ll need to adjust and that’s what is important in that game.
+ Regardless of who the opponent is, you watch to see how players are performing. Barrett is playing well right now and they are focused on keeping him building upon those performances.
+ Barrett is the same guy he was after the Oklahoma game. Everybody believed in Barrett from the beginning. He got a lot of blame now and is getting credit now, but it’s everything. It’s blocking and spacing and routes and knowing when to call what.
+ The offensive philosophy from last year is still the same and the schemes are as well, but what is being featured is a little bit different.
+ “It’s still the same type of offense. It’s still the Ohio State offense and we’re still using the same principles and teaching.”
+ In order to be effective throwing over the middle of the field, a quarterback has to know what he is seeing. It’s about matchups and timing and location against man-to-man. In zone coverages, it’s about spacing and timing. Either way, the quarterback has to adjust to what he is seeing because each defense needs to be attacked differently.
+ Every year as a coach, Ryan Day tries to learn something new and bring it to his job.
+ In the NFL, you have a lot of time to study the sport and specific positions and film. You don’t have recruiting. When he was in the NFL, he spent a lot of time studying the passing game.
+ It’s not about knowing a bunch of plays, it’s finding the right ones to fit the personnel.
+ It’s not a very big pool of cornerbacks who can play defense like Ohio State needs them to. They look for guys who have size and physical traits to do what they ask. They also look for intangibles. Is he a good teammate? Does he love the game? Guys don’t walk around with a sticker that says they are all these things, so you have to look hard.
+ Jordan Fuller is starting to bust out of his shell a little bit and is looking like he did in high school. The more he sees, the more comfortable he gets.
+ Chris Worley is getting closer to full health. As a football player, having a foot issue can wear on you. They have tried to be careful with his workload. “I think he feels better.”
+ Schiano thinks Worley is the starting middle linebacker when he is healthy, but he’s not sure because “everything is so fluid.” They deal in the present, which is why they have Worley working mostly in the nickel. It is easing him back into the action. They don’t want to set him back.
+ There is always concern about the passing game when you give up big plays. The Buckeyes played really well in the first half, but they didn’t in the second half. There were some personnel changes in the second half, but that’s not an excuse.
+ Schiano isn’t calling a more aggressive game progressively. It’s week to week depending on weaknesses and tendencies.
+ The bye week comes at a good time. This is a long season. Training camp started a week early this year. As much mentally as anything, this is a good time for a break.
+ Damon Webb has played well. He’s in charge of a lot out there. He’s brought Jordan Fuller along and they are building something together. When you have two safeties who have been together for a while, they almost don’t have to talk when they’re out there. Schiano hopes they can get there this season. Webb is a very smart player. “He helps me.”
+ With Jordan Fuller getting more comfortable, they expect more from him, which is why they put him at nickel in the first half while Damon Arnette was suspended.