Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘Your job is to exceed the expectations of the head coach’

Ohio State Football Notebook Buckeyes Buckeye Football


Strengths and Weaknesses

Many defensive lines in football have strong sides and weak sides. The strong-side defensive end is usually the bigger, stronger guy because he may have to deal with an offense running to his side of the line due to the extra blocker in the tight end. The weak-side defensive end is usually the faster, more agile pass rusher.

Under Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes utilized the strong and weak sides quite a bit. Under current defensive line coach Larry Johnson, however, that’s never really been the case.

“We don’t really do sides,” junior defensive end Nick Bosa said on Thursday. “We don’t even know what side we’re going to be on when we trot on the field. We just look to each other, ‘which side do you want’ and then go. If we want to work on one of the tackles in the game or maybe get extra reps against Isaiah (Prince in practice) or whatever it is, then that’s how it goes. We try to switch and get even numbers because you don’t want to get more comfortable on one side and feel awkward on the other side.”

You Gotta Compete

If you haven’t heard, there is a quarterback battle being waged this spring on the Ohio State campus. The future of the free Buckeye world hangs in the balance.

Many people are already penciling in third-year sophomore Dwayne Haskins, while others aren’t yet ready to give up on fourth-year junior Joe Burrow. And there are yet others who see redshirt freshman Tate Martell and believe he is the best fit for what Urban Meyer wants to do on offense.

The quarterbacks will be graded every day and in everything they do, and what ultimately decides the winner will come down to four key components.

“Competitiveness is number one, toughness number two, leadership is number three, and talent is number four,” Meyer said.

“Those are the things — at that position. Then you start breaking off in positions like extend the play, the ability to make something out of nothing. So that’s how we determine who we recruit and that’s how we determine who is going to start.”

Grinch’s Role

When Alex Grinch was offered a job on Ohio State’s staff, he took it knowing that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano may not be around.

The uncertainty never fazed him or never had him questioning what would be asked of him because he already had an understanding of what his job was regardless of who was there and who wasn’t.

“My role here is to help in any way I can in terms of adding value to the defensive side of the ball and adding value from a recruiting standpoint,” Grinch said. “I think that’s the charge of any assistant coach at any program. Whatever roles or titles you’re given, your job is to exceed the expectations of the head coach, and obviously the expectations here are very, very high.

“So from that standpoint, I feel very comfortable in working with this coaching staff. What a great group of mentors to young men, and you talk about elite coaches. I just keep coming back to that.”

Georgia On Their Minds

The Buckeyes are returning a pair of running backs with 1,000-yard seasons on their respective resumes. In 2016, Mike Weber became the third freshman to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season at Ohio State. Last year, J.K. Dobbins became the fourth.

This year, they are both looking to rush for 1,000 yards.

“Yeah, that’s the goal every year,” Dobbins said. “Last year that was the goal as well.”

In 2017, the Georgia Bulldogs pulled it off, as seniors Nick Chubb (1,345) and Sony Michel (1,227) both hit the 1,000-yard mark.

They are an example that Dobbins is hoping to mirror in 2018.

“Yeah, I think you could see that,” he said.

The only time in Ohio State history where the Buckeyes have had two running backs both rush for 1,000 yards in the same season was 1975 with Archie Griffin (1,450) and Pete Johnson (1,059).

Dobbins and Weber are looking to join them.