Football

Two-Minute Drill: Urban Meyer B1G Teleconference 10.9.18

Urban Meyer Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spent some time on Tuesday’s weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference. He took questions on several players and also looked ahead to Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Here are the highlights.

+ Pete Werner is an elite player and person. He is very gifted and talented. Big, fast, and extremely smart. He really cares and has an incredible future.

+ Meyer doesn’t think Ohio State is as deep as people say, but the depth they do have has helped in wins over TCU and Penn State. The Buckeyes are very tough in the second half.

+ Minnesota has a Top 20 defense. They’re one of the best teams in the country in stopping big plays, and Ohio State is a big-play offense, so that will be a challenge.

+ OSU is 118th/119th in penalties/yards this season. Meyer doesn’t go crazy when there are penalties because he wants his teams to stay aggressive, but there are too many right now. Fundamentals, technique, and effort overcome penalties and they have talked about that.

+ Meyer doesn’t foresee any offensive line changes when Brady Taylor returns to full strength.

+ They have talked about using two backs in short-yardage situations, but the issue is that everyone is packed in on them, so they have to get the defense out of that. The options are throwing it or getting the ball out on the edge.

+ No update on Brian Snead’s status.

+ Chase Young has been really good as a pass rusher. Jonathon Cooper has been pretty good. Dre’Mont Jones needs to be better. Robert Landers is getting in there a bit. They need more, but that’s not unexpected when you lose Nick Bosa. The obvious answer in improving the pass defense is getting a better pass rush, but the coverage also needs to improve.

+ Brian Hartline has done a really good job. That’s one of the most unique position groups he has ever seen in terms of accountability and love for each other.

+ Meyer is not surprised by the success that Denzel Ward is having in the NFL. Sam Hubbard too.

+ Defensive tackle Malik Barrow is still rehabbing and working his tail off to get back. He is still on the roster currently.

15 Responses

  1. Meyer has a history of keeping guys (especially coaches) around because they are buddies instead of throwing them out for bad performance (or character). If he wants his “elite” talent to perform at an elite level he needs to take a long hard look at who on his coaching staff is getting the job done & who is NOT. Then take action. Interesting that Hartline has come in and done a tremendous job. Maybe it’s time for our linebackers coach or defensive coordinator to step aside…

    1. Ask Ed Warinner or Tim Beck if Urban keeps guys around if they don’t perform.

      1. Those are what as know as outliers who are in the RARE happening category. Urban babysits friends and family and it’s been that way since the first day he started coaching.

  2. Our fan base must be getting really old… or just senile.

    LBs of old were cut from a different cloth. To try to compare someone like Spielman or Gradishar to a current LB is insane. Neither of those guys could be LBs in today’s game… Sorry to burst your bubble, but they don’t have the speed to play in today’s game. Back then power and size made you good, now you need to be a hybrid of LB/S otherwise TEs are going to run right past your slow LBs. We all saw what Urban’s offense did to our linebackers in 2006 (Laurinaitis and Freeman were on that team).

    Stop complaining and dreaming that the past was better than the present. Enjoy today, enjoy today’s players, and most of all enjoy having Urban as our Head Coach… You never know, today’s players might be the legends that are talked about 30-50 years from now.

    1. Allen- or, maybe your memory doesn’t extend beyond 2006… You aren’t bursting anyone’s bubble, you sound like a guy who has grown up thinking that his era must be “best”, that players only learned to play as you grew up with them. YOU ARE WRONG. The “slow” guys like Spielman, Hawk, Pepper, etc are just people who played for years and years in the NFL at a high level. It is very possible that the current group of OSU LBs are suffering from lesser position group coaching; however, any thought that they are magically superior because it’s 2018 rather than 1988 is foolish. Why don’t you heed your own advice (great idea, eh?), stop whining and apologizing, and START recognizing that fans merely want the best for the team they support?

      Our fan base must be getting really young…or just dumb

      1. Longtime… There is no era that is the “best”, there are only what was and what is. Spielman and Pepper would be DE in today’s game. Yes they would still be play makers, no doubt, but they’d be too slow to play LB against the spread and passing attacks of today’s game. If you disagree, that’s alright… but you are blind. Hawk was too slow to play LB against Vince Young and it probably cost us that game and a chance a the National Title that year. Hawk was also too slow to play 3rd down in the NFL, watch any Green Bay or Bengals game and you would rarely see him on 3rd down. Because he was too slow. Not trying to be mean spirited or try to down play how great those players were, but facts are facts… And today’s game is built off of speed. It’s the #1 thing Urban has built the current OSU team around since he got here.

        BTW, I’m not complaining about the players or coaches… I’m complaining because I have to share the earth with people like you who believe they are smarter than the current coaches and think you know everything about the inter workings of the program. You are just some guy, barely worth my time… But I will make time to put you in your place.

        1. Allen- you lack the intelligence to “put me in my place”, partner. And I am, indeed, ‘worth your time”- you are certainly putting enough of it into your nonsense.
          Finally, and in the interest of actual ACCURACY and clarity of thought, I do not think I am smarter than the current coaches or that I know the interior workings of the team. I am smart enough to recognize negative trends, point them out, and hope the coach has more than fluff for an answer.
          Players were really good before 2006, chucklehead.

    2. If the performance level of the linebackers is what the “NEW THING” for linebackers is, Ohio State should simply scrap the position altogether and just go with 5 200 pound safeties, and the Country will continue laughing watching them get completely trucked by running backs, stiff arm slammed like toothpicks into the turf, and be just like every other slap stick comedy routine Hollyweird has EVER produced.

      The past linebackers were better athletes, better seekers, easily just as fast, better in switch coverages, and 100% meaner than a single linebacker currently on this defense. It’s not a maybe, it’s obvious and certain.

      Chris Spielman could have walked on this year and TAKEN any of the 3 linebacker positions, simply because he was, and probably still is better than any of the backers on the roster. Randy Gradishar was even meaner and better than Spielman. Marcus Marek would have chased this current crop out of the Woody for playing fluff ball. I’d venture to say that Andrew Sweat would have beaten out every 2 deep player on the roster today.

      The lethal nature of Ohio State linebackers died the day Bill Davis became the position coach. He simply has no clue how to teach. That’s obvious watching the head scratching nonsensical alignments, mis-assignments, careless job responsibility and constant confusion, all made possible because of undeveloped skills.

      The game of football hasn’t changed, unless we’re talking about the sissification embedded in the new “skirt wearing tag football” rules. It remains see ball, get ball. Unless we go back to pre 1960 football and eliminate the linebacker position altogether and, just make them part of the defensive line again.

      Unless there is a MASSIVE change very soon, nobody will remember a single linebacker currently on this roster 5 -10 years from now. Bill Davis has changed the linebacker position alright. Changed it into a junior level clown show.

      1. James, you sometimes have good information. But man you are stuck in your thinking… Try standing around some of those same athletes from the past you mentioned… around some of the talent of today… and they will say things like, “I’ve never seen someone so fast and big.” or “Can you believe that guy is only in College?” They are just as enamored with the current talent of players as we are, and they know that the game is totally different than when they played.

        As for Bill Davis, shoot I don’t know a darn thing about what’s going on between Urban/Schiano/Davis but I do know one thing… I’ve heard complaints about coaches for a long, long time… I even remember people complaining about Tom Herman while Braxton was QB… Then we win some games and everyone forgets how they wanted them gone, and only has nice things to say. Let the man do his job. If Urban thinks he’s doing a good job… who are any of us to say otherwise?

        1. I wasn’t good enough as a player to play at Ohio State, but I was on many of the same fields as those guys in the Buckeye history books. I’ve been fortunate over the years to get to some practices and attend a ton of camps. I’ve run on the same field alongside guys like Chris Spielman, Marcus Marek (in his fisherman duds and all), Pepper Johnson and a whole lot of other linebackers from Ohio State AND other programs, and that includes up to present day. Most of them are tremendous athletes, who learned the craft from good teachers, and became great. But side by side in comparing the past and present players, particularly at the linebacker position, there’s just not any notable difference in size speed or desire. The differences once the guys are in a system for awhile is……education. It’s takes dedicated pro’s to develop young talent the right way; from the ground up, and hone them into next level ready players who are proficient in their position skills.

          Linebacker is always going to be my favorite position on a football field. TE a close 2nd. Developing a backer body hasn’t changed, nor has his skill set shifted much at all since about 1970. Schemes change some but at the base, they’re all pretty much the same philosophy………see ball, get ball. I’ve watched guys like AJ and James and Ryan and Josh, and Steve (Tovar) and Pepper. They were incredible athletes with terrific speed. But they have what the guys currently starting for the Buckeyes certainly appear to be missing, and that’s a refining of Div 1A skills and technique. As a top linebacker, shedding blocks is second nature. Or at least it should be. Once in awhile they’ll get beat on a play, but more often than not they made blockers look stupid for their efforts. We’ve seen this crop of Buckeye linebackers be lost in assignment and the blockers rendering them not relevant on WAY too many plays. NONE of them are new to Ohio State, but they all share one constant the last 2 years. Lousy position coaching. It’s not much of a surprise because of performance level that this years group is on exactly NO serious major watch lists for awards. The awards might be beauty contests in the greater scheme of things, but, there is generally some merit behind why the guys are generally there.

          I have no clue what Ike Kelley’s 40 time was, but, he looked shockingly fast making plays all over the field. Randy Gradishar was simply a beast with cleats. He was one of the most technically sound linebackers who ever played the game of football REGARDLESS of era. Extremely smart, coached extremely well, skills proficient for any scheme, and a straight up dangerous football player. Really great guy off the field and in the business world.

          The guys the Buckeyes have are really talented. They have to be to receive an offer to come in the first place. What they came in with is for the greater part, what they have today. THAT is where the problem lies. It’s not a new system that puts them out of position, of has them executing lousy pursuit angles. It’s not the raw skills that is missing. It’s the refinement and honing of executable technique that is seriously flawed. The philosophy and techniques hasn’t changed much at all, and neither has the instinctive football of see ball and get ball. Base fundamentals haven’t changed for the linebacker position in the last 40 or 50 years to any great degree. Neither has the general mindset. A great linebacker of the 1970’s could be time jumped into today and he’d still be a great linebacker, executing the same plays routinely.

          I know what you’re trying to say, and it sounds cool to think today’s athletes are bigger, faster, stronger, smarter. But that’s not really true.

          We watched Jerome Baker and Chris Worley slide dramatically from 2016 to 2017. Tuf Borland when he came in at the mid point of last season provided a spark and he played outstanding football. Then the injury and BOOM, we see a depth chart completely incapable of delivering on the promise they represent. It has nothing to do with bigger faster etc etc. It has everything to do with their education. Maybe in a couple years Davis can teach, but he came in never having taught a young player a damned thing……….THAT is the difference.

  3. Ike Kelley is the first real memories of Ohio State linebackers for me. I was just a kid and my dad, who served in the Navy along side Woody took me to the field after they beat USC in 1964 and I got to meet a bunch of the guys. I was just standing there and this, what appeared to be a guy as wide as he was tall came over to me literally snarling with a “pal” along with him. Scared the bejeebers out of me. Turns out he was the monster who took brutal pleasure on the field that day. The other guy was Bo Scott. Both of those guys were instrumental in making Ohio State Linebacker U (it was a new position during that time and Tailback U

    Ike was the reason I became a linebacker and a TE. I’ve seen a lot of them come and go through Ohio State, but calling any of these guys “right now” on this team elite with memories of guys like Ike, Randy Gradishar, Tom Cousineau, Chris Spielman,Pepper Johnson, Andy Katzenmoyer, Matt Wilhelm, Marcus Freeman, James Laurinaitis, AJ Hawk, Ryan Shazier and so many other is just NONSENSE. The way the linebackers have player so far this year, they would have been riding the pine behind actual elite linebackers at Ohio State.

    Maybe they can turn it around and BECOME elite, and I really hope they do. But they aren’t even in the vicinity of elite at this point.

  4. The various commenters sound just like me. It is insulting and ridiculous for someone who is PAID for these appearances, to engage in such outright deception toward the fan base (!) This kind of crap removes my empathy when things like Smithgate happen- bad karma is all that was.

  5. Sorry, I failed to mention, James Lauranitus, and those old enough to remember..Chris Spielman, no disrespect intended …..ELITE..just sayiin

  6. Werner is “ELITE”? He must be a hell of a practice player. I’ve seen nothing in the games that would make him ELITE..I guess we have lowered our standards so coaches don t look as bad and they can mislead us.. i’m sorry to AJ Hawk,Darren Lee,Ryan Shazier, and MacMillan,these players were ELITE, and now anyone can join your status merely by coach speak, not by performance.When Pete Werner and Tuf Borland can run sideline to sideline to track down ball carriers and single handedly take over games, i’ll by in, until then ,quit pounding sand up my rearend. we see what we see week to week…..these are NOT ELITE players. Maybe they have “potential” and I am certain they are Elite young men…..just not on the field….so no matter how many times coach says it and wants us to believe it…….i don’t buy it. Words mean nothing…develop these players, put them in the best situations to be successful, after all that is what great coaches do…..When they play ELITE, then and only then , they can become ELITE….WE need the excuses , and the “we will build on the positives” to stop…Thats like saying,”we will work on the things we are good at, but the things we are bad at, we will over- look”….give me a break….spend more time on the negative things which by the way are the MISTAKES,and the POOR execution, or will those just fix themselves??

  7. Maybe Coach Meyer should “go crazy” when there are so many penalties. That action might result in fewer penalties.

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