Today’s Topic: Does Jeff Hafley Want His Corners Looking Back For the Ball?
It is the bane of Ohio State fans’ existence.
It is the cause of more frustration than traffic at rush hour.
It is the one thing that is worse than any other thing.
Why won’t Buckeye cornerbacks look back for the ball?
I mean, it’s right there!
Over the last two years, each time a cornerback had good position on a receiver and gave up a reception without turning and looking for the ball brought another level of frustration to the fan base.
It wasn’t that they weren’t coached to look back for the ball, but rather to only look back if they were in the proper position to do so.
“If you are in position where – we call it an ‘advantaged position’, so you’re even with the receiver or you’re over the top of the receiver, then you ‘lean and locate.’ That’s the verbiage,” Greg Schiano explained two years ago.
“If you’re behind him, you don’t, because all you’re going to get to see is somebody celebrating over your shoulder because the guy is going to catch the ball. Now, part of it is ‘why are you behind?’ ‘Why are you trailing?’ Some coverages are designed that way and others aren’t. So the ones that aren’t, you have to be on top, and that helps a little bit.”
The plan was solid and so was the logic, but the execution was lacking.
It is now up to Ohio State’s current defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley to attempt the easing of Buckeye fans’ frustrations.
He believes he is up to the task and wants you to know that the instructions are to look back for the ball, just as they were last year and the year before that.
“All right, so here’s the deal on that one, and if I ever see any of you guys tweet — do you think that we as DB coaches sit there and say, ‘Don’t look back for the ball?'” Hafley asked a room full of reporters. “Like my wife used to come up to me after games and be like, ‘Hey, why don’t our guys turn back and look for the ball?’ I’m like, ‘Do you want to see my individual tape? All we do is practice turning and looking for the ball.’ DB coaches teach to turn and look for the football.
“We promise you we will practice to teach — this is awesome that you asked this because now no one can tweet this out or say this. We are going to work on turning and looking and trying to intercept the football when we’re in man.
“Now, there’s certain parts of the field where it’s not good to do that. So if we don’t do it in a game, it might be a certain part of the field. But I promise you, come and watch individual [drills], we’ll turn and look for the ball.”