Morning Conversational: How Does Spring Provide Direction For the Offense?

Kevin Wilson Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Today’s Topic: How Does Spring Provide Direction For the Ohio State Offense?

During the winter, when coaches aren’t out recruiting, they are in meetings trying to decide what they think will work on offense, defense, and special teams.

If a team returns a lot of veterans, it can almost become like paint by numbers. It’s easy to follow and everything has a place. Where there are no veterans, however, things can end up a little more abstract.

It is not until the coaches get to spring football and start putting their paper plans into action that the pictures become much clearer.

“Practice to me is always kind of fun and every year this is the time of year you’re starting to try to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are,” Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “You’re trying to figure out from maybe the previous year or years, the areas of concern to address.”

Every coaching staff goes into spring knowing what their concerns are. During the course of 15 practices, however, those concerns can fluctuate position by position. Maybe they were wrong about the quarterbacks or the defensive ends, and maybe they were exactly correct about the offensive line.

Every year is different in terms of which positions surprise and which do not, but for Wilson, the process of figuring out what a team is going to do on offense never changes.

“For me, it always starts with what your linemen can block and how to develop that position,” he said. “Then you go to what your quarterbacks can do and how to develop that position. Then all of the skill guys make it all look good. This time of year, it’s line development, quarterback development, then continue that through the summer.”

They say everything in football begins up front, and if you don’t have an offensive line that can handle the job, this is also where everything ends.

But as those 15 practices progress, the September vision of the team begins to take shape. Sure, there is still some shading and contouring that needs to be done, but the coaches are able to take a step back and get a pretty good idea of the picture they are painting.

“And with that, all of this fun we’re having, we really figure out what we do,” Wilson said. “We kind of get a direction. The offense doesn’t change. Things get emphasized based on the talents of the team and the strengths of the team. Whether it be run or pass, or the tight ends could be more involved this year. It’s a good group. You just kind of keep going. It’s very much a developmental time of year and it’s been a good deal.”

7 Responses

  1. Not a huge Stud fans, but I don’t think the Michigan line put any real pressure on our QB and we scored points at almost at will. Just saying

  2. Well, Stud does loose a lot of talent to the NFL every year. It’s hard to start from scratch on a continual basis. Plus, although Haskins was amazing, he was a statue back there so the defenses didn’t have to prepare for him in that area. They knew he wouldn’t run and it hurt our running game a lot.

  3. I know that Kevin Wilson can coach offense. But he’s still just 1 voice, and, not the the most influential voice. Coach Wilson’s assessment is right. It begins and ends with the offensive line. I’ve yet to find in Studrawa’s history the ability to build a dominating offensive line. A player here and there……..yeah, but not a cohesive game dictating offensive line unit. Yes, there can be misses on the offensive line. That can be said of every position, and it’s an excuse not a reason. The offensive line has 13, 14, 15, 16 guys. They’re conditioned and strengthened by the same coaches who develop the DLine, the linebackers, the runningbacks……….etc. We’ve seen the results from Coach Mick. There’s just no physical lacking, or mental lacking from those guys who are going to man any of the 5 positions in the trenches.

    Until I see with my own eyes, and I know my eyes don’t matter, I’ll say the same thing about Studrawa as I said about Bill Davis. He doesn’t have more than a passing fancy ability to build an offensive line. Davis couldn’t coach linebackers worth a damned. Studrawa can’t coach offensive linemen worth a damned, except 1, player at a time.

    2019 is a new season…..lets just hope we don’t have to watch 6 other guys having to push the sport car up an incline again. It’s gotten old and tired. Maybe this is the year that offensive line finally shows up to be the little engine that could.

    1. On the one hand I agree that Studrawa’s lines haven’t dominated in any single game where they needed to. Add in that the blocking scheme had to change late when his guys suddenly couldn’t handle zone read and one can more than look askance at Coach Stud’s charges and not know that SOMEthing is wrong!
      On the other hand while he’s certainly no Ed Warinner I’m not QUITE ready to give up on a guy whose lines still allowed precious few sacks on a QB that wasn’t named J.T. Barrett last year. 50 TDs is in line with CAREER numbers for an Ohio State QB before last year. That said, you still can’t be a ‘one-trick pony’ and win championships.

      1. I understand your points, but, I’m just more demanding of who is developing the young men brought into the Program. Probably the biggest tell-tale sign that there’s a problem has been the never ending parade of penalties called per game against that offensive line. Either the guys are stupid, which I know is NOT the case, or they are horribly taught and prepared.

        I go back to an old movie, Man On Fire. Denzel Washington is teaching Pita how to a competition swimmer. Her problem was ALWAYS getting of the blocks at the wrong time. He drilled Pita over and over telling her, “You’re a prisoner of the blocks until the gunshot sets you free.”

        Offensive lines have to come off the blocks at the same time in order for their block timing to all be on the same page and cohesive. Not once since Sudrawa has been at Ohio State has that happened for an entire game. Stretches of games, or piecemeal through games isn’t building dominance it’s opening the door for weaknesses and potentially game changing plays by the defense across from them.

        I just have my doubts that Studrawa has the ability to teach that level of consistency beyond a player or 2 at a time.

        1. I see what you see on Saturdays in the Fall. Just not willing to throw him out just yet, though I DAMNSURE don’t want a repeat of Jim Bollman, who I’m convinced cost us at least 3 Nattys.

          1. My issue is that it’s an either or with Studrawa. Either you get an OLine who can pass block and are awful at run blocking, or you can get an OLine who can run block but can’t pass block to save their life. It’s been the same story at Maryland, Bowling Green and LSWho. Every season it’s been his unit that has cost his teams legit chances at Championships. I remember an evaluation back in ’97 when he was a grad assistant and it wasn’t exactly a glowing report.

            This is the mans 4th season. If they again look like road kill for half their responsibilities, he’s got to go. I personally believe that offensive line under Studrawa has already cost the Buckeyes at least one National Title.

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