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.”