Today’s Topic: What Does Greg Mattison Bring to the Table?
When Ryan Day went out and hired one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation in Greg Mattison this winter, it was a surprising decision considering Ohio State already had a tremendous defensive line coach in Larry Johnson on the staff.
But Mattison brings more than just defensive line experience to the Buckeyes. He has also coached linebackers and been a coordinator in college and the NFL. His 40 years of college coaching also provides quite the database of experience to draw upon.
Soon after hiring Mattison and Jeff Hafley as defensive coordinators, Day put them together with Johnson to begin formulating the Ohio State defense that we would see on the field this year.
From that point on, it’s been a collaboration in deciding what the Ohio State defense is going to look like. And Johnson has enjoyed working with Mattison for a change, instead of against him.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been really awesome,” Johnson said this spring. “We have a great relationship. It’s all about making sure we’ve got the kids in great position. He walked in the first day and said, ‘Hey, let’s put our guys in great position for spring ball.’ And that’s where we are. It’s been really good.”
What does Mattison bring to the Buckeyes?
“The fact that he’s really experienced,” Johnson said. “He knows exactly what he wants and how to do it. He understands the front and the back end, so we can get in great position. He’s not afraid to take suggestions. What’s the best fit for our guys. I think that’s good. It’s kind of been our defense and how we’re going to put it together. I think Greg’s done a great job managing it right now.”
As far as taking suggestions and talking things out, Mattison doesn’t see that as strange or unique. He sees it as the very definition of why he was brought here.
“Well, that’s my job,” he said. “I think when you’re a coordinator, that’s what the word coordinator means. It means coordinate great people’s ideas. That’s what it is. A coordinator to me has never been a guy that comes in and says, ‘You’re going to do this, this, this, this, this. Listen to me and let’s do it.’
“A coordinator’s a guy that coordinates other people’s ideas and coordinates other ways of doing things. And being a co-coordinator with Jeff, that’s what we do. That’s why again, I say we’re very happy and lucky or fortunate to have a good staff to be able to give you that.”