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A Crossroad for the Program (Talent versus Potential)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by OilerBuck, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I said earlier in the season that our players had all the talent in the world, but weren't playing up to it. Since then, I think I have changed my mind. I now feel that we have all the potential in the world, but not enough talent to compete at the highest level.

    Talent is a mixture of raw physical ability, mental capacity/understanding and instincts (which is often the ability to draw on past experiences without introspective thought). Talent is absolute and is possessed by a player, and while there is sometimes a breakdown in talent...it can be drawn upon immediately.

    Potential is the ceiling on a player, it is the scientific and work ethic related peak that you can raise your talent level to. In athletics, potential means everything because a quality coaching staff always feels that they can get the most out of a player and motivate a player into working harder to raise that ceiling. The key is, potential cannot turn into talent overnight.

    Right now, our last few recruiting classes appear LOADED with potential stars and we expect that potential to equal talent as soon as they enter games. That is where the issues we have been discussing come into play...A coach's player motivation, drills and game experience to build instinct, game planning and video analysis to increase knowledge and strength & conditioning all play VITAL parts in helping players live up to potential.

    I realize that a lot of these issues have been discussed, but I REALLY wanted to focus on these last few games. The adversity we have suffered through is a vital part of the process because it will build on the toughness of these players. If they can all band together and pull a couple of wins out at the end of this season, it can build into next year and we can be title contenders because of players confidence. On the other hand, if we turn the other corner and continue to struggle...I think there wont be enough factors left to help these players live up to their potential. Just because we have all this potential returning next year, doen't mean they will live up to it...THAT is why the end of this year is so important to grow.

    You see underacheiving teams all over sports and people overrate them based on what they could be and not what they are. Our players were put in a bad situation because of unrealistic expectations. They can't just turn the talent switch on...but I think they are slowly building it up. These next few games will change the next few years.

    That's just my opinion...Any thoughts?
     
  2. scooter1369

    scooter1369 Chief Toad Fart

    I think the talent level is there. But for a different scheme. We saw Troy able to relocate himself when he got into trouble. Something Zwick hasn't been real good at doing. And when he has, he fumbles. We didn't see that from Troy.

    Krenzel played really well within the system because he knew his limits and not much was expected of him as far as passing numbers and playing the role of world beater. He just had to execute the offense and not turn it over.

    Zwick on the other hand, came in here heralded as the next big thing. Everything that Kern, Germaine, Hoying and Schlicter were supposed to be and then some. We put so much pressure on Zwick to be the savior in a year of replacing so many starters, that I don't think we'd be happy right now if he was completing 55% and had 15 TD's to 7 Int's. Too many fans expected him to be immortal.

    Troy Smith has the mobility that made Krenzel successful. He may not have the same brain, but he didn't make too many mistakes Saturday when he sure could have.

    Ross was doomed to failure this year it seemed. Even though I was in his corner at the beginning of the year, I really don't think he has the mental edge he had as a frosh. After his kneee injury and losing his gig to an upstart freshman from Warren Harding, I think he is mentally unable to compete anymore.

    Pittman has none of the baggage. He has vision and he doesn't run scared. He isn't looking over his shoulder at the guy trying to take his gig away. Ross has been looking over his shoulder at Pittman since April 24th.

    There is plenty to say about this team in regards to its struggles and growth. I still think the talent is there. These kids have almost unlimited potential as long as they keep out of trouble and keep working.
     
  3. stxbuck

    stxbuck Woody wore Sambas

    For whatever reason, a lot of the guys we have counted on to make that mental jump from bluechipper to solid/star college player just haven't done that yet.

    From the 2002 class we have Mangold,Hawk,Holmes and Carpenter playing up to the level we would expect by now. Maybe D'Andrea,Hall,Underwood and Schaeffer will still make a bigger jump.

    From the 2003 class, we have Whitner contributing, but that is it.

    Hopefully Tressel will develop the talent we have better, but he did basically win the NC w/ Cooper recruits plus MoC (who would not have been a Buckeye if Tressel was not coach). I'm certainly not complaining about the recruiting, but we will see how well these bluechippers develop in the next couple of years....so far, it doesn't look good for the 1st "All Tressel" team........
     
  4. brutus2002

    brutus2002 Junior

    Stx the 2003 class was a small one and most of those players are RS freshmen. David Patterson, Donte Witner, Youbooty, and Barton are all contributing. Remember that Irizarry, Hialey, and Guiliford were in that class. Boeckman signed with that class as well. If we see more of Tony Gonzales that will be another contributer. We have had so much talent the last two years that these guys didn't get much PT.
     
  5. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    Nice stuff Oiler. I think we'll be OK down the road. What we lack is EXPERIENCE ... no substitute, and we're getting it this season. Maybe not the kind we'd like, but this MIGHT be more valuable down the road (next season).

    I think we should all just relax and see how the rest of the season unfolds. Could be a disaster, or it could get turned around. The Bucks are dealing with a young team that hasn't found an identity, a vastly different coaching staff from a year ago, and some teams that are itching for payback against the Bucks. I don't think talent or potential will be a problem for this group of players. Learning to win is the issue.

    IMO, Tressel knew this would be a tough year but remained optimistic. Some of his comments (reading between the "Tressel Speak" lines) like "needing to grow this team" suggest to me that he considered this a rebuilding year but was hopeful that the young guys would step up quickly. That hasn't happened in the Big Ten. But let's look at what we are dealing with before terminating JT's contract.


    The player losses from last season are staggering
    * Denotes letters won

    Will Smith**** - 1st round draft pick (at #18 to New Orleans) Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Consensus All-American, All-Big Ten
    Chris Gamble*** - 1st round draft pick (at #28 to Carolina) 2 time All-Big Ten
    Michael Jenkins**** - 1st round draft pick (at #29 to Atlanta) OSU's career leader in receiving yards
    Ben Hartsock**** - 3rd round draft pick (at #68 to Indianapolis) All-Big Ten, 3 time Academic All-Big Ten
    Tim Anderson**** - 3rd round draft pick (at #74 to Buffalo) All-Big Ten
    B.J. Sander** - 3rd round draft pick (at #87 to Green Bay) Ray Guy Award winner, All-Big Ten
    Darrion Scott**** - 3rd round draft pick (at #88 to Minnesota), All-Big Ten (2002)

    OSU sets the 1st day NFL draft record at 7 players

    Alex Stepanovich**** - 4th round draft pick (at #100 to Arizona) All-Big Ten
    Will Allen**** - 4th round draft pick (at #111 to Tampa Bay) Consensus All-American, All-Big Ten
    Craig Krenzel**** - 4th round draft pick (at #148 to Chicago) Academic All-American and Vincent dePaul Draddy Award Winner, 3 time Academic All-Big Ten, 2 time Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP
    Drew Carter*** - 5th round draft pick (at #163 to Carolina)
    Robert Reynolds**** - 5th round draft pick (at #165 to Tennessee)
    Shane Olivea**** - 7th round draft pick (at #209 to San Diego)
    Adrien Clarke**** - 7th round draft pick (at #227 to Philadelphia)

    OSU sets the 7 round NFL draft record at 14 players (Scott McMullen also signs a Free Agent contract with Philadelphia). And this only accounts for drafted players. Several others (Fred Pagac comes to mind) made contributions and have moved on as well.


    Those 14 players account for 52 letters won at OSU (an average of 3.7 per player!). If we only look at pure offensive and defensive positions (13 players) we total 50 letterman years lost (an average of 3.8 per player). Heck, currently looking at our ENTIRE 2 deep and we only manage 52 letterman years for both the Offense and Defense. This is just a huge drop in experience on the field. Just looking at the O and D lines, where a large portion of the problem seem to be found, and the disparity is evident.

    On D, just 3 players (Smith, Anderson and Scott) accounted for 12 letterman years. The current 2 deep on D line accounts for 8 letterman years for the 8 players. The Offensive disparity is worse. 4 Players (Hartsock, Stepanovich, Olivea and Clarke) accounted for 16 letterman years, while the current 2 deep (12 players) account for a total of 9 letterman years. So we have 7 former line players that accounted for 28 letterman years versus the entire 2 deep of line players which account for 17. Even extrapolating for this current season and adding the letters that WILL be won by current players (4 on D line and 5 on O line) leaves a disparity of 7 former players with 28 letters versus 20 current players with 26.

    Furthering the comparison, 8 of the 14 lost players were All-Big Ten performers. We currently have 2 players that have won All-Big Ten accolades (A.J. Hawk and Mike Nugent).

    Current OSU 2 Deep

    Offense (Letters won = 22)
    SE - Santonio Holmes*, Roy Hall*
    LT - Rob Sims**, John McLaughlin
    LG - Doug Datish, John Conroy
    C - Nick Mangold**, Steve Winner
    RG - Mike Kne**, T.J. Downing
    RT - Kirk Barton, Tim Shafer*
    TE - Ryan Hamby**, Rory Nicol
    FL - Bam Childress***, Ted Ginn
    QB - Justin Zwick, Troy Smith*
    TB - Lydell Ross***, Antonio Pittman
    FB - Branden Joe***, Stan White, Jr.*

    Defense (Letters won = 30)
    DE - Simon Fraser***, Vernon Gholston
    LT - David Patterson*, Marcus Green**
    RT - Quinn Pitcock*, Joel Penton*
    DE - Jay Richardson, Mike Kudla
    WLB - A.J. Hawk**, Thomas Matthews**
    MLB - Anthony Schlegel, Bobby Carpenter**
    SLB - Bobby Carpenter**, Marcus Freeman
    LCB - Ashton Youboty*, Harlen Jacobs**
    RCB - Dustin Fox***, E.J. Underwood**
    FS - Nate Salley**, Brandon Mitchell*
    SS - Donte Whitner*, Tyler Everett**


    Seems to me that we, as fans, are somewhat guilty (as you mention) of setting our expectations too high and not giving enough appreciation to the player we have lost. I think that Coach Tressel's conservative approach actually concealed the greatness of some of our former Buckeyes (especially on the offensive side of the ball). I can clearly recall players like Krenzel and the offensive line taking great amounts of "heat" during the season. How we would like to have them back at this moment. And the defense ... what a group. How did we even think we would just replace those studs and continue on our merry way? We've been spoiled, and now we're (players and fans) paying for our arrogance. I too thought 1 or 2 losses at most this season. Looking at the facts in the cold light of day, I should have expected 3 or 4. We might see more than that.

    Should we sit back and be content with the way 2004 is unfolding? Hell no. I know the coaches and player's aren't happy, but sometimes growing pains are just that ... painful. Should we expect to reload each and every year? Hell yes. I'm sure the players and coaches expect the same. But at some point you've got to accept the fact that you're not as good as your press clippings. Maybe we can more fully appreciate what the 2002 and 2003 teams have accomplished and give the future squads time to grow into that role.


    The coaching changes are a factor as well

    Very rarely does a coaching change not affect a team adversely. And the Bucks are dealing with wholesale changes. Here's last years staff:

    Head Coach
    Jim Tressel, 3rd year at OSU

    Offensive Coaching Staff
    Jim Bollman (Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line), 3rd year at OSU
    Bill Conley (Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends), 17th year at OSU GONE
    Joe Daniels (Quarterbacks and Receivers), 3rd year at OSU
    Tim Spencer (Running Backs), 10th year at OSU GONE

    Defensive Coaching Staff
    Mark Dantonio (Defensive Coordinator), 3rd year at OSU GONE
    Jim Heacock (Defensive Line), 8th year at OSU
    Mark Snyder (Linebackers), 3rd year at OSU
    Mel Tucker (Defensive Secondary), 3rd year at OSU

    Special Teams Coordinator
    Luke Fickell, 2nd year at OSU, Ohio State ’97


    Here's this years staff:

    Head Coach
    Jim Tressel, 4th year at OSU

    Offensive Coaching Staff
    Jim Bollman (Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line), 4th year at OSU
    John Peterson (Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends), NEW
    Joe Daniels (Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks), 4th year at OSU
    Darrell Hazell (Wide Receivers) NEW
    Dick Tressel (Running Backs) NEW - 3rd year at OSU on staff

    Defensive Coaching Staff
    Jim Heacock (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line), 9th year at OSU
    Mark Snyder (Defensive Coordinator), 4th year at OSU, 1st season as D Coordinator
    Mel Tucker (Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs), 4th year at OSU
    Luke Fickell (Linebackers) 3rd year at OSU


    Three of our 10 coaching positions are brand new to OSU. A fourth, Snyder, is in his first season as D coordinator. This is a tough hurdle to overcome from a continuity standpoint, especially with a young team. Three of the five offensive coaches are new ... that can't be good. Compound that with a new D coordinator and the Bucks will just need some time to iron out the details. This doesn't even account for some of the other pieces of the puzzle that have left the coaching staff. Like Mike Tressel and Mark Staten (former grad assistants), coaches that left with Mark Dantonio.


    Bottom line ... EXPERIENCE! We need it, we're getting it, we'll be better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2004
  6. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    3yds that is one of the best posts I have ever read. Great job.
     
  7. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    SPECTACULAR post! The fact that we were ranked in the preseason after that overhaul speaks volumes to how much potential this team actually has, and how great of a tradition that we have.
     
  8. kn1f3party

    kn1f3party Junior

    Excellent post, I couldn't agree more.
     
  9. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    kiss ass.


    great post 3yards, kudos to you
     
  10. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    Thanks. Occasionally I get enough time to write something worth reading :lol:
     
  11. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Anyone else notice Peterson talking to the offense during breaks? Not just to the TEs, but to the entire offense. Maybe Tressel is getting him a lot more involved, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
     
  12. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Awwww....don't let yet another Pick em asskicking ruin your day. Just because you are a bitch in Pick em doesn't make you one in real life ...keep your head up buddy:slappy:
     
  13. Clarity

    Clarity Will Bryant Staff Member

    Perfect, I get to test the new "great post" award feature. :wink:
     
  14. BuckeyeRob

    BuckeyeRob Yeah, whatever...

    I said earlier in the season that our players had all the talent in the world, but weren't playing up to it. Since then, I think I have changed my mind. I now feel that we have all the potential in the world, but not enough talent to compete at the highest level.
    Talent is a mixture of raw physical ability, mental capacity/understanding and instincts (which is often the ability to draw on past experiences without introspective thought). Talent is absolute and is possessed by a player, and while there is sometimes a breakdown in talent...it can be drawn upon immediately.
    Potential is the ceiling on a player, it is the scientific and work ethic related peak that you can raise your talent level to. In athletics, potential means everything because a quality coaching staff always feels that they can get the most out of a player and motivate a player into working harder to raise that ceiling. The key is, potential cannot turn into talent overnight.
    Right now, our last few recruiting classes appear LOADED with potential stars and we expect that potential to equal talent as soon as they enter games. That is where the issues we have been discussing come into play...A coach's player motivation, drills and game experience to build instinct, game planning and video analysis to increase knowledge and strength & conditioning all play VITAL parts in helping players live up to potential.
    I realize that a lot of these issues have been discussed, but I REALLY wanted to focus on these last few games. The adversity we have suffered through is a vital part of the process because it will build on the toughness of these players. If they can all band together and pull a couple of wins out at the end of this season, it can build into next year and we can be title contenders because of players confidence. On the other hand, if we turn the other corner and continue to struggle...I think there wont be enough factors left to help these players live up to their potential. Just because we have all this potential returning next year, doen't mean they will live up to it...THAT is why the end of this year is so important to grow.
    You see underacheiving teams all over sports and people overrate them based on what they could be and not what they are. Our players were put in a bad situation because of unrealistic expectations. They can't just turn the talent switch on...but I think they are slowly building it up. These next few games will change the next few years.
    That's just my opinion...Any thoughts?


    I think the IU game showed that we are loaded with talent. Particularly with those who are R-So, So and true freshman. I think the staff looked at all the losses to the NFL and graduation and made a tactical decision to go with kids who have been in the program for a long time. Get as many Seniors, R-Jr.'s on the feild as possilbe to give some veteran leadership. That has turned out to be a less than positive decision.
    Against IU, the staff made a great decision in going with youth and speed, speed, speed. I would like to see this continued move towards getting as much speed on the feild as possible. I can live with mistakes made at full speed. Anyone who really believes the Mark May myopia view of the week is buying into his B.S. The buckeyes are loaded with talent and some of them have unreal upside. Pittman looks like he could be real special. Frankly, I like what I see out of Smith on the upside. He should only get better as he gains experience. The young wide recievers should be frighteningly good next season and espeicailly the season beyond.
    More than anywhere else (I am chastizing myself for forgetting this truth) Offensive and defensive line youth really hurts you. Especially on the interior. It is very, very rare that a young pup is a terror on the Dline as a freshman or sophmore.... Look at Roth... he is a senior was good last year but where was he as a freshman and sophmore..... Gabe Watson of scUM is a dominate player in the interior... he is a junior..... Pat Massey a senior. I still believe guys like Pitcock, Kudla and Richarson will shine.... there best days are yet ahead. The extra year of experience and maturity (especially maturity) is really pretty significant.
    Look at the biggest point.... no one, will expect much out of the buckeyes next season.... they will say middle of the pack... not enough offense to be a threat... the Dline wasnt that good last year.... but I believe that this team will be special in 05 and 06.
     
  15. Sloopy45

    Sloopy45 Pimp Minister Sinister

    I don't think that this team doesn't have the talent. In retrospect, I think the team only lost one game that it shouldn't have: Northwestern.

    The Offensive Line is too young to block James and Hawthorne at this point. On the other side, the D-Line is too young to get any pressure on Wisconsin's line. As painful as it is to say, Whisky has a better team than we do this year. Wisconsin is a better team, and they should've won that game.

    As far as Iowa is concerned, they're either better or the same as we are this season. Being that the game was in Iowa City, a break here, a turnover or a bad play there, everything snowballs, and you have a blowout. Had that game been in the HorseShoe, I think we'd have a much better shot to win.

    Looking back at the inexperience factor, the NW game is the only one that I can't figure out. The team should be 5-2 right now, and that's one pace with what this team is.
     

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