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Battles

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by KillerNut, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. KillerNut

    KillerNut Banned

    What battles do you think will be decided is spring practice?

    I think QB, and OL will be decided, the rest will go to fall.
     
  2. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    Lots of starting positions are up for grabs. RB, WR, TE, DL, LB (even though this is assumed to be a lock), S, and CB are ones to add. There are lots of positions with at least one starter returning, but the only position that is really locked down is K.
     
  3. BuckNutty

    BuckNutty Hear The Drummer Get Wicked Staff Member Bookie

    I feel like Roy Hall, Santonio, Hamby, Joe, Mangold and Sims will start on the offensive side and Fraser, Pitcock, Salley, Fox, Hawk, and Carpenter will start on the defensive side. Nuge will kick but I'm not sure who will punt. There are a few others like Schlegel, Kudla, and Kne who look like they may very well start but it would be hard to argue the kids previously mentioned. That leaves 11 positions open by my count.

    Spring ball is going to be very important. It all starts up front and how good the OL comes together this spring will dictate how well the team does this year, IMO. We will need to be able to run the ball more than ever with an inexperienced QB behind center and whoever is lined up back there will need time. I'm honestly more worried about our O-line than I am about Zwick or Smith winning the QB spot.
     
  4. DiHard

    DiHard Guest

    exactly nutty.....

    id be completely happy if the bucks come away from spring ball knowing only how things "stack up" on both sides of the line......

    most especially the offensive line....i would be estatic if the roles are defined by the end of spring.....unlikely, but i can wish.....
     
  5. DEBuckeye

    DEBuckeye It ain't easy, bein' cheesy.

    I agree with Nutty and Dihard. The OL will be very important with a young QB in place this season. I'm guessing that both lines will be studied hard in the spring so that starters can be penciled in. There may be some WR and secondary positions filled as well.

    As for QB, RB and the remaining LB spots, I'd bet that these decisions will be made in the fall. There's still a lot of time over the summer to work out and get ready.
     
  6. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    Offense: On offense, it appears that only Mangold, Sims, and Holmes have starting positions locked down, with QB, RB, FB, TE, one WR, and 3 OL positions being open.

    QB: If Justin Zwick wins the QB battle (as most people believe), then it will be interesting to see what happens to Troy Smith (who is too good to carry a clipboard for three years, IMO). Troy is probably one of the top 5 athletes on the team, and needs to play somewhere. If Todd Boeckman can prove a capable back-up, then the decision to move Smith becomes easier.

    RB & FB: This position is a mess. Brandon Joe might be the best candidate, but is a more natural FB; if Joe does see time as an RB, then who plays FB? Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall have proven little in three years of part-time service, and both are coming off of injuries. Is Erik Haw the answer? The Bucks may end up being a "passing" team by default.

    TE: The biggest battle may be at TE, where Ryan Hamby and Louis Irizarry will battle it out, with Rory Nicol entering the mix in the fall. This is the one really deep position on offense, with Stan White, Jr., Redgie Arden, Jason Caldwell , and possibly Chad Hoobler also being in the mix.

    WR: Obviously, Santonio Holmes starts at one spot, and Bam Childress sees a lot time as a third WR (look for some special plays for Bam this year - middle screens, reverses, etc.). Roy Hall had better have a good spring and solidify the other starting position before fall, because I feel that the incoming freshman WR's (especially Devon Lyons) have a lot talent, and could be factors from day one. Lots of other names here (Tony Gonzalez, Dareus Hiley, Devin Jordan, John Hollins) who have a lot to prove before seeing the field on a consistent basis. Will Teddy Ginn see some time here?

    OL: The offensive line will take the longest time to sort out, and may not get settled until the fall (look out for Ben Person). Rob Sims and Nick Mangold are solid if not spectacular, but no one else on the spring roster really excites me yet. Doug Datish is nearing "bust" status, and needs a huge spring to redeem himself.

    Bottom line on offense: I'll be watching the Hamby - Irizarry battle; what happens with Brandon Joe and Troy Smith; and who if anyone steps up on the offensive line. The player most "on the spot" is Roy Hall, who could step up and be a big time WR in the mode of Davis Boston, or could end up getting lost in the mix.

    Defense: Like the offense, the defense has a lot of holes to fill, but there is much more talent (proven and potential) to fill the shoes of the departing players.

    DL: As the only returning starter, Simon Fraser looks to hold down one DE spot; however, Simon had an off year in 2003, and he really needs to step it up not only to anchor a very young line, but also to improve his draft status. Mike Kudla and Quinn Pitcock showed some real brilliance last year, and both should be major factors this year as well. David Patterson and Marcel Frost look to have break-out springs, and Nader Abdallah seems to be the real deal as an incoming freshman. The question is what to do with Marcus Green, Joel Penton, Jay Richardson, and Tim Schafer, along with Andre Tyree and Sian Cotten (both of whom may end up on the OL). It's great to have depth here, even if none of the guys is in the same category as the departing Will Smith, Darrion Scott, and Tim Anderson - at least not yet. Maybe someone really steps it up this spring (Frost?).

    LB: It will be interesting to see how the small but talented group of LB's shakes out. A.J. Hawk and Rob Carpenter look to be All Big Ten (or better), and Anthony Shlegel could be a classic MLB in the Spielman, Katzenmoyer, Wilhelm mold (and man, were the Bucks missing a true MLB last season). John Kerr is probably a key back-up at Mike and Sam, and Mike D'Andrea sees the field somewhere (great athlete, no position - see Troy Smith, above). Marcus Freeman and Thomas Matthews will likely see time on special teams.

    DB: The defensive backfield is deep, but lacks big-time proven talent. Dustin Fox is functional at one corner, and Ashton Youbouty and E. J. Underwood should have a good battle seeing who keeps the other CB spot, at least until Teddy Ginn takes it over. Nate Salley showed flashes last season, but needs to play smarter in the future; Brandon Mitchell went from a starter to an afterthought; nickel back Donte Whitner may be better than both of them.

    Bottom line on defense: The best battles will be on the DL, where many players have a tremendous opportunity to prove themselves and earn a starting role (or at least plenty of playing time as a key back-up), and at safety where the three returning candidates all have talent. The player most "on the spot" is Mike D'Andrea, who was a super blue chip prospect in high school, but who has proven inadequate as an MLB; can he find a role somewhere on this very talented defense?

    Special teams: Place kicker Mike Nugent is an All-American, but A.J. Trapasso is a true freshman at punter. The return games were pretty awful, and regardless of what else he does as a freshman, Teddy Ginn should make an immediate impact as a KR and/or PR.
     
  7. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    I don't agree that there is any uncertainty surrounding the QB or RB jobs.

    JT's comments have made it clear that Zwick has a superior understanding of the game. Unless he completely falls apart on the field during spring and fall practice the job is his. And if Smith should outplay him - even dramatically outplay him - in the Spring game it will be of no consequence (which is as it should be).

    Smith will continue to be the backup QB and will continue to take almost all of his reps at that position in practice. He is a heartbeat away and without somebody else behind Zwick he does not move. Trick play here and there perhaps - but he stays at QB.

    Neither Ross or Hall excited us much last season, but nor was either healthy. Unless the injuries continue to nag Lydell the TB job will not be taken away from a running back with three years experience in his senior season by an incoming Frosh, a converted FB, a targeted Safety, or the head of the cheerleading squad. If one of the Frosh are 'all that' they could push him as the season progresses - but that is a very long shot IMO. Again, continued health problems could change things, but I am looking for a single instance where a skill player has lost his job as a senior under Jim Tressel. (Santonio Holmes couldn't even take reps away from Chris Vance as a Frosh and we can now see the talent he is carrying). Anybody who thinks Pittman or Haw are the second coming of Maurice Clarett is kidding themselves.

    Take out your ink pens and enter the names Zwick and Ross in your starting lineups.
     
  8. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    Oh8ch - I agree that Zwick is the front runner, but he still has to prove himself on the field, in the huddle, and in the locker room.

    As far as Ross goes, he has proven little on the field except that he can get injured on almost any play. If you want to pencil him in as the starter, then fine, but don't get the ink out just yet.

    As for Smith ... it is my guess that the staff can't wait to find a true back-up QB so that they can get Smith into a position where he can actually help this team. Signalling plays in from the sidelines is not that position. If Smith can't beat out Zwick some time this year, then I will be absolutely shocked if Smith ends his career with OSU as a QB. JMHO.
     
  9. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    Lord - the main reason I feel as I do about Smith is that the staff has not been the least bit aggressive about bringing anyone else in behind Zwick. If they had any thoughts about moving Smith why greyshirt Boeckman? Without Smith there is a huge void behind Zwick that no coach would purposefully create.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2004
  10. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    OH - I agree about the QB void. The Bucks have only three scholarship QB's, and the situation will only get worse if Bauserman plays pro baseball, which is a very good possibility.

    By default, Smith is the back-up QB, at least until Boeckman shows that he can do the job. Smith is a great athlete, and he could help the Bucks at some position (WR, RB, or even defense), but right now he plays the one position that has no "rotation". OSU has tried "quarterback by committee" (Germaine and Jackson), and it doesn't work well on the field, and creates factions in the locker room. I doubt that Tressel goes down that road.

    IMO, OSU needs two QB's in 2005 - one stud who can come in right away and be Zwick's understudy, and one long-term project. Gene Delle Donne out of Delaware sounds promising, and I'm sure that there are some others as well.

    It would be a real shame if Smith spends five years as a back-up QB.
     
  11. The KSB

    The KSB 4-4-11/11-5-11

    I think that's a bit too strong of a statement. Mike D' has certainly not lived up to some people's expectations, but I wouldn't say he's been inadequate. I do think though that he would be an impact DE (which I don't feel is a demotion from MLB). I think Mike D' would put the fear of God into a lot of qb's. IMHO he could be better than Will Smith was at DE. He has everything it takes to succeed there.
     
  12. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    I don't think that it would be a demotion, either, but would D'Andrea really beat out Fraser, Kudla, Frost (who is supposed to be the next great one), and Patterson (who showed flashes of brilliance at DT and may get moved outside)? I certainly hope that the staff finds a spot for this guy, because he does have talent. I think, though, that we may all eventually discover that Mike D. is really just a track guy in pads.
     
  13. BIATCHabutuka

    BIATCHabutuka out of chaos comes playoffs

    i honestly think that coach T will platoon zwick and smith at least in the nonconference portion of the schedule. maybe not a 50 - 50 platoon and i doubt zwick doesn't start, but right now my gut feeling is this isn't going to be decided in spring or fall camp and coach will give them both an audition in game action.
     
  14. DiHard

    DiHard Guest

    agreed BIATCH (i just love writinig/saying that)....smith is too good to not get a chance in some of the nonconference games.....

    unless zwick somehow (and unlikely) jumps light-years ahead of smith.....smith has to get a shot.....i also dont see JT having the conflict within the team with this qb battle like coop had with germaine/jackson....
     
  15. ohiobuck94

    ohiobuck94 Buckeye Beach Bum

    I agree with Biatcha, DiHard and LordJeff. Smith will see time at QB. If not the starting QB, he'll find playing time somewhere because he's too good to be on the sidelines.
     

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