Rea Chat Transcript: Aug. 21
BuckeyeSports.com managing editor Mark Rea got together with premium Internet members for a chat session Saturday following the Buckeyes' jersey scrimmage. Here is a transcript of that chat:
Buckeye Beay got things started with a series of questions:
1. Who earned extra playing time on offense and defense?
Rea: Hard to say, really, since the teams were divided first team offense vs. first team defense, etc. However, I would believe that freshmen like Devon Lyons and Nader Abdallah did enough good things to get them noticed. Marcus Freeman had a pretty good game. Tony Gonzalez made a nice catch. Bam Childress made some nice catches. I think JT is going to play a lot of people this year on both sides of the ball.
2. Which freshman were the most impressive?
Rea: See above and add Ginn to the list. Also Pittman, who ran well in limited carries, and Haw, who broke off a big one.
3. Who will win Will Allen's safety position?
Rea: Right now, it's Everett out front a little bit of Whitner. I don't think either did anything today that would change that.
4. Who looked better punting?
Rea: Only two kicks apiece at the start of the scrimmage. Both Turano and Huston looked OK ... but just OK.
5. Who looked better at QB?
Rea: I hate to go into Tresselspeak, but they all did some nice things and they all made mistakes. To be honest, none of them overly excited me today.
6. Who looked better at RT?
Rea: That looks like Tim Schafer's position to lose. I was kind of disappointed the few times I saw Barton today. He looked a little slow, but he's still coming back from that ankle problem in the spring.
7. Who looked like they will take over at WR opposite of Holmes?
Rea: Might be a bunch of people. Roy Hall made some nice catches and ran with authority after the catch. As I mentioned before, Lyons and Childress also did some nice things.
BUCKEYE_Bomber also had several questions to ask:
1. Who played the most surprisingly good/bad?
Rea: I kind of answered this in my story on the scrimmage. If I had to pick one player of the game, it would be Mike D'Andrea. I thought he played very well ... what we have expected of him since he got here. As for the bad part, I hate to say it but Mike Nugent missed 3 of 4 field goals. Of course, all three were from 50 yards or farther, but we've just gotten so used to him making everything, it was kind of a shock.
2. Rank the freshman in order of who will see most playing time to least. (a top 5 or 10 would be nice here and yes I guess I know its not a real question).
Rea: I think these guys have a real shot at PT: Ginn, Lyons, Abdallah, Pittman, Nicol (he's second string already), Freeman and maybe Haw.
3. Is the QB situation clearer or murkier?
Rea: I think it's pretty clear Zwick is the starter. IMHO, he'll play until it is clear he can't move the team.
4. Is the offense going to be better this year or worse? What about the defense?
Rea: Better or worse than what? Last year? Well, obviously with the graduation losses, I can't imagine either unit will be better. But the Buckeyes have a chance to be really good. I think they will take it slow out of the gate, though, and try to keep games as close as possible. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
5. What are the biggest things Ohio State fans should be excited about heading into this season based on the scrimmage and fall practices?
Rea: Talent, talent and more talent. This team has a deep pool of young talent. If the coaches can harness it all, this team will really be something.
6. Alternatively, what should worry Ohio State fans most right now?
Rea: Inexperience. Let's see how they break from the gate and what happens the first time adversity hits. That separates the good teams from the average ones.
TURFBUCK: Does it appear that the offense will really utilize a pass to the RB or even the FB out of the H-Back position or is this just another dream to have the offense more versatile?
Rea: I think there may be more of that just because this offense is so young in spots. What I mean by that is that the coaches have to devise some quick plays that get the heat off the QB. Quick tosses to running backs and tight ends are one way to do that. They did some today ... not much, but some.
Doctor Buckeye asked a series of questions:
1. How did the RBs (particularly Lydell Ross) look today?
Rea: They looked OK. Nothing spectacular. Haw got off a long run, but remember it was against the No. 3 defense. Ross and Pittman had some decent runs. And Mo Hall stuck his nose in there for a couple of carries. All in all, fairly efficient but certainly nothing spectacular.
2. Along those lines, did the O-line react well to the defense? Was the offense able to establish any type of running game?
Rea: The defense played pretty well and were ahead for most of the game before the heat got to them at the end. There really wasn't much of a running game established either way. After all, they threw the ball almost 50 percent of the time today.
3. How did the cornerbacks play in man coverage?
Rea: I thought they did fine. There really wasn't that much man coverage because I'd venture to say 80 percent of the throws by all three QBs were short passes.
4. In the past, it appeared that Ohio State successfully utilized the fullback as a receiver on simple drag routes across the middle. Was anything of that nature shown and/or do you anticipate that they will be used like that?
Rea: They did not feature the fullback much today, although Stan White had a couple of balls go his way when he was played the H-back. Looks to me like they're going to keep the fullback in as much as possible for max pro until the OL proves it can do it on its own.
BOBORONY: During the last recruiting season, there was speculation that Nader Abdallah would be in the two deep. Since practice has begun we have not heard about him at all. What is his status? How did he do in the scrimmage?
Rea: I thought he did some good things today, but he was playing with the threes today. The Buckeyes are fairly loaded in front of him at defensive tackle with Pitcock, Green, Penton, Cotton, Maupin and Patterson. But Patterson and Abdallah are athletic enough to slip out to end, too, so however long Kudla is out could allow Nader to get into the mix.
B22: How does these freshmen look: Gholston, Nader, Lyons in particular? Despite what people think, Boeckman is a longshot. I think Tress really likes his poise and demeanor. I'd like to know how he performs today. Don't count this kid out. I love Pittman -- what is his real size? He plays bigger than he is. Very physical. I’d like to see him at 210 if that possible. What seniors will be left out in the cold due to the youngsters development – to name a few Childress, Hollins, Kne, Caldwell?
Rea: Again, I think I've answered this question. Boeckman performed fairly well today, but he spent most of his time with the threes. He went 9 for his first 11 with them, then kind of struggled a little when he moved up to be with the twos. But he still had a pretty good day.
Pittman is listed at 5-11 and 190. That’s probably about right.
As far as seniors are concerned, I think OSU is counting on big contributions from Childress and Kne and maybe Jacobs. Hollins, I'm not so sure about and I don't know what is going on with Caldwell. He was switched back to defense and has fallen off the depth chart.
BUCKEYE_Bomber: 1. Were plays called to utilize our "more athletic" OL?
2. Who will start Everett or Whitner? D'Andrea or Schlegel?
Rea: The offensive play-calling sure looked awfully familiar today. I couldn't discern much that was different from previous years. And if the game was tomorrow, Everett would start at strong safety and MDA would start at MLB.
losu1: How did Dukes look today? I haven't seen any mention of his play.
Rea: I'll be quite honest with you. I don't remember him from a single play.
skeelo: Did the linemen block well in the running game also were the plays slow developing or quick hitting?
Rea: Again, I think the running game was OK, but just OK. It appeared to me that there were some quick hitters, but some slow-developers as well. One of Ross' first runs on the day was one of the slow sweeps, but he cut up nicely and turned nothing into about a 6-yard run.
o-h-i-o: This might be tough to answer but comparing this years team to the previous 2 years at this point in the practice season:
1. Does the Offense look better at this point than the offense from last two years?
Rea: In a word, no. How could it? Three new linemen, a new tight end, a new split end, a flanker who has played a half-season, a new quarterback and a starting fullback that is hurt. This is going to be a work in progress for awhile.
1. Does the defense look on par with the 2 previous years' squads?
Rea: Again, how could it. In the last two years, the entire starting defensive line and linebacking crew has completely turned over. Fox is the only full-time starter back from '02. Once again, give it some time. This is a talented bunch, though, and I think the team will go as far -- at least early -- as the defense takes it.
2. I hear they experimented with a 3-4 today. Do you think they will make a switch to keep the strong Linebacking crew on the field.
Rea: They'll use the 34 on occasion, but that won't be their base defense. Snyder will stick with the 43, but, yeah, they'll go with MDA and Schlegel on the field at the same time if the situation dictates it
Buckeyes: The Whitner situation seems very odd. He ended last year as the nickel, went through Spring ball as the starter at SS while Everett didn't participate at all. They start fall camp and now Everett is the starter? I'm for the best player playing, but it seems strange.
Well, Everett was coming on in the spring and got hurt. If you'll remember, I was touting Everett as far back as winter conditioning. I like the kid. He's tough, he plays smart and he hits like a freight train. Not to mention he's cut like a cemetery marker. But I think Whitner will see his share of PT, too. He's got a lot of athletic ability and he has to see the field.
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