Conley Chat: Sept. 13 Transcript

Former OSU recruiting coordinator Bill Conley was back today for another Chat session for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Today, the questions ranged from the running game to how OSU calls offensive plays to quarterback play and on to the defensive front. Conley will be back Sept. 27 for his next Chat for our subscribers. Click here for a look at today's revealing Chat session.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:03:41 PM)
With Fox's injury, do you think we will see Ginn on defense, or will the coaches stick with Youboty, Whitner, et al.?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:04:28 PM)
I think Youboty will be in the mix as a corner or nickel. I would not be shocked at all if Ginn goes to defense. With Roy Hall and Bam Childress coming on at receiver, it only makes sense to move a talent like Ginn back over to defense.

mjw1200 (Sep 13, 2004 3:04:38 PM)
as a former tight end coach how would you rate the tight end play in the game against Marshall? Did you see any good things out of rory nicol?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:05:19 PM)
I didn't notice Rory a lot. He didn't get as many snaps as in the first game. From watching Ryan Hamby, I think he had a much better first game. He may have a very slight back injury that hampered him a little bit.

philbuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:05:55 PM)
Bill...when recruitung, once you have determined your positional needs what goes into how you determine who you go after. Is it simply performances at various camps and or tapes sent in by players or is there something else? Does a players known interest in OSU factor in it at all? Thanks.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:07:57 PM)
All of the above is the answer to that. We looked at position needs as well as the overall athletic ability of the player. Obviously he has to be qualified academically. Camp is extremely important because it's the only time you get to work with them. The NCAA limits you to 1 observation in the fall. At the camp, you get 2-3 days to work with them. That really you. Tape is very important, especially for out of state kids and states where there is no spring practice. The tapes we request and that coaches send us are the first observed. We receive approximately 3,000-4,000 tapes a year.

Mike68 (Sep 13, 2004 3:08:14 PM)
How surprised have you been to see Tress open up the offense and put so much faith in JZ. Does this mean that he has more faith in an inexperienced JZ this year than he had in an experienced CK last year?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:09:43 PM)
I think there are probably 3 factors why you saw so much passing vs. Marshall. First of all, Ohio State's running game was limited. The other TBs were hurt. Second of all, the only way you as a coach know a player's passing ability is to see it in a game early. Third, I'm not sure you would see the same kind of open passing attack if it was a conference game.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:10:08 PM)
Do you see the coaches trying to move someone back to DE with Kudla now apparently hurt? I know you like Gholston, but we are very thin and have little in terms of game experience. Could Patterson or another DT move over to DE? Carpenter or D’Andrea move down?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:11:28 PM)
I don't think you'll see LBs move to end. You'll see more play from Richardson and Gholston and Simon Fraser. Those are your 3 guys. There is a possibility Alex Barrow could play, even though the coaches would like to redshirt him. My prediction is you might see Marcel Frost move back to defensive end, especially since Rory Nicol coming on.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:11:48 PM)
Coach Tressel indicated the defensive line was playing a little high, and that is why they were getting pushed around in the second half. Is this because they were tired? Tentative? Is this something easily corrected?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:13:18 PM)
I think OSU was slow adjusting to the offensive set Marshall was in. They weren't sturdy enough at the point of attack, number-wise. Once OSU adjusted, Marshall's backs did a good job of cutting the ball back.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:13:45 PM)
Bill, what is your feeling on the inconsistency in the running game

dozer (Sep 13, 2004 3:13:48 PM)
Are we gong to see more of Pittman and Haw?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:16:14 PM)
Lydell Ross has to do better, being a senior tailback, at seeing the holes. He has a big tendency at times to bounce out at times when he should be cutting the ball back. Also, you need a little bit of a fullback threat, which they don't have without Joe. The OL needs to sustain their blocks. Pittman, Mo Hall and Haw have to take the bull by the horns and press Lydell in practice. Pittman and Hall were dinged up some last week. That's why Lydell was the only RB who carried the ball.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:16:20 PM)
Why the lack of use of a fullback? Is Joe that far ahead of Schnittker and White?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:17:59 PM)
Both have talents. Branden Joe is an athletic fullback that is a better runner. Schnittker is a better blocker and the better receiver out of the backfield. They both need to be healthy and used to have any chance of winning the Big Ten. Stan White is talented at blocking, receiving and as a motion back he could be used more.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:18:15 PM)
Lyons has been playing on special teams, but has not been in, at least to my knowledge, on offense. Why would they burn a redshirt for him if he isn’t going to play on O?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:19:04 PM)
I agree. Again, if Ginn is moved to defense, you'll see a lot more of Devon Lyons. He's a big, physical talent.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Sep 13, 2004 3:19:16 PM)
Bill: Any chance that we're saving/hiding Eric Haw for NC State. I ask because, with Pittman's injury, we could've used another RB against Marshall and it didn't happen.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:20:08 PM)
I don't think OSU is hiding Erik Haw. I simply think they'd like to redshirt him if at all possible. But health issues are becoming a major problem already. This game may tell the tale of whether Erik Haw will play as a true freshman.

redondo (Sep 13, 2004 3:20:24 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Thank you for taking my question. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the current Buckeye team? Is it the turnover imbalance or something else, and how do you think the staff should address wahatever you think the main issue is?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:22:42 PM)
Obviously, the turnover issue is of major importance. Number one, OSU is stopping drives with turnovers. Secondly, the defense is going to have to force turnovers as the season goes on. Young QBs make mistakes that hopefully are correctible, where they won't be the guy. But there is no excuse for a RB getting the ball ripped out of his hands. That's basic RB technique there.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:23:07 PM)
Is anyone standing out to you as playing well on the OL (aside from Mangold and Simms, of course)?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:23:53 PM)
The guy that I think is playing good for being a first-year starter has been Tim Schafer at RT. Everybody else has been disappointing.

labsbeabmm (Sep 13, 2004 3:24:17 PM)
i think the loss of fox is huge. makes beating ncs much more difficult

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:25:08 PM)
It will definitely hurt because of 2 things. One is his experience. Two is his leadership. The guy that's going to have to pick up the leadership role is junior Nate Salley. He's a smart football player and talented.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:25:15 PM)
give us some insight how plays are called during the game

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:27:37 PM)
All calls rest in the hands of Jim Tressel. Others have limited input. Offensive game plans are put together as a staff. Run and pass plays in the game plan are determined by such things as field position, down and distance and personnel groups. There are usually an average of about 6 different plays per situation. In the game, Coach Tressel will pick from that list.

BuckDiego (Sep 13, 2004 3:28:09 PM)
Hey Bill. I don't want to bring up any bad memories for us recruitnicks, but with NC State coming up, I wonder if you could talk a bit about the Richard Washington saga from a few years back. He verballed then suddenly switched on NLOI day....what happened?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:30:01 PM)
Richard committed to us. Even his dad, high school coach and teachers at the school assumed he was signing with us. We knew something was up when we couldn't get a hold of him the last 36 hours before signing day. N.C. State worked on him hard, if you know what I mean, the last few days.

JohnnyBuckeye (Sep 13, 2004 3:31:04 PM)
Bill... who was your all-time biggest disappointment from a recruiting standpoint. Basically, who did you think was going to develop into an "all-world" player and never did? I've heard the name Chuck Jones come alot with regards to this topic.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:31:38 PM)
One of the biggest disappointments was Jefferson Kelley out of Cinti. Colerain. He was a big OL who could run.

RossfordBuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:31:49 PM)
What is the nature of the injury to Hamby? Is it from the first game or something that is lingering from fall camp?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:32:23 PM)
It was more than likely from the first game and didn't fully recover by gametime. He may have reaggravated it. It shouldn't be a major problem. He's a tough kid.

philbuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:32:33 PM)
Bill...after seeing so much action out of Hamby in the first game he seemed to be practically nonexistent in the Marshall game. Do you think they felt Marshall was keying on him so they were going to the other recievers instead?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:33:04 PM)
I think they were early because on at least one of the TD passes to Holmes, Ryan blocked, which froze the safety.

dozer (Sep 13, 2004 3:33:12 PM)
What is your take for this years class of 05?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:34:00 PM)
I think it's a good start in-state and should be. The key will be what happens with the great out of state players. I'm concerned about Florida recruiting.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:34:15 PM)
Do you really think Lydell Ross is the answer at RB, it seems to me that he just doesn't have "it". I would like to think someone can do a better job?? What do you think.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:35:11 PM)
I think he doesn't have long to show he can be a great one and that he can play at the next level. The jury is out on that. He needs to be challenged.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:35:21 PM)
The turnovers seem contagious. Is there a way to limit them before our season takes a u-turn at a place line NC state?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:36:12 PM)
The greatest attribute a quarterback must have is being a good decision maker. If he doesn't make better decisions quickly, there could be major problems once the Big Ten schedule starts.

NugeRules (Sep 13, 2004 3:36:29 PM)
It seems as if Lydell is still just a half-step slow to the holes. At some point, do the coaches give Pittman or even Haw a chance to get the bulk of the carries?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:37:32 PM)
The one thing Lydell has to show, which he hasn't, is better vision. That's being able to run behind his blockers at the point of attack, cut back or bounce outside when necessary and hold on to the football.

JohnnyBuckeye (Sep 13, 2004 3:37:39 PM)
Where do you ultimately see Ginn getting more playing time? More on offense or defense?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:38:38 PM)
In the long haul, I think Ted Ginn is a defensive player first, return man second and offensive player third. It is very difficult for a true freshman to do more than 1 and nearly impossible to do 3. The game is too complex at the college level for a true freshman.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:38:57 PM)
Do the bucks survive the trip to Raleigh?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:39:59 PM)
They must play a complete game, four quarters. There has to be much more improvement from Game 2 to 3 than they showed from 1 to 2. It will be difficult to win in the hostile environment in Raleigh. If it goes to overtime, nearly impossible to win.

buckeyemurph (Sep 13, 2004 3:40:15 PM)
Coach Conley, I saw some things on the internet quoting Mark Snyder as saying he had a hard time seeing things on the field. Do you think he will make a move to the press box?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:40:57 PM)
No, I don't think he'll stay down there. I think he enjoys being on the field. Maybe stilts are the answer (ha ha).

NugeRules (Sep 13, 2004 3:42:27 PM)
Now that we are going to NCSt this weekend to see Richard Washington and Derek Morris and also after watching Buster Davis for FSU on Friday night . . . what happened in the last days of that recruiting frenzy in 2002?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:42:50 PM)
We already talked about Washington. Morris and Davis both had issues beyond the football field.

mjw1200 (Sep 13, 2004 3:43:11 PM)
with brandon joe hopefully coming back soon, do you think that will be a big help to our running game, we all saw his running ability during the fiesta bowl last year but do you think his blocking ability will be just as much of an asset?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:44:01 PM)
A healthy Branden Joe would be a big shot in the arm for the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, he's been hurt a lot during his time at Ohio State.

nybukeye (Sep 13, 2004 3:44:18 PM)
why is it that our defense is not looking as solid as it was portrayed to be...mistackles, no interceptions, sacks etc

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:45:28 PM)
Probably the biggest element that they're missing is full game experience. Even though you have some guys who have played a lot. There were only a few full-time starters like Fraser, Hawk, Fox and Salley. There's no substitute for experience.

philbuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:45:49 PM)
Bill...although Zwick made several mistakes in the game, I saw plenty to be excited about as a fan. He looks to have a strong arm and is fairly accurate. What is your take on his play?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:47:04 PM)
He needs to be a lot more consistent. He needs to grow up early. It's tough to win the Big Ten with a rookie quarterback because of the decision making process. The team that is playing the best offensively in the Big Ten, currently, is Purdue, who I picked to be at least third in the Big Ten. They've got the one returning QB.

DaveBiddle (Sep 13, 2004 3:47:19 PM)
Hi Bill: Please give us some insight on Anthony Schlegel's transfer to OSU. Was this someone who just fell in your lap, or did you have to recruit him hard after he was granted his release from the AFA?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:48:06 PM)
He was looking around because if he would have played one more year for Air Force he would have had to keep his military commitment. He decided that was not the career he wanted to follow.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:48:58 PM)
Does Tressel recruit more by position (so many RB's, LB's etc.) or more by category (speed, big speed, strength)?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:50:25 PM)
Position and talent first. There are key elements for each position. O-linemen need good feet and flexibility. Defensive backs need quickness and good hips to be a corner, speed and toughness to be a safety, for example.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 3:50:55 PM)
I know we lost a ton of experience on the D-Line, but everything I read was the talent dropoff was not so big. Do you see this D-line improving exponentially as the year goes on? I know Troy did beat Missouri but come on, they had 8 sacks and gave up very little yardage on the ground.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:52:05 PM)
Will Smith, Darrion Scott, Tim Anderson and Simon Fraser may have been the best one group of defensive linemen in Ohio State football history. It's impossible to replace 3 of the 4 in one year. Fortunately, the Buckeyes' defensive line coach, Jim Heacock, is the best in the business.

BlueChipRecruit (Sep 13, 2004 3:52:18 PM)
Bill, what position on the team do you think needs to be addressed the most in this recruiting class? I'd go with Defensive End. We haven't got much pressure from the edge this season. Thanks!

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:53:48 PM)
I think they need more receivers on offense. They need more linebackers on defense (depth) and you always need great rush ends. Let's not forget the most important thing may be a place kicker to take Mike Nugent's spot when he graduates.

buckeyemurph (Sep 13, 2004 3:54:16 PM)
Coach, with Fox's injury do you see Ginn being moved to defense full time?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:54:34 PM)
If I was the head football coach, I would definitely move Ted Ginn to defense immediately.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:55:27 PM)
We are coming down to about 10 minutes left or so. We've answered questions on Erik Haw, ted Ginn and the defensive line already. Many have asked similar questions about those areas. Check the transcript for those answers. We'll try and get new questions now.

matz2 (Sep 13, 2004 3:55:47 PM)
Coach -I know that you briefly discussed Dajaun Morgan in your last chat, but I would also like to know if you think that the incident will have any negative impact on OSU's recruiting in Florida?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:56:20 PM)
I think any time a scholarship is pulled, no matter what the reason, it makes recruiting tougher at that school and in that immediate area.

Susan (Sep 13, 2004 3:56:47 PM)
Bill, weather forecasters are saying Ivan could be coming through NC on Fri or Sat. If so, what affect to do you see a torrential downpour having on the OSU offensive plays. Will rainy, windy weather hurt OSU or NCST more? I'm having visions of the rain soaked game at Camp Randall last year and am not looking forward to a similar type game out of the Buckeyes.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:57:17 PM)
It may hurt N.C. State more because of the large number of returning skill players they have. The kicking game becomes crucial, which should help Ohio State.

calibuck (Sep 13, 2004 3:57:32 PM)
In your opinion what are our chances with Maurice Wells? Thanks

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:58:20 PM)
I think we have a good chance if the kid goes out of state. When it's all said and done, it's tough to beat in-state schools if they put a hard push on for him.

Susan (Sep 13, 2004 3:58:45 PM)
After the game, Youboty was crying and Fox had his arm around him, talking to him. Do you know what that was about?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:59:10 PM)
I think that was just the excitement of the moment in winning a close game. Ashton Youboty is a great young man.

Buckeye Flex (Sep 13, 2004 3:59:20 PM)
Hi Bill: Do you think Donte Whitner passed Ty Everett this past Saturday to become a starter?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 3:59:58 PM)
I think he made up ground. This week's game is important for both of them, especially with Dustin out.

DaveBiddle (Sep 13, 2004 4:00:12 PM)
What is more important in recruiting in your opinion: A strong connection with the player's high school head coach, or a connection with his family? No question both are important, but is one more so than the other from your experiences?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:00:55 PM)
Good question, Dave. Both are important. If it's a strong family relationship, the family is by far more important. But a negative coach can make life miserable for the recruiter.

marksgforce (Sep 13, 2004 4:01:36 PM)
Simon F came out of h.s. as #1 recruit in state and after first two years I thought he was NFL all the way. Last year he was injured. I'm still not seeing plays this year. Am I missing something? has he maxe out?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:02:28 PM)
I think Simon Fraser is playing very well. In the first game, he had 2 deflected passes. Plus, he took out interference a number of times for the LBs. He needs to play a little bit lower at times. But he will definitely play in the NFL.

HangOnSloopy (Sep 13, 2004 4:02:36 PM)
Bill, who would say are the top recruiters out there today? Anyone you didn't like going up against for a kid?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:04:49 PM)
You always worried about SEC schools first because of their tendency to bend or break the rules. In the Big Ten, there was a time when Michigan State was the same. Not so much now. Schools that always did a good job and seemed to play by the rules were Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, for example.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 4:05:22 PM)
Coach, does it seem like Coach Tressel emphasizes going out of state less than maybe Coach Cooper did?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:06:05 PM)
I think Coach Cooper recognized the importance of recruiting out of state speed players. Coach Tressel does also, but not to the same extent.

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 4:06:29 PM)
What do you think of Manningham Bill, obviously he is someone the staff have known of for a few years now. Did we ever have a shot with him? Will this kid come back to haunt us?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:07:06 PM)
I think he's a very good player. The problem is in that community there is a strong Michigan influence. Maybe the Buckeyes can get him to change his mind, but I think it's a long shot.

NugeRules (Sep 13, 2004 4:07:33 PM)
Why the concern over Florida recruiting? Anything to do with last year's Morgan fiasco?

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:08:14 PM)
That's part of it. It takes a lot of hard work to recruit Florida. When you have staff turnover, it makes tougher.

Susan (Sep 13, 2004 4:09:15 PM)
At what point in the recruiting process were you confident that Zwick and D'Andrea were Buckeyes? I recall most fans felt that Zwick was headed to that school up north and D'Andrea was going west, to Nebraska.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:09:51 PM)
I think we felt a little bit more comfortable about Zwick earlier than Mike. The biggest problem we had with Mike was he had a personal trainer that was a Nebraska fan.

BillConley (Sep 13, 2004 4:10:40 PM)
Hey everybody, thanks for the great questions. We're sorry we did not get to them all. I will be on the Bucknuts Radio Hour next week. My next Chat will be 2 weeks from today. See you all then!!

Guest (Sep 13, 2004 4:11:20 PM)
thanks Bill!


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