Helwagen Chat: Sept. 30 Archive

Here are the excerpts of Thursday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen.

APittmanDaMan (Sep 30, 2004 1:05:24 PM)
Steve, Pittman go's over 125 this week. Agreed?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:07:13 PM)
I know you're high on AP and I think he has some definite potential. Would be great to see the running game generate 200-225, wouldn't it. I'll go with your 125 figure.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 1:05:55 PM)
Do you think the Buckeyes have another safety lined up, or did they just lose interest in AMW?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:07:23 PM)
edbuck regarding safeties ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:09:51 PM)
I think AMW's injury and attitude played into his "firing", so to speak. He hasn't hardly played this year. His attitude is such that he really wants to come to OSU but he also wants to play the full game. Well, spots are filling up. I think OSU just decided he wasn't worth the trouble. Things look final today, but you never know, do you? In terms of other safeties, they are stacked at safety already. O'Neal could play there. Oatis looks good that he has a visit. I was told the coaches who went to Fla. found several willing takers they liked down there too. (I have no names ... yet.) But I think the timing is amazing that they came back from that trip and said bye bye to AMW.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:09:58 PM)
Why did we try to pressure AMW to commit last week? Is it common to force a kid to commit? I thought he was a lock for sure...I hate to lose in state talent of his caliber

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:11:32 PM)
Well, they have to look at the big picture. They are down to 9 spots and they're in on some really good players, probably in on more than our database or the other site's database could truly tell you. The names will trickle out sooner or later. Again, AMW had the injury. That gave OSU its opening. He didn't want to verbal now. They decided he wasn't worth waiting until January, when he could go elsewhere and they'd be left holding the bag.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 1:11:37 PM)
What do you expect to see from the OL this week? Are these guys going to get stronger down the stretch?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:12:43 PM)
That would be good. I like them using Downing (kid tries hard) and Barton (has the raw ability and is a football player) as relievers. I agree with Coach Conley. The vets need to step it up. It's go time. Eight games to glory. The time is now.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 1:12:47 PM)
Do you think T.Smith's situation will have any effect on the team?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:14:37 PM)
No, sounds like he and Coach Tressel reached some common ground. I did not know until today that Smith was asked to rep some at receiver. That would be a shock (and also a sign that Zwick has an ironclad hold on the job, too) to me if I was Troy. They have cleared the air. My feeling is Troy will ride out the season and go from there. I don't understand why they don't come up with sets where they can play together (a la PSU's Mills and Robinson) and do all kinds of neat things once or twice a quarter. That would keep a defense on its toes.

BuckeyeJoe (Sep 30, 2004 1:15:10 PM)
Do you think they have at least one RB in the bag, or could we strike out at such a need position? You would think a great RB would drool at the oportunity at OSU. LB is much the same, but I feel more comfotable about filling the need.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:16:35 PM)
Ringer is my ace in the hole. I think he ends up here. I think Mo Wells is probably 1 in 3 he ends up here. They'll find a back. I think it's great, actually, that Haw is redshirting. I hope that works out. LB, I think they need 1-2 more there. Daniels or McCoy or Mathis of somebody of the ilk would be great.

euphorbia (Sep 30, 2004 1:16:39 PM)
Is this Ross' last week to show his stuff?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:17:36 PM)
No, he didn't get it going until about week 8 (second half of Iowa game, as Tressel always points out) last year. What makes you think they'll pull the plug this year, when he's a senior and captain. Oh yeah, they have other options. No, I think they stick with him come hell or high water.

Guest (Sep 30, 2004 1:17:42 PM)
Do we have a shot at King? It seems he is a natural fit at both RB and CB. He wants to play CB at the next level but seems to have the best vision to play RB. Can the bucks sell him on playing both ways.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:18:19 PM)
No, a poster said he read OSU will probably be on the outside looking in for King. They need to get him to campus and let Lyons and his Pa. buddies work on him.

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 1:18:23 PM)
Do you feel like Tressel should play Smith more or keep giving Zwick the reps at QB to get into that rythm?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:20:24 PM)
No, Zwick needs to play as much as possible. That ship has sailed. My contention is Smith should rep at TB, WR and as a "second QB" in the game (like Breaston did on the goal line vs. OSU last year). Gives the defense much more to think about. They could do a backwards pass to Troy and have him throw it again. A halfback option to Troy. He takes a snap from center and runs the option. He and zwick line up in a split shotgun, snap could go to either one. Be creative. Use your personnel. Make defenses scheme for a lot of stuff, as opposed to just the 45 and 46 plays.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:20:52 PM)
Are any of our current verbals taking the lead in attracting other blue chips to our class?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:21:20 PM)
Sounds like Boone called Worthington and worked him over. That's great. Boone and Schoenhoft -- met them at the game in Cinti. -- are great kids.

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 1:21:24 PM)
Steve, Good Afternoon! What is the word on AMW? Why in your opinion did Ohio St pull the offer? Do you feel/think there is someone else Ohio St has the inside lead on? By all accounts it sounded like AMW would have been a Buckeye.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:21:47 PM)
I addressed this earlier. But will do so again quickly for latecomers ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:23:12 PM)
My feeling is AMW was hurt, first of all.That gave OSU the "upper hand" so to speak in the relationship. They are down to 9 open spots (by my count). They need answers. Not more questions. If they wait until Jan. on this kid because he wants to see USC and all these places and then he doesn't come here (I know, just a 20 percent chance, probably), then they're left holding the bag. They forced the issue because they could and he didn't take the bait.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:23:23 PM)
Are they in on other guys? ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:24:17 PM)
Well, they have O'Neal, who could also play safety. Oatis is great they have him visiting from Calif. I also heard the assistants may have some leads on some talented Fla. DBs, names we do not have yet. So they liked their position well enough to cut him loose.

APittmanDaMan (Sep 30, 2004 1:24:29 PM)
Steve, how do you see Ginn being utilized a year or 2 from now? IMO he will be a full time corner, have around 15-20 plays on offense, and he'll be our kick and punt returner.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:26:04 PM)
The key to that is Lyons and Dukes (and Jordan and Gonzalez) if some of those guys can emerge, then he won't be needed at WR. They are set at corner for next year, it seems, with Underwood and Youboty. I wonder if he may play some there next year and try and start both ways as a junior. Kind of scary that if he moves to defense that you could lose your top 3 receivers after this season with Holmes (could he go?) and Bam.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:26:11 PM)
Sorry if it's already been asked, but what's your take on Smith? Will this smooth over or blow up?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:27:07 PM)
That was asked too. This was a good week to have a family quarrel. Tressel does well to keep things like this in-house. It was a mistake for Smith to even be interviewed Tuesday. I'm sure they will address that in future weeks. As Troy said, he'll ride the year out, help the team the best he can and go from there.

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 1:27:15 PM)
I know Ross is struggling at running the ball, but shouldn't some of the blame go to A. the O line and B. the offensive calls? NC State was loading guys in the box on 1st and ten because they knew Ross was going to run up the middle.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:31:13 PM)
I plan on watching the game tonight again. I can tell you this, OSU led 3-0, 6-0, 13-0, 16-0, 16-7, 19-7, 22-7 and 22-14. At no point was the offense in a position where it HAD to absolutely positively produce points. There was no urgency to ever open things up in the course of that game. Not at ANY moment. The score NEVER dictated it. So Tressel did the smart and right thing. He buttoned it up. He didn't let Zwick throw. He ran directly into 9-man fronts all day (Maddox at safety is really like having a 10-man front, I like him a lot) and punted and played field position while N.C. State just self-destructed right before our very eyes. Look at it like that. Consider N.C. State had a great defense and probably knew as much that Zwick wasn't throwing. Hey, he had open receivers all day but had problems getting them the ball. If you don't throw, you can't run. This was the story of the game. They never intended to move the ball ... because they didn't have to take that chance to win the game.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:31:48 PM)
How many more OL do we go after in this recruiting class? Do we have a shoot at Doering or Zibel? If not, do you feel Wilson will end up here?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:32:55 PM)
I think they'd like one more great one, whether it's any of the names you mention. I think Doering and/or Zirbel are long shots until they day they schedule visits. Then you have half a chance. Wilson is visiting for Michigan. I think he's still better than 50 percent to end up here.

bucks4fun (Sep 30, 2004 1:33:43 PM)
Hi Steve, do you think that we will see page 2 of the playbook Saturday nite or will JT stay on page one until the offense shows that it can perform

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:35:32 PM)
Good question. I think they work hard on both facets. I think,in a perfect world, they'd like to jump up 14-0 by running the ball. Then, with some breathing room, let Zwick continue to grow as well. NW has one pick in 4 games, so he ain't exactly gonna be in harm's way if he tries to throw the ball all over the lot. That's what I see. Run-first, mix in some pass and ask questions later.

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 1:35:41 PM)
I know it is hard to get into the head of Coach Tressel, buy why would he not play both Zwick and Smith at the same time? Talk about some offensive weapons. Is there a possibility this scenario like you commented about could really happen? Do you see Tressel being that creative?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:38:22 PM)
I think he could be. We were told they worked on that some during closed practices. I've never seen them in there together yet. Maybe this whole thing with Troy was a work to throw everybody off the scent? That would be giving Tressel too much credit. He's not that big of a manipulator (ha ha). Seriously, I see benefits from at least having wrinkles like that in the package. Who knows, you spring that on Purdue or Michigan and hit a big play when they aren't ready (like the Breaston TD ... I won't soon forget that, end of a 15-play drive or whatever it was, somebody other than that great American -- Lloyd's words -- John Navarre lines up under center and nobody on that great veteran OSU defense had the good sense to call timeout.).

fairbornlawyer (Sep 30, 2004 1:38:52 PM)
I thought the Lydell struggles at NCSU were much more play calling than RB performance. I actually think JT is one of the VERY FEW coaches in the country who can completely ignore the way a game may look to the fan and focus solely on the best opportunity his team has to win. Watching the game, I was thinking JT was calling the safest plays to run clock and allow the Buckeye defense to dominate, particularly as NCSU began to self-destruct. The Buckeye offense would have tried more creative things if there was a need. Am I way off here?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:40:11 PM)
Nope, you and I are on the same page. That's precisely how I see it and what I said before. Ohio State never NEEDED to get a first down to win that game. So they never put the football in a position where it could be fumbled or picked off, etc., and put the game in peril. Wasn't pretty, probably good cure for insomnia, but it worked.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:40:20 PM)
It seems like Tressel is sick of signing day surprises. Do you feel he may getting tougher on recruits to commit early in ways that could backfire?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:41:26 PM)
No, this is the first time I've seen them pull this type of move and they were protected, so to speak, because the kid hasn't play because of the injury. You don't pull offers to kids who verbal then get hurt. But schools routinely back off kids who get hurt after they offer.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:41:37 PM)
Do you feel Zwick will hit the RBs and TEs more and go after the homerun each time he drops back? Is it him or the play calling? Do you think he will begin to run when necessary instead of throwing it away or taking the sack? He has the ability....

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:43:36 PM)
Hamby was such a great weapon early on. Throwing to the RBs? I'd like to see them throw Stan White the ball. He isn't the quickest but he runs pretty hard after those grabs in the flats. As far as play calls, he was definitely under wraps at NCSU. Like I said, if the ground game can get them a two-score lead (10-0 or 14-0), I'd look for Zwick to get more throws in the middle of the game. As far as him running, he did have a 16-yard run at NCSU. He could do more of that. Craig used to run twice a quarter.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:43:44 PM)
We seem poised for great things next season. How is the team preparing for the loss of Nugent?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:45:01 PM)
They have some options. Tressel keeps talking about an Australian walk-on named Ryan Pretorious. Plus, they have Skeete and Aaron Pettrey who should enroll in the winter. And there's talk that Huston could get a sixth year, for whatever that's worth.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:45:09 PM)
What LB's do feel will commit this year? Is there anyone in state worth going after?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:45:13 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:46:35 PM)
Probably Alex Daniels, though I think Oklahoma may now be the team to beat. You hear about some out-of-state guys like Rico McCoy in D.C. and Andre Mathis in Pa. who like OSU a lot. We'll see. They are getting old in the tooth there with Hawk, Carpenter, D'Andrea and Schlegel all juniors. But the next wave is on the way with Freeman, Hoobler, Lukens, Curtis Terry and maybe even Kerr.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:46:39 PM)
Any chance at all that we see Izzy back in scarlet and gray?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:47:12 PM)
I have not heard any rumblings to that effect. Not sure what he's doing now. I heard he was at Youngstown but not playing.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 1:47:25 PM)
Do you think OSU is going to run even more than usual against Northwestern? Will they use this game to try and establish balance, or to build confidence on the running game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:48:01 PM)
Run first always, pass second when the game is comfortably in hand. Minnesota showed you how to do it last week. They were up 31-10 at the half, I think.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:48:05 PM)
What is up with the OL; are they ever going to play with an attitude? They have the talent with no killer instinct; they should be blowing people off the ball. Is it the coaching? They need more attitude....Wilson would be a huge lift in that area....along with the freshman from this year.....It is the pride of this state running it down the opponents throat....

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:49:18 PM)
Something isn't clicking. They have weeded out all the Coop guys. These are their hand-picked guys. They need to get them in gear. Correction: It used to be the pride of this state running it down the opponent's throat.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2004 1:49:28 PM)
Hi Steve, What have you heard about Brayden Bell?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:50:27 PM)
He's on the cusp of the top 100 nationally. Big men are at such a premium because the top 5-6 go pro any more. Indiana, UCLA, Utah and Pepperdine also wanted him. Saw him in person at a football game. Passes the look test. Great that he won't have to come in and play 30 minutes a game because Dials would still be there next year.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2004 1:50:32 PM)
Prediction? How many carries do Ross, Pittman, Haw, get respectively?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:51:34 PM)
Ross will get 20 for 100, Pittman will get 10 for 93, Haw 0 for 0 (probably will make the trip just in case but not play) and Joe 8 for 40. That's 233. That's probably too much.

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 1:51:39 PM)
Steve, you da man! I think you have all of our dream job's!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:52:26 PM)
Thanks, man, it is a blast. Just got a box of our October band issues of Bucknuts here and it's dynamite. That's when you're happy when you see your work right there.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:53:11 PM)
Let me put in a plug for our special live event for our premium subscribers. Check the Ask The Insiders message board for all the details of this special event next Thursday night here in Cols.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:53:14 PM)
Your thoughts on the play of Mangold/Sims thus far, Steve?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:55:45 PM)
Mangold has done a decent job exchanging the ball. Only 1-2 mishaps so far. He has been guilty of some penalties. Hold on the Ross third-down conversion vs. Marshall and the blatant personal foul (2 hand shove in back of guy who wasn't even looking) on the Zwick pick. He also turned a UC guy loose on Zwick, as I recall. You remember the bad plays, I guess. But I think he has Bollman's respect. He has to play like an All-Big Ten guy. Sims, I think, has done OK. Really well on pass pro, maybe not as well on run blocking (who has?).

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 1:56:14 PM)
What RBs do you think we have a shoot at; Stewart, Wells, Ringer? I would like to think we pull 1 from in state; i.e. Ringer...the kid is a stud and can play in all weather. Are we going to get one big back.....Do you know of any other great backs that are interested? (in state or out of state)

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:57:01 PM)
I think Ringer ends up here. Probably just 1 in 3 shot at Wells. Great he is visiting for Michigan. Otherwise, they need these great RBs that are "out there" to make visits. That's the key.

skeelo (Sep 30, 2004 1:57:06 PM)
steve: roy hall has looked good in his limited chances to make plays what gives? is he our 4th and 5th best wr. on the team?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:57:58 PM)
The secret must be practice, because there aren't many guys who could make that TD catch he made in traffic against Marshall. That's a sign of what he's capable of. But he has to go 100 percent every day in practice. That must be the key here. Hazell is pretty demanding.

brad j (Sep 30, 2004 1:58:07 PM)
is this team divided by the qb situation

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:58:14 PM)
No, I don't sense that.

PastorDaddy (Sep 30, 2004 1:58:27 PM)
Hi Steve, sorry to jump ahead on the schedule, but how much does Wisconsin scare you?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 1:59:37 PM)
They are playing good ball. They could have named the score against PSU, but kind of took the easy way out when they knew they had them down. They come here, of course they've won here last 2 visits (99 and 01). Just glad to not have to go to Madison for third year in a row. I was missing some mail last week and wondered if it had been sent there by mistake (ha ha).

swope (Sep 30, 2004 1:59:46 PM)
What's the likelihood that Hall emerges from his slow start?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:01:04 PM)
You hope he delivers on the promise. He's like 6-3, 228 and cut like a Greek god. Herbstreit busted his chops on the radio recently. He said if the contest was cut down to your skivvies and pose, he'd be the leader. But it's playing football. Roy, I think, is a good enough kid. He's probably never had to deal with adversity like this in terms of sports. He needs to step it up and let the results be what they are.

skeelo (Sep 30, 2004 2:02:02 PM)
it seems that every week for the last 3 years we talk about the offense the last 3 opening days gave us a glimmer of hope that we were going to be a multi-faceted offense. then we never again see these plays again for the rest of the season. is this by design?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:03:06 PM)
No, I think Tressel coaches to the situation. In 2002, he had a largely untested QB with Krenzel. last year, Craig was hurt most of the year. This year, he's back to largely untested. They will only take major risks and chances when they HAVE to. Otherwise, you'll see a ton of out routes and safe flanker screens that can't be picked.

brad j (Sep 30, 2004 2:03:18 PM)
couldn't smith be a reggie bush type of guy?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:03:58 PM)
Yeah, I think he could. He is multi-talented. I'm not sure he's a 4.4 or 4.5 guy, but he has some obvious physical tools.

brad j (Sep 30, 2004 2:04:01 PM)
when did we loose the ability to run the ball when we lost reecie?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:04:11 PM)
Sure seems like it, not meaning to be flippant.

brad j (Sep 30, 2004 2:04:14 PM)
steve we will never run for 233 are you crazy?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:04:30 PM)
Yes, probably so. I think they end up with 400 (200 each way).

swope (Sep 30, 2004 2:04:36 PM)
In light of our recent turnover in assistant coaches, which of our current ones has the star quality to get hired away?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:06:42 PM)
Mel Tucker, probably. There was talk he was headed to the NFL until they made him a co-coordinator. Snyder has a plum job now. Would take a great opportunity for him to jump. Maybe if he puts in 3 good years, he makes that leap. Fickell and Peterson are home. Hazell has some upwardly mobile potential maybe in a year or 3. The rest (Bollman, Heacock, Daniels and Doc Tressel) are vets and probably hoping to play out the string right here with JT for the next 10 years (ha ha).

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 2:06:57 PM)
When do think Ginn will make an impact? Is he ever going to play CB or return punts?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:08:00 PM)
He'll do some things at WR this year. Not going to play defense this year, unless something would happen to Underwood or Youboty in the next 2-3 weeks before Fox gets back. They like Holmes on punts because he has that experience. I'd like to see Ted in there on every kick and a few punts, though.

brad j (Sep 30, 2004 2:08:10 PM)
i still can't understand how no one in the media except cowherd thinks we are a real team he thinks we are number 3

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:08:24 PM)
It's all in how you win and they don't pile up many style points, do they?

swope (Sep 30, 2004 2:08:30 PM)
What percentage of the time will we see a 3-4 defense now that league play is upon us?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:09:02 PM)
Depends on the opponent's strengths and the down and distance, I imagine. I'm going to watch NCSU tonight to see when and how they used that formation.

theamer (Sep 30, 2004 2:09:13 PM)
Steve, Do you think there is pressure on Jim Bollman to produce a more effective offensive line? Do you think our poor offensive line play the last couple of years had any impact on our hiring of John Peterson.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:09:24 PM)
Great question ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:10:48 PM)
I think Tressel considers Bollman to be his right-hand man. Bollman always stresses the importance of balance when he speaks to the media. He and Tressel and the rest of the offensive staff craft the game plan each week. I've seen Peterson help coach the OL a little bit when the TEs are mixed in for blocking drills. His presence can only help.

sears3820 (Sep 30, 2004 2:10:55 PM)
Steve....with Mike Kudla still a little banged and Marcus Green reaggravating his ankle injury, could we possibly see some younger guys who haven't seen as much PT (Maupin, Cotton) get in the rotation?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:11:27 PM)
That would be great. Those kids have worked hard. They're just caught in a numbers crunch behind some pretty good players (Patterson and Pitcock as well as Green).

APittmanDaMan (Sep 30, 2004 2:11:31 PM)
steve, will david patterson get the start over green because of his injury?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:11:49 PM)
Probably, I would think they take Green easy and get him healthy if they can.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:11:57 PM)
Is Brian Cushing no longer an option? I saw him on TV a week or so ago , and even though he is a hot dog, he has great speed, is always around the ball, and makes big plays.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:14:18 PM)
I don't know about him. I know he has visits set with Miami and USC. He has some great schools after him. I'd call him a long shot. He goes 6-4, 220. If he can get up around 240 pretty quick he could be a nice college player.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:14:37 PM)
On the subject of coaching staffs, even though it is early in the year, do you think this staff is improved, or needs experience, compared to the group who was here last year?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:16:05 PM)
I like this staff. Peterson and Hazell are in the prime of their coaching careers. Doc Tressel brings that experience and is a solid confidante for his brother, obviously. They lost 3 good ones with Dantonio, Conley and Spencer. Good in all facets, but the replacements are going to do just fine.

pdm (Sep 30, 2004 2:16:23 PM)
Ross is a captain and leader, if his game is not on, should he not step aside and let Pittman get his shot? It would be taking one for the team.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:16:48 PM)
I doubt you'll see that. These guys are selfless, by and large, but not quite that selfless. He isn't entirely to blame, either.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:16:56 PM)
The Bucks seem to have improved in the area of Kick-Off returns, but punt returns seem about the same. Do you think they are really just worried about securing the ball in punting situations?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:18:14 PM)
Yes, plus the punters they have faced have been erratic. That effects the return game when you have no idea where it may be headed. Punt returns aren't a big area for big plays any more. Everybody has great athletes on coverage. It's hard to do much better than 10 a clip. OSU has been stuck at 6-7 yards a return for the past several years.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 2:18:24 PM)
What describes Tressel

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:19:08 PM)
Cool and calm. I watched part of Marshall last night. He hardly celebrated when Nugent made the kick. It was kind of like ho-hum. he is locked in on what they need to do to win the game and he pushes the buttons to get that done.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:19:15 PM)
Are you excited for Bam? He really looks like he could make some huge plays, and seems to be gaining confidence with more playing time.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:19:34 PM)
Yep, great kid, infectious personality. Glad to see him(finally) succeed.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 2:19:42 PM)
What is Tressel's current recruiting m.o. with regard to OOS vs. the fence around Ohio? Do you see him going more national?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:20:12 PM)
This year, other than Daniels and Wilson, the rest appear to be national. Could be first time in long time they'll have more OOS than in-state in the final signing class.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:20:28 PM)
Hey guys, anything else?

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:21:02 PM)
How about a little update on M.Hartline and Schlicter?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:21:46 PM)
I don't think either has real gaudy numbers. I think OSU is taking a wait-and-see approach on each. Hartline has some great potential and a nice frame. I would maybegive him a slight edge over Miles.

swope (Sep 30, 2004 2:21:54 PM)
who's your top recruit you'd like to see us get of those remaining on our radar?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:22:03 PM)
Tough question ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:24:12 PM)
Probably Maurice Wells, Lawrence Wilson and Alex Daniels in that order, looking at ranking and what they need.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:24:19 PM)
and the chances they have to land them.

redondo (Sep 30, 2004 2:24:30 PM)
Hi Steve - Looking at it from another perspective, does having T. Smith workout some at WR signal an acknowledgement that aside from S. Holmes, OSU isn't really getting it done in this department? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:24:41 PM)
Definitely, speaks volumes when Ginn has to move over.

mbuck37 (Sep 30, 2004 2:24:50 PM)
Please forgive me if this has been asked. but will OSU offer a schollie to J Stewart of Washington?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:25:07 PM)
That's the $64,000 question. We'll keep calling to try and get the answer.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:25:17 PM)
Guys, gotta run. Thanks a million. See you later.

edbuck51 (Sep 30, 2004 2:25:26 PM)
Thanks Steve.

mbuck37 (Sep 30, 2004 2:25:40 PM)
thanks steve

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:26:01 PM)
Feel free to talk among yourselves ....

daytonbuckeye (Sep 30, 2004 2:26:10 PM)
thanks steve

redondo (Sep 30, 2004 2:26:11 PM)
Hi Steve - Help me understand and make sense of the contrasting views about opening up the playbook when we're ahead. I thought I read up above that in the NCSU game, the observation was that the further we got ahead the more conservative the offense became. Then when discussing upcoming NW, the thought was let the Buckeyes get out ahead by two scores and the open up the offense. Since this is a road game in the Big Ten, wouldn't the NCSU model (play more conservatively as the lead gets bigger) make more sense in trying to anticipate what JT will do? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:26:16 PM)
and check out that special event for our subscribers

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:27:09 PM)
No, because the feeling has to be that NW does not have a defense that can make you pay for mistakes like NCSU's would have. At least in my mind. Two entirely different scenarios.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2004 2:27:37 PM)
I'll say that NW's offense is much more explosive and capable of a comeback than whatever that was at NCSU.

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