Helwagen Chat: Oct. 22 Archive

Here are excerpts of Friday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Remember, former OSU assistant coach Bill Conley will be here at 2 p.m. for a Chat.

ODOGG45 (Oct 22, 2004 3:07:39 PM)
is Zwick gonna be in the press box saturday? Do you think it would benefit him to sit up top and see things from a different view?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:08:28 PM)
No, I imagine he will be down on the field. He will probably be involved in signaling plays. If he is able, he may go into the game if Troy gets hurt, so they don't have to play Boeckman (particularly if it's late and he's just handing off).

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:08:33 PM)
Steve - Do you think the wheels may be coming off a bit with players like Lydell. I would guess they are a little frustrated.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:09:35 PM)
I have no idea why this happened. To speculate would be foolish. He was one of the six seniors who were there Tuesday to meet with the media. He sounded upbeat as ever there, even expressing confidence in the offense. Something happened between then and now.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:09:50 PM)
Good afternoon guys and thanks for all of your hard work! Wow, what happens next then? How long is the suspension? Maybe Haw or will they try to get by with AP and MH and the fullbacks?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:11:19 PM)
No duration was given. It is assumed it will be for this one game. Doesn't sound serious, yet it was enough to sit him out of this game. I think Pittman, Joe and Hall will be the options before they ever seriously consider putting Erik Haw in the game. It would be foolish to waste his RS year in a 3-3 season (same with Boeckman, if they can avoid it).

labsbeabmm (Oct 22, 2004 3:11:25 PM)
I can't help but think it is a break in the long run to let the young TBS play

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:12:22 PM)
Yep, I agree. This team can do no better than the Alamo Bowl, maybe the Outback if they win out, which is highly unlikely. It's not popular to say, but now is the time to get guys like Pittman and Rehring and whoever else time for next year.

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:12:25 PM)
Is Joe healthy enough to be a major contributor yet?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:12:53 PM)
He has not shown that burst, that is for sure. None of his runs this season look anything like the explosion we saw from him against K-State.

Bellybuck (Oct 22, 2004 3:13:04 PM)
Just got here-who is suspended

DantheMan (Oct 22, 2004 3:13:06 PM)
Evidently you guys are aware of some late breaking news that hasn't been announced on bucknuts.com. What about Lydell?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:16:35 PM)
The university sent out a release at 2:30. I just posted a story a few minutes ago on the home page. The Scout.com system sometimes requires a 10-minute lag before stories appear (though the redesign was supposed to address that .... ahem). At any rate, Lydell Ross will not play against Indiana. Jim Tressel has suspended him for one game. No details were given and Coach Tressel will not discuss it until after the game, if he discusses it then.

ODOGG45 (Oct 22, 2004 3:16:42 PM)
steve- obviously something is wrong with the offense, what changes would you make and who might be some up and coming coaches with ties to OSU that could help the offense out.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:17:48 PM)
You know, I thought about this. And if Coach Tressel does not want to get rid of Jim Bollman, maybe he and Peterson would trade jobs. Peterson had a great line at Miami and Bollman coached tight ends in the NFL. That doesn't address the lack of a dynamic offensive coordinator, though, but it's a thought.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:18:04 PM)
Steve, I think it was you who said that you thought Mitchum and Boone would be starting next year. What happened to Ben Person? Did he not have a good fall or something? I thought he was supposed to be the stud who could have seen the field this year. If he got hurt or something, my apologies, must have missed it...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:19:33 PM)
I don't recall ever saying that. Duane may have said he expected the freshmen to play this year, which in hindsight, certainly would not have hurt anything (well, other than the QBs). I think Person is in the mix. Mitchum was the one who had some minor injury problems. I was told the scout offense has more than held its own against the first team defense (Egads!)

Bellybuck (Oct 22, 2004 3:19:39 PM)
There is speculation that Ronnie Wilson will be up this weekend as well as Javon Ringer-is it possible that both commit?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:20:42 PM)
Anything is possible, I guess. Ringer needs to be offered first, and that hasn't happened. Wilson has an official visit in Nov. for the Michigan game. He may be up this weekend. We'll see, I guess. If he comes, I'd have to think OSU would be his top choice.

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:20:51 PM)
If Pittman goes off, which he very well could against a team like IU, Ross may be comng off the bench the rest of the year. For the record, I would be OK with that.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:21:48 PM)
Yes, me too. Pittman needs some carries. He has shown some bursts at times, but is obviously still learning. How about this: Smith throws for 200, runs for 75 and Pittman rushes for 100? Would that be OK tomorrow?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:24:07 PM)
And let me add that while Tressel loves his seniors, if Ross has committed some kind of selfish act to put himself ahead of the team, I wonder if Tressel may make the lineup change permanent and allow Ross to be the backup and mop-up guy for the next several games.

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:24:10 PM)
A Wally Pipp-esque scenario for sure.

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:24:14 PM)
A Wally Pipp-esque scenario for sure. Steve, did Antwon Hight ever have an offer from OSU, or even serious interest?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:26:21 PM)
Hight's academic status probably prevented Ohio State from offering him. Duane and Bill Greene say Hight would be at least a top-five Ohio prospect if his academics were in better shape. I'm sure OSU has tape on him, but if his grades aren't in order they can't do anything with him.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:26:32 PM)
This team (at least the seniors) seems to say all of the right things before games. Hard to imagine why these Bucks would look flat out there when tOSU is riding a 3 game losing streak, but they sure did last week. Where is the heart and Buckeye pride?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:29:05 PM)
The leadership is lacking, obviously. I can't point at any one player, but guys who should be team leaders have either been hurt (Fox) or underperformed (you name it). They lost so many guys to the pros and guys like Zwick and Datish and Richardson have hardly played, even if they are third-year guys. The players need to get themselves up. All those days of winter, spring and summer workouts and they're going off into the night without so much as a whimper.

ODOGG45 (Oct 22, 2004 3:29:11 PM)
steve- any true freshmen stepping their games up on the scout teams?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:29:57 PM)
Practices are closed, so we never see them at work. But I think people like Hoobler, Haw, Dukes, the OL and others have earned some respect.

crazynuts (Oct 22, 2004 3:30:27 PM)
Hey Steve, Let's hope we can get back in the right column this Saturday. Do you think the coaching staff has been working on a new blocking scheme this week. I just don't accept that we do not have as good if not better athletes than the likes of NU, Wis, and Iowa.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:31:03 PM)
Who knows what they're working on. You can't get a straight answer on what they have to do to improve. I doubt they are changing anything at midseason.

Bellybuck (Oct 22, 2004 3:31:08 PM)
Hey Steve- I'm looking for ward to stopping by the Basketball scrimmage tomorrow-any word on how the newcomers are looking?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:31:47 PM)
No, those practices are closed, too. I did hear they like the BG transfer Lewisalthough he can't play until next year.

murfinatl (Oct 22, 2004 3:31:51 PM)
Do you see Hawk or Carpenter jumping to the NFL? Why or why not?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:32:27 PM)
No, I don't see it. I think they both enjoy college ball. Hawk might have a case as a 2-year starter. Carpenter has only started 6-7 games to date.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:35:12 PM)
It sounds as though it's almost between the Bucks and Wake for those 3 superstud basketball players...that they might all be a package deal! Do you think that's accurate and if so...could see some Final Four appearances in the years to come. That'd be sweeeeeeeeet!!!!!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:36:22 PM)
That would be great if they could find a way to land Cook, Conley and Oden. I question whether Oden will ever play college ball. OSU is definitely in position and those guys could come in and make an immediate impact, no question.

crazynuts (Oct 22, 2004 3:36:51 PM)
With JT being the lead recruiter for Stewart, can we read that perhaps Wells isn't as enthusiastic as TOSU would like? And we are now focusing on Stewart as our #1 RB

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:39:37 PM)
No, I don't know about that. USC, Maryland, OSU, GT, Florida and Florida State are probably in Wells' sights. OSU probably only has a 25 percent chance to sign either guy. I say go full bore on both and hope you get one. I don't know if they rate one over the other. They really need 2-3 in this class.

jcfiesta (Oct 22, 2004 3:40:00 PM)
Any interest in Greg Keys from Bellvue at this point?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:40:50 PM)
I have not seen him at a game, so that means a lot when you think about Ohio kids. The only Ohio seniors I've seen at games are the Glenville guys, LWilson, Daniels and that's about it, other than the verbals.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:40:58 PM)
Uh oh...if that's the case, better check back in with Tyrell and see if he won't change his mind! haha

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:41:17 PM)
Yep. I doubt they do that, though.

buckboy81 (Oct 22, 2004 3:41:27 PM)
Sorry if this has been asked...got here a little late...whats the story with Ross getting suspended? I know the team won't release anything til after tomorrows game, but there has to be something going around?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:42:10 PM)
It just came out. I have heard no reason for it. Everybody I'm talking to is tight-lipped about it. Real shame, 3 losses and now this. Not good.

buckboy81 (Oct 22, 2004 3:42:14 PM)
What do you think our chances are with Jonathon Stewart?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:44:14 PM)
As I said above, probably 25 percent. They have to get him here for a visit and convince him it's worth his while to go across the country to play college ball. Plus, he has the West Coast schools (the Oregons, Cal and Wazzu) and also Nebraska all over him too.

crazynuts (Oct 22, 2004 3:44:23 PM)
with the season in a bit of a tailspin, do you think we will start to see the D/O-line rotation include more young guys to get them some live reps??

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:45:47 PM)
Well, other than Fraser and Kne there aren't any seniors in either rotation. They're all young guys. Maybe some people like Cotton, Maupin, Rehring, etc. get a few reps here and there. They will not sacrifice games (playing inferior guys, in their mind) to season people. I do know that.

buckboy81 (Oct 22, 2004 3:46:36 PM)
With the season in the bind its in, and several people already talking about getting rid of Tressel, what is your take on it? Do you think having someone like Urban Meyer would be better? What do you think the chances are of that happening anytime soon?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:50:00 PM)
Well, that talk is ridiculous. But at the same time, this is the beginning of Tressel's downfall if he can't see the handwriting on the wall and make some much needed updates to this offense (maybe a true coordinator, better line play, etc.). Tressel probably has at least 2-3 more years of goodwill built up. I do not know how far into the future he is bound by his contract. I know Urban Meyer was at ND, BG and now has Utah in the top 10. Could he do a good job here, yeah, since he has the Ohio ties. I see no chance of anything happening like that for at least 3 years.

buckboy81 (Oct 22, 2004 3:50:24 PM)
(I'm still a Tressel supporter, by the way)

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 22, 2004 3:50:30 PM)
I really had high hopes for next season, but am starting to get a little worried at this point! Do you expect us to markedly improve with a year under some of the young guys belts?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:52:06 PM)
I agree, the nature of these losses (one to a crappy team and 2 decisive defeats straight out of 1999) make it hard to even get excited about the prospects of next year. Yes, everybody will be a year older. But will this strength staff and coaching staff help them become much, much better in such a short time frame? Hmmm.

jcfiesta (Oct 22, 2004 3:54:44 PM)
Steve: Steve B, Craig K and now JZ all have executed a sloppy play action fake. It seems as if this is acceptable to JT and his offensive coaching. Why bother with the fake if no real attempt is made to execute...especially on 3rd and long. I have not been impressed with the attention given to this aspect of our offensive coaching, what is your take? Also, who did you root for Red Sox or Yankee$?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:57:17 PM)
I agree. But the problem is, nobody cares if they run the football. They could be Rex Kern back there faking and it wouldn't stop the onslaught of guys crashing into the line because there is no discernible running threat on this team. Big deal, he hands it off, somebody will hit the back before he reaches the line. Fakes are ineffective because there isn't a hint of a running threat. Attention to detail is truly lacking, on both sides of the ball, no question. I leaned toward Boston, just because it's something different. The Yankees are there every year ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 3:59:01 PM)
Baseball, in general, is a great game, but it will suck until they come up with a way to even the playing field. The small market teams have to be perfect with their player evaluations, drafting, trades and free agent buys to compete, whereas the 3-4 big boys can go buy or rent whoever they need whenever they need it to go to the Series. Most telling stat: I have seen at least 1 Reds game live in Cinti. every year since 1985 until this year.

buckboy81 (Oct 22, 2004 3:59:19 PM)
Do you believe in the "Curse of the Bambino?"

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:00:21 PM)
It must be true. What does it date to? 1913? This should be a great Series with a ton of fireworks. I'm a Schilling guy. Give me Sox in six.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:01:36 PM)
Anything ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:01:44 PM)
else?

jcfiesta (Oct 22, 2004 4:01:55 PM)
Why don't they sell alcholic beverages at the Shoe? Is this an NCAA thing or tOSU?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:03:22 PM)
I think you can buy a beer in the Huntington Club, which is open to club seats and luxury suite people. I think in general seating they limit it because of the usual reasons -- crowd control, underage drinking, wrong message. The Big Ten may have a policy to that effect. Other leagues and bowl games allow it.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:04:22 PM)
At the Schott, I know you can have beer in the Huntington Club. That's a big selling point for hockey (those fans can drink, now).

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:05:18 PM)
If that's it, we'll see you later. Remember, Bill Conley will be here for a Chat at the special time of 2 p.m. Monday.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 22, 2004 4:05:27 PM)
Thanks again!!


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