Helwagen Chat: Oct. 28 Archive

Click this free link for a look at the archive of Thursday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each Thursday for Bucknuts.com subscribers.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 28, 2004 1:03:46 PM)
hola, que tal?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 28, 2004 1:03:57 PM)
I think that's Spanish for hello ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 28, 2004 1:04:11 PM)
I think. I only took 4 quarters of it at Ohio State (ha ha)

bucks4fun (Oct 28, 2004 1:16:41 PM)
Is there any truth that Coach Spencer and Coach Conley left tOSU due to JT's authoritarian control of everything.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:38:15 PM)
bucks4fun, on Spencer and Conley, I think there were some personality issues there. Spencer had family ties with his wife to Chicago and he also knows Lovie Smith well from his time here. The NFL is a big deal, too. Conley and I have not discussed it much, but I think he had his 30 years in the state retirement system in and saw this as a way to get compensated and not work 70 hour weeks.

NoVaBuck (Oct 28, 2004 1:16:43 PM)
Steve, Dionte carried twice last week, two more carries than usual for the FB, has it been a scheme issue or talent/capabilities issue? Seems when an opponent knows than 50% of the backfield isn't going to carry the ball it is quite limiting. Thanks for your great work.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:39:34 PM)
NoVaBuck, great point on the fullback. It has hurt that Joe, Schnittker and now White have all been banged up. In hindsight, they should have been using Dionte Johnson for several weeks. It would be great if they got back to running the I.

BuckeyeJoe (Oct 28, 2004 1:17:54 PM)
Tell me about the backup QB for PS. What can we expect? Mills always looks good agaist us. How much experience does this one have?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:41:00 PM)
BuckeyeJoe, Michael Robinson would start in place of MIlls. I think he's only thrown 17 passes all year. He is one of their top receivers, so this hurts their passing attack. Robinson may run some option, so OSU must play sound assignment football to stop them. Behind him they have Ganter and Morelli, neither of whom have played much or are really ready for something like this.

swope (Oct 28, 2004 1:19:50 PM)
your prediction on how krenzel will do in his first start sunday? thanks!

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:42:14 PM)
Swope asks about Krenzel. I don't know who the Bears are playing, but it's a rough league, I do know that. That opposing defense must be just frothing at the mouth to get at some fresh meat. Hopefully, Coach Spencer's RBs will get some yards on the ground and take the onus off Craig. I heard where Chicago may end up 1-15. I think that's your answer, probably.

osufan25 (Oct 28, 2004 1:19:52 PM)
Who do you think we land R. Wilson or Dan Doering? I think its gonna be R. Wilson.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:42:44 PM)
osufan25 asks about Ronnie Wilson or Doering ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:44:02 PM)
My operatives say OSU's interest has perked up from mild to moderate in Wilson in recent weeks. My guy in Iowa says Doering is all but a Hawkeye (Hard to argue with the Gallery method there). I think if OSU makes the push they beat N.C. State and Pitt for Ronnie. Florida is in disarray right now.

OSUROCKS (Oct 28, 2004 1:29:14 PM)
Hey Steve, Do you think JT recruited to many ATH and not enough positional players?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:30:03 PM)
Yes, that's possible they have their theory of how they want to play and recruit. I mean let's not go overboard. The guy does have a 19-year track record that is pretty good. I think he will make whatever changes are necessary to get the program back where it needs to be.

swope (Oct 28, 2004 1:30:33 PM)
likelyhood of landing a talent caliber of teddy in this year's class?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:32:05 PM)
Swope, tough question. Aren't many guys like him out there. I think they are a long shot for Rouse or Williams. I like O'Neal a lot. He is a versatile athlete. He may be the best they get this year.

witter (Oct 28, 2004 1:30:37 PM)
What Bowl game, assuming we qualify, is the best case scenario?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:33:02 PM)
Witter, best case scenario, is they win out, get to 8-3 and get the Capital One (formerly Citrus). Honestly, that seems unlikely, as you and I both know. If they get to 7-4 with a win over Michigan (just like 2001), they could go back to Tampa and the Outback ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:33:30 PM)
If they're 7-4 w/o Michigan, probably Alamo. 6-5, probably Sun in El Paso. Those are the scenarios I see.

stone cold buckeye (Oct 28, 2004 1:31:31 PM)
Steve, it seems our best offense is run from the i-form. When you look at 2002 we ran almost exclusively from it with 2 or 3 wides and did ok. 2003 and this year it seems to give us our best pass and running plays however we do not use it that often...your thoughts.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:35:16 PM)
stone cold, they have not had an effective I-formation FB. Who do you want to put in there? White, Joe and Schnittker are all banged up. Put Dionte Johnson in there, I guess. I suppose that's the main reason you haven't seen the I. I agree, that's their best formation because you (should be able to) run effectively out of it and run play action as well.

osufan25 (Oct 28, 2004 1:33:03 PM)
Steve, I had never heard of Anderson Russell until a few days ago. Do you know of any other under the radar recruits that OSU is in on? ARe any of those guys on the national level?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:36:40 PM)
Anderson Russell says he was at OSU's camp, but I don't have his name on any of my lists. There is a kid named Carlos Thomas, an LB from Georgia, who may visit for Michigan.

stone cold buckeye (Oct 28, 2004 1:35:58 PM)
With all our talent couldn't we find anyone to lead the way out of the backfield?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:45:29 PM)
stone cold asks about the backfield and I assume the fullback spot. It is mind numbing that it hasn't gone better there. But injuries have shaped this Ohio State season, it seems, more than we want to admit. Think about it -- D'Andrea, Fox, Kudla, Green, Joe and so on.

witter (Oct 28, 2004 1:36:14 PM)
why dont we land a top juco lineman for next year....academics?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:46:12 PM)
witter asks about JUCO linemen .. yep, even a Jamie Sumner would be a welcome addition for a year or 2 at this point.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:46:29 PM)
Somebody who's even just adequate would be better than what we've seen.

osufan25 (Oct 28, 2004 1:37:30 PM)
What's the latest news on Javon Ringer? I have a bad feeling that they are not going to offer. I'm not convinced that they are going to land Wells or Stewart either. What are they going to do about RB's ?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:47:57 PM)
osufan25, I think Ohio State is taking a wait-and-see approach on Ringer. I can understand that. They can't afford to make any mistakes. I agree they only have a 30 percent chance at best on Stewart and Wells. RB is a major concern. That may explain why they're pushing hard for Gwaltney or others.

Kirkk (Oct 28, 2004 1:39:07 PM)
I will let Steve answer osufan25, but I have some neat news on Javon Ringer. It'll be on the front page in a bit, but Duane was told by Coach Place that ESPN.com contacted Ringer and told him he will be their No. 1 RB nationally

stone cold buckeye (Oct 28, 2004 1:40:28 PM)
Steve, do you feel our assistant coaches are developing our players talents to their best or do you think Tressel has loyalities to assistant coaches who do not belong coaching Div 1 football.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:51:05 PM)
stone cold, great question about the assistants ... I am honestly beginning to wonder. Some of these players are in their third year here. Now is where all the needlessly close games (Cincinnati, at Illinois, Bowling Green and so on) over the last 2 years really hurt you. They never got any of these guys live meaningful reps until they were counting on them this year. You can't develop players this way (at least they're not getting it done). I think JT needs to sit down in a few weeks and decide who he wants back for next year and who he doesn't. It will be some hard calls, but some calls he needs to make. And I am told he is not above making changes as needed to help the team get on track.

ToledoBucknutty (Oct 28, 2004 1:41:35 PM)
hey steve! very cool news for javon! isn't it odd that they are going after that anderson kid from ga as a safety when he hardly plays there and we are sorely lacking depth in the offensive backfield with this class?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:52:32 PM)
ToledoBucknutty, on Anderson Russell, they had him in camp, so I assume Coach Tucker likes something. My feeling is they haven't offered and may not. They just want to get him up here and learn more about him.

osufan25 (Oct 28, 2004 1:42:26 PM)
Steve, do you think we land another WR in this class? I think Eric Sledge and Selwyn Lymon are two guys that could be had. What is your take on them?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:54:12 PM)
osufan25, another WR on top of Hartline and Amos? Yeah, I could see that. I don't have a strong feeling who it would be. They don't have any visits scheduled with any others that I know of. That would be the first step to get Lymon or Sledge or Williams or Rouse or somebody in here for a visit. Until then, I guess I'd say maybe 2 is enough. I don't know.

ChicagoBuckeye (Oct 28, 2004 1:49:06 PM)
hello Steve, What's up with OSU retiring Harley's No. 47? I'm all for honoring past OSU greats, but where do we draw the line?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:54:46 PM)
Chicago, whoa, stop right there on the no love for Chic Harley ... (ha ha)

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:57:19 PM)
For starters, the Heisman didn't come along until 1935. He was OSU's first 3-time All-American. He was so good he made OSU football an event not to be missed here in Cols. In those formative years, they played at Ohio Field off North High Street. Very primitive with limited seating. For their big games, 12,000 people would show up for a field designed to hold 6,000. Can you believe they up and built a stadium of 72,000 in 1921? How forward thinking was that. Chic Harley most definitely deserves the honor. They were 21-1-1 with him at OSU and he was the driving force. He was behind their first 2 Big Ten titles. This honor is long, long overdue ... just like John Havlicek in basketball.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:57:52 PM)
Hawk will still wear 47 until he's done.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:58:16 PM)
And I don't look for them to do anybody else ... until somebody new wins the Heisman.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 28, 2004 1:49:23 PM)
Last season injuries on the O-Line played a big part in the anemic Buckeye offense. Is this a trend? I'm sure other teams face injury problems too. Are the Buckeyes dealing with injuries as efficiently as other teams?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 1:59:20 PM)
BuckeyeDave, as I noted, injuries have impacted this season more than people want to say. Again, it's a young team, fairly deep. But when somebody gets dinged, you're just tossing another unproven guy into the mix. That hurts.

Seabus (Oct 28, 2004 1:49:24 PM)
Steve, was Indiana an abberation for this offense or will we see incremental improvement against Penn St this week?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:00:33 PM)
Seabus, OSU's offense against Indiana was most definitely an abberation. Look at last year, 600 yards vs. IU and sucking wind against everybody else. PSU has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. They've been killed by their offense's 21 turnovers (3 per game). No, this will not be a step forward for the offense. Should be a win, still, though.

NoVaBuck (Oct 28, 2004 1:50:55 PM)
Steve, it pains me to see OLs starting at other DI programs as Fr., Soph, that OSU didn't go after, is there a recruiting problem or a development issue?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:02:23 PM)
NoVaBuck, Duane is still steamed that guys like Cadogan and Incarnato did not fit the profile here, but they were good enough for PSU and ND, respectively. I'll go back that you threw 3 largely unproven guys in there this year and that's what has hurt. But it never seems to throw Michigan or Iowa for a loop, does it? I don't know. I don't want to pile on, but there are a ton of ??? and not too many answers.

OSUROCKS (Oct 28, 2004 1:57:13 PM)
Steve, With the talent at WR do you think Teddy Ginn will ever play DB for OSU?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:04:27 PM)
OSUROCKS, regarding Teddy, I wonder if he'll ever be more than a spot player at CB. They need somebody to be a deep receiving threat and he appears to be it should Holmes bolt. Youboty and Underwood should have the corners manned next year. Maybe by the time Ted is a senior (and E.J. is gone), he'll do some double duty. But I honestly don't know how he can go to defense next year, particularly if Holmes would leave (probably 50-50 on that, cause he ain't exactly piling up the numbers this year).

witter (Oct 28, 2004 1:59:59 PM)
whcih team will we upset? msu, purdue or mich?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:05:20 PM)
witter, great question on who OSU could upset ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:06:56 PM)
The three games are side by side almost. Michigan State -- until they get dismantled by UM this week -- is looking pretty good at 3-1 in Big Ten play. Then, there's Purdue that you know has it in them, but hasn't shown it the last 2 weeks. And there's Michigan, which has beaten Purdue and figures to beat MSU. UM is clearly the best of the 3, but the game is here as Coop would say "on a neutral field in Columbus." ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:07:20 PM)
Tough call, but I like OSU's chances against MSU then Michigan then Purdue. Don't ask me why.

tbdbitlI10 (Oct 28, 2004 2:01:39 PM)
hey i just joined the chat, i was wondering the latest on selwyn lymon.. i haven't heard much. thanks

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:08:47 PM)
tbdbitll, I talked to Lymon about 2 weeks ago and the conversation was not all that enlightening. I would think Purdue's great passing attack is the team to beat, especially with him 90 minutes away in Fort Wayne. OSU needs to get him in for a visit and show him he could be the man.

ChicagoBuckeye (Oct 28, 2004 2:02:10 PM)
Cool, I didn't know that about Harley and the Heisman history. I guess since this is the 6th jersey to be retired, you could run short on jersey numbers eventually. For example, Haw and Underwood both have #2. I just thought it might open up a precedent of non-Heisman jersey retirements.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:10:06 PM)
Chicago, I agree on the numbers. College teams can't be like the Yankees and retire 15 numbers. They'd have none to play with. What they may do is just recognize numbers as they have on the stadium for the biggies and then re-issue them, perhaps. Nicol had same number as Turano and they had to change him to 88 so they could both be in on punt or FG, I assume.

Seabus (Oct 28, 2004 2:05:57 PM)
Steve, if you were coach, how do you work to get the ball to Teddy Ginn with his obvious gifts yet his struggles getting open on normal passing routes?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:11:59 PM)
Seabus, good question on Ginn. I'm not sure what you do. Flanker screens, stop-and-gos, etc. He will be more physical, I'm sure as he grows and gets stronger. He is an amazing talent. That was shown last Sat. He has 8 catches, 6 kick returns and 5 punt returns for the year. He needs more touches, period. Can you justify him getting 2-3 touches a game and Lydell getting 22? I know I sure can't.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:12:36 PM)
But the flip side is he has to be used the right way or the plays don't work. OSU just doesn't seem to be good at setting anything up. The play calling is so scatter shot.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:13:16 PM)
You never hear the comments of "We saw that earlier when we gave them this look and they did this, then we put in this wrinkle and it went for a touchdown." They just seem to have to work too hard for everything they get.

OSUROCKS (Oct 28, 2004 2:07:09 PM)
Steve, Could Troy Smith win the starting job with a killer game sat?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:16:07 PM)
OSUROCKS on Smith winning the job ... most definitely. Tressel, above everybody else, should have an appreciation for how good this Penn State offense is. I don't think anybody has scored more than 20 points on them. If Smith gets off and OSU can get into the 20s (dare we say, the 30s ... no, never in a million Saturdays), then maybe Tressel names him as the new starter. He hedged some on Tuesday. He said Zwick would still be the starter if healthy, but noted that had even Craig come back and not played well he would have been yanked. (Funny, I wonder why he didn't apply that last Nov. in the two A's).

NoVaBuck (Oct 28, 2004 2:11:17 PM)
Steve, Thanks for the OL insight, I agree. Isn't blocking a lot like rebounding? I.e. wanting to do it/effort = half the battle? So make 'em bigger, faster, stronger and train them, then any added athleticism is gravy?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:17:57 PM)
NoVaBuck, blocking is intensity, but it is also technique. These OL give up a ton in athleticism to the DL. They are probably comparable in terms of strength (well not against Hawthorne or James, who are freaks), but they have to have sound technique if they expect to compete. That's the thing.

ChicagoBuckeye (Oct 28, 2004 2:16:59 PM)
What do you make of the SBC deal getting nixed for the Game? Did Michigan pull the plug or was it mutual?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:18:19 PM)
Chicago, regarding the SBC thing ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:19:53 PM)
... it was very strange. I thought people overreacted to it. The fact of the matter is these schools are charging $60 for game tickets because they need the money to make ends meet. This $250,000 per school per year isn't all that much in the overall scheme of a $70 or $80 million annual budget. But it was something. Down here, I didn't think too many people were that upset. Must have been a bigger backlash in Michigan ...

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:21:20 PM)
The announcement made it sound like they were not ruling it out for the future. They used the "excuse" that the game was a month away and they didn't want to ramrod something in on such short notice. Again, I thought Tressel's comments at his luncheon -- Dave Jones from Harrisburg was in and really put JT on the spot -- were dead on. They need the money and it's not that big of a sellout. I would agree.

ChicagoBuckeye (Oct 28, 2004 2:23:23 PM)
Yeah, it's not like they were putting spiderwebs on the bases. Also, I thought the Red River Shootout (Texas/Oklahoma) has sponsership so it wasn't unheard of.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:24:39 PM)
Chicago, I agree. There weren't going to be any logos on the jerseys or the field, so it would not have been that obtrusive in my mind. I say go for it.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:24:54 PM)
Anything to celebrate the greatness of that rivalry is OK by me.

Seabus (Oct 28, 2004 2:19:56 PM)
Steve, on the TE situation I thought going into the year they would play a bigger role in our passing game. Any insights into why that isn't the case and whether Marcel Frost will play a role this year??

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:23:05 PM)
We keep getting Marcel Frost questions. He is out for the year, I understand. Frost looked great against air with no pads on, then got hurt at the first sign of contact and was never heard from. He could have provided the athletic TE quotient Irizarry may have provided. The TE has been non-existent, obviously. Some of that may be Zwick, some of that may be the TEs were used as additional pass protectors against some of the most athletic ends.

NoVaBuck (Oct 28, 2004 2:21:43 PM)
Steve, Agreed on technique, that's the training element I referred to, should have said coaching instead. So good technique applied with intensity by big, strong dudes right?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:23:51 PM)
NoVaBuck, yes, I think you've got the formula. Too bad Ohio State doesn't have all of those elements, I guess. Something has been missing.

NoVaBuck (Oct 28, 2004 2:27:56 PM)
What young studs do you see emerging over the remainder of the schedule? Anymore redshirts coming off?

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:29:08 PM)
Doubt we see any more redshirts coming off unless it is an emergency situation like Boeckman. And keep in mind if they do that, they can still RS Todd either of the next 2 years and be back on track for the master plan. Like to see more of Dionte Johnson and Devin Lyons, in particular. Also Chad Hoobler.

OSUROCKS (Oct 28, 2004 2:28:56 PM)
YEA JT should hire Steve Spurrier as a OFF CORD.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:29:22 PM)
Great suggestion, ROCKS.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:30:35 PM)
Hey, Tressel loved that great scheme Donnie Treadwell had in the Cincinnati game (Treadwell worked for him at YSU). I personally didn't see the beauty in their offense that scored a grand total of 6 points or whatever it was. Maybe he's a guy to look at.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:32:37 PM)
Thanks again, enjoy the game. May be PapaJoe's last trip to the Horseshoe.

OSUROCKS (Oct 28, 2004 2:32:49 PM)
Thanks

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:32:51 PM)
Gary will be here at 1 (probably) tomorrow.

SteveH (Oct 28, 2004 2:33:21 PM)
I'll be on Buckeye Football Fever in Dayton and Cols. (Channel 6) at 11 a.m. Friday and also on ONN's OHSAA pairings show at noon Sunday. Check it out!!


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