Conley Chat: Aug. 29 Archive

Here are excerpts from Monday's Chat session with Bill Conley. Dave Biddle will host a Chat at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Steve Helwagen and Gary Housteau will Chat later in the week.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:07:39 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How would you defend Vince Young - with a "spy" strategy? Force him in a direction he doesn't want to go? Controlled rush? Other? Thank you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:08:50 PM)
First thing I would do would be to try and contain him, don't let him get outside. Second would be, obviously, a great pass rush. Blitzing a linebacker, playing some man-under coverage. Again, all the time containing to the outside ...

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:09:21 PM)
Third, on definite passing situations, drop a lineman out for underneath coverage for the dumps and crossing patterns. You maintain a good rush with outside leverage.

rbuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:09:42 PM)
Hi Coach, In your column you stated that the race could be for second string. Are you implying that battle for second string will be between Troy and Justin? Thanks

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:09:53 PM)
No, it would obviously be between Justin and Todd.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:10:00 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Do you think D-1 football players should be paid?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:11:01 PM)
I believe Division I football players should be given a monthly stipend, but not a large amount since they are on full scholarship. Other students have the opportunity to work weekend jobs, etc. to earn spending money. Football players do not have the time to do that. To me, it would be the fair thing to do.

gameweek (Aug 29, 2005 3:11:21 PM)
Hey Bill, A former Groveport Cruiser here and I just wanted to know how your time was at Groveport and why has Groveport fallen off the map like it has and is it possible Groveport can come back to the top of the OCC and what will it take. Thanks Bill!!!!!!!!!!!

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:12:17 PM)
Unfortunately, Groveport has had 2 major problems. Probably the first affecting the second. That first is financial trouble. The second is they've had a large turnover in coaches in the last 20 years. You must keep stability in a coaching staff to keep a program strong.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:12:30 PM)
The week of the Texas game is obviously a big week for recruiting with all of the seniors in town for the game. Describe to me the interaction between the coaches and the recruits. How close do they come to almost being a part of the team?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:14:41 PM)
As a staff, you don't get to spend as much time with them on a game visit weekend as you would during a weekend in Dec. or Jan. There simply isn't enough time. As a coach, you are devoting so much time to game preparations it is hard to give a lot of time to the recruits until after the game. Then the kids leave the next day. There will be around 10 official visits to the Texas game. As a coach, you hope those official visits are kids who are truly interested and not just guys coming to see a great game. They'll be approximately another 50 unofficial visits. The official visits will stay at the team hotel, so there will be some interaction with the players.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:15:01 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Reacting to the addition of a 12th game, do you think that the coaches will ask for additional scholarships or an additional year of elegibility, or something else, or nothing at all? Thank you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:15:42 PM)
The biggest change I see potentially happening is the NCAA allowing athletes 5 years of eligibility. I do not see any more scholarships. That will not happen under the NCAA.

buckgrad (Aug 29, 2005 3:15:56 PM)
Afternoon Bill, do you think the coaches will reevaluate their rb position after the performance and injury to Chris Wells? Think they really push for another quality back this class? Thanks

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:16:42 PM)
I don't think the injury will affect the recruiting strategy. I am certain that the coaches are seeking the nation for another great TB like Chris. That is a major need for the program.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:16:53 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - This weekend's LA Times had a feature article on the tiight-end Rueland from down at Mission Viejo. Do you think the Buckeyes have a realistic shot at him? Thank you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:17:10 PM)
I think they're in the hunt. But it's way too early to tell.

Cavball9 (Aug 29, 2005 3:17:31 PM)
Hey coach -- great to have ya back on board. Quick 2 part question about when you were recruiting: What was the biggest selling point you guys tried to stress to recruits? Was there one major thing over the others that really seemed to be pushed hard by the staff? Also -- do you see any future restrictions on text messaging recruits?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:18:41 PM)
First thing, the thing we used so much in the 90s was the fact that the guys you practiced against were, for the most part, better than who you would play against on Sat. with a couple of exceptions during the season. We had so many players at that time going to the NFL. We were like a farm team and recruits knew we would prepare them for the next level after college football.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:19:59 PM)
There are already some restrictions on messenging. Small schools will always complain that they don't have the same resources as the big schools. There will be limits put in place.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:20:16 PM)
Coach, in your years of recruiting countless players can you think of examples where your evaluation turned out to be off. Maybe a player who you thought was a can't miss type who didn't live up to his potential as well as a player who maybe you didn't think so highly of that turned out to surprise you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:21:36 PM)
I really don't want to put down another person. I don't think that's fair. But there have been several surprises that played a lot earlier than we had anticipated. They include Greg Bellisari, A.J. Hawk, Eddie George, Terry Glenn. There are some players we didn't think would be good enough that we backed off and went other places and had good careers like Chris Hovan.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:21:46 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How do you see this week's game against Miami playing out? I think the spread started at 17. I thought that was a lot. Thank you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:22:16 PM)
In my opinion, 17 is not enough. I really like the Miami team. But Ohio State just has too many weapons.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:22:34 PM)
A reminder, this is a moderated Chat. All questions come to us and we post them as we get to them.

BLZBuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:22:39 PM)
Any chance Schoencroft doesn't redshirt?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:22:59 PM)
The only way that would happen would be if one of the other three guys gets hurt for the season.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:23:15 PM)
Coach, give me a few examples of recruits over the years that you thought there was no way they would back out of their verbal commitment to OSU but then signed with another school.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:24:11 PM)
There are numerous out-of-state players. Some names like Durell Price to UCLA, Richard Washington to N.C. State. No real big-time in-state players, though.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 3:24:26 PM)
How have the mechanics of recruiting changed over the years? I went to a Dayton area high school in the late '70s and our QB was reportedly being recruited by Tennessee. We weren't that good. How didi Tennessee hear about our QB back then?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:25:25 PM)
Back then it was probably the product of Tennessee alumni in the area. Today, the whole recruiting process happens so much quicker because of the Internet, magazines and media interest. None of those things were really around back then or were targeted on recruiting like they are today.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:25:30 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - heading into the season, what's your biggest concern for the 2005 edition of the Buckeyes?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:27:53 PM)
Special teams, particularly the inexperience of the specialists. We all hope they mature quickly. There is a good chance they will. I really think the return game can be a huge plus for the Buckeyes. With Holmes, Ginn and Youboty, they have a chance to bring it back all the way on every kick.

Cavball9 (Aug 29, 2005 3:28:06 PM)
When you recruited runningbacks, what things were most important to you & the rest of the staff? Speed, lateral quickness, balance, strength, vision, etc?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:29:24 PM)
All of the above. Primarily what you look for in a great running back is quickness through the line of scrimmage, a guy that can accelerate and cut on a dime. Vision is also a part of that. Another important factor is something we called yards after contact. That's the ability to break tackles and split defenders in the open field to get extra yardage.

buckgrad (Aug 29, 2005 3:29:30 PM)
Are you hearing any rumors on the health of Zwick? Thanks

WestonBuckeye (Aug 29, 2005 3:29:33 PM)
Is Zwick the man thats going to take us to Pasadena?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:31:03 PM)
It's been mainly precautionary with him the last few days. The first game against Miami will be the determining factor on how big of a role Justin will play as the starting quarterback. Troy Smith is probably the guy the staff is planning on starting the Texas game. But a great Zwick performance against Miami could change that.

fairbornlawyer (Aug 29, 2005 3:31:20 PM)
Coach, do you think the Henton offer/commit and the apparent lack of pursuit toward Hartline indicate the Bucks are shifting philosophically toward a more open offense?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:32:42 PM)
I'm not sure that's a determiner of what type of offense they'll run. The spread offense opens up the running game, except in the red zone. I do think it is a reflection that the staff is looking for more of an athletic running quarterback than a passing QB. I think Mike Hartline is a very good quarterback and will land a big-time scholarship.

jcfiesta (Aug 29, 2005 3:32:51 PM)
Coach Conley, does Coach T script plays with the other coaches in offensive gameplanning sessions?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:33:45 PM)
Game plans are set by down-and-distance and field position with a limited number of plays that can be called in those situations. But there is not a defined "Play 1, play 2, etc."

buckgrad (Aug 29, 2005 3:33:56 PM)
Bill, is there anywhere in the country that you would like to see OSU go in and develop a pipeline? Kind of what Iowa did in Chicago?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:35:24 PM)
Because of limited recruiting time, the 3 areas realistically that Ohio State can recruit successfully each year -- with successfully being the key so you're not spinning your wheels -- is the Midwest, New York/New Jersey and Florida. You can spot places like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis. But the first 3 mentioned are the key to Ohio State's success recruiting.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:35:38 PM)
Can you estimate how many trips and how much travel a coach does in his recruiting efforts over the course of the year and what part of the year do you do the most traveling?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:36:11 PM)
Most traveling is Dec., Jan. and May. You are gone 4-5 days a week. And you work at it 12-14 hours a day.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 3:36:44 PM)
The season it seems like evey game will be televised somewhere. ABC, TBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Jefferson Pilot, FoxSports. The list goes on and on. So it should be easy for opposing coaches to get game film. Before the advent of mass media and exposure like this, how were game films distributed and did coaching staffs send film that might not be quite so to see?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:38:07 PM)
In the old days, it was obviously 16 mm film. There were occasions when key plays may have accidentally been eliminated. Each conference had their own rules about how many films would be exchanged and whether you could scout in person or not. When it came to nonconference opponents, it was whatever the head coaches agreed upon. That still is the case today with nonconference, even though there is no permitted scouting in person. ...

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:38:59 PM)
Conference games today all films of all games are exchanged. And everybody uses digital. No 16 mm or even Beta or VHS. The only place you see the 16 mm films is in football museums.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:39:08 PM)
Hi Coach - How surprised were you that Denver cut MoC? Any other thoughts on his situation?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:39:41 PM)
No surprise at all. It would be awful to be hated now in two states. I suggest he not run for politics in Colorado or Ohio.

twodegrees (Aug 29, 2005 3:40:08 PM)
If you asume that Coach Tressel will not want to take a lot of chances on offense against Miami, but that he wants to be less predictable (during the game and on tape) what does he call in first half when he is inside the Ohio State 35 yard line. I'm thinking quik outs to the wide outs to force the defense up without risking an interception.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:40:48 PM)
Game plans are usually good up to the 20-yard line. Then it becomes a feel for the game. In the opener, I would expect to see a more traditional look in the red zone if things are going well.

fairview (Aug 29, 2005 3:41:05 PM)
coach - what do you think the BUCKS will do to improve upon their poor 38% td conversions in the red zone? what would you do? thanks

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:42:03 PM)
When you have a Mike Nugent, you know you have 3 points in the bank. This year, the jury is still out in terms of the kicking game. My guess is they will try to get the ball to Ginn, Holmes, Ginn, Gonzalez, Ginn.

WestonBuckeye (Aug 29, 2005 3:42:11 PM)
Who really calls the plays? Does JT allows his assistants to run the show?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:42:20 PM)
The guy who makes the big bucks calls the offense.

HH (Aug 29, 2005 3:42:31 PM)
Coach Conley, when are you going to get back into coaching? We all enjoy your radio shows, (pre game and sunday morning), Bucknuts visits, etc. however, I am sure you have been offered a lot of great opportunities, what are you waiting for?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:43:29 PM)
I think this will be a key year in terms of my future. I'm currently writing a book that will hopefully be out by November. I love training athletes at MAX Sports. And I love Bucknuts and WTVN. But remember, once a coach always a coach.

ToledoBucknut (Aug 29, 2005 3:43:50 PM)
Coach, with your experience coaching the tight-end position at OSU, do you see Marcel Frost finally making the impact at the position that we keep anticipating, especially with the injury to Nicol?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:44:25 PM)
I think Marcel Frost is an outstanding athlete. He's got great hands, he's physical and he can run. If his head is screwed on straight, he could have a breakout year.

HH (Aug 29, 2005 3:44:30 PM)
What is the book you are writting about?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:45:19 PM)
The book is entitled "Buckeye Bumper Crops" about my 17 years of recruiting at Ohio State under three different head coaches. Included are many recruiting stories, some of which would make a great movie.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:45:25 PM)
Coach, what is a typical game day like for you now?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:46:06 PM)
I report to the Holiday Inn with WTVN to a little pregame. Primarily, I take notes so I'm prepared for my radio show on Sunday morning.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 3:46:43 PM)
Coach Conley - Glad you're back with us. Thanks for taking my questions. If you are calling plays for the Buckeyes, whats your first offensive play from scrimmage for the Miami game? How might that change if Texas were the first game of the season?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:47:54 PM)
Well, first of all, field position is crucial. I wouldn't mind going up top early to make the RedHawks aware that we can throw deep. Against Texas, again, field position is the most important thing. But a good play action possession pass would be a possibility because it's crucial to mount a drive that first series.

HH (Aug 29, 2005 3:48:05 PM)
Is Buckeye Bumper Crops a "tell all" book?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:48:18 PM)
You've got to buy it to find out (ha ha).

jcfiesta (Aug 29, 2005 3:48:52 PM)
Do you think Norm Chow scripted plays at USC? His offense seems to keep defenders on their heels with various points of attack, 3, 5, 7 step drops, roll outs, draws, screens etc... When we are in the I formation you can see the defense cheating on the ISO with little time for the QB to audible, I'd be very concerned if calling the plays but I haven't seen any change. I'm tired of the QB draw, can you pull some strings and limit this to 2 times per game?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:50:04 PM)
I think you'll see many more things out of the spread look than you did a year ago. With more experience running tht set, you'll probably see much more motion to try to get mismatches and leverage. I don't know if Norm Chow scripted or not. I think that was more a case where a system was in place and the players believed in it.

calibuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:50:22 PM)
Hey Bill old buddy.....Rick from Malibu!

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:50:27 PM)
How's the surfing?

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 3:50:39 PM)
Do you recall any players that you thought might not make it to the field, but that would make exceptional coaches?

calibuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:50:43 PM)
Great!

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:51:38 PM)
I think most of your better coaches that have come from the player ranks have been those that didn't play as much as some of the superstars, primarily QBs and LBs. They tend to be the better coaches because of their experience with the mental part of the game.

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 3:51:51 PM)
Coach - do you make it point to watch other college games during the season? IF so, what criteria do you use - it's an upcoming opponent for the Buckeyes? It's a rivalry game? There's a special talent? OTher? Thank you.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:52:47 PM)
Naturally, I'm a huge college football fan as well as high school football. Not a big NFL fan except when there are Buckeyes playing. What I look for when I watch a game is team speed on offense and defense and the abilities of the quarterback along with the kicking game.

ttbuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:53:00 PM)
Coach, in general, how much does a game plan change week to week? With NCAA limitations, it would seem difficult to put in completely new packages each week. Does a coach like Tressel just stick to a base package week in and week out?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:54:08 PM)
You have a base package that you have to have. But you add to it and modify it as the season progresses. An example would be a certain run off of a certain set. Then, you run a play action pass off that same look. Then you may add a screen pass. Then you may add a reverse or a counter. It's like building a house. You keep adding to keep the defense off-balance.

calibuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:54:13 PM)
Do you believe that the inexpierence at one corner will be a big problem over the season?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:54:52 PM)
No, I think there is enough experience back there and with Nate Salley, one of the best safeties in the country playing CF, I think the secondary will be a strong point of the Buckeye defense.

Seabus (Aug 29, 2005 3:55:09 PM)
Coach C, late to join, but I wanted to ask you about getting pressure on the Miami QB Betts. How will we with their quick releases and hot reads and who do you think will be the guy pressuring the QB for the Bucks this year? This is my biggest area of concern for the defense.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:56:07 PM)
I think you're right in the fact that you must defend the short passes so the RedHawks can't keep possession of the football. I would think that a lot of man-under coverage, along with an emphasis by the defensive front to get their hands up on the pass rush, is being stressed.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 3:56:19 PM)
Any chance you will provide BuckNuts subscribers with a means of getting autographed copies of "Buckeye Bumper Crop"? (MY nephew is a huge Buckeye fan and Christmas is on the way...)

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:57:01 PM)
We'll have copies of the book for sale on Bucknuts. We'll work on a plan for autographed copies. No problem.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:57:20 PM)
We hear so much about V. Young and also about how good the UT offensive line is this year. What approach would you like to see us take to combat this? Mix up schemes, more blitzes, etc..

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:58:09 PM)
They have to force Vince Young to throw the football. That's the key. He has yet proven to be a passer in the pocket. The key is contain, once again.

HH (Aug 29, 2005 3:58:26 PM)
Coach, with the minimum progress rule now in place and teams being punished for kids not making progress, besides the GPA and Test scores, what else would you look for in a S-A?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 3:59:04 PM)
The ability to compete in the classroom once the kid gets to your school. The better chance he has of success in the classroom will result in a more confident and content individual on the field.

ttbuck (Aug 29, 2005 3:59:49 PM)
Coach, as former recruiting coordinator, you've seen more top tier HS players than anyone. My question is centered around those that have difficulty adjusting to the college game. How do you keep those kids developing, and not giving up when they're buried at the bottom of the depth chart with meaningful playing time a couple years away, if at all? An example would be Kenny Peterson - how did you keep him motivated?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:01:50 PM)
The key problem most kids have coming out of high school is poor time management. If a young man has the ability to be successful by helping him with time management (locking up the video games), he can be successful. One of the toughest things Kenny had to deal with was learning from the more experienced guys who were in front of him on the depth chart. It was very difficult because great players don't want to sit on the bench. When he did get his time, he made the most of it. He became not only a great player but also a great team leader.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 4:02:02 PM)
Would love to hear your opinion of who the top five or six guys that you ever recruited, even if they didn't end up at OSU.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:02:14 PM)
Top 5-6 that we recruited ...

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:03:30 PM)
We recruited so many great players. It would be impossible to list them all, from Courtney Brown to Chris Simms. Myself, I would say maybe the 5 biggest recruits I landed on a personal basis were Eddie George, Andy Katzenmoyer, Terry Glenn, Nate Salley, Mike Nugent, to mention a few.

BucksFan56 (Aug 29, 2005 4:03:35 PM)
Coach, How does Zwick look in his limited practices so far? I am not a coach but it seems to he an awkward thowing motion.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:05:24 PM)
Throwing fundamentals have always been a criticism of Justin. I'm sure the staff is continually working on his throwing techniques. QBs are unique, however. They're like golfers that have different swing motions. The key thing for a QB is the game presence, not throwing into coverage, not throwing late across the middle and third down conversions. A lot of technical errors can be overlooked if the guy performs in the heat of battle.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:05:29 PM)
Anything else today???

Seabus (Aug 29, 2005 4:05:41 PM)
Coach C, how do you see Miami attacking the Buckeye defense this saturday? What will you be looking for in determining if you think the team has that special something to make a run at the Rose bowl this year?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:07:04 PM)
The team definitely has a chance. Key games in my opinion are going to be Texas, Iowa, Penn State and of course Michigan. Miami will try to keep the ball away from the Buckeyes. They know Ohio State has big play potential. There's nothing more that they would rather do than keep control of the football by throwing short passes and mixing in the run.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 4:07:18 PM)
Are there any players that you recruited, that did not make the field but did graduate and of which you were particularly proud. Kind of "I helped that kid get to college and helped him make the most of the opportunity, even if it was not in football."

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:08:29 PM)
Most of those guys were walk-on players who gave us a great look on the scout team and in practice. They just wanted to be a part of the great Ohio State football tradition. One example is Will Connery, who played spot duty at linebacker and some special teams. He always gave his all to the program. He is now an outstanding performance coach.

HH (Aug 29, 2005 4:08:33 PM)
How proud are you of Nate Salley?

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:09:47 PM)
Very proud of him. He's not only a great player but a better person. He's very academically motivated as well as athletically motivated. Came from a great high school program at St. Thomas Aquinas and a great home in Fort Lauderdale. He'll be a great captain.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 4:10:11 PM)
What approach do you take with an out of state player, let's say in Florida, who has grown up watching FSU, Mia, or Fla all his life and convince them that OSU is the best place for him? I'm sure when out of state coaches come to Ohio they have the same problem with kids having the in-state pride of playing for OSU.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:11:14 PM)
The first thing we stress is the great academics at Ohio State, compared to some of the other schools in the South. The other thing I used in recruiting was if the kid was a skill position athlete (RB, WR, LB, DB) was that his speed would get recognized sooner in the Big Ten than in the SEC or ACC.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:11:51 PM)
All right guys, we've got to run for today. Gotta throw on some Texas spare ribs. I'm having a barbecue.

BillConley (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:30 PM)
I'll have a column next Wed. recapping Miami and looking ahead to Texas, then will be back here 2 weeks from today to Chat and recap Texas. Yee-haw! Thanks for stopping by today.

labuck (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:45 PM)
Coach, thank you so much for your time! Go BuckS!!

BucksFan56 (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:47 PM)
thanks coach

HH (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:49 PM)
Buckeye Stew

BuckeyeDave (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:52 PM)
Thansks Coach - Remember...Longhorns, Its whats for dinner!

redondo (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:56 PM)
Thanks Coach!!! Terrific Chat!!!

Cavball9 (Aug 29, 2005 4:12:59 PM)
thanks coach

Cavball9 (Aug 29, 2005 4:13:02 PM)
much appreciated


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