Conley Chat: Sept. 12 Archive

Here are excerpts of Monday's Chat with Bill Conley. The schedule for the rest of this week: Kyle Lamb will Chat 9 p.m. Tuesday, Steve Helwagen 1 p.m. Thursday and Gary Housteau 1 p.m. Friday. Plus, Chris Pool of will host a Chat next Monday at 3 p.m.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:08:43 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Red Zone offense. What do you think should be done to fix it?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:08:50 PM)
Hello Redondo ...

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:10:20 PM)
The biggest thing is there is a difference between a spread and a more convetional power offense in the red zone. The difference is the blocking techniques. In the red zone, it's all zone or man blocking. In a power, 2-tight end offense, you normally have two double teams at the point of attack -- a different type of blocking. To be good in the red zone, there are times you have to knock people off the football. I'm sure the staff will be working this week on more power type blocking.

ImBack45 (Sep 12, 2005 3:10:44 PM)
Hi Bill, Wondering what you thought of the play calling in this game, especially when we had the ball inside the ten under two minutes to go in the half. Why not put Brandon in there at tailback and Johnson at fullback and try and power it for a play or two? Thx.!

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:11:36 PM)
They probably just have not been practicing the double-tight end offense very much for 2 reasons. Number one, so much time has been committed to the spread. Number two, the tight end depth chart is not strong at this point. Rory Nicol is hurt and Ryan Hamby is the only one with experience.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:11:40 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How does a game like the one Saturday effect recruiting, or does it?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:12:26 PM)
It will not have any major negative effects. The atmosphere is so exciting that that is what impresses recruits. Plus, there were very few common athletes that both schools recruit.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:12:37 PM)
How do you think this team will respond to the loss? Will they come out angry and determined, like the 1998 team did after it lost to MSU, or will the response be something less impressive than that?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:13:15 PM)
I think the quality of the senior captains and players is very positive. I look for the team to rebound immediately and I still think they're the team to beat in the Big Ten.

highlander133 (Sep 12, 2005 3:13:21 PM)
Help alleviate the insanity on the message board :) - Smith or Zwick, and why?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:14:03 PM)
The passing abilities of both at this point are virtually a tie. Smith gives you the dual run threat. Because of that I would pick Troy Smith.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:14:09 PM)
What’s your opinion of Datish starting at LT and his play so far?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:14:33 PM)
I think his run blocking has been pretty good. He needs more work on pass protection.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:14:43 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Do you think the staff and players underestimated the Texas passing attack or was there a talent gap?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:16:21 PM)
one sec

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:18:19 PM)
I don't think there was a talent gap in any way. I would not trade our receivers for theirs. We let Texas in the game too long. A good football team is eventually going to score on you. There is no way Texas was a superior team.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:18:33 PM)
Put this 2005 team in perspective for us. How good are they, at this point of the season, compared to Buckeye teams of the recent past?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:19:08 PM)
I think the talent is very good, again primarily due to the seniors. The special teams has been a very positive surprise. The problem is there is just no offensive identity right now.

Guest (Sep 12, 2005 3:19:22 PM)
From what I witnessed on saturday, it just appeared the better team won that night. Is it that crazy to admit that for one night we were not the better team? If these two teams faced off ten times do you believe the series would be split down the middle?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:19:41 PM)
goup asks whether the same result would happen if they met 10 times or would it be split ...

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:20:42 PM)
I think it would be a 50-50 situation. Ohio State was the better team Saturday. They just didn't score touchdowns in the red zone. If we have one more touchdown or tackle that guy in the end zone for a safety, OSU wins the game.

s (Sep 12, 2005 3:21:30 PM)
Hey coach, you are obviously very fond of Nate Salley. All I have ever seen him do is bring the wood and he plays fast, although speed doesn't mean anything if you can't read and react. By that, he is late in coverage, and he can't wrap up. Why is he touted so high?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:22:48 PM)
The free safety position is one of the most difficult to play. You have to be able to cover the middle of the field in a Cover-3. You have to cover from the middle to the sideline in a Cover-2. And you have to make a lot of tackles in the open field. I think Nate Salley is one of the best safeties in the Big Ten. He had a pick the other night, but unfortunately everybody is going to miss the other play. He didn't get over in time.

ToledoBucknutty (Sep 12, 2005 3:23:04 PM)
Hey coach....thanks for the therapy today! Can you explain to me how it is possible to come out relatively flat in a game so big? They simply ran all over us the first two series....we looked shell-shocked! Were we just not ready for V.Y. to be that big and fast?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:24:32 PM)
It's tough to simulate the speed and abilities of a Vince Young. I think that showed early when our defensive ends had some trouble containing him. I do think the defense did make some good adjustments, though. If they don't score that last touchdown, I'm not sure everybody is talking as much about Vince Young today as they would be. Not taking anything away from him. He's a great player. But we made him great on that last series.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:24:57 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - FSU, Miami, and Oklahoma have all dropped a notch. Yet, very recently they were all the darlings of the media, recruits, recruiting gurus, etc. What do you think happened? Did they mis-judge the talent? What are the pitfalls of being at the pinnacle? Thank you.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:26:19 PM)
I think that those teams have all lost some pretty good seniors. The perfect combination is talent with experience. If a team stays down with supposedly great talent (Notre Dame, the last decade), then obviously talent evaluation has been wrong by some people. Down the road, talent wins out as long as you have sound coaching also.

s (Sep 12, 2005 3:26:33 PM)
Because of red zone ineffectiveness, would you go to a two tight end set , run the ball and play action down there? I thought we could of ran it more last night, especially a draw to set up Hustons field goal

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:28:30 PM)
I think you definitely need more two-back offense down there, even if you have to put in a fullback and have at least one tight end. It does give you the ability to use crossing routes and get backs out in the flat when you're in a more conventional set. To be a GREAT team you have to score touchdowns when you're inside the 20. And you have to score at least 24 points a game -- we did a study on that. We found you win 95 percent of your games at Ohio State when you score 24 or more. That was from 1990-2000.

pm (Sep 12, 2005 3:28:43 PM)
Where does this team go from here?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:29:28 PM)
Back to the basics of fundamental football so that you don't let a San Diego State sneak up on you. The staff must make a decision who the quarterback is going to be. And they need to keep playing aggressive defense.

thedeal (Sep 12, 2005 3:29:42 PM)
Do you feel TGII should play on defense, where his true instinct can take over? Do you feel if D. Jarrett had honored his commitment, TGII would be playing on the D side of the ball?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:30:21 PM)
Could be a possibility if Jarrett was here. But right now, Ted Ginn is the biggest play maker on the team. Santonio Holmes is a close second. You have to get him the ball as much as possible.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:30:45 PM)
A reminder, this is a moderated Chat. All questions come to us and we post them as we get to them. Here we go ...

BuckeyeDave (Sep 12, 2005 3:31:08 PM)
Good Afternoon Coach Conley. I'm late to the chat. Thanks for taking my question. What are the positives that we can take away from the Texas game.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:32:22 PM)
Ohio State proved it can compete against anybody else. We had the opportunities, more than one, to put the game on ice -- not just win it. The biggest thing is learning from the mistakes. You never know, you might get a chance to play them again in some bowl game, maybe not for all the marbles, who knows?

bulldogbuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:32:37 PM)
Is there any way Coach Tressel would ever consider giving up the role of calling the plays? The same thing happened years ago with Marty Schottemheimer when he was with the Browns. He would not hire an OC so he got fired. Or does the micro manageing come into play here?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:32:47 PM)
No chance he'll let somebody else call the plays.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:33:17 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - In the LA TImes last Friday there was an article in which it was revealed that Coach Carroll had awarded scholarships to some walk-ons. OK. Fair enough. However, it also came out that part of the reason for selecting these particular players was that they would enhance USC's APR. What are your thoughts? Is this being innvative and creative or are there any ethical concerns? Thank you.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:34:14 PM)
Obviously, it is all part of how you're judged. At Ohio State, we always considered all the players whether you were on scholarship or not. USC probably needs some good academic recognition.

stephens6295 (Sep 12, 2005 3:34:25 PM)
Much has been made about the fact that Ted Ginn did not get enough touches in the game. From a coaches perspective was this due to the Texas defense or did we just under utilize him?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:35:22 PM)
I think we probably could have got more out of him with motion. That makes it tough for the defense when you're moving laterally. They have to turn the motion man over to a different DB, in terms of responsibility. All of those things get the defense thinking and there is a chance for confusion.

bulldogbuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:37:07 PM)
Coach, do you think all of the QB draws that Smith ran, were called by Tressel, or does Smith have free reign to change the play?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:38:42 PM)
All are called plays. It really wasn't the QB draw called as much as you would think. The play is called 46 or 47 Q, meaning it is an off-tackle run by the quarterback with a lead guard in front of him. It is a called play. A scramble is something different altogether.

thedeal (Sep 12, 2005 3:38:57 PM)
What is your take on the running attack? I thought we ran well given the talent they had on the D-line. Do you believe our pass attack has opened up the running game or does Pitman have vision that are running backs have been missing since MC?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:40:33 PM)
I think there are 2 reason the running game is better for a player like Pittman, who doesn't have to be big. Number one, the OL is more experienced. Number two, the open field of the spread offense keeps the safety from being the open tackler in the box. The problem is in the red zone, the safety is back up there.

cderekw (Sep 12, 2005 3:41:01 PM)
Hi Bill, With the LB's having to concentrate on VY, it left holes in the secondary specically underneath help. I think the DB's did a good job patolling all of that space. My question however has to do with the RB's. Texas didn't seemed to be scared to put their freshman RB's in the game. With Pittman getting nicked up, why not throw Wells in the fire?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:42:43 PM)
I thought he would play more. Their freshman RB is good, but he did fumble once. So did the experienced guys, though, too. Maybe Maurice is still dinged up from the week before. But I thought he would see more action or they would use Ginn more, getting him the ball more on some counters, pitches and option plays.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:42:55 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Following up on the Red Zone discussion, do you think the play calling is too conservative in that area, that Coach Tressel plays to not jeopardize the three points rather than aggressively going for the greater reward of the touchdown? Thank you.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:43:50 PM)
I think the spread offense there are not a whole lot of conservative plays, except for the straight zone play or the quarterback keep off-tackle. You want to use a lot of crossing routes to pick the coverage. I'm not sure there was a lot of that happening.

pm (Sep 12, 2005 3:44:22 PM)
As I took in the replay of the game...on the botched safety by A. Smith, it was very clear that the official moved in front of him as he went for the tackle, he never had a clear shot. Is this a typical response from the official in this case or was he considereing a touch back?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:45:13 PM)
I think the official anticipated that the return man would take a knee because of the depth of the kick and the fact his teammate was telling him to take a knee. He was simply moving in to blow the play dead, then the return man shocked the crap out of everybody.

scarletphil (Sep 12, 2005 3:45:19 PM)
when does Eric Haw get his chance?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:46:13 PM)
Right now, he's got to beat out Maurice Wells to be the No. 2 guy. Either he hasn't done that in practice or he's still in the dog house.

redondo (Sep 12, 2005 3:46:31 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Why do you think TGII got forgotten on offense on Saturday? Was it too many drops, running the wrong routes, excellent defense, something else? Thank you. By the way, I really appreciate your insights and perspective today!!!

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:46:57 PM)
A combination of good defense and again not using him in motion as much as they've done in the past.

Ironspyke (Sep 12, 2005 3:47:05 PM)
Coach Conley, Is there anyway possible we could see Texas again this year?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:47:25 PM)
Absolutely. Possibly a Jan. 1 game.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:47:45 PM)
We all want a decision made at QB, but do you think the coaching staff will indeed commit to one guy at QB this week?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:48:50 PM)
There is no reason to do it this week, though it should be done this week. I don't know of one head coach in the U.S. who wants to have a QB controversy or alternate QBs. It's not good for the team overall. A decision has to be made.

skeelo (Sep 12, 2005 3:49:01 PM)
hey coach did we give up on our run game too soon? imean running through our running backs and not that same predictable q.b. draw

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:49:57 PM)
I think one of the problems as the game went on was poor first down efficiency. Offensively, you want a lot of second-and-4 or second-and-5, where you have the option of running or passing. When you're more on that on second down, it limits the running ability on second down.

bulldogbuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 3:50:10 PM)
Coach, I see and college who use the "pick" play when in the red zone. Is this in our playbook?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:50:29 PM)
It's definitely in the play book and with these receivers should be used more.

BuckeyeDave (Sep 12, 2005 3:50:40 PM)
Pittman averaged 4.4 ypc on 17 carries. Give him anoither 8 - 10 carries and thats another 35 - 45 yds., or 110 to 120 yds for the game. Is that enough to change the outcome of the game?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:52:18 PM)
Oh yeah. A great game as was played Saturday night, the difference is normally 3-5 plays. Example: No late hit penalty on the Texas return before half, they don't get a field goal. Tackling the Texas player in the end zone, safety plus they have to kick off to OSU from the 20. Those two plays, if they go the other way, we win.

ImBack45 (Sep 12, 2005 3:52:28 PM)
Do you think the spread offense can be effective in late October or November? I remember the Penn St. game in 93 and have a hard time seeing this offense move the ball in that kind of weather.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:53:11 PM)
I still think it's OK in the open field because it's just as tough for a defender to keep his feet as it is for a receiver, and actually a little bit tougher. It is not as good, however, in the red zone.

thedeal (Sep 12, 2005 3:53:24 PM)
Did M freeman's injury affect the defensive scheme for this game? It seems he would have made an impact with his ability to cover on definite passing situations. Plus he has the speed to help contain VY.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:53:48 PM)
He would have been good to spell a couple of players. They probably missed him a lot on special teams.

BukiRob (Sep 12, 2005 3:54:02 PM)
Coach, I dont know if this has been asked.... but It is my opinion that after 4 years of seeing the two guys they simply need to pick one of them for continuity of play calling and chemistry sake.... I think it should be smith but thats my own opinion what is yours?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:54:14 PM)
I agree with you on both comments.

skeelo (Sep 12, 2005 3:54:23 PM)
what is it about minnesota that they have an outstanding run game and we have struggled the last three years? i know it can't be better athletes is it?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:55:35 PM)
I think one of the reasons is that they have a very limited number of running plays. By running those plays a lot, you know offensively how to block all looks and it allows the OL to really come off the ball. As you watch Minnesota play offensively, they have just enough speed and they really fire off the ball.

ImBack45 (Sep 12, 2005 3:56:01 PM)
How would you rate the play of Anthony Schlegal Saturday and what did you think of the pooch kick before the half?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:56:58 PM)
I thought Anthony Schlegel is playing the best football he's played since he's been here. He missed a tackle on the blitz, but came back on the same series and made a big tackle to force the FG inside the 5. He's more limited athletically than Carpenter and Hawk. But he plays with great effort and is undoubtedly the next best ...

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:58:04 PM)
On the pooch kick, that is not an uncommon call right before half. It's not their best return man you're kicking to. You're kicking to a TE or a FB. The key to the pooch kick is placement, meaning at the bottom of the numbers. The second has to be over a 4.0-second hang time. That kick was short on hang time.

H2 (Sep 12, 2005 3:58:18 PM)
Coach, heard on your radio shows a lot of callers felt that Troy called his own number a lot. Can you elaborate on how JT calls the plays and that some D-formations are audiabled into automatic run plays

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 3:59:39 PM)
The only choices the quarterback has is to choose one of two or three plays by the defensive look. The play that is called is determined by how many defenders are from tackle to tackle. If there are seven defenders, you're going to pass or run outside. If there are five or less, you'll probably run. But the plays are already determined. There is no ad-libbing.

H2 (Sep 12, 2005 3:59:45 PM)
How is your book, Buckeye Bumper Crop, going? Has it gone to print?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:00:08 PM)
It has gone to production. It will go to print hopefully in 2-3 weeks and hopefully out prior to Nov.1.

JasonC (Sep 12, 2005 4:00:18 PM)
How frustrating is it to have so many weapons and hardly give them any chances to make plays?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:00:51 PM)
The most frustrating part is not executing the plays that were called. There were too many dropped passes in key situations.

BukiRob (Sep 12, 2005 4:01:15 PM)
The one very questionable call IMHO, was changing quarterbacks in the 2nd half. Up until the change Troy led the offense to 5 out of 5 scores. Yes, he benefited from short field opportunities but the bottom line, is DONT mess with the mojo!

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:01:41 PM)
I think your opinion is shared by a majority of people. Go with the hot hand. I was surprised as well that a change was made.

s (Sep 12, 2005 4:02:06 PM)
Our defense played lights out and layed it all on the line but our secondary made it easy for Young. He had wide open recievers in the flat all night and even when UT was backed up on third and long, he threw an out to a wide open reciever for a 1st down because we were playing soft. Do you think schematically our coverage was too soft, our blitzing was effective but did we do it enough?'

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:03:32 PM)
If a player is open in the flat, it is sometimes not the responsibility of the secondary. It may be a blown assignment by a LB or defensive end. The blitzing was effective enough early. But again, the problem is you've got to get a team like Texas and get them down when they're on the ropes. You make them become an exclusively passing team. We never got quite enough of a lead to do that.

BuckeyeDave (Sep 12, 2005 4:03:47 PM)
I saw that Maslcolm Jenkins saw some PT on Saturday. I did not see it, but I'd guess O'Neal got some time too. Your comments?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:04:30 PM)
It seems that Jenkins is being very productive for special teams. O'Neal, I think, is a little dinged up. I may be wrong.

bulldogbuckeye (Sep 12, 2005 4:05:07 PM)
I thought one of the big keys to the game, was our inability to put pressure on VY with the front 4. I guess you have to give credit to the Texas OL...they played an outstanding game. Very rarely, was there any mention of our DL. I look forward to the day when Doug Worthington and Wilson man the DL at the end position. Do you think either of those 2 can help us this season?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:06:05 PM)
It would not surprise me. I do think we need some more speed and athletic ability at least in a backup role. You really miss defensive ends like Will Smith and Mike Vrabel.

BuckeyeDave (Sep 12, 2005 4:06:37 PM)
the noise inside Ohio Stadium was deafening, but it looked like Young and Texas handled it pretty well. Your thoughts?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:07:19 PM)
They had a little trouble early. There were some procedure penalties. But the first long drive by Texas did quiet the crowd down somewhat, at least for a while. They seemed to handle being away from home very well, however.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:07:30 PM)
Last question coming ...

pm (Sep 12, 2005 4:07:36 PM)
Which QB would you put into the game at the 2:30 mark in the 4th quarter and why?

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:08:06 PM)
Troy Smith because he's a dual threat. He could turn a broken play into a big play.

BillConley (Sep 12, 2005 4:08:27 PM)
Hey guys, gotta run. Keep the faith. We'll be back again in a few weeks.

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