Conley Chat: Oct. 10 Archive

Here are excerpts from Bill Conley's Chat session on Monday. Coach Conley's next Chat session will be on Mon., Oct. 24. Kyle Lamb will host a Chat at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

dozer51 (Oct 10, 2005 1:03:47 PM)
Bill, where do we go from here? In your opinion will JT ever turn over the offense?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:08:47 PM)
The obvious thing from the performance of the offense on Saturday night is you better get back to the basic fundamentals of football. There were a lot of missed assignments, you had screwups in pass protection. At times, you had a small TB blocking a DE 100 pounds heavier than he was. You had poor route running and poor perimeter blocking. ...

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:09:40 PM)
There is no way Jim Tressel will turn over the offense. His philosophy from day one is that it's his offense and he makes all the decisions.

JimC (Oct 10, 2005 1:09:56 PM)
How is Barton? Can the line play improve without him?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:10:38 PM)
Like everybody, I am waiting for the medical report. It obviously hurt the OL. At the same time, you can't say it was dramatic because the line play has been inconsistent for the last two years anyway.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:11:38 PM)
Keep in mind, this is a moderated Chat. Your questions come to us and we post them as we get to them.

jcfiesta (Oct 10, 2005 1:11:47 PM)
If JoePa would've been on the other side of the officiating, do you think he'd of chased the officials out of the stadium? I was to pissed at the offensive scheme to blame a loss on the officials. Would've been funny to see JT in his vest carrying his play(s) sheet/book chasing the zebras into the end zone.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:13:22 PM)
When you look at the penalties overall, it was almost the same. You could call holding every play if you want to. I think some flagrant ones were missed. But all in all, Joe's chasing the officials down the last few years was nothing more than frustration from the lack of success his team was having. You never know, if we don't start scoring a few more points, the vest might be flying.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 10, 2005 1:13:35 PM)
Coach Tressel give control of the defense to the DC, the defense thrives and excels. Coach Tressel holds on to control of the offense and it flounders, struggling to find an identity. Seems pretty clear. What gives?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:14:32 PM)
Jim Tressel makes all major offensive decisions, including play calling. That's the way it was at Ohio State. That's the way it is at Ohio State. I would seriously doubt if there will be any changes.

scribeohio (Oct 10, 2005 1:14:47 PM)
Hello, coach. Please comment on the type and number of opportunities that have been given to Mo Wells and how's he coming along?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:15:28 PM)
I'm surprised he hasn't been playing more, considering his strong start this year. Unless he's physically unable to perform, his speed and quickness could definitely be used on the offensive side of the ball.

jcfiesta (Oct 10, 2005 1:15:42 PM)
Is there any assistant coaches begging for input (regarding the offense) or are they all yesmen?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:16:05 PM)
They all know who the head coach is and they all know his philosophy. They won't rock the boat.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 10, 2005 1:16:13 PM)
Zwick or Smith? Spread or I-Formation? Time to give Haw a try?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:17:49 PM)
If the experienced players don't start being more consistent, I always believed that a young guy that can prove he can get the job done is the guy you go with. I think Pittman has proven to be a good football player. The QB spot is a different issue. Maybe it's time for Boeckman to get a shot and go back to the I formation.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:18:01 PM)
Coach, what is the AD's/Gene Smith's role in evaluating the performance of this football staff? How does the AD keep the offensive football staff accountable? Would Smith ever pressure/require Tressel into changes in the offensive staff, including hiring a new, strong offensive coordinator?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:19:08 PM)
Each AD has his own philosophy. I don't know Gene Smith well enough to know what his would be regarding trying to force the head coach to make a staff change. It would shock me if Jim Tressel would be open to such a suggestion anyway.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 10, 2005 1:19:31 PM)
Dantonio got the HC job at Cincinnati. Snyder got it at Marshall. Tucker went to the Browns. Seems nobody is interested in Daniels or Bollman or D Tressel. Doesn't that indicate something?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:20:24 PM)
I don't think it's fair to lump all of those coaches together because they are at different stages of their careers. Also, let's hold off judgement about the coaches at Marshall and Cincinnati until they prove themselves as head coaches.

Seabus (Oct 10, 2005 1:21:20 PM)
Coach, you have repeated over and over that Coach Tressel will never reliquish the playcalling. I can accpet that and the predictability of the offense. On that premise, why doesn't Ohio State just go out and recruit a stable of big, bruising running backs, 20-25 big nasty offensive linemen, and a QB who can manage the game. I mean why lie to ourselves, we want to run it up the gut, so let's just recruit for that?? Why isn't that our focus with recruiting?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:23:26 PM)
I think you make a valid point. A spread offense philosophically is designed to have talented skill position players, which we have. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be getting the most out of them. There seems to be no real identity to the offense. I would agree that if we could recruit 350-pound OL and 250-pound RBs each year, it would make the game a lot easier to call plays. I also have trouble identifying what they're trying to do offensively and in recruiting.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:23:46 PM)
Coach, what would you do with this offense? It seems to me you either need to run Smith in a running/option attack, or run Zwick in something more like the Spread we are now running. What would you do?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:25:27 PM)
The major trouble I see with the quarterback position is poor decision making and a lack of consistency in finding open receivers. I guess, if it was up to me, I would go back to I-formation football, using 2-3 WRs and 2 RBs, trying to establish a base running scheme and play action passes off of the runs. It would also allow more consistent pass protection, which seemed to be a major problem Sat. night.

dozer51 (Oct 10, 2005 1:25:57 PM)
With "Tresselball" we seldom have a game with a blow out to enable our younger players to get quality game experience. How do you handle a situation like this. For example next year we have five on the DL graduating with the remaining ones receiving very little mop up duty. I see a possibly strong OL but a very inexperienced DL in 07. Your thoughts?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:28:03 PM)
You make some great observations. Most of the time, your young players get their reps in clean-up after a victory has been secured and in the bowl practices after the Michigan game. Right now, the first point is obviously not getting executed. Now, the latter is even in question. It is obvious that the defense next season will be much younger and inexperienced, and therefore the offense and special teams should have to carry the load early. Right now, that's a scary situation.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:28:26 PM)
Why did we give up on running Pittmann so early on Saturday? It seemed to me to be somewhat successful. Am I missing something?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:28:59 PM)
I agree, he is the one player on offense who seems to be getting better with more repetitions. That is something that needs to be taken advantage of.

mulder (Oct 10, 2005 1:29:17 PM)
Bill, from a recruiting standpoint, the one position I don't understand is OL. Since OLs are hard to project, don't you need more of a cushion in terms of numbers? OSU has only 12 scholarship OLs and may have fewer next year. What is the philosophy here?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:31:03 PM)
My philosophy on OL is that you have to be a solid two deep in order to be successful. I personally like recruiting athletic OL that have good feet and can get bigger. That's why I like recruiting a couple of tight ends and a couple of extra DL each year, knowing they are athletic enough to go to offensive line if need be (Jim Lachey type players). I'm not certain what the current philosophy is regarding OL.

EYE kcub (Oct 10, 2005 1:31:33 PM)
Coach just wanted to say I have always been a fan of yours and met you for the first time at Coach Sarkinnen's funeral what a great buckeye. Coach, this was Troy Smith's 8th start and first start at a really hostile environment. Did you see anything in the game planning to help Smith with this environment, I was at the game and it was obvious that Smith was just overwhelmed at times?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:33:19 PM)
The unfortunate thing about the performance of Troy Smith is that it seemed he had made improvement in the Iowa game. He showed much more patience than he had in the past and did a better job of picking out receivers. His throwing techniques were also sharper. Saturday against Penn State, none of those traits were apparent. He seemed to have poor vision in the pocket. He was completely overstriding throwing the football.

ToledoBuck (Oct 10, 2005 1:34:22 PM)
I guess I was fortunate to be at a wedding on Saturday night...Good afternoon Bill and thanks for another chat.....much appreciated! I know that Tress likes to play it close to the vest, especially at home....but this is ridiculous....there is no excuse for 10 touches in 65 plays for the big is embarassing to think how much talent is out there and how poorly it is used. I understand that execution is also key, but maybe if we gave our O a chance once in a while with our play calling......thoughts?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:36:38 PM)
I think play calling is obviously a part of the offensive problem at this point. But the thing I was most disappointed with Saturday was first of all, little emotion on the offensive side of the ball and the breakdown of fundamentals. When there seems to be no urgency and you see poor blocking techniques, it's hard to find many positives. One thing, as a change-up I might suggest, would be using the no-huddle offense, which I know is part of the scheme. It forces the offense to play with urgency and it limits defensive play calling.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:36:49 PM)
We hear a lot about this offense is "loaded with talent." Is that true? Where would you rank the talent on this offense with other offenses over the last 15-ish years?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:37:53 PM)
There's probably no more talented (athletically) wide receivers in college football. Ginn, Holmes, Gonzalez and Hall are as good a foursome as there is. Even their performances haven't been up to par. I think it goes beyond the athletic ability of the athletes.

brutustheoes (Oct 10, 2005 1:38:02 PM)
Can we win another NC with JT as coach or just how about big ten titles?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:38:52 PM)
That's an easy question to answer: For the future, it will be how well recruiting goes. This recruiting class needs to be really strong because last year's was average ... and we graduate a lot of players.

Guest (Oct 10, 2005 1:39:10 PM)
I was ready to jump on the "bad play calling" bandwagon, until I saw the QB camera view. This view showed me a bunch of receivers open with noone throwing them the ball. Was I seeing things??

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:40:11 PM)
I think there were times when the receivers were indeed open. But there were other times when there were multiple receivers in the same area. The biggest problem obviously is consistency in all phases of offensive football.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 10, 2005 1:40:25 PM)
Will Coach Tressel ever call for the long ball on 2nd & 1 or 2? He was way too predictable on 2nd and short. I could have called the Penn St defense in those situations!

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:42:13 PM)
I'm not sure there were a lot of second-and-1's. I think one of the biggest problems is first down production. There are too many second-and-longs and that hurts your play calling. It limits what you can do. When you've got second-and-medium, you've got the whole playbook. I hope we can talk about more second-and-1's in the future.

buckeyeingermany (Oct 10, 2005 1:42:21 PM)
How will the recruits look at our constant offensive struggles this year?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:43:11 PM)
If it continues, it may be difficult to attract the great out-of-state skill position players. It probably won't affect in-state that much. But to win a national championship, you better have some great out-of-state players also.

ronfel (Oct 10, 2005 1:43:19 PM)
Why don't we see better, in fact any, development out of the QBs? Zwick actually seemed to regress the early part of last season.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:44:33 PM)
One of the problems, which coaches run into, once the season starts is that you get so wrapped up in coaching plays that you may have a tendency to let the fundamentals slip. That's why I always thought the off week was a great time to emphasize those things. But it takes a commitment and a concentrated effort to do that.

ToledoBuck (Oct 10, 2005 1:44:39 PM)
Tyrell Sutton....yikes....don't understand how that kid didn't get a better look....he's been sick!

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:45:25 PM)
Tyrell Sutton is doing a marvelous job at Northwestern. I don't know if the current staff felt he was too small or not fast enough. Only they know the answer to that.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:45:42 PM)
What is your feeling on our inability to recruit athletes that meet NCAA standards but not OSU admissions standards? (e.g. Ringer, Morgan, etc.)

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:47:59 PM)
You're asking a guy who has a very biased opinion toward academics and athletics. I was fortunate enough to always be a good student. But there were other people who weren't as good a student but ended up being great contributors to their community and to their professions. I don't necessarily think there is a correlation between a GPA and the mark of a man. There are a lot of intelligent people who I wouldn't want on my team of life. Ohio State is a land grant college. Unfortunately, we have lost that identity in the past few years and I don't like it.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:48:55 PM)
We are getting some duplicate questions. If we did not answer your direct question, check the transcript. It may have been answered there earlier. We will try and go for the widest range of topics in this last 20 minutes or so. Thanks for coming by today. Here we go ...

mulder (Oct 10, 2005 1:49:04 PM)
Do you see any sign that the poor performance of the offense and the criticism is affecting recruinting? Could it happen in the future?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:49:34 PM)
It could obviously have an affect in the future if the performance doesn't get any better. The key for this year will probably be on how the team finishes.

riddledoctor3 (Oct 10, 2005 1:50:13 PM)
Bill: do you think anyone will contact Jim Tressel and let him know that he and his "favorite" QB are killing this team. I have never seen a coach so afraid to lose. Every time it's a big game away from OSU he goes super conservative and loses it for us. Our defense is top notch, but they can only make so many stops before 17 points go up on the board. Thanks to Troy smith, 7 of those were on his i must be blind interception. anyways, does this make sense or am I just upset with the sissy play calling? thanks Bill.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:51:43 PM)
JT's philosophy has always been to play great defense and special teams and have an opportunistic offense. The latter is obviously not happening. He readily admitted after the game that the interception was paramount in the losing game against Penn State. But don't expect a philosophical change even though it's very frustrating to all of us.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 1:52:03 PM)
What is your reaction to the Aaron Brown comments against tOSU- politics, coaching staff non-connection? What is your reaction to reports that Bollman contacted him very, very few times over his recruitment?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:53:16 PM)
I've heard both sides of the issue with Aaron Brown. In most situations, there is some truth to both sides. At times, coaches have a tough time deciding between the talent of a player and how high maintainance he may be. I'm sure both parties have their own story.

EYE kcub (Oct 10, 2005 1:53:42 PM)
Coach my biggest fear was this was only Troy Smith's eight start and his first big road game environment. I was at the game and it was quite obvious Smith was flustered numerous times. Did you see any game planning by the OSU staff to anticipate this? Would they not have Justin Zwick ready to go just in case Smith could not handle the situation

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:54:14 PM)
I'm not sure the quarterback position was the only problem. I didn't see a winning performance by anybody on the offensive side of the ball.

riddledoctor3 (Oct 10, 2005 1:54:42 PM)
Why did Tedd Ginn show up on Saturday? He was tip-toeing-through-the-tulips all night afraid to get hit and playing with ZERO emotion. Do you believe he is having an off year, or is his overrated hype starting to get in his head? Thanks Bill.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:55:51 PM)
My guess -- and it is only a guess -- is the lackadaisical performance may be a sign of frustration. He's only scored one touchdown this season and has touched the ball very few times. Unfortunately, the one thing he has been doing well (running back kicks) was even disastrous on Saturday.

buckeyeingermany (Oct 10, 2005 1:56:02 PM)
Coach, what did you think of Penn State's decision to cancel the scheduled recruits visits to prepare for the game?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:57:36 PM)
That's a tough decision to make on a coaching staff. You want the kid there to see the excitement of the game. But the staff has very little time to spend with the recruit and their parents. Their job is to win the game and give their attention to the current players. Most coaches are hesitant to bring a lot of recruits in during the season because they don't think they can do a good enough job selling them on all aspects of the university. There simply isn't enough time.

redondo (Oct 10, 2005 1:58:05 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - I'm trying to sort through the wreckage of the weekend. If Matt Leinart were the OSU QB @ PSU @ night in the rain, at the end of the night are there more than 10 OSU points on the board? In other words, is QB the main problem?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 1:58:32 PM)
What looked like a quarterback problem has now expanded into an entire offensive production problem. It was poor execution and poor fundamentals.

NoVABuck (Oct 10, 2005 1:59:25 PM)
Why doesn't JT believe delegating the OC function at this level? How do you justify the switch to the spread and not bring in a "spread guy" to teach it, run it, sheme it?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:00:55 PM)
This is an extremely valid point. The spread offense is more than just lining up and calling plays. There are a lot of intricasies to the offense. Bringing in an expert in that area would have been smart. A coach has to be smart enough to not let ego take the place of common sense.

Fountainhead (Oct 10, 2005 2:01:41 PM)
Why are our QB's having such a hard time developing? Who and what is responsible?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:03:50 PM)
There are a lot of elements to QB development. The basics of setup, escape from the line of scrimmage, release, stride, etc. must continually be taught. It's the one position that is probably the most technical of all. That's why spring practices, 2-a-day practices and non-hitting practices in season and bowl practices can be used to continually emphasize those fundamentals. Only JT knows how much of that is getting done.

pdm (Oct 10, 2005 2:04:12 PM)
coach, why would a four or five star wr prospect consider tOSU under this offense, while schools like USC offer a variety of options that show there skills to the country?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:04:54 PM)
Good argument. There is a direct correlation between success on the field and success in recruiting. Recruiting becomes easier when you have a good product on the field.

Seabus (Oct 10, 2005 2:05:06 PM)
How did you think Boone played given the situation he came into? What do you see for him long term?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:05:46 PM)
I would have to evaluate the film before I could make a conclusion about his individual performance. He's big and has good feet. I saw no one playing great up front Sat.

NoVABuck (Oct 10, 2005 2:06:20 PM)
Coach, your insights are greatly appreciated. It appears there is little "flow" to this offense, i.e. nothing sets up anything. (The pass to Hamby in the 3rd qtr off the shotgun option action was an exception and worked for a 1st down, it was great to see.) Is there more of a plan than we see that just doesn't get executed for various reasons?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:08:06 PM)
I think that's true. Routes are designed to have a short receiver, a medium receiver and a deep receiver in most situations. The first 2 primary receivers are within the vision of the quarterback, meaning they are on the same side. It could be a high-low receiver or a flat-curl combination for example. Drawing up routes is not complicated. The problem with the Buckeyes is execution.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:08:21 PM)
Just a couple more before we go ... thanks everybody who submitted questions today!

redondo (Oct 10, 2005 2:09:08 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Could you walk us through the reflection and introspection that takes place after a Saturday like the last one. Does the staff assemble on Sunday morning to take stock about what must be done differently in the coming week? Does the staff have the same sense of urgency and view this loss in as stunning a fashion as we lay people do, or is the mood different from you sense from us? Thank you.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:11:07 PM)
First of all, the staff takes a loss like Penn State extremely hard. The difference is they don't have time to dwell on it because they immediately start working on the next opponent. But for that 24 hours after the game, coaches, indeed, question themselves on things that went wrong, study the film and relay to the players their disenchantment with negative performance. One thing that is also done on Sundays is that the coaches will walk through mistakes made with the players.

NoVABuck (Oct 10, 2005 2:11:40 PM)
It appears this years recruiting class is thin on targets to fill out the remaining 10-12 slots. Do you think this strategy will net the kind of quality to finish as strong as it started?

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:12:49 PM)
I've always felt you must overrecruit. In other words, telephone and mail to many more players than you have scholarships to offer. Everyone knows that was not the case in recruiting last year. As far as this year is concerned, the results will answer the question.

BillConley (Oct 10, 2005 2:13:51 PM)
Guys, again, thanks for coming today. The Big Ten is still up for grabs. Don't be surprised if Michigan beats Penn State in The Big House. There's a long way to go.

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