Conley Chat: Oct. 24 Archive

Here is the archive of Bill Conley's Chat session from Monday. Conley's next Chat will be on Mon., Nov. 14, just days before the season-ending game with Michigan. basketball recruiting expert Dave Telep will host a Chat at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

buckgrad (Oct 24, 2005 1:09:01 PM)
Afternoon Bill, what do you think of Erik Haw's lack of PT? Is Wells that good, or did Haw shoot himself in the foot. We really need a back TB, pittman looks tired out there.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:09:11 PM)
Several comments to that ...

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:10:05 PM)
Being that Haw is in JT's doghouse didn't allow him to get enough reps during August practice to beat out Maurice Wells and Brandon Schnittker. He probably won't get another shot until spring practice. There are only so many guys you can rep during the season ...

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:10:37 PM)
Being that Pittman is starting to get more carries, he will definitely need to be spelled more often because the physical punishment a player his size takes.

Killallthegofers (Oct 24, 2005 1:12:26 PM)
Bill: which was worse Saturday: 1) TV coverage/directing/lack of replays; 2) officiating --hitting a defenseless player? (How was he defenseless?) ; 3) offense?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:14:46 PM)
I was at the game, so I can't comment about that other than people have told me it was awful. The officiating was as bad in person as I'm sure it seemed over the TV. As a matter of fact, the official that blew the inadvertent whistle said it was the first time in career it ever happened. The good thing about the offense was there were a lot of big plays for the second week in a row. Some officiating calls affected the game tempo. All in all, the offensive performance was pretty good. The biggest mismatch was the OSU defensive line against an Indiana offensive line that was terrible.

ZackBuck (Oct 24, 2005 1:15:02 PM)
Coach Conley, there is a lot of consternation over the progress of the offense. My question is why is the defense so outstanding, disciplined, etc and yet the offense does not get to that level? Is the defensive talent superior to what we have on offense? Is it coaching?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:17:29 PM)
I think the defensive talent is outstanding. Plus, they've played in the same system year after year. It's pretty much the same defense with some additions Coach Heacock has put in. Jim Heacock and the defensive staff have done a great job with the talent. In contrast, it seems the offense is still searching for an identity. There is obviously a lot of talent there or there wouldn't be as many big plays, especially as many as we've seen the last two weeks. The offensive staff has now had enough games under their belt to know what direction to head. Hopefully we'll see positive results in the next couple of weeks.

Guest (Oct 24, 2005 1:18:02 PM)
JT seems to have issues getting his team "up" for away games. From past experiences, what can he do, or what isn't he doing to get his team up for these away games. They were very flat for 2 1/2 quarters against IU and he is 2-5 in his last 7 away conference games. Is there a quick fix?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:18:15 PM)
Fighter 59 asks about how OSU gets up for away games ...

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:20:03 PM)
The key to away games against good teams is to keep the game plan simple, do things you do well so you don't make key mistakes and turn the ball over. One of the big problems, it seems to me, JT has too big of a game plan at times. Ohio State shouldn't be out-personneled by anybody. So keep it simple and use your talent.

tj (Oct 24, 2005 1:20:20 PM)
OSU has never finished above 8 th (I think) in the Big10 in total offense since JT arrived. Teams like Northwestern, Minnesota, Michigan State etc. have not had better offensive talent than OSU the last five years. It seems to me it has to be coaching or QB play. Do you agree?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:21:23 PM)
I would say the biggest reason is philosophy. JT believes you win games by defense and special teams. You try not to beat yourself on offense. It's definitely not a lack of offensive talent. Don't expect to see a philosophical change.

buckgrad (Oct 24, 2005 1:21:44 PM)
Do you think AJ is the best LB to ever come through OSU, also what are you top 5 lbs all time at OSU? My little sister (13) recognizes how good he and is in love, she wants an AJ jersey for Xmas

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:23:23 PM)
I think it's tough to judge if a player is the best of all-time simply because it's all relative to the era in which you play. Saying that, I would have to believe it would be tough to argue against A.J. Hawk, Chris Spielman, Tom Cousineau, Randy Gradishar and Andy Katzenmoyer as 5 of the best.

Killallthegofers (Oct 24, 2005 1:23:40 PM)
On the interception, was it Santonio's fault for letting the safety beat him to "the spot", or was it Troy's fault for assuming Santonio was coming free?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:24:49 PM)
I had perfect view of that play. It was a combination of 2 things. First, the ball was a little high and to the inside. Secondly, the defensive back (Porter, I believe) made a great play. Plus, don't forget they had been burnt twice before on the same play. They were expecting it.

robochef (Oct 24, 2005 1:24:58 PM)
Hey Bill, sorry i'm late. Have you ansered the question of what happenned on the "hitting a defenseless player" penalty? I was at the game and as a whole we were pretty irrate over the call....What happenned?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:26:15 PM)
It's one of those new points of emphasis for the officials. They were told in preseason meetings to call that. Their justification is that for safety sake don't let a player get hit that can no longer be involved in the play or has taken himself out of the play.

labsbeabmm (Oct 24, 2005 1:26:28 PM)
Except for Texas and USC, I'm not sure anyone else has more talent than we do. I worry that with less talent in some years ahead the lack of solid offensive coordination may lead to rough times. Comment?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:27:31 PM)
I think you have a very valid point. Right now, the two teams leading the country in the recruiting race are Notre Dame and USC. They both have powerful offenses and their players are getting a lot of national recognition.

MacAuley (Oct 24, 2005 1:27:42 PM)
Coach - Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions today. How would you use Maurice wells differently? Are there other offensive players that you woul use differently than they are currently being used?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:28:27 PM)
I would use Wells maybe a bit more in the slot position in order to get his speed in the open field. The other player I think needs to be more involved his Roy Hall, a big, physical receiver.

BuckeyePavs (Oct 24, 2005 1:28:30 PM)
Hello Bill. A quick question concerning the recruitment of Tyrell Sutton. What made you more impressed with Maurice Wells compared to Tyrell Sutton? Did you ever personally review a game tape of Tyrell or see him play up close? Why did you not think he was not deserving of an offer? How could the leading rusher in Ohio High School History be overlooked? Do you think the current staff has realized that they missed the boat on this one? How can any coach has missed out on this type of talent?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:29:55 PM)
I saw Wells as a junior because he was a Florida player. That was the area that I was recruiting. I retired a month later in April 2004. I never really saw Tyrell Sutton that early. You'd have to ask the current staff why he wasn't recruited.

MacAuley (Oct 24, 2005 1:30:15 PM)
I've seen that comment "Jim Tressel coached teams get better towards the end of the season." a couple of times. Doesn't that really work better in D1-AA where there is a play-off, rather than in D1-A where there is not? Is that an adjustment that Coach Tressel may be having troubles making?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:31:09 PM)
In the Big Ten, one of the big keys and maybe the biggest key is toward the end of the season revolves more around injuries. Fortunately, the Buckeyes haven't had many compared to some other schools. That has a much bigger factor than where JT coached.

buckmark (Oct 24, 2005 1:31:24 PM)
Coach....How do you see OL recruiting shapin up this year? Who else gets offered and how many do they want?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:32:44 PM)
I think they have a solid commitment in Connor Smith. It would have been nice to have had Aaron Brown. In my opinion, they need 3 more good OL and one great tight end in this recruiting class. It is way too early to make a judgment. In recruiting, it's not how you start. It's how you finish.

EddieG27 (Oct 24, 2005 1:33:02 PM)
How do you see this weeks matchup playing out? Number one rush defense in the country vs number one rush offense in the country? I realize they will put up some yardage, however PSU was able to shut down Maroney. Your thoughts? thanks

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:34:36 PM)
I think this will be a great match-up. The Minnesota OL has been the most physical in the Big Ten in the last few years. The DL of Ohio State is the most improved part of the football team this year. The athletic talent of Ohio State is superior. It will be a great test for both units. Real football fans will love this match-up.

PigMan (Oct 24, 2005 1:34:47 PM)
It seems to me that despite the good numbers, Troy Smith is still taking too long to make his decisions. Not just on passing downs, but running the option as well (he only pitches it maybe once a game). Your thoughts?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:36:15 PM)
Again, as I've said before, it takes 2 things to be a great quarterback. Number one is decision making and number two is consistency. Troy's best all-around game was Iowa. His worst was Penn State. The last 2 have been somewhere in between. I do think the Indiana game was a good game for Troy. Most of his passes were well thrown. He seems to be securing the ball better when he runs.

redondo (Oct 24, 2005 1:37:05 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How does the staff react to a game like Indiana whrein we saw penalties called that we may not see called again for a long time - like the clipping calls and the Ginn return call? Is there a lot of correction involved or is it more like a shoulder shrug?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:38:07 PM)
You can't ever as a coach worry about how a game was called. It will drive you crazy. Officiating crews vary as much as the teams you play. The thing you do, however, is look at the penalties that could have been easily corrected. You try to correct them so it doesn't happen again.

robochef (Oct 24, 2005 1:38:21 PM)
Coach, In your opinion...which game do you think we'll see Ginn on defense if even at all. I don't see it happening in teh next 2 weeks due to who we are playing. Will it be against N-western or Michigan?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:39:44 PM)
I don't think he would be used this week from the simple fact you're playing indoors on artificial turf. Plus, the fact that Minnesota is such a running team. You don't want Ted Ginn to be a run support guy. I'm not sure he is physically ready for that. If it's going to happen at all this year, it would be against Northwestern, which is a much more wide open attack.

redondo (Oct 24, 2005 1:40:09 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Did it surprise you that after the Troy to Santonio interception that a play that a play that would send Santonio on the slant route and then have him break it to the outside was not called? Thank you.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:41:31 PM)
The route you're talking about is the smash route. It was the one Joe Germaine threw to David Boston for the final TD of the Rose Bowl. The difference is that sometimes the QB has more success throwing that route to his throwing arm side. It's tough to throw that route back across your body, which would have been the situation on the play that got intercepted.

PigMan (Oct 24, 2005 1:42:03 PM)
Concerning that INT on the goalline. It seems to me that we were handed a touchdown if Holmes breaks it off a little sooner. The DB was playing 8-10 yards off. Don't you think Holmes had the option to break the route off quicker? If not, don't you think he should have? I know you don't want to go too shallow or the LB's well be in the way, but he could have broken one or two steps sooner.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:42:31 PM)
The slant route is a timing route that you break on the same number of steps. It's tough to adjust and have any chance of it being complete.

EddieG27 (Oct 24, 2005 1:42:58 PM)
Question on a couple players....Is Marcus Freeman back yet? If not, will he redshirt or is he still planning on coming back? And with Lyons...I read where he was redshirting...Is this true? Thanks

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:43:37 PM)
I would think at this late stage, barring injuries from the current LBs who are playing and with D'Andrea back, I would be shocked to see Freeman this year. I think Lyons is redshirting.

redondo (Oct 24, 2005 1:44:05 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - What do you think of (1) the percentage of time a run play was called on first down; (2) the mix of run and pass (probably 2/3 run); (3) the play calling at the end of the half?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:45:27 PM)
I was surprised by the play calling at the end of the half. Overall, penalties affected a lot of the first down situations. The ineptness of the opponent kept the run/pass play calling irrelevant. Plus, they were effective running the ball, too. Pittman is getting better.

Guest (Oct 24, 2005 1:45:49 PM)
does it worry you that the staff has only handed out offers to a select amount of prospects.? it seems like we strike out with a lot of these guys and end up having to play catch up on other guys that have already staked interest elsewhere.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:45:59 PM)
ginnstrong asks about the lack of offers ...

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:47:04 PM)
The key to recruiting is getting on kids early. It's much easier to pull off a kid than play catch-up. I don't think it's so important knowing how many people have been offered as it is making enough contacts with those kids as the season progresses. That's where I've seen the biggest change from a few years ago.

TexasBuckeye (Oct 24, 2005 1:47:17 PM)
Bill, thanks for your perspectives on all of the topics presented. I would add Texas into the mix as far as schools leading the recruiting race. Right now, in terms of verbals, they have the best class going for 06 IMO. Of course, anything can change between now and February.

TexasBuckeye (Oct 24, 2005 1:47:33 PM)
Also, in terms of recruiting your statement "It's how you finish" (that matters). It seems looking at past performance tOSU has not typically finished very well recruiting. Do you see something changing that pattern?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:48:11 PM)
It will be in the end result. That will answer your question. The way the Buckeyes play, along with the long hours put toward the recruiting effort. Those are the two keys.

PigMan (Oct 24, 2005 1:48:27 PM)
I see where you think we need a solid TE recruit. I thought we already had one in Ballard. Am I right in assuming you don't think highly of him as a TE, we need another, or you think he'll play defense?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:49:00 PM)
I think he is a good football player, but I don't think he is Ben Hartsock or Darnell Sanders. He is a versatile kid and could play on either side of the ball.

MacAuley (Oct 24, 2005 1:49:07 PM)
Is there a specific unit match-up that you will be watching this week?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:49:29 PM)
Again, no doubt, the key match-up is Minnesota's OL against Ohio State's front seven on defense.

TexasBuckeye (Oct 24, 2005 1:49:54 PM)
Just an observation and IMO Troy Smith would be a great quarterback to run the option, veer or wishbone offenses. tOSU is running none of these offenses. Your thoughts?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:50:38 PM)
They run a limited amount of option. But to be a true triple option team, it takes 90 percent of your practice time on offense. Therefore, it limits what you can do in the passing game. That's why few teams today are pure option offenses.

MacAuley (Oct 24, 2005 1:51:07 PM)
Has there ever been a good HS QB in a bad system or on an otherwise weak team that you have thought was worth a look?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:52:22 PM)
I think there are kids who mature at different times and fit better into different systems. For example, look at players like Tom Brady, Brett Favre. They were better pro QBs than they were as college QBs.

Guest (Oct 24, 2005 1:52:55 PM)
yes i agree with him having a decent game , but oh my can u really have a QB who thinks run 1st. how with the weapons we have on offense? Teddy and santonio are being used very poorly in my eyes>

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:53:08 PM)
GordonBuck asks about use of Holmes and Ginn ...

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:54:10 PM)
I thought it was a good performance by Smith, not a great performance. He needs to improve. There were a few breakdowns on pass protection. That doesn't help a QB's confidence of sitting in the pocket very long. All in all, you can't classify Troy as a great college QB. Maybe he'll get there, maybe he won't.

buckgrad (Oct 24, 2005 1:54:22 PM)
In your opinion, is Tressel starting to get worried about this recruiting class? He is still sitting at 8 commits. Secondly, if you were still on the staff would be worried? Thanks

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:55:42 PM)
The first thing JT is worried about is winning football games. When the team is not performing up to its potential, sometimes recruiting efforts slip. As a recruiting coordinator, I tried to always encourage putting in the time necessary no matter what was going on in relation to the team's performance. It's a fine line with just so many hours in the day.

MacAuley (Oct 24, 2005 1:56:04 PM)
Following up on redondo's question regarding pemalties. I know the marching band members do penalty drills when they make mistakes in the half-time show. Is there an equivalent for the football team and do the coaches disregard some of the penalties they think were incorrectly called?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:56:52 PM)
That's not done much at the collegiate level. You are only allowed so many hours on the practice field. You don't want to use it on punishment, use it mostly on preparation.

redondo (Oct 24, 2005 1:57:06 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Do you think that with going to the 12 game regular sesaon schedule, the season should be expanded one week at the beginning of the season and/or one at the end to allow for a bye week or two? Thank you.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:58:10 PM)
I'm not sure spreading it out would be a benefit. The key in my opinion for an open week is to try and help players get healthy. It seems like it has had little affect on winning and losing. It doesn't appear to be a benefit one way or the other.

buckgrad (Oct 24, 2005 1:58:14 PM)
Who would you consider the biggest surprise of year so far for the Bucks? I really got to go with Trapasso, he is doing a great job as a Frosh. Thanks

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:59:20 PM)
I think A.J. Trapasso is definitely a very pleasant surprise. The consistency of Josh Huston on kickoffs has been good. The play of Mike Kudla has been exceptional.Those are probably the biggest surprises I have seen.

robochef (Oct 24, 2005 1:59:32 PM)
Hey coach...were you sitting in section 32?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 1:59:45 PM)
It was section 132 on the goal line

PigMan (Oct 24, 2005 2:01:02 PM)
Hearing any rumors about whether or not Youboty will leave early for the NFL?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:01:10 PM)
I hear it's 50-50 right now.

redondo (Oct 24, 2005 2:01:40 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Is the ND resurgence having a ngative effect on OSU's recruiting? Thank you.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:02:41 PM)
I think ND is affecting everybody's recruiting. They have always been able to get visits out of good players, even when the team has been average. Now that they're having success on the field it will also enhance their success in recruiting.

PigMan (Oct 24, 2005 2:03:15 PM)
I like Tony Pittman a lot, but for "Tressel-ball" to work it seems to me you need a workhorse who not only can carry the ball 25 times against solid defenses, but is tough beteewn the tackles AND can take it the distance. I'm not sure that is Pittman. Your thoughts?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:04:21 PM)
I think the experience is starting to show now with Pittman. It seems like his vision is getting better and he's hitting the right holes. I think it is only a matter of time until he breaks a big one and takes it to the house. You make a great point in that you will need a couple of Pittmans to be a solid running team.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:04:35 PM)
Just a few minutes left ... we'll strive for some different questions ...

skeelo (Oct 24, 2005 2:04:44 PM)
looking at our offensive personel what type of offense best suits in your opinion?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:05:42 PM)
I think a formation we used to call the Buckeye formation, which is 2 RBs and 3 WRs. That's where the talent lies. It allows you to have a good, solid running attack and the ability to get three receivers out immediately and provide two-back pass protection.

buckgrad (Oct 24, 2005 2:06:13 PM)
Coach, honestly, do coaches start talking about a big game a week before. For example this year, will the coaches start to secretly plan for scUM during Illinois week? Maybe in front of the players its all Illini, but in after hours is it UI/UM? Thanks

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:07:18 PM)
It's difficult to do that any more from the simple fact that even the bad teams have enough good players that they can burn you if you take them too lightly. Most of your preparation against the best teams like Michigan and Texas are done in the spring and in August camp, when you have some extra time. But that practice time is very limited also.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:07:43 PM)
It sounds trite, but you really do have to take it one game at a time.

robochef (Oct 24, 2005 2:08:06 PM)
Who do you see replacing Salley next year..Mitchell or O'Neal?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:08:37 PM)
Brandon Mitchell is the guy you would think. He's been around the block and proven himself. I do believe Jamario O'Neal will be an outstanding player before he graduates.

ZackBuck (Oct 24, 2005 2:08:47 PM)
Coach, Is there much difference in game planning playing on turf vs grass? If so, whay types of things would we do differently? Also, how about the game being indoors VS outdoors and game planning?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:09:53 PM)
Not a major difference any more because the turfs have changed. Even the artificial turfs have changed. The new turfs, however, are a little more slippery than the old AstroTurf. The biggest factor indoors is for kickers with no wind and also the effect on the passing game because of a lack of rain or wind.

robochef (Oct 24, 2005 2:10:09 PM)
Is Pitcock hurt? I never saw him on the field. What happened?

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:10:25 PM)
I've heard he is nursing a couple of small things. He should be back to full-go this week.

marksgforce (Oct 24, 2005 2:10:32 PM)
Is the stock rising or falling for the following players? Troy Smith. Antonio Pittman. Marcel Frost. Doug Datish. Maurice Wells. Ryan Hamby.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:10:44 PM)
Smith, staying the same.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:10:48 PM)
Pittman, rising.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:11:09 PM)
Frost, rising slightly, he did drop the ball right in his hands but he is at least getting to play.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:11:19 PM)
Datish, staying the same.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:11:25 PM)
Mo Wells, staying the same.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:11:40 PM)
Hamby, a great kid, but unfortunately dropping a little bit.

BillConley (Oct 24, 2005 2:12:21 PM)
Hey guys, gotta run. Thanks for the great questions today. I'll be back on Mon., Nov. 14 to preview the game with Michigan. See you then!

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