Helwagen Chat: Aug. 21 Archive

Here are excerpts from Monday's Chat with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He recaps Friday's jersey scrimmage. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. NevadaBuck will host his monthly Chat at 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.

ohs (Aug 21, 2006 9:47:47 AM)
What's your sense of the LB and DB after the scrimage?

Great to be back here today. I'll answer what I can about the scrimmage. Remember, NevadaBuck will Chat Wednesday at 1 p.m. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:49:44 AM)
We'll start with ohs' question about the LBs and DBs. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:50:58 AM)
I was very impressed by the way the LBs ran and played in this game. If last year's LBs ran and hit and tackled at say a 9 on a scale of 1-10, these guys were a 7 or thereabouts. Laurinaitis looked good to me in the middle. Freeman is a game changing player outside. He had a pick and 7-8 tackles. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:51:49 AM)
As for the DBs, I didn't notice Smith or Jenkins being burned, which is good. I think Mitchell's experience is what is speaking for him now. I must correct myself, Freeman did not have a pick. Those went to Amos, Coleman and Mitchell.

hammbone1928 (Aug 21, 2006 9:51:54 AM)
What's happenedtyo J Oneal, he was supposed to be the next great DB ,committed just affter his soph yr

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:53:13 AM)
O'Neal will be OK. I think it's just a matter of getting the hang of the scheme. Mitchell is a veteran player who can make most of the plays. Haynes is looking for production. It will not be enough just to get everybody lined up properly (a gentle shot he took at Mitchell in the spring), so whoever proves to be the best player over the test of time will play. Do not give up on O

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:53:25 AM)
O'Neal yet. They just have plenty of guys capable of playing.

keato (Aug 21, 2006 9:53:31 AM)
Steve, how is everything going? Give me two guys from each side of the ball that stood out Friday...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:53:40 AM)
Hey Keatane ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:53:43 AM)
Let's see. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:54:37 AM)
On offense, I liked Chris Wells. He is a battering ram, had 20 carries for 95 yards. He did not break anything longer than 10-12 yards, but he is tough to bring down. Also fell in love with Brian Robiskie, at 6-4, shades of Michael Jenkins. That is high praise, but Robiskie can ball ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:55:38 AM)
My two guys on defense were probably Kurt Coleman with 6-7 tackles, pick and 2 pass break-ups and Marcus Freeman. I liked what I saw of those two. I think David Patterson is primed to have a HUGE year. Teams know they probably have to double team Pitcock and that could allow DP to go one-one-one and wreak some havoc.

Poz79 (Aug 21, 2006 9:55:48 AM)
Hi Steve. Have you heard how Justin Zwick's injury is?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:56:45 AM)
No, there have been no updates from Ohio State. Contrary to popular belief we get no hourly updates from Coach Tressel and they report next to nothing to us about injuries. It will be interesting to see what role if any Justin plays in the public practice tonight and what Tressel says about him afterwards.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 9:56:48 AM)
Can you specifically address Andre Amos, the secondary, and O'Neil in the secondary. How did they look, who looked like starters?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:57:51 AM)
Amos had a reputation as a soft tackler, perhaps. He made an interception when Boeckman was under pressure and through a wet, wounded duck up for grabs. He is in the mix, but he is second team right now probably in a 3-way tie with Washington and Coleman. They all figure to play quite a bit when/if games get out of hand ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 9:58:52 AM)
I talked about O'Neal. He had one hellacious tackle, which was good for him. He just needs to learn the defense and concentrate on being consistently good. He has the speed and hitting ability to be a star. He'd probably start for just about any other team in the country right now and may start at OSU by season's end.

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 9:59:01 AM)
Hey Steve - Is Josh Kerr on a four year scholarship or just for this year as a show of gratitude for the work that John Kerr has put in? I have heard it both ways, whats the scoop?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:00:23 AM)
I have never heard of that. My feeling is he is on a four-year ride. Believe me, they understand full well that scholarships are precious. They are staring at only have 10-12 available next year for what should be a great year in Ohio. They aren't "giving" one to anybody just out of the goodness of their heart. Josh Kerr is a big boy who could crack the 2-deep this year. He seems to be earning his own way.

Poz79 (Aug 21, 2006 10:00:40 AM)
If JT asked you to pick the starting back 7 on D who would they be?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:02:20 AM)
Hmmm. Well, we have to assume Homan would be OK. If he is 100 percent, I go Freeman and Homan OLB and Laurinaitis in the middle. Kerr showed on Friday he is pretty good as well, but I think Homan outruns him just a smidge. The safeties would be Patterson and Mitchell (he just always seems to make nice plays) and the corners would be Smith and Jenkins with Coleman right there. Russell and O'Neal need to figure in there as well. Good problem to have.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:02:25 AM)
It sounds like Robby S. didn't play that great, yet JT always mentions his name first when talking about the backups. Who is our back up at QB? And, how bad is Zwick?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:03:50 AM)
Friday's results need to be tempered by the fact that it was raining. That made it hard for receivers to make precise cuts and the QBs to be on target with their throws. Schoenhoft was 6 of 16 passing. His 41-yard TD pass to Ruhl was top shelf. Aren't many guys anywhere making that one complete. Ruhl got behind Lane and Schwartz, coming over the top, just missed the ball because it was perfectly thrown. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:05:06 AM)
If Zwick is healthy, I have to assume he is still the backup. But you can see Boeckman really making some strides. He looked great running the ball in the option. I like Schoenhoft as well. Henton shrugged off some fumbled snaps to lead the team on a nice FG drive as well.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:05:17 AM)
How did M. Wells look? Any faster?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:06:54 AM)
It really wasn't his day. I think I had him 12 carries for 25 yards or thereabouts. It just did not play to his strengths. I'm still waiting to see how and why they like him as an I-formation back. Maybe he'll prove it. Why he isn't used on the edges more is beyond me. He got nothing done, that I could see, between the tackles. Square peg, round hole.

buckeyesforlife (Aug 21, 2006 10:07:06 AM)
Will Homan play today?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:07:49 AM)
First of all, nobody is "playing." Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a scrimmage. Just a regular practice. If you're lucky, toward the end they will do some 11 on 11 work. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:08:46 AM)
Homan was supposed to be back on the field today. He appeared to go through warmups on Friday in full pads, but did not play. I take this to mean he should be full-go today. Will be interesting to see if his hamstring is cooperating.

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 10:08:55 AM)
What can you divulge about the recent reports of the 2008 OL prospects Adams, Brewster, Long and Sanders possibly all looking at OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:11:00 AM)
That is pretty exciting stuff. Could be one of the best OL hauls for OSU ever, maybe in line with Pace-Gohlstin in 94 or the 96 group with Walter-Murphy-etc. Adams seems to be favoring OSU. Brewster likes the Buckeyes as well. Sanders is a homegrown kid. Another name is Reggie Comeaux from Massillon. Would be great to land 3-4 of those 5 and set OSU up at OL through 2010 or so.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:11:07 AM)
How can Beanie Wells not steal A LOT of carries this year. He is a total stud! Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:12:57 AM)
I have no idea. I think they are trying to take baby steps with Beans and make sure he is progressing the way they like. Pittman's return means they don't have to push Wells to 20 carries a game from day one. But that is what he is built for. He is a punishing runner. He steamrolled Thaddeus Gibson on one carry. I think you see Pittman get 20-25 carries a game and Wells max out between 10-15 early and then go from there.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:13:09 AM)
Would be nice to have games where they each hit century mark.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:13:15 AM)
How did our O-line compare with the D-line?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:15:25 AM)
I thought the O-line did a pretty good job of protecting the QBs. They probably attempted, say, 80 passes or so and only surrendered 4-5 sacks (and some of those were with the second team). The defense had the advantage with the rain, I thought. That helped that unit as a whole. I thought Patterson and Richardson played well. Line play, admittedly, is hard to follow because we are simply trying to see where the ball went on every play. OSU does not have an announcer or provide play-by-play for these scrimmages so you're on your own and you have to follow the ball.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:15:37 AM)
Gholston and Richardson, who did you like better? Is Richardson ready to play? I see both of them getting a lot of time with Wilson too.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:17:09 AM)
From this scrimmage, maybe Richardson. But Gholston also made 4 stops, from what I had. He applied some pressure, he just did not have any sacks. Wilson did not play, but he should be back soon, we hear. He will make a huge difference.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:17:15 AM)
Ok, let's hear about our linebackers. Who do you take after seeing the scrimmage? Did Kerr look like he was going to hold on?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:18:43 AM)
Kerr did play well. Six tackles and a sack. I think most believe, though, the Homan will be the guy to beat at that OLB spot once he gets going. Laurinaitis also had 6 tackles and a TFL. Freeman has 6 tackles, 2 TFLs and a sack. They all looked good. No glaring coverage breaks to speak of, either. Like I said, if last year's LBs were a 9 or 9.5 on a scale of 1-10, these guys were probably a 7. Not a bad first effort.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:18:48 AM)
Does Coleman have a year like Jenkins did last year?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:19:26 AM)
Possibly. It should be noted much of his work was probably against 2's and 3's on offense, but he's always around the ball and not afraid to light people up. He made a big smack on Robiskie to knock a ball away.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:19:37 AM)
Let me interject with just a couple thoughts here ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:20:49 AM)
First, very impressed with the true freshmen. Guys who were impressive to me included Henton, Chris Wells, Moeller, Browning, Connor Smith, Coleman, Larimore, Gibson. Says they recruited extremely well with this group as a whole. Add Rose to that group as well. I believe he pressured Boeckman into an INT. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:21:05 AM)
Also, the result of this scrimmage could not have gone better for this team. Let me explain ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:22:19 AM)
Everybody believes the OSU offense should be one of the best in the country. But by losing -- even in some small part because of the pouring down rain -- they will be taken down a peg internally and realize there are no small details that can be overlooked. The turnovers were partially to blame to the rain, but there were 6 of them. So they have plenty to keep working on ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:23:06 AM)
At the same time, for a young defense to win the scrimmage, that should lift them up and make them believe in themselves even more -- even if it was due in some small part to the rain. This was a win all the way around ... except for the Zwick injury, which you hope is not too serious.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:23:15 AM)
OK, more questions ...

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 10:23:19 AM)
Did Antonio Henton play at all in the jersey scrimmage? Or is the scrimmage meant more for first and second teamers?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:24:45 AM)
Yes, he did. He did not get to throw it much. As the 5th QB, he maybe played 20 snaps. He lost a fumbled snap I believe. He completed a nice ball for 12 yards on what may have been his only pass attempt. He also had a 12-yard run. He led the team on a sustained drive for a FG and was patting guys on the helmet like he belonged. Good first showing for him.

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:24:55 AM)
Hey Steve, any news on Homan - when he returns and does he see any PT in the first 2 games?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:25:38 AM)
We'll see if he is full-go tonight. He was in pads for warmups on Friday, so I assume his acclimitization period is over. If he's 100 percent, I can't imagine how he would not play at least on special teams.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:25:43 AM)
I heard that Nicol looked good. How was his blocking, route running, etc?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:26:28 AM)
Nicol's blocking seemed solid, he had 2 catches for 19 yards and may have also dropped a pass or 2, maybe because of the wet conditions. He's the starter, although Brandon Smith and Jake Ballard each also made a play or 2.

Poz79 (Aug 21, 2006 10:26:34 AM)
How'd Chris Wells look without the ball? Is his blocking good enough or will it limit his playing time early on?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:27:14 AM)
They say he is an animal on blitz pick-up. Dick Tressel wants complete backs -- guys who can run, block and catch. If Beans masters all 3 to DT's and JT's satisfaction, he has to play. It is that simple.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:27:17 AM)
Can you see Pittman and C. Wells on the field at the same time this year?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:27:46 AM)
We did not see that on Friday. Maybe one in the backfield and one split wide. I don't know. Until we see it, I guess we won't see it (ha ha).

DragonKnight (Aug 21, 2006 10:27:57 AM)
Is Dukes showing at all, or is he clearly behind the two Brian's?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:29:26 AM)
He's out there, he's competing. He's clearly behind Robiskie. It's a hard group to crack right now. We did not see Hartline Friday for reasons unclear. Tressel said he was injured, but sounded like that was only part of the reason why he did not play. Dukes is still a soph, so just keep an eye on him and see what happens.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:29:41 AM)
Who seemed to get the best pressure on the QBs during the scrimmage?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:30:29 AM)
Hmmm ... probably Patterson up the middle. I think Heacock will be studying this situation closely after the scrimmage.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:30:41 AM)
How did D. Worthington look? I am hearing that we could see him on the field THIS year.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:31:02 AM)
I had him for one tackle. My guess is they are not shoving him in there too much too soon to risk a setback.

hammbone1928 (Aug 21, 2006 10:31:21 AM)
I think I saw where Hankerson WR fome same school as M Wright S is coming for a visit Believe Wright will come also, their Coach is C Carter & N Salley is from same school. Do you think we have a shot at ether

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:31:41 AM)
If OSU wows them on their visit, they have a shot. If not, it will be one of the Southern powers.

Guest (Aug 21, 2006 10:31:44 AM)
How many people do you think come to the practice tonight?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:31:55 AM)
CB asked how many people I expect tonight ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:32:19 AM)
Weather is PERFECT, about 75-80 right now and clear as a bell. My guess is 30,000.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:32:22 AM)
Any Dukes or Lyons action?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:32:29 AM)
Lyons is out I believe.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:32:43 AM)
Did you get a chance to look at Rose, Larimore, and Dublin? How did they look?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:33:27 AM)
They all factored in this scrimmage. I had Larimore with 4 stops and a fumble recovery, Dublin had a sack, Rose had 3 tackles and a pressure for an INT. I think Larimore and Dublin still RS, but there is talent there.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:33:40 AM)
Did Abdallah continue to disappoint?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:33:47 AM)
No, I think he had a sack.

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 10:33:53 AM)
When will Devon Torrence "officially" pull the trigger?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:34:42 AM)
Our Canton-area experts, ahem, say it will be sometime in Sept. Not sure what the significance of that time is, but stay tuned. Sounds like it will happen then. Bill Greene has a report coming on his brother, junior DeVoe Torrence, as well and it sounds like he is the real deal, too.

Poz79 (Aug 21, 2006 10:34:47 AM)
Any plans to have a Texas Insider do a chat on Bucknuts like last year?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:34:59 AM)
Yep, we should have somebody on from there the Wed. of that game.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:35:10 AM)
Can you update Clifford and Torrence? Anything new to talk about?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:35:29 AM)
Torrence we covered above. I will see Clifford in action this weekend and plan to ask him then what's up.

snoopy (Aug 21, 2006 10:35:35 AM)
Hi Steve, any truth to the rumor that Hoobler transfering to Akron?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:36:10 AM)
Hoobler was playing DE in Friday's scrimmage so, unless he did it in the last 48 hours, I'd say it can't be. I'll look for him tonight. He wears No. 46 in red.

PigMan (Aug 21, 2006 10:36:17 AM)
Give us a daily Martin update. Last I heard we possibly had pulled ahead of Notre Dame.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:37:12 AM)
I said this on Friday. Martin may be repping some at LB this year, which is nice for him. He should be featured in the LaSalle defense. I liked what I saw a year ago. I will see him at the game this Sat. at Nippert and see where things stand. I can offer no update on schools, etc. Why speculate when I'll see him on Sat.?

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:37:21 AM)
Steve - Seems like Boeckman is doing the best job in the preseason behind Smith. Do you expect him to be the first option at backup - especially with Zwick's injury?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:37:50 AM)
Yes, if Zwick is not OK, then it would probably be Boeckman. He did throw 2 picks, but that is somewhat uncharacteristic of him.

PigMan (Aug 21, 2006 10:37:53 AM)
From what you saw Saturday, does Roy Hall have a firm hold on the #3 spot?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:38:19 AM)
No, I would not say that. Roy had a few chances to make plays and did not. Robiskie is coming. It will be based on production, not class rank.

ohs (Aug 21, 2006 10:38:30 AM)
Is Moeller now not going to redshirt but play?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:39:07 AM)
I imagine he will be playing. He made a great open field tackle in this scrimmage. I had him for 4 stops and a PBU. Probably on special teams, but it says a lot he is in the 2-deep at OLB.

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:39:11 AM)
Steve - who is next in line behind Nicol and are they a serious decline in ability?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:39:49 AM)
No, Brandon Smith seems to be learning how to catch the ball and he is big and athletic. He may become a nice second option there.,

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:40:06 AM)
You haven't mentioned Larry Grant yet. I still can't see how he doesn't get on the field. He is a beast!

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:42:46 AM)
Larry Grant played very well. 6 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 PBU. He's just in a crowded house at LB. He plays on specials for sure and will get some time with the ones as a backup. My thought is they will rotate a No. 2 LB with two ones early in the year when it's hot. So the twos are practically starters early on as well.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:42:51 AM)
How did Andy Miller and Ballard look? Can either one play if needed?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:43:24 AM)
Did not see Miller do anything out of the ordinary. Ballard had a drop and then made a nifty 31-yard catch later on. Bout what you'd expect from a frosh. Give them time to learn and grow.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:43:38 AM)
How do you see us attacking N. Illinois? I see us trying to run all over them and "saving" our Texas game plan? I think we try to jump all over them to get our second string guys out on the field. How do you see it?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:44:40 AM)
That would be a great plan. You want to go vanilla and win the game, of course. Then you have wrinkles on each side planned for Texas. Most important thing is to win the game. When that has been established, you try and season young players. Northern Illinois is no push over, but OSU should be able to run the ball against them.

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 10:45:05 AM)
Whats the deal with Lawerence Wilson? Will he be good to go when OSU plays NIU?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:45:32 AM)
You hope. He missed time in the spring and now missed this scrimmage. I think this injury is a big part of why Gholston is listed ahead of him now.

ohs (Aug 21, 2006 10:45:36 AM)
is Small going to redshirt or play? did he play well?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:46:05 AM)
He did play in the scrimmage. He did not make a catch. Maybe he's in their plans as a return guy. No urgency at WR.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 10:46:14 AM)
Hi Steve , Do you think it makes sense for Pittman to leave after this year ? With a year under C. Wells ' belt they might be splitting the carries more next year.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:47:09 AM)
That could be in Pittman's thinking. I think it depends on how he does this year himself and then if he's healthy. I think NFL teams want to see more out of him. I thought he had a good year. The lack of TDs leaves a question, though. Can he finish plays off?

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:47:25 AM)
Any idea on how many OSU Fans will be getting tickets to Austin? Could we have a big presence there for an away game?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:48:09 AM)
I think OSU may have gotten 5,000 tickets. Doubt OSU has a big presence there. Too many Texas fans want to see their national champions in action and they have much more access to the tickets down there than people 1,500 miles away do.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 10:48:22 AM)
Steve, is Schaefer still #1 at the guard opposite Downing. Would much rather have Rehring or Person.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:48:52 AM)
Line play was hard to judge. Rehring got nipped at least once, maybe twice, for holding, so hold the phone on No. 71.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 10:49:17 AM)
Steve, when is the Roster for 2006 due to be complete. Lots of guys missing and none of the blue-chip linemen for next year are listed as prospects (Adams, Sanders, Brewster) When can we expect some updates ?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:49:47 AM)
We will update the roster ASAP. I apologize for that. We have had updates with Adams before. I know one is coming on Brewster and we'll see on Sanders.

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:49:59 AM)
If Moeller and Homan are as advertised this year - will we be able to attract any standout talent at LB for a couple of years?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:50:27 AM)
Yeah, they'll be OK. There is a kid at Miami Trace named Nathan Williams who a lot of people like in the 08 class. They'll be fine if they just get the best Ohio LBs.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 10:50:36 AM)
With Rose emerging is it more likely Barrow slides inside more ? After Patterson, Pitcock and Penton leave, there is not much experience at DT. Is he big enough now to get some reps there and we have #'s at DE.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:51:06 AM)
Not yet because Wilson has not been playing. Agreed, though, long haul. They need help inside. Denlinger, Larimore and Abdallah are about all they have.

Poz79 (Aug 21, 2006 10:51:22 AM)
Welch and Underwood, think they reappear or no?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:52:51 AM)
It's on them to regain their eligibility. I was told not to expect it, but you just hope for the best. You never want to lose guys due to academics. I used to have a guy on the Chats say "it opens room for somebody else," and it does. These guys need to take it upon themselves to do what it takes to not only stay eligible but move toward a degree. You never want to see a guy fail in that bid.

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 10:53:01 AM)
Steve - NIU was the class of the MAC last year. Any chance of us looking past them to Texas and putting ourselves in jeapordy in the 1st game?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:53:25 AM)
No, the only thing Troy Smith keeps saying is "Northern Illinois" so when you leader keeps saying it, it must be true.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 10:53:41 AM)
Do you know our team GPA from last year? I always fight with my Notre Dame and Penn State buddies and they think we only have a bunch of dumb jocks.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:54:05 AM)
The average for at least one of the quarters (maybe winter) was around a 3.0. Gonzalez, Laurinaitis and somebody else had a 4.0 quarter as well.

ohs (Aug 21, 2006 10:54:36 AM)
Connon Smith playing LT? Can we pass protect well enough? Looks like Smith and Browning going to be ok.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:55:12 AM)
Yeah, I think Smith will be OK. He is big and athletic. Just learning some of the concepts for the first time. Yes, those two frosh are definitely in OSU's plans, probably for 2007-10.

PigMan (Aug 21, 2006 10:55:20 AM)
What kind of reputation is Weis getting in the recruiting circles? And are there any coaches in the B10 that have particularly good/bad reputations when it comes to how they recruit kids?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 10:57:08 AM)
I think he has turned a lot of other coaches off because of his boorish attitude and behavior. One coach was quoted as saying Weis hardly said boo to him before a game. The coaches generally spend 5 minutes together exchanging plesantries and Chas couldn't even do that. I know one Ohio kid felt ND strung him along and was upset about that, and the kid would have walked there to get a scholarship. But same token, the guy is a heck of a football coach. He won nine games with that team last year and some think they are an NC contender this year. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:00:15 AM)
As far as Big Ten, I think Iowa has a good rep. PSU also has a good rep. Not sure about bad reps with any of these schools.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:00:30 AM)
I think the two keys to our season this year are being able to run the ball effectively and getting pressure on the QB with our D-line (to protect our DBs and LBs). What are your keys?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:01:36 AM)
I'd agree with you. If you can run it effectively (and with this big, veteran line and Pitt and Beans they should), it opens everything up. Agreed 100,000 percent on pressure on the QBs. They need to turn up the heat and force QBs into quick decisions and mistakes.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:01:49 AM)
One other follow up on my general comments earlier in the scrimmage ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:02:33 AM)
Putting Troy Smith in a black jersey really played into the defense's hands. He was touch-sacked 2-3 times when he got away and he is also not allowed to run past the LOS. They blow those plays dead. On the last play, with an end of the world play from ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:02:51 AM)
the 3-yard line, I like their chances vs. everybody (including the Steelers ... ha ha) ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:03:43 AM)
IF they line up in the spread and he runs the QB draw. He can pick his lane and charge through it. He's hard to stop. But he could not run it. I also said in the story, I thought Mitchell's hit on Ginn was a split-second early, but I could be wrong.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:04:06 AM)
I know that "stars" as ratings don't matter that much, but do you see any of our commits increasing their star ratings?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:04:33 AM)
Probably based on how they play. Bob Lichtenfels has taken over Ohio, so I think Bob has a good eye for talent. Players will get rewarded as they deserve it.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:04:43 AM)
How did Connor Smith look? I don't see him as being nearly as good as Boone.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:05:03 AM)
Smith is fine. He is a nice player. He doesn't have to be as good as Boone.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:05:12 AM)
Is Ginn getting any reps at cornerback this year? Texas seems to be too hot for us to see him play, no?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:05:19 AM)
Nope, have not heard he is.

mckbuckeye (Aug 21, 2006 11:05:29 AM)
Steve - did you read the article from Clev PD about Gonzo? What do you think about his atlitude chamber? More guys to get one?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:05:54 AM)
Didn't read it. I guess if it works. Gonzalez is as solid as anybody, but he had a couple dropsies on Friday.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:06:00 AM)
What experienced offense (QB) gives our young DBs the toughest game? Iowa?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:06:56 AM)
Yeah, that's the one probably the most. NIU has a veteran, as does Indiana, MSU, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Henne istough and Cupito ripped them for 396 last year.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:07:05 AM)
Will Saine run track at OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:07:23 AM)
I think he'd like to. May depend on grades, etc. Ginn wants to and he hasn't yet. Maybe next spring.

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:07:33 AM)
Late to chat, sorry if this has been asked. Who do you see as being our starting LB's by year's end? I can't see the likes of Larry Grant and Ross Homan sitting on the sidelines. I am assuming Marcus Freeman is locked in.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:08:10 AM)
Starters by season's end probably Homan, Laurinaitis and Freeman. I hear what you say about Grant, but they love Laurinaitis. Great kid, great student, etc. Grant is a spot player for the time being.

rbuck (Aug 21, 2006 11:08:18 AM)
I hear from someone "in the know" that Zebrie Sanders does not like OSU all that much, have you heard anything to that effect?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:08:53 AM)
Have not heard that. He liked them well enough to come to camp. Maybe he was caught in the time Bollman was absent, and that could explain it. I dunno. Coleman is here from Northmont.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:08:58 AM)
How do you see Michigan playing this year. I think they are a top 10 team. They have a lot of talent coming back and I know that they have to be hungry. I see them giving Notre Dame a run for their money... remember they gave that game away last year.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:10:45 AM)
We talked Michigan today on the BRN (radio show). They are going to be pretty good, six starters back on both sides. They need the stars -- Henne, Hart and Breaston and Manningham (or two M's, as I call him) -- to stay healthy. Schedule is brutal with 3 tough road games -- ND, PSU and OSU. 10-2 would be a great, great year and probably a BCS bid. You know they want to go into South Bend and take ND down about 6 pegs. That could start them on their way and run counter to their recent history -- Sept. collapse almost every year.

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 11:10:53 AM)
can we get a predicted score for the OSU - NIU game? - Players of the game ... etc

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:11:48 AM)
I like 38-17, something along those lines. I think, as with most of these MAC games, it could be 10-14 points at the half and OSU pulls away on superior depth late. Players of the game?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:12:18 AM)
Probably Pittman and Chris Wells on offense and Freeman and Gholston on defense, maybe something like that.

PigMan (Aug 21, 2006 11:12:28 AM)
Speaking of Fat Chucky, I'm wondering how he feels about that Fiesta Bowl ring Tressel is wearing from last year. None of Tressel's other rings particularly impressed him.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:12:33 AM)
Ha ha, that's a good one.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:12:46 AM)
Where do you see Clay Belton ending up? Why not OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:13:46 AM)
Maybe Cincinnati. That would be a great fit. I don't know why OSU is not after a QB this year. They'll only have 3 on scholarship next year. I also can't speak as to why they have not offered Clay, but they have their reasons. If he blows up this fall, he could be a guy that gets some heavy attention.

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:14:19 AM)
Do you think having a young defense will help us in the year end polls if we have an early loss? The media might see us a different team than the one that had the loss. Would they reason that OSU's "D" has improved and it's not the same team that lost to _______. Or do you think it would have no impact?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:15:01 AM)
Yes, early losses are always swept under the rug if you finish strong. A one-loss team can play for it all. In fact, that's what I am banking on. I don't know how they win both road night games.

score7 (Aug 21, 2006 11:15:06 AM)
How are the back 7 on defense coming along

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:15:50 AM)
They did fine on Friday. No huge pass breakdowns. The LBs who they are counting on -- Laurinaitis, Kerr, Freeman and Grant -- all played well.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:16:03 AM)
I see Russell "100%" becoming a fan favorite early on in his playing time, can't you just feel the horseshoe going nuts after a big hustle play / hit from him!

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:16:33 AM)
He played better in the two spring scrimmages I saw than in this one. Maybe nothing came his way. I dunno. But Russell will light people up with his big hits. He is a hitter now.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 11:16:47 AM)
Steve, to this point we hear a lot of the encouraging stuff. What has been the biggest disappointment of those still on the team. Performance wise/underachieving (Abdallah ?)

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:17:54 AM)
Biggest disappointment? I think it has been a positive camp and, as I alluded to, the scrimmage was the best possible result. The offense knows it can and will perform better when shackles are off No. 10 and it isn't raining like that. The last time there was a leak like that Noah built himself an ark (ha ha) ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:18:48 AM)
The defense gets the praise that goes with winning and the belief it is for real. The only disappointment I see or sense is that some guys have been out with injuries, none too serious. But people like Wilson, Homan, Hartline need to be in there. The injury to Zwick could be serious if coupled with one to Smith.

lharbers (Aug 21, 2006 11:18:59 AM)
Do you think we dive next year - with a new quaterback like in 2004?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:20:39 AM)
Dive, all dive! Like on a submarine? No. There is too much talent there to fall off that far. Hope that Ginn returns. That's the first thing. But even if he doesn't Gonzo and Robiskie and Hartline would be back, as would (probably) Pittman and C. Wells. You'd have 7-8 starters back on defense. Could be a year like 1996 where they have every piece, practically, but a QB. They fill in there and go on to big things, perhaps.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:20:56 AM)
Does Peake ever get an offer?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:21:43 AM)
Maybe if his academics come through. Sometimes transfers get held up because of paperwork. I think OSU wants to make sure they are on solid ground. I want to see some of these guys from Trotwood come through. That could be Glenville Southwest one day.

Hicks74 (Aug 21, 2006 11:21:54 AM)
Gant and Browning have done well thus far. Have they or anyone else possibly avoided a sure "redshirt" this year ? Any word on those not mentioned like Chekwa, Schwartz, Henton that you have liked ?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:22:40 AM)
No, I don't think you can afford to burn a RS year for mopup. Only way I'd do it is if they are CLEARLY better than an older player in a key special teams coverage role. That's it. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:23:47 AM)
Gant had a great scrimmage, by the way. May have led the whole team with 8 stops and a fumble recovery. Chekwa I did not notice. Schwartz had 5 stops as well and looks like a comer. Henton, I liked his moxie. It was raining in his first showing at the stadium and he just went to work. Like I said, looked like a leader already.

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:23:58 AM)
Is this the year that we see the BCS come to its knees? I don't see any undefeated teams (other than OSU). Do we see OSU vs. a one loss team?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:25:17 AM)
Could be. There may be a scenario where an unbeaten WVU gets snubbed for once-beatens like OSU, Texas, Oklahoma or ND that everybody perceives are better. Could be 3-5 once-beatens all laying claim to the title game. Could be a mess. Good thing is now 10 teams get BCS bids instead of 8, so some feelings will be soothed by at least getting in a prime time bowl instead of relegated completely (see Kansas State, 1998).

chuangtsu (Aug 21, 2006 11:25:29 AM)
Who should we fear on Texas this year? Offense and Defense please.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:26:55 AM)
Oh, geez, they have everybody back practically except Vince Young. It is a great TEAM. They still have Sweed, Pittman and Selvin Young on offense and Crowder, Okam, Robison, Griffin and Brown on defense.

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:27:06 AM)
How do you think the consesus #1 ranking for OSU will affect the young defense? Will it be overwhelming pressure or an expectation to live up to / reach for and help them to play above their experience level?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:27:22 AM)
I see them playing well in spite of it. They will overachieve.

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:27:35 AM)
I see your point about Zwick if Smith gets hurt. Do you think it could be a blessing (if Smith doesn't get hurt) for next year if we can get Boeckman or Shoenhoft in there later in the game when we have comfortable leads?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:29:16 AM)
It would help. But just like 2003, Tressel doesn't plan to do anything for next year. It's all focused on the current team. If he thinks it is best for Zwick to play, then he will play him. I think it was telling that Zwick came into the scrimmage after Boeckman did, although he did bring him back with the ones on the 4th or 5th series, maybe that does make sense (i.e., the ones played 2 series with Troy, then sat for a couple and came back with Justin). That way Justin did not have to play with the twos right away.

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:29:39 AM)
Follow-up on QB's: Is the QB spot Boeckman's and Shoenhoft's to lose or is Henton in the mix next year as well??

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:30:42 AM)
He will most definitely be in the mix. If Henton proves to be the best guy, he will be the starter. Good starting point for him. Boeckman is making some strides and Schoenhoft may have the best arm. Will come down to who puts it all together -- who manages the game, who stays away from TOs and who makes big plays. You need to be able to do all 3 to play for JT.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:30:53 AM)
Guys, it has been fun, but I have got to run. ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:01 AM)
Come back Wed. at 1 p.m. for Nevada Buck.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:09 AM)
Moderation is off talk among youselves.

MacAuley (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:12 AM)
O - H !!!

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:24 AM)
Thanks, great chat!!

osubucguy (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:27 AM)
I - O!!!!!

kleintime16 (Aug 21, 2006 11:31:42 AM)
Thanks Steve

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