Bollman talks offense, more

One of the more frequently-asked questions from fans about this year's team is what the offense will look like. Dave Biddle recently caught up with Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman and asked him about that as well as standing on the sidelines and more.

Just what can we expect from the Buckeye offense this year? Will the play-calling be too conservative? Offensive coordinator/O-Line coach Jim Bollman sounds like a man who wants to take more chances, but needs to know that his players can get the job done.

"This has been a little bit of an evolving process for us on offense," Bollman told "Whether we open up the playbook this year depends on our players. You've got to remember that you have a new quarterback situation, no matter who it is and all new running backs, no matter who they are. So that will have a lot of impact on the entire offense.

"We'll always have the ability to do whatever we need to do on offense. And that will evolve and evolve as the season goes on this year. How far we get in the playbook depends on the capabilities of the guys who are playing."

There has been some talk on this end that Bollman should be up in the press box, not on the field, during games. While head coach Jim Tressel calls most of the plays, Bollman is still the offensive coordinator and all the good OC's seem to coach from up in the box. However, Bollman defends his position.

"I need to be down on the field to talk to the linemen and the rest of our offense. Every coach has a different way of doing things. I like being able to look my guys in the eye, not talk to them over the phone."

But don't you get a better view of what the opposing defense is trying to do from up in the box?

"Maybe. We have coaches up there." 

Prior to coming to Ohio State, Bollman spent three years in the NFL (1998-2000) as a tight ends coach. How much did that experience help him in terms of learning innovative offensive ideas?

"You know, you're around a lot of different offenses in this business and you see a lot of different things. I think it was valuable for me to be in the NFL and for me to be exposed to two entirely different types of offensive philosophies. When I was with the Eagles ('98), it was truly a west coast-type situation, or what you would call a quote, west coast offense. I think that can be a little overdone -- I don't know how many true west coast people there are anymore -- but that's what we did with the Eagles and I was very fortunate to be exposed to that.

"And then I was with (offensive coordinator) Gary Crowton with the Bears who is now the head coach at Brigham Young and saw a whole lot of unusual schemes and styles. I spent two years with the Bears and learned a lot of new things. So, all those things are helpful. The ideas that I picked up in the NFL are hopefully going to help us out here at Ohio State. There are times when things come up and the longer you're at a job like this, the more you can draw from past experiences."

Bollman said it was a lifelong dream to coach in the NFL and that it was not an easy decision to come to OSU.

"I've said this before, but there is only one man that I would have left the NFL for and that is Jim Tressel."

Bollman and Tressel got to know each other pretty well at Youngstown State when Bollman served as Tressel's defensive coordinator (86-88) and offensive coordinator (89-90). Bollman, a former player at Ohio University, has also had coaching stints at Miami (Oh.), N.C. State, Virginia and Michigan State. 

Many people might not know that Bollman spent his first year and a half in Columbus living in an apartment by himself, while the rest of his family (wife and two daughters) stayed back in Chicago. This year is sure to be a lot easier on Bollman.

"My youngest daughter graduated high school in June and they finally moved here," he said. "It's just a whole different life for me now, period. It's great to be able to go home and see my wife every night. After 18 months, yeah, it's great to get back to more of a normal situation for me."

The Bollman's are in the process of building a house in the Columbus area. Coach Bollman joked that "it will not be difficult leaving the apartment behind."

What about the frozen dinners?

"Them too," he said.

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