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2022 tOSU Defense

ScriptOhio

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Another question is: How will the defensive position coaches shake out? The NCAA only allows 10 assistant football coaches and Knowles is #11 so at least 1 coach on the current staff has to go. Somebody could be retiring, somebody could be moved to an analyst position, and/or somebody's contract may just not be renewed. I'd bet Day already knows who will be "odd man out"; but is showing class by letting the coach finish off his 2021 contract with dignity.
 
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Bestbuck36

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    "You want to present a picture that [the quarterback] doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming, and then do some different things out of that picture," Knowles added in the interview last summer. "Make him read post-snap, don’t just let him line up and know where he’s going with the ball."

    I dont have to know anything else about the man to know he's an improvement over what we've been doing.
     
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    dragurd

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    "You want to present a picture that [the quarterback] doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming, and then do some different things out of that picture," Knowles added in the interview last summer. "Make him read post-snap, don’t just let him line up and know where he’s going with the ball."

    I dont have to know anything else about the man to know he's an improvement over what we've been doing.
    What you mean we won't line up in exactly what we are doing and dare you to beat it which only really works with 1st round talent at all 3 levels?
     
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    AuTX Buckeye

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    @jwinslow to continue our conversation from the Brooks thread. I hope Coombs stays but being demoted (quite possibly because his HC tied his hands with the D he wanted to run) and Knowles was at least announced DC I guess it might end up CoDC .. but outside of Coombs going back to the NFL or retiring … i really guess there’s 3 maybe 4 options as to who’s gone?

    In no particular order
    • Washington - Knowles’s is an LB coach - wouldn’t be the first time someone was convinced to not take a promotion only to be let go the next year - but to do we lose a dynamic recruiter that was coaching guys for the wrong system?
    • Barnes - Didn’t really do much until last year … seemed to implement some good changes on D but just not sure what he brings to the table in terms of talent development and recruiting
    • Flemming - my whipping boy all year. Still think he’s been an absolute waste of a hire not really sure what he brings to the table that would warrant a full time “special teams” coach … not listed or shown visiting any recruits .. again just seems like a waste
    • Studs - Shocker .. maybe (hopefully) Studs is gone but if they only get rid of him… guess that means Wilson is coaching the Line and TEs now? or maybe TEs go to Hartline?
    • Coombs - well I covered him above…
    thoughts
     
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    ScriptOhio

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    Fulton Analysis: Knowles’ Defense

    After two years of Ohio State often being held back by an overly simplistic defensive scheme that was repeatedly exploited—a situation that Ryan Day and Matt Barnes could only partly address in-season following the Buckeyes’ week two loss to Oregon—Day made perhaps the most important hire of his young tenure by bringing in Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State as the Buckeyes’ new defensive coordinator.

    As Day has emphasized since Knowles’ hire, part of his interest in Knowles—who is fresh off leading a less talented but more experienced Cowboys’ defense to the number 3 F+ advanced computer ranking—is the continuity in scheme that Knowles brings from what Day and Barnes sought to implement.

    From a broad perspective, as Ohio State did in 2021, Knowles principally operates a 4-2-5 defense. As Day stated on signing day this month, the Ohio State coaching staff will continue to look for four down linemen, two inside linebackers, a mix of using a nickel and larger safety hybrid at the field overhang position, and four defensive backs (two corners, a boundary safety, and a field safety).

    Knowles-4-2-5.png


    Up front, as Ohio State did this year post-Oregon, Knowles principally bases out of an under front (defensive line shifted away from the call, with the 1-technique nose tackle to the call and the 3-techinque defensive tackle away).



    Knowles’ coverage schemes likewise provide some continuity. As Ohio State did under Barnes this year, Knowles frequently uses cover 4 quarters schemes that heavily rely on man coverage; in particular generally putting the outside corners in man coverage on the number 1 wide receiver. For Knowles, this often comes in the form of Brackets to the field and Meg or Mix to the boundary (one of cover 4 strengths is playing different variations to each side of the field—see this Cameron Soran article for a further breakdown of cover 4 schemes.).

    Brackets.png




    Entire article: https://buckeyescoop.com/fulton-analysis-knowles-defense/
     
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    ScriptOhio

    Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
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    6. OHIO STATE | DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT


    The Buckeyes’ defense was not necessarily bad in 2021. They were top-25 in points allowed per game, but that side of the ball cost them in a couple of big games. Oregon ran all over Ohio State in Columbus, and Michigan did much of the same in Ann Arbor. For the Buckeyes to win a national championship in 2022 or beyond, that has to change. To Ryan Day’s credit, he is trying to do just that. He hired defensive coordinator Jim Knowles away from Oklahoma State in order to fix some of Ohio State’s issues on that side of the ball.

    Let's hope Santa visited the Buckeyes yesterday (i.e. like he did in 2014) and left some "defensive improvement" under their Christmas tree......:lol:

     
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    ScriptOhio

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    Column: Rose Bowl should make Ohio State fans confident about 2022 improvement
    We also look at what a new coaching staff could do for the defense.

    1362297431.0.jpg


    Holy shit! I still have not yet fully processed what we watched on Saturday evening in the Rose Bowl. To go from a demoralizing defensive effort in the first half coupled with a solid offensive output to a mind-bogglingly historic passing/receiving performance and a shockingly rock solid second half defensive showing was the best kind of rollercoaster ride that I’ve ever experienced.

    But in the moments following the final whistle, as we started to see the postgame interviews with players and coaches, my excitement over the absolutely silly nature of the game that we had just witnessed began to transition into an optimism for the 2022 season that I hadn’t had for most of the season.

    I have written multiple times over the past few months about my apprehension around some of the on and off-field decisions that Ryan Day has made in the first three years of his Ohio State head coaching tenure. While I still believe that he is absolutely the right guy to lead the program for the foreseeable future, I put a lot of the blame for the underwhelming elements of the last two seasons squarely on his shoulders as the man responsible for assembling the staff that has underperformed for far too long.

    But what I saw in the second half of the Rose Bowl — especially on defense — gave me an unexpected lift of confidence in the potential of next season. Obviously no one is surprised that Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be able to fully assume the WR1 role, and seeing guys like Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, and Julian Fleming having success with increased targets is encouraging as well.

    And I hope that at this point that it goes without saying (even though I’m going to say it anyway), but C.J. Stroud is the real deal, and anyone who doesn’t see that simply doesn’t want to see it. Dude is every bit as legit as Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields.

    But what was the most exciting for me was what we saw from the defense after halftime, and not simply because they went from giving up 35 points and 324 yards in the first 30 minutes to only 10 and 139 after the break. It was that they were able to make the change seemingly because of sheer want-to.

    In his postgame comments, Day said that the defense “made up their mind that they were going to play different,” and then he simply got out of their way so that they could do it. Multiple players said that it was Demario McCall who spoke to the team at halftime and inspired the turnaround.

    In my not so humble opinion (and what I’ve been arguing for all season), this is what the coaches should have been doing from the beginning; clearly the schemes, rotations, and personnel decisions weren’t working, but when the coaches just let the players go out and play, they had success. I mean, it certainly wasn’t perfect, and the tackling left a shit load to be desired, but the players did what they needed to do.

    These defensive players are athletic, passionate, and capable if allowed to do what they do best. We already know that as of Sunday, Ohio State will have a new defensive coordinator in former Oklahoma State DC Jim Knowles; what we don’t know is who will make up the rest of the 2022 defensive staff — we’ll get more into that shortly.

    From all reports out of Stillwater, Knowles is an enigmatic guy who revels in the mad schematic scientist image that he works hard to cultivate. He apparently spends the first two days of every game week locked in his office devising a game plan to put his players in the best possible position to succeed that week, and let’s be honest, it has been a long time since the Ohio State defenders have been within shouting distance of the best possible position to do anything.

    So when reflecting on the second half of the Rose Bowl, I realized that if the defensive players were able to give that type of effort and get those second half type of results with bad coaching, they could maybe, possibly be potentially above average next season with a DC and staff that actually knows what they’re doing.

    Of course, that brings us to the question of whether or not the 2022 defensive coaching staff will, in fact, know what they are doing.

    It was reported postgame that co-defensive coordinator Matt Barnes is leaving the OSU staff to become the defensive coordinator at Memphis. So that means that with the addition of Knowles, Day is currently back to having the maximum 10 assistant coaches allowed by NCAA rule. But, friends, Barnes simply cannot be the only coach to be putting his home in Columbus up for sale.

    I am generally uncomfortable calling for anyone to lose their job for anything short of moral or ethical failings, but with the season over and a new defensive coordinator coming in, I think it’s time for dramatic changes on that side of the ball for the Buckeyes.
    .
    .
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    continued

    Entire article: https://www.landgrantholyland.com/2...ovements-defense-cj-stroud-jaxon-smith-njigba
     
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    ScriptOhio

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    10892152.jpg


    What does improvement look like under defensive coordinator Jim Knowles?

    Ohio State not only needed to hit the reset button with its defense, Ryan Day needed to blow it up.

    Enter coordinator Jim Knowles, fresh off leading the greatest defense in a generation at Oklahoma State. The veteran assistant coach takes over a defense at Ohio Sate that has seemingly lost its identity as a quarterback-hitting, terrorizing unit in the trenches. The secondary has been an unmitigated mess, leading to high-scoring games and a trend of frustrating losses. So, Knowles enters his first spring in Columbus not only retooling the defense as the Buckeyes switch to a 4-2-5 scheme, he's challenging the very weaknesses on the roster to become the backbone.

    "This is a safety-driven defense," Knowles told reporters earlier this week.

    Safety/Nickel Tanner McCalister followed Knowles from Oklahoma State to Ohio State, so that should certainly ease the transition. But, there's much to learn for the roster in the new system. Out of all the spring practices across the Big Ten, watching Knowles take over Ohio State's defense might be the most interesting storyline.

    Ohio State was 59th nationally in total defense for 2021 and allowed 245.8 passing yards per game, tying for 96th.

    "And that was playing against a schedule that didn't include many good offenses," Bucknuts reporter Dave Biddle said. "They were really bad on that side of the ball (59th is actually misleading -- they were worse than that). The schedule is much tougher this year. Can Knowles turn OSU into a top-40 defense? If he can, that might be enough for this Ohio State team, which will field an elite offense once again."
     
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    ScriptOhio

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    “I JUST THINK THERE'S A TON OF POTENTIAL THERE.”– JIM KNOWLES ON JORDAN HANCOCK AND JAKAILIN JOHNSON

    As well as Denzel Burke played as a true freshman, it might be easy to forget that he was only the third-highest-rated cornerback in Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021.

    Before Burke soared up the depth chart, the freshman cornerbacks who seemed like the strongest candidates to make an immediate impact last season were Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock. Both of them were ranked among the top 75 overall prospects in the 2021 recruiting class, making them the highest-rated pair of cornerbacks in an Ohio State recruiting class since the Buckeyes signed five-stars Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade in 2017.

    Yet while Burke ended up playing the most snaps of any Ohio State defender last season, Hancock and Johnson played only sparingly. Hancock played just 31 defensive snaps in 2021 – all in the second half of blowout wins – while Johnson played only eight defensive snaps, all against Akron, after which he did not play again for the rest of the year due to a shoulder injury.

    While Burke went through a full offseason with the Buckeyes before his freshman season, Johnson and Hancock didn’t arrive until the summer, which likely impacted their chances of playing right away. They didn’t end up in last season’s three-deep at cornerback, which consisted of Burke, Cameron Brown, Sevyn Banks, Ryan Watts, Lejond Cavazos and Demario McCall.

    Now that Hancock and Johnson are going through their first full offseason as Buckeyes and Banks, Watts and McCall are all gone from Ohio State, the door is wide open for both of them to compete for spots on the two-deep and potentially earn significant playing time as second-year Buckeyes. And it certainly sounds like they did what they needed to do in winter workouts going into spring football to put themselves in position to take advantage.
     
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    pnuts34

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    “I JUST THINK THERE'S A TON OF POTENTIAL THERE.”– JIM KNOWLES ON JORDAN HANCOCK AND JAKAILIN JOHNSON

    As well as Denzel Burke played as a true freshman, it might be easy to forget that he was only the third-highest-rated cornerback in Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021.

    Before Burke soared up the depth chart, the freshman cornerbacks who seemed like the strongest candidates to make an immediate impact last season were Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock. Both of them were ranked among the top 75 overall prospects in the 2021 recruiting class, making them the highest-rated pair of cornerbacks in an Ohio State recruiting class since the Buckeyes signed five-stars Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade in 2017.

    Yet while Burke ended up playing the most snaps of any Ohio State defender last season, Hancock and Johnson played only sparingly. Hancock played just 31 defensive snaps in 2021 – all in the second half of blowout wins – while Johnson played only eight defensive snaps, all against Akron, after which he did not play again for the rest of the year due to a shoulder injury.

    While Burke went through a full offseason with the Buckeyes before his freshman season, Johnson and Hancock didn’t arrive until the summer, which likely impacted their chances of playing right away. They didn’t end up in last season’s three-deep at cornerback, which consisted of Burke, Cameron Brown, Sevyn Banks, Ryan Watts, Lejond Cavazos and Demario McCall.

    Now that Hancock and Johnson are going through their first full offseason as Buckeyes and Banks, Watts and McCall are all gone from Ohio State, the door is wide open for both of them to compete for spots on the two-deep and potentially earn significant playing time as second-year Buckeyes. And it certainly sounds like they did what they needed to do in winter workouts going into spring football to put themselves in position to take advantage.


    The fact that Day didn’t bother pursuing Elias Ricks because he knew he had these 2 on the roster, should speak volumes
     
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    ScriptOhio

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    “We definitely know that we weren’t where we were supposed to be, and the term Silver Bullet is thrown around, we kind of took that for granted,” senior defensive end Zach Harrison said Thursday. “We’re taking it more personal now, we know that there was a standard that was set at Ohio State years before we were even born, and we’re the next up to hold that legacy and hold that standard. We’re taking pride in that and all of us know that’s where he need to get to.”

    “We talk about that every day. We had a couple past players talk to us about it too. Being a Silver Bullet, you can’t take it for granted,” Sawyer said. “I think last year maybe we kind of just expected things to happen because it did earlier, years previously. We just expected to win. I think kind of we got complacent a little bit, and that’s why we slipped up a couple times here and there, and almost slipped up in the Rose Bowl again. I think this year we’re just taking everything more seriously and really trying to lock into every little detail.”

    What could make the group special is its mix of old and young talent, with five-star sophomores Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau coming off the edge and Williams – who was second on the team in sacks as a true freshman – on the interior. Sawyer said that combination could be lethal for opposing offensive lines if all parties maximize their potential this offseason.

    “I think the sky’s the limit. It could be something that no one’s ever seen before,” Sawyer said. “We all truly believe that as well. I think last year maybe (the freshmen) kind of got lost in the moment that we weren’t playing that much, and it kind of affected us a little bit. But we just put our head down and went back to work, and this spring you can already see it how the hard work’s paying off. I’m just really excited to see these guys get a chance too.”

    “I think we already fixed that now, because we can see it in practice,” Sawyer said. “(Thursday) we had a really good day. I think towards the end of the Rose Bowl, too, you started to see quarterbacks not being able to step up in the pocket like you’re used to seeing Ohio State defensive lines do. Because obviously when you got a great defensive line, it’s hard for a quarterback to get the ball out right.

    “We’re working towards being one of those defensive lines all season every snap this year, so I think you guys will see that.”

    Just sayin': You look at who they have on the DL...Harrison, Sawyer, Tuimoloau, Hamilton, Vincent, Williams, Cage, Jean-Batiste, Friday, and Hall. They will have a real solid 2 deep on the OL. The sky should be the limit.
     
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    Onebuckfan

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    “We definitely know that we weren’t where we were supposed to be, and the term Silver Bullet is thrown around, we kind of took that for granted,” senior defensive end Zach Harrison said Thursday. “We’re taking it more personal now, we know that there was a standard that was set at Ohio State years before we were even born, and we’re the next up to hold that legacy and hold that standard. We’re taking pride in that and all of us know that’s where he need to get to.”

    “We talk about that every day. We had a couple past players talk to us about it too. Being a Silver Bullet, you can’t take it for granted,” Sawyer said. “I think last year maybe we kind of just expected things to happen because it did earlier, years previously. We just expected to win. I think kind of we got complacent a little bit, and that’s why we slipped up a couple times here and there, and almost slipped up in the Rose Bowl again. I think this year we’re just taking everything more seriously and really trying to lock into every little detail.”

    What could make the group special is its mix of old and young talent, with five-star sophomores Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau coming off the edge and Williams – who was second on the team in sacks as a true freshman – on the interior. Sawyer said that combination could be lethal for opposing offensive lines if all parties maximize their potential this offseason.

    “I think the sky’s the limit. It could be something that no one’s ever seen before,” Sawyer said. “We all truly believe that as well. I think last year maybe (the freshmen) kind of got lost in the moment that we weren’t playing that much, and it kind of affected us a little bit. But we just put our head down and went back to work, and this spring you can already see it how the hard work’s paying off. I’m just really excited to see these guys get a chance too.”

    “I think we already fixed that now, because we can see it in practice,” Sawyer said. “(Thursday) we had a really good day. I think towards the end of the Rose Bowl, too, you started to see quarterbacks not being able to step up in the pocket like you’re used to seeing Ohio State defensive lines do. Because obviously when you got a great defensive line, it’s hard for a quarterback to get the ball out right.

    “We’re working towards being one of those defensive lines all season every snap this year, so I think you guys will see that.”

    Just sayin': You look at who they have on the DL...Harrison, Sawyer, Tuimoloau, Hamilton, Vincent, Williams, Cage, Jean-Batiste, Friday, and Hall. They will have a real solid 2 deep on the OL. The sky should be the limit.

    Show me. Nobody out of that group would sniff the first round of the NFL without a massive jump. Harrison and LJ have another year to live up the hype video of the last two years.
     
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