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Buckeye Offensive Line - 2004 (official thread)


Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis
Staff member
I have tried to keep this to myself, but I have these voices in my head - Brutus and Bo. It is really quite annoying. Lately they have been having a dialog about the OL. It goes something llike this:

Bo - Our offensive line sucks.

Brutus - How can you say that? Three of our seniors were first or second team HS AA. Bishop and Olivea started as Sophs and Olivea and Step were being mentioned as all Big Ten or even AA candidates last season.

Bo - Then why don't we have a running game? And why have we been sacked more times than any other team in the Big Ten except IU - including four against Michigan?

Brutus - Well, our RBs have been hurt, but I will have to agree the OL has not been terribly effective. But Step has been hobbled and Sims was hurt last week. Plus we lost Douglas before the start of the season and Bishop has been horrible. Wait until next year when JT has his own OL in there - the quicker OL he is recruiting.

Bo - Next year? First of all, this is JTs third year with these kids. If they didn't develop he owns that. And if kids have been hurt where are the backups? Anybody who is going to help us next season should certainly be ready to contribute by the last regular season game of this year. Only four OL saw the field against Michigan who will play next season, including Kne (former walk on) and Datish. Only one OL (Barton) is redshirting, so if these kids are ready there is no reason not to give them some reps.

Brutus - But the OL takes time to develop. We just moved Schafer and he could be an animal next year. Coleman is still bulking up as well. And remember, Bollman said that if he had Barton to coach for a year he would be 'a living bitch'.

Besides, look at this years recruiting. Person is a top prospect who everyone agrees may be JTs best OL recruit since he has been here. Skinner might have been a top 10 national prospect if he had not been injured last season, so he could be a steal. And Rehrig is a raw kid with a very big upside.

AND we are still in the hunt on the #2 rated prospect (Hart - long shot) and #4 rated prospect (Mitchum - very good chance) in the nation, not to mention several other strong candidates.

Bo - Did you just say Barton is coming here to be Bollman's bitch?

I will give you that this year's class is looking excellent. Much hope for the future there.

Just too bad we didn't have a similar class last season. Everyone knows it takes time to develop OL. The national kids should have seen that OSU had 5 seniors coming out (Douglas was still in the mix during the last recruiting season) and the coaches should have convinced them to come in last year so they could move onto the field next season.

As it is we are looking at a bright future if we finisht this incoming class, but a serious rebuilding year next season.

Brutus - I guess we can agree on that.


At this point Brutus started bugging me that it was time to quit thinking about football and get back to work. However Bo - as per usual - wanted to watch porn.

Now I gotta go find my 'Debbie does Ann Arbor' video. I hate those lesbian flicks.
Re. next season. I believe the OL will be ok. I thought Mangold did a great job since he was put in. Just watching him pull(as a center) was enough to impress me. We just seemed to be a little more mobile when he was in and Step moved to guard.
Is Ivan Douglas available next year or is he done ?

Who can we expect to lay ol next year? Sims, Mangold,Kne, Datish, and who ? I'm assuming DD and MK as guards, NM as center, Sims at LT and ? at RT. Ivan D, perhaps, Barton, Coleman,Shafer ? It's fun to speculate.

Who was the snapper on field goals and extra points?
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What do you guys think about the size vs. speed question regarding OL? I'm not sure which I prefer. Leaner and quicker has obvious benefits, but I guess I think you need a fair amount of bulk and leverage to keep the bad guys away.

Oh8ch: those voices in your head- do they ever tell you to do bad things....?
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I think the lighter and leaner quick lines are much more benifitial. I don't like the 350 pound kids that cannot move fast enough to connect on the blocks. Bollman has always been a leverage kind of coach and he is going to have to teach these guys that it is very important to stay low and drive the guys on run blocking. Pass blocking is mainly keep your body between the defenders and the QB, no real strength is required. As long as you remember that leverage is still important so you don't get driven back into the QB yourself.

Kyle Andrews is the long snapper for FGs. Not sure if he is the snapper on punts also though.
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Could someone who has played/coached OL, or who is really familiar with OL technique and coaching, explain if they have seen problems in the following areas, and what those specific problems might be:

- Pass and run blocking technique, including stance, leverage and footwork

- Pass and run blocking scheme, assignments and matchups

- Individual athletic ability

- Individual effort play to play

For two seasons, we Buckeye fans have expressed disappointment with the performance of the line. I've read a lot of theories, but I'm looking for some facts from ye wizened Buckeye Planeteers. :)

Do we just not have the horses, are they not responding to coaching, or is the coaching the issue? We heard SO much about how hard the line worked over the summer, but that didn't seem to pan out as we'd hoped.

Frankly, I don't understand the position well enough to break down exactly why that is. Given the loss of seniors, this is obviously an area of concern yet again this off-season.
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I'll take a stab at it.

LT - Sims. I know there has been talk of putting Barton over there because of his tremendous feet and quickness but you need an experienced guy covering our quarterback's blind side.

LG - Coleman. This is the hardest one, IMO. Olds would be a candidate if it were not for the hip injury. Ben Person will push for PT. If he were coming early I would put him in here. I think he will be that good. RJ has had a year to adjust to a new position and should be ready.

C - Mangold. No explanation necessary.

RG - Mike Kne. Gives us some experience and played well at times the last couple years. Jon Skinner could compete for time here. It's too bad he is not enrolling early. Schafer could push for time as well either here or at one of the guard spots.

RT - Barton. Coach Tressel stated he was in the two deep last year. We were fortunate to be able to redshirt him. Fits the mold for the type of O-lineman we want. Rehring coming in early will help him but the edge goes to Barton.

Just missed the cut: Downing, Tyree, Olds, and Datish. A recruit like Leon Hart may change things. I would love to see Kyle Mitchum in this class but a redshirt may be in order. Jeremy Zuttah would be a nice addition as well. Once we get the O-line straightened out it will be hard to find a weakness on this team. My apologies to anyone I accidentally left out.
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I like your lineup Bucknutty. From what I've seen and heard about Person, I think he may have a legit shot at starting at one of the guard positions before the season is over. I believe Knee has had nagging injuries throughout his career here, hopefully not this year though. I'd really like to see Barton at RT. He looked good when I watched him during pregame warmups this year. If we can get both Mitchum and Hart, WOW. I was really impressed with Hart last weekend. He got a great push off the line on running plays and protected extremely well on passing plays. I thought it looked like Mitchum may need a redshirt year. It would be great if Person and/or Skinner was coming in early.
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You have to be extremely special to come in and start on the O-line as a true frosh. There is no other place on the field (corner is close) where the transition is so great from the HS level to college, let alone at this level of college.
As a former HS big ugly (on both Off and Def btw Def was so much easier to play) you might face three or four superior D-line men over the course of a 10 game + playoffs high school season. At tOSU almost every D-lineman you face is going to be an HS all star if not more. It takes so much time to adjust to the speed and overwhelming strength at the big time D-1 level for the O-Line men. There are exceptions like O. Pace and a few others.
That being said I don't know anything about the incoming recruits except what I have read which means absolutely nothing.
You guys follow recruiting more than I do, so I will take your word for it but just understand that it is a hell of a transition especially if they are not enrolling early and only have the summer to prepare. If they do pan out and play as a true frosh do be to harsh during the times when they struggle to adjust.
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As you can see from my guess above I agree with you. I don't think any of our recruits will step in and start. Unfortunately our depth at the position is going to force at least a couple of them into the two deep and injuries could create significant playing time. That isn't because they will be ready, it might just be out of necessity. We are not in good shape up front and PT is there for the taking. That's why we should land guys like Hart, Mitchum, and Zuttah. Whether we do or not is another issue. I think we'll be ok up front but there will be struggles, especially early in the year.
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Brutus, I have read a lot of positive comments about Datish but recently Duane long said he is not developing like some had hoped. I hope he lives up to the promise he had coming out of high school.

I tend to agree with you about the O-line. We might struggle early but I think we'll be ok, especially if a certain RB happens to see his way back on the field in '04.
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