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Editorial: A few more random thoughts at 3 AM

Editorial:  A few more random thoughts at 3 AM 

By Bill Smith

  1. Please notice that is almost all powerful!  Virtually a day after we chided ESPN for taking Chris Spielman out of the booth, he was back. And by the way, Spiels continues to improve in the color analyst roll.  Now I only wish we could have used some of that influence to help OSU get a win last Saturday.
  1. Brutus Report Analysis:  Why did Ted Ginn Jr. get benched?  Because he couldn't get off press coverage.  The New York Jets in game 1 had a book on Ted Ginn.  He can't get open against press coverage.  Time and time again, he got pushed off his intended route by a cornerback playing tight to the line of scrimmage.  When he gets off the press, he is not using his speed to get open.  A slower DB is able to keep up with him.  Without decent separation, a weak armed QB like Chad Pennington will go elsewhere.  And in the Jet game that is exactly what he did.

Ginn needs to get into the weight room and strengthen his arms and upper body if he wants to start let alone justify his 9th pick overall, he needs to get stronger and most of all get open often. The crowd at the draft party was not happy with the selection of Ginn.  They wanted the previous Dolphin administration to pick Brady Quinn.

  1. Brutus Report Analysis: Why is USC the biggest fan of OSU?  Because a down year for OSU may keep an undefeated USC out of the national championship.  The PAC10 is down this year.  The only game that USC will have on its resume at the end of the season is the win over OSU.  California is down because it lost so much to the draft.  Arizona State is going to get shown to be a paper tiger by Georgia this Saturday.  UCLA had a nice win over Tennessee week 1.  But we can put that in the trashcan because of their 59-0 loss last week to BYU. 

So how can they get bypassed for a Championship game?  The Big 12 currently has 4 team in the top 11 and the Southeast Conference has 5 in the top 10.  If an undefeated team comes out of each of those conferences, they will have beaten 5 or 6 top 25 teams to get there.  I doubt that USC will see a single game against a top 25 team the rest of the season.  Right now only Oregon is currently ranked by the AP and there is a good chance they will lose more than just to USC by the end of the year.

So OSU may be the one and only top 25 team by the end of the regular season that USC has won against.  IF OSU wins out and rises to the top 6, then USC has a shot.  But if the Bucks fall to 2nd or 3rd in the Big 10, USC could be in trouble.

Kreskin says that the SEC will not produce an undefeated team so USC should be OK.  But even Kreskin can be wrong.

  1. Coach Tressel said that the fumble by Todd Boekman was caused by him not reading blitz and throwing to the hot receiver.  In my analysis I wrote the following:  One of the key plays of the game was the fumble by Todd Boeckman when he was blindsided by an unblocked linebacker coming off the edge.  Again, just like in so many games before, the tackle and guard blocked down ignoring the outside rusher.  The running back passed the blitzer not even trying to chip him.  Fumble lost and game over.

Let me say a couple of things about our blocking scheme.  First, having created more than a half dozen play books for semi-pro teams, I would never even consider a pass blocking protection that allowed a DE to be blocked by a running back.  As we saw in both the LSU and Florida losses, the OSU slant pass blocking schemes leave a DE to be handled by a running back or TE.  I never used that approach because it does not work.  If the scheme had BOTH a TE AND RB double teaming a DE, I think that would be workable.  However, as Coach said, that was not the case in this play. 

In the case of the fumble, it is my belief that Boeckman is not capable of accounting for the unblocked blitzer.  He is not mobile; he is not especially accurate passing on the run.  It is a bad design.  Mike Martz has a similar system that sends all the receivers out on almost every pass. That approach burns QB's like gallons of gas in 12 cylinder Jaguar.  Even given the high cost of gas, good QB's are much less plentiful.  Rather than leave the QB to “account for” an untouched blitzer, let the OT and OG not double team the DE unless there is no blitz from that side.  If the G struggles and there is not another outside blitzer, the OT can help out. 

One thing that particularly bothered me was the fact that the tackle who was part of the biggest problem in the loss was one of the most vocal in the media.  He could have been a high 1st round choice in the 2008 draft well before tackles that were considered 2nd and 3rd round quality.  That was in the last draft.  Unless he becomes the dominant blocker that he is supposed to be, he will find a 3rd round grade in 09.  After a loss like that it is time to let the play on the field do you’re talking for you.  And talking a great game after playing a poor one is not helping his standing.

That's what I think.  What do you think?  Let us know by posting a comment.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for  He has also published several novels on and edits

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