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Commentary: Say what? Coach Fickell needs to mind his mouth

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

We’re all aware of Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee’s propensity for regrettable one-liner remarks, but first-year OSU head football coach Luke Fickell unleashed a howler of his own during a Tuesday press conference.

“We hope we get better,” Fickell said during his first visit with the media since the Buckeyes’ 24-6 loss at Miami.

Is that so, coach? You “hope” your team gets better?

President Gee couldn’t have said it better himself.

Fickell’s remark strikes me as troubling because any coach on any football team, especially a first-year coach attempting to uphold 122 years of Buckeyes football tradition, needs to be proactive in improving their team, not hoping.

What the Buckeyes need right now is a clear plan and discernible end in mind, especially with regard to the team’s dilemma at the quarterback position.

Fickell said that while the media may tend to focus on quarterback play, he focuses on every facet of his team.

“It’s focused on the quarterbacks, but we’ve got to do a better job all-in-all,” he said. “Whether it’s offensively or defensively… we’ve got to find a way to get our best 11 on the field.”

Whew. That’s more like it from the Buckeyes’ head coach. He’s talking about improving the team and finding the pieces to the puzzle that will help the team succeed.

But wait! Fickell produced another gaff as his press conference ended while explaining why he didn’t use a timeout during a fourth-quarter Miami drive that lasted 8:48 and bled the game clock down to less than one minute.

“It ultimately didn’t end up hurting us,” Fickell said.

What do you mean it didn’t hurt the team, coach? You didn’t utilize your timeouts, a valuable tool at your disposal, which, aside from stopping the clock earlier in Miami’s drive, could have served the Buckeyes in several ways.

At the very least, you could have given your defense a breather since that particular Hurricanes’ drive lasted for the better part of ten minutes.

Only a select group of people gets to see the team at every practice and team function, so I, along with all of Buckeye Nation, must give Fickell the benefit of the doubt when it comes to helping the Buckeyes improve.

Fickell needs to do a little better than hoping his team will improve, as well as kidding himself that his team wouldn’t have benefitted from the use of a timeout at some point in the fourth quarter against Miami.

With that attitude, Fickell could be hoping for a new job at another program in the near future.

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