Cody Cousino / Photo editor
As he roamed the field for the first practice of Ohio State’s spring football season, coach Urban Meyer’s demeanor was calm. He was in control. The field was his.
The loudest guy out there was not the former Florida head coach, but the newest hire on Meyer’s staff, the cornerbacks coach from the University of Cincinnati.
Kerry Coombs, hired after Bill Sheridan’s departure to the NFL, was the most vocal and most engaging coach to watch on the field.
Working with the cornerbacks in position drills, Coombs took command of the situation, barked out orders and asserted himself as a presence on the field you would expect from a long-time coach – not one that has been on the team for less than a month.
Cornerback position drills included more than 20 minutes of footwork, ranging from side-to-side fast-feet drills, drills to keep the corners low and drills designed to have them catch a tennis ball.
Coombs was the loudest on the field, yelling things such as “Stay down,” or “Get low,” or my favorite, “You have to catch the ball!”
Coombs, served as the associate head coach for the Bearcats, and also as Cincinnati’s special teams coordinator, defensive pass game coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Coombs was constantly challenging the corners to get lower and faster in their drills, and was not shy in making fun of redshirt sophomore defensive back Adam Griffin for his height. Griffin is listed at 5 feet 8 inches.
“Adam,” Coombs shouted. “You’re already too low, I can’t even see you back there.”
If Coombs’ passion is any indication of the kind of energy Meyer’s new staff will bring to the field, all signs are pointing in the right direction for the 2012 Buckeyes.
Running with the 1’s
The linebacker position will provide solid competition for the three starting spots, as senior Storm Klein was running with the backups on Wednesday. Redshirt senior Etienne Sabino, sophomore Ryan Shazier and sophomore Curtis Grant were running in the three linebacker spots.
The offensive line position will also provide interesting matchups in spring ball, as the anchors of the offensive line will not be returning next year. Players stepping in to fill the shoes of Mike Adams, Michael Brewster and J.B Shugarts include junior Andrew Norwell, redshirt junior Jack Mewhort, redshirt junior Corey Linsley, redshirt junior Marcus Hall, tight end-turned-lineman senior Reid Fragel and many others. Also impressing on the first day of practice was freshman Taylor Decker.