Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
Coach Urban Meyer has brought a new feel to the Ohio State football program. During the spring drills, Meyer and his assistants have hammered in the idea of winners and losers during spring drills and the atmosphere of practice has changed as a result.
“The one thing a place like Ohio State gives you is the game-day atmosphere experience and we have to utilize that,” Meyer said. “I want to see how kids are going to play and to just go out and have a practice, you don’t do that. I want a winner, loser.”
Kerry Coombs, first-year cornerbacks coach from Cincinnati has made headlines for his enthusiasm. He fist pumped down the middle of the field after plays and chest bumped redshirt sophomore defensive back Bradley Roby after a block.
“Be warriors, be warriors,” Coombs shouted on the field.
Junior defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins forced a fumble that also got the coach excited enough to run up the field and cheer.
“Scoop and run Hank, scoop and run!” Coombs said.
Coombs wasn’t the only enthusiastic coach. During the end-of-practice scrimmage, Meyer went to the middle of the field and started throwing his hands up while the defense started the Buckeye Bounce. When it was all over, the defense defeated the offense.
“The good thing about the scrimmage is if you were watching close, they battled back and got it real close at the end,” Meyer said. “So they came back, they started just awful, but they came back and battled and got the score real close at the end. The defense won.”
The defense has beaten the offense both times the squads have faced off this season. After practice, the defense was rewarded with a cool-down stretch and Gatorade while the offense was forced to run and could sip only on water.
“They better win this early,” Meyer said. “They’re also playing well. Our defense coaches do a nice job.”
Meyer said the offense isn’t where they need to be and they need to grasp the instillation faster. Even with the two top defensive lineman, Hankins and senior John Simon on the sidelines as a reward near the end of the scrimmage, the offense still lost the battle.
“We might need to slow down the instillation a little bit and try to be able to execute something but that’s coming,” Meyer said. “Anytime you do something new that nine guys do it right, two guys do it wrong, it looks like it’s just the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen. So we just got to get a little more consistent.”
But the first-year coach said these are the growing pains he expected.
“Terminology is different. Of course you’re going to make mistakes,” he said. “Guys might go the wrong way … make it go so fast that it’s OK.”