“Basically,” he said, “let’s play ball.”

The New York Times touched on something in this piece I’m also curious about.  2020, being the massive outlier that it was, how much has it affected teams’ fundamentals as they prepare for this season?

The football coaches talked for days about the basics: how to carry the ball, how to handle a block, how to tackle. As they dissected their position groups, the men professed what they had come to most deeply believe about their game.

So went the off-season at Ohio State — yes, the Ohio State that reached last season’s title game, the one with the football complex lobby with 83 trophies and a hallway, speckled with even more prizes and shrines, that feels as long as a field. But because the Buckeyes had played just eight games last season, the coaches had come to fear that their mighty program, perpetually stocked with elite athletes, was vulnerable to infiltration by rust and inexperience.

“The truth is, the more talent you have, the harder it is to acquire discipline and skill,” Ryan Day, Ohio State’s coach, said in his windowless office on Friday. “The perception that, ‘Well, you recruit some of the top kids in the country and they just come in and they’re ready to roll,’ it’s actually the inverse. They have a lot of work to do with their discipline and skill.”

…Interviews with players and coaches at Ohio State and elsewhere, though, suggest that 2020 is still inflicting a gridiron hangover, or at least worries about one, in many corners of college football.

Teams across the country are expected to prove sharper than they were in the opening weeks of the 2020 season, when sloppy, inconsistent play followed the cancellation of spring practices and scrimmages and redesigns of preseason camps.

Bottom line, nobody knows for sure until they hit the playing field, but I have a working theory that shaking off the rust favors teams with returning staffs that already have existing procedures in place for fundamental work.  New coaching staffs that have to install different systems from their predecessors have one more layer of training that goes into their preseasons.  There’s only so much you can get done before the season starts.

19 Comments

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19 responses to ““Basically,” he said, “let’s play ball.”

  1. RangerRuss

    A working theory, eh? Back in the late 40’s when I was a detective in LA that’s what we called a clue.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. dawg100

    If Kirby overcomes missing at least 4 former 5-star recruits at TE/WR (Pickens, Blaylock, Gilbert, Washington), an all new DB room (and even an injury to one of his 2 stud portal transfers), and the loss of his special teams coach and team Dr., and still pulls out a win vs. One of the better teams of the last decade, can we drop the “doesn’t win the big game” meme?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Football is only two things. Blocking, and tackling.”
    Lombardi, V.

    Liked by 1 person

    • akascuba

      Gentlemen this is a football. Vince Lombardi shortly after becoming head coach of the GB Packers. I bet Kirby loved watching him draw the Packer Sweep. If executed correctly by all the blockers there is nothing the other team can do about it. Man ball for the win.

      Liked by 3 people

      • One of the posters known as Mark

        John Madden told the story about the coaching convention (for lack of a better term) he attended as a young coach in the NFL. He went to a clinic presented by Lombardi titled, “The Green Bay Sweep.” Madden figured it would last about 30 minutes.

        Lombardi diagrammed every offensive player’s assignment against every possible defense against the sweep.

        It took eight hours.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Fuzzy Thurston was 5-11, 255. Low man, for the win!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. “Fortune favors the prepared!” Earl Scheib

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      “I’ll paint any car for $39.95!”
      – also Earl Schieb

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha, I was waiting for someone to call me out on my bullshit…I made up that fortune favors the prepared…sorta paraphrasing Louis Pasteur who said “Chance favors the prepared mind”

        Earl just liked robbing folks for money with paint jobs that would wash off…#olddawgsplaining

        Like

  5. Leggo5

    What I took from that article……Why does Ryan Day have a windowless office? That sounds awful.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 69Dawg

    OSU playing on a Thursday night! When did they become a member of the MAC.

    Liked by 1 person