April 13, 2010

Building on success

The last image that fans have of the Ohio State offense is of Terrelle Pryor carving up the Oregon defense in the Rose Bowl going 23-38 for 266 yards. Now that doesn't turn Ohio State instantly into a passing juggernaut but it was quite the step up from the previous three games where the ball was taken out of Pryor's hands for all intents and purposes.

But the passing game does not entirely rest on the arm of a quarterback and a large part of the success or failure of that will always fall on the hands of the receivers. Going into 2010 the Buckeyes will return the tandem of DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher with a group of younger receivers trying to step up into that second string role and potentially the third receiver spot.

Don't believe for a minute that the Buckeyes are going to become some sort of pass happy offense going into 2010 but the Buckeyes did start off the year with one of their best showings via the air. How do you build off of a great game going into the spring?

"One of our first things as an offensive staff was to continue from where we left off and not start at the beginning or anew," wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell said. "That is one of the things we have tried to focus on. We are doing a lot of the same things that we came out of the Rose Bowl doing from day one and hopefully throwing the ball down the field and we have had a good start."

And with the season still more than four months away it is difficult to really put anything into place that will go right into the season opener against Marshall but the Buckeyes will still be able to set the groundwork for summer workouts and of course what will kick off in the fall camp.

"To be honest we have just been doing most of the same things that we have always done," Sanzenbacher said. "The spring has always really been about getting your fundamentals down. It is not so much about scheming even though we do watch some film of the teams it is not about that. It is about us pretty much and coming together as a team."

The Buckeyes know that they will not be able to get fat and happy off of past successes and coach Hazell is quick to keep his players grounded when it comes to that.

"(Coach Hazell) never lets you feel like you have done anything or are anything special... he doesn't want good receivers but he wants great receivers. I feel like that is the hardest thing, not beating yourself up when you don't get a play because nobody is perfect out here but he expects that from you." Posey said.

And Hazell is not the only one with high expectations when it comes to the passing game and the players may be tougher critics on themselves than any coach has of them.

"We can always get better," Posey said. "Every day we write down goals that we want to do in the receiver room. We have a calendar and we write down things we want to do and everyone has a different goal for the day.

Hard work in spring pays off in the fall.

"I think basically it just all comes off of hard work," Washington said. "The harder we work and the more chemistry the we build the stronger we will become as an offensive unit."


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