Ryan Day refused to throw anyone under the bus publicly during his first weekly press conference leading up to this weekend's game. A press conference that is usually reserved for previewing the upcoming opponent was littered with tough questions about a defense that got shredded by Oregon last Saturday and a Buckeye team that is dealing with it's first regular season loss in three years of the Ryan Day era.
But while he wouldn't air any dirty laundry or specify the kinds of conversations he's had with his staff behind closed doors (who could blame him for trying to keep that in house), he was firm in his frustrations and expressed them without mincing words.
"Yeah I'm not happy about that at all," Day said. "That's part of the deal - for me to do what I need to do on offense, I need the defense really on point, the special teams on point, I need Mark Pantoni to do a great job in recruiting, Mick Marotti to handle strength and conditioning, and the minute that I get taken away for those type of things, then it affects everything else that's going on on offense. So yeah, to be honest with you, I'm disappointed."
Day said repeatedly that no permanent staff changes had been made. He was asked directly if Kerry Coombs was still the defensive coordinator late in the press conference, and said he is (he actually laughed while saying it, because he had indirectly been asked the question several times).
For now, Coombs' job is safe.
But he also made it clear that things are a bit rocky right now and while he didn't directly say it, it's pretty obvious to realize the frustration there. He admitted there were a few plays he went back and watched from the Oregon game and wondered what was going on with that unit.
Day mentioned structural changes on defense several times, but when pressed on it, wouldn't elaborate. Will they be schematic? Will we see different personnel? Will there be coaching changes? There's a lot to look at and a lot to unpack. But he made it clear things have to change.
"We are going to make some adjustments, some changes. We have to. But I'd rather not get into all that right now ... you want to act, not over react. You have to make sure you do things the right way and you allow people to do their job, but when it gets to a certain point, you have to get things fixed - and that's what we're going to do.
He acknowledged the conversations with his staff weren't necessarily uncomfortable, but they were honest and very real. He said it's pretty simple to see what needs to get fixed on that side of the ball.
The Silver Bullets are under a microscope with no margin for error the rest of the season if Ohio State wants to accomplish its goals. I'm sure the intensity and focus within the building has heightened the last 48 hours. Losses are hard to deal with, but there's an awful lot of talent in that room and I would expect that the Buckeyes will figure out a way to appropriately address those issues and get back to their standard on the field this weekend.
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