Ohio State defensive coordinator and secondary coach Kerry Coombs spoke to the media over Zoom Wednesday to talk about the difficulties that Alabama’s offense brings to the table, including having the Heisman Trophy winner, wide receiver Devonta Smith.
- On Alabama’s offense, Coombs said “this is a great offense. It is a complete offense. There are now five All-Americans on the offensive side of the ball and a Heisman Trophy winner and the runner-up. They have great players, but they also have a great scheme and they understand how to attack defenses. People have tried numerous different things against them, and they always have an answer.”
- Specifically looking at the Crimson Tide offensive line, he said the line is “the biggest offensive line that we’ve faced, but they’re also very gifted, very athletic, they can run, and they do a great job.”
- Coombs said he has been impressed with the development of freshman safety Lathan Ransom: “He showed up and played big when we needed him to, and he continues to improve and develop, and we’re excited for his future.”
- On why head coach Ryan Day was a good fit to replace Urban Meyer, Coombs said he believes Day is “a brilliant offensive mind,” but also that “he’s a very, very gifted leader of young men. I think that he has managed to bring us through this situation as well as anybody could possibly have done.”
- When asked about how much Alabama has evolved since Ohio State played the Crimson Tide in 2015, Coombs said the evolution has come on offense. “Great players, great coaches, great effort, play hard. But also now a lot more wrinkles to the offensive package.”
- Coombs called Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who has been out with an ankle injury, an extraordinary athlete and receiver overall, and that Ohio State is “absolutely” preparing as if he is going to play.
- On Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields: “What I’ve seen of Justin Fields is that he is one of the best quarterbacks I have ever seen.”
- More on Fields: “He makes throws in practice, and obviously in games. I don’t get to watch him play in the games very much, but he makes throws in practice that are fantastic. He’s got command of the offense. He understands where we want to distribute the ball … He’s one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen and ever been around.”
- On Smith, the first Heisman winner at wide receiver since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991: “He’s just really, really gifted as a route runner. He’s got extraordinary physical ability, which everybody understands, but it’s way more than just being a guy who can run fast.”
- More on Smith: “He runs great routes. He catches the ball. He high points the ball, catches it in his hands. You know, he catches short balls and makes some big plays. He catches obviously the deep balls as well as anybody that we’ve gone against.”
- On covering Alabama’s talented wide receivers as a whole, Coombs said he doesn’t get particularly excited about defending players of this caliber, but that his team is “going to go out there and do the very best we can with them.”
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