With high school coaches from all corners of the state converging on Columbus, and the coaches of the state’s two NFL teams in town, Buckeye football staffers were set to celebrate Ohio.
They did so at the 83rd Annual OSU Football Clinic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As part of their effort to honor the state’s impact on the game, they acknowledged the careers of innovator and coach Paul Brown, Mt. Union coach Larry Kehres, and Ironton coach Bob Lutz.
Accepting on behalf of the family of the late Paul Brown was Marvin Lewis, who works for the Brown family as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lewis also spoke about the importance of proper tackling technique and how it prevents head injuries. He used video of plays from games against the Patriots and Chargers as examples.
A day later, Browns coach Mike Pettine also took the podium. His more than 40-minute address mostly focused on the team’s history, and what it will take to excel in areas where the club has come up short recently.
He pointed out that the club has only won 35% of their games since 1991. He had lists of every coach and every player who had been in Cleveland during that time and asked what his team can do that the others didn’t.
Pettine said he thinks it will take being “tough, competitive, passionate, relentless, productive and accountable” to do better.
The highlight of the event, however, may have been the speech of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, who Friday morning tackled the topic of how his team’s leadership has translated into on-field results.
He admitted to making some “tactical errors” when it came to leadership, especially earlier in his career.
“I fell victim to the quote regime, you know where you [say], ‘Hey, let’s talk about leadership; here’s four great quotes,’ and they look at you and leave the room,” Meyer said. “It’s no different if you teach quarterback play and say, ‘Here’s a couple quotes from Steve Young. Now go throw the ball better.'”
He compared the amount of money corporate America spends on leadership training, to what college football invests and called it almost embarrassing.
Meyer also admitted not successfully addressing some leadership issues that cropped up last year that may have started with Christian Bryant’s injury.