Ohio State football: Urban's assistants profiled in the New York Times

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

As you might expect, the article featured a heavy dose of Kerry Coombs, in addition to numerous juicy tidbits. Read below for a summary of all the dirty details.

Kerry Coombs got the New York Times treatment. I'll give you a second or two to reflect on the previous sentence.

Kerry Coombs got the New York Times treatment!!!

That alone justifies Greg Bishop's latest college football feature for The Grey Lady, which provides an in-depth look at Urban Meyer's coaching staff. The piece is interesting, revealing, and recommended reading for Buckeye fans -- or just folks who want to learn more about the collegiate living arrangement between Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel. (For the record: "Fickell cleaned; Vrabel cooked.")

Here are some of the story's highlights.

They spent the bye week huddled around white boards. They diagrammed plays and downed coffee and argued schematic changes. They listened to — and for the footsteps of — the boss.

They are: the Assistants.

Shoutout to Greg Bishop for capitalizing "Assistants." Any coterie involving Coombs is automatically worthy of proper-noun status. Hell, just give them their CBS sitcom now. During NFL broadcasts, Jim Nantz could be like, "On Tuesday's episode of The Assistants, Mike Vrabel comes down with strep throat and Everett Withers stares blankly at a whiteboard. The Assistants, Tuesdays on CBS!"

In previous stops at Florida, Utah and Bowling Green, Meyer always hired "his guys," familiar assistants who understood his detailed operation. Eventually, most of his guys became head coaches, including four from the 2005 Florida staff, which Meyer once boldly called the best "maybe in college football history."

Sure, I'll concede that the 2005 Florida staff is probably the best in history, but only because of this guy.

Addazio_medium

ADDAZIO!!!!!!

He wanted coaches with local ties, who understood the tradition at Ohio State. He also paid attention to the coaches’ wives. He had seen others "create conflict in our programs."

WORLDSTAR.

"Last I checked, Urban Meyer is a pretty demanding guy," said Stan Drayton, the assistant head coach for offense and the running backs coach. "He doesn’t trust real well. There has to be a series of events that confirm his feeling on something. That took time."

Meyer then took [the Assistants] on a retreat, one of his annual traditions. No cellphones. No cell service. Just Meyer and his nine main assistants, sitting around talking football. They cap the weekend with a wives’ dinner. Meyer speaks, and the wives receive a gift, usually jewelry. The Last Supper, Meyer calls it.

No cellphones? Then how did Urban maintain his scandalous relationship with Nu'Keese Richardson?

At first, though, they all failed. The Buckeyes stumbled the first month of the 2012 season. They won each game, but as Meyer noted, "Alabama-Birmingham was beating us."

"I was convinced up until that point that I was going to blow the whole thing up," he said. "Lose five or six games, get my own guys in there and build a program."

Does anyone actually believe this? Like, say the Buckeyes went 7-5 last year. Would Urban really have brought in a whole new coaching staff? I don't think he's THAT impulsive. Also, major coaching staff turnover would've likely resulted in another relatively hamstrung recruiting class. I feel like Urban's just saying this in retrospect to dramatize last year's undefeated season. Nevertheless, it would've made for a shocking season finale on The Assistants.

"Can I get an ampersand?" Smith, the receivers coach, asked.

I'm just going to leave this here completely devoid of context, because for all you know, Zach Smith is an alien humanoid who depends on ampersands for basic nutrition.

The defensive assistants huddled in their own room. At one point, Fickell, Withers and Kerry Coombs, the cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator, stood at separate portions of the white board, scribbling away.

Perhaps this was a disciplinary exercise mandated by Urbz. If so, the whiteboard probably looked like this:

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

I WILL NOT ALLOW JOEL STAVE TO PASS FOR 295 YARDS ON MY DEFENSE AGAIN.

Anyway, I strongly encourage folks to read the entire article, especially the individual sections devoted to various Assistants:

If the paywall gets in your way, just use private browsing. When Kerry Coombs gets the New York Times treatment, there is no excuse not to read every single word.

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