Ash preaches ‘staff philosophy’ on defense

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The job responsibilities are mostly easy to identify for the newest and final addition to the Ohio State coaching staff. A tattered pass defense is in need of renovation, and Chris Ash has a track record that suggests he is the right guy to lead it. An influx of aggression is required, and there are literally instructional videos with his name on them on how best to bring it defensively. Anybody working for Urban Meyer had better know how to recruit, and the recommendations were glowing in that area as well.

But there is one part of the gig that remains a bit fuzzy, and Ash did his part to keep it that way shortly after his hiring was finally and officially announced by the Buckeyes on Thursday.

If Ash is the new play-caller for the Ohio State defense, he didn’t have any desire to come out and confirm it. And if that role does belong to him, Ash made clear it’s not one he will be handling alone, anyway.

+ EnlargeRobin Alam/Icon SMIChris Ash didn’t divulge which of the co-defensive coordinators would be making the defensive calls at Ohio State next season.“We’ve had those discussions, but I’m not here to take anybody’s job; I’m not here to try to get credit for the things that we will do in the future,” Ash said by phone on Thursday night. “I’m here to help make a difference, and I don’t need anything to make me come here other than the fact that I wanted to learn and grow and be a part of Ohio State. That’s it. “As we move forward as a defensive staff, it’s going to be a staff defense, it’s going to be a staff philosophy. We’re going to do everything as a staff and everyone is going to have ownership. That’s what I believe in. I know that’s what Luke Fickell believes in, and that’s the direction we’re going to go.”

That teamwork, collaborative spirit and an ability to get everybody on the same page is certainly important, and there’s little doubt that making sure there’s input from the staff has value. But somebody has to make the final call on game day, and the Buckeyes have something of a delicate situation on their hands right now that has nothing to do with designating a pair of assistants as co-coordinators.

Ash might not be coming to campus with the intent to take any duties away from a current staff member, and in terms of his title, he’s filling the exact position that Everett Withers held before leaving to take over at James Madison…

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