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OSU football: New assistant coach Bob Connelly faces quick challenge

Connelly arrived in February, and he’s already at work trying to rebuild the Cowboys’ offensive line.
by John Helsley Modified: April 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014

“And that’s the only thing I ask these guys, ‘Come out here each and every day and everything we do is with a purpose. We don’t come to practice to get through practice. We don’t go to the weight room to get through the workout. We come with a mindset to get better.’”

The good news – Connelly likes the upside of the younger players. Crabtree, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound first-year player from Mansfield, Texas, has been one of the pleasant surprises of the spring.

“I really, really like the kid,” Connelly said. “I think he’s got a bright future. He’s got all the intangibles. He’s got a great work ethic. He got a great mindset. He asks great questions. He’s incredibly motivated for a young kid; he’s further along than you think maturation wise. Very, very mature for his age.”

The players seem to like Connelly as well, which is a key factor in developing a solid and cohesive unit.

Joe Wickline was the longest-tenured assistant of the Gundy era before he bolted for Texas, seeking a change. And Wickline’s record of producing formidable fronts is impressive.

Still, a fresh look can be good for both sides.

“They say change is a good thing,” said Koenig, who reminds that his two brothers, both OSU linemen before him, worked under multiple coaches. “This change is a good thing. You can see it out here. We’re breaking good runs and whatever.”

Connelly is tweaking techniques and steps, while also relieving pressure on the tackles, who were regularly left on their own out on the edge, but now get more double-team help from the guards. It might not make for the sexiest story of OSU’s spring camp, what with Tyreek Hill and Jhajuan Seales and the quarterbacks sparking conversations, but building a line is of vital importance.

“It’s a work in process,” Connelly said. “Things are starting to slow down now, having been here six weeks and having three weeks of spring practice under our belt. I’m kind of getting a better feel for where we are and where we need to be.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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