Ohio State Football: Why does Al Washington get a pass?

The Ohio State football team has struggled at times on defense at all levels. One level that has struggled perhaps more than any other unit this season is the linebacker room. They haven’t been able to play well enough, and Al Washington seems to be getting a free pass for it.

Why is that? Washington has been on staff for three years now. This year the best linebacker was a converted running back. They have a converted tight end getting first-team reps this week. They just landed a running back who is converting to linebacker in the transfer portal.

Under no circumstances should the best linebacker on the team be someone who was converted to that position a few weeks before the season. Washington seems to have recruited well enough that you shouldn’t need to pull players from other positions to fill your room.

Yet, the linebacker room has been weak all year. It was just ok in 2020. While C.J. Hicks arrives this season as a five-star freshman, one single linebacker can’t fix the entire unit. Washington has his own guys in the program by now, so it’s unclear why he has been getting a pass so far for the unit’s poor play.

I think there should be more noise about Washington’s job security following the Rose Bowl on Saturday. I’ve heard rumors of 3-4 coaches being gone once that game is over. I wouldn’t be totally shocked inf Washington ends up being one of them based on his track record so far.

If Washington does get another year, he’s going to be on the hot seat. The linebackers have to be noticeably better next season for Washington to keep his job past 2022. I’m not going to say his tenure so far has been worse than Billy Davis’ but it could still be better.

We’ll see what Ryan Day decides to do with Washington once Saturday is over. It’s something that more fans should be talking about.