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BuckIQ: Pete Werner can be key cog for revamped Ohio State linebackers

Zach Boren breaks down the play of linebacker Pete Werner. (Joseph Maiorana/USA Today Sports)

Ohio State Football

BuckIQ: Pete Werner can be key cog for revamped Ohio State linebackers

COLUMBUS — A fresh start at linebacker for Ohio State doesn’t necessarily have to mean fresh faces.

And if a new scheme is all it takes to unlock some of the clear potential for the Silver Bullets, the Buckeyes may not need to dramatically shake up a lineup that has all three starters from last season back in the fold.

Maybe changes will happen. Or perhaps the glimpses of athleticism, a heady ability to read what’s happening on the field and a knack for making some truly timely plays will mean Pete Werner isn’t going anywhere at linebacker for the Buckeyes.

It’s still quite early in spring camp for any kind of sweeping prediction. But in putting together any sort of projection for the Buckeyes at the second level, Werner isn’t somebody who just be overlooked just because he was on the field for some of those well-known struggles last year under a different position coach.

“It’s competition,” new Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington said last week. “And it’s kind of like: Next Man Up right now. We have so many guys, you kind of have to roll them and try to put guys in different spots. But they’ve been competing, and I’ve been pleased with that part of it.

Pete Werner-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner remains a valuable defender for the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“Those guys like Pete Werner, Justin Hilliard, Baron Browning, those guys have been here and they’ve got equity. You respect that, and that stuff matters.”

The Buckeyes can also throw Malik Harrison and Tuf Borland into that conversation thanks to their previous experience. Harrison, in particular, is pretty much a lock for a prominent role again after he put off the NFL to spend another season with the Buckeyes — but if he’s the only one, Werner is at least continuing to do what he can to stay in the rotation as well.

What does Pete Werner do that makes him valuable on defense? How can he take the next step after getting a year of experience under his belt? Will the new scheme set him up for more success? Former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren was in the film lab breaking it all down in his latest episode of BuckIQ with an eye on Werner.

Roll the tape!

Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.

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KULLMACKJimmy BraswellMeatchicken SuxNathan FieldsBill Recent comment authors
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Jimmy Braswell
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Jimmy Braswell

Boren gets it. Werner is too athletic to not be on the field. In a simplified system, he is going to excel. The Michigan play was huge and demonstrates the big play capability he has.

Meatchicken Sux
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Meatchicken Sux

Werner is no good.

Bill
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Nope, not an Ohioan. NEXT!

Nathan Fields
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Nathan Fields

You are kidding, right? Have you looked at the number of starters that are outside of Ohio? Top 3 picks in this year’s draft, to name a few.

KULLMACK
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KULLMACK

I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHERE HE IS FROM WERNER SUCKS AND IF HE PLAYS WE WILL LOSE 2 OR MORE GAMES THIS YEAR

Zach Boren

Zach Boren was a 2012 captain and member of the 12-0 team. Winner of the Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award and an ESPN/Kirk Herbstreit "Herbie". Zach remains in the Columbus area and heads the development of Boren Brothers.

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