Skip to main content

Former Buckeye DB shares Kerry Coombs' key to developing defensive backs

Tyvis Powell, a former Buckeye defensive back, shares a key Kerry Coombs has used over the years to develop defensive backs.

While his tenure as the Buckeyes defensive coordinator wasn't what many had hoped for, Kerry Coomb's stamp on developing defensive backs is undeniable.

For the better part of the past decade, outside of a few seasons in the NFL with the Titans, Kerry Coombs has mentored a number of NFL bound defensive backs. 

In 2012 the ace recruiter joined the staff in Columbus as corners coach and a year later added special teams coordinator duties through 2017. He spent the 2018-19 seasons with Mike Vrabel and the Titans before returning to Ohio State as defensive coordinator in 2020.

During his time in Columbus, a number of top notch defensive backs were developed, with 15 members of the Buckeyes secondary selected in the NFL Draft since Coombs first year with the program in 2012.

In 2017, the Ohio State secondary enjoyed a banner year come the draft when Coombs and the Buckeyes saw three members of the secondary selected in the first round (Marshon Lattimore - #11 overall to Saints, Malik Hooker - #15 overall to Colts, and Gareon Conley #24 overall to the Raiders).

Former Buckeye safety Tyvis Powell, who went undrafted in 2016 before bouncing around the league for a few seasons until recently finding a home in the CFL, went on the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show and shared a nugget about Coombs coaching style that shines some light on why he's been able to develop guys so well.

"One of the things that he focused on the most is you pick one thing every day. Today, I'm just going to watch [the receiver's] hips and whatever he do, I am going to do."

"Or today, I'm going to work on coming out of my break. 1-2, and making sure everything is 1-2."

"If you focus on that one thing, it will get better because your mind is on that. Now, when you get to the game, you're focused on it so much that it becomes second nature."

"If you are trying to focus on a whole bunch of things, it is too much in practice and something is going to get away from you."

Now coaching the corners and special teams for Luke Fickell in Cincinnati, the Bearcats defensive backs will now have the advantage of learning from a guy like Coombs.

Hear Powell's answer in the clip.