Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/7/14
He wasn't complaining at us, he was complaining with us. That was the explanation from Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith about some gripes that receiver Michael Thomas expressed on Twitter shortly after the Orange Bowl, when he pointed out a lack of production from OSU receivers in the last two losses of the season to Michigan State and Clemson. While top receiver Philly Brown had a combined 13 catches for 169 yards in those two games, the Buckeyes' other starting receivers, Devin Smith and Evan Spencer, combined for three catches for 16 yards, all from Smith. Thomas has long since deleted the Tweets, which were preserved and explained in a few places. But among his words were "there was 2 people on the field that combined for 200+ plays past 2 games only brought to the table 3 catches 16 yrds" and "Is it throwing people under the bus? Or is it telling it how it is? You watch tv you see the same stuff... You just sugar coat it" and "they are considered starters at Ohio State!" It may not be the best means of expressing displeasure, but Thomas did have his facts right. "It was probably perceived as more taking shots at position people, whatever, but Mike was as frustrated with any lack of production or any lack of success as anybody," Smith said when I asked him about it Wednesday at National Signing Day. "But as I told you, he prepared to play. He was as much a part of the team as anyone else." "A lot of those were on our group, not my group," Smith said, making the distinction that he felt Thomas was lodging the complaints and including himself in the issue, not taking shots from the outside at Smith's players. And as Smith pointed out, Thomas didn't play last year, when he redshirted during his second year as a Buckeye, because those players who didn't put up stats at the end of the year beat him out. "Mike knows at the end of the day he could have beat out anybody and offered more production, but he didn't," Smith said. "Those guys beat him out." Smith said he did talk to Thomas about how his Tweets looked to everyone who read them. "I know the kid really well, and it was more frustration with himself and us as a unit and our team and our offense, not winning the last two games, those things," Smith said. "He needs to understand how things are perceived vs. how they are meant." Here is perception, and reality. The Buckeyes need more production from some of their receivers in 2014, with Smith (44 catches, 660 yards), Spencer (22 catches, 216 yards) and Dontre Wilson (22 catches, 210 yards) the leading guys who are returning. While there are new faces from the 2014 class jumping in, players like Thomas and junior Corey Smith, who were both healthy, older redshirts last season, will have every chance to win starting jobs this season, when sitting out won't be an option. "You don't want to take away from what guys like Devin Smith and Evan Spencer have done for us the past year and the year before," Smith said, "but at the end of the day, we were better as unit but we're still not where we need to be. So there's no position in my room that's locked down or even where anyone has an edge. "I'm not confident that there's any delineation between any other wideout. The way the younger guys develop, by the end of the year I think it's going to be a dogfight to see who starts and who gets the ball. Nobody' spot is safe. "But you have to recognize what guys have done the past two years. Evan has done a lot for us, and Devin has done a lot for us. So they're not starters right now, but they definitely have an edge because of what they've done for us the last two years."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Pork Chop Womack All-Stars: Ranking The Best Food-Related Names In College Football
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NHL adds meldonium to banned substances list

Report: Chances of Jonathan Papelbon signing ‘non-existent’

Chris Bosh isn’t pleased with the Miami Heat

NFL clears players in HGH investigation

NFL execs: Kaepernick 'traitor,' hated as much as Carruth

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kansas FB settling first-team reps with Rock-Paper-Scissors

Report: Vikings trainers saved Bridgewater's 'leg and career'

Baylor's Zamora suspended 3 games for beating his dog

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about worst game of career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

Kevin Owens is the right WWE Champion at the right time

Jake Arrieta almost quit baseball before trade to Cubs

Fred Taylor: NFL doctors never told me about multiple injuries

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

Buckeyes News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about the worst game of his career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker