Two-Minute Drill: Vrabel, Siciliano Preview Illinois
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It is not often that first-year Ohio State linebackers coach Mike Vrabel comes out to talk with the media.
First they have to find him deep within the bowels of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and then someone has to coax him out into the daylight.
That happened Wednesday after practice, as Vrabel and OSU quarterbacks coach Nic Siciliano met with the media to talk about the upcoming game at Illinois.
Here is a two-minute rundown of what they had to say.
Siciliano on the Quarterbacks
- Braxton Miller is doing fine physically and had a couple of good days of practice already this week.
- Miller has not been limited by the right ankle injury.
- Siciliano felt like Braxton was a lot calmer against Nebraska. Thought he looked nervous against MSU.
- Siciliano said the ideal situation for any QB would be like Troy Smith, not having to starting until year 3 or 4 in the program.
- They were hoping Braxton could learn a year behind Terrelle Pryor, but obviously he was thrust into the starting role.
- Siciliano would not reveal the backup QB. Said he wants Illinois to have to prepare for both Joe Bauserman and Kenny Guiton.
- Siciliano said they have never sent the QBs into a game unprepared, but any time they play poorly it falls back on him.
- Siciliano said he doesn't have much time to call anyone outside of this coaching staff for any advice.
- Siciliano said they miss Jim Tressel in the offensive coaching room, but they don’t. If that makes sense.
- He said Jim Bollman called 97% of the plays in past years and Tressel would chime in on the other 3%. They miss having a guy who has been around the game for 40 years.
Vrabel on the Defense
- Vrabel said the defense is playing with good toughness, they just have to play smarter. Young guys are starting to push the older guys.
- Vrabel said the biggest difference between NFL and college is amount of time they get to spend with the players. This isn't players' jobs, so they don't spend 8-9 hours at practice facility the way NFL guys do.
- Vrabel said every day is a learning experience for him. He's asking questions of Jim Heacock and Luke Fickell all day long.
- Vrabel mentioned Patriots loss in '06 AFC title game as proof that there is life after a blown lead. Pats won their next 18 games.
- Vrabel mentioned developing Curtis Grant as one of his primary jobs this year.
- Vrabel said he has been impressed with Ryan Shazier, and his role continues to develop.
- He said Shazier likes to "slither" around blockers. Said he likes hitting ball-carriers a lot more than hitting blockers.
- Vrabel said he doesn't want leadership from some captains who are popular with their teammates. He wants leadership from guys who want to win and aren't afraid to get in their teammates faces when the time is right.
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