Two-Minute Drill: Meyer Sits Down for Morning Chat
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with a small group of local reporters Monday morning.
It just happened to coincide with the start of the “dead period” in recruiting, but Meyer wanted to get a head start on creating a better environment with the local media than he had at times during his tenure at the University of Florida.
Here are the major updates from this morning’s session.
Coaching Staff Updates
· Meyer confirmed that Luke Fickell has interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Pitt. He said it would be a “big hit” to lose Fickell, but knows he will be a head coach again at some point. Said they should hear something soon.
· Gene Smith never told Urban he had to keep Fickell or anyone. Told him to "evaluate everything" but asked him to consider keeping Fickell.
· Meyer confirmed that he will retain cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson along with Stan Drayton, who will move from coaching the wide receivers back to coaching the running backs, like he did under Meyer at Florida.
· Meyer is still evaluating Mike Vrabel, who has been one of his primary recruiters over the last three weeks, but hinted that Jim Heacock likely would not return next season. Fickell has already been named the team’s defensive coordinator.
· Meyer called new strength coach Mickey Marotti the "most important hire in the athletic department" because he will head Ohio State’s perfo rmance team. Said there is no reason OSU should not have the best staff in the country.
· Meyer said he will announce the rest of the staff on Jan. 3, after the bowl games out of respect for coaches who are still working for other teams.
· Meyer said each week he writes down the names of the top 5-10 playmakers on offense who have to get the ball.
· One thing Meyer really liked about Tom Herman as an OC was that he doesn't have an ego. Not set in "his way" of doing things. Wanted to find an OC would bring his knowledge and add it to what the group is doing.
· Meyer said that he will absolutely adapt his offense to fit Ohio State. "We're going to turn around and smack you."
· Meyer seemed excited about having some big backs on the roster...said he wanted that ever since he had DeShawn Wynn.
· Meyer said he wants to play up-tempo, but he isn't always a fan of no-huddle. Said it takes away the intangible part of football because players aren't looking into QBs eyes.
· Meyer didn't like running no-huddle with Tebow because he wanted everyone to hear him and feel him in the huddle.
· Meyer seemed a little surprised at their success in recruiting because he said it usually takes a year to build relationships. He credited the job by Fickell and the fact Ohio State is Ohio State for why they have had such instant success.
· Meyer said they have been working really hard on class of 2013 already.
· Meyer credited Braxton Miller as being one of his best recruiters so far. Raved about Miller's leadership and demeanor.
Gator Bowl Preparations
· Meyer said he is staying hands off during bowl prep because "when we hit, we want to hit like a hurricane."
· Meyer was blown away when he heard Michigan AD Dave Brandon had issues with the NCAA waiver that allows two coaching staffs. Said he did same thing at Florida 2 years ago...had no idea anyone thought it was something new.
· He said that he and Tom Herman are the only two new coaches out recruiting from Ohio State. So it's not like two full staffs.
· Meyer said he wants his team to take the Michael Jordan approach...practice so hard that the games are easy.
· Meyer won't go to Jacksonville, said he might not even watch the Gator Bowl because he has so much love for both programs.
· Meyer said he is wants to give everyone on the team a fresh start after the bowl game. Chance to hit the reset button.
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