Two Minute Drill: Urban Meyer call in show.

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Football
Two-Minute Drill: Updates from the Urban Meyer Call-In Show
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The first edition of the Urban Meyer Call-In Show took place on Thursday. Meyer shared a few updates on his team, and also answered phone calls from fans.

Urban Meyer Updates

* Meyer said that the team has a couple of minor bumps and bruises right now, but they're ready to go. Players and coaches are anxious to get out there and face somebody else. They're tired of hitting silver helmets against eachother.

* Meyer said that he has seen some great competition at some units, like offensive and defensive line. They still have to recruit better at other positions to get them up to the same level as those two units.

* Meyer on the backfield: "The running back position right now, you better practice really hard or you're not going to play."

* Meyer said that he's looking forward to getting to the OSU golf course tomorrow, and then to the hotel and especially looking forward to the Skull Session on Saturday morning.

* Meyer said that one difference this season for his coaching staff is that they didn't have to practice practicing, everybody knew how it was going to be done.

* He said that right tackle Taylor Decker "walked away" with the job because he played so well in the spring. "There is absolutely no doubt now" that Decker is one of the starting five. Meyer said that he's playing at a very high level right now.

* Meyer said that Braxton Miller needs to improve his passing from last year, which he believes he has. Everything has improved for Miller, but Meyer is still anxious to see him play. He said he is more anxious than the fans to see him play. He said he's starting to see Miller's ceiling.

* Meyer said he thought maybe the receivers didn't realize how much went into actually throwing the ball last year. But they understand everything now, from protection to routes, etc.

* Meyer said that Chris Fields is one of the four receivers, and he said a year ago if Fields saw action early in the season, that meant something went wrong. Meyer added that Michael Thomas is the #5 right now.

* Meyer said that Jordan Hall has practiced better than any running back he's ever had. "He is without question the starting running back."

* He said that tight end Jeff Heuerman has earned his way into being one of the top two receivers on the team, with Philly Brown.

* Meyer said that Drew Basil is a leader for the whole special teams. He said Basil won them the game last year against Michigan. He said they'll move the pocket around with punter Cameron Johnston. He expects the kicking game to be better, and the return game to be much better. He said Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson will be the starters on kickoff return. Meyer said that long snapper George Makridis has earned a scholarship, giving the Buckeyes two scholarship long snappers.

* Meyer talked about his assistants and said that when you are at Ohio State, you should never leave for another job unless it's to be a head coach.

* On Buffalo, Meyer reiterated that Buffalo runs a disruptive style of defense. He did say that it is similar to some of the things the Buckeyes do, so the offensive line will be a little familiar with it.

* He said that Heuerman will match up with linebacker Khalil Mack quite a bit on Saturday.

* Meyer said that Buffalo will drop eight quite a bit on defense. This will allow Braxton Miller time to throw, but it means more coverage for Miller to pick through.

* Meyer said the expectation level for the OSU defense is to be at the top in the nation, but there are still some deficiencies in experience which will make it tough to get back up there this year, but that's still the plan.

* Meyer said the freshmen cornerbacks will have to help them this year. He said they've made strides, but not enough strides. Doran Grant and Armani Reeves will start game one and Meyer said both are playing "fairly well" right now.

* He said the number of captains are indicative of both that there are a lot of leaders and also that there is no specific leader or two right now. He also added that leadership isn't a title, it's what you do. He cited Mike Vrabel, who told him that even though he wasn't voted a captain his senior year, he was still a captain.

* Meyer said the freshmen as a whole aren't where they thought they would be at this point.

* Meyer was asked if he thought the Buckeyes could play with any team in the SEC. Meyer replied that Ohio State is playing Buffalo this week.

* He said Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington should be very good this year. He said that Mike Vrabel has coached them up well. He said Michael Bennett is one of the top two or three most improved players on the team.

* Meyer said both of the freshmen defensive linemen Michael Hill and Joey Bosa will play. He called Bosa "a really good pass rusher". He said that Chris Carter still is not where they need him to be.

* Meyer said that he will be disappointed if Ryan Shazier is not an All-Big Ten player. He said Curtis Grant missed nine or 10 practices, but his last week has been very good. Grant will get the start in the middle.

* Meyer said that linebacker Joshua Perry needs to continue growing as a player, and that he will also be involved on special teams. He also said they are trying to push the freshmen linebackers Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson as much as possible in order to get them ready to play.

* Meyer said that he will be disappointed if Buffalo comes in and is able to pound the ball on the Buckeye defense.

* He said last year the Buckeyes played 60-70% in the nickel, and he's expecting that or more this year. He said Vonn Bell will be starting on the kickoff coverage unit, and will be backing up Tyvis Powell. Cameron Burrows will also start on kick coverage.

* Meyer on Miller and his improvement: "I'll be crushed if he doesn't come out Saturday with really good fundamentals and plays well."

* Meyer said they won't be relying on Braxton Miller's rushing because they've got others they can count on to distribute the ball. He said his ideal is 250 yards rushing and 250 yards passing each game.

* Meyer on Dontre Wilson: "He's pretty good. He's electric, but I don't want to put too much pressure on him."

* Meyer said that Ezekiel Elliott has exceeded his expectations. He's fast and keeps his pads down. He will play.

* Meyer said the targeting rules will change the game and it could cost teams games this year. He said there were three or four times last year where the Buckeyes would have lost players.

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