Two Minute Drill - Monday Press Luncheon
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer met with the media on Monday to talk about last week's opponent as well as preview the upcoming game against Florida A&M.
Also speaking today were tight ends coach Tim Hinton and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, as well as players Kenny Guiton, Christian Bryant, Ryan Shazier and Devin Smith.
(Note: All of the talk below about staying focused despite an inferior opponent like FAMU came from questions being asked. The players themselves sounded as if they'd have no trouble staying focused.)
Urban Meyer Updates
* Meyer said Saturday was a great atmosphere and the team appreciated having so many Buckeye fans in attendance.
* He said he was very impressed with Cal's freshman quarterback Jared Goff. He said the Buckeye defense didn't play great, but Cal's offensive scheme was very good.
* The were only two champions on the defense, in Christian Bryant and freshman Joey Bosa. Bosa played 80 plays and did everything that they could have asked him to do in place of Adolphus Washington.
* Offensively, the captains were Jack Mewhort, Marcus Hall, Taylor Decker, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith, Philly Brown, Chris Fields, Jordan Hall, Jeff Heuerman, and the offensive player of the game was Kenny Guiton.
* Guiton was named Big Ten offensive player of the week and Ryan Shazier was named Big Ten defensive player of the week. Interestingly, Shazier didn't grade out as a champion per Meyer because, among other things, he had four or five missed tackles. Guiton was also named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week.
* Even though Evan Spencer only caught one pass, Meyer called his blocking performance “one of the best efforts I've ever seen a wide receiver play.” He said he was heartbroken that they couldn't get a touchdown for Spencer.
* The special teams player of the week was Pittsburgh Brown, with a special mention of Jamal Marcus. Meyer said they aren't dynamic in the kicking game yet, and that needs to improve.
* Regarding FAMU, he said that the coaches have to do a very good job of coaching this week and make sure the players aren't looking ahead to Wisconsin.
* Meyer said that Braxton Miller still has some work to do, but if he's good to go, then he'll play. They won't hold him out unless his knee needs it.
* He said he is still trying to figure out what he is going to do when Carlos Hyde returns this week regarding Jordan Hall's touches and role. He said that Hall has earned the right to continue to touch the ball.
* Meyer said that the defense missed 16 tackles, but that positive part of that was that it wasn't an effort issue.
* Asked if it's any fun to coach in a game where you are favored so heavily like the Buckeyes are this week, Meyer answered that it's less fun to coach in a game when you're a 21-point underdog. (By the way, Meyer has never been a 21-point underdog as a head coach.) He did say that the competition among the team will always create excitement, regardless of the competition.
* Many of the older players were given Monday off in terms of practice, but the young players were going to get some work in.
* Meyer said that Kenny Guiton has earned some time even when Braxton Miller gets back. He has to figure out how to make that happen. “If he's one of the best 11, you have the obligation to get him on the field a little bit.” He also added, “If you want to buy stock, buy stock in Kenny Guiton.”
* He said that Miller has a grade 1 MCL sprain. He said Miller is fine running forward, but it's the lateral stuff that he was having issues with. He said he knew on Thursday that Miller was going to be a long shot to play.
* Asked if there were certain things that Guiton does better than Miller, Meyer cited Guiton's ability to run the option. He said he's a distributor and he's a natural.
* Meyer said that he doesn't think Miller will miss another week. He called him probable to play.
* Meyer called Adolphus Washington questionable for this week. Tommy Schutt is still on schedule for a mid-season return.
Tim Hinton Updates
* Hinton said that the reason the tight ends aren't catching the ball as much as they had planned is because defenses aren't cooperating. They have implemented plans, but much of what this offense does is predicated on what a defense gives them. They haven't been giving them the tight ends much this year.
* Regarding FAMU, he said that this is a challenge of execution for the team. They need to play better, play faster, etc.
* He said that Jeff Heuerman blocked the perimeter like a champion on Saturday, and that Heuerman was thrilled after the game with how well he had done in springing several big plays.
* Hinton said that Heuerman has the top bench press on the team and is second or third in the vertical jump. He said that Heuerman is much more serious about the classroom of football than he was in the past. He's always studying now.
* He said that freshman Marcus Baugh is coming along, but he has had issues catching the ball so far. He called him more of a wide receiver type, which means he still has to get better as a blocker. There have been no discussions about redshirting him at this point, however.
* Hinton said that on Saturday he told offensive coordinator Tom Herman that this was the first time in his 30-year coaching career that he hasn't been nervous about a backup quarterback getting a start.
Mike Vrabel Updates
* Vrabel said that there is currently no concern regarding Adolphus Washington's groin injury. He doesn't expect it to linger like Michael Bennett's injury did last year.
* He said that Joey Bosa's development has happened faster than he expected. He also said that he's much smarter than he ever envisioned. His mental approach to the game surprised Vrabel.
* Asked about playing an opponent like FAMU, Vrabel said that this team still has to go out there and play Ohio State football. He also added that there's still plenty to work on and plenty to fix.
* He said he's happy with the way the defensive line is developing right now. They are still working on some pass rushing techniques and running game fundamentals.
* He said that Chris Carter has been eating and going to school for free for a while now, and wasn't paying it back. However, he has bought in now, and had a good spring and summer. He got better in every practice, so they are now rewarding him with snaps. They need to continue to get him out there. He said that Carter wants to be out there, and he's at the football facility even when he doesn't need to be.
* Vrabel said that for now, Chase Farris will stay on defense. He said he's bigger and stronger than he was when he was last on defense, and that's helped him excel in his limited time.
* Vrabel said that there is no difference between “Viper” and “Leo”. They only switched to “Viper” because it sounded cooler than “Leo”.
* He talked about having the mentality that “there are no backups”. The players need to prepare every week as if they are the starter. He said that that's what Kenny Guiton has done, and his teammates have taken notice.
Ryan Shazier Updates
* He said the pace and playing style of California was a new challenge for the defense. They did well, but had too many missed tackles. They kept leverage, however, and limited the big plays.
* On his hit out of bounds, he called it a stupid penalty, but didn't know that he was out of bounds.
* He said that when he was a backup, he approached each game as a starter, and took mental reps to prepare himself to play. He echoed Vrabel's sentiments that the team sees Guiton doing the same, and they take note.
* Regarding Joey Bosa, he credited both Vrabel's coaching as well as Bosa's high school football program at St. Thomas Aquinas. Playing at a big school prepared him better to come into Ohio State and play right away.
* He said it was like a blast from the past playing defensive end a time or two on Saturday.
Devin Smith Updates
* He said it's a lot more fun playing in the offense this year because everybody knows what they're doing, and everybody's more effective doing what they do.
* On Urban Meyer's takeover and his bluntness early in his tenure: “No one was ready for it.”
* He said that it doesn't matter to him who plays quarterback because he knows both guys can get the job done.
* Smith said that he didn't know he had broken the Ohio State record for longest play from scrimmage until after the game when Tom Herman told him. Since then he has found himself looking back on it and smiling.
* Asked to compare/contract Miller and Guiton, he said that Guiton is a little more patient in the pocket, and that Miller has a quicker release.
Christian Bryant Updates
* He said there is no reason to ease up this week against FAMU because they are still trying to win a game.
* Bryant said last week's game was the kind that leads to a few missed tackles, but the good thing is that they kept leverage and limited the gains after the missed tackles.
* He was asked if he'd rather be playing a bigger game this week and he said he would. He'd prefer a top ten team, but they don't schedule the games.
* He said after practice he has a quarterback throw him 50 passes so that he can work on his hands.
Kenny Guiton Updates
* Guiton said that he has heard from a bunch of people over the last two days, and he appreciates all of the kind words.
* He said the weekly awards mean a lot to him, because he never saw them coming. He just went out there on Saturday to win a game.
* Guiton said that 18 months ago he had a childish mentality. He wasn't a leader. But he grew up. “Coach Meyer really brought the best out of me.”
* Asked about FAMU, he said “We want to be perfect.” He added, “Every weekend is a test of leadership.” The leaders will have to keep everybody together to keep away any letdown.
* Guiton said that he spent two hours on the phone with his family yesterday. He doesn't get to see them much right now, so they were all thrilled to find out about his national player of the week award. He said that they told him that they're screaming loudly at the television when they see him.
* He said that he is considering coaching eventually because “I love football.”
* He admitted that he watches other teams play and knows that he could do something big at those schools, but added that he has no regrets about coming to Ohio State.
* He said that Braxton Miller helped him out a lot last week in preparation. They talked to each other constantly, and there was a bit of role reversal during the game with him coming off of the field and talking to Miller and Herman on the sideline.
* When told that Meyer said that even when Miller comes back, he still wants to find snaps for Guiton, the former/future backup had a huge smile and said, “That's it right there. It's another blessing. It keeps me going.”
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