Two-Minute Drill: Post-Practice Updates From Urban Meyer
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes held practice #3 on Tuesday, which also happened to be the first spring practice in pads. Afterward, Urban Meyer spoke with the media to provide some updates on his football team.
* Meyer said that Clemson and Texas A&M recently visited, and they talked to the Clemson offensive coaches about how they used receiver Sammy Watkins in their "jet" packages, i.e. jet sweeps, fakes and screens. Meyer said that Ohio State has a bunch of fast guys, so it's good to learn what other teams do well and try to emulate them.
* He said that former Rutgers and Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano was at practice on Tuesday. He was observing the defense. Meyer said the spring is a great time to study the game.
* Meyer said the Buckeyes may take a day or two this spring to work on Navy's offense, since they open the season with the Midshipmen. He wasn't positive if they would spend time on them this spring, but if they don't, he said they'd really have to ramp it up in the fall.
* Meyer said they will be able to have more live situations in practice this year than last year because of the amount of experience returning.
* Meyer said that quarterback Cardale Jones is still with the ones, and J.T. Barrett is backing him up. He said Barrett had a good day today, however. He also said that Jones is a changed guy from the one who was once suspended for a tweet. He said that Jones had to be a different guy and that's what he's been.
With the absence of Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones is running with the first team.
* He said that Ezekiel Elliott is not the clear #1 running back right now, citing Rod Smith instead. He also said Bri'onte Dunn had a solid practice on Tuesday.
* Meyer again reiterated that he wants an aggressive defense, and his players can't be afraid to make mistakes. He said he would prefer the occasional big play given up rather than allowing teams to constantly move the ball down the field over and over.
* He said Vonn Bell is the only big injury right now, but he'll be back and good to go for fall camp. In his absence Cameron Burrows has taken over with the ones with Tyvis Powell.
* Meyer again mentioned linebacker Darron Lee and how well he pursues the play and gets from point A to point B. He said Lee is currently playing the "walk out" linebacker spot, which has to match up with slot receivers and he's doing well. Meyer said that Lee may have no idea what he's doing right now, but what he's doing is being done with the effort that he wants to see.
* He said that Taylor Decker has taken over as the leader of the offensive line. "He's a product of culture."
* Meyer said that as long as he is the coach, he will never do away with the Spring Game. He thinks the atmosphere is too valuable and gives young guys a chance to play in front of 50-80,000 people. He also has no plans to change the current spring set up that sees the practices split up over Spring Break.
* Meyer said that freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan is doing "pretty good." "A guy that's got some awareness to him." He also said he's mature for a freshman.
* Meyer said that cornerback Eli Apple was dealing with an infection, which is why he didn't practice two weeks ago. He practiced today, however, and is fine.
* Meyer mentioned that the Buckeyes are going to be a "quarters team" on defense. This is the same type of defense that Pat Narduzzi and Michigan State run, and it's what Chris Ash has experience with.
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