Two-Minute Drill: Tuesday's Post-Practice Updates
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes have now put six spring practices behind them and have nine to go. Following Tuesday's practice head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman spoke with the media.
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Meyer was asked how well Luke Fickell and Chris Ash are meshing, and he had no complaints. He said they are completely revamping the entire back end and things are going well. The two "have meshed together very well".
+ Sophomore H-Back Dontre Wilson finally took some "backfield action" in practice. To this point he has only caught the ball. The plan is to continue getting him more involved in the running game, however. Meyer said that Wilson has "much better" hands than he did a season ago. He also said that Jalin Marshall was doing well at the position prior to his knee injury. He also has expectations for freshman Curtis Samuel there as well.
+ Meyer again reiterated that he feels good about the Buckeye safeties, noting that Tyvis Powell was one of the champions from Saturday's scrimmage. The two champions on offense were guard Pat Elflein and tight end Nick Vannett.
+ Meyer called linebacker Joshua Perry one of the five most improved players on the team.
+ He said that the receivers better be one of the team's strengths. He thinks they have play makers and depth. He also likes the depth on the defensive line and running back, but thinks they need work everywhere else.
+ Meyer said tight end Nick Vannett is pushing starter Jeff Heuerman. This echos what Perry said last week about the overall talent at the position.
+ Meyer gave a run down of the top five receivers "in order": Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, Corey Smith, Johnnie Dixon and Jeff Greene.
+ Rod Smith had a good a "really good" day of practice on Tuesday. Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith have yet to separate from each other.
+ Meyer said that Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall will be key in making the offense more dynamic and less reliant on a power back.
Tom Herman Updates
+ Herman said that he thinks it's telling that through six practices, quarterback Cardale Jones has done nothing to deserve not taking the first-team reps. He said "Cardale is playing like a quarterback at Ohio State should." Herman attributed Jones' struggles in Saturday's scrimmage entirely to nerves. He told both Jones and J.T. Barrett that "they played like a couple of words that can't be printed." He said both QBs were upset with their play, but they're using it to learn and progress.
+ Herman said Braxton Miller is progressing despite his injury. He is doing everything they're asking him to do, and he's showing more aptitude in the QB room. He said Miller will be grading J.T. Barrett's recent practice film, giving a +/- to every snap. He said he has learned more from football by teaching it, so they'll look to get a similar result with Miller.
+ Herman said that the offense "certainly will be different", adding that every offense has its own personality. He said that they will never stray from their core beliefs, however.
+ He said they are moving receiver Devin Smith around this spring, hoping to help his improvement in becoming a more consistent receiver.
+ Herman said that Dontre Wilson is playing well. He said last year he was still learning to play receiver because he had been a running back his whole life. "He couldn't play receiver last year. He didn't know what the hell he was doing." That has changed now, as Wilson has taken to the position and is progressing very well.
+ Herman said WR Corey Smith "has got a chance to be the best one of the whole group."
+ Herman said tailback Ezekiel Elliott is still a bit inconsistent and still has moments where he plays like a freshman. He said Rod Smith made a surge today, but there isn't much separation. He said Warren Ball and Bri'onte Dunn haven't "lost the drive" because they see that there is still a battle to be won.
+ Herman said the offensive line is a concern, but it would be a lot more of a concern if he didn't believe in the talent on hand, or he didn't believe in offensive line coach Ed Warinner. He said the same thing other coaches have said, that this offensive line is way ahead of where it was at this time in 2012. Herman said that Warinner took the weakness of the offense to the absolute strength in under 24 months.
+ Herman said it's too early to say who will end up winning the center job between Jacoby Boren and Billy Price.
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