COLUMBUS — Prior to Tuesday practice, Ohio State assistant coaches Al Washington and Mike Yurcich will speak with reporters. Also joining the festivities will be quarterback Justin Fields, right guard Wyatt Davis, cornerback Damon Arnette, and nose tackle Robert Landers. We will have live updates from the coaches and players as they happen, so refresh for all of the latest when their session gets underway immediately following Ryan Day’s 12:00 pm engagement.
+ Everybody on defense is out there with a different mentality right now. They’re not into proving people wrong anymore, they’re looking to prove themselves right.
+ The game has slowed down for him. The people might be moving fast, but he’s seeing it in slow motion. Everybody is locking in on their job, and when everybody is locked in, someone is going to make the play. His interception return was a team play.
+ Everything that’s happening right now, he saw happening when he decided to come back to school.
+ To the fans who have criticized him in the past, he understands what it’s like to play for Buckeye nation. He tells them to keep watching.
+ “I’m just excited because I think we’re going to win the Natty. I’m going to speak it into existence.” Being in the WHAC every day is great. It’s fun, no matter how bad his body is hurting.
+ He had to take 18 credit hours to get graduated when he wanted. It was for a good reason. He embraced it and the time went by quickly.
+ Working with Jeff Hafley has improved his knowledge of concepts and understanding football better when it comes to the offenses he is facing from week to week.
+ That interception return “was the biggest play in my life.” The defensive line was rushing. He was just a pawn in that play.
+ He can see how he has improved and his confidence has grown in his job and in everybody else doing their respective jobs. They are out there as one unit and it’s fun being out there with everybody.
+ The interception return reminded him that he made the right decision to come back, but the first time he knew that was the Florida Atlantic game to be out there with all of his brothers. He knew then that he made the right decision.
+ They have a lot of confidence right now because of how hard they work and they know good things are coming.
+ If he was an opposing quarterback against this defense he would just throw bubbles because throwing the ball down the field is dangerous.
+ Arnette gives a shout out to his math teacher in high school who always looked out for him.
+ When JK Dobbins and Master Teague are running like they are, that’s definitely a sign that they are blocking well. They have improved on their finishing of blocks. The first game they didn’t finish the blocks as well as they’ve been doing these last two weeks. That’s why you were able to see some of those longer runs.
+ It’s cool to have all five starters on the offensive line grading out champions. They are working hard to make sure that they aren’t the one starter who is the first to fail to make the grade. There is also some friendly rivalries as guys are trying to catch up to Jonah Jackson’s knockdowns.
+ Branden Bowen does a great job of being patient and using his hands in pass protection. He has shown he belongs. He’s always working on his one-on-ones and getting better at his craft.
+ On being the weaker side of the line according to the IU coaches, he heard it but tries not to focus on that. He knows those things will happen this year because the right side doesn’t have a lot of starts under their belts.
+ There has been an emphasis this season on asserting their dominance up front immediately in games. “I think we’ve been doing a fair job at that.”
+ Davis starts out by giving him a shout out to his chemistry teacher in the 11th grade.
+ It’s important for quarterbacks to show their leadership in as many different ways as they can, on and off the field. Even when dancing in front of the team.
+ He knows his footwork was off at times last week. Coaches told him on the sideline, but he also sensed it as well. He welcomes that feedback during the game so that he can apply it right away. Some guys might need more time to process it, but he wants that info on the sideline.
+ What he’s done so far is what he’s expected from himself. It’s not surprising. He’s just glad to be here right now.
+ He’s not sure when he became a leader because there’s always in this building. It was a gradual thing.
+ The message of the need for improving isn’t new. There is always something on film to improve on. He has already watched film and looked at where he can improve and how it will help his game.
+ Film sessions are always learning experiences, but it’s also a wow moment because you see how many plays you missed.
+ Chris Olave does everything you see in games in practice every day. “It’s spectacular to watch. It’s fun to watch. Our offense is a show!”
+ You are going to face adversity in every game. That was the double pass last week. You face it and move on and learn from it.
+ If you’re a DL and you don’t bring your A game, the OL will put you in the dirt. Scout team too.
+ “That’s ridiculous. And it’s crazy because we can be a lot better.” — On OSU giving up 1.7 yards per carry.
+ “Coop is Coop. I love Coop. He’s one of the best teammates…” They’ll be friends even when they’re “old and wrinkly.” The best is still ahead of this group, but the mindset is that there is still so much more work to do.
+ Each year at Ohio State is fun, and “I’ve been here a loooong time.” Each year has its own aspects, but they are having fun every day here. “You actually enjoy going through the grind together.”
+ He and Davon Hamilton just try to impact the game the best they can. All three nose tackles, including Tommy Togiai are playing well, but they all have so much more they need to improve on.
+ Justin Fields is phenomenal physically and mentally as a football player. They can’t hit him, but they try to affect him in as many ways as possible. He is elite physically and mentally, which forces them to come to practice with their best every day or he will light them up.
+ He credits how well they are stopping the run with how much football they play in practice. It allows them to simulate the game as best as they possibly can. So when they actually play the game, they are prepared for those situations.
+ BB starts out by thanking a few high school teachers who had an impact on him.
+ He’s gotten a lot of feedback for speaking out about mental health and plans to continue doing things like that.
+ Dialing up explosive plays is a situational thing because you never want to be second and 10 and playing behind the sticks, but there are times when it is warranted.
+ Regardless of the opponent on Saturdays, it comes down Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
+ The under center running game and passing game starts with the offensive line. The better they run, the more effective the play-action is. It’s all working well right now and it’s because of the execution of everyone involved. It adds to this offense. They want to keep adding to it, but they don’t want to throw too many things in and become a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.
+ Every leader on a team needs some street credit. You have to produce, and Justin Fields has produced. The confidence has always been there, but now it’s outward and people see it. He’s got a presence about him that players take to. His teammates have confidence in him and he has confidence in him. It’s a two-way street.
+ The TV is always on at home on Saturdays when he gets home from football and they have football on and they are always hosting people and it’s good to have family around. “It’s awesome.”
+ Chris Olave is a very explosive receiver and he’s very consistent. He practices really hard and his want-to is extremely high. That group of receivers is unique with the mentorship between the older guys and the younger guys.
+ The repetitions at QB are so precious that you would like to have a No. 2, but at the same time you want competition there. It’s a balance between the two.
+ Chris Chugunov is still more familiar with the system, which is why he is the No. 2 right now, but the evaluation is ongoing and up for grabs depending on performance.
+ Freshman walk-on QB JP Andrade played scout-team WR last week and gave tremendous effort.
+ There isn’t enough of a sample size to really get into how consistent Justin Fields is right now. You can nitpick anybody. There’s always room to improve.
+ He didn’t come into this season with any preconceived notions regarding Justin Fields. All they work on is getting better every day. The top two things are eyes and feet. Making sure your eyes are where they need to be and then make sure you feet are where they need to be. Be on rhythm and with good timing.
+ Tuf Borland is critical to this defense. Washington tells him that he is still a leader on this team and they want him at his best all year long. There is no ego in him. Even when he’s not out there, his presence is still felt.
+ The balance at middle linebacker with Tuf Borland and Baron Browning has been working. “I think we’ve done a really good job with that.” They are running to the ball and they do it at a high level longer because they are sharing snaps.
+ Pete Werner is very athletic and very smart and highly accountable. Guys who can do things in the secondary like Werner are valuable. They don’t want a steady diet of that, but it gives them versatility.
+ Malik Harrison has the opportunity to be one of the best linebackers in the nation. He’s giving great effort and as long as he does that, everything else will take care of itself.
+ The reason Baron Browning is having success is because he has worked really hard and he’s talented. “He’s a good kid, man. He wants to do well. I think our relationship is honest.” Browning knows how good he can be. “If he has a spark, I’m gonna throw the gas on it.”
+ Some of the little things being emphasized right now are stance, eyes, and hand placement. When you play teams with equal talent, it’s the technique that wins games.
+ The linebackers are more confident now, but they are only focused on getting better. The goal is to be playing their best ball at the end of the year.
+ The double-pass was a result of a great fake against an aggressive defense. They just got the ball off. There was a guy close to getting to the ball before it was thrown. When you play aggressively, those things happen. They can’t let it keep happening, but they aren’t going to stop being aggressive. They addressed it immediately after the play.
+ Pete Werner’s best play was the short-yardage tackle on the quarterback against Indiana. The Hoosiers haven’t run that play in two years, but Werner was there to make the play. “That was a huge play.”
+ The buy-in for the players this year started with Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison. They had a great outline and the players were excited about it.
+ Every day you go to work, you should have the goal to do it better than you did the day before. That’s the mindset of these linebackers.