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Two-Minute Drill: Ryan Day, Jim Knowles, Chip Kelly Talk Following Spring Game

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media following Ohio State’s spring game on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly also answered questions following the  scrimmage action.

You can watch the full press conferences or read the highlights below.

Ryan Day

+ On Will Howard’s pocket presence, Day said his pocket presence was there early on when he got into spring practice. That is something that is difficult to teach. It helps that he is tall but he stands in there. His timing is increasing the more reps he gets. He had a good comfort level for his first drive in The Shoe.

+ On the quarterback competition, Day said there’s not much to say about it right now but they will evaluate the film and they will give the quarterbacks feedback.

+ On what he feels best about leaving the spring, Day said he feels the best about the overall experience of the team. Next year is a long run and there are a lot of players right now who have played a lot of football. The number one priority is to stay healthy — It’s too important and there’s a lot invested in these players now more than ever, which is why they took some players out early even though they wanted to put on a show. There was a lot of talent out there, but the main thing is experience and gaining reps.

+ The coaches tried to get the quarterbacks into a rhythm so they could get some completions. There was a lot of wind and that could have rattled their confidence with the interceptions that resulted, but overall they got snaps on film and this will be a lot to learn and grow from.

+ On an emphasis on the quarterbacks running, Day said “when you have a quarterback who can run it does change the numbers, and we’ve seen that over the years. That is going to be a weapon for us this year.”

+ On a projection with the offensive line, Day said he still does not have that figured out but they will evaluate this film and the entire spring and go from there. “We want to find the best five.” Josh Fryar is one of those best five but they need to figure out where.

+ The offense and defense are back and forth everyday in practice.

+ They have a lot of depth at corner.

+ On the receiver depth, Day said they have Emeka Egbuka, Carnell Tate, Jayden Ballard and Jeremiah Smith. They also have Bryson Rodgers and Brandon Inniss who will need to step up. Then there are a couple more players they need to step up so they can build depth there. “We do have really good players, but we need them all.”

Jim Knowles

+ On Tywone Malone, Knowles said he has developed this spring and wasn’t quite ready last year for a lot of reps but he has shown marked improvement. It’s a long season and they need him to come along. He has shown flashes of that.

+ On a healthy Mitchell Melton, Knowles said he is a combination player and can do a lot of things, drop, fold, make plays, and you can see that. He’s athletic.

+ On not letting the offense in the end zone until the second half, Knowles said stopping the offense has become an expectation now. Being BIA, Best in America, leading the country in pass defense last year compared to No. 96 when he got here, is an expectation and standard now. That was good to see in the first half.

+ Having defensive tackles that make tackles changes they way he calls a game. That is what they have right now. “You gotta let those guys play.” They make a big impact on the run game.

+ “When you have corners that you can count on, that are going to compete all of the time, no matter what the situation is, it changes the way you call the entire game. You can leave those guys on an island, switch up coverages, and they know what they are doing and they take great pride in it.”

+On C.J. Hicks stepping up, Knowles said he has taken strides and has shown that he has talent and he can be a force. He has shown that he is going to be able to help this defense.

Chip Kelly

+ On general impressions, Kelly said they will look at all 15 practices and this was a big piece of it playing in front of 80,000+ people, it was a lot different than the indoor field.

+ The quarterbacks all got better over the 15 practices but no decisions are being made right now. They need to get a better feel for who will move this offense, but he feels good about who they have. It’s tough because they all deserve reps, which is why they rolled them a lot and rotated.

+ The offense got a lot of work against a quality defense and that was key for the entire unit.

+ On the offensive line, Kelly said they are athletic there and the players are “wired the right way.” They have also played a significant amount of snaps which is key because they are going to need more than five to develop depth there for a long season.

+ On running the wing-t, Kelly said “if it was good enough for Woody [Hayes], we’re going to run it.” The players have had fun with it and it gives them an option in games for short yardage situations.

+ This football team is close and it really is a brotherhood. They are competitive but not combative, even though the competition is the best in the country. “The closest and most connected teams are the ones that win.”

+ On Emeka Egbuka, Kelly said he has reminded everyone including him, in the last 14 practices, what he can do. “That receiver room is really special.”

+ On Julian Sayin’s progression, Kelly said he is a very fast processor, makes quick decisions on his feet, and he sees things well for a young player, especially with what Jim Knowles throws at him. He doesn’t act like a freshman.

+ James Peoples flashed early and he has a good feel and vision. Sam Williams-Dixon did good things and TC Caffey came along in the spring. The staff is constantly talking about depth considering the way the playoffs have changed, so now they need more than “a pair and a spare.” He is really happy with how they have come along.

+ They will sit down as a staff and give the quarterbacks the assessment. The coaches do that everyday and after every practice. “But we can’t do it unless we watch the film and look at things closely.” They will all have meetings this weekend with their position coaches and that’s been the method so that players know where they sit before Tuesday.

Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

One Response

  1. Hearing a lot of good things about the defense. It looks like the silver bullets are back!

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