March 29, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Tuesday's Ohio State football practice was a physical, full-pads, full-contact affair that featured lots of short-yardage runs and a tremendous amount of hitting. Today, under partly sunny skies on the outdoor practice fields of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the focus was less on hitting - the team was in Buckeye gear; helmets, shoulder pads and shorts - and more on throwing the football...and blitzing and defending against the pass.
"It was a blitz-fest," offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said afterward.
The approximate two-hour session featured an abundance of third-down passing plays. Afterward quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, along with All-American cornerback Bradley Roby and junior cornerback Doran Grant, met with the media. So did Herman and cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs. Here are a few of their thoughts...
Braxton Miller on his play this spring: "My consistency is better. I'm better at knowing where my guys are going to be on the field, and I'm not second-guessing myself as much."
Miller on his emphasis this spring: "It's still spring ball so I've just been focused on getting a lot of reps. It's all about [preparation] in the off-season."
Kenny Guiton on the quarterbacks: "We are working on the little things. There has been a lot of focus on the basics because those have to be perfect before we can be great."
Guiton on practice: "The competitiveness between offense vs. defense is much more this year. Everyone is bringing it and it has been great. The coaches are bringing the juice and it is very exciting."
Bradley Roby on the receivers: "The receivers are way better this year than they were this time last year."
Roby on staying at Ohio State: "It was most important for me to stay at Ohio State. The NFL isn't going anywhere and I'm not in a rush. It was a tough decision [not to enter the NFL Draft] and it took a while to decide, but I made the right one."
Doran Grant on potentially being a starter: "There is no pressure. I'm ready to play and ready to go with it every game. I want to bring it."
Grant on becoming more vocal: "I'm learning to speak out more. Coach Coombs and Bradley Roby are the way they are so I'm starting to feed off them."
Kerry Coombs on his cornerbacks: "I really like them. They are playing at a remarkably high level for spring ball. We've got good leadership in Bradley Roby. They are all very competitive. I like their work ethic. They are very diligent and very serious about their business."
Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!
Ohio State's 1995 Heisman Trophy winner and team captain Eddie George was on the sidelines today with one of his sons. If only Troy Smith and Archie Griffin could have walked across the street from their offices in the Fawcett Center and Longaberger Alumni House, respectively, the Buckeyes would have been practicing in front of three Heisman Trophy winners. Correction: four Heisman Trophy winners.
BTN in the House
Big Ten Network football experts and show hosts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith came in from Chicago to watch practice and spend time with some of the Ohio State coaches. The two will visit all 12 Big Ten schools this spring.
Some Daily Bullets ...
Lou Holtz watched practice, and he looked good in his Master's green and yellow hat and wind jacket. ... When the sun went behind clouds and the wind picked up, it was chilly outside with temperatures in the mid-40s. ... A couple hundred high school coaches were on hand to watch practice, including coaches from as far away as Quebec, Canada, New Mexico and California. ... The four coaches from Canada drove in 17 hours from Quebec City to get here. ... One of Ohio State's eight two-time captains was also in attendance today: Joe Cooper. Now working in security across the street at Chemical Abstracts Service (a venerable, 110-year-old company considered the "phone book" of chemical compounds, elements and reactions), Cooper was co-captain in 2000 and 2001. ... And one final note: Go Bucks! Beat Arizona.