Urban Meyer Press Conference Transcript
Oct. 8, 2012
An interview with: COACH MEYER
COACH MEYER: How fragile college football is. All you have to do is watch it every weekend and see how fragile it is. The best thing about 6 0 is a chance to go 7 0. So that is our focus now.
Couple of champions for us on defense. We expect to play better on defense, however, some guys played tremendous for us. Christian Bryant, again, is a champion, four tackles, five assists, graded out at point of attack at 83%, and overall graded 91%. He's cut down on his missed tackles. Still had a couple, but he plays with great intensity. He's played a little banged up.
Our co player of the game on defense, our leader, our soul, John Simon, six tackles, one assist, five tackles for loss, two sacks, a force fumble, 33 production points his best game, he's getting healthy.
Co player of the game as well on defense, it's every week, making play opportunities from the corner. He's 21 of 24 for an 88% grade out, 95 overall percent grade out. Three tackles, two assists, a pass broken up, two interceptions, a touchdown, and 27 production points. So that was our guys right there on defense.
On offense, tight ends, fullback, our leader. He's graded out 86% his last two weeks. I've graded him A plus on leadership. When I say that in spring, I would not have graded him very high. But his leadership has been tremendous and instrumental in our practices and instrumental on the sidelines during the course of the game, and that is Zach Boren. Wide receiver, Philly Brown, graded out a champion. 87% grade out. Three catches. Had a good peel back block that sprung Braxton on his long run.
Offensive line did it again. Jack Mewhort graded out 90%, had five knock downs, no sacks, no pressures, no MAs. Playing very well for us. Love what he stands for.
Andrew Norwell, 63 snaps, 91% grade out, eight knock downs. One extra effort play, one hit nominee, another peel back block. I think it was on the same play, Braxton's long run, no sacks, no pressure, no MMAs. And our Apex which is our center, 63 snaps, 81% grade out, five knockdowns, no sacks, no pressures, no bad snaps, that's Linsely.
Offensive player of the week, 84% grade out, 28 carries for 148 yards, five yards a pop. Over half, 56% of his yards are after contact, post contact yardage, two big runs, four touchdowns, and one T.D. block when he sprung Braxton. He did lay the ball on the ground, however. I usually do not allow that to be player of the week, but he played very well for us, and that was our tailback Carlos Hyde.
Our special teams player of the week was Philly Brown. And our kickoff team, the piranhas Coach Coombs calls them because they're not big enough to be sharks, they're piranhas. I like the way he put that. That's Bogard, Armani, Najee Murray and little Griff, and Zach Domicone did a really good job for us. Those are the guys. That was impressive. That was a very good kick returner.
Our punt coverage wasn't as good. We're not getting much hang time on our punts. Really disappointed right now, so we've got to do a better job. That said I'll answer any questions for you.
He talked to the team afterwards, and it was an emotional moment. This team's getting pretty close because of guys like him. So that's first. We're going to miss him. He's out. Best case, he did have surgery, I don't know if Jerry told you. He had surgery. He had a plate put in. He has a broken tibia. Is that right? Not weight bearing. I think it is tibia, not weight bearing. So the best case is three weeks. The worst case is longer. We hope to get him back.
Q. How did he get hurt?
Q. Halfway through the scene it's 6 0, we all know when it ends, but are the stakes higher now?
So my biggest concern is you're starting like every team in America is dealing with physical games. Our last two games were really physical and we lost some players. Are the back ups ready? Do they want to be ready? That is the challenge I have. There are some guys I'm very concerned about as back ups. So that is the challenge right now.
Q. Some of the players were talking Saturday about the AP National Championship and that sort of talk. Is that okay with you for them to use that as motivation?
Q. Little off subject here. The couple from Zanesville had a baby girl and named her Braxton and their last name is Miller, they changed the O for an I to make it more girly.
Q. What's that say about his growing folk hero status or just the devotion of OSU fans?
Q. Go back to what you talked about the offense stealing that pass, 371 yards rushing. How do you mix the two in your head? It was a pretty good night, right?
Q. You still feel like there's a lot left?
You saw Rod Smith come out the other end of one. You saw Carlos Hyde come out the other end. So we need explosive plays in the offense. We crushed them last week in practice, and talking about it. We finally saw that. Nebraska does a good job in their coverage unit. We knew they did that. That's a pro style, very good scheme, but it's not conducive to quarterback run. So we felt going into that that we were going to run the quarterback, which obviously is our best player.
But our offensive line is the whole reason why we're where we are today and feeling good after a big win is because the offensive line played. Tell it the way it is. Our offensive line is coming on. And I saw someone asked me yesterday or today, that we called that group non functional, because they were. We're not going to lie to you. If they were non functional today, I'd tell you they're non functional.
Our back ups are non functional. God bless us, if a shoe string breaks or something, we're going to call timeout and get a new shoe string because we just don't have the depth there right now.
Q. There were several runs where Braxton wasn't touched or almost touched. Talk about the offensive line. Are they really getting dynamics as far as getting to the second level? What do you see in that development?
If you could use the word dynamic with an offensive line, right now this is as good as I thought about an offensive line in a while. They're really playing well, really playing well. And they're just fantastic human beings. I mean, last night I go to victory and they're all eating together. The offensive line, they're dudes now. The good ones, the good offensive lines are always together. They always do things together, and their coach has done a very good job. Coach Warinner has done a very good job with them.
Now we got to get the next two, and Chase, and the meeting was not about glorifying our offensive line. But I went after some back ups. Taylor Decker has all the talent in the world, he should be rotating in there, and Chase Farris and Underwood are the next three that have to be ready to go and they're not. So that is the pressure I'm going to put on them even more this week. They're good guys and they have talent.
Q. As great as the second quarter was, you mentioned after the game the first quarter. You've been outscored in the first quarter. Can you put a finger on why?
Q. 36 34.
Once again, good players on that other side, but we just couldn't get it going. Once it got going, it got going. And Braxton's our I remember over the headset saying it's Braxton time, let him run the ball and get us started here. Let's get on the other side of the 50 yard line where things ease up a little bit.
Q. Also, Josh Perry. How do you feel he did after?
Q. We're halfway point. You've been through this Heisman thing before. Where do you stand on promoting a kid, Braxton in this case? What do you look for? What is your definition of a Heisman candidate winner?
I mean, it's an honor to be mentioned. I've been to that thing and it's incredible for these kids. At the right time I don't think Braxton's a Heisman candidate right now. I think he's certainly to watch. He's got the ability. But then again, I don't know who is. We're only halfway through the season. In about two or three games I think you can start talking about that. I'm not talking to Braxton about it. We're trying to win some games, so...
I think at the right time, he will be a candidate if he continues to play very well.
Q. Maybe I'm just going to drop the word AP in the question. But did you say earlier when you handled the state of the team, you said you're a Top 10 team.
Q. So you do take into consideration the coaches poll in the BCS, do you think that's one way of gauging where you are what people think of you?
You come to Ohio State, and that's why we're all here. You should have those discussions in the middle of October.
Q. Usually a coach will say we don't look at the ratings or anything.
Q. But also is this uniquely close in the circumstances that you're dealing with?
Q. Just on the Braxton name topic, are there any little Urbans? Have you heard a story of that?
Q. You've never heard anybody name their kid after you?
Q. Is Josh Perry for sure
Q. There are Tressels out there. Is Josh Perry for sure, do you think the answer at this point, or will there be things that you evaluate? Curtis Grant has started games this year. Could you move some guys?
THE MODERATOR: He's not scheduled, but we can ask.
COACH MEYER: You're tough, Jerry. Don't blame that on me. I got the Twitter thing, and everybody accused me of that (laughing).
Q. Talking about the depth or lack of depth in the offensive line. I think you're at 76 scholarship guys right now. Do you feel it?
So we are definitely feeling the issues of a scholarship reduction, absolutely we are. Any time there is transition of a coaching staff, there is transition of players and we're feeling that in a big way. When we lost a couple of D line men. That hurt us bad. It doesn't show up until someone gets a turf toe or someone has an issue, then it really starts to surface, and we're at that point right now.
We've got a couple of older linebackers and everyone else are freshmen. We're at 76 you said, right? Yeah.
Q. 24/7 tieing up some loose ends last week. (Indiscernible) Jamie Wood having the surgery, and just those two guys, what the prospects are for them? They're still in school, I presume to finish the term?
THE MODERATOR: This will be the second this year.
COACH MEYER: He was helping us. We need his help. He's a great kid, a great kid.
Q. Do you foresee a chance for this to be a medical waiver? Will he have a chance to come back next year?
Q. Cardale Jones obviously put some comments out there. Anything you can talk about what happened with that?
We've had a good chat. He's very apologetic. He does go to class in case people want to check, and he's actually a hell of a kid, a heck of a kid, excuse me. It kind of surprised me.
Q. Sounds like a moment of weakness. He was a little frazzled.
Q. Indiana obviously has had some pretty major struggles the last year and a half or so. But they played Michigan State very competitive?
Q. And what do they do well?
Then he went to Oklahoma and we coached against him there, and they were tremendous with Bradford and that whole group. I think he's one I've always loved his coaching. Tom Herrmann and I were talking about him today, Kevin Wilson, and we've stolen a lot of stuff. He's an innovator. I mean, lot of respect for him as a guy. I know him very well too.
Indiana's got the right coach now. He's a tough guy. He's a very good coach. They're getting better in all phases. I wasn't here last year, but I watched some of their film. They're a much better team. They have pretty good players too. They're throwing it they're way up there in throwing, right? They throw the ball very well. I have not spent a lot of time watching their offense yet. I will later on in the week.
Q. Historically, you've been kind of a big time kind of person. But what did you see there? Were you just trying to flip the field? I thought after the timeout they might have suspected something?
Q. You said when your team needs grounded, the best solution to that is a good workout. But are you getting to the point of the year where you're getting diminishing returns from tough workouts? Do you have to back off at any point?
You're right with the older guys though. You've got to be very careful. These old guys got so many hits on the shoulder, so we're being very smart about that. But we're all about development too. So we have to develop the younger players.
Q. Is it tough determining how much Braxton should practice? I know you extend sort of more of a leash to older players in terms of practice time. But he's just a sophomore, and he's so integral to the offense?
The reason those five linemen are getting better, they get to block Hankins every day on Tuesday because we go against each other. I mean, hard, violent practice. So we do back down, but that's why they've gotten better.
Because you can go out there and block scouts all day long, and you're not going to get better. The offensive line if I've shown you video, it might be fun for you to watch. If you watch a spring practice video of that offensive line on April whatever, and then on October on that night, it will completely show you how much progress they've had because of hard, physical practices.
Q. Talking about Coach Warinner for a second. I know this ties to Ohio and everything. But you look where the offensive line has come. What were you looking for from an offensive line coach?
The thing I liked about Ed Warriner he was, the offensive coordinator at Kansas when they went to the Orange Bowl. He's got a great concept of the big picture, but he's also a tough guy that coaches tough guys, and I thought he's done very well.
Q. You referenced that Simon was feeling a little bit better in the play calling on Saturday. How difficult is it to figure out if he's feeling better since he doesn't tell you?
Q. So he's telling you where it's hurting and how much? Earlier you said he just says it's fine all the time?
Q. Urban, go back to the depth things. Are you disappointed that some of these freshmen, fairly highly touted linebackers haven't stepped up more?
Q. Talk about a couple that you think obviously, Shazier's out there running around limping a little bit and stuff like that. Who would you like to see step up this week specifically? Are there a couple that are pretty close to you think?
Q. (Indiscernible) the kid for the replacement line for Indiana. Talk about guys like that. Does he stand out on video when you watch him?
Q. I know this is your team, this is your focus now, but there was a time in the past when some had criticized you about what you had left at Florida. Sort of the cupboard was bare. And there were kids that you recruited and you know those kids very well. Have you been paying attention and what do you think of their start so far?
I don't want to get into all that cupboard is bare, because that's one man's opinion, and it's not we've got to move on. I'm very proud of those guys. Love those guys. Really proud to see Jeff Driskel play well. He's a heck of a player.
Q. Johnson in the starting role, how well has he played? And last year, he was a guy from Chicago. How do you respond to that?
If we get C.J. back, I'm not sure what Coach Withers is going to do. But I know Orhian Johnson is not going to just hand that starting spot back.
Q. Is he more talented? What do you mean by that?
Q. Talk about C.J. and Jordan Hall where they stand?
Q. I wanted to know if seeing what Indiana did against Michigan State at home this week and making it a close game and Michigan State having to come back. What do you do with your team to make sure you don't have a slow start and have to come back and fight it out at the end?
That's a big concern. How we handle I think the couple questions how do we handle the beat up bodies and still develop young players and also make sure this team understands. The best thing that happened was they played well against Michigan State. Every player right now has already seen that game on their iPads and all that stuff. So they've already seen that. That is the best thing that could happen.
You go in there and face a team that didn't play well. The good thing is they are getting better. Indiana's got a lot of talent in certain positions, and they've played an offense that you better have every T crossed or I dotted or they're going to pop one on you. So the film doesn't lie and that is the best thing that happened.
Q. Wanted to ask you. Tight ends caught 85 of your yards receiving last week.
Q. Is that a branch of the offense that is getting there and can be explored more and more? What did you see last week?
Those catches, two of those were very difficult catches they made, but they've earned that. You'll see more and more of our tight ends.