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November 10, 2014

Ed Warinner

Q.  Billy Price's development.  Urban talked about how he got beat for a sack early in the Michigan State game.  You thought early in the year, uh, but he got it together.  Could you describe his development this year?
COACH WARINNER:  Yeah, he's a young player who has got a lot of talent and just continues to get better and better, work at the game.  A lot of it is just experience and confidence.
He got beat there in the Michigan State game.  There was an open receiver.  The ball could have gotten off quickly.  We held it.  Didn't throw it.  And ended up eating it and taking a sack.
So there's a combination of things on every sack that occurs that it's not just a guy but he didn't execute well enough on that particular play.  But overall he's starting to play well and played his best game of the season so far.

Q.¬† Did you hope that the offensive line would develop ‑‑‑
COACH WARINNER:  Absolutely.  That's what we needed to do.  What we had to do.  We had no choice.  But that comes with time.  Everybody wants a finished product three weeks before the first day of training camp opens in August, and unfortunately that's not really how it works.
And we're starting to play well as a full team at all positions.  We're starting to get confidence.  We have a lot of young guys playing and/or inexperienced guys if they're not young.  So the whole thing is coming together as we planned when we need it to.

Q.  Jacoby Boren, Urban Meyer said he leads in his own way.  I wonder what is unique about his leadership style maybe.
COACH WARINNER:  Well, Jacoby leads by example.  And that's an often used phrase, but how he practices, how he competes, how he works the game, I mean, who was the first guy in here today on their off day, watching film, working out, getting his body right with some training room work?  Jacoby Boren.
Everybody kind of knows that he'll be the first guy to show up in here.  He'll watch extra film.  He'll understand what's going on, a communicator in the games.  But then he's playing extremely well, at a high level, he's very physical.  We're getting everything out of him that we can and that's really good.

Q.¬† How have you got this dramatic improvement over two months?¬† I know that's kind of‑‑
COACH WARINNER:  That why they call me Coach.  That's my job.  I mean, help guys go where they can't take themselves.  My job as a coach is to take players where they can't take themselves.
So if they're willing to work hard to train, to listen, to be coached, then we help them get that last step.  Like I said, it's a combination of how we practice, how we prepare, how we teach, and then are they willing to take that and absorb it and can they take it to the field.  And experience helps you take that to the field.
Because all those things were in place early but it takes a while to learn how to take what you practice and how you train and your mind and your body and take it to the field.  So it's starting to occur on the field and that's our expectation for those guys.

Q.  Daryl Baldwin, that must remind a lot of people of the Reid Fragel situation two years ago.  I'm curious from your standpoint which guys had further to go?  Reid was a tight end where Daryl was a defensive lineman.  But becoming of age as senior at run tackle, which had further to go?
COACH WARINNER:  That's hard to quantify.  I've never thought of it that way I'd have to think about it for a second.  But they both had things that they had to do to get where they're at and both of them were willing to do it.  So once again it takes a player willing to accept coaching and learn and apply what he's being taught.
And those guys are a great example of that that it's never too late for your career to blossom.  And that if you're willing to do things within the framework of our program, that you can be successful.
So Daryl moving over from a defensive lineman, he had to learn offensive line fundamentals, offensive line terminology.
Reid knew that to some degree but it was a new system when we got here.  So everything was really new, other than playing offense and then going to offensive line.  Instead of on passes going out, he had to learn to go backwards and block.
So there was a big transition for both of them, to be honest with you.

Q.  How would you say he's playing this year, Daryl?
COACH WARINNER:  Very consistently.  At a high level for us.  He's playing about as well as we thought he could have played.  He's playing at a high end level for us.

Q.¬† Asked about Jacoby Boren, quick follow‑up, early in the season Urban Meyer used to say he's very tough, knows the offense very well, but he would mention undersized every time we talked to him.¬† He would say he's undersized. ¬†Is that no longer an issue?
COACH WARINNER:  No, he's still the same size.

Q.¬† Strength‑wise, is that no longer an issue?
COACH WARINNER:  It wasn't an issue before.  He is what he is.  He's undersized.  As far as maybe the prototype offensive lineman at places like Ohio State.  But that isn't always the measuring stick.  Measurables don't determine how good a player you are.  Measurables are just measurables.  They're something that people can measure that don't really understand players or what it takes to win and be successful.
You could be 6'8" and be a bad tackle and you can be 6'3" and be a great tackle.  I've had 6'3" tackles that were really good.  And tall ones not very good.  I've had tall centers that we weren't very good and short centers that were really good.
So being a good player is based on being a good player.  Executing what you do.  Jacoby Boren will always be undersized as long as he plays at Ohio State.  How well he does his job is getting better and better.  And that's refreshing.  We remind him of that, too, when he makes champion you're still short and still whatever you are, but you're a competitor, you're a winner, you're a team guy, a leader, and playing at a high level.

Q.  You have a good view of this.  Ezekiel Elliott's rise, how would you describe Ezekiel Elliott in a nutshell, just the way he plays, what does he bring to the table from your vantage point?
COACH WARINNER:  He plays with great energy.  He's very explosive.  I think he has extremely good vision.  So his vision is an asset, because that's something that you try to train backs to read the blocking patterns in front of them, see the leverage on the blocks.
He does it instinctively and then explodes into open seams.  And he's a very aggressive blocker, too.  When he doesn't have the ball he's always attacking somebody on defense and blocking.  And his rise, I think a lot of those traits were kind of in him.  Stan Drayton has developed them to the max.
And he's playing at a high level because he loves football and plays every snap like it's his last snap.  If he's not running the ball, he's trying to do something to help somebody else who is running the ball or throwing the ball.
It's been fun to watch him.  It's exciting to see him because when he gets the ball it's dangerous.

Q.  You know how sometimes you look at players, you go will they function in this setting, so to speak.  Does he kind of fit your eye on a player who could carry the ball, so to speak, in tough situations on Saturday, maybe in snow, who knows, in cold weather, does he kind of fit that setting?
COACH WARINNER:  I think he's a perfect back for our offensive system, because I think he has the power and the toughness to run inside.  He as speed and explosiveness to run outside.  He gives us a dual threat.
You don't have to substitute him out, say he's your inside power back and here's another guy your, your outside back.  He has the great combination of size, speed and power to be both.  And so I think he's a prototype for our offensive system.

Q.¬† More of a co‑offensive coordinator question.¬† As the game is playing out Saturday night, was there a point where you guys felt like you could call anything offensively and feel confident that your guys would execute it and it would work?
COACH WARINNER:  Well, we had great confidence in our players playing at a high level as the game progressed, but we were still very selective and very smart in what we were trying to do and how we were trying to do it.  Because we're playing a good defense.
And we had strategically planned out what we wanted to run and where we wanted to run it.  We had to make sure we stayed with that plan and then try to keep them off balance enough to not become predictable.
But we didn't get to the point where we were dialing up any play we wanted.¬† We were very specific and game‑planned exactly how we wanted to attack them.
And I thought Tom did a great job of calling the plays.  And I thought that Coach Meyer's involved in that, I have a little bit of involvement in that.  I'm more involved before the series or pregame and things like that.
During the week, during the actual series, it's Tom and Coach Meyer.¬† And that was fabulous, the job they did calling the plays at the time, but we stuck to a plan.¬† We didn't just start ad‑libbing and start‑‑ we were pretty set on how we wanted to attack we stuck with it.

Q.  I know you guys have seen surprises from defenses having two weeks to prepare for you, did you see less of that Saturday night?
COACH WARINNER:¬† Michigan State was pretty much what we thought, what we had prepared for.¬† They were‑‑ they're a good defensive team.¬† They've been very successful.¬† And they have a plan of how they want to do business and they did what we thought they'd do when we went into the game.¬† There wasn't a lot of difference to that.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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