home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 12, 2014

Urban Meyer

COACH MEYER:  Thanks for coming.  I want to thank our student body and our fans, 60,000 plus people on a beautiful day in Columbus, to sit through a spring game, sometimes I don't want to be watching.
But we appreciate everyone being here.  It's a chance to see some young guys that really haven't played and to be quite honest, I'm not sure how much they will play.  This is a chance for a lot of guys in our program who work very hard and we are to be able to let some guys play or catch a pass in Ohio Stadium or whatever.  In the big picture it's the right thing to do and I'm glad we do that.  It's a great thrill for a lot of people.  Execution of offense was not what you like.  The offense line, we got a lock of work to do.  I kept Taylor Decker out because he played over a thousand snaps last year and same thing with our four starting D‑linemen.  That's not what spring ball is for, is to keep beating on people, so I would be disappointed if we weren't one of the better defensive lines with those four guys.  They have had a good spring, their coach has really been coaching them.
Offensive line, we've got to really go, we gotta really go from here.  I saw Jamarco Jones, Demetrius Knox is coming in, Brady Taylor.  Those are three bodies that are going to be coming in in Juneand I look them right in the eye and said "You're not red shirting; you're playing," and that's hard for an offensive lineman, so we're gonna ‑‑ that's an area that we have got to get back to where we ‑‑ maybe not where we were, but close.
Defense, I hope the reaction was that they looked quicker, they look faster, they trigger on the ball much better than they have in the past.  If that's your perception, that's mine as well.  Darren Lee and Chris Worley are two examples of developed guys that ‑‑ ready to send Darren Lee back to New Albany on a one‑way bus ticket.  He just didn't show up with the right demeanor.  He was a quarterback.  All the sudden about midway through the season you saw this natural athlete and great kid start to develop and here he is.  He'll most likely start for Ohio State.
So there are some great story lines.  I would say we are faster and more athletic in a lot of positions.  Dontre, I was planning on playing but he got stung in a‑‑ we had a live‑‑ tough scrimmage on Wednesday, and I just pulled him, a guys that's kind of banged up who has already kind of earned a spot.  So that's where we're at.
Cardale was disappointing.  I thought he made some misses today, but I'm not going to let that ruin his spring.  He's had a good spring for us.  Nick Vannett has had a good spring as well.  I'll answer any questions for you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH MEYER:  We wanted to give Ezekiel a handful of reps and get him out.  The guy that really, really excites me is No. 4, Curtis Samuel; we just got to figure out if he has the size and strength to take the pounding the running backs take.  Rod Smith was here but he's focusing on academics.  Bri'onte Dunn did pretty good and he had ‑‑ Warren Ball did pretty good.  So we have some depth there, but right now 15 and 4 are the two that‑‑ and we have to see how Rod ‑‑ Rod was having a very good spring before we had to sit him down and Bri'onte Dunn, so it's still pretty much‑‑ I'm not ready to anoint a starter yet.

Q.  Coach you talked about want to go highlight the wide receivers.  Corey Smith, Michael Thomas each got some catches in this game, good plays, bad plays, perhaps.  What did you see out of that group in particular?
COACH MEYER:  Not enough.  That's credit to ‑‑ Gareon Conley is one of the most improved players on this team and Armani Reeves, so we had two pretty good corners out there playing on the one ‑‑ I can't remember which team they were on.
And Devin Smith and Mike Thomas and Corey Smith, we're not where we need to be.  Johnnie Dixon I was‑‑ obviously you could see me throw three balls straight to him, trying to get something done, and I wanted him to experience a play in Ohio Stadium, so I guess we get to try it again next year, and the next time he does it, it will it be for real because he's done it a few times in the spring.
We're not where we need to be.  I think we're better that we were two years ago, and I'm hoping we're a better ‑‑ notch than we were last year.  We got a ways to go.

Q.  Raekwon McMillan, the freshman, made a couple of huge plays, a stuff on the goal line it, and the other when Corey Smith fumbled out‑of‑bounds in the end zone.  What have you seen from him this spring and did he finish on a high note?
COACH MEYER:  He certainly did, and he's in the rotation.  He's going to play.  I would put him in the same category, although a year younger than Worley and Darren Lee.  Those guys have ‑‑ they're earned it.  They're playing.  Whether he's going to start depends on ‑‑ you know him and Curtis are in a battle, Curtis Grant.  Curtis had his best spring.  He's earned that right.  He's not a freshman anymore.  He's gotta go play.

Q.  Even with the missing pieces on offense would you say you're discouraged or disappointed with how they played today?
COACH MEYER:  It's not fair to say "discouraged."  Jeff Heuerman, Braxton Miller, Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, all stand next to me, and I tell them they can't play ‑‑ Decker, they can't play, and then I chew out the coaches.  Probably not the best thing to do, but they all know what it is.  I just wanted to see them cleaner throwing the ball and we didn't do it, but I'm fine.  We had a good spring.

Q.  ‑‑ you're missing those pieces like Braxton and Heuerman and those playmakers that you talked about how do you evaluate this team and this game without having those dynamic pieces out there?
COACH MEYER:  It's more of an individual ‑‑ I'm not trying to evaluate an offense because who cares?  There are guys out there that will either never play or they're not ready to play now.  I'm not evaluating ‑‑ like Jerry hands me stats and I'm not sure what to do with these.  I don't care.  What I do care is who is physically going to make the plays that you can ‑‑ this is more like a‑‑ it's almost like an individual game today.
That's what I wanted to watch.  I wanted to see who was going to compete and make plays, not who is going to fit into the team concept, because we all know what we saw out there, it's not that the Ohio State Buckeyes; it's a bunch of people all over the place.  Does that make sense?
I was just watching guys and I have some opinions after today's game.

Q.  Along those lines, did any position battles become decidedly clearer from what you saw today?
COACH MEYER:  Yeah, Josh Perry is pretty well done.  He's the middle linebacker at Ohio State.  I think Darren Lee and the other four spots are not.  The other two spots are occupied by four people.  We have two Sam's, Darren Lee and Chris Worley and the linebacker, Curtis Grant and Raekwon.  Safety, Tyvis has earned a starting spot, the other one is not.  It's Cam Burrows or Ron Bell, when they get back.  I don't think we played nickle today, but Armani right now is our nickle.  Corner, not decided.  Doran Grant has had a great spring.  He had a slight concussion a week ago or a week and a half ago, so we didn't want to push it today, but he's earned one spot, and the other spot is wide open.  And "D" line you got your four guys Joey Bosa, Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett.  That's our defense.
On offense you got Pat Elflein and our left tackle, Taylor Decker, and everyone else is wide open, no other spots taken.  At quarterback you have Braxton Miller backed up by Cardale Jones.  At tight end you got a 1‑2 punch that we're excited about coaching, and that's Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman.  Receiver, I can't name you one that's going to start.
Which is concerning, but it's comforting to know I can name about six that have the ability.  Those would be Devin Smith, Johnnie Dixon, Michael Thomas, I think Jalin Marshall, before he got hurt he was having a great spring, Dontre Wilson and Evan Spencer; we have some depth there.

Q.  Urban, now that spring is over and we saw Braxton especially today behind the line of scrimmage, more maybe than ‑‑ since we were there.  What did you get out of the video camera and talking to you all spring and when he comes back how wide is the drop‑off between he and Cardale Jones?
COACH MEYER:  When he comes back?

Q.  When you put him on the field.
COACH MEYER:  What's the drop‑off?

Q.  Between Braxton Miller to Cardale Jones at this point.
COACH MEYER:  Good question.  I think we have had a great spring.  You know, Chip Kelly came in and I had him visit.  I think there is a misunderstanding.  The problem Braxton had is he never had a grinder in front of him.  Make sense?  If you remember his history‑‑ the normal progression of a normal freshman quarterback is to come in and play behind a monster, Alex Smith or one of those great players that does everything right.
He came in and we had the Terrelle Pryor issue, and he left and all of the sudden, Braxton is the guy.  That's not the way to do business.  It's no one's fault.  That set him back more than helped him, because he didn't have a chance to prepare.  The best example we had was Kenny Guiton, who would prepare the right way, but he's your back‑up.  So it was kind of a nonfunctional situation for a while that we worked through.  You're talking about the Big Ten player two years in a row, and I believe he gets it now, and he's a wonderful kid that wants to be great.  We're doing stuff like the Jon Gruden Football Camps with him.  I'm going to have a former GM come in and talk to him sometime in Juneabout what they expect a quarterback to do, so we're working our tails off to get this thing right.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297