Ohio State 2009 Spring Game
Gray 23, Scarlet 3
April 25, 2009, Ohio Stadium (95,722)
Postgame Press Conference Transcript
COACH TRESSEL: First, kudos go out to our fans for 95,000 and whatever, 700 coming out, beautiful day, and gives you a little bit of electricity and a little energy and a little reminder of how much interest there is in Ohio State football and hopefully they had a great day and a fun day and I thought our guys came out after — this was our third day, practice day in a row. Thought they came out and competed and had some game-like conditions that were tough to deal with. That wind was pretty nasty for those kickers and kick returners and passers and throwers and all the rest and I thought they came out and handled those situations.
Anytime you can have reps under fire with people in the stands, it’s a positive thing. I think the 15 days in general, most of them were very, very good and we made progress and now we’ve got to make sure that we do a great job this last month or so of this academic quarter and have a tremendous summer and preseason. It’s got to be extraordinary. As you know we’ve got to be ready in September, big time, but I thought they worked hard.
REPORTER: It looked like Terrelle threw the ball with voracity and conviction today, how did you think he played?
COACH TRESSEL: I thought that was tough conditions and I thought Terrelle threw it extremely well, especially on a couple of the longer ones. I thought Joe and Justin threw the ball in there. That was tough conditions and it was a little bit of a base package that we did in the look, but there was enough stuff that you’re going to see that type of thing as we go along the season and to have a day throwing crisp into that wind, I thought was very positive.
REPORTER: Jim, did you see Terrelle make the progress you wanted to see in 15 days?
COACH TRESSEL: If you brought every position coach up and talked about every guy, they could tell you where they improved, where they should and where they need to keep getting better and I could say the same about every one of these guys up here. I thought when you put in the time and effort that Terrelle does or Doug or Todd or Jake does, you’re going to get some results and Terrelle’s an extremely hard worker as all our guys are and we’ve got a long way to go and we know it, but I think we are progressing.
REPORTER: Is it possible to carry momentum from a good spring ball into the off-season workouts into the summer?
COACH TRESSEL: The one thing we believe, you can’t win the National Championship in the spring, but you can lose it by not progressing enough. I think we’ve progressed, and we know we’ve got a lot more we’ve got to get better at. We’ve got to grow together as a team and grow to complement one another and do all the things it takes to have a good team. That’s why I like a game format for a spring game rather than a scrimmage because all of a sudden the kicking game has a lot to do with it. It probably wouldn’t have been the score it was if it wasn’t for that on-side kick and the score right before the half, that type of momentum, so we need to mesh with all three of those units and I think we did progress.
REPORTER: The decision not to play Terrelle in the fourth quarter, was that a no-brainer? He played so well and you don’t want to get him hurt? I know he initially was going to play the fourth quarter, can you talk about that decision?
COACH TRESSEL: He was ejected, right, Doug?
DOUG WORTHINGTON: Sure was.
COACH TRESSEL: He was talking trash and he got ejected, right?
REPORTER: Nothing to do with injury or anything like that? You didn’t want to prevent injuries or anything like that?
COACH TRESSEL: He was ejected.
REPORTER: By you?
COACH TRESSEL: Yeah.
REPORTER: You tossed him?
COACH TRESSEL: Tossed him. Tired of his stuff.
REPORTER: Coach, will you talk about your running back situation, they seemed like they did pretty good today.
COACH TRESSEL: We told Marcus he would have scored before he was married, but ever since he’s been married, he hasn’t had that second gear and — no, I thought Boom and Brandon and Marcus, you know, Joe, and Bo DeLande was healthy this spring. He missed the whole fall for us, that gives you a chance to get guys with play and we’ve got a chance to keep getting better there.
REPORTER: What was your biggest goal for this spring and how do you feel you guys did with that?
COACH TRESSEL: For the whole spring? Repetitions were going to be important. When you lose guys with ankles and hamstrings and this and that and they don’t get the repetitions, it really hurts. A guy like Todd played lots of tight end and lots more defensive line, but if he’s going to help us at tight end he’s going to have to get reps and quarterbacks need reps. So reps was very important for us. Trying to see how we could come together as a team was critical because the last time we played in January, there was 28 of those seniors and three of those juniors who aren’t here. This is our team now, so we wanted to grow as a team, you know, just see what we do best.
We messed around with different combinations on the O line and defensively we did some different things at times, so we wanted to look at some things. Plus we wanted to have fun. I think our guys had fun. I thought they — they like competing, they like getting after each other, and anytime you can come out in the stadium in April and there are 95,000 people there, that’s a lot of fun.
REPORTER: It was a solid day for the wide receivers, what have you seen out of them this spring overall?
COACH TRESSEL: I think they have a chance to be solid. They’re very, very young. We didn’t have Dane, who was kind of like the elder statesman there. You’re a little bit younger. I thought Ray Small had a very good spring. He made some plays today that were excellent. When you get him the ball, big things can happen and the young guys like DeVier, James Jackson made a couple nice catches, Lamaar’s coming along. He was a high school running back kind of guy. He needs reps and reps and reps as a wide receiver. And I thought we got a little more production out of the tight end position, both Jake and Jake, I guess it is. Todd didn’t have a whole bunch of catches, but the two Jakes, I thought, did a good job and that’s going to add a little package for us. So I think from a receiver standpoint in general, I thought the backs caught the ball well this spring and so I think we progressed.
REPORTER: Taurian Washington, though —
COACH TRESSEL: Yeah, Taurian did a great job.
REPORTER: What do you see different about him this spring now?
COACH TRESSEL: Those little wristbands that he had on the top of his calves, that’s what I saw different. We’ve got to straighten that out. I don’t know if he’s got difficulty with his blood flow or what. But Taurian has had some real good days. This was one of them. Taurian needs to be more consistent, but he can make some plays for us. Again, we’re young and that’s a whole group of guys that needs to come along because, again, we didn’t have Dane in there, you didn’t have Robo and you didn’t have B. Hart, so it’s a brand new group. So those guys getting reps was important.
REPORTER: Were there young inexperienced players this spring that you didn’t know much about?
COACH TRESSEL: The ones we didn’t know anything about were the seven that were brand new. Adam Homan, I thought, came along and he’s going to be a good fullback, and James Jackson we mentioned. Storm Klein, I thought, came along and made some good plays and the Jack Mewhort, I think, is going to be a good offensive lineman and who am I missing, Zach Boren was out.
REPORTER: Jamie Wood?
COACH TRESSEL: Jamie wood. Jamie was a little banged and missed a few practices at the beginning there and probably didn’t get as many reps as you’d hope, but I saw enough good things. And those other guys that are just a little older than that, oh, I think we’re coming along like we hope, but now we’ve got to put one day on top of another from here on out and get ready to go.
REPORTER: 95,000 obviously in and of itself it’s nice to have that crowd for a spring game, but does it actually help you, maybe some of the players, the younger guys, get used to game conditions when you’ve got that kind of a crowd for a spring game?
COACH TRESSEL: I think sometimes the thing that helps you is being distracted. When you get to a game like this with all those people, all the sounds and everything going on, all those potential distractions and you have to focus through them, I think that was a great thing for us to have. I’d rather have that than an empty place for a spring game that didn’t have all that flying around.
REPORTER: Why do you think there was 95,000 here this year, as opposed to previous years?
COACH TRESSEL: I think it was warm, that was probably the biggest thing.
REPORTER: But there have been beautiful days before and haven’t drawn that many, 70 or — COACH TRESSEL: Yeah.
SHELLY POE: I think we stepped into the fashion crowd today.
COACH TRESSEL: Yeah, appealed to a whole other audience. I better go.