Aug. 22, 2006

Joe Daniels, passing game coordinator/quarterback’s coach
On his health
“I’m feeling great and have not missed a practice. I feel wonderful and the best part is that football has taken over as far as the mental part goes. Football, as you know, is 100-percent time consuming.”

On Troy Smith
“Troy is going to continue to improve. He is a big asset with his ability to make plays. Going all the way back to spring, he has shown that he has the ability to make it happen. We handicap him (in practice) with the black jersey, but he is getting better and better. He understands more, he is more assertive and he knows what is going on.”

On the young quarterbacks
“They have come a million miles. To ask me which is on top, you would have to tell me which day after practice. They take turns. I would say Todd (Boeckman) is ahead because he has been around. But they are both pushing Justin (Zwick), no question.”

On the team situation
“We are further advanced in the number of things we are doing with our format. It’s great, because it is where we have always wanted to be. We have always been lacking something, whatever it happened to be. But we take where we were last year, add to it and go with that. We are executing better and understanding better.”

Anthony Gonzalez, wide receiver
On the experience of game day
“It’s always an exciting part every year to start playing. We have been going at it pretty hard for weeks and it is fun to finally prepare formally for an opponent. It’s different because during camp, we find out who we are. When game time comes, we find out who our opponents are and try to exploit their weaknesses.”

On weather conditions of the Aug. 18 scrimmage
“It was interesting. It’s never as bad, but never as good as you think it is. I had two drops, but it’s just something I have to deal with. I think the rain got into my head. I just told myself `stop being a baby.’ All the receivers took their gloves off, because we could not catch with them on. The quarterbacks were saying that the ball felt heavy. It was just a struggle for our offence in general.”

On his condition
“I am in the best shape I’ve been in my life. I’m trying my best to take care of myself. Since we have brought in (strength and conditioning) Coach (Eric) Lichter, he has done a tremendous job with the program. I’m very familiar with him as I’ve worked with him since high school.”

On Troy Smith
“After this season ends, I believe that Troy will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in Ohio State history. He is embracing the role as the guy that will take us to the next level. He’s excited about it and so are we.”

Joel Penton, senior defensive lineman
On the night practice
“It was a lot of fun and the crowd was great. There was more excitement. There was a little more pressure but it was great to get out in front of the fans.”

On the defensive line
“We are doing well. The defensive line could really be the strength of the defense this year and I think we are coming together well. Jay Richardson and Quinn Pitcock have stepped up into the leadership roles this year and even some of the younger guys are doing big things.”

On being a senior
“Wherever the team needs me I want to be able to step in and fill that role. It is my last go-around this year and things have really been put in perspective for me. I understand how important and special it is to get to play for this team.”

Malcolm Jenkins, sophomore defensive back
On being a leader
“I have to take that leadership role this year. After Donte (Whitner) and Ashton (Youboty) left, I was the guy with the most experience among the defensive backs.”

On the secondary
“Everything is magnified when you play in the defensive backfield. I have to show the young guys how to do things and in order for me to show them the right thing I have to know the right thing.”

On camp
“I have really improved on my overall knowledge of the game. I have learned my role and now I’m learning where the linebackers and the safeties are doing so I can do what I do better.”