Aug. 23, 2006

John Peterson, assistant coach, coach of the Scarlet Team in the kick scrimmage
On the kicking scrimmage
“Today was very good. It was a great team effort, very consistent. We made kicks when we had to make them.”

On the kicks by Aaron Pettrey
“Aaron’s kicks were strong. He had consistent timing. The protection up front held up well. It was great work between the snapper, holder and kicker. Overall, I’m very happy with the team effort.”

On the play of the tight ends
“When we run two tight ends, it will be Brandon Smith and Rory Nicol. They have both been very consistent and are working well with the new protections. They’ve also shown great effort on running plays.”

Dick Tressel, assistant coach, representing the Gray Team
On the kicking scrimmage
“The guys played hard. I enjoy when the special teams compete and I think the team does as well. They all know the importance of special teams.”

“We have a talented group of kickers and punters. They’re exciting to watch and have live legs. It’s fun to tell them to go ahead and try to make a 57-yard attempt.”

“The punters did a great job. They got the ball up and had good coverage. It was really hard to return punts.”

On limiting the number of returns by opponents
“I think you will see more returns attempted this year. People [other teams] will be more committed to bringing out the ball and adding to their number of returns. The guys [Ohio State’s punters and kickers] have the ability to kick the ball deep enough so there is no return.”

On Ohio State’s return game
“We have high-quality players who will have a lot of time to get quality returns. They will have the opportunity to get the space to run the football.”

On improving the Buckeyes’ returns
“We have spent an extra three or four minutes in practice catching balls. Getting out there, getting warmed up and spending quality time with the kick returners. Having talented returners is perceived as an aberration; that it’s not normal. We’ve spent time with them – giving them more attention and focus, working with them by giving them more time and more reps.”

Darrell Hazell, assistant coach
On the kickers
“Aaron Pettrey looked very good today. He was very consistent and showed good range as he hit one from about 49 yards. Both the kickers had a good day and we’re going to look at the film and make a decision here soon.”

On the kick returners
“We really showed our depth today at that spot. Malcolm Jenkins had one really good return today. Brian Hartline also had a big return at the end for us that put us in a position to win.”

On the scrimmage
“It was close. Both sides played very hard and Aaron (Pettrey) hit the long kick at the end to give us the win.”

Aaron Pettrey, sophomore kicker
On working to win a starting job
“Kicking is all about confidence. When I first came to Ohio State I knew I would have a chance to contribute at some point and since the spring I have just been trying to win a job.”

On the process of a kick attempt
“You just try not to think about it too much. I just do what I do every day in practice and not put too much pressure on myself. I just kick the ball.”

On his progress during camp
“I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m just going to go out tomorrow and have a good day in practice. I didn’t make many mistakes today and I just want to build on that.”

On filling the shoes of Mike Nugent and Josh Huston
“Yes, they’ve made it tough, but we’re all good friends. We talk a lot and they give me good advice. That’s a lot of pressure to kick after those two did it so well, but I think I’m ready for it. Josh (Huston) has helped me out a lot, telling me to keep my head on straight and don’t feel too much pressure and don’t watch the rush.”

On fellow kicker Ryan Pretorius
“We’re good friends. We’re roommates at the hotel during camp. We talk a lot and work well together in practice.”

A.J. Trapasso, sophomore punter
On punting
“I have been working on getting a good foot on the ball and improving my timing. I’m working on my high punts and pinning the other guys back inside the 20 yard line.”

On what he has worked on
“I have really tried to work on my big kick. Last year I had a few where I tried to hard and ended up kicking it right out of bounds. That really hurt my average but this year I feel I have really improved.”

On the offseason
“I saw Andy Groom when he came back. Mostly I have been working with my long snapper, Drew Norman, and we are getting more and more comfortable together. We stress the punt here at Ohio State so I have to be on my game.”

Ryan Pretorius, sophomore kicker
On the scrimmage
“It just was not my day. It happens to everyone. I started off well. I think that I was four-of-five and then I went through a small patch where I missed three in a row.”

On the kicking battle
“I think today was very important. I didn’t have my best day today but I have done well before. The first kick scrimmage I was four-of-five and the second one I was eight-of-nine.”

On his kicks
“I did alright early. Then I had a 60 yard kick that I should have made but I pushed it to the right. Then after that I had two or three more off to the right. All I can do is wake up tomorrow with a smile and try and try to do better.”

Drew Norman, senior long snapper
On the scrimmage
“It was a good day. I was happy to get out there and get some live rushes come at us. I think both of the kickers performed well, both made solid contact on the ball.”

On Aaron Pettrey
“He has some really good kicks today. From where I am most of the time I have to just listen to know if it is a good kick. I hear that boom when Aaron kicks just like I heard from Mike (Nugent) and Josh (Huston).”

On what he has worked on
“I can always get better. You just have to commit yourself to getting better everyday and that is what I have done. I have really worked on my consistency and keeping the ball up for the holder and for A.J. Trapasso.”

### Go Bucks! ###