Another day, another open practice. Jim Tressel for emperor (oh wait, he already has absolute power....)
Observations from a sunny spring day, with the team in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts), which makes it tough to evaluate line play:
-- First thing I noticed is that the defense is bearing the brunt on the spring injury front. Nine of the 10 guys sitting out practice are on that side of the ball -- Nathan Williams, Zach Boren, Ross Homan, Aaron Gant, Keith Wells, Rob Rose, Lawrence Wilson, Andrew Sweat and Kurt Coleman. The lone offensive player sitting out is J.B. Shugarts.
It did not appear to be a major injury to Rose, who went down clutching his left knee in Tuesday's practice. He had a wrap on the knee, but was walking around on it OK.
-- Safeties coach Paul Haynes was putting his charges through a drill in which the backpedaled, broke left or right, then Haynes fired a ball near them to make them reach for an interception.
After several balls zipped past players, Haynes yelled, "Come on, I'm not throwing it AT you. You act like we're doing receiver drills!"
-- Watched the QBs and RBs work a lot on the timing of the running game. As I noted the other day, it certainly looks like the Buckeyes will be doing a lot of creative stuff in this area -- misdirections, options, QBs faking or keeping, etc. Not your usual I-formation stuff.
-- In one drill, the QBs were dropping back, faking a handoff left, then rolling right and throwing. Terrelle Pryor sort of "went through the motions" as the saying goes, and coach Nick Siciliano woke him up on the next rep by charging in on Pryor as he pivoted to roll out, simulating a defender.
"You've got to have a plan for that (defensive) end," he hollered. "Eyes up, come out busting it!"
By the way, QBs coach Joe Daniels was out there intently watching everything, but Siciliano was the guy running around and doing all the yelling.
-- Noticed Pryor rubbing his throwing arm more than once between plays, once bending over as is he was in some pain. He was specifically focusing on the "inside of the elbow" for lack of a better term....maybe tendinitis or a muscle strain? He did not miss any reps to speak of, though, and his passes were not obviously affected.
-- Your first-team offense today:
OL (left to right): Miller-Smith (yes, Connor Smith)-Cordle-Brewster-Browning QB: Pryor WRs:Sanzenbacher-Posey (Small when they went three wides) RBs: Herron/Saine alternating; FB Georgiades TE: Ballard
-- The second-team offensive line:
-- First-team defense (nickel, as usual, I'm not sure I've seen a rep in base yet):
DL: Gibson-Worthington-Larimore-Heyward LBs: Spitler-Rolle DBs: Howard-Hines-Johnson-Chekwa-Russell (keep in mind they're missing Coleman and Gant)
-- One interesting change:
Donnie Evege was a second-team CB today, along with Andre Amos. Devon Torrence, who has been splitting reps with Amos on the first team, was third team today.
-- The offense went to hurry-up for awhile during the 11-on-11s, and I got the feeling it was designed to see how well the defense would handle it. The Buckeyes have had some trouble recently with that....and from what I could tell, they did a fine job today getting lined up, at least.
-- Two players went down during practice with injuries, but both got up and walked off: Sanzenbacher and DL Tom Ingham.
-- When Thaddeus Gibson was "flagged" for offsides on consecutive plays in the team drills, Jim Heacock was not pleased and yanked him off the field. There are three officials who work practice, flagging penalties as they see them, or at least telling the players and coaches "That was pass interference" just so they know.
-- Finally, I spent a few minutes chatting with former Buckeyes DL David Patterson on the sidelines. He still lives in Atlanta, even though his NFL stint with the Falcons is over. He recently graduated, and says he's going to play for the Canadian League's Saskatchewan Roughriders next season.
-- More in the paper tomorrow (on running back Brandon Saine, plus notes from Tim May), and I'll blog again after the kick scrimmage tomorrow.