On the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday, Urban Meyer talked about more than the news Nick Bosa’s Ohio State career is over.
(For those comments, see here.)
He also answered questions about his health one week after he appeared to have some difficulties during Ohio State’s win over Indiana and one day after he appeared to be in discomfort during his weekly Monday press conference.
“I have dealt with the headaches this year and last year but I’m doing fine,” he said.
There is nothing new to report.
“It’s a cyst that I deal with that sometimes flares up and medication helps it,” Meyer said. “That’s been going on for a few years now.”
Asked if the situation has gotten either better or worse recently, he said, “It’s fine.”
Other topics Meyer discussed:
- He understands one of the facts of life in recruiting NFL-caliber players is they might sometimes choose the NFL over the program, as Denzel Ward did last year when he opted to sit out the Cotton Bowl. However, “Yeah I think the question is would you like to continue to have talented guys? Of course. I just, I certainly understand and we support, especially if you’re talking about the two high-character people like you just mentioned, Nick and Denzel, so it’s just something you have to deal with and move forward. It’s like early entries to the draft. You’ve got to deal with it and you’ve got to go.”
- Meyer hadn’t talked to the team yet about Bosa’s decision. “Well this just happened so I’m still debating how to do it and we as a staff are.”
- He is not sure who would replace Damon Arnette in the rotation with Jeffrey Okudah and Kendall Sheffield if the cornerback can’t play Saturday night.
- Terry McLaurin is a self-made player who wasn’t an Ohio State player when they first saw him in camp during high school but worked on things they told him to work on and came back looking much different a year later. He is the star of their real-life Wednesdays and an A-plus guy.
- Haskell Garrett’s appearance at defensive end last week was not permanent but a reaction to Jonathon Cooper being out.
- Is it better for the Bosa announcement to be out of the way now rather than for players to think he was coming back in a few weeks and then be disappointed? “Oh I don’t know. That’s probably a good question, but it’s all so recent I haven’t really thought about about it.”
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm also had a turn on the teleconference:
- “I think Ohio State is a great football team. Sometimes they are going to take away some of your easy throws and make you throw it over their head, which I don’t blame ‘em. Because the chances of completing those are a lot less. With that, every once in a while you’re going to hit those, and that’s what happened a few times. We’re going to have the same approach and make sure that if we’re not getting some of our quick throws then were are taking some shots down the field.
- “I think they’re 7-0 so they’re doing a great job with what they’re doing, but because of their aggressive style on defense and their ability to take away some quick throws, you are going to be susceptible to a little more deep shots if the team can complete ‘em, if you can get open. That’s kind of been the issue: Are we going to be able to get open. Are we going to be able to make those throws? Are we going to be able to block long enough to throw it vertically up the field? That’s a concern. All those things come into play but without question we have to find ways to create some big plays.”
- Is campus excited about this game? “Yeah without question there’s a lot of buzz around town, on campus.” They are looking forward to it, and he thinks it will be a great atmosphere for a huge test.
- “I think they’re excited not only to see us play but to see Ohio State play and to see the matchup and see where we stack up and have a lot of fun in a prime-time game which we don’t get as much here as some of the other schools.”
- “Hopefully we can keep it close and hang in there as long as we can.”
- Regarding Ohio State’s offense: “I think they’ve done a great job. They’ve got a very good quarterback who even though he’s a good athlete, he can throw the football and he likes to throw the football. That’s kind of what he wants to do. They’ve got good receivers, a ton of experience, and they’ve become a pass-first team that set ups the run by throwing the ball. If you’re going to try to just take away the run, they’re gonna throw the ball every play. They’ve done it successfully.”
- “This is a challenge for us. This will be the first team we’ve faced that is this prolific in the passing game.” The Boilermakers gave up a lot of yards early so it is a concern. They need to pressure Haskins, give him some different looks or it’s going to be a long day for them.
- The Purdue coaches love junior linebacker Markus Bailey, who is from Hilliard Davidson. He loves football, plays hard and always wants to get better. Brohm called him one of their most active and talented players. They need him to be a leader and to run the show. He knows that. “If he plays a great game it will definitely help us.” Will there be extra motivation for him against Ohio State? “I think so. It’s natural.” Everyone remembers high school recruiting days. “He wants to prove himself. He wants to prove he’s a productive big-time player and this is a big stage and opportunity to show where he’s at. I anticipate him playing well.”
- Brohm feels good about improvements his defense has made. “We had some struggles early on but that’s going to happen occasionally when you have some new guys. I think we still have some deficiencies we need to mask, but our approach has been more aggressive. i think we’ve put our players in better position to make plays and be aggressive and play downhill. I think because of it our level of play has raised.”
- Ohio State has a prolific offense. “Our pass defense has been better the last couple of weeks but that’s a concern. They have to prove they can get to quarterback and make him throw earlier than he wants to and also that they can cover long enough, “but i’m happy with the progress we’ve made, that we’re being more aggressive and giving our guys a chance.”
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