Practice No. 2: Notes, quotes and observations

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
10:50
PM ET
The entire team was together for the first time in training camp, and Urban Meyer called them all into an early huddle to deliver a message.

In a calm, clear voice, the new Ohio State coach expressed his expectation from the squad in what was the second workout for all of them but first as an entire unit.

There is going to be a bar to clear or a request to be filled for every snap, every drill, every period. And then it's up to the Buckeyes to exceed the minimum -- with "Plus Two" serving as the theme on a scorching Monday afternoon on the practice fields.

"Our whole thing is if we ask you to go 10, go 12," Meyer said after the workout. "If we ask go six, go eight. You hear the whistle blow, you don’t anticipate. A lot of times you see teams play slow because they anticipate a whistle. We want to run through the whistle for two steps.

"It’s all two steps. Keep going two steps. I’ve had some teams play like that, and this team right now doesn’t play like that."

Now two practices in, the Buckeyes are going to get that mandate hammered into their heads in what promises to be a demanding training camp.

The pads aren't even on yet, but there didn't seem to be a shortage of intensity as Meyer and his staff led a session that lasted about 2 hours and 20 minutes outside before wrapping up. But evidently it's still not at the level where Meyer wants it -- and he's got plenty more practices to see if Plus Two sinks in for the Buckeyes.

BUMPS AND BRUISES: Nathan Williams didn't seem to be favoring his surgically-repaired knee much, and the senior defensive end continues to push for more action.

But the doctors haven't cleared him for full contact yet, so as much as Meyer wants to turn him loose, Williams was forced to do the majority of his work on an adjacent field without any teammates around.

"Your heart bleeds for Nathan Williams," Meyer said. "I’m starting to really know that guy, and to take football away from him, that kid lives for it. It’s been hard, it’s not been an easy road with not playing, not practicing, even out there we’re still being very cautious. We can’t have a setback.

"I keep asking, on Friday, why didn’t he do this individual drill? Our doctors are doing a good job keeping him governored because he would do it all. Then all of a sudden you have a setback, and they told me it’s 10 days backwards. We can’t have a backwards."

Jordan Hall continues to move forward as well as he recovers from surgery to repair a tendon he cut in his right foot in June.

The senior running back was wearing a walking boot as he put in some work on the side as well, and like Williams, he is considered to still be on schedule for a return early in the season.

Meyer declined to put an exact timetable on when either of them would return to game action.

Freshman offensive lineman Jacoby Boren also was limited as he works his way back from shoulder surgery. He's expected to return to practice in the next couple weeks.

EYE CATCHING: The streak pattern turned in by Devin Smith clearly stood out as a highlight in Meyer's mind after practice was over.

Defensively, Meyer relied on something that would have been much harder to break down on film as he named another standout from the second workout.

Smith's play was praised as "ridiculous" and the look C.J. Barnett wore on his face inside his helmet helped impress Meyer as he searches for playmakers to set the tone on both sides of the ball early in August.

"Out of the blue I just started watching guys faces and how easy it is to be average," Meyer said. "It’s just so easy.

"I don’t know why, I was just looking in their helmets and I saw the guys. C.J. Barnett is a guy that just does not accept being average. Then I looked at a couple guys next to him, they do accept it. So what’s our job as a motivator and a coach, to not allow that."

NOD AND WINK: Braxton Miller was productive at quarterback, and Meyer wasn't going to take anything away from the effort.

It included a couple deep strikes to Jake Stoneburner during a team period, pretty consistent accuracy and a few dazzling throws on the move early in the workout. But that doesn't mean the work is close to over, and Meyer was at least going to make that clear to the sophomore.

"Still too early, but I’m pleased so far," Meyer said. "To give him [a thumbs up], it’s still too early.

"Braxton had a really good day, and he feels good about it. He made the comment to me that he knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t know yet, there’s still a lot more to go. I winked at him and said, ‘Yeah right, pal.’"

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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