Q&A: Luke Fickell Speaks After Practice

Today is Luke Fickell's 38th birthday, and one of his presents was a short session with the local media after OSU's Thursday morning practice. The head coach addressed how his first camp is going, and BuckeyeSports.com has the full text of his answers.

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell talked about fall practice today with the local media.

Q: Do you feel 38 today?
A: "I don't even know what day it is. After those guys were chasing me around out there, I felt a little bit older than I think I am. I always say you're as old as you act like you are. Sometimes I act like I'm 18. Sometimes I've got to act like I'm 38, so it just depends."

Q: Does your family have anything planned to celebrate your birthday?
A: "They stopped by to say hello after practice. Not that I'm trying to rush out of here but if somebody tackles me from behind, it might be one of the little guys."

Q: What about camp has been different than you thought it'd be?
A: "Just the day-to-day things that come across your desk. The practice schedules, the organization you have to do getting ready for every meeting. Every time you've got a team meeting you've just got to be organized in what you're doing. It used to be you were just worried about your own 12 guys coaching linebackers or just worry about the defense if you have a unit meeting. But it's a different ballgame when you've got to worry about what's going on every single day from start to end."

Q: What do you want from Saturday's jersey scrimmage? How many jobs are up for grabs? Explain what you're looking for.
A: "We'd like to say all of them are, but there's a lot. It's the time for the coaches to back off like they are in a game and time for them to perform. We don't see us acting kind of like we do at practice sometimes. We try to say being in the stadium in the pressure, not us hollering at your and screaming at you and making sure you get lined up right and doing what you're supposed to do. It's your time to shine and play."

Q: With that in mind, is it more critical than any point for QB race?
A: "Every day is a critical moment for those guys, just showing their poise and showing their leadership and showing their competitive nature. It isn't every day that you're completely live, so I think that's what the neat thing about everybody. You don't go as much live as you used to probably. In a jersey scrimmage is when you'll go live. It's time for everybody."

Q: Will Braxton and the rest of the QBs be live? Will have you a black shirt on them?
A: "We'll have some different situations. We're not sure just exactly what we're going to do yet, but they haven't had a lot of black jerseys on, but we've been smart with them. They are what we call active, but they might be live all of the time."

Q: At this point in camp, is team where you want it to be?
A: "We always wait until the end to decide where they are. I think the effort and the energy level has been really, really good. I think that's the thing we're focusingd on. The discipline thing, we just have to make sure we sure it up with some of the penalties, getting used to the two-minute (drill) for all of us – for myself, for everybody. Just the different mix of young guys as well as coaches."

Q: What is your reaction to this morning's news Terrelle Pryor is allowed in the NFL supplemental draft but most sit out five games?
A: "Unfortunately I don't get to turn on the TV much, but like I've said, we'll always continue to wish him the best of luck. I hope it goes well for him."

Q: You've got a bunch of young DL. As those guys try to fight it out, what do you look for most with young guys at that position?
A: "It's first understanding what you're doing because I think they all have the ability. Now as long as they understand what they're doing they can go out there and they can play relaxed and play football. It's a bigger, physical game. I think those guys just have to be confident in what they're doing so they can let their abilities play. But the thing about the defensive line is we want to play eight guys. I think that's what we always stress to our young guys. You've got to develop and come along because we can't be successful unless we've got eight guys rolling up front."

Q: The shorter meetings you've had this camp, have you noticed if they've been effective?
A: "What's effective and what isn't effective, I'll tell you on Saturdays after the game. We think it's going well. We think the guys' effort level and their energy level and their concentration and focus have been very good throughout camp. Is there any reason why? Is it because of the different meetings or a different structure? Who knows? There's different ways of doing things. We're going to try to do what's best for us right now."

Q: Joe and Braxton again got the most reps at quarterback. Are you prepared to be more committal about whether they are ahead of the pecking order?
A: "No."

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