After former Florida coach Urban Meyer pointed out during television broadcast of the season opener against Akron that Miller was not wearing a headset on the sideline, the topic has become a hot topic among fans.
Meyer reasoned that Miller's growth could be enhanced by hearing the play call and watching it unfold in front of him.
When that came up this week during Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell's press luncheon, he made it sound as if he half agrees with Meyer.
"The communication with Braxton I think has been good. I think the way he's handled it has been really good," Fickell said. "Did he not have a headset on in some situations? Yes, because we want to just give him the play, as opposed to him hearing all of the other mumbo jumbo that's going on at times."
He wants Miller to be able to visualize the play because that tends to be how players of this generation learn best.
"That's what I think they are used to," Fickell said. "We are really trying to push them along visually to see what we want them to see, as opposed to just listening here. Sometimes when you listen here, you know what's going to happen, so you stop paying attention at times and really processing it in your head.
"It's a lot of that. I think his growth is still continuing. The attitude has been good."
Position Change? Maybe Later
Every couple of years there seems to be a tight end who comes along and develops the tag of "Next Great One"… at tackle.
Former Buckeye Andy Miller made the switch a couple of years ago, and numerous high draft picks in recent NFL drafts have had history at tight end. Kirk Barton, an All-American at Ohio State in 2007 and the first Buckeye to start four consecutive wins against Michigan, was a high school tight end whom offensive line coach Jim Bollman spied for a change.
Could Reid Fragel be next? The sophomore says maybe, but not right now.
"Since day one I've always been ready for whatever," said Fragel, who was a four-star prospect and the No. 12-rated tight end in the class of 2009. "Obviously, I like tight end a lot, but if need be I can play some tackle. I got some practice in there at tackle and learned some basic pickups of blitzes. I feel like I'd be ready to go if need be."
The position is not totally foreign to him.
"My senior year in high school I fractured my thumb so I had to play with a club on," said the Grosse Point (Mich.) South product. "I played left tackle for the majority of the season."
"It is kind of promising," said Fragel, who has talked to Ballard recently, "but I've got another year and a half to worry about that."
Kicking Not A Concern Yet
Sophomore kicker Drew Basil is officially 0 for 2 this season after missing from 40 yards against Akron and 47 yards last week against Toledo. He also missed a 45-yarder that was wiped out by a penalty, but Fickell is not ready to hit the panic button.
"You know what, I would be more concerned if I thought Drew wasn't handling it the right way," Fickell said. "You know, obviously we have got to get him one just get his confidence back completely."
Basil was strong throughout preseason practice, and Fickell has not seen misses stick with the youngster from Chillicothe, Ohio.
"Obviously we want him to be able to put him in a situation where hopefully he can have one and get a little confidence underneath his belt, but his head, his mind is right," Fickell said. "I think it's just a matter of time. So hopefully he'll find that little stroke here."
Some About ‘Da U'
Fickell, 38, was asked about his perception of the Miami (Fla.) program while he was growing up in Columbus before attending Ohio State from 1992-96.
The Hurricanes were named national champions four times from 1983-91, but perhaps not surprisingly, the former wrestler and defensive lineman did not sound as if he was in awe of the program known for its swaggering, trash-talking ways.
"I can remember a little bit about it, but you know, probably not a ton," Fickell said. "I might have been more watching and thinking about the programs that had both wrestling and football, so I don't know that it was something that was quite as polarizing to me. "But definitely liked watching the stories and seeing the uniqueness to how they did things in the 80s and 90s."
He pointed out his initial first-hand memory of the Hurricanes actually came during their return to prominence. While just beginning to recover from heavy NCAA sanctions that helped bring their initial reign to an end, 12th-ranked Miami upset No. 9 Ohio State 23-12 in the 1999 season opener for both teams. Fickell was a graduate assistant for his alma mater that season.
The current Buckeye players are too young to have much recollection of the first wave of Hurricane national championships, but senior Tyler Moeller said he saw a window into the past through a documentary about the teams that aired on ESPN last year.
"I think the biggest thing that I took out of that is just a confidence level they had," Moeller said. "You know, they went into every game and just, you know, had that swag, I think that's what they called it, just going in there and knowing they are the best. I think that's the biggest thing that I took off of that 30 for 30 is just the confidence level that those teams had and the players they had. They had some great players on those teams."