Tressel Tackles Tough Topics

As the Buckeyes report today, we have more today from OSU head coach Jim Tressel. He looks at the dynamics of the quarterback battle, the outlook for his young team, possible roles for Ted Ginn Jr. and much more.

As the Ohio State football team reports today and prepares to begin preseason camp, we wanted to share some more comments from OSU head coach Jim Tressel on the upcoming season. Here were some more of Tressel's comments on various subjects as the Buckeyes prepared to open camp:

* On Ted Ginn Jr. -- "I think it is realistic to say a guy like Ted Ginn Jr. could help us."

When asked if Ginn could get a look at wide receiver, Tressel said, "Oh yeah, sure, absolutely."

* On the situation at quarterback -- "The quarterback position is one that I've always believed that if you want to win a championship, you better have two guys. Obviously, you need to be able to prepare against your own guys on defense as well. We have three guys on scholarship, which is a low number. We couldn't afford to move someone to another position, so that scenario is unlikely to occur. There are a lot of scenarios, which include injury which you hope does not occur.

"Of course, you can get thrust into a thing where you need to play them both. I'm trying to think back in all of my years. I don't know if I've had a situation where I've wanted to play them both. Maybe there were times where one guy could do certain things and he can become the role player, but the other guy was going to carry the bulk of the duties.

"I don't envision a 50-50 thing. In life, there is no 50-50. You have to make decisions. That doesn't mean two people can't play roles."

* On whether he is concerned if the QB decision could divide the team -- "Part of your team rooting scenarios, it's real among young kids. All of us have friends. I can't tell you how many guys I've had come into my office and say, `Hey, everyone says I should be in the lineup.' I say, `Who's everybody?' It's his roommate. What do you think your roommate is going to say?

"I hope that the way our guys will focus on their role is `I'll focus on my contribution to the team and I'll trust that everyone else is doing theirs.' "

* On his young team's outlook -- "I think there will be some dynamics that are different. There will be some confidence issues. The last two years we were veteran issues where guys could step up and tell one another, `Hey, we're fine' and be listened to because they had so much experience.

"The other dynamic is does the young person truly understand what it takes to be successful at this level and at the level we want to play at to win the championship. I hope this is a fun year from the standpoint that improvement should be fairly obviously. Watching our kids grow into figuring the whole thing out should be a lot of fun for the coaches because we should see a lot of light bulbs click on. That makes it fun for us.

"There is an excitement to that. There is also an excitement with that veteran team because you say, `If we can just stay healthy or if we just do this, we have a chance to do it all.' But there is a certain level of excitement with a young group -- it will be fun watching Jay Richardson evolve. Jay Richardson played, I don't know, 20 plays since he's been here. But he's practiced a lot. He's getting ready. It's his turn to try and get after it and have some doing that. To me, that will be exciting to watch him.

"The same thing with Justin (Zwick) and Troy (Smith), they've been sitting there for two or three years and talked about how one day they will be the Ohio State quarterback. Well, one day is getting here. And that's kind of exciting.

"The question a year ago was would they understand the difficulty of the challenge of staying there and all that goes along with. I don't care what you accomplish. If you don't know how hard the next step is going to be, it's going to be an eye opener. This is a different understanding, I think. A lot of these guys witnessed both. They saw the climb to the top of the mountain and the tremendous effort it took to be at the top, but not necessarily take part on game day. I hope they were taking note during practices and meetings and they cognitively know and have learned some lessons about those things. Now we'll find out whether they can handle it physically and mentally."

* On the young offensive line affecting the QB battle -- "I don't think our young quarterbacks will notice that because everything around them will seem new. And, quite honestly, it's not like the line (last year) was flawless. I'm not belittling what they did … but they weren't perfect. They'll know the difference when someone misses someone -- they'll get splattered."

* On replacing Craig Krenzel at QB -- "The situation is you're losing a guy who was your offensive team leader and, in some ways, your whole team leader. You're losing his experience. You're losing what he went through to fight to get to that spot. Our young guys now have done part of the legwork to get to that spot. Now we'll see how they react to having that opportunity.

"There will be a lot of growth mentally and physically. They're going to have to take their lumps and react to them. They're going to have to get knocked to the ground and figure out, `I better have a better stance or play lower to the ground.' We're going to have to learn a lot of lessons. But I think they're capable."

Stay tuned for a report from interviews this afternoon as the Buckeyes report back to campus.


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