The Quotable Jim Tressel

Read some words of wisdom from the Ohio State football coach from the Big Ten Football Kickoff in Chicago. Topics include J.B. Shugarts, where he would have been a coach if his father had not been one, his thoughts on CEOs and who knows what about Ohio State history.

CHICAGO – While at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel found himself answering all kinds of questions. Although Tressel was not asked any personal questions on the level of Tim Tebow, the two-plus hours he spent being quizzed by media members from around the country made for some interesting responses.

Here are some of the best comments from Tressel while in Chicago.

On playing games after Thanksgiving: "I always enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend because my dad was a football coach and typically his season had just ended and we got to see him for the first time since (the season began). I also have an affinity for the fact that our players who trained year-round, in our conference setup they have a chance to be at home for an extended Thanksgiving weekend. There's nothing more important in any of our lives than our family."

On whether the Big Ten has an inferiority complex with the SEC: "I don't know that anyone in this conference has an inferiority complex. If you watch ball games, our guys will play toe to toe with anyone. If you watch the NFL draft, they'll get selected at the regularity of almost every conference."

On sophomore offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts: "I saw him in my office twice last week and he looks good. He said he's feeling good and doing everything. I don't know why he wouldn't be ready. He was held out of the spring because we're very cautious about surgeries and why rush him back. I'm not so sure if there was a game this past spring that he wouldn't have convinced the doctors that he was ready."

On a Christmas gift from nephew and Michigan State assistant coach Mike Tressel: "Two or three years ago we did a little gag thing for Christmas and he happened to pull my name. Under the tree was a green sweater vest, so I have a Michigan State sweater vest in my closet. I'm not sure I'll ever bring it out unless, who knows, we really need to pull for them and I really need to pull it on."

On how much recruits know about OSU's history: "Sometimes we'll have in in-state guy who makes the assumption that he knows everything about Ohio State football and then he gets there and he's like, ‘Wow, I didn't know all this.' Duron Carter, who has lived all his life outside of Ohio, knows everything about everywhere. He's a football junkie. He reads more than you guys do. It's incredible what he can tell you. It's not hard to bring them along."

On the reaction to his book, The Winner's Manual: "I've been a little bit surprised. I knew that within the Buckeye nation it would interest people who want to know a little more about football. I guess I didn't realize that it would have quite the ripple outside."

On a potential sequel: "Who knows? Someday there might be a second book, but I'm not interesting in stopping coaching right now."

After being told he looks like a CEO: "The way that the CEOs have been depicted lately in the media, I don't take that as a compliment. I'm sure that I have some stock. I don't know, my wife is the financial advisor. I hope that the CEOs are focused and working night and day and wired into what they do because they'll probably have an impact on that company stock. I guess I could be called worse."

On dealing with pressure: "If all we liked were the positive things, I'm not sure that's fair either. We like the fact that people are interested. We have egos. I love the fact that there's 105,000 people there and people love to talk about Ohio State football. They're going to be excited when we do well and not happy when we don't. Neither of those have to do with who we are as human beings."

On having low staff turnover: "Obviously sometimes you've heard people say that staff has been together so long they're comfortable and I'm sure that can happen. I have a lot of confidence in these guys that they have a passion. You can tell if someone is coasting, and we don't have any coasters and therefore should be efficient. We should have really strongly build relationships within our players and coaches so that they can coach."

On throwing to the tight ends: "I always tell the tight ends – especially in recruiting they always ask, ‘Your tight ends haven't seemed to get the ball as much as the other positions.' I always tell them, we have a rule of thumb: if you're not open, you're not getting it."

On how much the OSU coaches look at scouting combines: "We don't look at them very much. We look at video, we look at grades and we talk to coaches and then hopefully we see them in our own youth camp. Hopefully you see them at a track meet or a wrestling match or a basketball game. High school combines would probably be way down on the list."

On whether he would be a coach if his father, Lee, had not been one: "I might not be a coach. I think you grow to enjoy things you can experience. I'm sure the experience of being around coaching and teaching and seeing it and liking it and liking the feel. Now, my dad's whole family was farmers and he didn't end up farming and they did. Obviously there's turns in the road."

On if he has a Baldwin Wallace tattoo on his bicep: "I didn't have big enough pipes to fit two letters. I could have put the ‘B.' "


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