Report from Monday’s Open Practice

Autograph Session

OSU FootballAn estimated 28,000 showed up for the autograph session and practice at Ohio Stadium Monday night. I was one of those crazy people that ventured to the shoe to watch the practice, yes practice! I did not really have high expectations (which ended up being a good thing as the practice itself was mostly uneventful), but my curiosity got the best of me and I had to watch. For those who did not attend (and even if you did) here is brief overview of the events Monday night.

The evening began when the gates opened at 6pm. This gave people an hour to figure out where they wanted to stand in line for the autographs. I arrived at 7, right as the autograph session began. The concourse was filled with people waiting in lines for the autographs, thousands upon thousands of people standing in ridiculous lines. All I needed was my camera and I walked up to the tables (by passing the lines) and snapped a few photos. No wait, No drunken tailgaters breathing down my neck, and best of all I was out of there by 7:30 to find my seat to watch practice. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so who needs a signature? Here are a few of the photos of my trip around the concourse and if you are so inclined here are a few more.

Troy Smith and Jim Tressel Troy Smith and Coach Jim Tressel

Ted Ginn Ted Ginn Jr.

David Patterson and Antonio PittmanDavid Patterson and Antonio Pittman

Jay Richardson and Quinn Pitcock Jay Richardson and Quinn Pitcock

Dionte Johnson, Vernon Gholston, and John Kerr Dionte Johnson, Vernon Gholston, and John Kerr

Practice

The practice time was split up into three parts. The first third of the practice focused on special teams, beginning with the punt, followed by the kickoff, and then field goals. Coach Tressel was right in the middle of the action directing traffic. Another reminder of how important special teams are to the success of the team. Highlights:

  • In the span of five minutes, Anderson Russell blocked two punts.
  • Aaron Pettrey nailed a 54 yard field goal (below) that would have been good from 60 yards. More on that in the observations below.
  • The second part of practice separated the passing game and the running game. On one side of the field there were one on one drills with the wide receivers and defensive backs, and on the other side of the field the rest of the team practiced the running game. Highlights:

  • There was some speed displayed during the one on one drills. The wide receivers and defensive backs are fast.
  • This may be preaching to the choir, but Troy Smith can make any throw. He has got a gun.
  • In the final part of practice we saw the offense take on the defense in some 11 on 11 drills. This was not a scrimmage, so there was not full contact. The practice session concluded with some live (using the clock) two minute drills. Each of the first three string offenses and defenses squared off. The defense was given 2 points and it was up to the offense to at least get into field goal range, starting from their own 45 yard line, in order to “win”. Highlights:

  • First Team O vs. First Team D: The offense managed one first down and with 5 seconds left attempted a 54 yard field goal by Ryan Pretorius, which fell miserably short. More on that in the observations below. Defense “wins”.
  • Second Team O vs. Second Team D: On the third play of the drill, Kurt Coleman picks off a Justin Zwick pass and returns it for a TD. Defense “wins”.
  • Third Team O vs. Third Team D: The offense ran four plays and could not convert a first down. Defense “wins”.
  • Three General Observations

    The more I see and hear about OSU’s defense, the less worried I become about replacing nine starters. There is talent and speed-o-plenty out there on the field.

    OSU is going to be solid at QB for years to come. There may not be a Heisman hyped QB after this year for a while, but I am definitely not worried about that position at all. The young kids, Boeckman, Schoenhoft, and Henton look good.

    Finally, the place kicker battle is uber important this week. Ryan Pretorius and Aaron Pettrey are locked in a battle for the starting spot. From what I saw on Monday night, Pettrey has a much stronger leg than Pretorius. I believe the battle will be decided by who the coaches believe can be more consistent. Wednesday’s kick scrimmage will almost surely decide who will win the job. It is the kicker’s day to shine. By all means they need that time, since most of their practice was spent on the sidelines watching. Oh the life of a lonesome kicker.

    Comments

    1. Sylvester-Yon Rambo says

      I see Quinn Pitcock is going with the little sister hair do look……I swear if he shows up to 1 game with a scrunchy in his hair we will lose that game arrgghh

    2. I love the football team at O.H.I.O. state GO BUCKS TROY SMITH is a cutie So is ANTONIO PTTMAN, AND TED GINN JR.

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