As we noted yesterday, the biggest news from this week's presser came in the form of Tressel saying Beanie is currently listed as probable after looking better than expected in Monday's workout.
Yesterday Beanie ran every snap he was asked to run, looked to me better than I thought he might look, says he feels wonderful. So you don't know exactly who the cast of characters will be, but I think we've got a pretty good indication of what we feel like each of our people can do and that's helpful.
Pressed on the issue of this possibly being the same "day to day" song and dance we've heard before, Tressel clarified:
No, I'm calling him probable. How about that?
That's certainly good news to Buckeye fans but part of me still has some doubt. As we discussed yesterday, I'm having a hard time thinking it wouldn't be best for him to sit out Saturday anyway with eyes on being closer to 100% at Wisconsin but conversely I think it's a great idea to get him in there with Pryor a week before the showdown in Camp Randall. Obvious benefits include creating some continuity between Beanie and TP, getting a feel for what plays might be best suited for that tandem and also to see how Beanie looks before putting all our eggs in his basket leading up to that tough road tilt.
Finally, on the Beanie front, Tressel's spin was that the pain/issue was just as much as adjusting to a more protective cleat than it was adjusting to the injury:
What they've said, what the training report said today is that they feel as if it's to the point now that it's just a comfort in the rebuilt shoe more than a comfort in the injury, and so when you're used to wearing those little streamlined, Mo, what do they call those fast things you used to wear? (Mo Hall: "Speed TDs") Speed TDs, and all of a sudden you're in a hiking boot, you've got to get used to that.
Tressel also reacted as you'd expect to the boos directed at Boeckman (or Tressel pending your viewpoint) before breaking down the planned participation for practice snaps which, also as you'd expect, show Pryor is the clear starter. Of course, he also noted that few seasons go by where a team doesn't need at least a secondary contribution from the backup:
Well, the thing we talked about yesterday is that many times in a conference race, a team that's going to be the champion is probably going to end up with more than one quarterback making a difference and what that percentage will be, who knows. Terrelle took probably -- I think we took 15 snaps yesterday, Terrelle took 10 of them with the group. Today we'll probably have, I don't know, 60, 70 snaps, and he'll take 45 of them, that type of thing. But Todd's going to work like crazy and keep getting better and if I knew for sure how it was going to unfold -- but, you know, unless there's just something unusual at practice this week or whatever, if the game were today, Terrelle would start it and we'd go with the flow.
Tressel also awkwardly discussed what I think is an admission that maybe some guys got playing time based on evaluations but maybe those evaluations were incorrect and/or other players might have stepped up to earn more time while also citing injuries as obvious reasons for personnel shifts:
You never know how things are going to go and that's why you always try to live by that old adage of you don't start from where you left off, you start over and you handle what happens as you start over and injuries happen. That's just part of the -- last year, I think the same five linemen might have started all 13 games or however many we played and that's unusual and there have been years before that that, man, it didn't seem like the same five were ever starting. So when injuries occur and that's part of the deal and hopefully you've been evaluating closely what guys have been doing throughout the course of the preseason and so forth, and you make decisions based upon, I think this is best for the team and we've all had those things and we said, whoops, maybe that wasn't the best decision and you change gears.
Senator Speak 101, right there. Dude is a magician.
In discussing Pryor, the Vest offered up some encouraging comments. When asked about TP's decision making compared to a veteran, the response was favorable:
The thing that's best about his decision making is that when he errs he knows exactly why. Sometimes I've had guys come off the field and say, why did you throw it there? I don't know. And he's not that way. He knows where everyone is. He's got a great ability to keep his head up, a calmness about him to see, and he had one throw that probably shouldn't have thrown and he knew the minute he let go of it.
And even more encouraging words on Pryor's ability to work through his progressions:
He did a good -- someone asked over at the Quarterback Club, they said, are you going to throw it more to Brandon Smith and Rory Nicol late in the play like you did last week? And I said, well, the good news was those were checkdowns, it was no, no, no, checkdown. So he did that two particular times that I thought were excellent.
We already touched on his impressive ability to scramble while still surveying the receivers and Tressel certainly felt the same, especially on the first TD to Hartline:
Yeah, and he's got a lot of confidence in his feet to move him laterally, but yet still stay in a throwing position. So many times you see a quarterback start into a running mode and then he can no longer see or deliver as accurately, and he has an ability to stay perpendicular to the line of scrimmage and still keep his eyes up the field and I'm not sure he ran that play the whole week in practice. Now, he had run that play through preseason in a couple different formations that week in practice, but we were, what, second and 25 and then third and 15 or whatever it happened to be and we thought it was conceptually one that he really understood and he kept it alive and put it on the money.
On the injury front, Tressel noted Tyler Moeller will be back but Austin Spitler and Steve Rehring will not. Also, there was much speculation that Ray Small must've found his way back to the doghouse after barely seeing the field versus Troy but Tressel indicated Small was "banged" and he'll be fine.
Hopefully, I summarized all the useful parts but if you want the full transcript, you can find it here.