Stepping Into Manhood

By Jason Priestas on October 16, 2008 at 7:00 am

It was a line for the ages. With the Buckeyes trailing the Badgers late in the fourth quarter two weeks ago, Beanie pulled Pryor aside before the offense went back on to the field. First, he wanted to know if Pryor was "going to be a man or a kid?" Then, he told the rookie that he was "taking a step into manhood" and he went out and did just that. Beanie Wells, man-maker.

The preferred shoe of manhood

With a big trip to East Lansing looming -- one that I'm feeling less and less confident about with each passing day -- and the buzz about split factions in the locker room, now might be a good time for Wells to have that same father/son talk with some other guys on the team.

Since we know that this blog is his homepage, we thought we'd come up with a few suggested recipients for Beanie's manhood talk. If you see your name on this list, please report to #28's locker after practice Thursday.

The Veterans
If Ballard spoke up about wanting to see Boeckman back in the game, then you know others are saying or thinking the same thing in the locker room. Tressel, however, seems to have decided that it's Pryor or bust this season and as a player, you should know that you're not going to change the Vest's opinion on a matter through the press. Say something to him in private but using a reporter to voice these feelings only serves to undercut Pryor's building confidence and reinforce the fact that this just might be a split team.

Yes, you, superman. You're learning and that's fine. Fans will be patient when you can mix in the dazzling play every now and then. But, play loose, have fun and take charge of this team. Ballard mentioned Boeckman's huddle presence -- you need to get that swag back we saw on the sidelines of the USC game. As for a strategy on passing plays, Sean at Around the Oval nailed it in his comparison of the 2002 and 2008 offenses:

Speaking of the passing game, the quarterbacks are another difference. In short, Terrelle Pryor could learn a thing or two from Craig Krenzel. That's not to say that Krenzel was better, but that Krenzel played the position in a way that I think Pryor would do well to emulate, at least in this stage of his development. Krenzel would drop back, look around, and if he didn't quickly see anything he liked, he'd take off running. Krenzel only threw for 140 yards per game, but he added another 26 on the ground - not bad for a guy that wasn't terribly mobile.

Do. That. Thing.

The Receivers
You're not getting nearly as many balls tossed your way since the switch at quarterback. That has to be frustrating. Especially when you are open on a play and the new guy doesn't see you and the next thing you know, you're lining up six yards back from where you started the previous play. But you're not exactly helping the cause, either. Pryor may only be averaging 10 completions per game in his four starts, but in that same span, I can think of at least five big drops out of the receiver corps -- two of which were touchdowns. No time is better than now for that first breakout game out of one of you.

The Hogs
This one has been beaten to death both by blogs and in the mainstream stuff. The head coach is even pointing their way. Shut us all up.

The Defensive Front
Javon Ringer is on the docket for this week. Here he is getting tough yards up the middle in large chunks against a pretty damn good Iowa run defense (2nd-best in conference allowing a measly 3.1 per carry and five rushing touchdowns on the year). The outcome of the game will likely rest on your shoulders. No pressure.

The fans are salty right now, but the wonderful thing about sports is that can swing back in a hurry (just ask the Cleveland Browns). Defense, you get a chance to end a Heisman campaign. If you can't get up for that, then I'm going to go stab myself in the eye. Offense, you have the capability to put up points, Tarkanian style. Time to make that happen.