We're less than a month away from the delayed start to the Ohio State football season, and Ryan Day continues to get the Buckeyes ready for the season-opening showdown with Nebraska.
During his weekly appearance on his 97.1 The Fan radio show on Thursday afternoon, Day gave some insight about the team's preparation, discussed the return to padded practices, talked about some of the team's COVID-19 protocols, and gave some positional updates.
Day was also joined by linebackers coach Al Washington for the last portion of the show.
Here's a rundown of the highlights.
On James Laurinaitis losing his father
- "On behalf of everyone here, we're all thinking about him."
- Day said Laurinaitis is still a meaningful part of the program.
- "I just wanna make sure he knows we're thinking about him."
On the return to pads
- "Yeah, it was great to get out there with pads."
- "We've got great film to coach off of and to teach. Now it's really about getting on the film."
- Said now coaches have to do a good job of fixing the things you don't see until you put the pads on.
- Day said they're allowed to be in full pads immediately but they did not take anyone to the ground during an "acclimation period."
On the testing
- Day called the efficiency of the testing "excellent."
- Day complements the medical staff and everyone who's come in to administer the tests.
- "It means enough to know that our synthetic bubble here is clean."
- "It gives you peace of mind."
On what the team is doing to stay safe from the virus
- Day notes that daily testing doesn't eliminate the virus, so you still have to use social distancing.
- "We're looking really hard at the traveling and what kind of adjustments we need to make."
- Day said they're learning from what other teams seem to be doing.
On the linebackers
- "We have great leadership with the older group there," Day said, mentioning the four seniors.
- "One thing I like about them is you can run a play on them, and maybe you get them once, but you're not going to get them twice."
- Day said that's a sign of great linebackers.
- Day said the younger linebackers are "looking to make a push" as well.
- "It's a position of strength for us."
On Tuf Borland
- Day said Borland is a leader in every aspect.
- "He's a guy you love to coach."
- "When you have somebody like that, they make great captains and great players."
On Justin Fields' vegan diet
- "Justin, I think this offseason, has done one heck of a job" getting in shape.
- Day likens Fields' body transformation and slimming down to what J.K. Dobbins did ahead of last season.
- Day said Fields has been working with Ohio State's nutritionist.
- Day mentions how important diet is to health and longevity, mentioning Tom Brady and how long he's been able to play at a high level.
On Jonathon Cooper
- "He's one of the ones that just puts a smile on your face."
- "He didn't have a purpose for a little while, but now he does."
- Day said they fought hard for kids like him to have a chance, and "now they have a chance."
- He can be a great story down the road.
On the defensive backs
- Day notes they've had a lot of 7-on-7 and pass work, but he was excited to see them play physically once the pads came on.
- "You just don't know until you put the pads on."
- "There's a lot of promise back there."
- Day said for a lot of these guys, this is the first time they've been hitting since arriving in Columbus.
On the defensive back depth
- "Sevyn Banks and Cam (Brown) both come back with experience."
- Day notes experience is good when you start a Big Ten slate immediately.
- Day also mentions Marcus Williamson, Josh Proctor and Marcus Hooker as some of the guys with experience he hopes to lean on.
- Day said he hopes the freshmen can step up in the coming weeks.
On defensive tackle rotation
- Day thinks they'll be able to have enough players to rotate at that position.
- "We like to play depth. We're hoping some of those guys can step up so we can play depth."
On Drue Chrisman
- Ryan Day was very complimentary of Drue Chrisman
- "He's a special young man."
- "He deserves recognition."
- "He's such a team player."
- Day said Chrisman's favorite days are the games where he doesn't have to punt, because he's unselfish and just wants the team to be successful.
- "I'm happy he's back."
- Day said with the recruiting dead period, recruiting has really calmed down.
- "There isn't much to really do."
- Day said Ohio State is still recruiting a few guys but "for the most part, we have our guys."
On the NFL game vs. the college game
- Day notes that NFL players are together for many years, and "around here, we're lucky to get them for three."
- Day said in college, it's about being fundamental and making sure the guys can simply execute the plays better than the opponent.
- Day said he thinks Ohio State does a good job of being creative.
Differences between wide receiver positions
- Z receiver – "Great speed, down the field, can track a ball. Can take the top off the coverage."
- X receiver – "bigger, longer. Gets a lot of one-on-one coverage."
On CJ Saunders
- Day said CJ Saunders is helping out as an intern
- "I think he has all the attributes to be a really good coach if that's what he wants to do."
On receiver development
- Day said the young receivers haven't been able to learn to be physical and learn things like blocking, but they've had plenty of time to learn the playbook.
- In terms of installing the pass game, that's been really good.
On the linebacker experience
- "Experience is hard to even put a label on it, because it's been incredible."
- "I just can't say enough about it."
- "I believe this unit, man, they can do some special things."
On Baron Browning
- Washington said Baron Browning will play as a pass rusher on some downs. "He's going to have an opportunity to do a little of both this year."
- Washington said Larry Johnson is working with Baron Browning as a pass rusher.
- Washington praised Baron Browning's mental development.
On younger linebackers
- Washington said Dallas Gant and Teradja Mitchell have made big leaps.
- "The time is now."
- "I'm really excited about those two."
On Tommy Eichenberg
- "He's a natural playmaker. Very instinctive."
- "He has a chance to be a really good one."