Jody Victor: For the second season in a row, the football team gave Ohio State fans a glimpse of what is to come in the impending season. Thousands of Buckeye faithful piled into Ohio Stadium Thursday for the rescheduled open practice.
The public workout originally was scheduled for Monday, but was postponed because of severe weather. Thursday, the Buckeyes welcomed fans to get accustomed to the new playing surface at Ohio Stadium, holding an autograph session on the field before practice.
After the fans cleared the field, the Buckeyes started practice with some special teams work and finished the night scrimmaging for several series as the OSU Marching Band played in the background.
Head coach, Jim Tressel, and the assistant coaching staff met with media before the practice.
Jim Tressel, OSU head coach – On the fans at the autograph session: “These are great people. They are so genuine. They may not have a chance to come out on Saturdays, but today they were able to show they are true Buckeyes.”
On the night practice: “It helps break up the monotony of the everyday grind. We play some evening games this year and it lets our kids get out there under the lights, which normally we can't do.”
On Todd Boeckman, junior quarterback: “Todd has spent a lot of time watching some really great quarterbacks come through here. He has a lot of potential and has been building on that since Troy (Smith) left.”
Joe Daniels, OSU quarterbacks coach – On the mentality of quarterback Todd boeckman compared to former QB Troy Smith: “Todd is a lot more serious of a guy. Troy had a fun-loving, vibrant personality that worked well with our offense last season. Todd is more within himself, more in control of his emotions. I think that's helped him gain the respect of the players and the coaches.”
On the summer heat affecting the conditioning of the players: “The heat has definitely been a hard obstacle to overcome but our guys have stayed in shape all year around. If they come in looking good, we just have to build on that progress. I think in the end, the heat will benefit this team.”
Jim Heacock, OSU defensive coordinator – On the safeties: “We have plenty of good players. Right now we have about four guys going for our two starting spots. Kurt Coleman, Anderson Russell, Jamario (O'Neal) and Nick Patterson are all in the mix.”
On going against his brother (Jon Heacock, Youngstown State head coach) in the YSU game Sept.1: “We are really close. The week leading up to the game may be the only time we don't talk this year. Once the game is over, we will be right back to being brothers again.”
Darrell Hazell, OSU assistant head coach and wide receivers coach – On the kick returners: “With the kick scrimmage the other day we are starting to get a good idea of who it is going to be. We have alot of talent and all the guys really want a shot at it.”
On the wide receivers: “When you lose the guys that we did (to the NFL Draft) it opens up opportunity for other guys to step up. They are all going to get their chance.”