Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Tuesday briefing: Braxton Miller still 'sore'
By Austin Ward
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick hitters from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday.
Two for one: Braxton Miller checked out again just fine with the trainers on Monday.
On Tuesday morning the Ohio State quarterback worked out like usual, and he is still slated to resume practicing in the afternoon.
But there is still some concern about lingering soreness in Miller's neck according to Meyer, so it doesn't appear he'll be the only guy taking snaps for the Buckeyes as they start preparing for a visit to Penn State on Saturday.
"We’re going to have two ready," Meyer said. "Kenny Guiton and Braxton are a little bit different players, but they’re both good athletes so we’ll still have the elements to run the option and do the things that Braxton does so well. Kenny is a great manager, distributor -- he does a very good job, like a coach on the field, getting you in the right plays very easily.
"We’re going to have both ready, and it’s not that much different."
Guiton isn't nearly as dynamic on the run, and while his arm strength has improved and he made timely throws in the comeback against Purdue, it's obvious the Buckeyes are at their most dangerous when Miller is on the field.
Meyer didn't provide many specifics about the practice plan other than offering a reminder Miller would be in a non-contact jersey on Tuesday and won't be taking any hits from his teammates. But they will likely be watching closely over the next two days to make sure he's ready to absorb a few from the Nittany Lions in a critical divisional showdown.
"He’s real sore in the neck, but he’s good to go for practice," Meyer said. "Obviously there’s no contact anyway on him, but we’ll see here.
"I got to see him this morning, he worked out, and once again passed all his tests and everything yesterday. He’s good to go for practice, he’ll be no-contact, but our biggest concern is just how sore he is."
On the block: The lofty comparisons from Meyer are typically reserved for his quarterback. But Jeff Heuerman's emergence has put the tight end in some heady company lately as well, and not just for his touchdown catch three games ago or a critical 2-point conversion against Purdue.
"Thinking back, he might be the best blocking tight end I’ve had in my head coaching career," Meyer said. "He’s a really good blocker and has given us a component that we’ve really never had at that spot.
"I’ve had [former Florida star and current New England tight end] Aaron Hernandez and some other guys that were just tremendous receivers and good blockers, but Jeff is a point guy that can really block a defensive end. That’s just great to have on your offense."
He said it: "I kept asking during the game and they didn’t know. So right after the game when we finished the team gathering in the locker room, I grabbed someone and they said, ‘Coach, it’s coming back really good.’ Immediately after the press conference, I jumped in a police car and went to the hospital. That’s when I sat with the doctor and the tests were coming back, it was all positive [news]." -- Meyer on trying to find out how Miller was after the game.