By Matt McCoy
By all accounts, Ohio State spring practice was going fairly well...and then Tuesday came. That's when Buckeye coach Urban Meyer, never afraid to tell it like it is, referred to practice as "bad day Tuesday."
In particular it was the offense that was a disappointment to Meyer and it was virtually across the board. At different times during his weekly meeting with reporters, Meyer singled out several players for having poor practices and said the offensive line "is a concern."
"I keep looking for (Jack) Mewhort, (Cory) Linsley, (Marcus) Hall and (Andrew) Norwell and they're not out there anymore," Meyer said of his star linemen who finished up their Buckeye careers last season.
Taylor Decker is the only returning starter on the line and is making the move from right tackle to left. Meyer said he's been pleased with Decker all spring but even he had an ugly Tuesday practice.
"Taylor was part of the bad day syndrome," Meyer said. "Up to that point I was very impressed with what he's done...leadership, toughness and doing all the things that previous group did but (Tuesday) was not a good day. It was a bad day but the guys across the line of scrimmage (on defense) are pretty good. Blocking Joey Bosa all day is not easy and Joey got the best of him."
The sub-par practice by the offense came after it won the "winner-loser" scrimmage against the defense Saturday. The scrimmage revealed some positives, including the play of Cardale Jones. With Braxton Miller out, Meyer said Jones has emerged as the "clear number two" at quarterback but on "bad day Tuesday," Jones led the way.
"You caught me on a bad day (to ask about Jones) because Cardale was bad," Meyer said. "And when I say bad, I mean real bad. But coming up to (this practice) he was one of the most improved players on the team. It's spring ball...you're going to have a bad day...but we have to get those out of him before next fall."
One bad day, Meyer can handle but another when the Buckeyes next practice on Thursday would not set well.
"It was bad day Tuesday...we have to make sure it's not bad day Thursday."
To listen to Meyer's "Bad Day Tuesday" press conference, click here:
Meyer announced that starting tight end Jeff Heuerman will miss the remainder of the spring with an injury to his left foot. The mid-foot sprain occurred when a teammate stepped on Heuerman during a practice last week.
"It's a six week in a cast/boot (injury) and we should have him ready to go full speed by June," Meyer said. "That's three guys (this spring that have been injured) that we're dealing with. We lost Jalen (Marshall) and we lost Vonn Bell (earlier) but the positive is that they're all back fairly early. Sometimes (with injuries) you lose that summer training which is terrible."
Because of Heuerman's experience, Meyer said missing the remainder of the spring is not a major concern, however the knee injuries to Marshall, vying for playing time at receiver and Bell, projected to start at safety, were a setback.
"Jalen's the one (that really hurt) because he was really making a move," Meyer said. "He was making a move in the classroom (too). To see him get hurt (was disappointing)."