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Two-Minute Drill: Ohio State Assistant Coaches and Player Updates for Dec 17
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — Several Ohio State assistant coaches and players spoke with the media Thursday afternoon about the upcoming Fiesta Bowl. Here are the highlights.

Greg Schiano Updates

+ Schiano said it's great to be in Columbus and to be a part of the staff. He can't wait until after the game to be able to get coaching. He and Meyer "are very closely aligned in our beliefs."

+ Schiano wanted to get back on the field and do it in college because he can impact kids, and he wanted to do it at a place with values.

+ Schiano knows what this football program is about. It's something that is bigger than him and he just wants to enhance what has already been done here.

+ He has known Luke Fickell prior to taking this job. They are comfortable together.

+ Schiano admitted it's a bit odd with him at Ohio State and Chris Ash at Rutgers, but he said in this business there's nothing that is really a surprise anymore. He has gotten to know Chris Ash and will help him in any way he can with getting accustomed to Rutgers, and Ash is doing the same with him here at Ohio State.

+ There was a familiarity and less uncertainty about taking this job because he's been here before and knew the staff.

+ Regarding the rugby tackling that Ohio State has employed, Schiano was actually at OSU when the rugby coaches first demonstrated their tackling. Ultimately, he will do what the head coach tells him to do, but he expects the rugby tackling to stick around. "It's been very effective."

+ "I don't know what the future holds. I know I'm all about Ohio State right now." He is recruiting right now. He doesn't know about a two-year commitment or anything like that.

+ "Recruiting to me is the great part about college football." He doesn't know what areas he will recruit yet, but he's willing to do whatever. 

+ He describes himself as very passionate about young people and teaching football. He has four kids who are getting older and he better understands college-aged kids now more than he did his last time in college.

+ "I think I'll be able to be a better assistant coach." The last time he was an assistant was 1999 or so. As a former head coach he thinks he will be able to free up time for Meyer by keeping stuff off of Meyer's plate here and there.

+ Schiano said that there were only a few coaches that he would be an assistant for, and Urban Meyer was at the top of the list. His job now is to fulfill the expectations of his head coach.

+ Schiano said he enjoys the relationships with young people, and you don't get that in the NFL. You build a 7 or 8-year relationship, and then for life after that. That's not how the NFL is, and he missed that. 

+ He hopes that his time in the NFL will help him teach his players how to get there. He can also bring them some realism about the expectations.

Chris Ash Updates

+ The process with Greg Schiano right now has been great. They have talked well before this past month. He admits that for an outsider looking in right now it might seem a bit off, but it's been fine.

+ Ash gets to the WHAC early in the morning, returns calls when he can, game plans for Notre Dame, then he's at the office late, then continues to work when he gets home. Talking to prospective assistant coaches, recruits, commits, all of that stuff is done throughout the day.

+ He is not surprised by how well the defensive coordination worked out between him and Luke Fickell. It was spelled out clearly what the lineage was and he doesn't expect it to be any different with Greg Schiano on the staff. 

+ Schiano will come in and fit in well and add to it with his own experiences.

+ The transition to Rutgers has been seamless. "Coach Meyer has been great." They are trying to make sure they finish things out the right way. 

+ When recruiting for Rutgers, he is not going after kids who are committed to Ohio State. "That's just not professional." But there are kids who OSU is after that he is also after.

+ Ash's plan to come to Ohio State and then become a head coach has worked out for him. "So far, so good." He has accomplished the goals he set out and learned a ton from Urban Meyer in the process. He has accomplished everything he hoped to at Ohio State.

+ He is very happy with the way the defense played this year. He's not satisfied, but is definitely happy. "When you look at the stats I think they tell a pretty good story."

Luke Fickell Updates

+ Being a part of a defensive coaching staff is just like being part of a team. There are a lot of good qualities mixed among individuals and there is always a give and take. You just have to understand that you are part of something bigger than yourself.

+ Fickell admitted that OSU's win over Notre Dame in 1995 probably made Ohio State more of a national program.

+ Bowl preparation and the bowl game can propel a team into the offseason. It can create momentum following a win and it ends up being a large part of how a season is remembered.

+ With Adolphus Washington suspended and Tommy Schutt dealing with an injury, the defensive tackle ranks have been thinned, but "It is what it is." Fickell said this bowl preparation has been very valuable in getting the other defensive tackles ready for the game.

Player Updates on Page 2


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