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Meyer: High Praise For Washington

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the media Wednesday after practice for the last time before Saturday’s spring-ending Scarlet and Gray Game at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.).

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Here were some of the notables from Meyer’s comments:

* He said the team, as part of its trip to Cincinnati, would be addressed by Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. They will also tour the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and will have dinner catered by Montgomery Inn, Skyline Chili and Graeters Ice Cream to get the full flavor of the Queen City.

“I love Marvin Lewis,” Meyer said. “He is a great football coach and a good friend of mine.”

* Meyer said there will be a lot of passing in the game. The draft will take place on Thursday.

* Meyer likes what he sees with the progress on defense.

“That front seven is much improved,” Meyer said. “We are much more aggressive on defense than we were at this time last year. I like the direction we are headed. Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence are making some strides.

Curtis Grant, Doran Grant and Tyvis Powell are some of the guys off the top of my head who have made some big strides.”

* Regarding Washington (a Cincinnati Taft product who will be playing in his hometown Saturday), Meyer said, “He is a talented player. Mike Vrabel is coaching the heck out of that kid. The last three practices … he has done a nice job.”

* Meyer was asked if Taylor Decker or Chase Farris had locked down the starting right tackle job.

“No, I don’t know yet,” Meyer said. “It’s real bothersome to me and bothersome to our coaches. Decker has been running with the ones right now and he has the ability to be the right tackle. The offensive line set a real standard last year. I thought we were the best offensive line in the Big Ten. We’re not right now.

“(Corey) Linsley has a sore foot, so I have really protected him. I have pulled out Jack Mewhort from time to time. We don’t have the chemistry we had a year ago.

“(Farris) is coming along. The offensive line is the one position on the team that takes the most time to completely saturate a guy. He’s got all the skills, he is a wonderful young man. He’s just a little bit behind where we thought he would be at this point.”

* Meyer talked about getting to see his team in action.

“We have done more (scrimmaging) because I wanted to see our guys play,” he said. “There was a day when we would do more situational. I want to see the environment with the coaches off the field and nobody screaming their assignments to the kids. I want to see them play – I think I want to see them play.”

* Meyer said that junior Curtis Grant has locked down the middle linebacker job with his play this spring.

“I see a great kid, first of all,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t that he was not a great kid last year, but he was not fully engaged. (Ryan) Shazier is still only able to do some drills. But I think we are starting to see some things with those linebackers.”

* Meyer said that cornerback Bradley Roby, hampered by a shoulder injury, likely will not play on Saturday. “He’s doing all the non-contact stuff,” Meyer said.

* Meyer said that quarterback Braxton Miller would be in a non-contact black jersey and should see a lot of action on Saturday.

“I will carry a baseball bat (to protect him),” Meyer joked. “Kenny Guiton will also be in black. We will let Cardale Jones play a little bit. He’s getting better.”

* Meyer was asked about taking the spring game on the road to Cincinnati. (Ohio Stadium is undergoing some concrete renovations this spring and summer.)

“I wasn’t here in years past and I hear, ‘Well, we haven’t done well in Cincinnati,’ ” Meyer said. “But I think we’re doing great. I think we’re killing it. Adolphus Washington is one of our best players. I think potentially he could be a great player here at Ohio State. Recently, we’ve gotten down there and recruited some good players. There are some good high school coaches down there and (assistant Kerry) Coombs has helped us down there. Tim Hinton coached at UC and he helps us there.

“I think we’re doing great. I love Cincinnati,” added Meyer, who is a UC alum.

* A Cincinnati media member attending OSU’s interview session said he heard that new Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville could attend OSU’s spring game.

* There is no live TV for the spring game. Big Ten Network will show it on tape delay at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for the game through Ticketmaster. Club seats are $17 and general admission seats are $12. Click here for parking information and a seating chart for PBS.

Click here for our look at the OSU tight end position.

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