Former Ohio State star running back Chris “Beanie” Wells stopped by the BTN studio on Friday. Currently rehabbing from an Achilles injury , Wells took the time to be a guest analyst on #BTNLive. Following his guest appearance in front of the cameras, I caught up with Wells and asked him several questions, including his thoughts on the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry.
Enjoy, Buckeye fans.
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BTN.com: There has been an ongoing debate as to which team will get left out of the BCS Title Game if more than two teams finish the season unbeaten. If Ohio State is indeed in that situation, make your case for why the Buckeyes should be selected to play in the National Championship?
Wells: Yeah, I think people need to look at the way Ohio State goes out there and attacks their opponents. They don’t just beat them, they are scoring a bunch of points. That’s a big thing now, people are looking at style points and Ohio State is one of the teams going out there and doing that. The majority of their games this season have all been decisive wins. That’s something you have to do at this point, and Urban Meyer has done just that.
BTN.com: You played for a great coach in Jim Tressel. Do you see any comparisons between him and Ohio State’s current head coach, Urban Meyer?
Wells: Honestly, no I don’t. I think coach Tressel wasn’t the type of coach that was going to go out and score 70-plus points on teams. And of course, I don’t want to make it seem like Urban doesn’t care about other teams, but coach Tressel developed good relationships and built some great relationships with other coaches in the Big Ten over time. That’s just the kind of personality coach Tressel had in life as well. He never wants to go out and embarrass anybody.
BTN.com: What was the biggest transition you had to make going from college to the NFL?
Wells: I think the biggest difference was learning the playbook. It wasn’t as physical as it was mental. You have to know a ton. The playbook in the NFL is probably three times the size of what it was in college. And off the field, I would say just managing time. In college, you don’t get that much free time because you have class and tutors and football. At the pro level, you have practice, meetings, and then you’re home. You have a lot of free time on your hands that you’re not used to having, so you just have to learn how to manage that time.
BTN.com: I read an interesting stat the other day that Urban Meyer has never had a running back rush for 1,000 yards, which really surprised me. And here’s Carlos Hyde, who is 53 yards away from 1,000. Do you see any similarities between yourself and Carlos Hyde?
Wells: I definitely see the similarities. He’s a big, fast guy who runs with authority in between the tackles. He’s a great runner, one of the best in college football. I’m excited for him. I think it really sets the tone for a team when you have a guy that goes out there consistently who rushes for big yardage and can hit that 1,000 yard plateau. That’s huge, not only for the team, but for Carlos as well.
BTN.com: Talk to me about the Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry and what it’s like to be a part of that as a player?
Wells: When it comes to that game, you throw all the records and everything that’s happened up to that point out the window. You don’t care, because that’s the big show. If you win that game, it makes your season. If you lose that game, it’s the worst thing that happens in your season. It’s huge. As long as you win that game, that day, that’s all that matters. You see a lot of players you know or played with growing up. Mario Manningham was a guy who I was very close to – he grew up right near me in Northeast Ohio. But when it comes to that, there’s no talking before the game. You don’t say a word. You speak after the game, if he wants to talk, because I never lost to him, but before the game, you don’t speak to him. That’s just how it is.