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Ohio State defenders unaware of what “no contact” means, continue to pound Braxton Miller

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(USA Today Sports Images)

There's a reason quarterbacks wear no-contact jerseys in practice. Make those silly complaints all you want about the lack of toughness anymore in football, but tough teams with great quarterbacks who are hurt on Saturdays aren't going to win much.

Braxton Miller wears a black no-contact jersey during Ohio State's spring practices. This makes perfect sense. Miller is one of the best quarterbacks in college football. And as a player who runs a lot, the Buckeyes want to keep him upright all season. He dealt with some injuries last year.

So that really makes it tough to explain why Ohio State defensive players, a.k.a. Miller's own teammates, keep laying him out.

Miller took a shot to the ribs from defensive end Noah Spence in practice, according to the Associated Press. That's not very smart. What's really not very smart is that's the second time Miller has taken a shot to the ribs this week.

[Also: Geno Smith laughs off uncomplimentary scouting report]

Miller was down for several minutes, the AP said. When he got up, he confronted several defensive players on the sideline. Hope he didn't use many big words with those guys who can't understand hurting your own quarterback in spring might not be in the team's best interest.

Miller came back to practice, which is good news for Ohio State. Coach Urban Meyer took it in stride, saying Spence's hit wasn't malicious.

"It's football," Meyer said, according to AP. "We ran option. (Miller) got hit in the same spot."

I've never seen a coach react calmly when a quarterback gets hit with a no-contact jersey on. It's one thing that will make them irate every time. Either Meyer has incredible patience, especially after seeing the reigning Big Ten player of the year down on the turf during a spring practice for no reason, or he doesn't want to make a big deal out of it.

As for Miller going after his defensive teammates who want to lay him out, Meyer didn't have a problem with that either.

"I like quarterbacks that want to go get in a street fight and go after it," Meyer said, according to AP. "That's not probably the time to do it, but he's a competitor. So you're asking what kind of reaction would I want out of a quarterback? I didn't really see what happened, but Braxton's a competitor.

"I guess that's better than the opposite, just lay on the ground and curl up and, 'Why did he hit me?' So, he's a tough kid."

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