Former Buckeye quarterback Cardale Jones was back on campus this week and attended Thursday’s Ohio State pro day. As usually happens when Jones shows up, cameras and microphones soon followed him.
Topics ranged from his status with the Bills — which is fine, to his new status as a loud Buckeye fan, to his thoughts on Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day.
“Yeah, I’ve met them guys,” he said of Wilson and Day. “Great guys. I was always a fan of Wilson’s since Indiana. I had a high school teammate that played at Indiana – Shane Wynn, and he just raved about Coach Wilson and the things that they did. Indiana was always neck-and-neck with us when it came to total offense in the Big Ten ever since I was in school. It’s great and he’s a great addition.”
What does Jones expect from the Buckeyes this season with Wilson in charge of the offense?
“Just put up some points, man,” he said. “Let’s just see some excitement and go back to what we used to do.”
That lack of excitement a year ago was a source of frustration for Jones just as it was for the fans at home and in the stadium. How much yelling did he do last season?
“I’m pretty sure just like the average fan because you think you’re a coach at home on your couch and you think you’ve got all of the answers, but you never know what goes on in a play caller’s shoes,” he said diplomatically.
Even with the frustration, Jones is finding the move from Buckeye player to Buckeye fan an enjoyable one.
“It’s pretty sweet to finally be able to transition and become a fan and kind of go crazy in my apartment by myself,” he said. “Shout at the play calling and different players and things like that. It’s just like being a big brother seeing your little brothers perform.”
And perhaps the best thing about it?
“Now I can tweet what I want about whoever or the University and I don’t have any backlash,” he said smiling.
Watching from his apartment last year, Jones saw a team that underachieved, as well as a quarterback who underachieved. He also believes that J.T. Barrett took too much of the blame.
“My opinion, he underachieved,” he said of Barrett. “In my opinion the team underachieved. They didn’t reach their final goal, but he understands that it comes with being a quarterback. You’re going to get all of the glory when you win, and they’re going to point a finger when your guys lose.”
With Barrett entering his final go-round, and with an offensive staff that plans to put the pedal down, Jones expects a much different output this season.
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to take it over as he always does,” Jones said. “He’s a great quarterback. Probably the best quarterback to ever play here. Coach Meyer seems like he’s doing the right thing, putting the right pieces around the team to have success.”
Now that Jones can be an unhinged critic of the players, the playcalling, and the coaching, it’s not unfair to ask him what he would do differently.
So what would an offense look like with Jones in charge?
“If it was up to me I would throw it deep every play,” he said. “If it’s a run play I’m yelling at the TV.”