You’re rarely going to have college football players speaking out against their coaches, so Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett having something positive to say about OSU’s new quarterback coach Ryan Day shouldn’t be anything other than expected.
What Barrett is saying about Day, however, is something that he couldn’t say about his previous position coaches Tom Herman and Tim Beck. Namely, Day’s experience with NFL quarterbacks.
“Coach Day, the one aspect of it is the NFL experience,” Barrett said. “He had two years with Philadelphia and he’s been with the 49ers, so he knows that level and he knows what it takes for you to play at that level, so being that I want to play in the NFL he’s helping me and giving me the tools to enable me to do so, whereas Coach Herman and Coach Beck didn’t have that experience. I think that’s going to help not only me, but the quarterbacks in the room because when you come to Ohio State your goal is to play in the NFL, so that’s not just helping myself but helping all of us.”
Day spent the previous three years as Chip Kelly’s quarterbacks coach in San Francisco and then Philadelphia. Prior to that he was the offensive coordinator for former Urban Meyer assistant Steve Addazio at both Temple and Boston College. Years before that, Day was a graduate assistant under Meyer at the University of Florida, and he was a player and assistant coach under Kelly before that.
Along with his NFL experience, Day also brings a familiarity with both Meyer’s offense and Kelly’s offense, which have plenty of similarities.
“He has knowledge of our system,” Meyer said. “He was with us at the University of Florida. He’s gone on with Steve Addazio, been the offensive coordinator, although it’s a little different, but he’s used to us. He’s used to our style. He’s a tough guy. He played quarterback for Chip Kelly. He knows their offense, which we have a lot of similar concepts. And he’s a pro coach. He knows how to develop quarterbacks. My feedback I’m getting from the quarterback room has been very positive.”
Familiarity with the Ohio State offense shouldn’t be overlooked because Tim Beck’s unfamiliarity with the Buckeye offense was one of the reasons given for such a stunted 2015.
The plan now is for the offense to pick up where it left off in 2014 and then pick up the pace from there.
If Day can develop quarterbacks like his head coaches believe he can, then the recent problems on offense may finally be fixed and the Buckeyes may just end up producing NFL quarterbacks on the regular. That’s a win-win every day for Meyer and his coaching staff.