Kevin Wilson, Ryan Day Providing What OSU has Been Missing

Ohio State Football Kevin Wilson and Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer’s offenses have set school records wherever he has been.

As a head coach since 2001, yards and points have rarely been an issue for his teams.

Fast-forward 16 years and much is again being expected of Meyer’s offense, despite some struggles a season ago.

When you look at the makeup of the Ohio State football players and coaching staff, however, it is easy to see why.

The offensive coordinators during the 2015 and 2016 seasons — Ed Warinner and Tim Beck — are now gone, and in their respective places are Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day. Wilson has a long history as an offensive coordinator and head coach, producing numbers wherever he has been. Day, meanwhile, has spent much of his career under the broad-leafed canopies of the Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer coaching trees.

For Meyer, however, hiring somebody the caliber of Wilson as his offensive coordinator was a first.

“Kevin Wilson is the first established offensive coordinator I’ve ever hired,” he said on Monday. “If you go through the history, (it was) either guys promoted on my staff or a young up-and-comer like a Tom Herman. But this is a veteran coach that’s led some of the top offenses in America. Very well respected in our profession.

“It’s still going to be the Ohio State offense. However, we had some weaknesses a year ago, and I’d like to see some improvement. And I think Kevin will have a major impact.”

Day comes to Ohio State from the NFL, but he’s not unfamiliar to Meyer, who had him on his Florida staff in 2005 as a graduate assistant.

“Ryan Day is a guy I’ve tried to get before, but he wasn’t available. He was with Chip Kelly,” Meyer said. “I’ve had conversations with him several times. I’ve known Ryan. He worked for me in 2005, so I’ve watched him and kept in touch. He’s already part of the tree, really.”

The simple answer as to why Wilson and Day are now at Ohio State is so that the Buckeyes never get shutout again. The more accurate answer is because they bring exactly what the OSU offense has been missing since Tom Herman left for Houston.

That is one of the reasons why Meyer is giving Wilson so much room to operate.

“I think that’s earned,” he said of Wilson’s freedom. “That comes with a pretty impressive track record. He’s good for what we were lacking, and that’s back to the tempo that Tom was so good at. That’s Kevin’s world. It’s also Ryan Day’s world. When we were the best over the last 16 years is when I had two guys just feed off each other and go. I feel very good with Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson right now.”

Simply going was one of the problems over the previous two seasons, as hurry-up-and-wait was more the speed of operations.

The timing of Ohio State’s offense has now picked up, and it is thanks to some very fortunate timing on the coaching front for the Buckeyes.

“I think it was remarkable” Meyer said of Wilson’s availability. “I didn’t anticipate that one. Obviously I’ve admired from afar his ability. So the timing worked out pretty good.”

What exactly has he admired about Wilson’s abilities?

“I think what makes him unique is that he’s had 2,000-yard rushers and he’s had guys throwing the ball very well,” Meyer said. “So he adapts to what he has, which I think great coaches have to do.”

As for Day, the Chip Kelly influence is readily apparent.

“Oh yeah,” Meyer said. “Just his philosophical approach.”

Together, Wilson and Day are bouncing ideas and philosophies off of each other like each staff meeting is a lightning round where the point values are doubled.

And if all goes as planned for the Ohio State offense this season, some of those point values will be doubled.

10 Responses

  1. As for JT Barrett, we must not forget why JT didn’t have a particularly good year last year. How many times did you see him scrambling for his life? You see, to me it was the ineffectual and inexperienced play of the O L. Most of them were new with little or no real experience! He either had to throw quick passes before his receiver could get a good opening or he had to throw on the run for which he does pretty well but when being chased, it becomes more difficult to make accurate passes. So he ends up running which he is really good at that. But against Clemson, he had little to no chance at either passing or running because of the ineptness of the O L. This year should be much different and better with more experienced O Ls and with better coaching. I think OSU will have a great chance at the Playoffs again inspite of so many new young players to go along with the experienced players who remained to be a part of the team. As most of you know, there are some really great young players coming in for the first time this year and could very well make a difference for the Buckeyes to have a very successful season.

  2. “This system will either PROVE JT Barrett or…”

    He’s already a proven commodity.

    1. Yeah, tell that to the NFL scouts that don’t believe he has a passing arm that’s workable.

      1. 1st of all – he’s in college – and is a perfect fit for Urban Meyer’s offense. Don’t take my word for it, ask Urban.

        2nd, he is a projected 3rd round NFL draft pick.

        1. Doesn’t matter whether you drink the scarlet juice or not. If Barrett can’t throw the ball deep with any consistency, he’ll be an unemployed football player in a short period of time.

          JT fits Meyers offense because of his legs, and his ability to distribute the ball in the running game. It has nothing to do with his arm. In the NFL he either can execute with his arm, or he’s not going to play. That simple.

        1. If your name is JT Barrett it sure as heck IS part of the conversation. Every living human being knows that JT is a great leader, second to none ball handler for the running game, and has tremendous heart. On top of being able to win games with his legs.

          He still hasn’t proven that he can be consistent against the best competition with his arm. He had 1 good outing against MSU a couple years ago and hasn’t beaten a single other big time opponent with his arm.

          Doesn’t matter whether any of the losses are on JT, the fact that he’s the quarterback of record, those losses get put on HIS shoulders. That’s the nature of the game. No need to go into a comparison game. Barrett’s legacy will either be made or dulled with what he can do in 2017 on the field.

          I’m rooting for him to straight up kill it, but nothing from his past makes me comfortable at this point that he can deliver against the big boys in College Football. The 1 chance he had, he was atrocious. In order to be a serious draft choice for the next level his arm has got to improve. In order to win it all in College football his arm has to improve.

  3. I guess it depends on your view on 2014 JT
    vs. 2016 JT. Was that Barrett suddenly getting worse or Ed Wariner slowing things down?Was JT uncertain because the coaches were?
    I think JT will have a monster year.

  4. Faster tempo, less time to think and start to doubt. You either succeed or you fail. Get play, take snap……………go, execute. This system will either PROVE JT Barrett or expose a fatal flaw in his arsenal. If he can’t get this offense rolling it will because he’s limited in his own execution. If he succeeds it will prove that the system of allowing the quarterback time to self doubt (hesitation and erratic delivery) has been the problem.

    I’m seriously pulling for massive success from JT, but I’m only cautiously optimistic about the outcome at this point. Seeing is believing. What was done in the Spring didn’t impress. Hopefully that’s just the newness of the system. I think Wilson will be cold and calculating opening against the Hoosiers. I doubt very much if there’s any revenge involved. He’s out to prove his ideals work. He’ll prepare 60 minutes of assault without remorse. The question becomes. Can JT and the offensive players execute when the lights turn on?

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