Has J.T. Barrett Finally Had Enough of the Deep Conversations?

J.T. Barrett Spring Game

At this point, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett may want to start handing out memos with pre-written quotes and talking points because it would save everyone some time.

Barrett met with the media this week, as he does two or three times every week, and was asked about the deep ball.

“I’m tired of that deep ball,” he said in what seemed to be a mix of sincerity and jest.

As tired as he may be, however, concern is still spiraling through the air.

Whenever Urban Meyer talks about the resurgent Buckeye offense, he adds in how they still need to be realistic, which means they need to remember who they are having this resurgence against. Throwing for 300 yards against UNLV, Army, and Rutgers isn’t exactly the kind of closing argument that would sway a jury.

“I’m not gonna hit them all,” Barrett said this week. “I always want to complete every pass, so I strive to do that. We shoot for 50%, which is great when it comes to stretching the ball down field. A lot of people don’t even shoot for 50%, they shoot for 40 because that’s how that works.”

The Buckeyes were hitting those numbers against Rutgers last Saturday, which is good, but it’s not enough to those who have seen the struggles since 2015.

“I am really just shocked that we keep on talking about it,” Barrett said. “How many did we complete the other day? Three or four? So, it’s like, ‘What’s up?’ I’m asking y’all.”

He didn’t say it in an angry manner or in a dismissive way, but more along the lines of incredulity with a pinch of agitation.

And when told that certain people will not buy in until the Buckeyes have success against Penn State, Barrett addressed the concerns.

“That’s why we’re going to keep working on it,” he said.

“I hear that. I was just a little confused why we keep on talking about it. We’re going to take our shots. In the past we didn’t complete it in practice. Like, in practice it was awful. So, in the game, we didn’t call it because it was awful in practice. We don’t do things that don’t work in practice in a game. That doesn’t make any sense. So we’ve gotten a lot better.

“The success is happening in practice against our DBs, which I think are some of the top defensive backs in the country. So now we’re making the plays in practice, and we’re calling it in the game. We’ll continue to call those things in the game and we’re going to miss some. But there has been success of it.”

Ohio State is currently leading the Big Ten in passing yards per game (326.0) and touchdown passes (16), but only 183 of those yards came against Oklahoma and none of the touchdowns did. What has happened since the loss to the Sooners is a good thing for the Buckeyes, but it was also expected.

Until Barrett and his receivers can prove themselves against an opponent in the national title hunt, the deep ball will continue to be a topic of conversation. Barrett understands that, but the Buckeyes are only operating on one opponent at a time.

“As far as, ‘Is it going to work against Penn State?’ I have all the confidence in the world that we’re going to make plays when it’s time for that,” he said. “But we’re not worried about Penn State, we’re talking about Maryland and focusing on Maryland. We have to make those plays against Maryland. They play man, and there are opportunities for that. So, let’s slow our roll.”

14 Responses

  1. Until he can perform against the better competition in the intermediate and deep passing game he’s going to hear the same crescendo, except for the sunshine pumpers and lap dogs of yes men fame of course.

    He may as well get used to hearing it because I can guarantee NFL scouts are going to be repeating it to him in the near future. The good news is that he’s like Coach Meyers son, so maybe he’ll get hired as a handoff coordinator at Ohio State.

  2. Why don’t we fire Urban, Kevin Greg & all the others and let you people coach our team. We could save a million dollars. You guys know so much more about football than these that have been hired.

    1. YAWN……The A-Typical response from someone who is afraid to confront issues. Your life must suck.

      1. Sunshine pumpers should have been here a few weeks ago and you wouldn’t have bothered flapping your worm flippers. It was stated after looking like complete road kill against Pimplediana and a clown show OU defense that the sunshine pumpers would be back out of hiding because JT would look pretty fair against garbage pretend football teams like UNLV, Army and, Rutgers. If we were actually going to see if there was any real improvement in the intermediate and deep game we “SHOULD” see signs of life against Maryland.

        True to form, JT does what he should do against quality HS competition (and which us mean ol’ negative nancies said he would do) and out pop the grapefruits with their sour pusses looking down their nose at those in Buckeye Nation………..and there are more of us than there are of you…………who aren’t buying the made for sheep soundbytes until those same results can be repeated against quality opponents. As I said, we SHOULD see real improvements against Maryland and maybe a pretty bad Nebraska team. Then the season gets real after the bye week. Through the last 3 seasons since opponents have film of JT’s weak passing arm, JT has stunk up the house “trying” to throw the ball down the field against teams with a legitimate defensive pulse.

        Yeah yeah. All those cool records established, blah, blah, blah. The average HS quarterback can take apart weak competition and set world stunning records. Especially when he’s set up to succeed at the expense of the rest of the rosters talent They mean crap when that same quarterback faces rosters of similar talent and he can’t execute a damned down the field pass with any kind of consistency. Passes 5 yards or more overthrown or putting his receiver in a position to get crushed because he’s having to leap and do contortion tricks just to try to get his hands on the ball.

        I said it at the beginning of the year and I believe it’s true. JT Barrett has vision problems beyond the short passing game. Whether or not it’s mental or physical? Who knows, but he clearly struggles delivering downfield passes. If the receiver isn’t more than a couple of yards open JT isn’t going to give his receivers a chance to catch anything. If they’re 5 yards of more open JT will throw a ball. RARELY are those passes delivered in stride or with-in the receivers frame. Even the deep pass to Johnnie Dixon against Rutgers, Johnnie had to completely stop after having a 10 yard space, which the defender nearly caught up to, and wait for the ball.

        JT is appreciated for what he’s done, but it’s obvious the pains that Coach Meyer goes through to babysit JT’s weaknesses as a passing quarterback. Great ball handler and second to none as a read option distributor. The good news is that when he got word that people were ragging on him about running scared earlier in the year he changed that chicken little stunt and started running the ball like he actually wanted to be on the field again.

        You are now free to go blow a gasket somewhere and talk down about us “bad fans” who just don’t appreciate what the Buckeyes have. I have a suspicion that the sunshine pumpers will crawl back under the homer rock of irrationality after the bye week.

    2. Buckeye Burky- Hello, McFly? These articles are designed to stimulate comments and, with any luck, intelligent ones. Keep drinking the Kool Aid, I hear cherry is the best flavor!

      1. James Mills….game on. Does Penn State meet your definition of quality opponent?

  3. JT keeps getting asked this because he has lousy accuracy on deep balls, and you can’t beat good teams without a deep threat. In JT’s last two games against good teams (Clemson and Oklahoma) he hit 56% of his passes for only a 4.5 yard average, with 3 interceptions and was outscored 62-16. And this year he has missed at least 10 TD’s by over- and under-throwing deep balls to receivers who had beaten their coverage. So, why does he wonder why the questions keep coming?

    1. Davewr58- yes, he’s not an accurate deep ball passer. No one in their right mind would dispute that. Instead, the more relevant issue has been this head coach’s dogged refusal to install a short/moderate passing game that is more within JT’s reach- short slants, crosses, well timed screen passes rather than those the entire stadium knows is coming. JT isn’t calling these deep passes, he’s carrying out plays insisted upon by a staff that KNOWS they are low percentage. That same staff abandoned an effective running game vs Oklahoma and literally played into Oklahoma’s hands by doing so. This means JT himself wasn’t outscored, but rather an entire offense and highly paid coaches who should know better. OSUs offense would do better to knock off these hopeless desperation heaves and work plays that are shorter and easier to develop- those plays have a better chance of turning into a 30/40 yard gain, or of merely being successful for shorter yardage . Unless it somehow ends up 3rd down and 40, I’d take a 9 yard completion over a 40 yard incompletion any day of the week. I’m not disagreeing with your point, I’m disagreeing with the philosophy (and wisdom) of those who insist on a failing strategy when they know its doomed from the start.

      1. Forgot one point- I’d LOVE to hear what some of the players would say about the playcalling philosophy off the air. Outstanding producers who have correctly questioned the playcalls- Hyde and Elliott, maybe you’ve heard of them- were censured for daring to speak out.

    1. ^^^ This. Parris is a good kid, but past a few yards down the field cannot catch anything that isn’t end-over-end.

  4. I feel bad for JT, as he is the symptom rather than the cause of the “disease” here. Proficiency is the deep ball is not nearly as important- or likely- as proficiency in the short passing game. Sadly, our head coach seems to ignore the short passing game until legions of fans and media personnel remind him that our brains are actually functioning, that we have the capacity for memory retention, and (believe it or not!) know what works based on decades of observation. It does no good to call goofy QB runs, then slow developing parallel- to line- of -scrimmage tosses, and THEN a desperation heave of 35 yards to try to fix the mess at 3rd and 10. No, this doesn’t happen much against weak teams; yes, it does happen vs teams with a pulse. JT isn’t a deep threat passer, which isn’t a big deal so long as the head coach “allows” the offensive coordinator to formulate a game plan which accounts for it. Our team has running backs and tight ends with talent enough to make the deep ball conversation moot (and yes, I know there are those who think you somehow must give up a down every 20 minutes or so to heave a desperate 40 yard incompletion in order to “keep the defense honest”- even when its 3rd and 8, not 3rd and 40). JT is a good player who is constantly forced to address his weak points due to calls he isn’t making- it would get old for me too, if I was in his place.

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