Will Ryan Day Call Plays for the Buckeyes in 2019?

Ryan Day Ohio State Football Buckeyes

There is a little bit of irony in Ryan Day gaining full control of the Ohio State football program, but as the head coach, having to give up quite a bit of control when it comes to coaching quarterbacks and possibly calling the plays.

A head coach has to be concerned about the entire team, and the program itself.

Is the recruiting department in need? Is the nutritionist keeping up with the latest science? Is Mickey Marotti running out of sweats?

Ryan Day can no longer lock himself in the quarterbacks room and let the world pass him by.

That job now belongs to new quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich.

A former quarterback himself, Day has spent years studying the position in order to better coach it. As the head coach now, however, his time will be split in many directions.

But he will always make time for the quarterbacks.

“I’m still going to be involved with the quarterbacks a good amount,” he said recently. “I obviously won’t have as much time as I had in the past. And I do love that. Having the feel for the quarterbacks in terms of what they’ve seen, what they’ve practiced, what they know, what they’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis kind of keeps you in tune with the offense, because the offense goes as the quarterback goes.

“But I’m going to do a really good job of making sure that I am in those meetings and I am a part of it and that I do have a good feel for what the quarterbacks experience.”

Day’s first two years at Ohio State produced quarterback records every step of the way, as well as an offense that scored at least 45 points in half of his games as an offensive coordinator.

Clearly, he was productive as a playcaller this past season, which begs the question of whether he will continue in that role even as head coach. Kevin Wilson is still on staff as an offensive coordinator and is widely regarded as a tremendous playcaller. Yurcich has also been pretty effective calling plays at Oklahoma State.

“It’s something we’re still going to work through and figure that out,” Day said. “I still want to have a heavy hand in the offense. I think the guys on offense are really excited and there’s a lot of energy and positive momentum on our side of the ball. I want to keep that going.”

It isn’t unheard of having a head coach call plays on offense or defense, and it is those past (and current) examples of how to do it that Day will take a closer look at.

“You look at different models that people have used over the years,” he said. “And a lot of it has to do with as we move forward, kind of the positions that some of the coaches take on and the responsibilities as we go. But I think there are a lot of models out there that work. Obviously at Oklahoma and Notre Dame, and obviously I use Chip Kelly as a guy I go to a lot. He’s made it work that way. So all conversations will be had moving forward.”

6 Responses

  1. I think it is refreshing that fans are worrying about which of the 3 proven play callers will be calling the plays and how many points we will score. I am more optimistic about this season than any since Urban’s first at OSU. Urban had no favorites then. New coaches equalize the opportunity and increase the competition for players to earn positions which is sorely needed on defense. Playing hard to earn and keep your spot without the safety net of favoritism will make the team better. We’ll have to wait and see if and how long Day sticks with playing the best performing players regardless of tenure.

  2. Anyone remember a guy named Jim Tressel? He was very involved with the quarterbacks and called most of the plays. Some may not like his philosophy, although the National Championships he won at both Ohio State and Youngstown State more than state his case. But he was able to do it and still be the “Head Coach”. I’m expecting that Day will be the main play caller with the “Offensive Coordinator” contributing.

    1. Steve K- you are remembering with rose colored glasses. Tressel’s play calling was often predictable and able to be defended, and the hallmark of his teams was most often the defense- the side he didn’t touch. If you expect Day to be the main play caller, what do you expect the TWO Offensive Coordinators to do?

  3. I am troubled by Day’s comments that he wants to maintain a “heavy hand” in the offense. That’s what the offensive coordinator/s are supposed to do, right? Make the play calls. Head Coach needs overrule authority only, he hires others to call plays. Don’t we have 2 of those guys already?

    1. Uh, I seem to recall Woody was his own offensive coordinator.

      1. Think the game’s changed just a LITTLE since Woody was coaching, Mark? Uh…yeah. Think Woody had a bit more gravitas than anyone who has ever coached at OSU? Uh..yeah.

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