Today’s Topic: What Now For the Buckeye Quarterbacks?
The Buckeyes have gone through winter workouts and now spring football has come and gone, but this is only the beginning.
Work rarely stops inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and that is certainly the case for the Ohio State quarterbacks.
Sophomore Justin Fields and redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin are attempting to replace Dwayne Haskins, but it was never going to happen by April.
“You get these 15 practices and then you get to the summer when the ball comes out and we can’t be there, so they’ve got to continue to enhance through the summer months,” co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said.
Most of the football work during the summer has to be organized by the players. The quarterbacks will throw to the receivers at every available opportunity in order to build a rapport and also just to get better.
They’ll also put what they learned in the spring to good use, and so will the coaches.
“It’s tough. It’s not coachspeak or phony, but sometimes you’re really just trying to figure it out and it takes a little bit of time,” Wilson said. “I think the worst thing we can do is force it. I think it’s bad to say, ‘Matt Baldwin can’t do this, so don’t force it.’ Maybe Matt can, he just needs a little bit of time.”
There is no doubt that both quarterbacks improved this spring and know the offense better than they did three months ago, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.
“When you get 15 practices, three times a week, sometimes maybe you need a little bit more,” Wilson said. “Help him through summer and preseason. It takes time. Don’t rush the time. It’s beginning that second week of preseason when you really start figuring out where you’re going.”
As the coaches assess their quarterbacks, they also have to develop the rest of the offense. There is a running game that needs to be better than it was a year ago, after all.
“Between now and then we need to make sure we’re not having so much fun that we get all over the place and you’re not developing the toughness you need for offense or the pass protection you need or the quality of play,” Wilson said. “As you look at the things these guys can do, you can become the jack of all, and you don’t master anything. So it’s where we’ve got to be smart. Sometimes less is more.”