Football

Two-Minute Drill: Ryan Day, Chip Kelly Press Conferences Following Ohio State’s First Spring Practice

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State opened up spring football with its first practice on Tuesday morning. Head coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly met with the media immediately following practice.

Here are the highlights.

Ryan Day

+ As a team they are working on the non-talent issues. Different players are in different stages of their careers. It was great energy out there which was a continuation of the off-season, which went great.

+ Chip Kelly is a huge part of the offense and the run game. He is excited about the players they have there, how the offensive line will develop, and how mobile all of the quarterbacks are. They will continue to develop what’s right for Ohio State. Kelly has been great and it’s going to be a fun journey to go on.

+ On Sonny Styles at linebacker, Day said they want to put players in the best positions and Styles has embraced that. His skillset is versatile, “you will see him at linebacker and doing other things as time goes on.”

+ On working with the quarterbacks, Day said Kelly is coaching the quarterbacks, and they have learned from each other there. Day will still be very much involved but Kelly will run the meetings. “There’s a lot of give and take there.”

+ The quarterbacks have good leadership, had a good offseason in the weight room, and they had 157 reps today. “The more we can spread those around, the better.” Day is hoping to see some delineation at the end of the spring. They will all compete and the big focus right now is on reps and letting them develop, more than how they fit in with the scheme or chemistry of the offense.

+ They are able to get three groups equal reps right now. They have a pretty full roster with so many players coming in early.

+ “You don’t just walk into Ohio State and expect to be the starting quarterback.” There’s a lot of accountability and the players take a lot of pride in that. A lot of newcomers graded out as Gold, and that’s how they earn the respect of the players around them. It starts in the weight room but it’s going to matter when they get on the field.

+ It was important to keep most of the terminology of the offense the same, but Day learned a lot from Kelly in building the offense here. There’s a lot in common. Kelly has tweaked the run game and that has been important. But this is still the Ohio State offense because they want it to be sustainable.

+ Malik Hartford, Bryce West, Kourt Williams, Payton Pierce, and Miles Walker are unavailable this spring, but are expected to be back for the pre-season.

Chip Kelly

+ On the decision to come to Ohio State, it started when they were preparing for their bowl game, he coached their quarterbacks and thought that he hadn’t coached a position since 2008 and he was really happy. “The best part of football is football.” He has enjoyed not doing head coaching roles. He wanted to be happy and is really happy being here, a lot of things fell into place.

+ On the offensive line and bolstering the run game, Kelly said they are athletic, attentive to detail, and are developing. But the scheme is a work in progress and it’s a combination of what they have up front and who the backs are, but they can’t be one-dimensional.

+ On the quarterbacks, it will be a constant flow but the more reps they can get playing the game, the better the coaches can evaluate.

+ Ohio State is very collaborative. Everybody is trying to make each other better and improve as a team. The coaching staff is amazing.

+ Play calling will still be a collaborative effort, but he and Day have not discussed game day operations yet.

+ “I never thought about quitting or not coaching. I’m gonna coach and then I’m gonna die.”

+ On the pros and cons of calling the game from the box or the field, Kelly said “you can see better in the box but you can feel better on the field. Any way we can get a zip wire?”