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Ohio State’s Urban Meyer discusses his team and his future at Rose Bowl Media Day

Meyer said that he talked to Ryan Day about his philosophy about whether or not a head coach should call plays.

NCAA Football: Urban Meyer-Press Conference Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

On Sunday morning, Urban Meyer and members of the Ohio State team participated in the official Rose Bowl Media Day. Whether it was because most of the beat writers had been speaking to players and coaches throughout the week, or because the focus on the game is less important since it is not a CFP semifinal, or simply because of the historic nature of Meyer (and potentially others) leaving after the game, the questions focused less on the Rose Bowl itself, and more on the future.

Urban Meyer

Rose Bowl

  • Meyer said that being in the Granddaddy of Them All means a great deal to him and his staff, but he was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t need to do much motivation to get the players excited about playing in that game.
  • He admitted that obviously they were disappointed to not be in playoff, it quickly turned to excitement to be representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.

Dwayne Haskins

  • Meyer said that the way that Dwayne Haskins has handled his success this year has been incredibly impressive, and it is a testament to how his parents raised him. He said that Haskins has gone from being an average leader to be well above average in the past month and a half or so.
  • The coach said that he always recommends to players of Haskins’ stature and ability to focus on humility, and to keep a very small circle of trusted influencers, and to listen to them.
  • Meyer admitted that he hadn’t put much thought into Haskins’ upcoming decision of whether to return for another year in Columbus or not. The coach said that he will need to do a lot more research before sitting down to discuss it with Haskins.
  • The out-going coach said that he never expected anyone to beat J.T. Barrett’s records, but Haskins destroyed them. He said that with Ryan Day working with him, Haskins has come a long way. He added that it helps that “he’s throwing to probably best group of receivers in Ohio State history.”

His Future

  • He said that while he will miss “hoisting trophies,” the next best thing for him is seeing the success that players have after their football careers, and he is excited to continue that in his new role.
  • Meyer said that he is glad that other programs are copying their player-development model, including Real Life Wednesdays. He said that for far too long the system has “used the players,” and it is about time that the players use the system as much as possible. He said that’s what college athletics should be about.
  • The coach said that he has been working closely with OSU’s Fisher College of Business for a few years as they have helped the football team recruit a number of players. So, when he was approached to co-teach a class on leadership, it made sense.
  • He said that he didn’t want to teach a class with 600 people, because then you don’t feel like you are having an influence on people’s lives, and that was what has always seemed to be missing when he did things outside of coaching.

Ryan Day and Advice for Being OSU’s Head Coach

  • Meyer said that he has learned a tremendous amount of football working with Day over the last few years.
  • Meyer explained that his former offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, Chip Kelly, and Ryan Day are all from close to each other in New Hampshire, and Mullen asked if he could hire him at Florida. That was the first time that he met Day, when he became a GA for the Gators.
  • He then went and visited the Philadelphia Eagles when Kelly was the head coach and Day was the QB coach. Meyer said that he left taking a lot of notes on how Day ran meetings. He said that there was a considerable amount of progress in Day from Florida to Philadelphia.
  • When asked about how his approach to calling plays as a head coach has changed throughout his career. He said that he thinks that head coaches should be game manager. There have been games where he has called 60 percent of plays, but there have been games where it has been five percent, but he has never been a primary play-caller.
  • Meyer explained that he has spoken with Day about his philosophy on this. He said that if you are going to be a play-caller, that needs to be something that you focus on throughout the weeks. So, in doing that, you lose the connections that you have with players on the other said of the ball.
  • He said that it was important to him to have as good of a relationship with Pete Werner as he does with Parris Campbell.

Safety Play

  • Meyer admitted that it has been a difficult year for OSU’s safeties, but that they have improved tremendously throughout the season. He said that if they keep improving, all of the guys in the rotation have a future in football.
  • He said that while Brendon White was not ready to compete at the beginning of the season, but he has worked himself into a position to be a major contributor for the Buckeyes.

College Football Playoff Expansion

  • He said that he is concerned about the potential expansion of the College Football Playoff. He said that he will always be a student-athlete advocate, and he worries that if an extra game, it could be potentially damaging to player, since those extra games are against incredibly tough and talented teams.
  • He added that while he is not against CFP expansion, but he thinks that the players need to be at the forefront of all of these discussions.

Tate Martell

Back-up quarterback Tate Martell’s Media Day session was not live-streamed, but thanks to a handful of Ohio State beat writers, we’ve got some A+ quotes from the Las Vegas native.

Miscellaneous Notes

More notes from the non-live-streamed interviews.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Washington Huskies on Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET in the 105th Rose Bowl. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, and we will have you covered from all angles, before, during, and after the game here at Land-Grant Holy Land.