Urban Meyer's Tight Rope Walk With Joe Burrow And Transfer Talk

Urban Meyer's Tight Rope Walk With Joe Burrow And Transfer Talk

BuckeyeWire

Urban Meyer's Tight Rope Walk With Joe Burrow And Transfer Talk


Aside from the crazy grasp of winter, Joe Burrow transferring has been the main topic of the spring in Columbus. The whole situation puts Urban Meyer in a precarious position.


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Urban Meyer’s Tight Rope Walk With Joe Burrow And Transfer Talk

It seems like a foregone conclusion. But what if it isn’t until it is? I mean, either he will or he won’t, and when he does then he did. Because wherever you go, there you are.

Are you with me?

The Unknown

Will he or won’t he? That question could be asked about Joe Burrow from a few different obtuse angles. Will he be named the starter? If not, will he still get some playing time — and even more importantly — will he air-lift out of CBus for more playing time if he isn’t the sharpshooter pulling the trigger for the Ohio State offense in 2018?

We of course don’t know the answer to any of these questions, and it appears as though the coaches have yet to formulate talking points on the matter either. And it’s not for trying, or like Urban Meyer and company aren’t prepared, it’s likely that they just don’t know yet.

And that has to have the wheels turning inside that creative mind of Urban Frank Meyer. How does he handle this thing?

The Conflict

At the least, there has to be at least a little internal conflict. On one shoulder, as the coach of THE Ohio State University — and one that is paid handsomely — he has a duty to do what’s right for all the Scarlet and Gray voices in his head.

And on the other shoulder, there’s what’s right for the kid and his family. A family he sat down with in a cozy living room in Athens, Ohio — one where he more than likely pledged to take care of their son like he was his.

Oh, the contradiction has to be killing him.

Look, it sure feels like Dwayne Haskins will be the guy. I think when it’s all said and done, he will be listed as No. 1 because of what he has done in real-time game experience. He is composed, accurate and talented, and it happened in outside of a practice on a Wednesday afternoon.

But still, I believe there’s part of Urban Meyer that believes Joe Burrow still has a shot at this thing. That Haskins hasn’t separated himself enough to be named starter, or he would have been already.

The Facts

You see, Meyer knows that kids can develop over a summer and into fall camp, and just because Haskins might be slightly ahead now, Burrow could still catch and pass him. It’s probably not likely, but possible.

And this is all before we even start talking about the other elephant in a crowded room full of pachyderms, Tate Martell. He too figures to get some playing time somewhere, and how that will all fit on a flow-chart has yet to be determined.

So what do you do with Joe? We all know he’s set himself up to graduate prior to the fall by loading up on classes. He did it to keep his options open should such a thing arise.

Arise it has.

The Options

So what do you do if you are Urban Meyer? Do you tell the kid that he’s still in the running but hasn’t grabbed the starting spot? Do that, and there’s a chance he bolts on a transfer rocket straight out-of-town.

Do you inform Burrow that Haskins is the guy right now and risk the same? Or, do you spin it to where you tell him he’ll play regardless of what happens and can still grab the starting spot as the competition goes on into the fall with a two (or three) quarterback system?

Oh, the choices.

Who knows what Burrow is thinking? I’m sure the coaches have talked to him and he’s saying one thing, but for a kid that has kept his options open, who’s to say that he’s not saying the right things for the same reason on this end?

If you are an ultimate competitor — and Burrow is — then you want to be THE guy, not A guy among a blend of worthy options.

For that reason, it’s quite possible that the only way Joe Burrow stays in Columbus is if he’s told that he will be the starter, and relatively soon. And also for that reason, Urban Meyer has to get on this thing the best he can.

The History

There is some history to draw from here. If you remember, this isn’t the first time Meyer has had to deal with this sort of thing. In 2015, Cardale Jones was wrestling with declaring for the NFL Draft. He had just been dropped into a championship blender and told to make a championship smoothie out what was before him.

He did just fine, thank you — leading the Buckeyes to a dominating win over Wisconsin, a semi-final surprise over Alabama, and ultimately, a Texas-sized national title in Jerry’s World.

And we thought for all the world that he was off to the NFL because there’s no way his draft stock could get any higher with Barrett coming back from injury and Braxton Miller expected to also enter the fray after rehabbing his shoulder.

Somehow, someway, Meyer was able to say the right things to get Jones to play one more year with all the uncertainty of being the man going on. Of course we all know how it played out. Jones started as the main option only to be replaced by Barrett mid-way through the season because of an offense that sputtered at times.

Twelve-Gauge eventually found his way to the NFL anyway.

The Bottom Line

And that’s the point isn’t it? Meyer can draw from previous examples. Not only was there the 2014 year when he had to go three-deep into his quarterback depth chart, but that third-stinger is still in the NFL and still got enough snaps at Ohio State to get that done.

But that still needs to be spun more than yarn in a sweater factory.

The truth is, Ohio State needs Joe Burrow. I do believe that Dwayne Haskins is going to be one whale of a quarterback in this system, but you, I, and anyone with a football IQ knows that you can never have too many good quarterbacks on the roster, and that at some point, Burrow will likely get a shot because of injury or situation.

He’ll get a chance to show what he can do, and may even get to realize his dream if he stays at Ohio State despite not being listed on the top line of the depth chart.

But is that good enough for Burrow? Only time will tell.

The clock is ticking …

 

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