An open letter to Urban Meyer: Stop complaining

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An open letter to Urban Meyer: Stop complaining

By Alex Wise / Staff Writer

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There’s an old adage in sports that having depth is a “good problem.” If that’s true, then Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer has more than just a problem on his hands.

Dear Mr. Meyer, 

You have a good crisis: too many talented quarterbacks.

Just for fun, we’ll have this exchange without considering Joe Burrow, your 4- or 5-star (depending on which recruiting publication you trust) quarterback prospect who earned Mr. Football honors in Ohio last year.

Senior Braxton Miller, one of the preseason frontrunners for last season’s Heisman Trophy before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the year, is healthy again. Freshman J.T. Barrett, who filled Miller’s position to the tune of a 10-1 record and a spot in the Big Ten title game, has recovered from the ankle injury he suffered in the Buckeyes’ final regular season game against the University of Michigan. And sophomore Cardale Jones, a third stringer whose short resumé includes the Big Ten Championship and a national title, returns to the squad.

On Tuesday, you said that the looming notion of having to pick your starter is “starting to eat away at (you) a little bit.”

Sorry, Meyer, but I’ll let this one devour you before I make any attempts to stop it.

Nobody feels sorry for the person who has it all, and Ohio State’s quarterback conundrum is even less pity-worthy than Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari nervously pondering how he would divvy up playing time for his shipping crate full of McDonald’s All-Americans. Nobody sympathized with him before the season began, and nobody sympathizes now that they’ve won a bajillion games in a row.

Take notes, Mr. Meyer.

You recently said that the worst part of “QuarterbackGate” — trademark pending — is that “two people are going to have to watch,” but this simply isn’t true. Every football program in America would be more than happy to take one of your two “watchers” and make them “doers.”

I know this guy named Pat Narduzzi who just took a coaching job in western Pennsylvania at some school people call “Pitt.” Narduzzi would love to have Miller leading his offense. Or Barrett. Or even Jones. Fans — fans who, might I add, consistently fill two-thirds of their stadium to 100 percent capacity — would welcome any one of them like a hero. If one of them moved their talents one state over, you’d have one less thing to worry about, Meyer.

It’s a good plan. I’ll tell Narduzzi to expect your call.

In all seriousness, though, you’re being a bit optimistic about your quarterback situation. Two of your guys will watch from the sidelines. You have that right. But football is a rough game: You learned that firsthand last season.

I don’t mean to sound negative Nancy here, but who’s to say that history won’t repeat itself? Obviously nobody wants to see kids get hurt, but your job is to think practically. Miller has a history of injuries, and the last time we saw Barrett’s ankle it was facing a direction that ankles aren’t supposed to face. Those kinds of things aren’t insignificant.

Will you choose Miller, one of the best players the Big Ten has seen in the last decade? Or maybe Barrett, who rewrote the Ohio State record book last year? Or perhaps Jones, the one who won you those shiny trophies and earned you those massive bonuses?

I’m sure that bitter Florida fans and the state of Michigan will join me in saying that I wish you nothing but the best in making this difficult choice. Just stop complaining about it.



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