In an impromptu interview after practice on Thursday that began when Herman drifted over to the interview sessions already taking place, the third-year offensive coordinator dished on a variety of topics. However, the one he spoke longest and most animatedly about was the idea that player safety is being used as an idea to slow down fast-pace offenses.
"From what I've seen, there's no evidence that playing faster... (causes harm)," he said. "Yeah, I get it, more snaps, but snaps are snaps. However fast you go, if you want to limit the amount of snaps, then limit the amount of snaps. Make the game, 'Ok, you've got until 70 snaps, and then that's the end of the game.' Don't put four quarters on it, don't put overtime, don't have a playoff system. Are we going to turn down a playoff bid because we don't want our guys playing an extra game's worth of plays?
"Every time I get in my car, I have a chance of getting in an accident. If I drove 24 hours a day, does that chance increase? Absolutely. But we're not asking these kids to.... I'm probably saying too much."
A reporter pointed out that he would probably be a better driver by increasing his time behind the wheel.
"And in fact, I'd probably be a better driver at the end of the day. You're right. Thank you."
In more Buckeye-specific news, Herman broke down the race between backup quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett but refused to speculate as to which player might win the backup job vacated by the graduation of Kenny Guiton.
He did mention that both players were the beneficiary of quality snaps that they likely would not have seen were senior quarterback Braxton Miller not out of spring practice after having shoulder surgery. Barrett especially seems to be in position for a golden opportunity, as Herman hinted that had he been the third quarterback, his reps would have been much more limited.
So what does he want to see out of his underclassman signal callers?
First and foremost, consistency. But he also wants to see each quarterback play to his strengths as opposed to trying to fix uncontrollable deficiencies.
"I told J.T. everybody gets paid to do different things in my room," Herman said. "J.T., you don't get paid to run 4.3 like Braxton or get paid to be 6-5 like Cardale. You get paid to be accurate, so be accurate. The only thing you have to do is make great decisions and be accurate.
"Cardale, you get paid to get the ball out of your hands, and this is what you get paid to do, so do that and do it really, really well and then we'll continue to enhance the other part. I'm never going to make J.T. Barrett 6-5, and I'm never going to make Cardale... I'm never going to change his release or whatever his deficiencies are. Those can't be changed, so let's accentuate our strengths and make sure our strengths shine through in these practices and then we'll kind of go from there."
As that race unfolds, Miller has been relegated to watching from the sidelines. He won't be without homework, though. Herman said that in order to give him mental reps, they've attached a camera to his hat during practice. Instead of focusing on what he's looking at though, they're more interested in what he's saying.
Miller is expected to break down the defense as well as the offensive options on any given play, and that film is later analyzed by the OSU coaching staff. Herman said that Miller is an incredibly knowledgeable player but sometimes struggles to verbalize it. That's a probably they're working on fixing, especially since Miller will face the scrutiny of NFL coaches and scouts next spring.
The third quarterback in the backup race is true freshman Stephen Collier, just months removed from high school. Herman said that the Georgia native has appeared to be a little overwhelmed at times, but the offensive coordinator also added that Collier looks good in drills and he expects him to progress just fine. Right now, he is receiving limited snaps.
As for Guiton? He may be a graduate assistant at Ohio State one year, but it won't be this one. The fan favorite is currently pursuing his shot at the NFL. When his playing days come to a close, however, count Herman as one of the people who hopes he'll return to Columbus.
"I hope that opportunity will still be there for him," Herman said.