If reporters and fans aren't sure how to figure out what's going to happen with Ohio State having three experienced, successful starting quarterbacks, they aren't alone. Sounds like new quarterbacks coach Tim Beck is right there with them.
Of course, that's a little different since sorting through the reps and the talent and the knowledge of the position to pick a starter is actually part of his job description -- a big part, of course -- but Beck seems a lot less worried about it than the folks on the outside.
"I just come to work everyday, roll up my sleeves, learn as much as I can and coach as hard as I can," Beck said Thursday. "That's kind of my philosophy right now."
There are a few reasons he can keep things that simple at this point.
For one, the Buckeyes don't necessarily need a starting quarterback until the beginning of September when they play their first game. Second, only one of the trio of Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller is fully healthy and therefore full-go this spring.
But perhaps the biggest reason Beck can be more relaxed than the average coach in his position -- that of needing to figure out who is going to be a team's No. 1 quarterback, something that goes on across the country at countless campuses every year -- because he has the good fortune of having noteworthy experience behind all three options.
In essence Beck has 50 percent less concern than the average coach looking for a starter this time of year because whichever quarterback he picks, it will be someone who knows what playing the position successfully on a big stage is like.
"I've never been a part of having guys that have played in games and have been as successful as all of those guys have, but again I come out here and I'm, 'Who's up? OK, your footwork's this.' That's what I'm worried about."
Yes, the coach admitted he is working as much to catch up with what is going on with the Ohio State offense as he is to teach it. Beck said little has changed from the operation run so successfully by head coach Urban Meyer, coordinator Tom Herman and co-coordinator Ed Warinner for the past three years now that he is replacing Herman.
"Right now, and I know this will sound like a cliche, I promise you there's so much going on with me I'm coaching the guy who's going as hard as he can," Beck said. "That's what I'm worried about. Trust me, I'm trying to figure out routes (and other Xs and Os), and the last thing I'm worried about is what could happen down the road."
As for the players in the upcoming competition, they sounded mostly like they're just going with the flow as spring ball slowly gets going.
A school spokesman said Miller, like Jones and Barrett, was given the option to speak with reporters but chose not to.
When it was suggested to Beck that Miller's choice seemed odd, the coach disagreed.
"No, I don't know that it's odd," Beck said. "That's up to him. I'm not gonna speak for him and put words into his mouth or where he's going to be, but he's a great young man. He really is. I really like him. Great young man."
Jones said the bond between the three is stronger than it has ever been, and Beck called the dynamic between them incredible.
"They love each other. They cheer for each other, help coaching each other -- it's a great group of guys," Beck said.
Asked if balancing friendship with competing for a starting job was hard, Barrett said no.
"I think that's the thing, you just worry about yourself and trying to focus on getting better each and every day, whether it be my health or even out here on the field and also in the film room and meetings and things like that," said Barrett, who is limited physically as he recovers from ankle surgery. Miller continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. "Worry about yourself and then make sure you're able to compete when you're able to."
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