Daniels discusses staff opening, more

OSU QB coach Joe Daniels had himself quite a recruiting season as he was heavily involved in the recruitment of the star players OSU brought in from Pennsylvania. With OSU football though, things only stop long enough to take a breath before moving on to focus on what's next.

Ohio State's search for a new running backs coach and wide receivers coach continues.

"No, nothing new to report at all," quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels told Bucknuts.com today.

The Buckeyes would like to fill the vacancies as soon as possible, but they are not rushing the decision.

"You know what, I don't think we've really put a time frame on it, other than the sooner the better for our circumstances, because spring practice is coming and all that," Daniels said. "But we haven't limited ourselves and said, ‘We have to get it done by the end of the week,' or something like that."

Head coach Jim Tressel could be considering a vast number of candidates. Or, it could be a short list.

"It could be as many as you want it to be; we're not putting limits on it," Daniels said.

There is never a true "down time" for OSU's coaches – it is every bit of a year-round job – but Daniels has finally been able to catch his breath over the last week. He was largely responsible for Ohio State's recruiting purge on Pennsylvania this year, landing three of the state's top 10 players.

"Trying to come down a little bit from recruiting and all those things, but things are going well," Daniels said. "Just looking ahead to spring ball."

This is a crucial spring for the Bucks as sophomore quarterbacks Justin Zwick and Troy Smith will battle for the job.

"I'm looking forward to it – let's get started," Daniels said. "It should be interesting. It should be a lot of fun."

Zwick is the clear frontrunner heading into spring. Tressel indicated that Zwick began to emerge mid-season of 2003, running neck-and-neck with Scott McMullen. Zwick then came on even more in bowl practice.

"I think he looked good," Daniels said of the Fiesta Bowl preparations. "Basically what happened, I think, he's just starting to understand things more and more. And that's a big part of it. Once you start to understand things and things fall into place that way, then things start to make sense to you. That's when it becomes easier and a lot more fun. So, I think that's what basically happened to him. He just found out that, you know, this goes with this and that goes with that. And all of a sudden when you understand it, it's a lot easier."

And Zwick's experience – albeit on the high school level – also gives him a nice advantage, right?

"Oh, I think there's no question," Daniels said.

Daniels, who came to OSU in 2001 with an impressive background in spread offenses and pro-style sets (offensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2000; receivers coach in the NFL from 1983-87 with the Browns and Bills) will get a chance to work exclusively with the quarterbacks this season.

"Well, I think that's just it: the concentration aspect of it," he said about the shift in responsibilities. "When you have both quarterbacks and receivers, they tie in so closely, so it's not that difficult. But, right now, if that's the way we go, the concentration factor will be important. It will be less guys to work with, but there's going to be a lot of things to focus on."


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