The sky is the limit... unless you have a ceiling

BuckeyeBred's picture
August 22, 2013 at 11:07p

I've seen some interviews in the past few weeks from Tom Herman discussing Braxton's ceiling and how the staff is trying to push and evaluate how great Braxton can truly be.  There is no question Braxton is an exceptionally dynamic player who is capable of things on the football field that only a very small handful of QBs can even dream of - let alone execute.  After watching the spring game a few (hundred.. let's face it, that's all we got to see for eight months) times, I was a little concerned that I wasn't seeing a more polished passer that was able to make quick decisions and pick apart the secondary.  Now I do realize he was playing against the Buckeye defense, and I also realize the defense was able to key in on the pass because they knew we weren't going to run with him (which takes away a major defensive concern considering XBrax360's world-class jukes and running ability), but there were far too many times that he seemed to take forever in the pocket and either got sacked or dumped down to the backs for modest gains. 

I wish I could have watched that scrimmage the other day to help assuage my fears that he is indeed turning into a QB that makes prudent and decisive throws from the pocket when called upon; however, I haven't quite seen it yet. 

This season will tell what we have on our hands, but is anyone else worried that Braxton has a low ceiling when it comes to his decision-making ability in the passing game? 

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buckeye_heart's picture

Only time will tell. I do hope that he doesn't feel like he has something to prove with his passing game by holding on to the ball too long and not wanting to run when its open because he wants to complete that pass instead. With more experience as the season goes on his decision making is only going to get better.

Knarcisi's picture

You have to remember this is only his 2nd year with real coaching.

AngryWoody's picture

That was the spring game. The thing you have to think about is that he has had the whole summer to work on his fundamentals as a passer. With OSU not having a bowl game (and the extra 15 or so practices that come with it), and Braxton still having classes, the time for him to have any quality practice between the end of the season and the spring game was next to zero. So it sorta makes sense you wouldn't see any real improvement in his mechanics from the end of the season to spring ball.
Now you look at this summer, he hasn't had any classes and has worked with Whitfield and I'm sure some other quarterback coaches back here in Ohio. These last three months have been basically "Braxton learns how to throw time". I think if we come into this year and Braxton still can't throw then it's time to panic because he probably is a "Denard"....meaning he will never learn.
Basically don't be worried about the spring game. As far as Braxton's development goes it didn't mean much. Eight days from now is a different story....
But yeah I really do worry about him never developing. Honestly there is probably a 50-50 chance he never learns how to throw, as sad as that is. I'd say in less time than we think (three or four weeks) we will know the answer to that question for sure though.

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BuckeyeBred's picture

Great points by you and Knarcisi. Those extra bowl practices would have been extremely helpful for Braxton.  I do think he is already head and shoulders above Denard in the passing category, thankfully.  Denard was a very dangerous player on the ground (probably better speed than Braxton but B has much better shake), but as you said, Denard never seemed to "get it" in the pocket. 
Y'all have put some things in perspective in terms of how much time B really has lost in development with offensive/QB gurus.  I appreciate Fickell as part of the Buckeye family, but perhaps an analogy could be made that we pulled a talented kid out of a failing school and it's just going to take him some time to make up for lost seasons in the new honors program before he begins to show all his abilities and thrive.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Sounds as if you're concerned about his intellect.

BuckeyeBred's picture

The great thing about Braxton is that we don't have to concern ourselves with his intellect, work-ethic, desire to lead, or his off-the-field exploits.  He is solid in all those areas.  What I really hope to see this year is an improvement in his anticipation skills.  A lot of talk has been made about his technique, which is great that he is focused on perfecting the fundamentals, but what I'm looking for is how well he identifies and takes advantage of openings in the defense.   Essentially, I'm psyched to see him become a passer the likes of Troy Smith - a guy who can read the defense and know where an opening is about to occur before it even happens.  Sure, you can get away with only hitting the wide open guys against the Sisters of the Poor, but to beat the elite teams in CFB, or any team in the NFL, you have to be able to know what is going to happen before it occurs.  I haven't seen that yet - and I can't wait until he breaks through that necessary milestone in his career.

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

I agree with this. But after seeing Braxton himself laugh at the question "What tips would you give a defender trying to tackle you?" on CFB Live I remembered that we have the most versatile QB in the nation right now.  Of course I'm banking on the fact that Braxton worked much much much harder than Johnny SignThis during the offseason.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Your fears are unfounded.  They are the stuff of overdone potatoes and greasy curly fries in a river of chili.  You'll only give yourself an ulcer thinking that way.
Mr. Miller is in fine hands...he has improved, and greatly...he has weapons of mass destruction at his fingertips, and can now toss the missile around with deadly accuracy.  He reads defensive players better, goes through progressions correctly, and identifies the best receiver option within that four to six second window, and does it behind one of the best offensive lines in the country...and still has the ability to escape and make a play.
"We got this, coach.  We got this." (quote by Brax in "Quest for the Crystal Princess")

I like cookies.

Fugelere's picture

This post made me hungry for some reason.

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

I agree with everybody, plus even if Braxton runs...well, to put it bluntly, the guy could escape from the center of Damascus at high noon wearing a USA shirt and a platinum, diamond encrusted cross on a gold chain.  All he would need is cleats and some eye black and he would amaze the world while uniting a country against a common enemy.  

pjtobin's picture

I'm sure he is better than last year. He is improving everyday. IN URBAN I TRUST!

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad.