NW Buckeye's picture
September 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Urban Meyer and Chris Spielman just could not say enough about Braxton not having a set of headphones on while he was on the sidelines during the Akron game.  It became obnoxiously repetitive as the game went on.  I found it interesting that neither one of them could understand how that could happen.  I'm not saying that either way (head phones on, head phone off) is correct, but casual observation of what was going on (from my seat in front of the TV) did not reveal any cause for alarm. 

It was quite obvious that the other 3 QB's were on headphones.  And, there was only one offensive coach on the sidelines.  The rest were in the press box, most likely contributing to the play calling, and communicating with those 3 QB's on the sidelines who were signaling in the plays.  Each of the headphoned QB's generally communicate with a separate coach in the press box.  The system used often varies.  Sometimes the three get specific signals for separate positions (one does the line, one the receivers, and one the backs).  Or, it could be that 2 of them are signaling dummy plays and one is hot (signaling the real play.)  This may sound simple, but it actually can get quite involved.  Now, some coaching staffs may opt to use it as a learning experience for those not in the game, and others view the job of play calling a primary duty that needs as few distractions as possible.  My guess is the OSU views it as the latter. 

What was also interesting to note (as has been pointed out by various bloggers on this site) was that Braxton and his offensive unit seemed to be running a completely different set of plays than what Bauserman and his unit were running.  So there is the possibility that having Braxton on the phones learning Bauserman's plays could have been counter productive to the task at hand.  So often with a young Q the best philosophy is KISS.  Whatever it was, it seemed to work.  Braxton's first series was a 3 and out only because of a dropped pass and a bad snap - Braxton did not F up.  When he came back into the game in the second half, he looked quite crisp, and performed well.  Yet, I did not notice Urban or Chris backtracking on their earlier comments. 

This really is a case of the commentators falling in love with their own commentating.  They really liked what they were saying.  They just could not open themselves up to the possibility of a different system than what they were accustom to.  It is my best guess that Fickell and his staff opts to teach more through video review rather than trying to add more thought process during games.  And, for what it is worth, it was very effective for play calling.  Did any of you notice "Delay of Game" penalties on the Buckeyes?  The plays seemed to get in quite promptly, and there was plenty of time for the Q's to check down to audibles.  That, to me, was a refreshing change from what we have grown accustom to. 

There are many different approaches to using headphones during the game.  Just watching the games this last Saturday proved that.  Brady Hoke at MI apparently doesn't want to talk to anybody because he has no headset on during a game.  Jo Paterno was in the press box with no headset on during Penn State's game.  And, some coaches (not mentioning any names here, Kelly) seem to just want to have them on so they can rip them off and throw them to the turf. 

My real point here is that there are different approaches to how you use the headphones.  None of them are wrong, and they probably all have some sound reasoning behind them.  For two commentators to make such a big deal out of how there are used is ridiculous and detracts from the real game.  Please, Urban and Chris, focus more on the action taking place on the field. 

View 2 Comments