At a time when the NFL is becoming increasingly impatient with its quarterbacks, the man who coached one of this year’s quarterback prospects is suggesting the exact opposite.
Via Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said that the team that takes Cardale Jones will need to be willing to take their time.
“I think there’s going to have to be patience, an excellent quarterback coach that’s going to have to earn his trust,” Meyer said. “There’s going to have to be a great relationship there; he’s a relationship-type guy. He and [former OSU offensive coordinator] Tom Herman were very close and that took three years.
“It’s going to be dictated by the team that takes him, the amount of patience and the relationship he develops with the quarterback coach.”
While not overtly negative in tone or content regarding Jones, Meyer’s words send a message that could make plenty of teams without the luxury of patience scratch the player’s name from their draft board. And that wasn’t the only passive-aggressive commentary from the man who won a national championship thanks in large part to Jones’ performance.
“A really good skill set, intellectual, very smart, wasn’t necessarily very good at school,” Meyer said of Jones. “I wonder if that kind of set him back a little bit. That’s one difference between pro and college — now he doesn’t have to worry about classes and going to school and all that stuff. He can focus completely on football.”
Right, but part of focusing completely on football includes having the ability to, you know, focus completely on football. And everything that goes along with that at the NFL level. Studying film. Mastering a playbook. Putting in the work necessary to connect the dots and get it done in real time.
“I think he’s a very sharp person. He loves football,” Meyer said. “Discipline will be big — when I say do the right thing, the best quarterbacks are complete students of the game and that’s all they do.
“The quarterbacks that weren’t — we’ve witnessed a couple tough situations in the NFL the last couple years — are the ones that are all over the place, more worried about social stuff going on and they fail. This will be big. How he attacks this opportunity is going to be key.”
The candid assessment may indeed be accurate, but Jones probably would prefer that it be communicated privately and not publicly. Since Jones didn’t earn a dime (and Meyer earned thousands of them) based on Jones’ efforts, the least Meyer could do is save the pep talks for phone calls and text messages to the player and confine his remarks to the media to the say-something-while-saying-nothing content that so many coaches have mastered when discussing matters of direct relevance to their team.
“Whoever drafts him will have to have a little bit of patience,” Meyer said. “The unfortunate thing in the NFL: There’s not a whole lot of patience.”
The unfortunate thing in college football: There’s not a whole lot of loyalty.