Why Ohio State's Ryan Day will let someone else call plays for him

Feb. 18—The last time Ohio State football coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters, he talked about hoping to be able to give up play calling this season.

"There's a lot of guys, particularly in the NFL who call it who are also making those decisions in game, and I think they do a great job," Day said. "So I think you have a good feel for what's going on in the game and a little more control. I guess sometimes you can get a little bit laser-focused on what's going on in terms of the play calls as opposed to maybe sometimes the situation, so there are pluses and minuses."

After hiring Chip Kelly to be his offensive coordinator, that appears as if he will be able to hand off those duties, something he also considered last year before ultimately not doing so.

But if calling plays is one of Day's strengths as a coach, should he not want to keep doing it?

Well, he does want to, but Day has concluded he probably shouldn't.

"Well, I haven't done it yet, so we'll see, but I know that is the ideal situation moving forward," Day said. "I know that it has to happen. There's so much going on right now in college football. Do I want to? No. I love the football part of it. I love calling plays. I love being in there."

Calling plays involves more than deciding what to do in a given moment on game day. It starts with game-planning during the week.

"It could be a Wednesday night and I'm thinking about what to call on third-and-4 on the 21-yard line in the third quarter of a game," Day said. "Those are the kind of things you rehearse in your mind and it takes a lot of work."

He has concluded that time during the week would be better used to make sure everyone is on task in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, that he is available to put out whatever fires might start here or there.

"Like any year, you have to come off of the season and try to identify what's important moving forward, what's important for the next calendar year, what's important for the next three years, what's important for the next five years," Day said. "Always look at that to figure out what needs to be done.

"So you start off with your roster, and then you go to the staff, and you just try to do everything you can to make sure that you're making the adjustments that need to be made based on things you've learned based on what you've seen the past season."

And giving up play calling was something he decided was important.

It should give him more mental bandwidth that could be beneficial on game day, too.

"I feel like when you're calling the game, you're a little more in control of the situation. You know what's going on. If you don't like the look, you can call timeout," Day said.

"There's just so many more things when you're actually calling the game that you're in control of, but I do think having somebody else call the game will allow me to step back and see things from a wider lens."

That can include checking in on other units, making sure he is on top of the clock situation and deciding ahead of time when he might want to go for two or try to convert a fourth down.

"There's pluses and minuses to both situations," Day said. "We can sit back and look at stuff that went on the playoffs, our game, when do you go for it? When do you not go for it? Decisions that are made, and listen, we can second guess all those things, but I do think being able to step back will give me a little bit of a wider lens on things (will be good).