Coach Day News Conference Transcript

Ohio State University Football Media Conference

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ryan Day

COACH DAY: … I think they bring really good coaching staff here. Coach Kiffin has coached at all levels in the NFL, SEC. He’s got a great background of football and understanding. And he’s going to bring a challenge to our defense.

They do a lot of great things on offense — create mismatches, tempo. He’s kind of innovative in terms of what he’s doing over there. So — and for a challenge there.

On defense they change their scheme. They have a new defensive coordinator, Glenn Spencer, who came from Charlotte. He was at Oklahoma State before that.

They bring a bunch of looks to the table, different coverages, different fronts. So not really having the opportunity to see those guys on film, we’ll have to be able to react during game, make adjustments.

But at the end of the day, we’re just fired up to play a game. Look forward to get going here on Saturday.

Q. There’s got to be a million things that you’re looking forward to seeing in the game on Saturday, how certain things play out. What are a few things that you’re most curious about. Is it how Justin plays at quarterback, the O line? Just what are a few things at the top of your list?
COACH DAY: The first thing is tackling. We have to tackle. We have to take care of the football. And we have to block. So those are the three things that we’re really focused on going into this game. Playing a clean game is very, very important.

But then, that’s kind of why you want to get going with the season, figure out where we’re at. We have, you know, a new scheme on defense, new faces on offense. We want to see what we look like.

You play against the same offense and defense for a long period of time. It gets a little stale just in terms of the same look over and over again. Now you get to see different schemes against different players, find out what your matchups look like against other people and figure out where we get better. Because it’s a journey, not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination.

We want to get to Saturday and figure out where the issues are, get those fixed and figure out where we’re in good shape and keep enhancing those.

Q. You know exactly how it’s going to play out, but do you feel confident you know kind of how Justin is going to play or do you feel it’s a mystery at this point?
COACH DAY: I feel when you practice so many times you get a feel for what they’re going to do. Typically guys don’t change too much when they’re in a game. But this will be the first time he’s live.

We haven’t taken him to the ground. So that will be new. And we have to see how a lot of guys respond. We haven’t done a ton of tackling with the 1s. We have with the 2s. It’s been a very physical camp. But until you really tackle and you get out there, that’s when you figure things out.

You saw that Saturday night; when you get out there, start playing the game, it’s different than practice. So I think we’re going to expect to see the way that the guys have practiced, they’re going to play that way. There will be some jitters early on; that goes with the first game. But other than that, I think we’ll get what we see in practice.

Q. Last year you were really prioritizing continuity with Urban Meyers’ program. This is your first game as the head coach, full time. Is there anything you’re changing about the game-day structure for you guys? Still doing quick counts? Still having the offensive players give a pep talk and the defensive players — is there anything different this year?
COACH DAY: We’re doing a couple of things just leading up to the game, but in terms of the traditions that have been before, we want to keep all those going. That’s one of the great things about Ohio State — the skull sessions and the walk, the quick calls with the students — we actually did that; we had almost 5,000 students in the stadium the other day. We went through it and taught them the quick calls, unbelievable tradition. And then singing with the band afterwards.

All those things are what make Ohio State great. We want to keep that going and we’re embracing that. The guys on the team had to learn — the young guys had to learn the fight song. We sang the fight song in the locker room after the mock game on Saturday. We love the traditions. We have to keep them going.

Q. Have you ever had a quarterback who was a proficient punter?
COACH DAY: I don’t think so.

Q. (Indiscernible) quarterback punted six times last year. You don’t have a guy that has been capable of that, you don’t think?
COACH DAY: We have a pretty good punter in Drue Chrisman. So we like to use him. But there’s a lot of reasons schematically to do that quick punt that they do.

It kind of catches you off guard. And if you have somebody that can get the ball to roll, especially on a turf field, it can carry a lot of ground down the field and get you pinned if you’re playing the field-position game. And it works for them. But Drue’s our punter.

Q. Going back to Dave’s question from before, how satisfied are you with the five guys that you’ve settled on for the offensive line, considering the lack of game-starting experience that you had there in the beginning, to start camp? Are you pleased with those guys? Do you foresee them going in there most of the time? Are you thinking about rolling guys at this point?
COACH DAY: I think you’re going to see probably, you know, seven to eight guys playing in the game on Saturday. We’ll have our starting guys go out there, and I’ve said from the beginning, the guys who deserve to play in the game are going to have an opportunity to play. So we’ve got to make that decision going into the weekend and figure out, okay, does this guy deserve to play? Is he starting caliber? And if he is they’re going to play. Every position is a little different. But I think we have pretty good depth there.

Q. As you study this from last year coming into this year and going through camp, how do you feel about the way you guys executed scoring touchdowns in the red zone and whether it will be more of a strength than it was last year?
COACH DAY: I thought early on we did some good things throwing the ball. We got jammed up in two games. One of them was the Purdue game where we were not very good down there in the red zone. Then we came back after that week and kind of changed our philosophy a little bit down there. I thought from then on we were pretty good down there in terms of numbers.

That’s something we’ve spent a lot of time on in the offseason and figured out a way to do that. It’s a plan to win; you’ve got to score touchdowns when you’re in the red zone.

We have a good defense and special teams. We’ll have opportunities to get the ball down there, so we’ve got to make sure we’re scoring touchdowns in that area.

Q. When you had to use a lot of those — in the Nebraska game particularly, a lot of those heavy packages, does having someone like Justin maybe make you less reliable in having to get those extra bigger bodies out there; is that the plan?
COACH DAY: Well, he definitely has the capability to run more than Dwayne did. More like J.T. That’s something that’s obviously a weapon down there. As you get lower, that safety starts to get in the box. He’s less likely to be in the middle of the field. He gets closer.

So the numbers kind of favor the defense as you get tighter down into the red zone. Having the ability to have a quarterback who can run helps with those odds.

Q. You came out of the mock game over the weekend solidifying which coordinators will be up in the box and which ones will be on the field?
COACH DAY: Yeah, I think Mike and Kevin will be in the box. Jeff Hafley will be in the box. Greg Mattison will be on the sideline.

Q. Let us in a little bit on the play-calling structure defensively, how that’s going to work between Greg and Jeff?
COACH DAY: Those guys work together. Jeff’s really good upstairs in terms of recognizing what’s going on, how they’re being attacked, and that communication’s going back and forth there. And they come up with the game plan during the week.

And they’re communicating within the series in terms of what they want to get called — down and distance, things like that. So they give it to the signaller, and they signal in the defense and they go from there. But they do it together. And it’s been working so far.

We’ll see once we get into the games if there’s any kinks we need to work out.

Q. You guys are kind of in a situation where you want Justin to play as much as possible, gain as much experience. But you also want to keep him healthy. When you go into a game, do you feel that there’s a tightrope that you’re walking in terms of how long to keep him in? Do you have a plan for that if you guys get up big? How do you want to handle the preservation of Justin?
COACH DAY: I think you have to go into a game expecting to go win the game in the fourth quarter. You have to go into games thinking that way. If you start getting ahead of yourselves down the road — these guys are good. They’re well-coached and we have to make sure we’re ready to win the game in the fourth quarter. If you go down a different road you go down a bad path.

That being said, he’s got to go play the game. We can’t be walking on eggshells. We can’t go into a game worrying about people getting hurt. Our guys have to do a good job protection wise.

I think the schemes we imply each week are taking that into consideration, though. We’re not going to put somebody out there and put them in harm’s way when we don’t need to. But at the same time we’ve got to go win games. That means whatever it takes.

So as the game changes and whatever happens within the game, we try to make the best decision moving forward because it’s a long season.

Q. With Justin, I think everybody kind of has an idea what he’s able to do as a runner is just great athleticism. He can take it from there, and that maybe the further path he has to take in terms of arriving is passing. When you create these game plans, do you say, hey, we want to throw it more than you would otherwise to get him that experience or do you let him run and go at it the way he plays the best? How do you guys balance passing and running with the quarterback when he’s in a critical situation in terms of gaining experience?
COACH DAY: I think we try to find the plays that give us the best schematic advantage to score. And then as we start to play these games I think we’ll get a feel for his creativity as plays break down, what he can handle in terms of route combinations, his progressions, the way he sees things in a game.

I think we got a good feel for that in practice, but we have to take a look to see what are the plays that best fit the defense we’re going to see, that give us the best chance and go from there. The good news from Justin, he throws it just as good as he runs it vice versa. So if that means we need to throw the ball, we need to throw the ball, and guys need to protect and catch the ball and get open, and we’ve got to deliver ball.

If it means running, the guys up front have to run. And then J.K. has to run the ball. Every time we run the ball doesn’t mean Justin needs to be involved in that. There are some plays he will be.

But for the most part, if pay defense is giving us one thing over the other, then we’ve gotta do that.

Then there’s times where Justin has to read, our quarterback has to read whoever that defender is to figure out is he taking away the run or the pass. And those are run-pass options. And if you can do those things and make good decisions then he’s moving the offense down the field.

Q. I know you’ve been through game-day stuff already last year with three games. But since you were named the head coach in December there’s been a lot of whirlwind stuff — recruiting and getting Justin and all the stuff. Now that you’ve arrived here the anticipation with your family, everything, where are you at mentally in terms of just it’s here and this is what you’ve been preparing for?
COACH DAY: Even when you say that it fires me up. I can’t wait for the season to start. I can’t wait for these guys to start playing to kind of see where we’re at. I can’t wait to run out of the tunnel.

Had a long talk with Coach Meyer when I first took the job, and he used to say when “Hang on Sloopy” came on, he looked up and would really appreciate that he was coaching at Ohio State. I tried to figure out when that’s going to be for me, and that’s when I run out into the stadium, when I’m with the team in the tunnel, looking up to see the Horseshoe and everybody that supports the Buckeye Nation, how cool that is take it in, take a deep breath, because you can go through a whole game and not ever recognize anything that’s going on because you’re so caught up in the moment.

I’m excited to get going — run out of the tunnel and go play. What an unbelievable opportunity this is. It’s an opportunity to be around a great group of players and coaches at an unbelievable university. Time to start playing some games.

Q. You stated that you’re willing to rotate a couple different guys at right tackle. What is it about the group you have up front that you feel you’re able to rotate linemen and still keep the chemistry up?
COACH DAY: I think we’re going to have our starters. So Thayer and Brandon will start at tackle. And those guys will come in and roll a little bit. There’s some depth there. It’s hard to find that many linemen who we think have the ability to start and play in the Big Ten. We do. We’re lucky enough to have that.

I think Josh Alabi and Nick have both proven through practice that they deserve reps, so they’re going to do that. There’s a chemistry that comes with that. But the calls are the calls. They know each other. They’re in meetings every day. They’re around each other every day. They communicate.

And so whether a guy jumps in or not — Jonah Jackson is going to be able to communicate with Josh just like he does Thayer. And vice versa on the right side.

But Harry Miller, don’t be surprised if you see him in there as well. Those guys, I think when you play to a certain level, you deserve to play. Now when, how, all those things, that depends on the game plan, depends on how the game is being played out.

Q. You talked about you’re focused on blocking, tackling, protecting the ball. What are your two biggest concerns offense and defense right now?
COACH DAY: Ball security and tackling, those are the two things. And I think so much of that comes with being tough. We talk about it all along how tough we have to be. And then I watched the documentary after the game the other night. Woody Hayes was talking about toughness for like 15 minutes. It was really cool because that’s the essence of Ohio State.

And we hit it right on the head with this thing: It’s all about toughness. And tackling is being tough and ball security is toughness. It’s toughness locking on to the ball and understanding how important that ball is. Sometimes it’s being unselfish and making sure that that ball’s locked away, or a quarterback not forcing the ball on the coverage.

We’ve got to take care of the football. And we’ve got to make sure we’re tackling.

Q. How did that turn out so far, how did that work out in practice? I know you guys were focused on punching the ball out. How did the offense do and how did the defense do tackling?
COACH DAY: We’ll find out on Saturday. It’s funny, it’s like if they pop one out, you say, well, the offense gave it up, but the defense created one and then vice versa. If you go all day without turnovers, you ask the defense why they didn’t they create turnovers. You can look at it one way or another. But at the end of Saturday’s game we’ll get an idea where we’re at and build from there.

Q. I see you’re clean shaven today. Why did you shave your beard?
COACH DAY: That was a camp beard. That was only supposed to go about a week. And late nights and early mornings it just turned into two-to-three week beard. And as we get into the game week it’s time to shave and get cleaned up.

Q. You’ve obviously practiced and gone to training camp against the Ohio State defense the last couple of years. What was it like this month going against them with that new staff. Were there some more challenging, different looks than you saw the last couple of years?
COACH DAY: I think they’re practicing at a high level. You’re seeing some linebackers showing up, getting their hands on balls. They’re showing up on the run game. The D line is penetrating and they can get after the passer. And I think the secondary is playing at a high level right now.

I think they’re running around. They’re playing with technique. They’re playing with a lot of energy. It’s been a challenge. It’s been a challenge, especially when you get, if we can get teams off schedule and get them into second-and-long, I think you’re playing to our defensive strength.

I’m fired up to go see what it’s going to look like. It’s not going to be perfect. There’s going to be things that come along here in the first couple of games that we’ll have to work through. And the biggest thing we’ve got to do is get them on the ground and make them play another play.

But I’m proud of those guys, the way they’ve come out. They’re hungry. I think they have something to prove.

Q. If Jonathon Cooper couldn’t play on Saturday or any game this season, who would be the next guy in line to help you guys up front?
COACH DAY: In terms of defensive end? Obviously Chase is there and Javontae Jean-Baptiste has come along. Zach Harrison will play this year. He’s ready at the beginning of his career. He’s got a huge ceiling; the more he plays the better he’ll get. And you have Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday as well.

So you have — Jashon Cornell can go inside or outside. And feel decent about the depth there.

Q. Depth talk has been mainly about the three tech and the nose. Do you feel as comfortable on the edge as you do there?
COACH DAY: I think so. I think we’re maybe a little deeper inside, but I feel strong.

Q. Following up on Gene, apologize for the guys that did not get cleaned up this week, you talked about defensive, how that’s going to go with play calling and design. Can you lay out how play calling is going to work on the offense? You have final say, I assume. But how do you see that working?
COACH DAY: So far I’ve been really pleased with the way our meetings have gone. I think we have some guys in that room who have been in the offense for a while now. So great input, great experience to fall back on, different things we’ve seen. We all talk the same language now. That’s really good. Then infuse Mike Yurcich into that with really good ideas.

Sometimes we almost have too many ideas which is a good thing. I love that. And so we have to make sure we put the game plan together and we’re sound with the game plan. Everybody’s involved with that, everybody takes ownership of that.

And once that goes up on the board we all make that play work. We may not all agree on it, but once we leave that room we’re all on board with those plays.

And once we get in the game we have to find the right games and rhythm. But Kevin’s always been involved in that. Mike will be involved with play calling. But at the end of the day I’ll be the one making the call.

Q. What do you like about play calling?
COACH DAY: It’s the competing part of it. I’ve always loved to compete. And I like to be in control. And so that’s why. That’s why I like to play calls.

Q. What about the challenge of it. What do you find about the most challenging?
COACH DAY: As a head coach, there’s a lot going on. You have the special teams. You have game management, things that you have to take into consideration — injuries that may happen in game things going on on defensive side of the ball, timeouts, all those things to be on top of.

So spread a little more thin that way, but I think as a quarterback guy, as an offensive coordinator, you’ve always looked at the game that way, from a macro approach. And game management’s always right in the forefront of things, and so we did it those first three games, and go with it from there.

Q. How important is play calling if you have to look at different segments of the game? Is it overplayed? Do we give it too much credit?
COACH DAY: I think sometimes it’s overplayed. Sometimes it’s underplayed. So much of it is, first off, how do you pick the right plays that fit? Then how do you teach them on Tuesday and Wednesday so the guys are ready to play.

You can pick any play you want, but how do they execute them? Because they have to be trained to react. You’re not always going to get the exact look you thought and drew up. So making sure the scout team is accurate, making sure they’re thinking clearly so they can play fast, not giving them too much information, but being on the cutting edge.

When you can make it simple for the guys but then complicated for the defense, that’s when you’ve got an edge.

Q. You talked about tackling and ball security are some of the things you’re curious about. What are maybe the more intangible things as you enter your first game as permanent head coach? What’s on your mind about you’re just curious to see what happens?
COACH DAY: I think there’s certain things you want. You want to be clean. You don’t want penalties. You want to take care of the football. You want to tackle. You want to block. You want to see the energy. You want to see what guys — the stage isn’t too big for them once they get in the arena.

There’s going to be certain things in game one you’re going to see things during the game that you never saw in practice. It’s kind of the way it works in the first game. There’s going to be jitters. And then guys kind of fall into their training. That’s typically how it works.

Find out where we can play with depth. We’d like to play at depth at every position if we can. And so the more depth we can build, the stronger we’ll be at the end of the game and at the end of the season.

Q. Branden Bowen will start at right tackle. A long road for him. What did you see from him this summer and why did he win the job?
COACH DAY: First, his attitude was as good as I’ve been around this year. He’s been through a lot. Personally he’s been through a lot with the injury. To see the way he’s smiling, the way he’s got a lot of energy, the way he’s working. He’s kind of changed his body with Mick in the weight room. I just love his approach right now.

He’s practicing at a high level. And when you are go against Chase Young and Coop and those guys every day in practice, if you’re blocking them you’re doing a hell of a job. And he has. He’s done that. And he’s taken a mature approach to this thing. He’s shown some leadership. He’s more an example guy than a vocal guy, but this is a guy who I think is going to have a great year.

Q. I was curious, as an offensive-minded head coach, what your involvement in defensive game planning or defensive meetings is?
COACH DAY: Very little. That’s why we hired the guys that we did. There’s so much experience there. Got a lot of trust in those guys. If I see something I’ll go down and ask why.

Usually they have a quick answer. And I trust those guys. And I think anytime you want to go run your offense or run your defense, I think if someone comes in meddling around then it’s hard. Certain standards we had certain agreements on the way in, non-negotiable’s. So we’ll see where the season goes but I trust those guys.

Q. You talked about being fired up for Saturday. How much did being in charge last August and for those three games kind of normalize this year’s camp and take away any, like, nerves or anxiety that otherwise might feel —
COACH DAY: The nerves and anxiety, that’s not going to go away. Yeah. Understanding what’s at stake every time you step on that field, that’s part of it. Doesn’t matter if I’m game one or game 300, it’s always going to be that way because there’s an expectation here.

And I get that. That being said, I think at night you know what to expect. You’ve walked through it before. We’ve gone through pregame. We’ve gone through Friday. We’ve gone through the skull session. We’ve gone through the pregame. We’ve run out of the tunnel. We’ve done all those things together other than a few of the freshmen.

We’ve walked in those shoes already. So that’s good to know; it’s a little comforting that way. But at the same time we’ve got to produce.

Q. How much are you expecting the bullet position to come in right away into the defensive scheme?
COACH DAY: I’m excited to see what that is. The bullet guys are, they’re talented guys. We want to see how that goes. But I think that the skill set that they bring to the table is that that I think fits them well.

So in terms of what we’re going to ask them to do fits what they can do. So excited to see what they can do on Saturday and see how it fits and how it develops as the season goes on.

Q. You mean talked about J.K. Dobbins being kind of a workhorse for you earlier in the season. Do you go into a season with a target number of carries for him per game? It’s been a while since you’ve had a guy get 20 carries per game?
COACH DAY: Not really. But he’s going to have to have some 20-carry games. He’s been practicing with his pads down and practicing tough. He’s gotten stronger. He’s lost, like, 4 percent body fat, which for him is tremendous.

I think he’s ready for that kind of season. He’s been splitting time with Mike over the past couple of years, and now he’s got to be the workhorse. And I think he’s ready for that.

Q. As far as the injury policy, was that entirely dictated by your medical staff? Did you have input on that at all? Obviously there’s a gamesmanship element to it.
COACH DAY: Yes, so we just had discussions with administration, with the medical staff and sat down and made the decision. That was the best moving forward.

Q. You watched the whole college football show after the game?
COACH DAY: No, I fell asleep.

Q. There was a lot of Ohio State in it. Your game planning as you think about game planning, right, not just like in meetings, but as you’re driving in your car? What is the difference of maybe back when you were a coordinator you just had little Xs and Os dancing in your head, and now that you’re a head coach are you thinking about, is that guy going to class? What’s your free time daydreaming? How is it different?
COACH DAY: That’s a great question. That’s a great question. I can always count on you for one of these questions. So one of the things I’ve done is when I go home at night or when I drive to work in the morning, I turn off the radio. I turn my phone off. And that’s 20 minutes of just peace where I can focus on the team, I can focus on the defense, I can focus on the special teams and take a picture, really thinking about it as a head coach.

Once I get caught up in here and it’s offensive and scheme and different plays and things like that, I really dedicate that time to, like you said, let your mind wander in terms of what needs to get done, where are we at with player personnel, where are we at in those type of areas.

Recruiting is always on the forefront. That’s always number one. That takes priority over everything.

But those times, in terms of driving to work and coming home, that’s times where I really just try to focus on the things that you need to make sure that you’re on top of as a head coach.

Q. And you talked about, like, Mike having good ideas. We know Kevin’s been a play caller in his career for a long time. Just, do you just not have as much time for your own creativity because you have so many things to do that you have to lean on them a little bit more for stuff? Or do you find time, like, man, I just really need to think about red zone offense and sit down and decide what the plays — how much of thinking about offense have you given up or how much have you made sure: No, I can’t give that up; that’s what I’m good at?
COACH DAY: I feel like our staff, I’m in there so much, and Urban was involved last year. But now having Mike in there and having Brian Hartline a year older, having the experience of Tony and Stud in there, and Kevin being in his third year, we have some really good young coaches in there as well who have been in the program for a while.

We have catalogs of different ideas. And they’ll come to me, come to my office, text me at night, they have different ideas. I think the staff as a whole is stronger and creative. And it’s not just me; it’s the whole staff. I think they’ve all stepped up their game and they’ll have to continuing throughout the season.

Q. When you look at your defense as an offensive guy, does it feel like with what Jeff and Greg are doing that, do you expect that opposing offenses maybe will have less of an idea from play to play what Ohio State’s defense is going to look like? Do you think they’ll be more confused, or just — you guys were so good at press man for such a long time here, and I know you guys did some other stuff last year, too. But as you analyze it from your side of things, how does that feel, that defense now coming at you?
COACH DAY: I think they do a nice job with disguising things and giving you a picture and doing something else, but more importantly, I think they’re taking a lot of pride in being able to play fast and getting their cleats in the ground and playing tough and playing the run and making sure they’re clean on their assignments and then playing with great passion.

So that’s where we’ve got to see really good tackling on Saturday. We’ve got to see guys run to the ball with great pursuit. But I think, yeah, you’ll see some disguises, but I also think you’ll see a lot of sound football.

Q. Urban indicated on his Fox show last weekend that there was a big drop between Justin Fields and the other two. To what extent are the other two game-ready? And would you have to pare things down for Gunnar or Chris Chugunov?
COACH DAY: I think Gunnar hasn’t really had as many snaps under his belt, so he doesn’t quite have a grasp on the offense like the other guys do. Chris has been in the offense before and he’s done some really good things in camp.

So I think they all bring different skill sets to the table. So I think anytime — that’s the best part about this offense is you can tailor it based on who is in the game. So, if those guys are in the game then it’s probably looking a little different.

Q. With Branden Bowen, his maturity, kind of sort of his life experiences, how do you see that playing into just how he plays on the field and if there’s any kind of residual effect on that unit or the team?
COACH DAY: No, I think anytime you have guys like him who have been in the program for a while, it’s like having a man, it’s like having a professional on the team. They’re almost players/coaches, I call them. That’s the approach he’s had. You don’t have to worry about what Brandon is doing at night, don’t have to worry about him going to classes. He’s graduated and done all those things. He’s all about making sure he’s ready to roll, taking care of his body and he’s producing.

He can take a meeting to the field. He’s very serious about it, and his approach is contagious.

Q. No team succeeds without a detailed business plan (indiscernible). In terms of thinking of yourself and your arrival here at age 40 as a head coach. As a young coach, did you have, for lack of a better term, a business plan how to get here, not here, but a place like here?
COACH DAY: I think there’s two things there. I think, one, there’s the plan of once you’re here implementing the plan that you believe in your philosophies which that’s really a combination of every place you’ve been and making it your own and then kind of making decisions based on where you’re at, the people you’re at, the personnel and going from there and making sure you hire really good staff.

But in terms of having an opportunity to be in a situation like this, my biggest thing was I wanted to make sure I worked really hard. I wanted to make sure I exposed myself to some of the best coaches in the country. Not afraid to take risks.

And that goes with your family. If you don’t have a family that’s willing to move three times in three years to go have an opportunity to go coach in the NFL or then come back here to Ohio State, which is really the only place that I would have left the NFL for was to come to Ohio State, because this is just the greatest organization in all of America.

But you have to really want to take risks. And then at the end of the day you’ve got to trust your family that you’re making the best decisions, expose yourself to great people, and then be really, really competitive.

You’ve got to win every single day. It’s like any other job. And if you’re tough and you’re willing to fight every day, then good things will happen to good people who work hard.

Q. Bama or Notre Dame, or any other signature program that you could have made a similar impact?
COACH DAY: Only Columbus.

Q. When you’re a young coach and you’re really young starting to climb, at what point in your career do you start to envision that something like this was possible? At the same time you ever find yourself looking around at other guys who were your age or younger who were getting big jobs, and is there any, I don’t know, uneasiness within yourself or professional jealously, like how did that guy get that job, maybe you don’t believe he’s qualified for?
COACH DAY: There’s a lot to that question right there. But I would say that, yeah, I mean from early on, I wanted — I dreamed big. I was always taught to dream big at a young age and I saw a lot of guys who moved up in the profession said why can’t that be me.

And I had an opportunity to be around a guy who was my offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire, went to Oregon, went from somebody nobody knew at University of New Hampshire to one of the hottest names in all of football. And I realized anything is possible. And he kind of taught me. I grabbed on to that and ran with it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #2 by #604 at 2019-08-27 17:31:00 GMT

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