WATCH: Urban Meyer compares J.T. Barrett to Kobe Bryant
Think you have heard the last of the quarterback debate at Ohio State? Think again. The Buckeyes aren’t playing this week, but Urban Meyer still fielded questions Monday about how he has handled the game’s most important position, where Cardale Jones started the first seven games before J.T. Barrett took over Saturday at Rutgers.
Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show to promote his new book about leadership, "Above The Line," Meyer was asked to name the one personality trait that is unacceptable for his players.
"Lazy," he said before referencing a Kobe Bryant quote he has hung up in the OSU team room in which Bryant claimed he did not understand lazy people or want to even try to do so.
"When you’re lazy you’re nothing but an anchor to the team," Meyer said.
Asked if he had any Bryant-type leaders, Meyer replied, "Oh my gosh, yes. I have one right now. Our quarterback (Barrett) is a great leader. I have a bunch of guys like that right now. We have a bunch of great leaders on our team."
That somewhat naturally led into a followup question about whether or not Meyer would like to go back to July and change his mind about how he handled the quarterback situation.
"Oh I don’t think so," said Meyer, who chose to start Jones for the first seven games before going with Barrett last weekend. "The respect I have for these two guys is obvious, but I think J.T. Barrett came out the other day and said he wasn’t playing very well early in training camp and J.T.’s a grown man. Cardale has done tremendous things for us. He’s 10-0. He just threw for 200 yards two weeks ago and we sat him down. That tells you about our expectation level in our program right now."
Patrick then professed Barrett would have been his choice all along, prompting Meyer to joke, "I should have called you," but when Patrick suggested Barrett fits the Buckeyes’ offense better because of his running ability, Meyer agreed.
"I think at this time he is," Meyer said. "I will say this: You cannot, on a team, if I anoint someone, you have to beat that guy out. Regardless of who that is. You have to beat that guy out or you lose your whole system of competitive spirit in your program.
"Is J.T. a better runner? Yeah, he is, but Cardale did pretty good in those three games (in the postseason last year).
"As a matter of fact, looking back we did the right thing. You have to beat someone out, and J.T. would be the first one to tell you he didn’t beat anyone out."