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Kirk Cousins advises teams like OSU to take it slow with frosh QBs

Braxton Miller AP

In CFT’s preseason Top 25 countdown, one of the biggest reasons why Ohio State, even with all of their off-field issues, came in at No. 20 was the fact that I’m banking on new head coach Luke Fickell to realize sooner rather than later that true freshman Braxton Miller is the Buckeyes’ best option at quarterback.

While he’s the youngest, Miller’s also easily the most talented player in a less-than-stellar group that includes projected starter Joe Bauserman.

Speaking from experience, however, Kirk Cousins thinks it might be best to ease Miller onto the field during his first season in Columbus.  Instead of rushing Miller, the senior Michigan State quarterback said, allow the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the Class of 2011 to grow and mature into the role.

“Too many people want everything right now and they think they need to play right away,” Cousins told Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “The simple truth is that quarterbacks who are able to wait and are able to grow and learn without being thrown into the fire a lot of times end [up] having much more successful careers.

“Many quarterbacks want to be thrown in right away and that’s fine, but they’ve got to understand that’s going to come with some difficult times.”

One of the reasons we feel that Miller would be fine from the get-go is actually twofold.  One, and even with the five-game suspension for starter Boom Herron, OSU has more than enough talent in the backfield to run the football effectively.  And, two, the Buckeyes, as they do almost every other year, should field a very talented defense and will likely be the unit of strength throughout the entire 2011 season.

If those pieces are indeed in place, Cousins acknowledges Miller would have a much “easier” time stepping in right away and filling Terrelle Pryor‘s shoes.

“If you’re at a place that’s playing a true freshman, it’s a lot easier when you have a running game and defense,” Cousins said. “If you’re at a place that’s not going to run the ball successfully or not going to stop people, there’s a lot more put on you.”

Miller was an early enrollee and impressive enough during spring practice to put himself squarely in the mix in the race for the starting job.  It remains to be seen if that momentum carries through to summer camp, but the talent level Miller possesses suggests very strongly that it should.

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13 Responses to “Kirk Cousins advises teams like OSU to take it slow with frosh QBs”
  1. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Aug 7, 2011 5:09 PM

    Bauserman is not the projected starter to my knowledge. From my understanding, the race is wide-open. Guiton was the pre-season thought to replace TP when he was only suspended (got that tip from some of the players themselves), but none of the chatter I hear has Bauserman as the favorite. I also think that besides Guiton, we have a pretty solid guy in Taylor Graham – but not yet ready to start. I think it’s Braxton’ s to lose.

  2. 10of14 says: Aug 7, 2011 5:17 PM

    With their first four games against High School competition, Miller will be right at home…let him play.

  3. 10of14 says: Aug 7, 2011 5:17 PM

    They play a High School schedule the first 4 games…Miller will be right at home.

  4. 10of14 says: Aug 7, 2011 5:17 PM

    With High School teams on the OSU schedule the first four games, Miller will be fine.

  5. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2011 5:21 PM

    I’m sorry but Bauserman is NOT what this team needs. He’s like Todd Boeckman all over again and as painful as the off season is/was – Bauserman would absolutely destroy the season. He is not mobile at all, holds the ball way too long, then just guns it down the field hoping for the best. With a new offensive line, we need a play maker that is mentally and physically quick – that isn’t Bauserman. Guiton or Miller is absolutely the answer and since most people have written OSU off for the season, now is a great time to get them seasoned!

  6. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2011 5:25 PM

    @100 – not sure why you thought your attempt at humor was worthy of being posted 3 times. I know it took you a long long time to think that one up, but in the future – you only need to hit the submit button once!

  7. John Taylor says: Aug 7, 2011 5:59 PM

    @angelheartsbuckeyes: you know I (heart) ya, but Bauserman is projected to be the starter. You talk to people in the program, and they’ll tell you that’s what their mindset is heading into camp; they’ll also add the “for now” qualifier”. They privately rave about Miller, but won’t do it publicly because of the pressure it would add to a true freshman.

    @dkkhuey: safe to say Bauserman is Boeckman Light — and that’s scary. But Guiton doesn’t have half the talent or potential Miller does, in my opinion. Agreed wholeheartedly though: now is a great time to throw him/them into the fire and get them seasoned during a season many/most expect to be a down year.

  8. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2011 6:32 PM

    @JT – I just got a bit nauseous flashing back to some of Boeckman’s performance highlights. I really liked the guy – he was a total class act… just not all that great as our QB!

    I REALLY get sick watching Bauserman clips… I cannot relive that horror film again without some serious damage to my liver!!!

    Bring on the young guns and let’s kick off the latest version of the Buckeyes

  9. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Aug 7, 2011 7:02 PM

    @John Taylor

    Check out the last presser – Fick made some comments off the cuff that say otherwise :)

    We shall see…

  10. edgy and imtalking are one in the same says: Aug 7, 2011 7:15 PM

    Just a question here but do any of you see maybe an option of interchanging qbs in the first few games on different drives in each game, ik Mich st did a similar thing a few years back with Nichols and cousins

    That could be an option if no one truly sets themselves apart

  11. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2011 8:24 PM


    Fickel is such an unknown at this point! He’s young, and as a player he was intense, passionate, and highly emotional. Now the million dollar question – How will he coach?

    I think there are two possible outcomes:

    1 – He comes out with the attitude and mentality he did as an athlete. He knows that all eyes will be upon him and he has pretty much one year and one shot to prove himself worthy of consideration for the job. He will take all of his experiences as a player and a coach under Tressel and create his own style that results in a team energized by emotion, tradition, and prove yourself to play. If this is his MO – he will opt for one or two of the young guns and see who performs under the pressure of Saturday game day.

    2 – OR, he has totally bought into everything he learned under Tressel and attempts to mimic it perfectly. If that is the case, then he will probably come out with a QB decision that Tressel would – given the strength of the defense and depth at running back, he will opt for the senior to instill a mistake free, low risk offensive game plan. He may think continuing the winning tradition of Tressel-ball may be his only hope.

    Personally, now that he has added Mike Vrabel to the equation – I am leaning toward option #1

  12. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 8, 2011 12:24 AM

    Plain and simple; Fickell has to decide if he wants to make a splash. If he starts Braxton, a few losses can be overlooked. If he starts Bauserman he has to worry about all the pressure if they drop a game to miami, MSU, etc. Then its Boeckman Pryor all over again. I can’t see OSU losing more than 4 games at most. So I think Fickell is safe for a few years. This is OSU, they don’t shuffle coaches in and out.

  13. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 8, 2011 12:47 AM

    Oh yea, And I advise Kirk Cousins to make better protection calls in bowl games. Way to make an ass outta the big ten. Northwestern would have gave Bama a better game.

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