Ohio State football coach Ryan Day is a nice guy. He has given Buckeye Nation every reason to believe he is a good husband, a good father, and a great role model for the players who have chosen to join the Ohio State football program. You don’t have to look very far to find examples of how Day has been a positive influence on his players, the school he coaches at, and the community he lives in.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller came to Day for help with his mental help. After battling with suicidal thoughts, Miller admitted his struggles to Day, who had had his own life experiences with mental health.
“He had had an experience himself, and that equipped him with the ability to respond quickly, and to not be dismissive about it,” Miller told ESPN when asked about how Day helped him.
Day is a nice guy. A caring guy. But Day has also become an angry coach. Whether it was losing to rival Michigan for a second straight season, losing in the College Football Playoffs once again, or dealing with the constant negative doubters on social media, there seems to be a different edge about Day this season.
That edge came to the surface following the Notre Dame win. By now, almost everyone has seen Day’s famous postgame interview on NBC.
"“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. What he said about our team, I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here. We’re proud to be from Ohio. It’s always been Ohio against the world, and it’ll continue to be Ohio against the world. But I’ll tell you what: I love those kids. We’ve got a tough team.”"
It felt like, at that moment, Day was letting his frustrations out. On that public stage, he informed the world that he had had enough of the negative chatter and he was angry.
This similar outward expression of frustration and or anger was seen again this past week. After failing to convert on a third down, while walking off the field, Day had a heated exchange with starting quarterback Kyle McCord. This exchange was caught on camera and the usually poised Day was anything but.
In Ryan Day’s press conference with the media on Tuesday, Day was asked about whether or not his fiery demeanor is attentional or just a natural progression as a coach. His response was very telling.
"“I think this team likes to get coached hard. This is a great team who can get pushed. They respond well. This is a tough game, with a lot riding on every game and we know that. So, it’s my job to bring it every week, every Saturday and to push as hard as I can. For the most part, it’s thought about beforehand. I’m not just flying off the handle, although I guess every once in awhile I would. But I think the guys like to see the passion. I think they like to see that part of it, and so it is my job to bring that, and I’m going to continue to do that.”"
I personally like Angry Ryan Day. I believe Day is more aggressive as a playcaller when he has an edge about him. Whether it’s Lou Holtz making him angry, or the poor play by the offense, we need angry Ryan Day more, especially as we get into the meat of the Big Ten schedule. If Day keeps his edge, so will the team.
Off the field, Day can be as nice, caring, and compassionate as they come. But on the field, give me this angry assassin. That could be an asset to the Ohio State football team moving forward.