Former Buckeye Myers diving into playbook as Miamisburg grad gets acclimated to NFL

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Josh Myers: Seven things to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

All in all, the transition to the NFL is going about as well as could be expected so far for Josh Myers.

He’s getting to know his new teammates, learning the playbook and found place to fish.

“I don’t know if you can tell,” he said during a phone interview this week. “But I’m actually fishing right now.”

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With birds chirping in the background, he explained his general approach to learning the playbook of the Packers, who took him in the second round of the NFL Draft last month with plans for him to be their starting center if he shows he can handle it.

“For starters, I look at the core principles of an offense,” said Myers, a Miamisburg High School graduate who was Ohio State’s starting center the past two seasons. “Then from there I figure out what calls can happen on any given play. For example, in general what calls can I make on a gap (running) scheme? What calls can I make on a zone scheme that I might need to make at any given time? And then from there it’s the same thing with drop-back pass protection.

“And then from there I learn all the full concept of plays — Things that make plays different from each other, how plays accent each other and the entire scheme and what the offense is trying to do.”

On draft night, Packers director of scouting Matt Malaspina said the team sees Myers as being able to play any of the interior spots on the offensive line, but they are looking to replace center Corey Linsley after that former Buckeye left via free agency in March.

“The opportunity will certainly be here, but in this league the only way you get a job is by taking it from someone else,” Malaspina said told members of the Packers beat.

“I don’t want to pin him to one exact thing, but I know he can play all three (positions). If center is the best spot, he’ll play center. If it’s guard, he’ll play guard. You’re gonna enjoy this kid. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s a really good addition to the Packer organization.”

While learning an NFL playbook is no easy task for anyone, Myers might have an advantage or three compared to the average rookie.

First, he said he feels the Ohio State playbook was relatively robust for college. The Buckeyes utilized multiple run schemes in his time, and head coach Ryan Day is credited with expanding the passing game.

Day also had the quarterback under center at times the past two seasons, something mostly absent from Urban Meyer’s version of the Ohio State offense since 2012.

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Beyond that, the Buckeyes’ status as the Goliath of the Big Ten has often complicated game preparations. Teams tend to do one thing on film then another on game day to try to offset the talent deficit, sometimes leading to slow starts for the Buckeyes until they figure out what is going on and make adjustments. That includes exotic blitzes that Myers might be more likely to see at the next level.

Third, Myers has a small army of former Buckeyes in the NFL whose guidance he has sought to help ease the transition.

“I talked to those guys a bunch and pick their brains a bunch,” Myers said. “All of them are such good resources. I mean there isn’t an Ohio State offensive lineman that’s gone to the NFL in the last five years that I haven’t talked to.”

The biggest takeaway from those conversations?

Study, study and study some more.

“I think all of them have kind of reiterated this to me at one time or another,” Myers said. “They all talk to me about the playbook and learning the offense. Drill it as fast as you possibly can. I’m fully aware that in the NFL there’s really not much time to develop, you kind of have to go. That’s just the nature of it.”

The Packers expect Myers to bring the right mindset to their organization.

Malaspina spoke of him being “wired right” and praised the positive energy he seemed to bring to Ohio State.

“He’s a guy that other guys gravitate toward,” he said.

Beyond the football field, Myers said he is still early in the process of establishing a new life in Wisconsin.

He found a spot to fish where the Fox River meets the bay, but much of the rest is still being worked out.

“There’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle in the NFL for sure,” he said. “I’m looking for an apartment right now so I’m just staying in a hotel. I’m not planning on fully moving all of my stuff here for a little while.

“Once we get a little break and I can kind of come up for air for a second, I will start that process, but for now I’m just getting the financial portion of it figured out, the living situation, diving into the playbook. All of the regular meetings and stuff. They’re definitely keeping me busy, but it’s been a pretty smooth transition to be honest.”