Monday, December 24, 2012

OSU'S BRAXTON MILLER SPENDING HOLIDAYS WORKING WITH QB GURU

Braxton Miller, left, and George Whitfield
I recall being inside the Wayne High School auditorium in Huber Heights (OH) back in June of 2010, when highly touted prep quarterback Braxton Miller announced he would be playing his college football at The Ohio State University.

While interviewing him on stage following his commitment to the Buckeyes, Miller said that his main goal was to someday be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Apparently that is still the plan.

While others are enjoying their Christmas break with family and friends, Miller is currently in southern California working out with renowned "private quarterback builder," George Whitfield Jr.

Whitfield, known by many in the NFL as "The Quarterback Guru," has privately helped develop passers such as Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and even Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, among others.

And now, he is working hands on with the ultra-talent Miller, teaching him everything from passing mechanics and footwork to game study.

Miller — who set a school-record for total yards with 3,310 — did improve tremendously in the passing game in 2012. However, it didn't prevent Buckeyes' offensive coordinator Tom Herman from saying that Miller fell far short of his potential. Essentially, Miller underachieved last season.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer agrees, and believes that when it comes to Miller, fundamentals are the key to achieving greatness.

“Our quarterback fundamentally wasn’t the best fundamental quarterback in America," Meyer said of Miller. "Tom Herman and I are going to have a chat — why didn’t that happen? He did great work in other areas. Tom Herman did a fabulous job. But Tom Herman and Braxton Miller understand that they have to get better."

This is where Whitfield's expertise comes in ...

One of the main components Whitfield has been working with Miller on is what he likes to call "chaos mechanics." Miller's mechanics have improved incredibly in the pocket, where he can step up and drive into his throws. But when he gets flushed, his mechanics seem to break down.

"'Chaos mechanics' is like training a matador," Whitfield stated via Twitter on Saturday. "They've got to understand the 'bull' first.

"It's one thing to escape a pass rusher, but how fast can you re-set yourself once you've escaped?"

As stated prior, Whitfield has worked closely with the Steelers' all-Pro quarterback Roethlisberger, arguably the best "chaos" passer the game has ever seen.

Meyer is hoping "Big Ben's" traits given to him by Whitfield will rub off on the athletic Miller.

“If he becomes fundamentally the best quarterback in America, I think he will be the best quarterback in America," Meyer said.

"I think it will be comical what he’ll do.”

According to Whitfield, the Buckeyes' quarterback is working diligently to heed Meyer's call.

"Holiday grind with Braxton Miller," Whitfield stated. "I really respect Braxton's drive. 

"The Buckeyes are in great hands."