Detroit Lions hire former Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett as an offensive assistant
Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is back in the NFL, this time as a coach.
The Detroit Lions hired Barrett as an offensive assistant Saturday. This comes almost two years after Barrett was waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 2020 season. Barrett had signed with the Edmonton Elks of the Canadian Football League in January, but an injury in March forced him to the retired list.
Barrett signed with the New Orleans Saints after going undrafted in 2018 following an illustrious four-year career at Ohio State. He was slated as a potential Heisman Trophy winner in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury that led to Cardale Jones leading the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff national Cchampionship that year. Barrett went 38-6 in four years at Ohio State.
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Coincidentally, Barrett started over Joe Burrow in 2016 and 2017. Burrow eventually transferred to LSU in 2018 and went on to lead the Tigers to the College Football Playoff title in 2020 and was picked No. 1 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals the same year.
Barrett bounced between the Saints, Seattle Seahawks and back to the Saints again before landing with the Steelers at the end of the 2019 season. He was cut before the 2020 season and signed on to play for the Spring League later that year.
It’s not random that Barrett joined the Lions staff, as he has ties to head coach Dan Campbell during their time together in New Orleans. Campbell was the assistant head coach with the Saints from 2016-20, during which Barrett was a player.
It’s unclear exactly what role Barrett will play in Detroit.
In the days leading up to training camp, the Detroit Lions have made an intriguing addition to their coaching staff. Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett has been hired as an offensive assistant, the team announced on Saturday.
Barrett’s playing career just recently came to an end. After going undrafted in 2018, Barrett spent a couple years on and off the New Orleans Saints roster—where he undoubtedly crossed paths with current Lions coaches Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn. Most recently, Barrett signed a contract with the Edmonton Elks of the CFL back in January. Unfortunately, Barrett suffered a season-ending injury in March and officially retired from his playing football career.
Interestingly enough, while in college Barrett was asked if he would ever consider a career in coaching after his playing days were over. His response?
“A coach?” Barrett said. “No, I don’t see that.”
It seems he’s had a change of heart.
At Ohio State, Barrett was a four-year starter, throwing for 9,434 yards and 104 touchdowns, while adding another 43 scores on the ground. He finished fifth in Heisman voting in his freshman year, despite his season coming to an end early due to a broken ankle. At the NFL level, he did not make a single game appearance in three seasons.
Barrett joins a Lions coaching staff full of former NFL players, including Campbell, Glenn, Duce Staley, Mark Brunell, Hank Fraley, Antwaan Randle El, Todd Wash, and Kelvin Sheppard.
The Lions have hired JT Barrett as an offensive assistant ahead of the 2022 season.
Barrett rose to prominence playing college football at Ohio State, where he played quarterback from 2014 to ’17. He started as a redshirt freshman, and remained in that role through his senior year, helping the team win the 2015 National Championship despite suffering a broken ankle that ended his season before the postseason.
Barrett owns several records for Ohio State. His 9,434 career passing yards are almost 2,000 yards more than second place, his 104 passing touchdowns easily have the program record, with no one else surpassing 62, and he has 769 career completions and 1,211 career attempts, both also comfortable school records.
While he made a mark as a passer, Barrett also compiled impressive numbers as a runner. In his career he rushed the bull 656 times for 3,263 yards and 43 touchdowns, all of which are top 10 marks in Buckeyes history.
After going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barrett spent the season on the Saints practice squad. Barrett has a connection with Lions head coach Dan Campbell from their time together with New Orleans.
He also spent time with the Seahawks and Steelers during his NFL career, but signed with the Edmonton Elks last January. However, he suffered an injury in March and retired from the team soon after.
Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is embarking on a new chapter in his football career.
The Detroit Lions announced Saturday that Barrett has joined the team as an offensive assistant.
Lions coach Dan Campbell was an assistant coach for the New Orleans Saints, for whom Barrett was on the practice squad multiple times after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft.
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he believed Barrett would be a natural as a coach.
“I told him that from one of the first days I started coaching him, that he needed to be a coach,” Meyer said. “He’s got all the qualities you look for. He’s a competitor. He has great knowledge of the game and great football acumen. And his leadership skills are as good as anyone I’ve ever been around.”
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Barrett was thrust into the starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2014 when Braxton Miller reinjured his throwing shoulder in training camp. He led the Buckeyes to the brink of the postseason before breaking his ankle against Michigan. Cardale Jones took over and quarterbacked Ohio State to an improbable national championship in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Barrett started most of four seasons with Ohio State under Meyer and became one of the Buckeyes’ most decorated players. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native was a three-time captain and All-Big Ten quarterback and threw for 9,434 yards and 104 touchdowns from 2014-17. Barrett also ran for 3,263 yards and 43 touchdowns. He shared the 2018 Chicago Tribune Silver Football honor given to the Big Ten’s top player with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.