Wednesday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on January 19, 2011 at 6:00a
Stan Drayton is currently on Muschamp's staff at FloridaAfter Shazier, OSU might be taking the Gator
poaching up a notch.

Coming to you live from our Forever Lazy on a cold January morning, welcome to your Wednesday Skull Session, ladies and gentlemen.

Do you like rumors? You do? Good, because a doozy of one began appearing on various Buckeye message boards yesterday related to OSU's open position to coach the team's wide receivers. Not long after Darrell Hazell accepted the top job at Kent State last month, P.J. Fleck's name started to pop up as a potential replacement. The former Northern Illinois wide receiver spent 2007 in Columbus as an offensive graduate assistant and seemed like a shoe-in to fill the spot, but word is Stan Drayton, currently the running backs coach and assistant recruiting coordinator for Will Muschamp at Florida will be coming to Columbus.

Technically, the position is still open for four more days, but one source we trust is saying he has already interviewed for the spot and will be named the new wide receivers coach on the 23rd.

It's an interesting choice for a few reasons, primarily because Drayton just accepted a position on Muschamp's staff and he's been a running backs coach for most of his career, but he is also a Cleveland native and has experience working with receivers from his stint as the offensive quality control coach for the Green Bay Packers from 2001-03.

Drayton held the same position on Urban Meyer's staff from 2005-07 before moving on to Tennessee for the 2008 season and then on to Syracuse to coach the running backs in 2009. Bringing him in would obviously help with recruiting in the southeast and his pro experience coaching special teams (also with the Packers) would help a staff that struggled with coverage last season.

The bottom line is that this is one of those things that's so far out there, it almost has to be true, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Hokementum. New Wolverine head man Brady Hoke hired defensive coordinator Greg Mattison away from the Baltimore Ravens and the move is getting universal praise. Here's MGoBlog's Brian Cook:

Mattison is the best possible hire of all rumored names, a veteran with a history of excellent defenses in both college and the NFL. He coordinated Michigan's stout '95 and '96 defenses and can probably take some credit for the national championship-winning '97 edition. After leaving Michigan, Mattison was Notre Dame's DC for a few seasons, then moved on to be co-DC at Florida with Charlie Strong. He's been with the Ravens the last three years.

This isn't exactly hiring Gus Malzahn—Chizik was a great DC himself before becoming a head coach—but it's the closest possible thing, an indication that Michigan is no longer skimping on assistant salaries.

For Mattison, it was all about returning home:

"The biggest reason is Brady," Mattison told The News on Tuesday night. "I know he's going to win. Michigan is a special place. The longer you're away from it, even when you're in the NFL, it's still Michigan. Every Saturday when we're in our rooms relaxing before the Sunday games, I always watched Michigan. That doesn't leave you."

I realize there are some of you that want to see Michigan go 4-8 until the end of time, but you have to admit that it will be nice to see the Wolverines actually playing defense again.

Is Ohio State poised to be basketball's next great power? Friend of the blog Darren Everson asks this question, somewhat rhetorically, in an article in the Wall Street Journal:

With a young coach (43-year-old Thad Matta), a strong recruiting base, a parade of recent first-round NBA draft picks (six in the past four years) and spare-no-expense facilities (Ohio State plays in a near-20,000-seat arena and is raising funds for a practice facility) the Buckeyes are set up for the future as well as arguably any team. All the program needs to do to vault itself into the sport's upper crust, observers say, is to win a championship.

It's fluff backed with science -- the best kind of fluff, really, and a fun read if you're a fan of the hoops program (which you should be). If nothing else, check it out for the absolute fun in seeing the phrase "Mr. Sullinger" in print.

Undecided on who to root for this weekend in the Steelers/Jets game? Chances are, if you're an Ohioan, you either love the Steelers because you're from the east side of the state or perhaps have a family member that is a huge fan, or you hate them because of your allegiance to the Browns or Bengals. If you're one of the few with no real opinion, the Big Ten Network's Brent Yarina has a breakdown of former Big Ten players on the rosters of the four remaining teams in the NFL playoffs and the Steelers are represented by three former Wolverines (Foote, Mundy and Woodley), while the Jets feature four former Buckeyes (Gholston, Hartsock, Holmes and Mangold). Problem solved.

Giving the team's draft day production over the course of the last decade, it's no surprise that Ohio State paces the league with eight former players still in action, while the Big Ten as a whole has 38 players going this weekend -- 14 on the New York Jets, alone.

 Random bits: TSB ranks Tressel's recruiting classes and gives high marks to the one currently in the works... There's a Connor Crowell highlight video on YouTube and it's worth watching... Michigan State dropped a road loss at Illinois last night and then things went from bad to worse as the Spartan plane was fresh out of deicing fluid and were forced to take a six hour bus trip home... Laurence Maroney was pinched Monday in St. Louis on weapons and drug charges and channels Coolio in his mugshot... There's obviously still a ton of ball to be played, but as expected, your 18-0 Ohio State Buckeyes are currently the #1 seed overall in the Cleveland Regional in Lunardi's latest Bracketology.


Comments Show All Comments

Joe Beale's picture

The hire of Mattison is huge for UM.  Not only does it strengthen an obvious area of need, but it gives them instant credibility for recruiting.  Looks like the rivalry is back on.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good point. I go back and forth on the question, Do I want Michigan to return to respectability? Well, yes . . . for the sake of the BT and The Game. But I'd like them to do that while getting all their players from states like Washington, Oregon, maybe North Dakota.

I don't think any of their slimy recruiters should ever step foot in Ohio, though. In that sense, I'll take Michigan at 4-8 if they're going to put a lot of emphasis on recruiting Ohio.    

Chris Lauderback's picture

Agreed, Joe. This hire could prove to be significantly more important than Hoke, though I suppose Mattison wouldn't be there without Hoke.

I'm still on record as not being a fan of the "michigan needs to improve for the sake of conference/rivalry" meme. They'll be elite again, that's how it works. To me, there's no sense in wishing for that process to be expedited. If you disagree, blame Cooper. He made me this way.

btalbert25's picture

I personally could care less if they go 0-12 every year.  I don't care about the overall good of the Big 10 or if Michigan sucking hurts the rivalry.  Bottom line, they've only been bad for 3 years, Tressel beat them before that and will beat them after. 

The_Lurker's picture

I can't wait until the NCAA realizes Mattison changed his name to avoid NCAA sanctions:

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The Maroney mugshot is classic. He ties up his long, phat dreadlocked pigtails with . . . even more hair. It's like Goldielocks meets Bergamasco Sheepdog.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I have a hard time with the Jets. I normally root for whatever NFL team has more former Buckeyes. But I don't really like those blowhards.

When watching the Jets, I'll usually just zero in on Mangold the whole time, which indirectly ends up making me root for the Jets, anyway, because I want the RB to get a seam on an inside running play, for the QB not to get sacked by the DT, etc.      

slippy's picture

I think Roethlisberger is total scum but there is no way in hell I can root for the Jets.  I sit next to a kid from north Jersey at work and his love of the Jets is unsufferable.  Worst NFL fan I've been around (not in terms of dedication when they suck or anything - just ridiculously annoying).


Either way it doesn't matter because my Bears are going to win.

SLVRBLLTS's picture

It's hard for me to root for the Jets because Mark Sanchez is a complete D-Bag. Let's not forget who drafted Santonio Holmes and let him shine in the Super Bowl. Also Thaddeus Gibson is a Steeler, right?

"Because we couldn't go for three"

Dean's picture

...and then ditched him because of some marijuana because they were trying to teach a lesson to their infinitely douchier (than Holmes OR Sanchez) Roethlisberger.

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Yeah, it's impossible to pick between a douche (Sanchez) and a rapist (Big Ben). I'm just going to root for the packers. Rodgers is awesome, a class act, and at this point I dont think he's raped anybody yet. AJ Hawk and Ryan Pickett are on their D. I'll just pretend Chuck Woodson isn't there.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

ERIC OSU's picture

sorry, if youre going to make a statement like that you should know what youre talking about first. i dont know where you got the story that Thaddeus was dumped because of marijuana. ACTUALLY, he was was sent through waivers because the Steelers needed to make room for an exrta d-lineman when Aaron Smith and Bret Keisel were both inactive. Thaddeus was unfortunately the 8th linebacker on the active roster and as Tomlin said it, "at the bottom of the totem pole".  They wanted to keep him on the practice squad but the 49ers scooped him up.  The Steelers wanted to keep him because I believe he was a great fit for the 3-4 scheme but keeping 15% of your roster filled at one position when you are extremly thin at another position is not possible.

As for Ben, well yeah that scummy trash he pulled in GA gave the Steelers a black-eye and isnt going to win over any fans.  But to say that one player is going to destory the image of an entire team is a bit over the top. For every Ben, there is a Troy Polamalu; whom is highly, highly regarded on and off the field.

It is what it is, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But you forgot to include on the list of past buckeyes on the Steelers list; DICK LEBEAU!

ERIC OSU's picture

i just noticed that you may have been referencing Santonio with the marijauna thing. If so, my apologies Dean. You can disregard my whole first paragraph LOL. Damn ellipses!!!!!!

Dean's picture

Yep, I was talking about Holmes, didn't notice that Gibson was being discussed at all.  I can't have any hard feelings about Gibson, the guy just wasn't producing, and whether that was his fault or the system's, it made sense for the team to move on.


As for hating a team based on one guy, well, there are just guys who are the face of the team, and frankly it's the main way I stay interested in pro football - I know it's not entirely rational, but I have to have some reason to care who wins, especially when both teams have former Buckeyes and former Wolverines.

Corey Carpenter's picture

Gibson was released mid-season and signed with the 49ers. The only Buckeye on the Steelers is Will Allen, a special teamer.

ToledoBuckeye's picture

He was released by the Steelers and ended up in San Francisco.

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes

buckeye33's picture

It's really amazing that when you ask an Ohio State fan "who they root for in the NFL".....most say "the team with the most Buckeyes".  I find myself rooting for players on both sides of the ball.  I watch the 49'ers only to see Ginn & Smith, & when Santonio makes a great play, I remind the people watching with me...."He's a former Buckeye" !

Chris Lauderback's picture

I follow the NFL but nowhere near to the degree that I follow NCAA football. I don't even have a favorite NFL team. As a result, I often just follow teams with particular story lines, particular Buckeyes in the league, or I simply root against Michigan players.

This year, I have to admit the Jets have roped me a little. I don't necessarily root for them but watching Hard Knocks helped me learn the back stories of some players/coaches and that makes me a tad more interested in how they perform than I would've cared otherwise. I also always listen to Michael Kay Show on XM during my drive home everyday and hearing all the Jets talk plus the weekly interviews with guys like Ryan, Mangold, Sanchez etc. just makes me more familiar. Obvioulsly, I also love both Mangold and Santonio. Dudes ball when it matters most. I was very pleased to see them dump Brady and his hair extensions last week.  

I also have an affinity for Dick LeBeau but I'm kinda pulling for Mangold/Holmes this week though I'll be satisfied with either outcome.


The_Lurker's picture

I've been a Dolphins fan ever since the late 70s when I played for the Dolphins at the Newark YMCA (also how I became a Celtics fan, but I digress). Unfortunately, Buckeyes and Dolphins haven't mixed well through the years. Karsatos, Kumerow and Ginn were all huge busts for Miami, though Brudzinski was pretty good. Maybe Hartline can change the recent trend when he gets healthy.

buckeye33's picture

While Ginn was a first round bust for Miami.....He did run two consecutive kickoffs back for touchdowns against the Jets !!!! Reminded me of his Buckeye days....If you ever get a chance "Ted Ginn highlights from Ohio State"  He was truly exciting !!

The_Lurker's picture

Oh Ginn was fantastic in college, despite a few drops here and there, and I saw virtually every game he played in for OSU. The Jets game was a wonderful aberration in an otherwise forgettable tenure in Miami. He looked like an Arkansas receiver out there with all the drops. He was very timid on kickoffs and after catches and was invisible when teams employed a physical bump-and-run style against him (which was every week after it became obvious he didn't enjoy the contact).

I prefer to remember him at Ohio State, torching Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl or running back that kickoff for our brief shining moment in the MNC (damn you, Roy Hall!).

btalbert25's picture

I for one, think the Jets are hilarious, and kind of hope they pull it out.  Yeah, they are cocky, and run their mouths a lot, but it's all for show.  They want everyone to hate them.  I think it's funny.  The NFL wants everyone involved with their league to be exactly the same, and the Jets buck that trend.  Not to mention, the Pats who never run their mouths, display some of the poorest sportsmanship on the field year after year.  They constantly run the score up on teams and pull D-Bag moves on the field. 

Doc's picture

I think it would be poetic justice for Sanantonio to beat the Squeelers.  I know he has an affinity for the ganja, but at least he isn't "The Rapist".  I too root for the team with the most Buckeyes.  I was in Paul Brown Stadium a few years back when Santonio beat my home town Bungles in overtime to deny them the play offs on New Years Eve.  I was bummed the Bungles lost, but was proud a Buckeye did well.

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Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I couldn't agree more. When the Steelers beat my Cardinals in the Super Bowl, I wasn't mad, cause it was Santonio who caught the game-winning TD pass. It was way bitter-sweet. GO JETS! Eff Ben Rapelisberger.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

nickma71's picture

I have been rooting for the Jets all year. Not just because they are loaded with Big 10 players, but also a USC quarterback (SEC destroyers).

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I can't quite pat Adam on the back. He apologized for expressing an opinion concerning the liklihood of the tat5 returning, but there was no reason to apologize for that.

But he did not apologize for slyly questioning JT's honesty in that same Dec. 2010 blog post: "Otherwise, they wouldn't have been allowed to travel to New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl, in which they're allowed to play. If the players didn't pledge to return, they'd be getting around their punishment, The Vest said . . . Hmmmm . . . Do you believe Tressel?"

Asking that would be like if I asked, "Do you believe that Rittenberg's reporting is legit?"

BigRedBuckeye's picture

Does anyone know the date of the 2011 Spring Game?

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

Jason Priestas's picture

It hasn't been announced yet, but most likely 4/23.