Skull Session: Ohio State Cornerback Rotation, Mike Weber Flawless in Pass Protection and Michael Jordan Grows Up

By D.J. Byrnes on September 30, 2016 at 4:59 am
Ben Victor wants to play for the September 30th 2016 Skull Session.

The Friday Skull Session will be served as soon as I stop laughing at Tyvis Powell's tweet:

"The Talk" must be an inside joke between the two former roommates. 

And shoutout to this guy:

Future reference: Even if your team pulled an upset last year, it's a terrible idea to paint your face and ride to Houston like the founder of MENSA, the organization for geniuses, hasn't thought about torching your village for the last year.

This week's NSFW ANTI-WORK #BANGERS are brought to you by Cincy Thorpe's recommendation

Yeah, Quarry is a banger. It airs at 10 p.m. ET tonight on Cinemax.

 IT WAS PROMISED. Folks, college football coaches lie to us all the time. They're naturally cagey individuals, and stakes are too high for them to be any different.

So when coaches talk—especially in the preseason—it's wise to take with a boulder of salt. Gamesmanship is afoot.

For example, in 2014, Urban Meyer raved about how he wanted to play Sam Hubbard. The former Notre Dame lacrosse commit (please don't arrest me FBI; I mentioned it) never played. 

So when Kerry Coombs promised a deep cornerback rotation, it wasn't insane to think it'd be one of those preseason wishes.

But Coombs' charges answered the bell.


Here's the proof. According to numbers from Ohio State, starting cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore have played 239 snaps in three games. The backup cornerbacks - primarily Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette, but a couple others - have played 238 snaps.

Ward and Lattimore have legitimately rotated all season. But even Conley, the one returning starter at corner, has rotated out for rests. After Conley and fellow starter Eli Apple each played more than 1,000 snaps last season, Coombs figures his starters are on pace for something like 500 or 600 snaps. And he wants to rotate more - he thinks Arnette needs to see more playing time.

"You decide to do it when you have good enough players to do it," Coombs said. "Being able to stay fresh and play hard through a long season is important."

Remember the days cheering for the local team when an injury could alter the course of a season? Those were wild times kids, and I swear that used to be the case.

Now we cheer for a team that rolls four deep at cornerback, among other positions.

Add it all up, and it equals depth with which no Big Ten team can compete. That's quite the arsenal for playing nine conference games in nine weeks.

 WEBER LEARNED FROM THE BEST. Heading into the season, only Ohio State fans who took the offseason off were worried about Mike Weber replacing Ezekiel Elliott toting the magic diamond.

The bigger question was if Weber could replace Elliott in the smaller aspects of the job, like picking up a blitzing linebacker on third down.

Early exit polls favor Weber:

Obviously, Ohio State will face more talented defenses in the next nine games than it did in the first three, but props to the Detroit import for handling the damn business. That's what Ohio State coaches are talking about with "passing on the legacy."

And since we're talking agreeable math:

Poor Chris Ash. Probably woke up in a cold sweat an hour ago. Unfortunately for him, he chose this life.

 MOVE OVER, CRYING MICHAEL JORDAN. There was a time when an Ohio State coach declared his team would suffer one loss per freshman he started. 

Times changed.

Michael Jordan, the non-crier, beat out Demetrius Knox and Matthew Burrell, two blue chip recruits, for the starting left guard position. I worried it might be because Knox and Burrell failed to develop, but three games in and it's apparent it happened because Jordan is the truth.


“Billy Price (an OSU teammate) tells me all the time, he says I’m not a 'freshman' anymore, he says that I’ve become a little more mature,” said Jordan over the telephone, home for the weekend thanks to a break in the Buckeyes' schedule. “I can’t act like a freshman because I have to perform for Ohio State.

“I can’t think that ‘Hey, I’m one of the two true freshmen [to start] for Urban Meyer,’ I just got to be one of the guys there and progress further.”

Jordan doesn’t want to get caught up in any phenom hoopla. His primary goal is to keep working, improving and helping the team he grew up cheering for as a youngster in Cincinnati.

It baffles me how any of these guys stay humble, let alone a true freshman. That speaks to the culture Meyer installed in Columbus. It'd be natural for an 18-year-old to get cocky, but a guy like Billy Price would ruthlessly quash that shit. And that's one of a myriad of amazing features of Ohio State's program right now.

 A GET RICH SLOW SCHEME. Bill Simmons is a whiny, smarmy gasbag who jumped the shark in 2009, but he was 100 in this segment on dead money paid to college coaches:

I thought I would push my mediocre son into quarterbacking. This segment made me think coaching might be his destiny.

 PRO BOWL PRYOR. Josh Gordon, who could've been the best wide receiver in Cleveland Browns history, entered rehab Thursday afternoon. A few hours later, a paternity test (that he evaded to the point a warrant was issued) revealed he fathered a girl in Maple Heights, Ohio.

At this point, being a Browns fan should qualify as a disability. Thankfully, we have Terrelle Pryor:

The Hall of Fame is probably working on his Pryor's bust as our intergalactic pebble spins.

Book it in blood: Browns dumping Steelers in two months because D'Angelo Williams done poked a dragon.

 THOSE WMDs. 1.5 million connected cameras were hijacked to make an unprecedented botnet... Nazi drug abuse altered the course of history... Crime and punishment in Antarctica... Bruce Springsteen's memoir dissects his masculinity... Pangolin earns trade protection.

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