Skull Session: Braxton Miller on Wide Receiver Move, Tyvis Powell on Meeting John Elway, and Cardale Jones Controls Jon Gruden's Huddle

By D.J. Byrnes on March 30, 2016 at 4:59 am
Michael Jordan awaits the March 30th 2016 Skull Session
OL Michael Jordan

Yesterday, I attempted to straddle the firing line between the two camps of "Fire Thad!" and "Actually, we're all good!"

My attempt at a nuanced #take culminated with one fella from the glass-half-full camp walking over my ashes to call my OSU basketball writing "passive-aggressive." Another commented that my basketball takes were "awful."

And that was before A.J. Harris and Mickey Mitchell announced their transfers. 

The unmentioned gorilla here is Thad Matta recruited those mediocre freshmen. Sure, there are replacements coming but it's not like the guys they're replacing were one-star stiffs

But turmoil can be a breeding ground for success, and I still trust and support Thad. I also believe in addition by subtraction, and players only being valuable to a team if they 100% want to be there. 

Tim will be through at 10:10 a.m. with his thoughts, which to mine are what a dollar is to a 19th-century wooden nickel. Feel free to grab your lead pipes and piece me up in the comments to help pass time until then.

ICYMI: Remember the football team? This basketball drama makes me that much more thankful for Urban Meyer, who, unfortunately for the haters and losers, still coaches my favorite football team. The Buckeyes practiced for the sixth time this spring on Tuesday.

 BRAXTON MILLER: POPULAR DUDE. Braxton Miller, the quarterback turned wide receiver we all know and love, flexed his writing muscles (again) in a piece about his "cloak-and-dagger" transition to wide receiver, the intricacies of his new craft.... and that time he tore through Virginia like a Civil War secession line:


For two months straight all I heard about was that spin. I didn't hear anything about the catch I dove for to make my first career reception, or the other pass I caught for my first receiving touchdown. It was just the spin move.

I feel like that changed my life.

Doing something special like that is the sort of thing you dream about. The spin went viral the same night. My Twitter, Instagram and phone were all blowing up. I had over 200 texts, which took a couple of weeks to go through. It was exciting to get that feeling back of not only playing, but shining after a year off.

I want to keep on doing that for years.

I recommend that piece in full, as it explains the tricks of the trade Miller had to pick up on the way that prevented him from being fully weaponized by the Ohio State coaching staff. (One example: He didn't feel comfortable working against press coverage until a month before the season.)

I can't wait to see Miller continue his development at the next level, even when the dastardly Cincinnati Bengals end up drafting him. If he can survive a tsunami of text messages then can survive wearing Bengal stripes.

 TYVIS POWELL KEEPS IT REAL, THINGS GO RIGHT. The National Football League is a Real Serious Business staffed by Real Serious People. 

When known funnyman Tyvis Powell underwent the interview process with teams at the combine, his agent advised him to be more serious.

Powell thought about it and then decided to keep it real.


A: "So before I went to the meetings my agent said, 'Tyvis, you need to go in there and, you know you can be yourself, but you need to be more serious now because this is serious.' I said, 'All right, Jared (Fox from Sportstars, Inc.), I'll think about it.'

"I thought about it. Right before the meeting I said, 'You know what? I'm just going to stay true to who I am. They already did their research. They know how I am. I'm not going to sit here and put a front on. If they don't like me, they just won't like me. I don't want to be fake. I want them to see the real me. So I went in there and I was myself. I was the same jokey guy. We talked ball. I love talking ball. They seen I was very passionate about the game and I was answering their questions. I'll tell you what, every meeting that we had we had a great laugh in the meeting."

And here I thought it was impossible for me to love Tyvis Powell anymore than I already did.

I love this response from Powell because it's true: People respect realness, as long as that realness isn't outside their house drunk, shirtless, and armed with an unregistered pistol. 

He even knocked over sorry-ass John Elway:

A: "When I went to go meet the Denver Broncos and I seen John Elway in there ... First of all I was a little star struck. I was like, that's John Elway. I was a little mad at him because, you know, I'm from Cleveland. You messed up our chances to win the championship with The Drive, but he's still legend, though. When I got him to laugh I was like, yeah, OK. I relaxed a little bit."

No, I'm not still bitter about The Drive. I wasn't even one-year-old at the time, so that'd be ridiculous. 

But I also mentioned yesterday the idea of the Browns drafting Cardale Jones made me queazy. That was before I realized the Browns could use a safety and fatherly figure in the locker room:

Q: "We're still living together. And he still gets on my nerves every day. In fact, he just tried to call me two minutes ago. He probably needs his father. That's why he called. Although he's not going to admit it, he's going to cry when we don't get drafted by the same team."

If the NFL wanted to print (more) money it would order a team to draft Cardale and Tyvis and assign Hard Knocks to that team. Those two are the breath of fresh air that show needs.

 SPEAKING OF CARDALE... I think ESPN is going release his entire Gruden's QB Camp appearance in 30-second teasers:

NFL defenses won't be calling out their coverage, but if Jon Gruden is impressed then I am too.

This year's episodes begin April 12, but we're still awaiting an official date for Cardale's airing. You already know I'll keep you posted.

 JACOBY BOREN: HEADED PLACES. Boren may be too small for the NFL, but he won't need it to make a living:

About the Big Ten Medal of Honor:

The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.

Props to the Boren family, a clan of great Americans.

 THOSE WMDs. Federal judge calls criminal defense attorney a hazard and menace... A slave writes Thomas Jefferson... Secrets of the world's best business people... The vast collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History... A history of Einstein in comic books.

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