Skull Session: Latest Will Smith Case Developments, A Hater's Take on Darron Lee, and the Worst Seat in the Shoe

By D.J. Byrnes on April 13, 2016 at 4:59 am
Dre'Mont Jones is looking up at the April 13th 2016 Skull Session.
Dre'Mont Jones

Can't decide what's better right now: Better Call Saul or The Americans, but I do know fans of The Walking Dead owe me an apology as their show isn't even playing the same sport.


Is that Thad Matta's music? You're damn right it is.

Something else to watch: Three-star SF Andre Wesson, older brother of '17 commit Kaleb Wesson, announces his college decision at 2:15 p.m. He is 100% crystal balled to Ohio State.

 LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SMITH CASE. Two developments happened in the Will Smith case on Tuesday.

Cardell Hayes' lawyer insisted since Sunday his client was the victim of a hit-and-run minutes before his fatal encounter with Smith. Surveillance footage obtained by ABC seems to corroborate that claim as it shows a Mercedes SUV, which is what Smith was driving, rear-ending Hayes' Hummer.

While Hayes immediately pulled over, the driver of the SUV appeared to do the same before peeling off, leading Hayes to pursue the perpetrator.   

Hayes' defense hinges on his belief his life was in danger. Another video captured in the aftermath of the shooting showed a bystander claim Smith was the first one to raise the specter of a gun.

While that remains unclear, a loaded gun was found in Smith's SUV after NOLA police executed a search warrant on Tuesday.


A fully loaded 9 mm handgun was found inside Will Smith's Mercedes-Benz SUV, New Orleans police said Tuesday, three days after the former Saints defensive end was shot and killed following a three-car crash in the Lower Garden District.

Investigators found no evidence to suggest the gun was fired, and police did not say if the weapon belonged to Smith or another person inside the car the night of his death.


Police on Tuesday also said a fully loaded revolver was also found inside the Hummer H2 driven by Hayes, 28. But shell casings and ballistic evidence recovered at the scene indicate the revolver was also not fired, NOPD said. Police did not say who owned the revolver. 

Hayes is expected to be charged with either aggravated battery of attempted second degree murder for shooting Smith's wife, but says those charges weren't filed as of Tuesday afternoon.

In more positive news, the New Orleans Saints will be celebrating the life of their former captain on Friday.

Per a release from the franchise:

New Orleans – The New Orleans Saints and the family of Will Smith will host a visitation for guests wishing to pay their final respects to Will Smith on Friday, April 15, 2016 from 2:00-7:00 pm at the Saints’ indoor practice facility located at 5800 Airline Drive in Metairie. 

Those wishing to pay their respects will be able to park for free in available parking lots at the Saints complex, with courtesy overflow parking being held at the adjacent New Orleans Zephyrs parking lots.  Guests planning on attending will see clearly marked signs directing both traffic flow and pedestrian traffic, as well as Saints’ employees assisting those with questions.  

The Ohio State football will also honor Smith with a decal on their helmets at this Saturday's spring game.

 DARRON LEE: NOT AS GOOD AS WE THINK? Darron Lee came to Columbus intent on replacing Ryan Shazier, which was bold talk from a guy who played QB in high school. Nobody here needs a refresher on what happened next as Lee is poised to be selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

While some hail Lee as a prototype of modern linebackers, football evaluation is not an exact science. 

For the "WELL, ACTUALLY" opinion on Lee, we turn to

To be clear, our analysts like Lee as a potential Day 2 pick—they just don’t love him as a first-round selection, which is where he is showing up on many other draft boards. Lee made some terrific highlight-reel plays for Ohio State, but his play-by-play production was inconsistent. He ranked just 27th in this year’s linebacker class in overall grade, and actually earned a slightly negative grade in pass coverage, ranking 74th. That’s surprising given Lee’s reputation, but is backed up by two more concerning numbers: Lee allowed the 12th-highest yards per coverage snap average in the class, and had seven missed tackles on receivers after the catch, giving him the fourth-worst tackling efficiency on passing plays. This difficulty in getting ball-carriers to the ground shows up in run defense as well, as his run-stop percentage was the fourth-worst in this linebacker class. Again, there is a lot to like about Lee’s game, and he was asked to do a lot in Ohio State’s defense. But the gap between Lee and UCLA’s Myles Jack—another off-ball linebacker celebrated for his athletic ability—is significant on the PFF draft board.

Lee didn't light the world on fire in 2015 (compared to his bulldozing of the 2014 postseason, anyway), but those pass coverage and wide receiver tackling statistics surprised me, which is probably the point of sabermetrics.

The good news is Lee is the type of guy who thrives on doubt. My advice to any team thinking of passing on Lee would be, "Are you high? This guy dines on the hearts of people who doubt him."

 SO THIS IS WHAT THEY MEAN BY "OBSTRUCTED VIEW." Whenever you see Ohio State boasting about crowds at the Horseshoe, please take a moment to pour out some FourLoko for the patriots that attend games despite views like this:

The last time I saw a view that ugly I was in a gym locker room surrounded by a gang of naked old men. (Nobody loves anything as much as much as dudes over 60 love flaunting their withered penises in locker rooms.)

Props to Jim for surviving not only that seat but the ending of the MSU game. I would've bashed my head into that pillar until I broke my neck.

 PIKASHOE! PIKASHOE! PIKAAASHOOOOE!!! I've never attended a spring game, but that's only because I was never promised a Pokémon-themed halftime show.

I'm can only imagine the titanic struggle members underwent to get this one approved by band elders. ("So yeah, Pikachu is this electric squirrel..."

 GERMAN RANDY MOSS? OH HELL YEAH. Apologies to Michael Thomas, but he's no longer my favorite WR prospect in the draft. All I needed to hear was "German Randy Moss."

How fluent in German is Kerry Coombs? Sounds like it could be the new pipeline. You know SEC coaches won't be hip to it either because they've never heard of Europe.

 THOSE WMDs. Most of the tree of life is a complete mystery... Strange case of a woman who can't remember her past or imagine her future... Latest "savior of U.S. soccer" is more than hype... Emoji can lead to huge misunderstandings... Mafia and a special flower arrangement.

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