Skull Session: The Austin Mack Difference, That Time Mail Cost Ohio State a Star, and Chargers Prepare for Life without Joey Bosa

By D.J. Byrnes on August 24, 2016 at 4:59 am
The Best Damn Band in the Land brought Old Glory for the August 24th 2016 Skull Session

Ohio State football is so close I can taste Falcon blood on my lips.

This fall is about to be a banger too because it's the year the Browns put the war machine in motion:

Crazy to think the NBA, MLB, NFL, and college football championships could all reside in Ohio by early February.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Our Eric Seger, whom you should follow on Twitter, obtained the latest performance reviews for Urban Meyer's staff. His report hits the streets at 8:00 a.m. ET.

 AUSTIN MACK: A MAN WITH SPECIAL SKILLS. Urban Meyer makes no bones about it in recruiting: If you're an electric athlete, he will find you a position.

Meyer's offense is based on getting his best athletes the balls in space, and no position facilitates that better than wide receiver.

The problem is it takes more than just freakish athleticism to excel at wide receiver. This is why Braxton Miller disappeared at times and Torrance Gibson failed to see the field last season.

Austin Mack lacks either of their athleticism, but he's in position to play as a true freshman. Why? Because he's trained at wide receiver the last five years.


There's a learning curve for him, just like any freshman, but he's not learning basic receiver skills. Those were taught to him long ago by a private receivers coach in Fort Wayne, Indiana named Dre Muhammad.

Mack has been working at this since he was a freshman in high school. That's why Meyer was so infatuated with him.

"Coach Meyer emphasized how I was able to use my arms to pull out of routes, using two steps instead of being slow out of routes," Mack said. "Thanks to the development and foundation that I had, that's what separated me from a lot of other receivers. Physically, some of the South Florida kids are blessed with such great ability, and I wasn't. Having those techniques is what enhanced my ability."

That last quote illuminates why Mack is pegged for playing time, and why Urban Meyer said Ben Victor (who hails from South Florida) is coming along great in camp but "still has a ways to go."

I recommend that article in full to anyone interested in the discussion. It's hard to argue with Meyer's results, but it helps illuminate what makes Mack a different breed in Zone-6.

 #TEENS BE FICKLE. We all laughed Monday night when four-star Georgia DT Aubrey Solomon decommitted from Michigan, in part, because it spelled his name wrong in numerous recruiting pamphlets.

As it turns out, a similar gaffe cost Ohio State a shot at an in-state star back in the early 90s.


Curtis Enis was a phenomenon at Mississinawa Valley in the early 1990s who later starred at Penn State.

Why didn’t the bruising running back stay closer to home and go to Ohio State? Cooper told reporters prior to the Buckeyes’ 38-7 shellacking of the Nittany Lions in 1996, “Curtis Enis never gave us the time of day.”

But Enis had a different version. He was turned off by recruiting letters that referred to him as “Chris.”

Some people are uptight about their names. Others are like my former 14th Avenue roommate Khaled, who always listed his name as "Bill" when ordering food.

Still, this appears to be a long-standing epidemic in the Big Ten:

Plot twist: Copenhaver ended up at Michigan. Makes you think, for sure.

 SWEET STORY, CHARGERS. The days of the rookie hold out were supposed to end with structured salaries. Thanks to the San Diego Chargers' legendary cheapness, however, the club is now preparing to play its regular season opener without the No. 3 overall pick of this year's draft.


SAN DIEGO -- With the team reaching Day 25 since rookies had to report and first-round pick Joey Bosa still unsigned, the San Diego Chargers are preparing for the regular season as if the Ohio State product will not be available for the season opener on the road against the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs.

Bosa and the Chargers are still locked in a contract stalemate over offset language and the earlier payment of deferred signing bonus money.


The Chargers dropped Bosa from third string to fourth string at defensive end on the team's latest depth chart. Darius Philon is listed as the starter, followed by Tenny Palepoi, Zamir Carlis and Bosa. With the Chargers preparing for the team's regular-season dress rehearsal -- Sunday's preseason matchup against the Minnesota Vikings -- San Diego must move forward as if Bosa will not be available for the season opener in three weeks.

I'm shocked Bosa held out this long, but on the other hand, the Chargers have yet to offer him a contract comparable to that of Top-3 picks of years past.

If the Browns pulled something like this, I would write cruel tweets until their social media intern blocked me. Maybe the Browns could acquire Bosa in next year's draft, but he'll probably be gone by pick No. 32.

 LEARN FROM WOODY. Woody Hayes would detest a degenerate like me, but it doesn't change that I could listen to him talk football all day.

Via 11Wer Northern Nevada Buck, here's Hayes explaining the triple-option:

Ohio State fans deserve an Urban Meyer Show like this. It would make everyone smarter, which is always nice. Sadly, I don't think that'd be his cup of FourLoko.

 MISSISSIPPI WILDIN' OUT. They do things differently in Mississippi. It's the state where Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill had a bull castrated in front of his team as a motivational tactic. 

Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze didn't sacrifice any bovine testicles, but his motivational tactic is still creepy.

From (via 11Wer teddyballgame):

Two weeks before Ole Miss faces Florida State in one of the biggest early-season games in program history, Freeze sought to teach his players about beliefs and behaviors. Instead of a motivational speaker or any kind of emotional Kumbaya, the Rebels held a funeral for Freeze.

"I created a funeral scene for me and showed it to all our players, Freeze said on Monday. "The whole purpose is understanding whatever you believe drives your behaviors, and your behaviors drive your performance, and your performance will give you some result."

That funeral tape will come when Florida State demolishes Freeze's program in front of a national audience on Labor Day.

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