Skull Session: Haskins on the Ones That Got Away, Meyer's No. 1 Concern, and Burrow at a Crossroads

By D.J. Byrnes on April 16, 2018 at 4:59 am
Dwayne Haskins looks down the field for the April 16 2018 Skull Session

Big ups to Gene Smith and Urban Meyer for delaying a final decision on the spring game until Friday morning. Just another unit of greatness that separates them from their counterparts at Michigan.

Now it's time to get this Monday out of the way like we're Tate Martell and it's Wayne Davis:

Can't wait to make "Ohio State's situational quarterback is the billionaire's version of Michigan's starter" jokes.

Spring game ICYMI:

Another shoutout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who beat the Washington Capitals in overtime for the second game in a row to advance to a 2-0 series lead. Big party in Columbus on Tuesday night.

Word of the Day: Quisling.

 HASKINS REMEMBERS. Tom Brady once said he doesn't want a coach that says, "Nice throw, Tom." Elite guys don't need positive reinforcement.

Dwayne "Train" Haskins is not a finished product. He is still striving for greatness, which means a higher standard. He showcased an arm capable of a "wow" throw anytime he drops back, but the nine missed passes concerned him after the game.


Both quarterbacks had some nice throws on the day. Joe Burrow completed deep passes to Demario McCall and Binjimen Victor, while Dwayne Haskins found Victor deep as well, and also zipped a touchdown pass into the outstretched hands of sophomore Jaylen Harris.

Interestingly, however, when Haskins was asked which of his passes on the day stuck out to him most, he went in another direction.

“I more so remember the throws I didn’t make than the ones I completed,” he said. “But I liked the one I threw to Ben on that nine route. It was a one-on-one matchup on the sideline and I thought it was a pretty good pass.”

***tears running down my face, smearing my clown makeup*** That's my quarterback, man.

I don't envy Urban Meyer's decision (more on the other half of that decision in the back). For Haskins, it will be about consistency. If that happens, he could play like Jameis Winston with a Moral Compass.

 NO HEIR APPARENT FOR WEBB. While I'm busy whipping fans into a preseason lather unseen since 2015, Ohio State's head coach focuses on doing something helpful.

Yes, his latest team may prove to be his most talented. It still needs a field safety to play opposite of Jordan Fulller.

From The Toledo Blade:

“Field safety is probably our No. 1 concern on our team right now,” Meyer said. “We’re just not quite sure who that is.”


[Jordan Fuller's] partner on the backside of the secondary is not clear. Isaiah Pryor started next to Fuller, but Brendon White, Amir Riep, Wayne Davis, and Jahsen Wint are in the picture as well. Later this summer, Josh Proctor and Marcus Hooker will arrive, and in training camp, and OSU plans to give the entire crew a chance at the open spot.

“Around here, there’s no freshman, sophomore, junior,” defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “If you’re the best guy, you’ll play.”

If White, Riep, Davis, or Wint don't seize the job, I'm shifting all chips into Josh Proctor's corner.

Starting a true freshman on the back end of the defense is a risky proposition. But it could be done considering the talent at literally every other position. Proctor has the ability to make an impact right away:

 JOE BURROW MAKES HIS STAND. I pledged fealty to Dwayne Haskins, and I'm not abandoning the ship. However, it's not going to be an outrage if Joe Burrow takes the reins against Oregon State.

Burrow looks like he pours malt liquor over gravel for breakfast and smokes two packs of Marlboro Reds a day, and he has proven he was more than a big fish overlording a small pound during his record-breaking prep career at Athens.

Meyer probably wants to keep his decision secret until Sept. 1. That may not be possible if he picks Haskins.

From Young Adam Schefter, Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors:

Burrow said Saturday that he will have to have discussions with his family about what he should do next if he is not named the starting quarterback coming out of spring, even if the coaches tell him that they have not yet made a decision.

"I came here to play," Burrow said. "I didn’t come here to sit on the bench for four years. And I know I’m a pretty darn good quarterback. And I want to play somewhere."

Burrow also said, though, that leaving Ohio State would be a very difficult decision to make.

"It would be really hard for me to leave," Burrow said. "I’ve put so much into this, and I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and if I were to leave, it would be pretty devastating for me. But at the same time, I would understand how they went."

Have I mentioned I don't envy Meyer's decision? I have? Shit...

The one good thing about Burrow transferring is it would eliminate the possibility of a debacle like 2015, where neither quarterback looked comfortable as they looked to the sidelines after every errant throw.

Because Burrow doesn't have the accolades of J.T. Barrett. If he wins and doesn't look the part, there will be chants for Haskins. I would probably be leading it, too.

 DON BROWN: BASEBALL COACH. Don Brown, the one competent Michigan assistant not named Ed Warinner, took over Yale baseball in 1992 and led the team to its first NCAA tournament in 44 years.

The man had swagger even back then... with a mustache to match, too.

From Kyle Rowland of The Toledo Blade:

Don Brown, 1992\
Brown in 1992.

During negotiations that led to Brown’s one-year appointment, Yale athletic director Ed Woodsum told him that he would inherit a talented group that needed direction and positive motivation. The baseball part felt low stress because of his staff, the team’s aptitude, and the sport’s universal nature.

“It’s bunt rotations, it’s first and third situations, it’s cutoffs. It’s all pretty fundamental,” Brown said. “It’s not like the higher up you go, the tactics change. The tactics are pretty consistent. Obviously, they get succinct as you move up and you try to be more precise, but the tactics remain the same.”

In a team meeting, Brown told his players they needn’t worry about his lack of baseball expertise because he was a good coach and they would enjoy playing for him.

Brown outed every past, present, and future baseball manager as a grifter, and I applaud him. I've said for years the sport is a hoax.

 RUTGERS: PLAY LIKE VILLANOVA. Let's check in with old friend of the program Chris Ash as he enters Year 3 of coaching Rutgers.


“Villanova wins a national championship. Why? Well, they hit a lot of 3-pointers,” Ash said after the Scarlet-White Game concluded spring practice with a 132-132 tie (and no, Rutgers wasn’t that explosive; credit the special scoring system).

“Big plays. Offensively, if we’re going to go out and perform the way we want, help our football team change results, we have to get more explosive plays.”

Sounds like the Knights won't be challenging for the Big Ten East crown just yet.

 THOSE WMDs. How factories changed the world... Unsinkable: Why we can't let go of the Titanic... Profiteers lure women into often-unneeded surgery... America's most famous serial killer and the myth of the psychopath... Can you say hero? A profile of Mr. Rogers.

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