Skull Session: Expectations of Martell, Hubbard “Ahead of the Curve,” and How Ohio State Prepared Vrabel

By D.J. Byrnes on June 20, 2018 at 4:59 am
Tony Alford coaches the June 20 2018 Skull Session

Here's the play we're running on our bosses at 11 a.m. when we roll out of the office to take a six-hour lunch at the nearest concrete pond filled with chemicals and the secretions of strangers.

Office security won't know what him 'em.


​Word of the Day: Trite.

 EXPECT T8NESS. Urban Meyer loves competition to the point I wouldn't be surprised he made his children compete in a triathlon to decide their inheritance. 

Meyer's DNA means Tate Martell will have a crack at earning the starting job in camp. I'm not betting he'll derail the Dwayne Train, yet Meyer has made clear Martell will see the field.

Don't expect a 50/50 platoon.

From attorney at law Ryan Ginn of

He’s too good to keep on the bench all season, so he’s going to find the field in some capacity. I don’t think Ohio State will use a definite structure like rotating series or playing one quarterback in the red zone, but there will be a role for Martell in this offense.

Ohio State coaches said during spring practice that they’re working on a package for Martell, whose speed and elusiveness can give the Buckeyes a different weapon. How that package takes shape remains to be seen, but Martell could either come in situationally at quarterback or line up in the backfield or in the slot every so often. Outside of garbage time when he’s allowed to be a full-time quarterback, I think it’s fair to expect him on the field for around 10 snaps a game.

Ten snaps isn't a lot. But the mind doesn't need to travel far before conjuring crafty ways Meyer could deploy him... lining him up in the slot, running a reverse, and having him throw... and all of our knowledge of the game combined probably wouldn't equal Meyer's and Ryan Day's.

 ANOTHER BUCKEYE AHEAD OF THE CURVE. We talked yesterday about how Denzel Ward already impressed the Cleveland Browns locker room with a combination of his on-field talent and off-the-field demeanor.

A quick 250 mile trip south on I-71 in Cincinnati, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is praising Sam Hubbard.


“He has been way ahead of the curve,” Lewis told WCPO. “We’re just excited about that. He’s going to really complement and add to our football team right away. I’m just excited because he’s probably out here a little mature beyond his years right now.”

Lewis wants to see how Hubbard – like all rookies – makes the transition to pads when training camp opens in late July. From there, Hubbard will have an opportunity in preseason games to show his ability.

“He’ll be part of our rotation in the defensive line group,” Lewis said. “That’s what I see for him looking into the future, very early right away this year. That’s what we were looking for when we picked him.”

Congratulations to Ohio's professional football teams for realizing something the entire NFL and 94% of the state's residents have known for five years. There may be hope one of them wins a Super Bowl before the sun explodes.

 FICKELL BELIEVED IN VRABEL. Mike Vrabel already looked like a veteran head coach at his introductory press conference with the Tennessee Titans. It's almost hard to believe just eight years ago Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell took a flier on him as an assistant coach.

Perhaps "flier" is the wrong choice of word. Fickell knew in his heart Vrabel would excel in his new career.

There may not be a bigger bromance in Ohio State history than Fickell and Vrabel's.

Ohio State Football: Just Dudes Supporting Dudes.

 PRYOR'S OLD TEAM WANTS HIS SOUL. Terrelle Pryor has been a controversial football player since he was a five-star recruit in rural Pennsylvania. The tradition continues through today, where Pryor's former Washington teammate openly admits they're gunning for Pryor in a mixed practice with the New York Jets.

From (brackets mine):

During an appearance on The Team 980, [linebacker Zach] Brown said that coach Jay Gruden didn’t let defenders get physical with Pryor last year and noted that Gruden isn’t able “to protect you anymore” while warning Pryor away from trying to make highlight reel catches in practice sessions.

“That’s going to be something right there,” Brown said, via NBC Sports Washington. “The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now. … The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year. Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm.”

Never understood why players broadcast their planned head hunting. Pryor's body probably welcomes the warning.

 MICHIGAN MEN BLOWING MONEY. My advice to anyone betting on Michigan to make the College Football Playoffs: Put that cash on the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC North.

To anyone betting on Notre Dame to make the playoffs: Please call 1-800-522-4700.

 THOSE WMDs. The story behind Columbus road names... How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite drug-fighting team... How an overdose shuts down your body... California's largest lake is dying, leaving behind toxic dust... Why is Finland a meeting spot for superpowers?

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