This individual was in high school 18 months ago.
- Michael Jordan's potential move to center is about putting the best five linemen on the field.
- Predicting which three freshmen might play earlier than the others in their class.
- Why is it so hard for some coaches to just answer questions directly? They're conditioned to avoid doing that.
- Freshman linebacker Dallas Gant loses his black stripe.
- NCAA will now allow undrafted college basketball players to return to school.
Word of the Day: Obdurate.
BRAXTON MILLER LOOKING LIKE A RECEIVER. After two seasons playing professionally at the highest level, Braxton Miller may have finally figured out how to play his position.
Catching passes in stride on a sun-splashed morning, everything is clicking for Braxton Miller.
His route-running is textbook. His pass-catching fundamentals are on point. And Miller no longer looks out of place or uncomfortable lined up outside the hash marks as a wide receiver.
“It wasn’t easy, to be honest with you,” Miller said following a training camp practice. “I dug deep. I learned from the guys around me. Watching DeAndre helped me improve my game a lot.
“I want to be on top of my game. I’m having fun. I feel great. I know what I’m doing. I’m not thinking too much. I’m getting the job done.”
I mean this without even a bit of sarcasm – it's absolutely incredible that Miller was drafted in the third round and has been able to survive in the NFL for two seasons while clearly not knowing how to play the position he's being paid millions of dollars to play. It speaks volumes to how purely athletic he is.
I'll never forget his first game playing receiver in college. I remarked multiple times that he looked lost, wasn't running crisp routes and was a useless blocker – all of which made sense for a guy who's played receiver for like three months.
But then he caught the first pass thrown to him, diving and cradling it under his body, then two quarters later he torched a helpless safety and somehow avoided the tackle and stayed in bounds for a touchdown.
If that's the product of Miller having no idea how to play receiver, it's absolutely worth keeping him on an NFL roster for a few years until he figures it out.
And when he does...
THE PRICE IS ALRIGHT. It's a tad bit concerning when the nation's top center from last season has a little trouble snapping the ball, as was the case earlier this week during the Bengals' annual mock game when four of Billy Price's snaps ended up on the ground.
The first one was Andy Dalton's fault as the ball just went through his hands, but the other three came on exchanges under center, something Price didn't do a whole lot of at Ohio State.
Price even declined to speak to the media afterwards – which is absolutely shocking if you know much about him.
But whatever the issue was, it seems to have been corrected.
Second straight practice for Billy Price with no bad snaps, and it was a sloppy, wet day today.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 7, 2018
"I think we've moved past that," Price said.#Bengals
More from Price: The last 2 days since mock game "were an opportunity to showcase to everybody and handle what I can do and move forward and grow from it. We're going to be OK. Rain, shine, snow, hail, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, whatever you like, we'll be OK." #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 7, 2018
I'm glad we can put that all behind us and Billy can go ahead with his 10-year career as Cincinnati's starting center.
LOOKING FOR THE BEST FIVE. Speaking of starting centers, Ohio State needs one.
In the spring, it seemed the center battle was a two-man race between fifth-year senior Brady Taylor and redshirt freshman Josh Myers, with Taylor holding a slight edge.
But as we enter fall camp, it seems the Buckeyes might consider once again moving a veteran guard to the middle, in an effort to get the five-best slobs on the field.
From Bill Landis of Cleveland.com:
Michael Jordan took reps at center during the portion of Tuesday's practice that was open to the local media. Big Ten Network was there all day, and we saw some social media postings from them that had Jordan at center on the first-team offensive line during competitive 11-on-11.
That's a surprising development only if you've forgotten the charge of offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who seems to have as much influence on the O-line. Step one is finding the best five linemen. That conversation complicates the search for a new center.
As much as I'd love to see Taylor win the job as a redshirt senior, I can't fault the coaching staff's temptation to roll with an interior line of Demetrius Knox, Michael Jordan and Branden Bowen or Malcolm Pridgeon. That just sounds terrifying.
SWOLE PUNTER SHOULD BE STARTER. A year after the Philadelphia Eagles brought in our favorite swole punter from down under to compete for the starting job, they've brought him back.
But this year, there is literally no competition.
Johnston has been in a competition with himself for the punter job. So far, he's winning.
"Extremely high," said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on his confidence with Johnston. "You watch him, he’ll have four or five really good kicks. There will be an occasional one that will go awry just a little bit.
"But that’s all part of his plan, too. Part of his progression with what we’re asking him to do directionally, right, left, try to get him outside the numbers. It’s all new. So, he’s learning that and done a good job."
I've witnessed Cameron Johnston do absolutely unnatural things with a football, dropping it inside the five-yard line repeatedly from like 50 yards away. Assuming his spells work over in Philly, I think he'll be just fine this year.
TERRELLE PRYOR, ALSO A RECEIVER. Folks, in today's Skull Session, I give you not one, but two former Ohio State quarterbacks trying to make careers as NFL receivers.
The catch of the day belonged to Terrelle Pryor. Darnold had Pryor one-on-one with Derrick “Bones” Jones, one of the early standouts in camp, and the rookie passer made the smart move of giving the 6’4”, 228-pounder a chance. Pryor palmed the ball at the top of his jump and brought in for a score.
“Pryor, I think he duplicated the catch I made in fourth grade,” said Bowles with a grin. “But it was a heck of a catch.”
I knew Pryor could make a career as an NFL receiver the second I saw him nab a touchdown pass over a helpless Texas defensive back who was in perfect position to make the play.
Deep #sources tell me he also did this to Malcolm Jenkins during bowl practices, and it nearly led to a brawl on the field, which I assume is due to freshman Terrelle Pryor's notorious maturity and humbleness.
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