Skull Session: Nick Bosa's Stretching, Urban Meyer's Self-Sustaining Program, and Braxton Miller Won't Stay on Practice Squad

By Kevin Harrish on September 12, 2018 at 4:59 am
Nick Bosa is coming.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It's felt like football weather in Columbus the past few days, and I appreciate that. Bring the orange leaves and fall beer.


Word of the Day: Canorous.

 SELF-STEERING SHIP. If you didn't know any better, you'd have no idea this Buckeye team was missing one of the best coaches in college football during its first three games.

And that is absolutely a testament to Urban Meyer for creating a program that can essentially run itself – at least in the short run.

From Doug Lesmerises of

Ohio State can't be run by just anyone. But in six years Meyer has built a program that can be smoothly steered by an array of capable assistants steeped in his philosophies. Day has been great. But Greg Schiano, Kevin Wilson, Larry Johnson, Tony Alford ... several other OSU assistants could have pulled this off as well.

As veteran Columbus radio reporter Lori Schmidt suggested to Day on Monday, things are going well without Meyer because of Meyer.

"The training that's happened over the last year and obviously what Coach has done here for the six years leading up to this, there's been a foundation set here," Day said. "So when you go through something tough, if you have a good, strong foundation, then you can make it through the other side and that's what's happened."

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I sincerely think we're witnessing Urban Meyer's greatest coaching performance in these three games that he's not actually, well... coaching.

See, it's one thing to take a team and get it to exceed expectations like Meyer did in 2012 or 2014, but he's not the first coach to do that, nor will he be the last. But there aren't many coaches who can create a team culture so strong it can just run by itself without a captain.

 WE'RE STRETCHING, AND YOU'RE NICK BOSA. It turns out, Nick Bosa's cheat code to success is just the thing we all hated doing in elementary school gym class: stretching.

From Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports:

Every day since the summer of 2017, Nick Bosa has executed a dynamic stretching routine with the help of an Ohio State athletic trainer named Tyler Deam. Bosa learned it from his brother’s personal trainer, former Chargers strength and conditioning coach Todd Rice, who Marotti spoke with about the theory behind it.

For a half-hour every day – sometimes it’s two or three times a day – Nick Bosa goes through a “full lower extremity stretch” of his hamstrings, hip flexors, groin muscles, calves, glutes and quads.

The routine has helped with injury prevention, leverage from getting low and keeping loose to better flip his hips and attack the quarterback. He’s so loyal to it that he says, only half-joking, that Deam “is definitely one of the most important people in my life right now.”


While seated, Bosa can reach his fingertips 10 inches past his toes while sitting down with his legs locked. (Most normal humans struggle to touch their toes.) That’s the highest number of any Ohio State player regardless of position, according to Marotti. That gives Nick Bosa ballerina flexibility to accentuate his rarified pass-rushing genetics.

“I’ve never seen anyone that size be able to bend like him,” Deam said in a phone interview. “I joke with him, ‘If football doesn’t work out for you, you can always do gymnastics.'”

Back in July, I poked fun at Bruce Feldman including Bosa on his annual freaks list due to his flexibility and his ability to bend, but after reading this, I am wrong. This is just absurd, and I understand how it could give him an advantage.

 FORTUNATE CHANGE OF PLANS. Legendary Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw should have been on the second plane that struck the World Trade Center.

The reason she wasn't: current Ohio State women's basketball head coach Kevin McGuff.


McGraw and McGuff had flown commercially to Boston on Monday to make a home visit that night in the recruitment of Nicole Wolff, a guard from Walpole, Massachusetts. Wolff, the 2002 McDonald's High School Player of the Year, eventually enrolled at Connecticut.

McGraw was slated to fly home Tuesday morning and – with the two of them sharing a rental car -- McGuff talked McGraw into passing on her nonstop flight to the West Coast to instead join him on the first Delta leg out of Providence to Detroit.

She's still not sure why she agreed.

"He said it would be much easier to fly out of Providence than Boston," she recalls of the conversation a few days earlier. "I said, 'Yeah, but I can't go direct.' He somehow just convinced me, and I thought, 'Well, it's not that big a deal, I'll just go out of Providence.' 

"If it had been another assistant coach, they might have said, 'Fine, I'll drive you to Boston.' But he was kind of like, 'I'm not driving to Boston.'

"Thank God."

McGraw opened up about her memories of the events from that day for the first time, and the whole piece is worth the read.

 BRAXTON ISN'T IN PHILLY FOR PRACTICE. Braxton Miller recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad after he was cut by the Texans just before the start of the season, but from the sound of it, neither he nor the Eagles have any intentions of him truly being a practice player.


This is a typical Howie Roseman move. Bring in a kid with tons of upside who didn't pan out in his previous NFL stop, sign him to the practice squad, let the coaches take a good look at him for a few weeks, then either move on to the next guy or promote him to the 53-man roster.


Maybe Miller isn’t the answer, but he said one of the reasons he came here was because of a sense that of all the teams he spoke with, the Eagles offered the best chance at a quick jump to the 53-man roster.

“It came down to what’s the best opportunity for me,” Miller said after practice Monday. “Start here and work my way up. Compete and show what I can do.”

It sounds like one way or another, he isn't going to be on their practice squad long. Either he'll work his way up to the 53-man roster, or they'll part ways and he'll search for another team.

 TCU SCARED? Ohio State's matchup with TCU was originally slated as a two-year home-and-home series, but it ultimately switched to a one-time, "neutral site" game in Jerry World because God forbid we play college football games on college campuses.

But TCU head coach Gary Patterson is a fan of the change, and why not? Now, he only has to play Ohio State once, and in a "neutral site" that happens to be in his own back yard.


“This is a great challenge for us, and I'm glad we're playing it, but I think it's a lot better business plan for us to play it one time instead of playing twice,” Patterson said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference.

Why? Two reasons.

First, a game against a top-flight program comes with significant ramifications. Win, and it can insert a team in the College Football Playoff discussion. Lose, and the hopes and dreams are all but shattered. Take Patterson’s recent example: Oklahoma and Ohio State played a home-and-home the past two years. Ohio State won in 2016 and made it to the CFP semifinals. Oklahoma used a 2017 win to surge into the CFP semifinals. The loser watched from home.

Then there are the injury concerns from a game of such magnitude. Oklahoma has first-hand experience of this from last weekend when star running back Rodney Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Reading between the lines, Patterson is saying "If we play two games, there's a strong chance we lose both, it's extremely likely we lose at least one, and totally unlikely we win twice."

It sounds like Patterson is willing to roll the dice and hope for the best once against a young team early in the season, but wants no part of Ohio State twice, regardless of what happens the first time around.

I can't say I blame him, but I can't say I respect it either.

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