Skull Session: Cardale Jones to Throw at Pro Day, Harry Miller’s Mom Shares Her Story, and Jim Knowles is Teaching and Not Competing

It’s Ohio State’s Pro Day today – the world’s most electric job interview.

Be sure you’re following Dan, Griffin and Garrick for updates from the WHAC.

You can follow me too, if you’d like. But I’ll just be watching my computer screen at home with my cat and will deliver you the opposite of a pleasant social media experience.

Word of the Day: Bodacious.

DOLO RETURNS. Today is Ohio State’s pro day, which is fun and cool and exciting by itself. But there’s a little more juice for this one because Buckeye royalty will be returning to the facilities to help throw some bombs.

So, if y’all ever wanted to know what Cardale and his cannon would have looked like tossing to two of the best receivers in program history, now’s your chance.

CJ Stroud’s gonna be throwing too, which will be a nice little preview of what’s to come next year for the NFL team reps in attendance. I’m nearly positive there will be teams that wish they could call his name in the first round this year, but patience is a virtue.

MOM, SUPPORTER, BIGGEST FAN, ETC. We’ve talked a lot about Harry Miller’s struggles, his bravery, and how anybody who’s feeling that way is not alone – all for good reason.

But there’s another side to this, too – the loved ones of someone struggling in their mental health, and how to best support, love, and help them.

Harry’s mom, Kristina Miller, told her part of the story.

Things seemed to be going well—until they weren’t. By December, we felt Harry pulling away, being unresponsive, even angry. Our concern was at an all-new high. Over Christmas vacation, we agreed that we wouldn’t discuss school, football or even his health, because that’s what he wanted. We spent a week relaxing at the beach and just being together. It was truly perfect.

But we hadn’t discussed any of the issues that were concerning us. My husband and I told Harry we were coming up to Ohio in January to visit him and talk. To be honest, I was a little mad. I wanted to know why he was pulling away. Was it because he’s about to turn 21? Did we do something to make him angry? Was he still depressed? We didn’t know, but we were going to find out.

We weren’t prepared for what we found in Ohio: a bloody box cutter and a son who was telling everyone (doctors, coaches, parents, friends) what he thought they wanted to hear. The pain in his eyes was obvious. We talked, cried and together decided it was time to step away from football. Truth be told, I’m fairly certain he had already made this decision but was so afraid of disappointing us and everyone else that he was willing to sacrifice himself. I have no doubt that continuing that way would have resulted in a very different outcome.

While this isn’t the journey we had expected for our son, it is perhaps an even greater mission than we could have imagined. Admittedly, I spent some time being angry that our son was suffering so terribly and that my plan for him seemed to be falling apart. What I’m learning is that this new plan is so much more impactful and important, and as long as Harry is willing to be a voice and a face of mental health for others to relate to, we will support him in every way possible.

In the letter, she recalls leaving Harry at school or talking to him on the phone and having very real concerns and doubts that she would ever see her son again, which has to be an absolutely unimaginable feeling.

She also gives some advice to everybody can help support the mental health of athletes – even if it may just be as simple as not being a dick online.

Required reading.

TEACHING, NOT COMPETING. I simply cannot get enough of Jim Knowles’ approach to teaching football.

Yesterday, Ryan Day shared a little insight as to what practice is looking like with Knowles running the show: a lot less direct competition every drill, and a lot more teaching and learning.

“The thing I’ve noticed with Jim is that it’s not a competition every day of who can win the drill, it’s about teaching, because he has his eyes on that first game in September. There will be a time when we want to go against each other, move the ball and compete but I think that’s the veteran coach in him, he understands the big picture. There’s a method to the way he’s installing, the way he’s teaching. We had a practice before we left for spring break where he ran the same defense for the entire practice. It’s unbelievable teaching to me, it’s not about winning the drill, it’s about getting better at a defense, learning and developing at a high level. I thought that was really impressive. I’m impressed with the way the guys have been playing, their energy and attention to detail.”

I don’t think I could possibly be more sold on an assistant coach, and I haven’t even seen a glimpse of the actual on-field product.

NOT JUST FOOTBALL PLAYERS. It’s a bit of an oxymoron, but I think that the best coaches, at the end of the day, truly do not give a damn about your athletic performance.

Ryan Day, by all accounts, is one of those coaches.

I’m not at the stage of having to even remotely consider these things yet, but that is absolutely the type of coach I would want my son or daughter playing for.

My son happens to be eight pounds, purrs and is covered in a soft white fluff, so I don’t see him getting any scholarship offers anytime soon.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Anyone” by Justin Bieber.

NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. How Ryan Flaherty used two monkeys to make the MLB… The secret behind Tom Brady’s social media… The disasters you might not think about… How your mindset shapes your love life… My phone is stalking my boyfriend. ..

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