Many have wondered what it is that makes Coach Romar such an awesome coach. I had the luxury of tracking him down after his 3 point OT victory over ASU(despite the 4 point spread but we wont get into that). After each timeout, missed basket, or made basket, he seemed to be calling the same thing over and over again. I present to you how to break down ASU's zone D:
Unfortunatley my paint.net skills will not allow me to replicate off balance prayers that dont come close to hitting the basket, let alone going in.
Monday was the first day at the Combine for the defense. DL and LBs went through the drills. In the interest of keeping the ex-Mariner Game near the top of the page, I will post my notes as a comment to this post. So, click through to read more.
Three days of position drills have been completed at the 2009 Combine. With just the defensive backs left, it is time for a brief recap of the offensive positions and some things that stuck out over the past couple days (defensive recap will be posted tomorrow).
Saturday (OL and TE) Obviously, the big story of the day was Andre Smith’s departure. He and his agent mishandled the situation and failed to inform the appropriate people. The guys on NFL Network seem to be split on how much this effect his stock. He will probably still go Top 10.
Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe both looked good in the drills on Saturday. Monroe put up disappointing bench press numbers, but that was the only knock on him. He looks to be the more complete and polished player of the two. Smith is a converted TE who is still learning the position and developing. The thought is that he has more potential than Monroe.
Michael Oher looked a bit stiff in some of the drills, but still pretty good. William Beatty (UConn) put up some good numbers and might be a tackle that sneaks into the first round if a run on tackles happens similar to last year. Jamon Meredith (So Car) looked like the most athletic tackle out there.
With Alex Mack not participating, the two top centers were Max Unger (Oregon) and Eric Wood (Louisville). They both looked impressive. I still think Mack is the #1, but there probably won’t be much separation between the three.
I won’t spend too much time on the Tight Ends, because I figure it’s one of the only positions the Hawks are set at. Brandon Pettigrew did nothing to hurt his status as the #1 TE. His 40 time was slow, but people weren’t expecting it to be much better. Jared Cook (So Car) looked like the best athlete out there, but not much of a blocker (according to Mike Mayock). Shawn Nelson (So Miss) also showed his athleticism, but is apparently a “willing blocker” and can be taught better techniques.
Sunday (WR, RB, QB) The big news for this group was the Crabtree foot injury. The receivers who actually participated put up some good numbers. Maclin ran a 4.46, which is good but not as fast as I thought he would be. He landed a little funny during one of the drills and is having an MRI done on his knee. It’s not expected to be too serious.
The fastest 40 time was run by Darrius Heyward-Bey (4.3). This should cement him in the first round. Percy Harvin ran 4.41, but scouts wanted to see him take part in route-running drills, which he did not do. There is still some concern as to how he can be used in NFL schemes. Mike Wallace (Ole Miss) and Mike Thomas (Arizona) both looked good and ran well.
The receiver I was most impressed by was Brian Robiskie (Ohio State). He is almost 6’3” and weighed in at 209lbs. He ran a 4.51, looked good in all the drills, and caught everything thrown to him. Most impressive: he is a gifted athlete who is also a student of the game. Hopefully he would be there for the Hawks in the 2nd round if they pass on Crabtree.
NFL Network’s coverage of the RB drills was a bit weak, or maybe I somehow missed half of it. Beanie Wells ran a 4.57 and looked really uncomfortable doing so. He also took about six attempts to land his broad jump. And before each jump he would wag his arms back and forth for like 30 seconds. Very annoying. I would move him down my draft board just for wasting time. Moreno ran a 4.63. Mayock’s concern is if he can run away from people. Marshall Faulk added that he can run that time for 4 quarters, so even though it’s not too fast, he doesn’t wear down as the game goes on. Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian has attended 4 schools and been arrested 5 times. He would be a big reach for the Bengals at #6, but they’ll probably take him in the 4th or 5th round.
Stafford decided not to throw at the Combine, but Sanchez did. He looked fine on the limited number of throws I saw. If anything, I like him more now because he threw. It’s lame that Stafford didn’t.
I was pretty impressed by Pat White. He made some very nice throws (“a catchable ball”) and ran a 4.49. He did not go through the receiver drills here, but will at his pro day. If he can show the ability to play the receiver position, I would think he’d jump up many teams’ draft boards. He could factor into a team’s wildcat formation. Wildcat.
Check back tomorrow for notes on the defensive players.
With the Scouting Combine upon us, and position drills beginning tomorrow, I feel like it is an appropriate time to unveil my initial 2009 Mock Draft. This will definitely change over the next two months, but this is how it might play out based on my findings and what I hear from my sources.
1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia) I don’t think they should take him. He has bust written all over him. Not many underclassmen QBs seem to succeed. Plus, he won’t have much talent around him for a couple of years. I would take one of the top LTs or trade down (not likely). They shouldn't worry too much about blowing this pick since they'll get another chance in a year.
2. St. Louis Rams – Eugene Monroe (T, Virginia) The Rams should go with an OT at #2. For some reason I feel like Eugene Monroe will end up being the #1 after it’s all said and done. Guys from Virginia seem to rise leading up to the draft. It seems like UVa has a guy in the Top 5 every year, but they’re always a mediocre team. Al Groh must be a sucky coach.
3. KC Chiefs – Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest) Chiefs could upgrade at almost any position. They’re switching to a 3-4 defense, so they might as well get a LB. People say Curry is the safest pick in the draft, which would be better than gambling on Mark Sanchez. Plus, Steve DeBerg isn’t that bad of a QB. He’s a good game manager and they can win some close games with Curry, Dorsey, and Derrick Johnson anchoring the defense for years to come.
4. Seattle Seahawks– Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech) At first I didn’t want the Hawks to take Crabtree, but I am coming around on the idea. I don’t think the receiving corps is quite as bad as the national media does, but it does need to be improved (especially if Engram is not back). Now, he’s not 100% yet, so he won’t run at the Combine, but he is training with Michael Johnson (so he’ll be the fastest man alive once he is healthy). Other possibility is BJ Raji (DT, Boston College). I wouldn’t be too opposed to that pick. But it's always a little iffy when a guy’s stock leaps up during the postseason. I don’t think anyone would have had him this high until he wowed the scouts at Senior Bowl practices. That scares me.
5. Cleveland Browns – Everrette Brown (DE/OLB, FSU) Cleveland needs to improve their pass rush. Their sack totals last year were pathetic. Eric Mangini looks like an idiot for taking Vernon Gohlston last year, so now he’s going to try and right his wrong with his new team. And yes, I am assuming that fat joke has 100% authority over the team’s draft.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – BJ Raji (DT, Boston College) They could go with an OT since they desperately need one, but they also need some playmakers on the DL. I think they’ll consider Raji a better value (cuz they’re idiots).
7. Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri) Assuming he runs his 40 as fast I think he will, Al Davis will point to Maclin’s picture on draft day.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jason Smith (T, Baylor) The Jaguars would love to get someone to replace the homeless man that Khalif Barnes paid to impersonate him last year.
9. Green Bay Packers – Andre Smith (T, Alabama) I feel like Smith's stock will continue to drop. Most mocks have Green Bay going with a CB, such as Malcolm Jenkins. In mine, they are able to get one of the top 3 tackles (better value) because the Bengals, as mentioned previously, are idiots.
10. San Francisco 49ers – Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas) I thought about having them take Mark Sanchez just so I could feel better about playing them next year, but they should take Orakpo. I could see them going OL or WR if one of the top guys fell to them. I think they’ll take Orakpo here if he can show the ability to line up at both DE and OLB. His performance at the Combine should prove that.
11. Buffalo Bills – Aaron Maybin (DE/OLB, Penn State) Could go with Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Okla St), but I think they can get a TE in the 2nd round and use this pick to improve their pass rush.
12. Denver Broncos – Rey Maualuga (ILB, USC) Denver needs to improve their run defense. He can fill the gaps, take on blockers, and lay the wood better than anyone else in the draft. I’m not going to elaborate on the Broncos’ needs unless a certain someone makes his return to the Stache.
13. Washington Redskins – Michael Oher (T, Ole Miss) This could be a bit of a reach, but I really like Oher and the Redskins need help on the line.
14. New Orleans Saints – Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State) The Saints would likely make this pick based on value alone. Probably will not last this long.
15. Houston Texans – Brian Cushing (OLB, USC) I actually think Cushing could be the Combine MVP who blows it up and then leaps up into the Top 10.
16. San Diego Chargers – Beanie Wells (RB, Ohio State) With Sanchez still on the board, the Chargers might be able to find some trade partners who want to get ahead of the Jets. Possibly the Vikings, Bucs, or Lions if they go with someone other than Stafford at #1. Wells makes sense here if they get rid of one of their other backs.
17. New York Jets – Mark Sanchez (QB, USC) The Jets will gladly take Sanchez and he will go on to be their QB of the future until they realize he’s not ready to start in the NFL. I wonder if the Jets fans at the Draft would boo this pick?
18. Chicago Bears – Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU) Um, I got nothing
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois) I don’t think they’ll reach for Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State). They should go with a solid CB prospect who can replace Ronde Barber when he decides to do television.
20. Detroit Lions – James Laurinaitis (ILB, Ohio State) He could act as the anchor of their defense for the next 10 years. Interesting note: his father was The Animal from Legion of Doom fame.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia) A nice compliment to Brian Westbrook. I would love for the Hawks to somehow get their hands on Moreno. I think he’s going to be one of the best players to come out of this draft. Plus, his touchdown against Florida two years ago set off one of the greatest TD dances of all-time.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Eben Britton (T, Arizona) This would be a reach based on their need for help on the O-line. They might be interested in Freeman here.
23. New England Patriots – Larry English (DE/OLB, No. Illinois) If English can prove that he can play standing up he’ll be a good pick to improve the Pats pass rush.
24. Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Oklahoma State) They would probably like to get a DE or DT here, but the best value would be Pettigrew who would also fill a need. Maybe they can get the line help next year when they’re picking much higher.
25. Miami Dolphins – Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina) Percy Harvin might be rated higher, but Ted Ginn Jr is already there as a WR/KR. Nicks is slowing getting more attention especially after his highlight reel catches in UNC’s bowl game.
26. Baltimore Ravens – DJ Moore (CB, Vanderbilt) The Ravens have limited depth at cornerback and they just released McAllister (I think). Although Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake Forest) might be a more likely pick because of his ball skills and play-making ability.
27. Indianapolis Colts – Peria Jerry (DT, Ole Miss) The Colts need help at the position and Jerry seems to be moving up people’s boards.
28. Philadelphia Eagles – Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR, Maryland) They would like to add an OT, but there’s not one worth this pick. They might reach for Beatty (UConn) or Meredith (S Carolina), but I think they’ll try and trade down. If not, I guess Heyward-Bey makes sense because he would be another young receiver to help the passing game. If Andy Reid has his way he’ll probably select a pepperoni pizza. HAHAHAAHAHAHA!!
29. New York Giants – Clint Stintim (OLB, Virginia) I think the Giants could use help at this position. The real reason I have them taking Stintim is because I know nothing about him and didn’t want to give the Giants a cool player. If there are any draft-eligible players currently sleeping with anyone in Coughlin’s family then that will be the obvious pick (see Chris Snee, 2004).
30. Tennessee Titans – Percy Harvin (WR, Florida) Name a receiver on Tennessee’s roster. Nope, he’s not there anymore. Plus, he only played for the Oilers, not the Titans (I’m assuming you all said Haywood Jeffries). Harvin might go much sooner than this.
31. Arizona Cardinals – LeSean McCoy (RB, Pitt) It seems like every mock draft has this pick, so I just went with it. McCoy has lost weight recently after contracting the flu. I think he read the same mocks as me and became physically ill with the idea of playing for Arizona.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Some Cheater (WR/QB, Lucky State) Actually they’ll probably take Alex Mack, but only if Clarissa Darling is off the board.
This would leave some interesting possibilities for the Seahawks early in the 2nd round. I left Clay Matthews (LB, USC) out of the first round, but he might go in the Top 20. My choice would be Alphonso Smith, but he is another guy who will probably end up in the first round. There are still the top safeties and some quality OTs. One other possibility would be Josh Freeman. That’s what I have for now. Check in on Monday and Tuesday for Combine notes.
Driving into work this morning Groz, subbing for Mitch so I actually listened, was previewing the UW at UCLA game. He was chatting with the "Voice of the Bruins" Chris Roberts. The two of them were discussing why the Dawgs have such a hard time winning at Pauley Pavilion. Groz said somthing along the lines of there is no reason, everyone in LA is so laid back, they just sit on their hands. Mr Bruin replied with something along the lines of "well old friend, it must have been a while since you have been down here. Howland has convinced some students to wear blue shirts." Groz replied, "youre right I need to come down there and see some games with their new coach. It's probably just the history of the building, Ill give you that." To which Roberts replied, it is pretty imposing to see 11 national championship banner hanging from the rafters. Thinking about the people who have played on that court. Lew Alcindor, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Bill Walton, and Ed O'Bannon." I cant wait to stand around the water cooler today and spout off all my new found knowledge.
PEORIA, AZ – In an attempt to lure former Mariners superstar Ken Griffey Jr. back to the club, first-year General Manager Jack Zduriencik has re-signed every other player from the historic 1995 team. "The magic is back!" said Zduriencik on Monday, "Speedy Joey Cora, Randy "The Big Man" Johnson, Jay "Bonesaw" Buhner, and the rest of the great players you knew and loved will all be back in Mariners uniforms come opening day." Zduriencik, while admittedly unfamiliar with the players, was still very enthusiastic about the impending reunion and the turn around it could trigger for the organization. "All I know is that these guys saved baseball in this town once, and now they’re going to revive it, or my name isn’t Jack Zaderrrunnn-chickk …."
The series of moves comes as a surprise to many in the organization, including some of the more high-priced talent, such as 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre, who is entering the final year of his contract. "Beltre? Fuck him." Zduriencik responded. "Give me Mike Bowers any day of the week. I mean, just look at Beltre’s numbers last time he was in a contract year … Holy shit! 48 homers! … Um, whatever, Bowers will jack 50." When reached for comment Blowers responded in a whiny monotone, "Hmm, that seems a little unrealistic. And my name is Blowers. That being said, it should be fun to play again, I’m very very thrilled."
The team, as of right now is an exact mirror of the opening day roster from 1995, minus Griffey, of course. This leads some to believe that midseason moves will be made. Especially weary is former pitching prospect Jim Converse who was traded at the ’95 deadline for speedster Vince Coleman. "I can’t help but feel like I might not be here the whole season," said Converse. When approached with these comments Zduriencik responded, "Converse has an attitude problem, eh? Well I’m not afraid to ship out a bad seed, even one with as much promise as a Jim Converse." Converse played his last major league game in 1997, ending a 5-year career.
As odd and downright foolish as the move may seem to most, Zduriencik remains optimistic. "If you ask me, this team, with Griffey, might not lose a game. In fact, with the heart that this squad has, they’ll probably refuse to drop any to the opposition. I’ve even come up with a slogan that encompasses these ideals: Gotta win ‘em all!"
With Matthew Stafford being touted as the possible first pick in this year’s draft, I feel it necessary to provide an in-depth profile of the man. Scouts have been raving about his combination of elite arm strength, great accuracy, and solid leadership skills. Personally, I’m not sold on the guy. He never really seemed to put it all together while at Georgia and play consistently well. This forced me to do a little research since I disagree with the experts on this one.
I was able to discover some interesting things that happened during Stafford’s childhood. He had a live-in male nanny (seen below with Stafford at age 8) who was a father figure to him. He would often go to him for advice and would confide in him. When he was a young boy, Stafford’s nanny persuaded him to take up ballet in favor of football. Stafford’s father was angry and tried to force him into football. There was even a point where a girl joined the team and outplayed Stafford. As we now know, Stafford has taken up football, but it’s possible that every time he goes out there he resents his father for not letting him become a dancer.
Later in his childhood there was another incident of note (another episode if you will) in which Stafford felt extremely guilty for the death of his accordion teacher. He secretly wished her death and the wish came true. So it’s possible that he is still holding on to this guilt.
There was also a report that when he was younger, Stafford overheard his mother mention that he was an unplanned pregnancy and that having him set her career back by ten years. He ran away from home and spent several days working at the local bus depot before finally returning home.
He once produced counterfeit money out of his home.
And, the most disturbing of all episodes in his youth, Stafford was touched inappropriately by a camp counselor. I was able to find video of Stafford blowing the whistle on this guy. To protect his identity they refer to him as “Wesley” and put on logos to promote an 80’s sitcom (not sure why though). See for yourself:
So the way I see it, Stafford has all of the measurables, but he brings a lot of baggage with him. I wouldn’t want a quarterback with all of this guilt, resentment, and mental scarring that Stafford has, but maybe the Lions do.
There have rumors for quite awhile about a weight loss challenge going on between participants of this blog. Well I can tell you that it's true. I will not be able to divulge the participants names, as they will remain a secret, but you will see their progress.
Some of you might think this is pathetic or girly. Well I'll have you know it's not girly. Cuz girls wouldn't allow access to their weight loss blogs. So there.
Here were the initial weigh in results done the first week of the year:
Participant A: 223 Lbs.
Participant B:190 Lbs.
The face off: Fat.
The challenge will culminate in a celebration the Wednesday before the NCAA Tournament begins. We... I mean the competitors will attempt to put all the weight back on in one night by eating and drinking at the Northgate Ram.... NEVERMIND!!! We're gonna set a new date, cuz there's something mildly important that day.
We'd like to invite all of our Mustacheers to join us. The first official meeting of the Mustacheers. So mark it on your calendars boys and girls. Or don't. We don't give a shit.
So USA Swimming has decided to suspend him for 3 months. Here is the big question, What the hell does that mean? Are there some big meets coming up that he wont be able to swim in? My guess is they post a picture of him at the counter of every pool across the country with the heading, Do Not Let This Man Swim
Next up is BJ Raji (DT, Boston College). Todd McShay currently has this guy going to the Hawks in his mock draft. He generated a lot of buzz during the week by looking "unblockable" in practice according to Mike Mayock. I wanted to make notes on him during the game but he was a non-factor. They barely mentioned him and the only play I made any notes on was a goal line play when he was completely washed out of the play. They mentioned the knock on him was consistency. Looked consistently bad to me.
Patrick Chung (S, Oregon) is Mayock's 2nd rated safety and he has better-than-expected coverage skills. It's kind of hard for me to comment on that since I don't have access to all the Jaworski-cams to break down coverage on every play, so I can't be too harsh on safeties and corners. I do know that he made a nice play coming up in run support by shedding a FB-block and making a TD saving tackle at the goal line.
Bruton (S, Notre Dame) sucks. I don't even know his first name. He got beat badly on a deep ball and then they made a point of mentioning that he has terrible hands and can't catch.
The USC linebackers (Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, and Clay Matthews) all looked pretty good. Maualuga plays a little out of control but is good at taking on blocks (they must teach that to USC LBs) and laying monster hits on people if he actually gets to them. If he and Brian Russell played on the same team the other 9 guys would be fearing for their life.
Derek Pegues (S, Miss St) returned a kickoff straight into his blockers. Perfect fit for the Hawks. Kickoffs ain’t for fancy running. Follow your blocks regardless of where the hole may be.
Mitch King (DL, Iowa) is a white guy whose measurables don’t jump out at you, but guess what he has that is non-stop?
I was told that I should just post it all on the front page anyway. SO here goes, starting with the offense: The player I was most interested in watching was Michael Oher (T, Ole Miss). I thought that he looked dominant at times during the game and was able to handle Larry English (DE/OLB N. Illinois) on the speed rush. On a short TD run in the 2nd qtr he got low and fired out of his stance, driving his man completely out of the play. He did have some trouble on a couple of spin moves and power rushes where his man got into his body and pushed past him (he held on one of these plays). He seems to have some trouble finding a man to block at the 2nd level.
Brandon Gibson had to sit out the second half of the week and the game due to injury.
Quan Cosby (WR, Texas) was drafted by the Angels a few years back. I thought he looked good in college, but now I think he sucks.
Rhett Bomar (QB, Sam Houston St) is inconsistent on his throws and was too quick too tuck and run. Plus, he got booted out of Oklahoma for having some fake job I think.
And I’ll wrap this up with my thoughts on Graham Harrell (QB, Texas Tech). I have nothing against Harrell, but he can’t make any throws to the outside or down the field. I think he underthrew every ball that wasn’t some slant over the middle. I heard him comment later that his biggest strength was accuracy. I think it’s time you take a good long look in the mirror young man.
Everybody's been wondering when I am going to share my findings from the Senior Bowl. Well, the time has come. I have watched the game on my DVR and I am ready to offer up some thoughts. First off, the turnout was a little disappointing due to injuries and a few key players backed out. Also, many of this year's top prospects are underclassmen (Crabtree, Stafford, Sanchez, etc). That being said, there were still some intriguing players out there and Graham Harrell too.
Now, please keep in mind that I am unable to comment on the week of practice (which "experts" would tell you is the most important part of the Senior Bowl). I added NFL Network to my cable lineup the day of the game, so I did not DVR the practice sessions. So what you're getting here are my thoughts on the actual game along with a few notes about what other "experts" mentioned about the practices. I'll post my notes as a comment on this post so as to save space on the front page.
Speaking to a close source Mariner Play by Play announcer Dave Sims communicated the need for the Mariners to acquire another power hitter. Not speaking anonymously Sims said, "Mazel tov on the nuptials. Great pix. I look forward to meeting your bride. You are keeping weight too. Good for you. Looking forward to seeing you all on March 1. On another front: I hope we get a bopper for the lineup." Clearly Z will be looking to follow the advice of his important club executives and I can only hope this means Barry Bonds.
On an interesting note, Sims has been the Ms announcer for 2 years now, but lists his Facebook network as New York.
So in all of the craziness surrounding the last few minutes of the Super Bowl something is being overlooked ... Santonio Holmes' stupid celebration. In case you missed it, he mimicked LeBron James' pregame preparation, pretending that the ball was that bottle of chalk, dumping it into his hands and then clapping.
This was a great celebration the first time I saw it, when Nate Burleson did it last year against ... Cleveland. That's the only city it makes sense to do it in because you're making fun of LeBron's pregame ritual (which he stole from KG anyway right?) and riling up the fans. Here's a few instances when it wouldn't make sense:
1. After you've made the biggest catch of your career. 2. After you've just helped your team win the Super Bowl. 3. When you're playing against Arizona in Tampa, Fl. 4. After somebody else already did it, rendering it completely unoriginal.
Ok, I know this story has been overdone already but there's a few things that bother me here.
First, how does Phelps not think, "Oh wait, that guy has a camera, I guess I won't smoke this weed right now." I guess he was REALLY fiending for it. But if that's the case wouldn't you take the bong hit, then proceed to grab the camera and smash the shit out of it? I mean is anybody going to believe this story:
-Yeah dude, Michael Phelps was partying at our house. I smoked him out, but then he got angry and smashed my camera so I don't have proof.
I think he would have been safe.
Secondly, I've heard that now the Sheriff's office in South Carolina wants to press charges on him. If they really wanted to catch drug users and can use pictorial evidence as grounds to arrest someone why not just comb through the U of South Carolina facebook database. I'm sure they could find some offenders there.