Friday, April 30, 2010

Tech vs. Bama Postponed.....

According to the AJC, Tech & Bama have agreed to "postpone" the football games previously scheduled for 2013 & 2014. First reaction: very disappointed. I wonder who pulled the plug & why? Can't be money on our end as that game is a sure sell-out. Does this mean we play in the 2011 or 2013 Chik-Fil-A Kick-off Classic at the Georgia Dome? Whatever happens, a message to the "powers that be" over on North Avenue: don't you dare schedule some shitty, cupcake, directional school to replace Alabama. We deserve better than that.....More on this later....

The Friday Five.....

As always, our counting may be suspect so just enjoy & click the links....
  • Winning is the tonic that cures all. According to the Athletic Association (by way of the AJC), we are ahead of last year's pace for season ticket sales. We're happily surprised that we're selling more tickets for a home slate that includes MTSU, South Carolina State, NC State & Duke (as opposed to last season's Clemson, VPISU, & U(sic)GA slate). Goes to show you that winning does matter. Hopefully we finish strong & beat last year's 26,308 mark by a good bit....
  • The New York Time's Quad Blog takes a look at how we're going to replace Demaryious Thomas & Derrick Morgan. Hopefully we can get some production from WR's other than Stephen Hill this year & look for Embry Peeples to play an increased role in the passing game this Fall. Replacing Morgan will be tough but the scheme change should help out & Jason Peters looks like a new man at DE.
  • Just in case you're itching to buy an NFL jersey this Friday here are the numbers for Tech's draft class: Morgan Burnett #42, BayBay #88, & Dwyer #41. The Titan's haven't released Derrick Morgan's number.
  • Speaking of Morgan Burnett, the Packers plan for him to push incumbent strong safety/video game Atari Bigby for playing time this season. We expect Burnett to be an instant contributor in Green Bay. Here's a nice interview with Morgan about the draft, etc....
  • A piece on Al Groh & our conversion to the 3-4. Some nice quotes from Jason Peters & CPJ reminds us, "I'm a bottom line kind of guy". Never would have guessed....
  • The Reck needs a new home. This can't be that complicated, can it? Ummm, an integral piece of our identity needs a garage. Stop the bullshit & find a home for the Reck. "Optimistic" everything will work out? Quit posturing & get this done....
  • OH MY GOD! HOLY SHIT! WE'RE DOOMED!!! NO ONE WILL EVER SCORE ON UNC!!! HOLY SHIT, THEY HAVE 89 FIRST ROUND NFL DRAFT CHOICES. OH MY GOD! WHY ARE WE EVEN GOING TO PLAY THIS SEASON OUT? LET'S JUST GIVE UNC THE ACC CROWN BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE GREATEST DEFENSE EVER!!! Not really fair to Doc Saturday & we're not trying to take a cheap shot because he's honestly one of the very best college football writers around. But the season is three months away & all we're hearing about is how great Carolina's defense is going to be. Yes, Carolina has a wealth of talent returning on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, they will be very good. Yes, we will score our fair share of points on them because our offense is beastly & Paul Johnson is infinitely smarter than Butch Davis. No, having first round NFL draft picks doesn't necessarily prove an accurate indicator of on-field success (see 2009 Oklahoma Sooners who despite four first round NFL draft choices including #1, #3, & #4 finished with an 8-5 record). Yes, TJ Yates is an offensive albatross who will shit all over himself in a big game when his team needs him this year. Also answer yes because TJ Yates is the greatest "check-down" quarterback in ACC history. No, we shouldn't be this worked up over a team that hasn't won a conference title since 1980. Yes, Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop is related to Patrick Nix & is the same type of offensive genius/savant. Therefore the answer is yes that Carolina will ALWAYS run a draw on 3 & 12 or longer. Stop it! Enough! Carolina has talent on defense. Loads of it. They also have questions on offense. All this talk about UNC as a "darkhorse" national championship contender (see ESPN's Mark May & Chris Spielman): poppycock. They're in the hunt along with VPISU & GT for the Coastal Division crown. That's what we know right now....

File Under "Ill Advised".....

It's clear to anyone who imbibes frequently that drinking begets it's own logic; things that would otherwise seem outlandish & even stupid become routine & greatly desired. From "sure, I'll have another Irish Car Bomb" to "dude, there's not that much traffic, you can make it across" to "damn, she looks better than the last time I saw her", our logic clearly changes when drunk, whether we admit it or not. What's Notre Dame's excuse for this? A 73 day gin & peyote bender? There's little commentary needed but if you're so inclined Spencer Hall at EDSBS & Matt Hinton at Dr. Saturday have things well under control. The artist known as Freakbass.......white people "dancing", rosy cheeked Midwestern girls, a rapping dwarf in a marching band outfit, Mike Golic....... I could go on all day. Suffice it to say, "you ARE Notre Dame" and we count our blessings every day we are not.....
(h/t: EDSBS)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't Even Think......

about throwing a snowball at starting Syracuse running back Delone Carter. And God forbid you're even around when someone does, because this is what happens:

Syracuse student William Hotaling after Delone Carter worked him over

Ironicaly, Hotaling didn't even throw the snowball at the car that Carter & teammate Ryan Gillum were driving; it was someone else who fled before Carter had a chance to smash their face in. But what's really a tragedy is the way Carter has been treated. Poor, poor Delone Carter, being persecuted after damn near decapitating someone. According to Carter's attorney, George Raus, he & Gillum were taken off the practice field in handcuffs in front of teammates in what what clearly "an intimidation tactic". The travesty. Why the fuck don't they just throw him a parade? I mean really, arresting him in front of others after he beat the snot out of Hotaling in public. The gall of the Syracuse campus police. (By the way, the assault is on video in case you were wondering how they know it was Carter & Co.).

What's really important is that Syracuse will have Carter available this season after he struck a deal with school officials to return to campus. Carter has been suspended for the Spring & summer semesters, a great hardship according to his attorney Raus. "It's going to be hard on him". Indeed, Carter will not have the use of normally provided athletic tutors & will have to make up the incompletes on his transcript caused by his suspension. Carter will also perform 200 hours of community service. Poor, poor Delone Carter. A stiff price to pay for damn near decapitating someone. But we admire his dedication to a squad that went 4-8 a year ago. We anxiously await disciplinary action from Syracuse head coach (& former Tech assistant) Doug Marrone; we'll put the over/under at the first half of the first meaningless game.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Practice: Five Questions.....?

Entering Spring practice this year we identified five questions that we wanted to answer about the team & where we stand. So practice is now finished, which begs the question: did we answer any of those five questions? Let's take a look at what we thought were the five most interesting story lines before Spring practice & see how things turned out:
  • The defensive transition to the 3-4, particularly the front seven. Progress was the word this Spring & we're certainly headed for improvement over last year's porous defensive effort. Al Groh is energetic, demanding, & there's no questioning his knowledge. What's great to see is the fire & passion he brings to a unit that was beleaguered & oft maligned last season. There's a renewed energy & confidence amongst the defense which we definitely needed after last season. Personnel wise we have a depth chart & an idea who will play in the front seven this year (Peters, Walls, & Cross on the D-line, Egbuniwe, Jefferson, Watts, & AT Barnes/Albert Rocker at LB). The question of who would play the all-important nose tackle position was answered with the emergence of Logan Walls, who distanced himself from the competition. DE Jason Peters was our best defender this Spring & looks to be on the way to a monster year. Mike LB Brad Jefferson also stood out this Spring as he played downhill & was a disruptive force against the run. The emergence of redshirt freshman Brandon Watts was certainly a pleasant surprise. Watts, who began the Spring at #2 Will LB, made plays in almost every practice & by the end of camp was the starter. With his terrific closing speed & instincts, Watts has a chance to be a very good player for us. The battle at Sam LB between AT Barnes & Albert Rocker is a good one & won't be decided until the Fall. It was a good Spring installing the 3-4. How good we won't know until the Fall when we play against more conventional offenses. What we can say is we'll most definitely be better on defense this year than last. The question remains; how much better?
  • The offensive line. Entering the Spring needing to replace three departed starters, the offensive line was a big question mark. Some questions still remain but we feel good about the direction in which we're headed. Returning All-ACC center Sean Bedford is a very good player & redshirt sophomore guard Omoregie Uzzi is a STUD. Uzzi has the potential to be just beastly. After that some questions remain. Phil Smith is still recovering from ankle surgery; his return in the Fall will be key to our success. The left guard spot is still up for grabs as Nick McRae was serviceable this Spring but didn't stand out. Watch for redshirt freshmen Will Jackson & Ray Beno to push McRae in the Fall. Nick Claytor, if he can stay healthy, will be an experienced back-up at tackle. As a whole, we're in good shape with the offensive line. My lone big question is depth; we're pretty thin along the line, particularly at center. But I expect an improvement over last season & continued success this year. A quick heads up: watch true freshman Morgan Bailey in the Fall. He was at a couple spring practices & looks very physically impressive. While he'll likely redshirt, a push on to the two-deep wouldn't surprise me either.
  • #2 quarterback. No player made more progress over the course of last year than Tevin Washington. Entering the Spring I was ready to write Washington off & concentrate on the battle for the #2 QB slot between Jordan Luallen & David Sims.
Not so fast, my friend!!!!
A big mistake to overlook young Mr. Washington. Tevin emerged as a real threat with his legs -slippery & elusive while displaying a much improved arm. Perhaps Washington's most impressive trait is his command of the offense. After two full year's in the system he certainly has a good grasp of what we're trying to do. Not that Luallen & Sims played badly; they had their moments both good & bad. But Washington positioned himself as the clear #2 behind Joshua Nesbitt & a viable option if Nesbitt gets injured. Pretty easy to see in retrospect why Jaybo Shaw transferred after watching Tevin this Spring. Washington is a much better athlete & surely would have surpassed Jaybo on the depth chart. Maybe our most pleasant surprise of the Spring.....
  • Wide Receiver. Who steps up with the departure of BayBay Thomas? Well, Stephen Hill played okay this Spring & finished on a high note in the T-Day game with two nice catches, one a circus grab where he wrestled the ball away from Jerrard Tarrant & the other a 74 yard TD strike. But he lacked consistency. Hill has all the physical tools & looks to be developing into a viable replacement for Thomas. After Hill it's a not-so-pretty hodge-podge of players. Tyler Melton is a good blocker but lacks the size & speed to create consistent separation. Quentin Sims has suspect hands (I'm being generous). Jeremy Moore & Daniel McKayhan must block better & show improved hands if they want to see the field. Kevin Cone has size but lacks speed. In sum, we need to find playmakers at wide receiver. After Hill, the cupboard is pretty bare. Now the argument can be made that at little as we throw the ball, all we need is one solid WR. That may be the case but Hill isn't at BayBay's level yet & will need some help. I expect Bama transfer Chris Jackson to move from A-back to WR in the Fall after his knee is fully recovered & that we'll see true freshman BJ Bostic log some time there. We can leave the "HELP WANTED" sign up into the Fall.....
  • The Freshmen. We got our first glimpse of the three early enrollees this Spring & we come away VERY, VERY impressed. Safety Isaiah Johnson was nothing short of a revelation, pushing his way to splitting reps with the first unit a week into Spring practice on what may be the deepest unit on the team. He'll contribute this season & it will be interesting to see if he starts from day one. Johnson has a tremendous nose for the ball & is a physical presence out there. BJ Bostic is fast; "which way did he go?" fast. Bostic needs to gain some weight & improve his blocking but is a real threat with the ball in his hands. Don't be surprise to see him on the field in the Fall. Charles Perkins began the Spring at B-back & halfway through camp moved to A-back in an effort to get him on the field faster. Perkins is a talented runner with good size & terrific acceleration who is the heir apparent to Anthony Allen at b-back next year. In the meantime, Perkins will work at A-back in hopes of getting him on the field sooner rather than later. In sum, all three freshmen look very good & will definitely contribute sooner rather than later......
So there you have it. Five questions & their answers. Starting tomorrow we're going to take a position-by-position look at the team as it stands now that Spring practice has concluded. Until then, watch the Tommy Frazier video we posted earlier & enjoy everything good about option football.....

The Second Coming......

Perhaps college football's greatest option QB of all-time. Remind you of anyone? Stay tuned later for a breakdown of Spring practice.......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

oh hosanna!

over at EDSB, they ran a bit on big hits, and while they stuck with college, all conversations about big hits must end with one hit. Steve Largent's "revenge hit". skip to 3:40

Monday, April 26, 2010

The NFL Draft…WTF

Wife (pronounced WEE-fea), my native American friend, is out of town, and to celebrate I fired up the charcoal brickets, popped open a tall boy of PBR, dialed up Yellow Man on I-Tunes, and got my blog on. I love being over 30.

So anyway, Hash and I were talking after the spring game; and Jonathan Dwyer. What the fuck!?

The NFL advisory board projected him as a first or second rounder. Yet on draft weekend he fell all the way to the sixth, with nary a peep from the darkest trashiest corners of the media world (talk radio and bloggers like ourselves). We went over all the rumors, and stats, but for every reason we found for Dwyer to drop we found another player in the same situation who’s draft status wasn’t effected, or didn’t drop nearly as much.

The only conceivable answer is that NFL teams have no idea what they are doing in the draft. I love BayBay Thomas, but in what world does one team take a wide receiver who only runs three routes and a quarterback with Dizzy Dean's delivery five rounds before they take a player than ran for over 2,600 yards in two seasons in the ACC?

So Dwyer dropped because, “shit happens” and he didn’t do enough to insure against “shit happening”. So what could he have done differently? Well you’ll have to answer that for yourself, but if Jonathan Dwyer is a worse pro than Tashard Choice, who went in the fourth round, I’ll eat my straw hat, and I love Tashard, and straw hats.

(totally hitting old man ramble mode)

What’s this crap about you can’t judge a draft the day after? Of course you can. You can’t predict how the players will do in the NFL, but you can judge how sound each teams decision making was. Watching the draft this year was like playing penny poker with my brother's kids.

Denver trading away picks to get into the first round to pick Tim Tebow is the equivilant of his four year old going all in with “all red cards”. Also, did anyone else see Jacksonville’s war room freak the hell out when CJ Spiller was drafted by Buffalo? Seriously, no one said, “okay, so who do we pick if someone takes CJ?”. That conversation never happened? Did some one just scream out the name “Tyson Alualu”? Lesser point, but Chan, whose going to block for CJ Spiller?

No one in the draft is systematic. Its all odds. No prospect is a sure thing, even the sure-things. Teams are making decisions based on partial information. Its just like poker. Know the pot odds, have a plan, and stick with it.

Don’t fall in love with specific players, remember they are all prospects.

Draft offensive line and defensive line heavily. I guarantee you'll never finish worse than eight and eight.

Game performance means more than work outs.

More draft picks are better than less; only trade up under very specific circumstances, like you need one player to go from average team to Super Bowl contender, and that player better be Calvin Johnson or Tony Boselli.

Players, show up for the combine in shape.

Agents, if your guy shows up out of shape, lie and tell everyone he can’t run because he strained his groin

A Tip of the Cap......

to Doug Roberson of the AJC for this terrific & thoughtful piece on the hardships BayBay Thomas faced on his way to Tech & the NFL. I can't help but be amazed at BayBay's perseverance. Good on ya' #8 & many thanks to Doug for a great feature. And finally, an unexpected tip of the cap to Chan Gailey. Chan reached out & signed undrafted free agent Cord Howard, a player he recruited to Tech, to a contract that will give him a shot at Bills training camp. He might not be a great college football coach but you can't question Chan's loyalty......

T-Day Recap.....

The newest Denver Bronco, BayBay Thomas, & Wes check out the action on Saturday.....

Well, we got a half of football in before the lightning & thunderstorms cut the annual T-day game short & it turned out to be an offensive showcase. The first team offense (playing against our #1 defense) dominated the afternoon, scoring on 4 of 5 possessions & generally looking like it hadn't missed a beat since last season ended. For those keeping score it ended 27-7, in favor of the White squad. Some observations/highlights from Saturday:
  • Tevin Washington is clearly #2 behind Josh(ua) Nesbitt & has really developed a good feel for the offense as a redshirt sophomore. Tevin is a far better player than Jaybo Shaw ever thought about being & has a chance to win the #1 job when Nesbitt leaves. It's funny, we seem to write kids off when they haven't made an immediate impact within their first or second year in the program. Tevin is a perfect example of what happens when a player is given reps & allowed to mature over a couple years. I feel confdent with him triggering the offense.
  • Sean Poole boomed a Durant Brooks-esque 74 yard punt that went a good 60 yards in the air. Should be a good competition in the Fall to see who gets to watch us go-for-it on 4th down.
  • Anthony Allen & Luke Cox were punishing on Saturday. We're solid at B-back & this duo will really wear down defenses in the Fall.
  • Stephen Hill had two highlight plays on the afternoon; a leaping 34 yard catch where he wrestled the ball away from Tarrant & a 74 yard TD strike on a perfectly thrown Washington ball. The TD pass was a terrific play call as both the corner (Mario Butler) & the safety (Isaiah Johnson) bit on play action as Hill streaked down the hash.
  • One important depth chart change from Saturday: Brandon Watts has ascended to the starting lineup at Will LB, replacing Stephen Sylvester. Watts has played like a man possessed this spring & certainly earned the right to run with the 1st team.
  • David Sims played well on Saturday & both he & Luallen enter the Fall in a close race for the #3 QB slot. Sims certainly makes things happen with his legs & if he makes the same leap grasping the offense & throwing the football that Tevin has between year 2 & 3 he can be a very special player at Tech. Luallen has the tools but continues to struggle. He's putting too much pressure on himself & thinking way too much. He just needs to let the game come to him & relax.....
  • What a difference two years makes. In CPJ's first spring game there were something like 11 fumbles. Yesterday there was one which was recovered by the offense. That's zero turnovers on the day. A pretty big change in two years & you can see we're becoming a machine at this point.
  • Don't get hot & bothered about the defense; it's a work in progress. They had a rough day on Saturday. Plenty of defenses will against us this season. We really will know more in the Fall. Until then, relax & feel secure in the knowledge that we can't be any worse than last year.
It's far too easy & dangerous to draw sweeping conclusions from the Spring game. Much will change between now & the Fall. We'll start a series beginning tomorrow on what we actually did learn about our team this spring & what to expect heading into Fall camp.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Friday Five.....

Well, round one of the NFL Draft is out of the way and we did okay with our predictions. We correctly predicted 27 of 32 1st round picks. Not too bad especially considering that Jacksonville went off the reservation for Tyson Alualu. We correctly called 7 of the 32 picks outright & had another two that were correct albeit it to the wrong team or in a different spot (Eric Berry & Anthony Davis). Not too bad & we got to witness Mel Kiper absolutely melt down as team after team passed on yard gnome Jimmy Clausen. All in all a pretty fun night. Some other things that caught our eye:
It's only fitting a facility like this is named after Uncle Luke......

Enjoy the weekend......

Thoughts on Round One of the NFL Draft.....

For the first time since 1979, when Eddie Lee Ivery was chosen #15 by the Packers & Kent Hill was picked #26 by the Rams, the Jackets have had two players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. First off, congratulations to new Titan Derrick Morgan & new Bronco BayBay Thomas on their impending wealth & careers. Well deserved for both players. Some thoughts on their selections & new homes:

A picture of Derrick Morgan from BayBay's Twitter page as they head to the draft. Our only disappointment? No bowtie. Dance with the one that brung ya', my man.
  • Derrick Morgan is a perfect fit in Tennessee. With the departure of a VERY similar player in Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans have an immediate opening for Derrick to step in & contribute from day one. With a coach in Jeff Fisher who values hard work & effort, Morgan should be a natural fit as a Titan.
BayBay kickin' it on the bus on the way to Radio City Music Hall
  • BayBay Thomas as the first receiver off the board! Who woulda' thunk? It's gratifying on so many levels to see #8 succeed. First, he's overcome so much in his personal life to get to yesterday; you can't underestimate his desire. Second, he stuck it out at Tech. As we've said many times, BayBay ignored the Paul Johnson critics when coach was hired & decided to stick with the program & simply play hard. There's a lesson here. So why can't BayBay be the next Brandon Marshall? Because he's smarter than Marshall & not a self-aggrandizing ass. We look for big things from #8 in Denver.
The drafting of BayBay as the first receiver off the board in the 2010 NFL draft should be a great boon to our program. No longer can opposing coaches negatively recruit against us, telling future wide receivers that they will never play in the NFL if they come to Tech. We now have proof that if you play WR well in our offense, the NFL will find you & do so sooner rather than later. How ya' like that, Butch Davis? Good luck to Morgan Burnett & Jon Dwyer as they hopefully get drafted tonight. And I was right about Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind......ESPN must have played it 150 times last night.......

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Glutton for Punishment.....

They call them mock drafts for a reason; so you can mock the stupidity of the picks made by others who generally know jack shit about football. To that end I've put one together & even had the audacity to include not one but TWO first round trades! Spicy livin' at The Barrel this week. Without further ado:
  1. STL: Sam Bradford, QB, Okla.: the obvious choice for a team with no QB. Projects as a good not great NFL QB.
  2. DET: House of Motherfucking Spears, Wherever He Wants, Other Planetary: please, please don't fuck this up! You see, I'm a Lions fan (hangs head in shame, flagellates self while chanting Matt Millen's name). For the record, the 4th Down Consultant is also. We are two of 17 people in Georgia to admit this. I have to think that even the Lions can't screw this up......Who am I kidding?
  3. Tampa Bay: G. McCoy, DT, Okla: great fit in the revamped Tampa 2 under Raheem Morris. An impact player in the vein of Warren Sapp (sans weed, which really negates any comparison because what is Warren Sapp without weed?).
  4. Washington: Trent Williams, OT, Okla: 3 of the 1st 4 picks for the Sooners. The Skins are blowing smoke about Berry. Remember this is Mike Shanahan's show now, he of the prolific zone blocking scheme. They desperately need a LT now that Chris Samuels is retired & Williams is the draft's most athletic.
  5. Trade: Philadelphia trades picks 24, 37, & 70 to the Chiefs for pick #5. (Yes I did the calculation on a trade chart!). Philadelphia: Eric Berry, S, Tenn.: Philly needs top-tier impact players & needs a replacement for Brian Dawkins. Berry is that player. KC needs depth & Pioli knows it- they have tons of holes. Almost too logical....
  6. Seattle: Russell Okung, OT, Okla St.:Walter Jones is gone & Seattle needs a help on the O-line. A solid choice in Carroll's first draft.
  7. Cleveland: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise St.: could be Haden but I think the choice is Wilson after his great Senior Bowl. Cleveland could also trade down here.
  8. Oakland: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho: if I knew what Al Davis was going to do I'd probably shoot myself. Iupati is a mauler & good player even though they have other more pressing needs. Sounds like a Raiders draft pick.....
  9. Buffalo: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: our old friend Chan Gailey. Despite what many think, Gailey is neither stupid nor a bad coach, he was simply a fish out of water at Tech. Now he's back in his natural environment & more comfortable. Gailey might be tempted by Clausen here but knows there's no point in drafting a QB if you can't keep him upright. Bulaga might not be a star but he'll be serviceable for a long time. Could be a NT here but it seems too early...
  10. Jacksonville: Joe Haden, CB, Florida: when you have Indy & Houston in your division you can't ever have enough DB's. Haden fills an immediate need & the Jags can try & snag a lesser name pass rusher like Teo-Nesheim of Washington at #74.
  11. Trade- Dallas trades picks #27 & #59 to Denver to move up & select: Earl Thomas, S, Texas: the Cowboys need a dynamic playmaker in the back & Thomas is just that guy. Plus he's a Texas boy & that helps....
  12. Miami: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama: too good a player fr Parcells to pass on. They would like to trade out here so the above scenario is also in play. While McClain is good was he a product of Saban's great defenses?
  13. San Fransisco: CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson: they need a OT but can probably get one at #17 & if they want Spiller they have to grab him here. Will help in the return game & with Singletary's conservative, defensive style this is a big plus.
  14. Seattle: Dez Bryant, WR, Okla St.: diva or not the dude can play. Seattle is slow & lacks playmakers, this pick helps. They can think about a RB like Cal's Jahvid Best at #60.
  15. NY Giants: Derrick Morgan, DE, GT - the wait is over. Morgan projects much better as a 4-3 end than a 3-4 OLB to me & the Giants have a need with Umenyiora's status up for grabs. They worked him out hard at Tech's pro day.
  16. Tennessee: Jason Piere-Paul, DE, South Florida: boom or bust here for the Titans. They see the next Jevon Kearse. I see just a lot of curses from the fans in 3 years.....A real reach.
  17. San Fransisco: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers - there are concerns about Davis, particularly concentration & effort. Singletary can harness that a la Vernon Davis. Lots of raw tools & can start at RT, probably his more natural position.
  18. Pittsburgh: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida - Mike Webster is smiling somewhere....In a division where you face Shaun Rogers & Haloti Ngata twice a year you better have a stout center. Pouncey is the guy & the Steelers can plug him in & forget about the position for 10 years. Really good player....
  19. Atlanta: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan: Dimitroff has played this very close to the vest & it could be Greshan or BayBay here but my gut says Graham. The Falcons get a very productive if undersized player who terrorized the offensive line at the Senior Bowl.
  20. Houston: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno St. - could be a CB but the two guys they covet, Haden & Wilson are gone. This will shore up the run game & give them a fearsome offense to rival the Colts. They hope a player like Kareem Jackson or Patrick Robinson is available at #51.
  21. Cincinnati: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Okla.: name a Bengals tight end? Thought so. With Ochocinco & Antonio Bryant on the edge the middle should be wide open & Gresham can exploit that. A need pick with Gresham's health being the only concern.
  22. New England: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State - a perfect fit in Belichek's 3-4 system & fills a need. Pats would be thrilled to get him here. BayBay is an outside shot here.
  23. Green Bay: Charles Brown, OT, USC: Green Bay desperately needs help at tackle & Brown can spend a year developing & adding some weight. A converted TE, Brown is a good fit for the Pack.
  24. Kansas City (from Philadelphia): Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee - The Chiefs desperately need a NT for their 3-4 & they trade out & get their guy in Williams. More of a 3 down player than Cody, Williams fills a HUGE need for KC.
  25. Baltimore: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers - the Ravens are close but will have to face the passing attacks of Indy, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, regularly to make the Super Bowl. A CB along the lines of Cris McCalister in his prime helps & they get that guy in McCourty. The bonus is the guy is a special teams ace.....
  26. Arizona: Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU - the Cards get a great pass rusher late in round one to bolster their defense. Hughes will be an impact player in the desert for Tech alum Ken Whisenhunt.
  27. Jacksonville (from Dallas): Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: the slide has stopped. David Garrard isn't the answer and after drafting 2 good tackles last year the Jags get the QB of the future. Clausen is the most ready QB in this year's draft class.
  28. San Diego: Linval Joseph, DT, East Carolina - didn't see that one coming, did you? The Chargers need a NT with Jamaal Williams departure & Joseph is their guy. AJ Smith will pass on Cody as Joseph has more upside. The first big surprise of the draft.
  29. NY Jets: BayBay Thomas, WR, GT - BayBay sneaks into the end of round one. Yes the Jets have Braylon Edwards & Santonio Holmes, but both of those guys are one bad Saturday night away from a long suspension. Rex Ryan craves athletes & Thomas is certainly that.
  30. Minnesota: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas - the Vikings could go CB here with Kareem Jackson or Patrick Robinson but the clock is ticking on Favre & they want their next QB to have at least one year under his tutelage (I smirked as I typed this).
  31. Indianapolis: Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana - the Colts stay close to home & pick a guy they've watched for a long time. Saffold is a polished pass protector and an immediate upgrade in Indy.
  32. New Orleans: Brian Price, DT, UCLA - the Saints are loaded on offense so defense is the obvious choice here & it comes down to Price or Missouri's Sean Witherspoon. Size wins, particularly in a run heavy division with Carolina, Atlanta, & Tampa Bay.
That's it. Mock the mock.........

The Giving Tree

Current affairs is not this middle school library's strength.

Draft Day & such....

All hail the new, improved, slightly truncated NFL draft. The eve is finally upon us & this is the deepest Tech class we can remember with four players assured of going & another (Cord Howard) on the fence. Some thoughts & links heading into tonight:
So we'll be watching tonight & wishing our guys the best. Here's hoping Cord Howard gets drafted this weekend. Have to pull for the offensive line guys who make it all happen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post Scrimmage Breakdown, Saturday 4/17

Headed over to Bobby Dodd on a lovely Saturday morning with Frank & Robespierre to watch the final scrimmage before T-day. Overall it was a little sloppy & I'm sure CPJ said something about getting things cleaned up after practice. Some nice individual efforts & some interesting things to note. Once again too many penalties:

Injuries: Watts in red (stinger) along with Richardson (finger) & Burnett (ankle). Jefferson back and Kyle Jackson doing non-contact drills AT SPEED for the first time in a LONG while. Encouraging & I'm cautiously optimistic.

Stephen Hill back after fouling on all 4 of his jumps at ACC's. Ron Cherry & crew giving us the business this morning. Lots of recruits here including one mammoth kid. Denzel McCoy here working some recruits & I thought I saw Ryan Ayers as well.

Some live punting started the morning & both Poole & Anderson looked good. Bostic & Mckayhan returning punts (Tarrant with the defense so I don't know if we should read anything into this).

Depth Chart: No changes on offense other than rotating B-backs. On defense Rocker split snaps with AT Barnes at Sam LB. Both Isaiah Johnson & Cooper Taylor getting reps at safety with the 1's. J.C. Lanier seeing some NT reps with the 2's. Sweeting had one series with the 1's.

Offense: some interesting plays & formations that are new or rarely seen were used today. Have to value the ball but I thought the offensive tempo was pretty good today. It's just so mesmerizing to watch this offense when it's on, which they were at times today.

Defense: the package is mostly in if today was any indication. Some different fronts including short yardage/goal line today. Multiple blitzes. We showed 4 separate coverages (0, 1, 2, & 3). Still a work in progress & it's hard to evaluate the defense as a whole right now, particularly against our offense. If I only had some film......

Possession 1 (all possession begin on the 20), only the highlights:1's vs. 1's. Tevin at QB
- Sylvester sacks Tevin on a pass play. Blitz
- Edwards gets a piece of Tevin's facemask for an obvious 15
-Allen for 15 on the dive
- Peters gets Allen for no gain on 2nd down
- 3rd down is a long incomplete pass down the sideline to Melton
-4th & 5: CPJ dials up the same play & this time catches the defense in a blitz. Butler has good coverage & knocks the ball in the air only to see Melton come down with a circus grab. Nice concentration.
- Allen dive TD from the 5

Possession 2 (Luallen, 2's vs 2's):
- Luallen nice triple for 12
- Cox continues to be stupid & drag people around for 9
- 3 consecutive midline's chew up 35 yds & Luallen goes in for the TD
- TJ Barnes getting creamed. Standing straight up on all 3. I'm losing my faith.....

Possession 3 (Tevin, 1's vs 1's):
- 1st play FUMBLE on the pitch as Wright can't handle a low ball. Walls recovers.

Possession 4 (Tevin, 1's vs 1's) various offensive formations here:
- 3 dives to Watson for 20 yds
- freeze option w/ counter tail motion is just wicked; Marcus against the flow for 25 yds
- Swing pass to Embry for 5 yds. Nice coverage & tackle by Sweeting.
- Peters gets Watson on the dive for no gain
- 3rd & 6: Watson again on the dive & is stuffed by several defenders led by Logan & Cross.
- 37 yd FG: high snap gets away from Chandler = CPJ expletives & a "do it again" - 2nd FG is made

Possession 5 (Sims, 2's vs. 2's):
-huge 40 yd reverse to Hill called back on a motion call. I can even hate Ron Cherry in the off-season. Who knew?
- Allen stufffed twice on dive.
3rd & 8: Sims finds Quentin Sims on a 12 yd completion
-Sims keeper for 20 yds up the middle. He can really motor & is dangerous when he get loose.
- Sims keeps for 15 on the triple
- 3 consecutive Allen dives take the ball to the 2.
- Sims in the B gap = TD

Possession 6 (Tevin, 1's vs 1's):
-2 incompletions & a triple for 3 yards
- 4th & 7: FUMBLE after the hit & Peters ends up with the rock rumbling for the endzone

Possession 7 (Luallen, 2's vs 2's):
- Lanier stuffs Watson on the dive. Nice play by JC on the nose
- 2 incompletions
- 4th & 6: Luallen back to pass. Munroe blitzing doesn't wrap up & bounces off Jordan who is then swarmed under. That's on the line & it was pretty athletic for Luallen to keep his feet.

Possession 8 (Tevin, 1's vs 1's):
-another reverse to Hill but this time Peters is home & makes a GREAT open field tackle for only a 4 yard gain. That's a 275 pound guy making a tackle in space. Peters is ballin'.
- Lucas rumbles for a 1st down on consecutive carries.
-Nice play by Egbuniwe to get Tevin from the backside on a triple
- Tevin keeps on the triple for 15: called back on a Melton hold
- Cox is simply stupid at this point taking Reese & Sylvester for 9 yds AFTER CONTACT. Reese was around his waist & Sylvester on his back. It's almost funny watching people try & tackle him at this point.
- Marcus sees a huge lane on the pitch &.......drops it as he was looking into the crease. FUMBLE. Would have been a huge play.

Possession 9 (Sims, 2's vs. 2's):
- 3 consecutive Allen dives for 20 yds
- Sims with a tough keep on the option for 8 yds
- Godhigh on the speed pitch for 6. Isaiah Johnson closes in a hurry & lays a lick on Godhigh. Johnson continues to be around the ball & a very sure tackler
- Sims jukes a LB on the midline for 10
- after a Watson dive Sims over the B-gap for a TD

Possession 10 (Tevin, 1's vs 1's):
- triple to Embry for 10 yds. Nice read by Tevin & great block by Roddy on the edge. Roddy continues to block very well on the perimeter, probably why he isn't seeing so much of the ball.
- Speed pitch to Embry for 30 yds called back on a Hill hold.
- Perfect triple to Orwin for 30 yds. Tevin once again holds the ball until the defender commits & at the last second makes the pitch. Really nice play by Washington to get across the defender's face & force him to commit while opening the lane up. Just like it's drawn up.
- Allen gets popped by Jefferson on a dive & his helmet flies off. Gladiator is in the middle of everything & is a real force out there. It would take too much time to write about all the dives he's stuffed....
- while Allen is getting the helmet fixed Cox powers for 15
- freeze option to Orwin for TD
- very well executed drive by Tevin. Nice tempo & great reads. Well done

Possession 11 (Luallen, 2's vs. 2's):
-Paige for 8 on sweep
- Luallen midline for 8
- on the triple Perkins goes for 18 yds after Bostic cuts Isaiah in the open field. Great block
- swing pass catches the safety blitzing & Paige jukes Sweeting in the flat then goes for 20
- Cox 10 yds on the dive for the TD

Possession 12 (Tevin, 1's vs. 1's):
-3rd & 1: we pass & Egbuniwe crushed Tevin on a blitz forcing a fumble which Tarrant recovers. If we pass on 3rd & 1 this year I will stand on North Ave. in drag. No worries, not gonna happen.

Possession 13 (Tevin, 1's vs. 1's)
- O-line beginning to exert its will 7 dominate
- Tevin gets 6 on a option keeper & another 15 for a horse collar.
- an Orwin freeze option for 10 yds is sandwiched between 5 Watson dives & then #32 finishes the drive with a TD.

Possession 14 (Conant, 3's vs 3's):
- Bostic takes a triple to the house for 80 yds. Great cut back in spave & he can motor. Goes in pulling away from the defense

Possession 15 (Conant, 3's vs. 3's):
- errant option pitch from Conant is scooped up by Lockhart & taken for a TD

Some good, some bad today. On defense Jefferson & Peters really stood out as they have all spring. Johnson continues to impress but can't get too enamored of hitting people. On offense Allen & Cox looked good as did Bedford. Tevin had some nice reads & plays with his feet. Seems like Rocker is gaing on AT Barnes. Here's hoping the weather stays good for T-day.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Headlines & such.....

As anyone who reads this blog knows we're not too serious around here. Or maybe we're just serious about having fun. We generally take the Dude's approach & just abide. But there are some things that just cannot pass. One of those was the way the Atlanta Journal & Constitution chose to report today's "big" story of Jonathon Dwyer "failing" a drug test at this year's NFL Combine.

First let me say that Dwyer did test positive for a banned substance at the Combine. However, he had received a "therapeutic exemption" from the NFL for two medicines he has taken since childhood for a pre-existing medical condition. Thus the NFL, & all 32 teams, knew his results would be positive. So what's the big deal here? There isn't one unless you need sensational headlines to drive website traffic or sell papers. A brief side note: according to Fox, Dwyer tested positive for amphetamines. So the guy getting dinged for showing up overwieght to the Combine is on speed? I guess it made him eat faster? Lots of those fat meth heads out there. Sweet irony, the fat meth addict......

Secondly, it is IMPOSSIBLE to fail a drug test. Drug tests are not designed to pass or fail. They are designed to detect the presence of certain substances in one's system. Thus one may test POSITIVE or NEGATIVE on a drug test but not pass or fail. Drug tests do not have morality; they simply indicate whether or not a certain substance is present at a given time in one's system. We'll get back to this in a minute....

So Fox breaks the story saying that Dwyer has "failed" the Combine drug test, but then admit in the story that a "source" has told them Dwyer had permission to take prescription medication for a pre-existing medical condition. I hate the headline but it's Fox, who am I kidding to think they give a shit about integrity? The AJC then picks up the story & runs with it.
The first headline, appearing on the front page of the online edition, says "Former Tech running back tests positive for amphetamines, according to media report" (see David Purdum's comment at 11:56 pm). Okay, so just throw that shit out there & hide behind the fact that someone else is reporting it? Are you kidding me? No mention in the headline of the mitigating circumstances, just the sensational aspect, please. Do they call Dwyer or his agent Adisa Bakari BEFORE they run the story? Hell no, must be true because Fox says it's true. Let's just get that sensational headline out there and we'll sort out the facts later.

And that's just what they did, they went ahead & ran the headline. So now the headline is out there we better verify the facts, right? Sure, we'll just make things up as they go. That's the way Ralph McGill did it, after all. So Doug Roberson, the Tech beat writer for the AJC, who by the way is a good reporter & nice guy, gets on the horn and talks to Adisa Bakari, Dwyer's agent, & gets the facts. Comments are flying hot & fast on the AJC blog now & many are questioning the choice of the headline (including myself as you can see if you read the comments). Hell, even Dawg fans find it ridiculous. So the headline changes, this time it's: "Agent: Dwyer failed drug test a nonissue". Still on the top of the front page online (I saved a screen shot but can't figure out how to link it). Again, you can't fail the test & even if you could, Dwyer didn't AS HE HAD PERMISSION TO TAKE THE MEDICATIONS & WAS GIVEN A "THERAPEUTIC EXEMPTION" BY THE NFL. Why are they still sensationalizing this? He had permission. He's taken two drugs for a pre-existing medical condition since he was a kid. It was out there. All the teams knew. The NFL knew. It's a non-story.

So it's now 1:05am & the headline is off the front page & just in the Tech section & now reads: "Dwyer's drug test a result of approved prescription medication". We've finally got an accurate, reasonable headline. But the damage has been done. How easily could this have been averted? Well, all it would have taken was for an editor to hold the story, call Roberson, get him to call Adisa Bakari, & get the facts. Too much to ask? Evidently. Can't wait these days, we have to be first to "break" the news, whether it's accurate or not. It's not about accuracy or integrity, it's a race. And Fox & the AJC "won" that race tonight.

The big loser? Jon Dwyer & his family, of course. By all accounts Jon & his family are terrific people; I haven't met one Tech person to this point that's EVER had anything negative to say about Dwyer. It's a shame he'll wake up in the morning & have to defend himself from baseless accusations. He hasn't done anything wrong. The AJC, however, should know better. Instead of performing their due diligence & checking the facts they rushed to publish the story, a story that makes them look more like a lurid supermarket checkout gossip rag than a respected national newspaper. Shame on you, AJC, & your editors owe Dwyer & his family an apology, not for the story but for the slanderous headline. You must really have fucked up to have both Tech & Georgia fans agreeing on this one.
And to the miserable son-of-a-bitch who leaked the confidential findings of the drug test:

There's not a fire hot enough for you.......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Monday... America.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Check out the big brain on.......

BayBay!! Here's 3 tweets from ESPN's Chris Mortensen:
  1. Demaryius Thomas 6-31/4, 224, has been working with ex-NFL star Roy Green. Word is Thomas recently has run in high 4.3's, 4.4's. #ESPNDraft
  2. One big Sunday workout for Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas - he's had to wait since breaking foot in February#ESPNDraft

A 34 on the Wonderlic. Well done, sir. And if you're wondering what a 34 equates to, click here & take an abbreviated sample. There's also some info on how well some past & present NFL stars did on their tests.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Back...

Get out of town, or at least stay off the roads, once again Atlanta will be over run with health conscious, middle class, white collar workers, just hanging out in the street "running" and getting in the way of civilized society who just wants to get over to the Dogwood Festival and buy an old saw with a "Joy of Painting" landscape on the side of it to hang in the mud room. Jesus, why doesn't the city do something about those degenerates. All those white people out there, running, and drinking their lattes and smoking pot, and getting waived into their favorite gastro-pubs by friendly police officers. They're a menace!

Just kidding... Freaknic (ifreaknik) is back!

See you all at the Pi Mile. We're the designated enforcer for the Georgia Tech Crew Alumni. Other people can run fast, we're going to spend 3.14 miles hip checking skinny bastards onto the curb!
Have a good weekend all.

* What part of Freaknic, don't you understand?

We're tough to evaluate....

We love Football Outsiders. It's a breathe of fresh air & an oasis of interesting thoughts on football both college & professional. No other place that we know of does as much work with statistical analysis, a fact that should warm any true Tech fan's heart. This is a football site for the geek in us all. All hail the Outsiders! So it was very interesting to read this post on what teams are difficult for the pro's to scout. Guess who's number 1? You got it, we are. Our spread option makes it very difficult for the NFL to determine if players succeed on their own merit or are products of the system. It's an interesting question & one that may not ever be properly answered; the football version of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Even success or failure at the next level doesn't take into account the circumstances surrounding that players success or failure (teammates, scheme, roster composition, schedule, etc...). What did pique my interest is the four other teams we're grouped with as hard to evaluate: USC, Iowa, Texas, & Florida. Those teams are perennial powers & boast 5 of the last 10 National Championships. Very interesting indeed. It's certainly hard to argue that we have much less natural talent than 3 of those squads on a consistent basis (Florida, USC, & Texas). So is our scheme that much of an equalizer? Or do we have more talent than we give ourselves credit for? Whatever the reason, I hope we can ascend to the heights of those schools on the playing field. The company we're keeping is a sign of things to come......

The Friday Five.....and some Monty Python.....

We first would like to apologize for our lack of posts yesterday - tax day & all that hullabaloo......OK, not really, we took the day off, played a horrific round of golf, & had a few frosty beverages. Not a lot got done yesterday other than renewing our football parking for next year. Priorities.....On to the Friday Five which isn't really five, it's more like whatever we feel like & have links to. So the number of the counting shall be whatever we damn well choose. For the record, the triple option is to college football as the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is to killer rabbits. That does explain why the number of the counting shall be three. Breakthrough! Another option simile! Today is starting off brilliantly......On to the 5 (or 7 or you get the point):

For the record had this new rule been in place last season & a penalty have been called I would have leapt my fat ass onto the field & dismembered the entire refereeing crew one-by-one with my bare hands.....
Hope to see a good crowd at the scrimmage tomorrow morning. 9am at Bobby Dodd. Enjoy the weekend and watch for us around town: Dogwood Festival, Roller Derby, Sweetwater Festival, Cochon 555, & of course Freaknik. We'll make an appearance.....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Brief Interlude....

While we are ostensibly a football blog we are surely a Georgia Tech blog in all things. Thus we would be remiss if we did not point out that our #5 ranked baseball team travelled to Athens last night & opened up one of these on the hapless Mutts:

The final score was 25-6, the most runs scored by a Tech team against our rivals since 1898. Well done, gentlemen.