Fletch’s Mock Draft-(formally The New Guy)

April 25, 2008

Here is part two of the Frank-ly sports team.  We have formally retired the nickname, “The New Guy,” and we have officially dubbed my “padna” Fletch. So, here is Fletch’s crack at the draft…

  Fletch-The New Guy
1.Miami Jake Long-OL, Michigan
2. St. Louis Glenn Dorsey-DT, LSU
3. Atlanta Matt Ryan-QB, Boston College
4. Oakland Chris Long-DE, UVA
5.Kansas City Branden Albert-G, UVA
6.New York(J) Darren McFadden-RB, Arkansas
7.New England Keith Rivers-LB, USC
8.Baltimore Vernon Gholston-DE, tOSU
9.Cincinnati Sedrick Ellis-DT, USC
10.New Orleans Derrick Harvey-DE, Florida
11.Buffalo Leodis McKelvin-DB, Troy
12.Denver Ryan Clady-OT, Boise State
13.Carolina Jeff Otah-OT, Pittsburgh
14.Chicago Rashard Mendenhall-RB, Illinois
15.Detroit Chris Williams-OT, Vanderbilt
16.Arizona Michael Jenkins-DB, USF
17.Minnesota Devin Thomas-WR, MSU
18.Houston Aquib Talib-DB, Kansas
19.Philadelphia Limas Sweed-WR, Texas
20.Tampa Bay Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie-CB, Tenn. St.
21.Washington James Hardy-WR Indiana
22.Dallas Felix Jones-RB, Arkansas
23.Pittsburgh Gosder Cherilus-OL, Boston College
24.Tennessee Jerod Mayo-LB, Tennessee
25.Seattle Kentwan Balmer-DT, North Carolina
27.San Diego Jonathon Stewart-RB, Oregon
28.Dallas DeSean Jackson-WR,Cal
29.San Francisco Lawrence Jackson-DE, USC
30.Green Bay Brandon Flowers-CB, Virginia Tech
31.New England Bary Bonds-LF/DH, Arizona State
32.New York(G) Dan Connor-LB, Penn State

Frank-ly Sports Mock Draft

April 25, 2008

One of the most exciting times of the year for NFL fans is the NFL draft.  Its a time of strategy, controversy, catch phrases and big dollars.  Most of all, its another excuse for rabid fans such as myself (Frankly) and (Fletch)New guy, to waste countless hours doing mock drafts in a sad attempt to feel like we know what we are talking about. So here goes nothing…

  Frank-ly Sports Editor
1.Miami Jake Long-OL, Michigan
2. St. Louis Glenn Dorsey-DT, LSU
3. Atlanta Chris Long-DE, UVA
4. Oakland Darren McFadden-RB, Arkansas
5.Kansas City Matt Ryan-QB, Boston College
6.New York(J) Vernon Gholston-DE, tOSU
7.New England Keith Rivers-LB, USC
8.Baltimore Ryan Clady-OT, Boise State
9.Cincinnati Sedrick Ellis-DT, USC
10.New Orleans Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie-CB, Tenn. St.
11.Buffalo Devin Thomas-WR, MSU
12.Denver Rashard Mendenhall-RB, Illinois
13.Carolina Chris Williams-OT, Vanderbilt
14.Chicago Jeff Otah-OT, Pittsburgh
15.Detroit Leodis McKelvin-DB, Troy
16.Arizona Michael Jenkins-DB, USF
17.Minnesota Derrick Harvey-DE, Florida
18.Houston Felix Jones-RB, Arkansas
19.Philadelphia Aquib Talib-DB, Kansas
20.Tampa Bay James Hardy-WR Indiana
21.Washington Trevor Laws-DT, Notre Dame
22.Dallas Limas Sweed-WR, Texas
23.Pittsburgh Branden Albert-G, UVA
24.Tennessee DeSean Jackson-WR,Cal
25.Seattle Jerod Mayo-LB, Tennessee
27.San Diego Kenny Phillips-S, Miami(FL)
28.Dallas Justin King-DB, Penn State
29.San Francisco Lawrence Jackson-DE, USC
30.Green Bay Dan Connor-LB, Penn State
31.New England Roger Goodell-Commissioner/Law man
32.New York(G) Antoine Cason-DB, Arizona State

Looking at the draft, we know right away that Fletch and I have at least one right.  Its the rest that worry me.  Devin Thomas will be the stretch of the draft for me, as Buffalo hasn’t really impressed too many people in past years.  It will also be interesting to see where Dan Connor goes.  The talented LB from Penn State has a ton of options late in the draft to make a difference.  Stay tuned.


New Guys first series…What if?

April 23, 2008

 

What If…? Tim Couch.

 

In 1999, the Cleveland Browns selected Tim Couch with the 1st pick in the draft. He was selected over Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith as the cornerstone to the newly reestablished franchise. Cleveland fans were starving for football, and wanted to come back fast and furious, to show public enemy #1 Art Modell that he was wrong for tearing the heart out of a proud city. The rookie QB from Kentucky was supposed to be the foundation with which that franchise was built.

 

That was nine years ago.

 

Couch is now 30, and hasn’t played a down since 2003. He’s made attempts to return to the league, but has seen his health and ability slip away. But at 30, he could very well be in the prime of his career. Tom Brady is 30, and looks remains the best in the game. Payton Manning is 32, and the ageless wonder that is Brett Favre just retired, and many feel he can play another year or two, at 38.

 

A quick look at Couch’s statistics. During his short career with the Browns, from 1999 to 2003, Couch threw for 11,131 yards, a 59.8 completion percentage, played in 62 games, and threw 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions, with a QB rating of 75.1. During those five years, Couch was able to play a full 16 game season ONCE. His rookie campaign saw him play in 15 games, and in 2001 he played in every one. In 2000, Couch played in only 7 games due to injury. In his best statistical year, 2002, Couch threw for 2,842 yards, 18 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, a 61.6 completion percentage and a QB rating of 76.8…in only 14 games. That was also the last time the Browns were in the playoffs.

 

In front of Couch for that season was a rag-tag group of offensive linemen and a weak supporting cast of skilled position starters. Ross Verba, Barry Stokes, Dave Wohlabaugh, Shaun O’Hara, and Ryan Tucker played most of the snaps on the line, and Quincy Morgan, Kevin Johnson, Jamel White and William Green were the key players on the offense. Now, I can’t take anything away from Shaun O’Hara and Ryan Tucker. Both have proved to be solid and dependable starters in the league, and both have had very nice careers. However, during that season Couch was sacked 30 times, down from the 117 times he’d been put in the turf the previous three seasons.

 

Unfortunately, after leading the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1994, a fluke game that saw Kelly Holcomb throw for over 400 yards in place of an injured Couch, pushed the former #1 pick into a pointless QB battle with the journeyman backup, ultimately ending Couch’s career.

During his time in Cleveland, unrealistic expectations and the venom of a city so starved for a winner hounded the QB; they would cheer as the one time savior of their team laid on the field with a concussion.

 

He played for inferior teams, and was thrown into the starting role immediately.

Taking Couch’s best year in 2002 and comparing it to this past season’s stats has him sitting 16th in passing yards, between Phillip Rivers and Jason Campbell. He is also ahead of Vince Young, David Garrard, Jeff Garcia, and Matt Schaub. His QB rating number is low, but has him still ahead of Eli Manning and Vince Young.

 

My question is what if Couch had a chance to blossom and mature into a NFL ready QB? What if Ty Detmer never hurt himself during a pre-season game and could have been a mentor to the young man from Kentucky? What if he had some proper protection and never became the gun-shy sack magnet that he became?

 

Looking back at Couch, there were some red flags, but also a ton of potential and talent. He rarely put the ball deep at UK, but he was accurate. He completed 67% of his passes during his college career, which was a record when he left school. He was a smart QB and could get the ball were it needed to be. His NFL tenure was short, but if he had been properly managed and coached, who knows.

 

He’d be entering his 10th season as a QB in 2008. And whether he would have been a Pro-Bowler is anyone’s guess. I don’t ever question that he loved the game and wanted to be “The Guy”. But like far too many before him, his body gave up on him. He took too many shots and was forced to do things he wasn’t capable of doing. The wrong team that could not ensure his maturation and protection drafted him. He was a victim of the system that places the most talented players on a team that has nothing more to offer than money and a chance to play right away.

 

Would he be listed among the current stars like Manning, Brady, and Rothlisberger? Probably not, but this is the same league that praises marginal talents like Tony Romo as top tier stars. Couch played on terrible teams, and the fact he reached the playoffs with any of them should stand as a testimate to what he was capable of. Had the Browns selected either McNabb or Smith and Couch fell to the Eagles or the Vikings who took Dante Culpepper, he may still be playing. It pains me to knock on my hometown team, but it is the biggest reason why Couch never had the chance to flourish. Take a look at what has happened with the Browns since they put together a real offensive line. Derrick Anderson made the Pro-Bowl because of who was around him and the same can be said about guys like Romo and Garrard.

 

His career was tragic with the way it was handled, and the way it ended. He was never given a fair chance, and it cost him everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Surprises 15 or so games in…

April 21, 2008

Ok, remember to breath.  Its only 15 or so games into the Major League Baseball season and if your team isn’t playing up to snuff, remember its a marathon and not a sprint. Here are some stories going on that you might not know about…They are the good, the bad and the ugly…

THE GOOD

Justin Upton-Arizona Diamondbacks–No doubt Upton has got ridiculous skills.  The numbers on Upton are straight out of an EA Sports game; .351 avg, 1.067 OPS, .400 OPS, 12 RBI, and 5 dingers.  Upton has paced the D-backs, and made them a contender, if they can hold on.

Cliff Lee-Cleveland Indians–The Tribe has had a slow start, but Lee has proved to be the ace so far, not Sabathia and Carmona.  The lefty is 2-0, with a 0.61 ERA, with 12 K’s and only 1 BB.  Right now he’s on pace for 23 wins.  We’ll check back later on that one, but the Indians are really hoping he’ll stay like this and not regress to last year when he was throwing BP.

Kosuke Fukudome-Chicago Cubs–Fukudome looks like he’ll fall in line with the other great Asian players like Ichiro and Matsui.  Fukudome is hitting .321, 4 2B, 8 RBI, with a .441 OBP.  Not to mentioned he owned Eric Gagne in extra innings a few weeks back with a center field jack that made the Canadian closer look like a fool.

THE BAD

Cleveland Indians-This AL Central powerhouse should be cleaning up in the early spring, but a tough schedule has really gotten the best of them, as they had to face Oakland, Anaheim, and a white hot Chicago White Sox team.  Still the pitching hasn’t been there at all.  Sabathia hasn’t figured out yet that MLB hitters can hit a fastball in the middle of the plate.  Fausto Carmona clearly doesn’t believe in his stuff all the time and Eric Wedge hasn’t been able to find right combination in the bullpen to shut out games.  Have no fear though Indians fans, May is coming, the weather is getting warmer, and the Wahoo’s are sure to get hot.

Andruw Jones-Los Angeles Dodgers–Jones is killing the Dodgers.  In 18 games he’s hit .175, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 20 strike outs.  That’s what I call a spectacular 14 million dollar investment.  I’m sure he’ll snap out of it, uh wait I don’t think he snapped out of it last year.

THE UGLY

David Ortiz-Boston Red Sox–Big Papi has been having…issues.  Chiming in at .160(up recently this week from .071) at the dish, with 2 HR and 15 K’s.

Detroit Tigers–Detroit’s $137 million payroll ranks 3rd in the Major Leagues, down only from the Mets and Yankees. The Tigers are sitting at the bottom of the central right now at 6 and 13.  They have been off to a tough start with Curtis Granderson, Dontrelle Willis , Joe Zumaya and most recently Placido Polanco.  In April, they were lucky enough to play every hot team in the MLB, Kansas City, Chicago and Boston.  For those of you in Tigerland, don’t get off the bus yet.  They’ll get healthy and start scoring 100 runs a game, but can their bullpen hold…There is definitely a problem there.

 


Stop and smell the roses…

April 13, 2008

Frank-ly sports is going to step back for a moment to issue a public service announcement.  I recently caught wind of the news of a friend of mine committing suicide.  While extremely tragic due to the young man’s potential and age, it gave me a piercing moment of clarity that I needed to spill onto these very web pages.  The saying, “take time to stop and smell the roses,” was no joke.   As humans we get so incredibly busy with our iPods, Blackberries, work, sports, blogs, social lives and parties, that I reallythink we get numb to the important things: Family and friends, and the short moments that we are all together on this Earth.  These are the folks that will always be with you, stand by you and support you for all your living days.  You know exactly who I’m talking about already.  We all take for granted how a phone call, a card, an email, or an I love you can change a persons day, week, or month.

The real problem is I think we all hide behind procrastination and fear.  Fear that our friends lives might be going better, or worse then ours.  As well as pretending that we are too busy to reach out and just check in with people.  Trust me, they enjoy it.  I know that I do.  You just never know, life is to short to walk around in doubt.  So pick up the phone, and call someone.

Next are grandparents.  Love them unconditionally.  In this moment of clarity I focused dearly on my grandfather.  He happens to be the only grandparent that I have left, and he played an integral part in my up bringing.  He was at every sporting event, birthday, and growing moment that I can remember.  I remember when I actually thought he was a pain in the neck.  Now, I can’t picture my life without him.  Someday that will come, and I’ll be crushed, and I’ll want those friends that I check on so much, to check on me.  Admittingly, I don’t call my grandpa enough.  However, I have really gotten better.  I never miss his birthday, father’s day, and we talk after just about every Notre Dame football game.  Those are the moments that I cherish the most.  I’d be willing to bet, they do as well.

I guess what I’m asking, no begging my readers to do, is have an insatiable thirst for life and the moments it creates for you.  Don’t be afraid to step back from a concert this summer, and see how beautiful the dancing lighter flames are during the encore, or the smells of popcorn and freshly cut grass at a ball game, or child’s expression when they eat an ice cream cone.  Soak them all in, and share them with everyone.  Celebrate the great moments that God gives us as people to celebrate.  Most of all, don’t do it alone.  There are 6.5 billion people on this earth, 301 million in the United States, don’t tell me that you can’t find someone or are too busy to share some of your time with someone.

Pick up the phone already….

Thanks Steve…We’ll miss you…


Pushing the Way Back button…Baseball style…

April 4, 2008

I recently got into a conversation about old baseball stadiums at work.  That stemmed to conversations about our favortie early childhood players.  So here is the Frank-ly sports early 90’s Favorite team.

Catcher:  Darren Daulton-Had the worst knees ever, had about 10 surgeris, but all I can remember is in the world series the announcer saying that his mother was one of the original Hooter’s girls…

1B: Cecil Fielder-Easily the only 400 lb first basemen in baseball history.

2B:  Julio Franco-Best batting stance ever, he’s gotta be on roid’s though, I think he’s like 90

3B: Brook Jacoby- I spent hours pretending to be Brook as a kid

SS:Barry Larkin-so athletic, even at the end of his career

OF: Candy Maldanado-Candy man did a stint with the Tribe late in his career, but the dude could mash in his hay day.

OF: Lenny Dykstra- I’m pretty sure he lived off of dip and beer.

OF:Cory Snyder-Rocket arm, long farmer hair,always a fan favorite

DH: Mickey Tettelton-Hit it a mile, or whiffed.  Might be due to the buzz he’d catch from the can and a half of Skoal he had in his mouth

P:  Jack Morris-Threw 1,000 innings a year, and played for like 1,000 years, all with the same mustache

P:Mitch Williams-Wild thing will forever go down as being a part of Joe Carter’s legacy.  Should have been worried about pitch placement, not his always well feathered mullet, or the bitchin’ party after the game.

P: Doug Jones-threw the palm ball….enough said.

P: Tom Candiotti-Candy man made pitching slow cool

P: Bret Saberhagen-for some reason I collected his cards

P: Jesse Orosco- I swear he was a rookie at age 50

Honorable mention: Carlos Baerga, John Kruk, Pat Tabler, Chris”rec specs” Sabo, Eric Davis,  Jose Rijo(was awesome in RBI 94 for Sega), Ozzie Smith, Carlton Fisk, Kelly Gruber, Gary Carter, Will Clark and Howard Johnson, Bo Jackson

Some great names there, some serious, others not.  Some on coke, some on steroids, some on both, others not.  Thank God that baseball is back…


What to watch before Hoops starts up again…

April 2, 2008

7:00 ESPN  Pacers@ Celtics-Celtics could play their JV team and beat the Pacers, time to get rested for a play off run

7:00 ESPN2 Toronto BlueJays @ New York Yankees-Yanks looked pretty good in opener against Doc Halladay.  Tonights starters are A.J. Burnett and Mike Mussina. Jays “get back” tonight

8:00 CBS  Big Brother 9-This is quickly becoming a guilty pleasure.  My wife loves it and I’m starting to see why.  It is a little depressing though, as it allows you to lose faith in the human race…If you haven’t already…

8:00 AMC Terminator 2: Judgement Day-Arnold, guns, futuristic aliens trying to take over the world…What’s not to like?

9:00 National Geographic Inside al Qaeda-Probably worth taking sometime to finally educate yourself about the guys we are fighting huh?  We like educated readers here at Frank-ly Sports.

10:00 ESPN Warriors @ Mavs-If you can stay up late enough to actually watch it finish, you’ll be in for a treat, or a track meet.  Gotta love B-Diddy’s beard though.

10:00 Mtv Real World Awards Bash-Your second chance to lose all hope in the human race, but I’ll probably tune in for the hell of it.  Yes, the mindless television will be nice after I figure out how al-Qaeda works.