Colt McCoy to stay…

October 23, 2008

This week, the University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy decided that he’s gonna stay right where he is.  For Texas fans, that is some great news.  For Colt, that could mean the possibility of winning a national championship(maybe back-to-back), a Heisman trophy(ditto on the b2b), as well as numerous other football accolades.  He could also get hurt and ruin his career and chance in the NFL at ridiculous amounts of cash.  Now, I’ve always been huge on guys staying all four years of college, getting their degree, and allowing the university they committed to the time they entitled to.  However, this issue is coming up more and more with the upper echelon signal callers in college football.

For instance, a few years back, USC QB Matt Leinart had a season to remember.  He was projected by many has the top passer and a lock for the #1 overall spot.  He decided that he “wasn’t ready” to leave, or give up that beach, and decided to stay and help to win another title.  Leinart fell to the second spot, and is now sitting the bench behind Kurt Warner.

So what’s the message there?  Strike while the iron is hot.  Now I’m not flip-flopping on my position on staying in school, but Colt is about to make the world his oyster, and I’d hate to see a good kid like him, who deserves every bit of it, suffer a setback of any kind.  Yes, you can always go back to college, and who knows, your team could hit a patch and not play well.  Those are always what people say, but why take the risk?  Well, perhaps because he isn’t currently projecting as a Qb that will go that high.  Many experts have already come out and said they he is a mid-late first rounder.  Perhaps if McCoy stays in school and dominates, he’ll be the marquee name coming out of school, and all but solidify his spot as #1 overall.

All eyes are certainly on Texas this year, as they are ranked #1 in the BCS getting ready to face Ok. State on Saturday.  If McCoy decides to stick to his guns and sling it next year for the Longhorns, crank up the hype machine, its gonna get burned up.

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In the Fletch-Time to hit the panic button?

October 22, 2008

After another snooze-fest Sunday afternoon, the Browns are sitting pretty with a 2 and 4 record. The truth of this team is that the way they’ve played, they shouldn’t even be that good. The offense has been a complete embarrassment. Derek Anderson is playing like an undrafted rookie free agent that couldn’t make the Ravens. The offensive line looks like a Browns offensive line again, and Braylon Edwards has completely forgotten how to catch those oval shaped brown things that keep flying at him.  This is another case of high expectations being placed on the head of people who can’t handle it.

           

I have not been sold on D.A. yet. He plays brilliant football at times, but other times he looks terrible. I know that certain quarterbacks have bad weeks or a stretch of bad games, but he looks lost. In the Giants game, the D.A. of old came out. He was comfortable in the pocket, because he didn’t feel like he was going to get hit. I would never claim that a professional athlete was afraid of getting hit, but his play is directly connected with the amount of times he gets hit.

           

The Redskins sacked him once, but knocked him down five times during the game. You can see how skittish he gets when he feels like he’s going to get hit when he misses Jamal Lewis on a screen pass. All he has to do is get the ball 10 feet to his running back, and he’s missing. He is missing wide-open receivers by FEET not INCHES. That is a massive problem.

           

All the blame cannot be placed on Derek, even though he is a major contributor. On the occasion that he does get a pass off to an open receiver it is usually to Braylon Edwards, who may or may not catch it, no matter how many guys are actually covering him. I like Braylon, I have for many years, but he needs to stop reading his clippings and start reading his playbook. A number one receiver and a quarterback have to know each other’s timing. They also both need to be running the same play. Braylon is not a great route runner, but it is easier for a QB when he is running the CORRECT route. He breaks too early, if at all, and that would be sort of acceptable if he CAUGHT THE BALL! No professional wide receiver should drop that many passes. (In high school I had to run if I dropped ONE, which was rare, but I’m awesome.)

           

To go on and on about Braylon and D.A. would only be putting a band-aid on a gaping cannon ball sized bullet hole. The biggest most obvious problem with this team is that bloated walrus looking Shakespearean character on the sideline. Romeo Crannel is not a good coach. Sometimes things are as cut and dry as that. He is not a good head coach. A defensive coordinator, good…head coach, bad. He has ZERO control of these players, which I account for all the mental, stupid errors these guys are making. First, why in God’s name is he letting Jerome Harrison collect dust on the sideline? He is not a superstar, but he is a player. He has shown over the past few years that he is a dependable guy that can eat up yards when he has the ball. He has good hands out of the backfield, and is a nice compliment to Lewis’ running style. But, he had 3 carried against the Redskins…3! Which if Romeo was a student of this game at all he would know that having a bruising runner like Lewis is a great asset, as long as you know how to supplement him with a smaller quicker back throughout the game

           

Next, like I said, he has NO control of this team. At no point in a game should your players be arguing amongst themselves about things. Vickers made a mistake; D.A. grabbed him ON THE FIELD. A mistake is made and that should be dealt with in the locker room during films. Not by your QB who is trying desperately to be the team leader. Braylon, D.A., Winslow, and back in the day Frye have all shown their frustration and aired them on the field. That is not acceptable. Romeo is not a strong enough personality for this team. There are too many egos running around on the sideline and he needs to be able to grab a facemask and put someone in their place. That is what these guys need, and they won’t get it with him. He is far too passive. Cower, Parcells, Fisher, Holmgren, and Billick…these guys controlled the sideline and have been successful for it.

           

So, is it time to panic? No, because they are still in it. The Browns have 10 games left in the season, and at the moment is no further back than 2 games of a wildcard spot. The D has played like a playoff team and they have the talent on offense to be a playoff team. But they have to get their heads on straight and play together. Funny, last week Kellen Winslow was not on the field and the team moved the ball just fine. Now he’s back and he is pissing and moaning about his GM not calling him in the hospital and having to be restrained by Jamal Lewis to shut his mouth. He says he wanted a trade, but was too “big” to ask for it. Pack your bags scooter. You don’t block, you bitch too much, and you can’t stay healthy. You are a Hall-of-Fame talent without the numbers. Shut your mouth and play, or get out.

           

I have to admit I don’t like the idea of pulling your QB in the middle of the season. It messes with the chemistry of the offense, and it can create a division within the locker room. I also think a two QB system (MICHIGAN!!!!) is a stupid tactic that only works when you are using Tim Teabow, but I digress. D.A. has shown he is not the future of this team. I still say the biggest off-season mistake this year was resigning him while his stock was so high. Teams admitted they would forfeit their draft picks (rumored to be a 1st and 3rd rounder) to sign the restricted free agent. After this year his trade value is not going to be as high, and they will be lucky to get anything above a 4th round pick for him. The Browns aren’t trading Brady Quinn and it is about time to get him some P.T. The truth is, this season is still alive and Quinn can’t do worse than Anderson is. He is a better QB and he has shown that he is able to shoulder pressure, and I know Jon will appreciate a Golden Domer taking the reigns.

           

My advice to this team is to check the egos, get back to basics, be a team, and save this season. They have 10 weeks left and anything can happen. But if things continue down this road, we may be in for another transitional period with a lot of new faces next year.


Coach did his best

October 20, 2008

Sometimes things just can get out of control no matter what you do.  Coaches can sometimes get stuck in the very difficult situation in the event of a blowout whether to run their offense, take out their stars, and get very very conservative.  Either way, while coaches enjoy the “W,” no one wants it to get ugly.  Well, in Estero, FL this past weekend, there was nothing that Naples High coach Bill Kramer go in one of those sticky situations.  His Golden Flashes romped the kids of Estero high school 91-0.  Yes that’s right, 91-0.  Seems like a little overkill huh?  Well this wasn’t the classic Steve Spurrier running up the score type game.  Kramer’s team got on the smaller less talented Estero and put 13 touchdowns on the board.  Again, I’m not kidding.  Kramer’s team only ran 31 plays the entire game and he sat out most of his best players for as long as possible.  I mean, it could have been way worse, it was 70-0 at the half.  So clearly they came off the gas a little bit.

So what do you do in that situation?  Your team is head and shoulders better then the other team, everything is going right for you, and nothing for them, and your only 9 points away from scoring a hundo on someone.  Now my gut was, hey, score 100, have everyone fear you for the rest of the season, and apologize later to the coach.  Then I thought of what it was like in my short football career when on the right occassion we beat someone pretty badly.  They did, what Kramer did.  Empty the bench, empty it early, and empty it completely.  Take the page in the playbook of pass plays, and fold it to the back, only for a serious situation, and tell your punters and kickers to get loose.  That is what Kramer did, he even took a knee on early downs.  Sheesh.

I can remember the great delight in getting the young guys in, and being able to teach and root them on as hard as they did us.  We urged to coach to not be afraid to do the cool stuff, like motion, TE trades, and multi-back sets to allow the other guys to have fun underneath the lights. 

There is always an important lesson to be learned in this as well.  For the winning side, humility and sportsmanship, and for the losing side, the aptitude to learn, get better and the thought to never let it happen again.  All of these things happened for the coaches of Estero and Naples High, except for the parents.

Parents actually wrote emails and letters hammering Kramer for not playing their kid more, not enough, and not padding peoples stats.  Padding stats, come on.  Those parents should be ashamed of themselves.  Taking a beating like that isn’t fun to play in or coach, but the parents don’t realize what it does to the coaches. There really is nothing you can do. You call the play, your players execute it and they score.  All you can do is try to pull back the reigns.

In the meantime, parents should stick to parenting, and let teaches and coaches do what they do.

 http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=862709


#2 can flat out play

October 9, 2008

Coming into the season the Ohio State Buckeyes looked poised to make a run.  They would be lead by there 10 year starter Todd Boeckman on offense, and James Laurenitis on defense.  In all seasons there is always a defining game that you carry throughout the season.  Sometimes its a win, other times its a loss.  What the Buckeyes might not have known, is how good they might really have it.

Terrell Pryor, their now starting freshmen phenom QB has put Boeckman on the bench, and the Ohio State offense on his back.  He proved that this past weekend in Madision, Wisconsin against the Badgers.  “TP” as my close friend Travis calls him, isn’t afraid when the lights go on.  In fact, he just gets better.  Now I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical of Pryor before this season started.  I mean, we’ve seen this alot, – QB comes in with sky high expectations, only to disappoint and end up on the punt team, or charting plays their entire life.  Not so for Pryor.  I should have known.  Heck, I’ve watched the film, seen him in All-Star games, and now I’ve watched him on the big stage, and this kid can flat out play.  He gave everyone a taste against USC, seemingly the only person that could run with the Trojans, and I really think he had his coming out party against the Badgers.

So here are the numbers on Pryor thus far: 42-65-2, for 440, and 5 TD’s.  He is also second on the team in rushing with 312 yards and leads the team in touchdowns with 9.  Let me take this opportunity to again remind you that he’s a FRESHMEN.  He will get better.  He’ll give the Buckeyes that game breaking X-factor that so many teams covet.  That’s right, the kid can play.

Wanna know what else is scary about Terrelle Pryor? He looks bored.  Not bored at the opera bored, bored like “this game is going to slow bored.” Pryor moves around the pocket with a calmness and a swiftness that cannot be taught.  When he needs to leave the pocket, he never seems to bee at full speed and he still makes people miss.  I’m waiting for a game that he turns it on, and leaves someone in his dust.  So far, environment hasn’t effected him, pass rush hasn’t bothered him too much, and he’s getting better by the minute. 

Could he be the second coming of Vince Young?  I don’t know, like  I said, he’s only a freshmen.


Community reaches out, just like hero did

October 7, 2008

As people we follow a natural progression.  Most of us go to middle school, high school, college and get a career.  From there we take on life as it comes, doing our best adjust to the trials and tribulations that come our way.  Unfortunately, life becomes a series of meetings and passing. The passings can be the most difficult, especially with young people. This past weekend my community laid to rest a true American Hero, Captain Mike Medders. 

Mike was one of those rare constantly upbeat people, that had one of the most contagious smiles and attitudes you’ll ever meet.  As a person, he was known for his athletic prowess, and his ability to bring people together.  This couldn’t have been more evident in the funeral ceremonies.  You realize that a community can be more then just a place to live, its a place that lives within you.  Mike had pride in his community, and the outpouring of respect for his passing was overwhelming.

Avon Lake lined the city streets for the fallen hero, and showed the pride that makes it great.  The pride that drove Mike in everything he did.  Mike was described as “all heart,” and now I believe the same can be said about Avon Lake, Ohio.  Its an “all heart” community that takes care of its own, but greets its visitors with a smile.  This past weekend, they the wept together in the loss of a great human being, wonderful community member and of course that great smile.

I’ll do my best never to forget Captain Mike Medders, and I hope that I can do my best to carry his attitude with me for the rest of my life.  Mike could always make a bad situation good, and good situation great.  He was certainly able to do the latter in Avon Lake.

Rest In Peace and God Bless You Mike…You’ll be missed.


Mike Medders information

October 1, 2008

For those of you that might be looking to attend the ceremonies for Captain Mike Medders, below is a link that has all of the details…

http://www.cleveland.com/realtimenews/index.ssf/2008/09/capt_michael_medders_killed_in.html

R.I.P. Mike, you’ll be missed…