Wednesday, April 29, 2009
photo from hawkmania.com
He looks like a good little boy there. He's not. Well, first and certainly foremost, the All-American Bad Ass Mitch King was not drafted. (I know, WTFTF? Right. Come on NFL GM's, please tell me that you're smarter than this.)
Okay, you run a 3-4. You have no use for him. Understandable.
Wait, what!? You run a 4-3. And while you passed on King, you drafted some defensive tackle who has never even heard of a swim move and couldn't define intensity if it was on the Wonderlic. I will never understand the Draft. One would think average college football fans could easily have jobs as scouts. On that notion, we might as well be coaches too, cause everyone knows more than the coach. But I digress.
King signed with the Tennessee Titans. I can see King and Vince Young forming a life long friendship. Mel Kiper said today on College Football Live that King was the best player not drafted. No kidding. This means that Mitch probably had his choice of teams and felt comfortable with Tennessee. Jeff Fisher is one of the best coaches in the league. My guess: Mitch sticks around and shows the lazy defensive tackles on the roster how to play.
Rob Bruggeman went to Tampa Bay. I was super impressed by Bruggeman this fall. He instantly gelled a line that gave up 46 sacks the year before. Bruggs should be plenty comfortable with his new home stadium, after playing their just 4 months ago and whupping the Gamecocks. My guess: Bruggeman makes the practice squad the first year, but eventually earns roster spot.
King's partner in crime, Matt Kroul, signed with the New York Jets. No word if he's tackled Mark Sanchez yet. Confusing move here. The Fighting Rex Ryans run a 3-4 defense and Kroul isn't exactly B.J. Raji. It'll be hard for him to stick here. Kroul might need to find a better situation.
The forgotten senior Andy Brodell signed with the Green Bay Packers. Bad news here: the Pack are loaded at WR. Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Ruvell Martin, and Jordy Nelson. Jordy Nelson is basically Andy Brodell, except better. Hopefully Brodell sticks around, but it's hard to imagine.
Interesting song choice. Mainly because it's been forever tainted by...
Also, Bruggeman's link is a link to all the undrafted signees. Check out your favorite team's new players there.
One last note, in the interest and curiosity of Al Davis' ever evolving senial-ness. I checked out who Oakland signed after the drafted. Turns out, they signed a wide receiver out of Harvard named Desmond Bryant.
Is it out of the question that Al Davis thinks Harvard's Desmond Bryant is Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant (only the best receiver playing college football next season)?
I don't think so either. Discuss.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Elmo and Trini the Yellow Ranger must be running Oakland's draft room. Their picks have made little to no sense thus far.
Full reaction later.
RB Shonn Greene was taken with the 65th pick overall to the NY Jets. After browsing some of the Jets fan boards, it appears that incumbent starter Thomas Jones is unhappy with his situation in New York. Not sure why, but if he's out, Greene's in. The other Jet's running back is Leon Washington. Washington is a quick, play maker with good hands. If Jones is out, Washington and Greene complement each other well. With recent first round selection Mark Sanchez from USC as the likely starter, new head coach Rex Ryan will want to run the ball.
The Jets were eager to grab Greene when they traded a third, fourth, and seventh round pick to the Lions.
Greene, an All-American, rushed for more than 100 yards in all 13 games last season, finishing with 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns in his one season as a regular.
From ESPN's Scouts Inc., "At 227 pounds, Greene is a powerful between-the-tackles runner who can carry a heavy load and appears to get better with each carry. He doesn't have great top-end speed, but he's quicker than he is fast and runs with good balance. Although he is an inconsistent receiver at this point he's an above-average pass-blocker for a college prospect."
(Unimportant side note: I lost the bet with my roommate by ONE pick. One. Uno. I literally could not have lost the bet by a smaller margin. Not that anyone actually cares about this other than me, but I figure that since it's my blog, the world can share my frustration over consuming 44 ounces more Mountain Dew that any person should drink at a time. Damn you Beanie Wells.)
DB Bradley Fletcher was taken right after Greene with the 66th pick overall to the St. Louis Rams.
From ESPN's Scouts Inc., "Fletcher is 6-feet tall and, like we said yesterday in regard to Utah cornerback Sean Smith, corners this tall can have a hard time changing directions. In Fletcher's case, he doesn't have the burst or hip fluidity to consistently match up in man coverage. However, he does a good job masking his weaknesses with instincts. Because of his long arms he doesn't necessarily have to be in perfect position to make a play on the ball."
I think this is a good fit for Fletcher. Mainly, because the Rams play in the NFC West which includes the 49'ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals. Fletch is a big corner at 6', big enough that there's been talk of a move to safety. However, the NFC West specializes in big receivers. San Francisco miraculously had Michael Crabtree fall into their laps, Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin (for now). The Seahawks don't have these elite receivers, but with Nate Burleson and the recently drafted Deon Butler from Penn State, they still provide a decent threat. You can see Fletcher on Butler the video below.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Shonn Greene - Late 2nd Round to the Arizona Cardinals (because I really want to win this bet)
Bradley Fletcher - Mid 3rd Round to the Atlanta Falcons
Seth Olsen - Early 5th Round to the Seattle Seahawks
Mitch King - Mid 6th Round to the Houston Texans
Rob Bruggeman - Late 7th Round to the Minnesota Vikings
Brandon Myers and Matt Kroul - Undrafted Free Agents
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
After the departure of four year starters, Mitch King and Matt Kroul, a void is left at the point of attack for the Hawkeye defense. Defensive tackle Norm Parker has stated that the defensive tackle will be played more by committee this year.
Let's examine the candidates:
First we have Karl Klug. 6'4, 255 pounds, Klug is the front runner to start. He played so well in spot duty against Florida International last season that he earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Klug is more slender than King and Kroul, but tough as nails. He also played well in the upset victory against Penn St. Namely when he broke through the line to stuff Evan Royster as the Nittany Lions were driving.
The other three are less known. Mike Daniels (6'1, 267), Cody Hundertmark (6'4, 276), former offensive lineman Travis Meade (6'2, 285) has also made the switch to defensive tackle.
Defensive Ends Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard have also been willing to slide into the interior. Coach Ferentz called this "one of the best things of camp" and that they are displaying leadership on the line like King and Kroul. This slide allows sack-master and long-arm-extraordinaire Broderick Binns more opportunities to get on the field. Which is a good thing. Very good.
4. Quarter Back-Up
Ricky Stanzi is clearly the man this year. After a successful sophomore campaign, the signal caller returns as a leader of the offense. After Jake Christensen's decision to transfer and Marvin McNutt's move to WR, the question is not Stanzi, but who backs him up?
Two redshirt freshmen: the state of Iowa's all-time leading passer, James Vandenberg. Or the southpaw from Michigan, John Wienke. Right now, Vandenberg is listed ahead of of Wienke on the depth chart, but who knows how much stock we can put into that. Both should be getting plenty reps in spring ball.
If Stanzi goes down for anytime with an injury, one of these two young guns will have to step in. Confident?
3. Life after Greene: The Running Back Situation
Shonn Greene is gone to the NFL, likely to make tons of green. So who replaces him? The front-runner is Jewel Hampton. Hampton rushed for the 463 yards and 7 touchdown's as Greene's back-up. Hampton has been dinged up during the spring, so let's hope he gets healthy soon. Next on the depth chart is Paki O'Meara. Pak-Man rushed for 62 yards and 2 TD's. He's a capable, but not explosive, back-up if Hampton goes down. Next in line is redshirt freshman Jeff Brinson. The physical back tweaked an ankle in the spring scrimmage, but is expected to be fine. I'd guess that Brinson jumps O'Meara on the depth chart by Big 10 play if he can pick up the normal things freshman running backs are lacking: blitz pick-up blocking.
Don't forget about incoming freshman Brandon Wegher. Just watch.
2. Dace Richardson back on track for the Hawkeyes
Probably the best story out of spring ball is Dace coming back to the offensive line. I'd try and capture the adventure he went to get through to this point, but I'd screw it up. I'll let the Quad-City Time's Don Doxie elaborate.
Also, here is an article about Mt. Bulaga and the rest of the offensive line from ESPN's Big 10 blogger Adam Rittenberg.
1. Wide Receiver Competition
The most compelling story is coming from the most unlikely place. Converted from quarterback midway through last season, you could assume it would take 6'4 Marvin McNutt some time to learn the position. You would be wrong.
We thought it might be nothing when he was listed a top the spring depth chart, ahead of the leading, returning wide receiver (44 receptions, 639 yards, 3 TD's), DJK. It doesn't look it's nothing anymore.
Even if he finally concedes his starting spot to DJK, McNutt could give the Hawkeye's their first 'big' reciever in a long time. I can't wait to see how this plays out.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
A lot has been going on in Hawkeye Land this past week, so let's get caught up.
From the 'thank your chosen deity department,' Ed Podolak is BACK. This is fantastic news, as Eddie is an Iowa Hawkeye through and through and one of the smartest football guys on the air.
Former Hawkeye Paul Burmeister, a draft analyst from the NFL Network (which like 6% of America gets to watch), does an interview for Hawkeye Report about the Hawks draft status.
He thinks Shonn Greene will be off the board sometime in the 2nd Round. This is good for a couple reasons. First and most importantly, I made a bet with my roommate after the Florida International game that Shonn would go in the first two rounds of the draft. My roommate is a Hawkeye pessimist/realist, though he is a big fan. The wager: a 64 ounce container of sweet, green nectar titled Mountain Dew from the local Kum & Go. I literally have never wanted to win a bet so much and waited so long to do so without forgetting about it in my life.
Secondly and less importantly, it bodes well for the school and the program to have star players in the NFL. Running back has never been an area that success as a Hawkeye has translated to stardom in the NFL. The only legit NFL caliber running back is Ladell Betts and he's a back-up, albeit an effective one. Fred Russell declared for the draft early (I know what you're thinking, but he seriously did). I think Greene has pretty decent shot at being a feature back for a team.
Here's a link to a Press-Citizen article about the installation of the new FieldTurf.
Here's a photo gallery of the spring football practice/scrimmage held last Saturday.
Finally, ESPN's Big 10 blogger Adam Rittenberg talked with Coach Ferentz recently and got some spring tidbits.
Most notably, the Hawks have three night games as of now: @ Penn State (possible White Out. Bad for us, good for TV), vs Michigan (Homecoming, haven't played the Wolverines in two years, they sucked last year!!!!!!), and @ Michigan State (blah).
Also of note, remember when the spring two deeps were recently released and DJK was listed behind Colin Sandeman. I didn't think much of it at the time, but Rittenberg also points out that something could be going on.
Here's a quote from Ferentz on the situation from the article:
"He's got to improve just like everybody else," Ferentz said of the man known as DJK. "There's a lot of little things that he can do better. With receivers, when they make plays, it's pretty obvious, but there are a lot of things that go on during the game that go unnoticed by the average person watching. That's a challenge for all the guys."
If you're going to look for any scoop on the Hawks aside from the brilliant work done here at Hawkeye House, read Rittenberg's blog.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Major League Baseball strike of 1994 was an inevitable and necessary evil.
The strike was inevitable for many reasons: no permanent commissioner, a terrible relationship between the Lords and the players union, and it was simply too late.
It was necessary for one major reason; to get the Lords and players of America’s game back on the same page.
Baseball’s first problem was their lack of leadership during a crucial time. Bud Selig was acting as baseball’s interim commissioner. Blame for the strike shouldn’t be placed solely on Selig, however. Selig was only replacing the man that the real blame should fall on: former Commissioner Fay Vincent.
Fred Kuhlman said Vincent developed “commissioneritis.” Much like “senioritis” affects the ability to complete coursework in timely manner, “commissioneritis” affected the way Vincent operated.
A passage in Lords of the Realm describes just how bad of a commissioner Fay Vincent actually was.
“He accumulated so many grievances that he actually wrote his own list of ‘Bad Things Fay Has Done.’ It included being a labor wimp; being a press hound and compulsive leaker; and being an ineffectual leader.”
Bud Selig did all he could to prevent the ’94 strike (he tirelessly worked the phones calling owners), but in the end it was his title that held him back. He was the interim commissioner, not the permanent commissioner. Although he repeatedly stated that he wasn’t interested in being the full time commissioner (obviously time tells us he actually was), he never took a firm stance on the issues and was afraid to get into the messy politics of baseball.
The Lords and players union also started negotiating far too late. A vital decision for the future of baseball was delayed for too long. Solid business decisions are thought out and rationalized. They aren’t rash and hurried.
When the two sides finally began discussion, the outcome was already a foregone conclusion; there would be no agreement. A baseball stoppage was inevitable.
Could the strike have been avoided? Was it actually inevitable?
If Bud Selig takes a hard stance, do the rest of the owners respect it? What if they started negotiating sooner, do they get a deal done in time? Even if these things happened, the strike was surely to happen. Baseball needed it.
The real reason the ’94 strike was inevitable was the relationship between the owners and players union had deteriorated so far that it was impossible to come to terms of an agreement.
Even when logical and fair arguments were voiced, like luxury tax, the other half wasn’t listening. The owners had tried to short change and reduce players’ salaries and benefits for so long, players were constantly wary of the Lord’s motives. Marvin Miller and the players union had hammered the owners on almost every baseball detail (arbitration, free agency, reserve clause, lockouts, etc.), that the Lords were afraid of what power they would forfeit next.
Their relationship was ruined. Neither side was listening. Neither side was bargaining.
It was a far cry from player/Lord relationship from the early days of baseball. Relationships where owners took care of their players. The Lords then had more than just a monetary investment in their teams. They were their teams.
In those days, owners used to help their players out, usually by any means necessary. Owners helped finance player housing, slipped players cash after a good game, and were much more lenient during the salary negotiation process.
Can you picture George Steinbrenner doing these things for his players?
I can’t either.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
When the only comment on Youtube goes like this, "Kyle Massey has a bad ass mustache in this video. ...for sure," you know you're doing something right with your upper lip.
If you or your friends want to be honored with the Hayden Fry Mustache Award, email Hawkeye House your mustache pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
"James Ferentz, Tyler Christensen and Zachary Derby were arrested by the University of Iowa Public Safety, for public intoxication around 2 a.m. this morning near Old Capitol Mall. All three were taken to the Johnson County Jail and were released this morning."
So they went downtown on a Sunday night?
“It was very disappointing to learn of the behavior of our three players last night,” Coach Ferentz said in a statement. “Short term, all three will be suspended for the remainder of spring practice and they will be expected to fulfill significant community service obligations the next several weekends. Additional action will be determined at a later point and return to the team will be based on additional criteria.”
I cannot even fathom the hell they will have to go through to return to the team. Especially for James. He was expected to compete for a starting spot, probably center. He can probably start re-thinking that option.
"According to UI police complaints, Christensen, a red-shirt freshman fullback from Belmond, approached an off-duty officer wanting to fight. When on-duty officers arrived, Christensen had slurred speech, red bloodshot eyes and admitted drinking at Iowa City’s Fieldhouse bar but refused to take a blood-alcohol test. Christensen then admitted to UI police he had broken the arms off of a parking gate at the mall’s entrance. UI police then called Iowa City Police, who arrested Christensen for fifth-degree criminal mischief."
Meets the criteria for like a brilliant guy. Wants to fight an off-duty officer, check. Breaking arms off the parking gate, check. Suspension, check.
"Derby, a 19-year-old red-shirt freshman tight end from Iowa City, joined Christensen in wanting to fight an off-duty police officer, according to the complaint. Derby’s blood-alcohol level was .211 before the arrest."
.211? Cripes. These three didn't just head downtown for an underage drink or two. They were out to get hammered drunk. Maybe they thought they couldn't get in trouble Sunday night. They definitely thought wrong.