Saturday, April 30, 2005

Red Leg Nation Nails it

From time to time, I like to fancy myself as someone who can analyze the game of baseball, and I was just beginning to think about a season-review for our Reds, the first since the "playable lie" post, which has turned into "in the heavy rough to the left of the fairway."

But, Redleg Nation, a consistently high quality source, has already done it and done it better than I can. So, I'm just linking to it.

Highlights are the following:

We are scoring a .5 runs/game LESS than last year. And pitching is no better, and the bullpen is worse.

Here's the key quote that puts the whole thing in perspective:

The Reds are like that photograph of a guy holding a photo of a guy holding photo of a guy holding a photo.

Winding its way into infinity.

Meanwhile, JD of Redreporter had a nice piece on Redszone following the model of a Son of Sam Horn site in Boston, which is not an open forum, but rather restricts access to those who pay and those who are vouched for on the inside. Anyone who has seen a message board slow deteriorate as Redszone has knows the pattern of a few intelligent posters eventually being dragged down by people sitting high atop the bell curve.

Here's JD's article.

Here was my comment:

JD, great post. I've had the same observation. In fact, I have observed that sports message boards have a similar lifecycle. At the beginning there is a high level of discussion and camraderie, and in its day, redszone was absolutely great. Man, I couldn't get enough of that site. I looked at it through the off-season, (even more than during the season). I posted a decent amount, and found it a positive experience.

Since then, it has really gone south, and has been replaced, in my view, my blogs like this. After a while, as the circle broadens out, the idiots start to flock in, and that just makes the good posters stay away.

The new model is a good idea. Given all the debate about open-source, I think it says a lot about how much "open" any endeavor can really take, but that's probably a post for another blog.

Here's the Son of Sam Horn site, for those who are interested.

Cole in Action

Beckman to OSU Confirmed, Studrawa promoted

OSU and BGSU officially announced that Coach Beckman is going to coach at OSU on the defensive side of the ball. Apparently, there is a family tie between Coach Beckman's father and Coach Tressel.

Stud was promoted to Assistant Head Coach.

The top internal candidate for the job is John Bowers, who has been here five years, and coached the Dline last year. He has been a coordinator elsewhere.

Bowers came to BGSU from Stow High School where he served as defensive coordinator for one year. He has experience in the MAC serving on staffs at Eastern Michigan (1998 and 1993-94) and Kent State (1997) where he was the defensive coordinator. In 1996 at Eastern Illinois, Bowers helped direct a defense that ranked 11th in the nation overall and seventh against the rush. The Panthers had a two-year record of 18-6 and the 1995 squad won the Gateway Conference championship.He began his coaching career at James Madison as a football graduate assistant coach from 1979-80. Bowers became an assistant football coach at Washington & Lee for one season, 1981, and then spent two years as an assistant at Shepherd. Bowers moved on to Austin Peay as an assistant coach from 1984-87 before joining Illinois State as assistant from 1988-92. A native of Hagerstown, Maryland, Bowers graduated from JMU in 1979 after competing in football and baseball. He was the football team's offensive most valuable player and captain in 1978. He also earned his master's degree in education in 1980.

My guess is that this late, we won't have any choice but to promote him, but as long as Beckman is leaving, a fresh look at how we defend might not hurt anything. Maybe Bowers will have different ideas--or maybe, Beckman was a really good coach and nobody else could do any better with those players.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Falcon D-Coordinator Beckman reported headed to OSU

Word is that Columbus radio was announcing that Tim Beckman is taking a position at Ohio State on the defensive staff. Good for him. We certainly had our problems on the defensive side of the ball, but I don't think he was as much as fault as many feel.

Timing certainly stinks, but its not their fault its so late, since Snyder went to Marshall, which opened up the vacancy that is causing the Beckman hire, even if Beckman isn't filling it directly.

There were always two schools of thought on Beckman. One was that he was a good coach with an underperforming D, and the other that he was a underpeforming coach.

This would indicate that somene at OSU who knows something about football thinks he was a good coach.

Another poster has noted that Gary Blackney, Urban Meyer, Gregg Brandon and Jim Tressel all wanted him on their staff, and that ought to say something.

That's too bad for us, but congrats to Coach Beckman. He's a nice guy who deserves to coach in the Big 10 if that's what he wants to do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Only Football Junkies Care...*Updated with real info*

about who their teams picks at as a UDFA. About two guys make the roster from the UDFAs, though normally not stars. The Lions site doesn't have any specific information but I have gleaned the following.

P Adam Anderson (Western Michigan).
DT Brandon Kennedy (Broncos) This guy is actually a regular FA from the Broncos.
OL Cory Procter (Montana).
PK Ryan Killeen (USC).
Michigan State tight end Jason Randall
BYU quarterback Todd Mortensen
Minnesota WR Paris Hamilton
Texas El-Paso running back Howard Jackson
Eastern Michigan offensive tackle Tom Kaleita
Utah WR Steve Savoy
Penn State safety Andrew Guman.
Ohio U Safety Chip Cox (who is a douchbag, as noted here previously.)

A better list may come out today. Still, its hard to imagine any of these guys making the team. Especially Douchbag Cox.

Update, here's the real list from the Lions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Falcons Draft Results

We didn't have it too wrong, but then again, it wasn't too hard. I think lots of us were surprised at how late Scott M. went. He said in the paper here that he was hurt during pro day, and that made them nervous--as in, they were afraid he wouldn't be able to practice this week, etc. I think he's a long shot to go much past the practice squad. The starting center in San Diego was a third round pick last year, and the back up went to UM, though he was undrafted, he has kicked around the league. Still, its an accomplishment to even get the try-out, and Scott made it this far. From here, you never know. Maybe a little luck, some Europe, an injury, and you get your shot.

Cole Magner signed with the Falcons (for simplicity's sake). This isn't going to be any easier. Even though the Falcons cut Jimmy Farris, they still carry five veteran receivers, and their #1 pick was a receiver. Rumors say there may be some further cutting in Atlanta, possibly opening up a spot, and if that happens, Cole could make it on special teams and as a 5WR. They also brought in 3 other UDFA Wr's.

Keon Newson signed with the Rams. They picked safeties in the 3rd and 4th rounds, and those guys have to be ahead of Keon.

Finally, Shaun Suisham was signed by the Steelers. His pro career will be in Canada. I don't believe he will ever take a regular season kick in the NFL.

I don't mean to denigrate our guys. Its tough--very tough--to move to the next level. They were great Falcons who were champions and who resurrected our football program. They don't have to prove anything. They are all capable if they get their shot.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Lions Day II

Left over joke from Day One. Its been a long time since I picked up two Trojans on a Saturday night! HA!


Sunday was Sunday. I think our guys did a good job with what was available to them. We traded to pick up an additional pick, and I think we did well with the guys we did get.

I like Dan Orlovsky. I've been pitching here for a big, Brady-sized development project, and he fits the bill. And I saw him shred the Rockets in the Motor City Bowl, so he has a warm place in my heart. I think he can learn as the 3QB. No guarantee he's going to make it, but I think its worth a shot. He could easily develop into a very solid West Coast Offense QB.

I also liked Bill Swanncutt of Oregon State. They say he's got a great motor (phrase of the day). He's an end who seems to have Spielman like playing ability. He may be the D-lineman for the Moneyball era...a guy without great measurables who can make plays and lots of them. In the late rounds, you either get average players who measure well, or great players who measure poorly. I'll take the latter.

Finally, we took Jonathan Goddard from Marshall. I saw Goddard play against us at the Doyt this year, and he was largely not a factor. I don't believe Goddard will ever be a force in the NFL.

Then, we pulled the trigger on a couple of other guys. We dumped Brock Marion and Az Hakim, and I'm glad for that. Losing Marion means we can finally give Terry Holt his chance to play. I believe he was badly underused last year, and I think he will turn into a player. I'm glad to have the way cleared. Az Hakim never panned out and wasn't healthy (to be fair). We certainly don't need him now.

UDFA review to come, but as of now, it really looks like our guys are ready to go. This team could make the playoffs.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Day One Review

It looks good, I guess. I'm not too sure about whether we really addressed our priorities, but hey, let's take a close look.

When the Lions turn came, and Mike Williams was still there, I said to the people I was watching the draft with that there was no doubt in my mind we were going to pick Williams. I knew that we absolutely COULD NOT resist the temptation to pull the trigger on the guy Kiper (and many people) thought was the top pick in the draft.

OK, fine. Now, we can run a set with five linemen, Joey, Jones in the backfield, Polland at TE, Williams (2), and Rogers. That's some firepower.

Let me just raise a couple contrarian points.

First, if the coach doesn't have confidence in Joey, then I don't understand why we keep spending resources to get him (and get him and get him) more tools. This much is clear. There's no place for Joey to hide this year. With all the off-season stuff about dumping him, I just don't understand why we think he can execute this, and a crappy QB cannot succeed no matter how good his receivers are--and Joey was often inaccurate this year.

Second, I am very worried about the line. It won't help getting the ball downfield to Mike Williams if Joey is flat on his back. No, I know we didn't have many sacks last year--that's because we didn't ever throw the ball downfield. What's the point of having deep threats if you can't go deep to protect your QB---or your coach is so conservative that he doesn't want to take any risks.

I know, we are all stiff over Kyle Kosier because he started the last two seasons for the (wait for it) 49ers. Now, to be fair, I don't know if Rogers and Butler are farther along then I thought. Maybe all the pieces come together OK. But, I think we missed a chance to build the line.

How valuable, after all, is your #3 receiver. Especially when you already have a servicable Kevin Johnson. On the bright side, this does allow us to cut Az-Hakim, a failed experiment.

One last thing--did I read somewhere we are using the Colts' model of success? The one where they set tons of records and then get beaten by real football teams in teh playoffs. Just checking.

When the second round came up, I was screaming at the TV for us to pick Cody. Sadly, I meant Dan Cody. I couldn't believe he was still available. (Message to NFL owners--there is medicine for depression. Really. Lots of people use it).

I really thought we'd go to the edge to help the pitiful pass rush, but apparently we really liked the OTHER Cody, and we traded up to take him. This is a fine pick. Defense is where we needed help, along with the line, and he provides depth and a replacement for Big Daddy.

To be fair, Millen was right when he went and got Jones, so I trust him on this one. More sacks would be nice, though.

Finally, I really like Stanley Wilson. He looks like a very solid pickup and someone who can help us right away in nickel coverage. I wonder, since we re-signed Cash and Goodman, still have Bryant and Bly, and Keith Smith, how many CBs a team needs, but we should have such problems.

We don't pick again until the last round, so, in all likelihood, the hopes of getting a "project QB" is gone--or he will be a real project. Back in January I wrote on getting the next Tom Brady. Here was what I saw--especially in terms of bodies--a guy who has the size to be a QB.

9 David Greene + Senior Georgia 6'3 230
11 Derek Anderson + Senior Oregon State 6'6 240
12 Gino Guidugli + Senior Cincinnati 6'3 225
16 Jon Beutjer + Senior Illinois 6'5 225

Greene is already gone, and Anderson will be for sure. The last two might still be there.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lions Draft Futures

Last season, more than any other fact, the Lions were hampered by an offense that couldn't wait to get off the field, and a defense that couldn't get off the field at all (27th in 3rd down % in the NFL.

That has to improve. That's why, I believe, the Lions are looking defense for this season--even at LB, an apparent position of strength. Obviously, CW right now is Derrick Johnson of Texas is considered the guy. Many were concerned about an apparent distaste for being blocked, but Rick Gosselin at the Dallas Morning News said that we didn't need to worry about that, he would be fine. I don't know, but

Now, today, there's talk of a DE, specifically David Pollack of Georgia.

For my money, we're on the right track. You have so much offense going in the first ten picks that we are, more or less, getting the chance to steal a top-flight D player at #10. We ought to get the best defensive player, period. If all else was equal, I would go D-End to help the pass rush, but the best defensive player is the way we should go.

If we can get a playmaker to help get turnovers and 3rd down conversions--and then the offense can stay healthy and pick up the pace a little bit, moving the ball on the ground, that will, in turn, help the D. With that, we have a shot at 9-7, maybe the playoffs.

What about the other rounds.

I think we pick a QB late. I don't want Adrian MacPherson, but there you go.

How about Adam Terry or Marcus Johnson at OT? Could be available in Round 2. Barnes isn't durable, and Brown is a head case.

Or, the second round could be Dan Cody--could he still be there? What about DeMarcus Ware?

Falcons in the Draft

I've been meaning to put more time to this, but haven't had time. The NFL draft is coming up, which has not trypically been kind to even the top MAC players. With that in mind, a brief prognostication.

Scott Mruczkowski--I believe Scott will be the only Falcon drafted, and he will go on day two for sure, and probably after the fifth. But he could go in the fifth. I believe he has a shot at making an NFL roster.

Cole Magner--As a recent analysis I saw said, he doesn't project well. I don't believe Cole will be drafted. I believe he will be an UDFA, and if he gets the right situation, he stands a good shot at making a roster. He could also crap out if he's in the wrong position.

Keon Newsom--I believe Keon will be a UDFA somewhere, but is unlikely to latch onto an NFL roster come Fall.

James Hawkins--Hawk has come onto some Falcon boards and talked about being courted by the Steelers. Lots of talk right now. I don't believe that Hawk will be a UDFA and I don't believe he stands even a remote shot at playing in the NFL.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Stunning News! Ortiz on DL

I only wish we could have seen this coming. On the plus side, this gives Todd Coffey the chance to pitch well in the bullpen, earn himself a spot, and help us bring down the ghastly ERA.

In other news, Rob Stratton, the MLer who had a big few games in ST tore his achilles tendon and will not play very much--it at all--this season.

It was bound to happen.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Reds Start Not Disaster, Playable Lie

The start for the Reds really isn't too bad. I think it shows strong potential to be a .500 team.

First of all, ten games in, we are 5-5, which is precisely .500.

Now, on the surface, we are scoring 4.1 runs/game and allowing 4.7 runs/game, which wouldn't be a great formula.

However, we have a couple of our relievers, Ben Weber (12.27) and David Weathers (10.50) who are sucking the life out of our ERA. Wilson has also stunk (6.35). If those guys can put it back together, than I think the other guys are pitching pretty well and we might see the ERA come back down again.

Its too bad we can't bring Todd Coffey up for one of these guys, but given the $$ involved, I don't see that happening.

And, I think we'll score more. Some guys just aren't hitting.

Of course, that assumes none of the things that are going right start going wrong. If they do, I think on balance we still have a good shot at being a .500 team.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Spring Game Today, Seems good for the offense

Well, it was a good day to have the ball. We only stayed for the first half--two hours of exhibition football was about enough. When we left at half-time, it was 45-35 at halftime! That's 11 TDs and one FG. Ouch. Since there was only one TD in the second half, we can only assume we decided not to run the score up on ourselves.

Omar was awesome after a slow start. The guys you know are going to be good were good. Omar, Sharon, Pope, Lane, Sanders. They absolutely shredded the field.

Some surprises.

Anthony Turner was very good. Not as good as Omar, but a perfectly competent player, and a potential All-MAC player. Nice arm, mobile, poised. The future does look bright.

We are not going to have any problems at receiver, either. R-Fr. Corey Partridge had 3 TDs, numerous key catches, and more than 100 yards. He reminds me of Cole--open across the middle, catches everyting near him, runs from there. He's going to be a player. At #3, he's dangerous.

The same is true of true Fr. Luke Alexander, who enrolled in school in January. He had some big plays, too. He's going to be a big one, too.

Derrick Lett had some nice catches, too. We're plenty deep at WR.

We only ran ponies (2-RBs) a couple of times. But we did, and put this is all caps, RUN ABOUT 10% OF OUR PLAYS UNDER CENTER!!! Amazing.

Dan Macon had some nice runs, too.

Now, there's two ways to look at the D. Certainly, lots of Ds are going to get lit up by our attack. But, they did seem pretty lost out there. We ran and passed, and both units did it. Its certainly worth worrying about. It was pretty one-sided.

OK, off the field. Let's look ahead to Wisconsin.

Tumultous Days for Falcon Hoops

Wow, its been a whirlwind of activity in Falcon Hoops land over the last 24 hours. We've already talked about Austin Montgomery leaving. Then, we learned that Scott Vandermeer, our promising big man, was leaving as well. He hasn't said where he is transferring, but he has been released.

Here's the updated story on our lost recruiting classes.

Stephen Wright--Productive player, still in program.
Ron Lewis--Two productive seasons, no junior year.
Raheem Moss--26 games, two starts, 66 career points, left program.

Chris Hobson, 28 games, 51 points, left program.
Austin Montgomery 56 games, 189 points, transferring.
Reggie Harwell--Nada.
Matt Lefeld--45 games, 52 points. Still in program.
Isaac Rosefelt--24 minutes, two points. Left Program.


Scott Vandermeer, 60 points and 40 fouls. Transferring.
Moon Robinson, ?, some potential.
Mawel Soler, decent bench player.

This is just sickening. I am very depressed at our prospects right now.

A second development is that Dan Dakich has been mentioned (a little) as a potential coach at Depaul.

DD's not going to get that DePaul job unless Gregory turns it down, and there may be others. I don't believe Dakich is seriously considered for anything other than a lateral move right now. He's had some OK teams, but has three dead recruiting classes and hasn't done anything after the West Virginia debacle. The longer this goes on, the less he looks like the hot propsect he was when we signed him.

You know, if he does get to DePaul, he will have world-class facilities. So will everyone else. I love it when people can't succeed at a one level, and sit around and say that they could really do well at a more competitive level. If DD was the kind of coach who could carry DePaul back to national prominence, he'd at least have a program that was prominent in the MAC over the last three seasons.

Finally, I'm not saying that DD can't recruit. I'm saying he hasn't recruited effectively. I'm saying his recruiting has borne very little fruit over the past three seasons. It doesn't matter why--moral degenerates, wimps, dunces, guys who miss their Mother--you can justify each one however you like. In total, our recruiting hasn't brought results.

Now, on to the positive news, and there is some. We have inked three recruits, two of whom could help right away--which is good, because we need it.

Samarco, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, was 13th in the country averaging 21 points per game and finished 14th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage making 46.7% of his shots. He connected on 122 of 261 three-pointers last season and was a first-team All-Region XII honoree.

"Martin brings to our team an ability to score and will have an immediate impact on our program," added Dakich. "He gives us a solid scoring threat from the outside and is an excellent addition to our team."

This is the scoring guard we all hoped we would sign, and that we really, really needed. Calling him an All-American is a stretch, but he was the 13th leading scorer in the US--that has to be worth something.

We also went to Europe for one of these 6'7" guys they seem to grow on trees who can shoot and play inside.

Radivojevic, 19, averaged 35 points and six rebounds for Takovo, a 3rd Division amateur program in his native land. He was a member of Beopetrol, Belgrade (the top junior team in Yugoslavia) and won cadet (under 16) and junior (under 18) national titles in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, he averaged 20 points per game with Borak, Cacak, a junior amateur squad.

"Dusan is a very experienced player who works hard, is a great shooter, and has excellent fundamentals," added Dakich.

Finally, we brought in a 6'4" kid who played for a state champion in Michigan.

Clements led the Rangers to the Michigan Class D state title and averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as a senior.

"Darryl is a very versatile, all-around player that has a real understanding of the game at both ends of the court.," said Dakich.

These guys join four other new players for a full SEVEN new bodies.

Jeremy Holland (6-8, Austin, Ind./Austin HS)
Erik Marschall (6-7, New London, Ohio/ New London HS)
Lionel Sullivan (6-6, Detroit, Mich./DePorres HS)
Nick Wilson (6-4, Trenton, N.J./Central HS).

I understand we have promising guys coming in this year. Many people thought the same thing about Montgomery-Rosefelt-Hobson-Harwell-Lefeld, too. Maybe these guys are different. But I'll believe it when I see it.

That's what I think. Don't mean to be too negative, but I am discouraged. I hope for the best, but I feel like everytime I do that it gets yanked away. We'll be at every home game next season--I'd love to come back and admit I underestimated the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Falcons Football Schedule Released

Here it is. Not great. No home games until October 1, I think that's a tough thing to sell to fans. And, as AD Krebs notes, the league saw fit to schedule a home game during our Fall break when students are gone. That's a BS move on their part. We could also be 1-2 when we enter the first home game, and that could hurt the homecoming crowd.

Its a long season, though. Let's get it going. Spring Game this Saturday!

Exodus Continues, Montgomery to IUPUI

Austin Montgomery transfers to IUPUI.

A while ago, I wrote about the lost recruiting classes for Coach Dakich following the McLeod class and the West Virginia debacle. Its a sad story.

Here are the classes:

Stephen Wright--Productive player, still in program.
Ron Lewis--Two productive seasons, no junior year.
Raheem Moss--26 games, two starts, 66 career points, left program.

Chris Hobson, 28 games, 51 points, left program.
Austin Montgomery 56 games, 189 points, transferring.
Reggie Harwell--Nada.
Matt Lefeld--45 games, 52 points. Still in program.
Isaac Rosefelt--24 minutes, two points. Left Program.

Two recruiting classes, one good and one average player. Nothing else.

We have four guys who have signed letters, and rumors on are that we have two or three more coming, maybe one from Yugoslavia. We could field 6 or 7 freshmen next year. I hope one of them is a JUCO scorer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Take a deep breath on Joe Randa

Lots of judgments being made so far. People who talked him down this winter are already eating crow. People who liked it are taking a victory lap. People are even talking about whether its smart to shove Randa aside next season for Edwin Encarnacion.

Wow. People. Get a drink of water. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Let yourself feel the emotions leave you.

We know what we're getting with Randa.

He has never hit more than 16 homers in a season, and I don't care what ballpark he played in. That's a reasonable top line for him. And he's already hit three of them. In nearly 5,000 career at bats, he has a .287 BA. That's reasonable to expect. His BA and OBP are about average for a 3B, while his career slugging is below the NL 3B average for last season, so his OPS is likely to be as well.

He's a fine player, don't get me wrong. He's a good one-year fill in. He is a consistent player and we know what that means. If he has a career year, all to the good, but that's very unlikely to happen.

And for this team to content long-term, EE needs to come in next year and do what we know he can do.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Back to Earth

3-0 start, swept in Houston. Back to earth, and the realistic idea that this team is at best a .500 team. That will be an accomplishment.

That's 11 straight losses to Houston, and some kind of ridiculously bad winning % at Minute Maid field, where we will be six more times this season. We certainly didn't play badly, but we clearly were beaten consistently by the Astros.

Off today, and then to St. Louis for another tough set. A split is needed to keep the early season from being defined by an early long losing streak.

Finally, watch for this coming attraction. So far the Red have 56 K's, by far the highest in the NL, and more than 9 per game. The SABRmetric dudes will tell you the K is just another out. You'll see what that's wrong and what it costs.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

6th Innings Dooms Reds

It can all come down to one inning, and last night the 6th did the Reds in. Executed correctly, they could have easily won that game.

In the top of the inning, Reds were down 3-2, but had first and third with no out, and Griffey, Casey and Kearns coming up. If something looks more like the start of a big inning, I'd like to know what it is. And its the last time--the last time--you want to run around giving up outs on the basepaths. Its fundamental baseball.

Sadly, we believe in this myth of the NL game--stealing bases, etc. And even trying to steal second would have been OK. But home?

Griffey struck out. We ran the double steal, and Astros executed perfectly, catching the throw to second short and firing it home to get Ryan Freel easily. So much for the threat, we still trail.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, its second and third with two outs. Matt Belisle is pitching. The Astros decide to leave Clemens in--essentially conceding the inning--rather than pinch hit. Gullett comes out to give Belisle some "advice." He goes 0-2 on Clemens, and then proceeds to nibble like a little against Clemens, a career .179 hitter with 10 RBI. Ever. So its 3-2, Belisle throws heat right over the plate, Clemens is a good enough athlete to get his bat on it, send it up the middle and drive home both runs. And its 5-2. Ball game.

I'm not complaining. We're 3-1. But one inning can cost you a game.

UPDATE: Heard on FSN tonight that Freel ran on his own, against orders. OK, fine. Even trying to steal second on a play like that is dumb, and it just makes Freel more dumb and Miley a little less. We still ran ourselves out of an inning.

Falcons Add 2 RB set to attack

The Sentinel report yesterday that said BG was going to use a two-back set more this season. Apparently, it has been in the offense, but not used much. Its a way to get Lane and Pope in the game, and Coach says you still have the ability to split one of them out or even go empty with both in the game.

Its called "Ponies." The team has been working on blocking assignments since the extra back will put a defender closer to the line. In an understatement, Coach says "We're not just a team that's going to line up and run an I-back at you 50 times. Quite honestly, I don't know if we could holdup doing that."

Spreading guys out opens the running lanes, he said. We also want to use the TE more.

Finally, a dude named Martell Mallett, a redshirt FR walk on from Pine Bluff AK is behind Macon and Cole on the depth chart, though Cole has not practiced.

This is interesting. I think we could do some good things with it. Most notably, I think there is a strong possibility that this is driven by Omar not being essentially a 2 RB like Josh was, and the fact that we don't have as much depth at receiver, so the pure 4 WR sets aren't as attractive. Anyway, I found in interesting.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A while ago, I referred you to a Blog survey on the Reds. Here are interesting results.

Nice Opening Day Win

What a great victory to start the season. I was on the road, and heard the last three innings or so in the car. It was great to have a "Haaaaaveeeee Merrrrccccyyy" to start the season off!

Its a long season that isn't even close to 1% finished, but certainly a dramatic victory like that sets the right tone. Its a shame that everyone had left, but if this team can make a run, capturing the city's imagination helps. Finally, we have had a history of fast starts, followed by a summer swoon.

Still, yesterday was a great opening day.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Reds Final Roster Set

Redleg Nation has the final Reds cuts.

The injury to Josh Hancock means Valentine and Belisle can stay. Cruz beats out Lopez for the final slot.

Reds Final Roster Set

Redleg Nation has the final Reds cuts.

The injury to Josh Hancock means Valentine and Belisle can stay. Cruz beats out Lopez for the final slot.

Jamel White Signed by Lions

I like this pickup. He's an excellent reserve, giving up cheap depth at RB behind Jones, and can be an excellent back in some packages. He may not be a starter, but he's the kind of reserve the Patriots always seem to have.

Lions Forum talk on White.

Baseball Passion II

The follow up is in. I posted links to the article in a couple places to see what kind of reaction I would get. I did get a couple of thoughtful responses here (Thanks Steve) and on Red Reporter (see below). But I shouldn't be surprised. I posted the article in the place where people congregate who feel like I used to feel. This is probably proof that I changed and not the game. If you go to the second link and see the behaviors cited, you will see things that used to describe me each year.

Having said that, the responses range from "Hey, the Reds really have a chance this year" (take a second look at Eric Milton and Ramon Ortiz please), and the A's and Twins do it, why can't we? (How far have they gone in the playoffs?).

Anyway, my goal wasn't to shit on anybody's parade, I only wanted to express feelings that I don't think I hold alone. Thanks for reading.

Red Reporter Diary entry

Redszone thread

Tiger Blog thread from someone who listened.

BGSU ponders replacing Anderson Arena

The Blade is reporting that BGSU is considering replacing Anderson Arena. Not exactly new news, but the first tangile step.

I have a lot of thoughts on this, the most prominent of which is that change is inevitable. My primary concern is that we were 12th in the MAC in attendance, but, as others have mentioned, maybe the arena plays a role in that.

Its emotional to me. Anderson Arena is the sporting venue I have the most emotion and love attached to. I will eventually collect these thoughts, but I am philosophical. Change is only a matter of time.

Spring Football Practice is Underway

On the fields by the Doyt, spring practice is underway. Obviously, given last year's success, there's a lot of anticipation. The team is senior-laden, and in as good a position as they ever will be to bring a championship back. (A MAC Championship, not a division championship.).

Only two things really stand in the way. The first is a road game at Miami. As documented here, we have only won one road game in the Meyer/Brandon era against a team which went on to have a winning record, and that was Purdue. As documented here and elsewhere, in those games our performance tends to be very poor. When last year ended, we expected to be playing NIU and UT at our place. Now that we are in the East, we are back to have a tough road game. We need to leap that hurdle.

In a related matter, there is great concern over the D. Not only were there graduation losses, but our best pass rusher left school. Can the D be the kind of D that delivers in a big game, on the road, against a team that has the talent to exploit weaknesses, and in a game where we aren't ahead 21-0 after five minutes. (Or, in the case of Toledo, a game where we were?)

Here's an article on the defensive preperations from One short editorial note. The big peformance against Memphis came when their All-American running back was essentially incapicitated for the whole second half, and for a signficiant time while we had a large lead. I don't really think that's when we turned the corner.