Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Breaking News

The Sentinel says today that an announcement is expected that BG will play OSU on Oct 7, 2006.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Lions are on the clock...

Mlive notes from Killer on Stoney and Wojo

Outspoken Killer...

Killer WDFN Notes: From 10-6 to 6-10
For the record, Tom Kowalski was planning on making one prediction and sticking to it the entire season regardless of how events played out on the field. He picked 10 wins, and I believe he even used the phrase "They should be at least 10-6."

That was before massive embarrassment on national television, losing to the Rams on Monday Night Football 37-13. On Tuesday he came into our chat, and on Stoney and Wojo on Sports Radio 1130 Detroit to change his prediction and apologize. Here are the WDFN notes.

  • "I have to apologize to everyone who I confused and baffled by saying how good this team looked. All the speed and talent. None of it's true."

  • "They should be 10-6, and if not heads should roll."

  • Went through the tape later, and it was worse than it appeared from the press box.

  • They were brutal in the trenches, and with the Bears, Panthers coming up it won't even be a fair fight.

  • People in this (Lions HQ) building are stunned.

  • These D-Linemen went nowhere. "They were manhandled"

  • We knew this O-Line wasn't dominant. We've known that for a couple of years, but they tried counters and traps -- but run blitzes reduce what they have.

  • The passing game is throw it up to a WR running one-on-one. "There's no rhyme or reason for this thing." The offense is to see a guy with one defender, heave it, and hope.

  • Wojo: For recording purposes, we need your pick. Killer: "You can start the tape recorders now, this team is going to be 6-10."

  • If Bulger, Holt, Jackson and Bruce were out there the whole time they'd put up 60 points.

  • It's both coaching and players, but you have to lay this on Mariucci's doorstep. "I've never seen a team more ill-equipped." They were so high for this game, what would have happened if they weren't up?

  • You can't lay this one on Harrington. If your QB has no time he'll never do well.

  • "There's always next year." ... "I hate this downtime before the draft."

  • He says they need to do something gimmicky, like 4 WR sets to avoid blitzes. Yes, you admit you're beaten, but it's better than being humiliated.

  • Stoney: The Detroit Lions are on the clock.

Lions Cuts Made....Go Home news here

Perhaps Timmy Chang getting cut was a surprise. On the other hand, I am glad Chip Cox got cut, because he is a douchbag. Hope you picked up that OU degree.

Now, the Lions site says we have 72 players. It also says we had to be at 65 by 4:00, and doesn't act like there is a problem that 72 is actually higher than 65. Perhaps there are some double-secret exemptions.

Anderson, Adam P 6-0 190 24 6/28/81 R Western Michigan Grand Rapids, Mich. FA '05
Carberry, Kevin DT 6-4 282 22 5/19/83 R Ohio Oak Lawn, Ill. FA '05
Chang, Timmy QB 6-1 207 23 10/9/81 R Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii FA '05
Cox, Chip S 5-9 190 22 6/24/83 R Ohio Ohio FA '05
Curry, Kentrell S 6-1 202 24 5/11/81 1 Georgia Toccoa, Ga. FA '04
Echols, Michael CB 5-10 188 26 10/13/78 3 Wisconsin Youngstown, Ohio PS (Min) '04
Eldridge, Nigel LB 6-1 224 23 3/14/82 R Alabama-Birmingham Montgomery, Ala. FA '05
Hanoian, Greg FB 6-2 250 23 12/9/81 R Syracuse Providence, R.I. FA '05
Jackson, Howard RB 5-10 165 22 9/24/82 R Texas El-Paso Freeport, Texas FA '05
Jasmin, Marcus DT 6-5 325 22 11/15/82 R Texas A&M New Orleans, La. FA '05
Killeen, Ryan K 5-11 185 22 7/11/83 R Southern California Norco, Calif. FA '05
Newton, Levi G 6-4 310 22 6/30/83 R South Florida Jacksonville, Fla. FA '05
Proctor, Cory G 6-4 312 22 10/18/82 R Montana Missoula, Mont. FA '05
Savoy, Steve WR 5-11 191 23 2/27/82 R Utah Washington D.C. FA '05
Swift, Justin TE 6-3 258 30 8/14/75 5 Kansas State Overland Park, Kan. FA '05

Monday, August 29, 2005

Lions Blow Chunks, Suck Suckety Suck Suck

I was all set to let loose with a nice critique of our progress in the game tonight, part of the road to respectability. Yet, we totally and completely stunk. That Redzone series was an abomination, and that might have been the game's high point.

Can we cut like 85 guys tomorrow and start over? Is the 65 roster limit a ceiling or a floor?

Update: Mooch says it was "alarming." No kidding.

Afterward, Mariucci called it "alarming. We've got a lot of work to do. That's stating the obvious. There's no excuse for a game like this."

After Mariucci addressed the team following the game, none of the veterans stood up to speak their mind about what had just happened on the field. Lions veteran backup quarterback Jeff Garcia admits he was a little surprised.

Killer is chatting right now on Mlive, in a veritable hornet's nest. Most of the attention is on Joey, but he got no protection last night at all. None.

That's not a .500 team. Maybe things will change, but that's not a .500 team based on last night. It might even be a 4 win team.

Check back at 4 for news on the cuts, which will not include nearly enough players.

Update II: Here's the Killer chat transcript. He's pretty blunt:


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Reds strong second-half continues

The beats goes on for the Reds, who have blown through Washington and Pittsburgh with five wins in six attempts. Things are really rolling along. Milton pitched well last night, and Hudson pitched well today, and in both cases, the offense eventually kicked in, and we picked up the wins. We go again tomorrow in a daytimer @ Pitt to try and take a four game sweep from the Bucs.

Junior has a 14-game hitting streak, and continues to fend off rumors that he will be traded. Now, however, a little test comes. After Monday, we have Houston and Atlanta on the road...these are good teams playing for the post-season. It will be a nice barometer that will indicate whether we are close to putting enough power together to compete next season.

Now, as for tracking our goals:

3rd place: Very much in play. We are only 1.5 games behind the Brewers. We have seven games left with Milwaukee and three with the Cubs, so we have an opportunity to put ourselves into third place on the field. Given how this season started, that would be a remarkable accomplishment.

.500 overall--We are 62-68, six games under. We would have to go 19-13 on the way home to finish .500 overall. Tough, but not impossible.

.500 after the break--We re 26-15 after the break. With 32 games left, that makes 73 total. We only have to win 11 of our remaining 32 games to reach this mark. It would be a significant accomplishment, as well.

Leading the NL after the break--At 26-15, we have the best record in the NL, by a 1/2 game over the Cardinals. We have plenty of games left with them. There are stil a number of teams in our neighborhood, so this one will probably end up being a stretch.

Equalling last year's record: We won 76 a year ago. 14 wins in our last 32 would get us there. I have to believe we will make this.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wisconsin game notes out

The game notes for Wisconsin are out, and as always the depth chart is the most interesting. The primary news is that major changes are showing up in the secondary. The look is much younger, and some shifting went on.

At the start of fall practice, here was the alignment at CB.

Mayberry (Sr) Jordan (Sr)
Johnson (r-Jr) Nicholson (5Sr)

Today, the corners look like this:

Jordan (Sr) Smith (Fr.)
Johnson (r-Jr) Lewis (Fr)

Now, the safeties. At the start it was:

Crumpler (5 Sr) Dozier (r-Fr)
Perry (r-So) Waldron (r-Fr)

Today, the look like this:

Mayberry (Sr) Perry (r-So)
Dozier (r-Fr) Nicholson (5-Sr)

So, Mayberry and Nicholson are moved to Safety, and Perry is moved back into his starting role, which he had sort of relinquished while he worked on his academic issues. And taking their place at corner are two true freshmen. Coach had talked well about Antonio Smith, who is from Miami FL, and is supposed to be quick.

First question--are all the guys who moved out healthy? I'm glad for the competition, and I'm glad to see us not reflexively redshirting all true freshmen. On the other hand, it leaves us very young at corner. Let's see what our new DC can do.

I like Perry, and I'm glad to see him in the lineup. It will be interesting to see how Mayberry adapts to safety. Of course, with today's multi-receiver threats, it seems like the safeties can end up in pass coverage like corners a lot.

On offense, there's been a little movement. At center, Jonathan Culp has beaten out John Lanning to start. Coaches had been foreshadowing that for a while. More interesting is receiver. I think everyone had assumed Brandon Jones and Derrick Lett were the next generation. We hadn't seen much out of them in games, but we had real depth at receiver already. So we didn't know, but we assumed they could play, perhaps mixed with a little trepediation. And when fall practice started, they were in the mix, as was Kenneth Brantley.

In the meantime, Brantley is injured, and Marques Parks and Corey Partridge, both R-Fr, have slipped into the first string. Partridge has been awesome in the spring game and scrimmages I have seen (he's in the Magner mold), so I'm excited about that. I don't know too much about Parks. He's from McDonald, PA, which is south of Pittsburgh. I do love getting players from that part of the country. They are football players. He wasn't especially honored in HS, but you can't always tell from that.

We need to be deep at receiver, so let's hope this is a case of Partridge and Parks moving up past Lett and Jones, and not Lett and Jones sinking down below Partridge and Parks.

I spent a little time look at the distribution of the classes among the 53 players listed on the depth chart. Here's what I found:

5 years: 11
4 years: 16
3 years: 11
2 years: 12
1 year: 3

I've never looked at this before, so I can't tell, but it seems like that's a more even distribution than you might find in other situations. On the other hand, more than half (27 or 53) of the players are in their fourth or fifth year. Then, 26 of the 53 are in their second and third years.

Clearly, that class that is now in its fourth year was an absolute doozy. That was the last UM class to enroll here. The pressure will be on those next two classes to carry the tradition forward. We haven't been hurt by graduation yet during the Meyer/Brandon era, but next year could be a challenge. And with it being the first non-UM team, people could start to talk.

Jr and Harang lead Reds past Pirates in deluge

Another nice win on the road for the Reds, who continue to play very well in the second half. As much as anything, it was great to see how much fun they were having out there. Hopefully, that will be infectious and foreshadow a resurgance next year. I think this club could content with a little pitching in 2006.

Lions Sign Chang

The Lions signed Timmy Chang, Hawaii gunslinger released elsewhere. Fans are chattering heavily that he is meant to spell Jeff Garcia, who has "sucked butt" this pre-season. That, of course, is nonsense. They need an experienced, seasoned back up. That ain't Timmy. Practice squad at best.

The Killer apparently was on the radio saying Chris Cash could be a surprise cut. Surprise? Methinks below!

Sporting News delivers Brandon props

This dude in the Sporting News ranks Brandon the top coach in the MAC. Here is his write up.

The one and only: Gregg Brandon, Bowling Green. He expanded Meyer's spread option offense in 2003 and now has one of the nation's most prolific passing games. A second 10-win season in three years will lead to a nice BCS job.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lions Roster Predictions

The cuts are coming up, and I wanted to take a quick crack at what the 53 final roster slots will look like for our Lions. Competition is tougher this year, and some players will get cut who have played for us a lot over the last few years. Such is progress. We might even have a draft pick or two not slip through.

Here are the sure things, IMO:

(Offense: 22)

QB: Harrington, Garcia, Orlovsky
HB: Jones, Bryson, Pinner
FB: Schlessinger
WR: Williams R, Williams M, Johnson, Rogers, Drummond
TE: Pollard
T: Backus, Butler, Kosier, Rogers
G: DeMulling, Woody, Murphy
C: Raiola, Guitierrez

(Defense: 23)

E: Redding, DeVries, Hall, Edwards
T: Rogers, Cody, Wilkinson, Bell
LB: Davis, Holmes, Bailey, Lehman, Lewis, Curry, Rainier
CB: Bryant, Smith, Bly, Goodman, McQuarters
S: Holt, Fox, Kennedy

(Special teams: 3)

Hansen, Harris, Muhlbach

That's 48 players, with 5 spots open. Here are the 12 players on the bubble:

WR: Vines, Kircus
G: Loverne
C: Hopson
FB: Matthews, Paul Smith
TE: FitzSimmons and Randall
DE: Swancutt
LB: Goddard
CB: Cash, Wilson
S: Walker, McGraw

OK, so who stays and who goes.

At TE, I'm going to take a flyer. Here's why. Our red zone attack blows. Pollard isn't a blocking TE, and FitzSimmons is worse. We just don't need Casey in this set. So, we take Jason Randall, UDFA (1) as reserve TE.

I think we keep Swancutt (2) because its a need position and we can't afford not to give him a shot.

I think we take one DB, and I'm saying Wilson (3), again as a draftee.

We need a FB, and I think Mooch has man-love for Matthews (4), which will jilt Paul Smith, his former object of affection.

Final spot. I'm going to say David Loverne (5) in the line.

We don't need any more receivers, and Kircus and Vines are likely to slide through waivers to the practice squad anyway. Hopson is less versatile than Loverne. Bracy Walker is old, McGraw may not be healthy, and McQuarters provides depth at safety. The hardest decisions are Goddard and to a lesser extent Cash.

Here's the final roster.

Offense: 25)

QB: Harrington, Garcia, Orlovsky
HB: Jones, Bryson, Pinner
FB: Schlessinger, Matthews
WR: Williams R, Williams M, Johnson, Rogers, Drummond
TE: Pollard, Randall
T: Backus, Butler, Kosier, Rogers
G: DeMulling, Woody, Murphy, Loverne
C: Raiola, Guitierrez

(Defense: 25)

E: Redding, DeVries, Hall, Edwards, Swancutt
T: Rogers, Cody, Wilkinson, Bell
LB: Davis, Holmes, Bailey, Lehman, Lewis, Curry, Rainier
CB: Bryant, Smith, Bly, Goodman, McQuarters, Wilson
S: Holt, Fox, Kennedy

(Special teams: 3)

Hansen, Harris, Muhlbach

Another great post on Redlegs nation

Reds fans from around the blogosphere (including here) have noted, time and time again, the tragedy of this year's team. This team is leading the NL in runs scored, and stand to score well over 800 runs this year. Given that, a team with even bad pitching--I'm not talking about good pitching, just bad pitching--and we're in contention.

Sadly, the pitching aspires to suck.

Enter Brian at, one of my favorite posters for his solid statistical analysis and great long-form essays.

He looks at the possibility of the Reds scoring 100 runs over the league average....something they could do, and something that has been done only 35 other times. Now, and here's the tragedy part, only four of those 36 had a losing record, and those four called either Coors Field or the Baker Bowl home.

He writes:


ince 1900 only 35 teams have had 100 runs over the league average. Today the Reds lead the NL in runs scored with 660 runs, this gives them a plus 89 in runs scored vs. the current average and they are on pace to score 848 runs. If they top the leagues average by 100 runs and have a losing record then they will be only the 4th team out of those 36 to have a losing record, and the only team that didn’t play in Colorado or the Baker Bowl

It’s a pretty impressive list, 71% of the teams on the list won either their division or league (or in case of the 1951 Dodgers were in a playoff) 31% won the World Series and 6% shared the same year with another team on the list that won the league title.14.25% of them are the Rockies or the Depressions version of the Rockies the Philadelphia Phillies.

Did you see that? Seven in ten won a division or their league, and nearly one in three won the World Series. You shouldn't score this many runs and still lose. It just isn't natural.

He writes on, looking at the Reds' propensity to put teams onto this list...but rarely to be a team known for good pitching.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sentinel has the story on Jeremy Holland

Here's what coach says in the paper tonight:

'Jeremy came the one day (this summer) that all our freshmen were going to be here, and I think he got homesick. He went to one day of class and one day of workout.

The 26th of June, a Sunday, he came here. He got up the next morning, worked out with our players, not even a hard workout, and went to class. His mother left at 2:00, in the afternoon on the 27th and that night he left at 10:00.

They all drove back here, mom, dad, everybody, a day or two later and we were talking about what he needs to do. It wasn't going to be any big deal, and kid can get homesick. Over the Fourth (of July) he got homesick, and that was it. I haven't seen him since."

So, there you go. The story also mentions two walkons, which probably are Phillips and Freeman, but I'm not sure.

Josh Almanson signs to play in Portugal

According to the ST tonight, Josh Almanson will play pro ball in Portugal. He has signed with Bensica, and left for Lisbon Tuesday.

He gets $, a place to live, and a car.

Coach Dakich said, "He's got a contract in a vry, very good league. He's going to the best team in the best situation. He has a really, really good deal."

Josh thinks he will play both forward slots.

Best of luch to Josh in Europe.

Jauron Says He Will Blitz More

I think Dick Jauron is a good coach, and the Lions should let him coach the Defense without letting Mooch--who hasn't even proven he can coach the offense yet--and the ignorant fans tell him how to blitz. I actually don't mind bend and don't break. We didn't have the personnel on D last year to get off the field under any scheme. Under his scheme, with Boss back and other new guys, I like our odds.

You don't have to blitz. Its just one way to play the game.

Graves DFA

The Mets Dfa'd Danny Graves today, who, it turns out, sucked as bad for the Mets as he did for the Reds. Peter Gammons, and every other suck up who used this as evidence of the Reds being a dysfunctional organization should apologize immediately. To be safe, this should probably include Hal McCoy, who pushed forward the player's line long after Danny was gone. Reds fans, and DO, were way ahead of the curve on this one. He had lost it. He wasn't getting it done--or even close, and getting rid of him was the right thing for the team to do.

To the Reds players, who whined and bitched about him going, get over it. Its a business. To Danny himself, who has consistently complained about his treatment, how glad he was to be out of there, how messed up the Reds are, its time to move on with your life. Its not the Reds. Its you.

How's that pitch tipping theory going?

There's a certain element of schadenfreude to this that probably isn't warranted. But its there, and I'm feeling it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We should have come back sooner

Apparently 106 years without playing in the nation's capital was too long. Nice win by the Reds today. I know the Nats are slumping BAD, but it was nice to win. I like Luke Hudson, and I applaud the patience our guys have shown with him. Nothing was to be gained by not giving him a shot, and I think he is going to develop into a nice 4/5 starter...and it goes without saying, we need all of those we can get.

Another guy you gotta like is Encarnacion. He's finding his swing, and I think he will lock down 3b for the foreseeable future. This team is going to score a ton of runs next season if healthy...if only the pitching could be average, we could compete.

Another benchmark

My pathetic efforts to help create some positive feelings for the Reds season continue. I forgot one....a reasonable question is whether the Reds will finish better than they did last year (76-86). To match that record, they will need to go 19-19 (wow!) from here on in. It would be nice to do at least a couple of games better than that and at least show a little progress.

No matter how you stack it, its still five straight losing seasons (probably).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Lions Lose Again

Here's the deal. I don't really know what to say. Intellectually, I know all the arguments. Joey looked pretty good. We don't care about winning, we just want to improve. The D only allowed 14 points. The offense will be OK. Don't read too much into it. Yeah, I know.

I can't shake it, though. It feels like this is another bad team. I know the Browns only scored 14 offensive points, and only 7 if you discount late-game scrubs. But, from my seat, the Browns moved the ball all over us when their #1O was out there. Our #1 continues to absolutely blow in the redzone. Why is Mike Williams not playing with the first team, at least a little?

And if we can say that its OK that our offense didn't score, they moved the ball and made first downs, and that's what you look for. If that's true, than the same test should be applied to the D, and they didn't, in my view, do the job. The Browns didn't go three and out once in the first half.

I guess health-wise, it looks OK. Shaun Rogers might be injured (which would be very bad), but it doesn't seem like anyone thinks its too serious.

I'm going to take a closer look at the schedule another time, but I really worry about whether this club is a .500 team. I hope I am proven wrong.

Reds lose again

After a powerful performance last night, the Reds were beaten tonight on good pitching, and a bullpen collapse. It would appear that the bullpen that carried them through July is weakening a little, and the same can be said, to a lesser extent, of the offense. We have a two-week road trip coming up starting Tuesday that will largely determine how the season will end for us. I continue to hope that the second half of the season can be something to build on, and that this franchise will finally find the pitching to compete for an entire season in '06. They are probably not as far as they appear to be.

Falcons Scrimage Report

There's not a lot to say. It was hot, and the team seemed to play well. I always worry at these things...I mean, if the offense scores on every drive, that might or might not reflect on the D. And, if the D stops them on every drive, well, that might be great D or lousy O. Having said that, I'm pretty confident we can score. And we didn't score too much today, which makes me think maybe the D is improved under a new Coach. We especially seemed to play the run well.

Omar didn't get a ton of the snaps. Turner got more than his share, which is smart. Corey Partridge had a nice score for the #2 O...that kid is a player (playa!). No other description is available.

Placekicking is a big concern. Timichenko nailed a 47-yarder into the wind, but was blocked on another long one with the wind. I hope none of the games come down to a field goal. On the other hand, he might be capable.

Coach Brandon awarded scholarships to junior linebacker Jon Jakubowski (Rossford HS) and sophomore offensive linemen Andrew Stanford(Toledo St. Francis) as camp broke. Jakubowksi is in his fourth year with the program and has been a special teams standout and Stanford is in his third year and is listed second on the depth chart at left guard. Its always great to see walk-ons make good. Its part of the real spirit of college athletics.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this time on the field. Coach says were banged up on D, and I think I saw John Haneline leave in a neck brace. Let's hope we're healthy and ready for Wisconsin. Let's bring home the MAC Championship.

We've been quiet here this week

Its been quiet. Much too busy, and too little time for posts that don't suck. The Reds obviously had a tough week, but the Falcons have a scrimmage this afternoon and the Lions have a preseason game this afternoon where we could also see Josh Harris.

Certainly, last night's win was fun, with Austin and Felipe going absolutely nuts. You absolutely have to hope that Austin Kearns finds his stroke permanently.

Let's take a second to catch up on my goals for our Reds team in the second half.

.500 record--Even after the debacle of last week, we are 21-13 after the break.

Third place--We have fallen back into fifth, four games out of third. The Cubbies got a little hot.

Best post-break records--As of today, we have the same record post-break as the Cardinals.

.500 overall--We are ten games under .500 for the year.

Update; Cole played last night against the Titans (remember that?). Apparently, he didn't see any first half action, which has the Falcon message boards inflamed. I still say he at least makes the practice squad.

Monday, August 15, 2005

More Falcons in Exhibition Action

From Monday night, there were three Falcons in action. First, Robert Redd caught one pass for 11 yards. He was one of an astounding 18 Eagles to catch a pass.

Shaun Suisham kicked a 46-yard FG. Apparently, he nailed it, too. And I was so critical of him in the past two years!

Janssen Patton had one tackle.

Categories: , , , , , ,

Brandon Blog

This is a really good update from the Coach, and I think its pretty candid. He seems a little worried about the D, and the schedule. I'm glad to see some confidence in the young DBs, it could be a big help.

Bullpen Let Down...

And that's two days in a room. Harang wasn't great, but Keisler was awful, and we lose. His ERA is now over 7. Junior hits his 27th, one of three hits. How much longer will he wear our uniform? I am guessing maybe not too long.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Check out ESPN Magazine

Great feature story on O4, and his great season, and how the big schools missed him. Funny pictures of Omar in a corn field. Great pub for Omar and our program. Congratulations.

Falcons in Preseason NFL Football

Big day yesterday for Cole Magner. Cole caught two passes for 34 yards, and returned two punts for 43 yards--one for 21 and one for 22. Check these quotes out from Mr. Vick.

Q: How would you rate the effectiveness of the passing game against a tough secondary?
Vick: They have a pretty tough secondary, but we tried some different pass concept this week, some things we didn't do last week. With a different game plan you'll get different results. Roddy White had a good game. I think some of the other guys. Cole Magner had a great catch, did some good things. We have some things to learn from. That's what we have to come back and do this week watch some film and really critique it and pick out the thins we can do even better next week and try to learn from it.

"What are your impressions of Cole Magner?
Vick: Cole looked good. He's been impressive throughout the entire training camp. We're very excited about him. He's a guy who goes out and catches the ball with no gloves on, straight hands, so you have to respect that. He's a playmaker. I've been watching him the last month and a half and critiquing him. I think he's going to make this football team."

Let me say this. Cole is going to make that football team--at least on the practice squad, and I believe on the main roster. He's a player, and you can't always measure that with a stopwatch. He just has the mental ability to get himself where he needs to be, and look easy doing it. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Here's what Cole had to say.

Wide receiver Cole Magner on his play on offense and special teams:
"I had some great blocking out there on the returns and I just ran my routes and Ty game me some great balls to catch. I'm confident in my abilities and coaches put me out there and they trust me to do the right job. I just go out there and do what I'm supposed to do."

Magner on where he sees himself fitting into the Falcons roster:
"Anywhere I can help the team. If it's special teams and that's my job, that's what I'll do. Or if it's as a backup receiver, that's what I'll do. I'll do anything."
Magner on if playing in the wide-open Bowling Green offense helped him:
"It's helped a lot. A lot of the calls we had at Bowling Green are exactly the same as they are here. Personnel is different, but the calls and terminology is the same."
On a more disappointing note, Josh Harris didn't have a very good game for the Browns. Reports say he is struggling in the practices, and he got only one series on the field, where he completed no passes, though one was dropped. He did run for a first down, bringing back some memories. I really worry that the Browns are going to cut Josh. I hope he at least clings to the practice roster and someday gets another shot. Or, that I'm wrong, and things are going OK for him and he makes the club. But it didn't look like that.

Everyone assumes Scott M. will make the Chargers.

Reds lose, win series.

Road winning streak ends. Still, things are really turning around. Brandon Claussen pitched well today, so I'm thinking we got a shot at the goals I set out yesterday. Let me put one more on the table---winning the second half in the National League! Right now, we're in the lead, with a one-half game lead over Houston. Let's take three from the Giants!

One potential fly in the ointment is what happens to Junior. Published reports abound that he has already cleared waivers (no surprise) and could still end up a White Sock. (?). While that mean be bad for this season, investing those $$ into pitching for next year could help to bring us over the top. And it might also be a classic case of selling high.

Watched a little bit of the Lions today

50 had the replay of the Lions game on today. Actually watched about half the game. Joey looked good to me. Very accurate, and that's the thing he needs to do more than anything else. Hitting the receivers right on the numbers. He did get sacked a couple of times, and I am worried about our line.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lions Exhibition Game

Didn't see the game, since we were on vacation. However, in driving back, I heard Clarence Black talk for three hours about how it wasn't smart to dissect the game too closely. Anyway, Joey was 9-9 and that's a good sign. Sledge got hurt, but could be back by week four, missing only two games. Frankly, though I love his play, FB doesn't even show up in a bunch of sets, and we have Paul Smith, and a highly rated rookie UDFA from Texas to fill in while he's out. Essentially, I think the team got out injury free.

Did we show we're ready for prime time...NO. Did we show we aren't...NO.

Back again, Reds continue to win--Goals, .500 post break, third place, .500 overall.

I'm back again, and the Reds are continuing their second half success. Its refreshing to see, and has made them fun to watch again.

Before the break, in the midst of the atrocious first half play, I noted that the Reds mostly just needed bad pitching to win, with their offense. Note this:

Put that in perspective. A 4.91 ERA would be 13th in the NL this year. A 4.63 ERA would be 12th.

That's the tragedy of this season. Even if our pitching was bad, and still well below average, we'd be in the running for a winning season and maybe a wild card berth.

Now, let's follow that up with a little analysis from the post All-star streak of our club. We're 18-9 after the break, with a 4.37 ERA. That's 12th in the NL. Yet, since we have scored 160 runs in 28 games, (more than 5 per game), this team has won consistently. We lead the NL in runs scored after the break, and lead in OPS at .826, with AZ a distant second at .788. The club can score runs, and if the pitching keeps us in games, as it has been doing, we are dangerous. So, at 18-9 so far, is a .500 record after the break a possibility? The question answers itself.

Now, as for third place, we are, right now 1.5 games out of third, behind Milwaukee and Chicago. I think we are clearly capable of beating the Brewers, and the Cubs won't have Wood back in the rotation again this year. If we continue to play well, we are capable of beating them, too. And that's third place.

And if we keep at this pace, we could finish at .500 for the year, though that remains unlikely.

It wasn't so long ago I worried that our record made us look like the worst team in Reds history.

As a final note: is this a springboard to contention in 2006? Small samples, I know, but this sustained success certainly makes things more fun.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Conflicting trade stories swirl around Reds

There's a couple odd things swirling around Cincinnati about the potential trades that the team might have made. Two prominent, national columnists are saying the Reds nearly traded Griffey and Dunn, while DOB says exactly the opposite. Let's examine the statements.

For the sake of the argument, I am going to let DOB go first, because he has a pretty blanked statement.

Numerous stories, some cited below, all say that Dunn was not going to be traded. He was told this, and DOB told the press this. He didn't leave himself much wiggle room.

Then, here comes USA Today:

The White Sox, whose deal for Ken Griffey Jr. (for three minor league prospects) was killed by Reds owner Carl Lindner last weekend, would revisit their trade talks if Griffey clears waivers in August

And here's what DOB, Junior, and Junior's agent told Hal.

Ken Griffey Jr. was not traded. Period. Paragraph. End of story.

A report in USA Today said that Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, but that Cincinnati Reds CEO Carl Lindner squashed the deal.

The report was denied Wednesday by Reds General Manager Dan O'Brien, Griffey, Brian Goldberg (Griffey's Cincinnati-based agent) and White Sox officials.

"My reaction is short and sweet," said O'Brien. "Throughout July we had no conversations with Griffey or his agent about his 10-and-5 status, and that says it all. We were consistent in indicating we wanted to keep our outfield intact, and that's where it stands."

Griffey said he hadn't heard word one about a trade.

"I heard the White Sox were interested in me, and that's a very good team," said Griffey. "But ... spring training in Tucson?"

For the Reds to trade Griffey anywhere, they need his approval, and Griffey was genuinely surprised when asked if he heard he was traded to the White Sox.

"I hadn't heard that," he said. "I hadn't heard about any kind of trade. But I did think it odd that the front office told Kent Mercker, David Weathers and Adam Dunn they wouldn't be traded, but nobody said anything to me. And nobody asked me or my agent anything about going to any other team."

Griffey has given the Reds a list of, "Three or four teams," to which he would accept a trade and the White Sox are not on that list.

Griffey's agent, Goldberg, was as surprised as Griffey by the report.

"Not anything to it," he said. "Conversations I had with the Reds recently revealed that nothing was up as far as trades other than a couple of inquiries. They told me he was going to remain with the Reds.

"And they never came to us to ask whether Junior would accept a trade," Goldberg added.

Much was made of the fact Griffey wasn't in Sunday's lineup, the day of the trade deadline, "But they told me Friday I wasn't going to play Sunday and I told all my friends and relatives so they wouldn't think I was traded," he said.

Now, let's move to Adam Dunn. Peter Gammons, the insufferable gasbag who passes on more speculation and aimless banter, and who gets used more than any other reporter in the world, reports this:

Manny would have gone to the Mets; Hanley Ramirez and Mets players would have gone to Tampa Bay; Lastings Milledge and Anibel Sanchez would have gone to Cincinnati; and Boston would have received Cameron, Dunn, Aubrey Huff and Trever Miller. Tampa Bay had killed it by Saturday morning by reminding people why they are the worst franchise in modern baseball history and upping requests.

And yet, Dunn was told he wouldn't be traded.

I don't really know who to believe. I guess I believe O'Brian more than Gammons and USA Today. Those guys really will report anything. Passing trade rumors is what they do...if it wasn't for that, there'd be dead air. So, you gotta create supply, and not worry if there's demand.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Good Points on Lions Redzone

Lions need to score more in the Red Zone, and they have the tools to do it..that's the gist of a nice post from the detroitlionsblog.

Note a comment I placed there. My season review identified this issue last season, as well.

Killer has a nice article on the game-changing potential of our linebackers.

It says we're deep and talented, and I agree. This could be an emergent strength to get the defense over the top.

Falcons Lose Hoops Recruit

Reports on have us losing one of our recruits for hoops, a Jeremy Holland.

Here's what was said about him when him came on board.

Falcon fans are running him down already. I'm a little disappointed that he didn't work out. He looked like a good one and he had some height that we needed. From the data below (which is probably a tad hyperbolic), he sounds like the kind of guy we could use. But, the class was kind of large, so maybe we can spread it out a little.

  • Holland chose BGSU over similar offers from Eastern Kentucky, Evansville, and Indiana State University..
  • Holland is a phenomenal offensive skilled player as a triple threat to 25'..
  • He averaged 22 ppg and 8rpg last season while incurring double teams each nite..
  • He is very long armed and in possession of a wide frame that can carry at least 240 Pounds of muscle in College..
  • If he becomes more physical , we believe he has a chance to become The MAC's All Time Leading scorer! He has that much ability to stop and pop quickly from all areas of the court to 25'..
UPDATE:, who we have pushed before, has this on the departure of Holland. Note the last two sentences.

Jeremy Holland Leaves BG

BG Recruit Jeremy Holland has left the program. Holland was apparently homesick from the start and left once before and came back. The fact that he had access to a car probably didn’t help matters. It happens, especially with brand new kids. Only problem is when they don’t come back. From people I’ve talked to Holland’s been gone for a more than a minute and he isn’t coming back. This is sure to add fuel to the fire over the defections that have plagued BG’s program over the last two years. Still, if they can keep their core together they could be murder by the end of the season – and look out for next season…If is a scary word though.
He also talks to Lionel Sullivan, who, it appears, has not gotten in a car and left.

My man Lionel “Train” Sullivan hollered to talk about his first 6 weeks in Bowling Green, Ohio. You adjusting well to BG: At first I had to get used to it cause it ain’t home but now it’s cool. I’m pretty well adjusted. I know the first 6 weeks are gonna be tough but I’ll handle it. I’m willing to do whatever I gotta do to make it here and beyond. We looking real good as a squad though. How often are you and the fellas playing and are you impressed with everyone? We play every night usually after dinner, 6, 6:30 no later than 7:30 we usually get started. Samarco’s tough, that’s my boy. I got much love for Samarco because I been knowing him since 10th grade. He can’t handle me now but that’s my boy, he’s tough as hell. You miss Detroit? Hell yeah, I’m going back for a couple of weeks on Thursday. I’m looking forward to that. Talk about your experience with Coach Dakich thus far? Me and coach gonna be cool. It’s all about hard work and winning so me and Coach Dack want the same thing. I know once the season starts he’s probably gonna flip the script some but that’s what it’s about at this level – hard work and doing what you have to. How old are you? 18 years old. What was coming up on the Westside of the “D” like? Things are crazy in Detroit. I come from the Westside like you said on Plymouth and some people will say it ain’t hard there like 6, 7 or 8 mile is, but it’s plenty hard. If I wasn’t playing ball or out with my girlfriend I was just chilling in the house with my girl and my Mom. Detroit is Detroit know what I mean. Detroit is Detroit. Thanks for talking man, I look forward to getting to know you more throughout the year: No doubt Big Time, me too. Don’t know why Train called me Big Time but hey, it’s got a ring to it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Reds Go Five in a Row

Took us four months to get four in a row, but just one more day to get five in a row. I can feel the San Diego fans, who had to endure a spectacle we have seen often...a total butt whipping at the hands of a low-ranked opponent. We go 7-3 on the road in pitcher's parks, so that has to look good. I'm looking forward to see how we stack up at home against the Braves and the Marlins...its a nice test for our guys.

Still, things are much more fun right now. Adam Dunn is playing MVP ball right now, and other guys are contributing. Even Eric Milton had a good day yesterday....