Wednesday, June 27, 2007

John Bond on Developing QB's

Well, I'm writing from Chi-town, the windy city....................

For those of you wanting a good dose of what new offensive coordinator John Bond is all about, someone on the Hive ran across this article that Coach Bond penned himself on his philosophy for developing quarterbacks. It's a good read and worth the time.

To summarize, here are the salient points:

  1. Starts with evaluation - the #1 key for Bond is toughness followed by competitiveness. As far as physical tools, there are "many ways to skin a cat", although he realizes that dual-threat guys give DC's nightmares............ field vision is a key trait. He believes great field vision by the QB is a necessary trait to win championships. However, he doesn't believe this can be taught. You either have it or you don't - and it's not really height related either................. Lastly he looks for a quick release.................... Coach Bond believes all these traits can be detected during the evaluation and recruiting process.
  2. Coach Bond does not care much about 40 times or height - he focuses on the items in #1 above.
  3. Once they get a kid to campus, here are the key points they hammer home:
    1. 1. We tell them to never take a sack.
      2. Never say: “Don’t throw an interception.”
      3. Scramble to throw.
      4. Throw against the blitz every day.
      5. Protect your quarterback inside out.
      6. Know who to throw to on the blitz.
      7. Teach the quarterback to deceive with his eyes and actions.
      8. Demand that your quarterback coach the wide receivers.
      9. Put him in adverse situations in practice.
      10. Force him to make throws in practice.
  4. He likes to script scramble plays at least once during 7-on-7 drills.
  5. He does not like to be the OC and the special teams coach, because he wants to spend that extra time with the QB's.
  6. He strongly believes in developing a close relationship with his QB's both on and off the field. It's all about building trust during the developmental process.
Honestly, I read that and like what it says. As has been documented, John Bond seems to have a much stronger hands-on approach with this players versus Patrick Nix. While Miami fans seems to have guarded optimism with Patrick Nix, they are really putting their stock into Randy Shannon, who seems to be putting some discipline back into that program. Rivals did a pretty in-depth piece on Nix with a lot of quotes, including this Gailey-ism:

"Our offense has to understand what our role is," Nix said. "We're not going out and trying to break records. You want to score and do those things, but you've got to be smart sometimes so you don't put yourselves in bad situations that give other teams a chance to (score).''
In addition, he had this to say about Calvin Johnson / Reggie Ball:

Georgia Tech had received plenty of criticism before last season for not using All-America receiver Calvin Johnson often enough. Johnson caught 76 passes for 1,202 yards and 15 touchdowns last season to shatter his previous career highs in all three categories. However, Johnson was held without a catch against Clemson and had only one reception against Georgia.

"The biggest thing I learned is the game doesn't revolve around one person," Nix said. "Last year at times we got ourselves into trouble trying to force it in to him too much when they double- and triple-teamed him. There were other opportunities and other things open, and we were sitting there thinking we've got to get the ball to Calvin. It put him in bad situations and put (quarterback) Reggie (Ball) in a bad position.

"You have to use everybody. It's not just a one-man show. But at the same time, you do have to understand and realize how important it is to use the guys you do have."

By the way, did you happen to catch the "Georgia Tech Sports Today" program about a month ago where Wes spent the entire program with John Bond. Great show and I liked what Coach Bond had to say there as well. Good stuff. September cannot get here fast enough..........

........... well, since I will be vacationing in Hilton Head next week, let me say that next week cannot get here fast enough.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thaddeus Young to New Orleans?

Thaddeus Young has ties to New Orleans - and the Hornets are interested. There's a VERY strong chance they will draft a "Young", although it could be Nick Young or Thaddeus Young.

"I was very impressed with Thaddeus," Hornets Coach Byron Scott said after Young's workout this month. "I saw a bunch of tape on him this summer. And watching the tape I was impressed, but watching him out here in the workouts, two-on-two, one-on-one, he did a lot of things that I didn't see in the tape. I was impressed with his basketball IQ. He's definitely going to have a great career in this league."

Here's more info on Thad's primary "advisor":

A couple years later, Carter became the primary adviser to Thaddeus Young, just like he was for his dad 30 years earlier.

Carter is a prominent attorney, a former elected property assessor and father of former state Rep. Karen Carter, D-New Orleans, who lost a runoff to U.S. Rep. William Jefferson last fall. And in the world of high school basketball, sure enough, he dealt with politics, too.

Carter would communicate with the onslaught of college coaches, and the stingy shoe companies, too. He helped coordinate Young's pivotal summer at a prep school in New Haven, Conn. He followed him on the summer AAU tours to tournaments and camps "to make sure he wasn't exploited. There's lots of exploitation out there."

Carter would make sure Young wasn't overworked by coaches, and make sure he was getting proper medical treatment and nutrition.

And, perhaps most importantly, he provided guidance to the impressionable player, teaching him lessons about perseverance and integrity, which have spilled into Young's personality.

Lastly, look at this story and tell me how ANYONE can dump on this young man for pursuing a dream:

At the 2005 Hornets game, when Young met Shinn, New Orleans lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime. That night, LeBron James scored 44 points.

After the game, Carter and Young waited for the NBA star to come out of the locker room. James and Young met and had their picture taken together.

"Thaddeus was just so excited," Carter said. "He told LeBron, 'I'll be in the league one day, I'll be with you.'

"And now we have an opportunity for that to happen."

Folks, he and JC and Bosh and just about every other kid wearing the Tech uni have a dream. They have a dream to play professional ball. Who are you to criticize a guy when he has that chance now.

Over at the AJC, there's a blog from M.Knobler asking for thoughts as to why Tech has not had success with one-and-done players under Hewitt - citing Bosh, Young and Crittenton. I don't usually comment, but I did, and for me it boils down to this - freshman point guards. People often forget that Chris Bosh's one and only season was also Jarrett Jack's freshman season................ frosh...................... Javaris was a freshman starting point guard................... The fact that Bosh and Young were on these teams was incidental. Playing with a freshman point guard is an obstacle of mammoth proportions. Jarrett Jack as a junior with a supporting cast of a bunch of above average players took a ride to the national championship game.

You might cite Stephon Marbury's success or Kenny Anderson's success. However, don't forget that those guys were two of the best collegiate PG's to EVER play the game - and they had some amazing supporting casts when you think about it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Help the Brahma Bull

Written by Lennie Mac

My apologies for not writing for a while, busy enjoying the Red Sox. Now its July and I look forward to writing about the upcoming season. I'll be writing my numbers articles starting this week, but before I do that, I want to bring to your attention to a GT great that needs our help. It comes from a very disturbing story in this week's Sporting News.

Larry Morris is arguably the greatest GT football player of all (pictured left on the cover of Sport Magazine in 1954). He was captain of both the football and baseball teams, started all four seasons in football, won a national championship in 1952 and went 4-0 in bowl games. He followed that up with a storied career with the Chicago Bears, winning an NFL championship in 1963, named the championship game's MVP with an interception and two sacks of Y.A. Tittle. Unfortunately, he remembers none of it.

Larry Morris is now 73, in full blown dimentia, likely due to multiple concussions he received playing football. His college teammates said that he received several of those concussions playing for the Yellow Jackets.

From the Sporting News:

"One detail that remained clear in his mind then was the importance of his relationship with Bobby Dodd, the legendary coach of Georgia Tech. Morris' father died when Morris was a young boy, and Dodd became a father figure. Few men played as large a role in Morris' life as Dodd did. Yet while Morris looked through a scrapbook of his old newspaper clippings three weeks ago, he said he never played for Dodd."

Due to business decisions likely caused by his dimentia, their fortune is depleted and it is widely known about the lack of funds from the NFLPA to help players out from the 50's and 60's.

If you want to help out their family and their medical bills, please go to and their Gridiron Greats fund. If you go under dire need players, you will find Larry Morris.

I hope you all get a chance to read Sporting News this week and contribute whatever you can to his fund. I know I will.

Hoops Recruiting - Aminu Down to Two reports that Al-Forouq Aminu (Alade's younger bro) has eliminated the Tarheels and is down to GT and Wake Forest. Anyone who has followed his recruitment knows that he has wrestled with following in his brother's footsteps or creating his own legacy. Al-Forouq's latest thought process is that playing with his brother is a non-issue since they would only play together for one season. Tech should be in the driver's seat, but Wake will be tough to beat.

Al-Farouq Aminu has eliminated North Carolina and is down to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. The lure of possibly playing with Tony Woods is attractive to Aminu, yet playing at his hometown school where his brother and other friends are on the team.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Javaris Video

Some video from a Washington Wizards workout of Javaris Crittenton and other draft hopefuls.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thaddeus Young Interview

This following his workout for the Knicks 6/20

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What's buzzin'

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I'll have some stuff later this weekend. I'm working on a hoops team preview that should be interesting now that we know JC and Thad are gone. Here are a couple of misc notes:

SouthernPigskin has Taylor Bennett and Tashard Choice in the top 10 at their position in a look at the combined ACC/SEC:

4. Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech – The leading rusher in the ACC last season with 1,473 yards, Choice is the offensive motor for the Yellow Jackets. A workhorse back in the ultimate sense, Choice can carry an offense on his shoulders. Give him 25 carries and he will wear down an opposing defense.

10. Taylor Bennett, Georgia Tech – Yes, he’s a first-year starter, but Bennett may be the next big thing in the ACC. He threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in a Gator Bowl opportunity against West Virginia. He has shown great pocket poise in limited action thus far. With Calvin Johnson gone, he will have to distribute the ball around.
How about this - Kenny Anderson is a head coach............. of a team in the ATL called the "Krunk". Cool deal I think.
"I feel that coming back to the city where I was a college star at Georgia Tech to coach is a blessing," Anderson said in a statement. "I look forward to the challenge that lies ahead. I will work hard and will be fully committed to the CBA's Atlanta Krunk being a success."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chad Ford on Thaddeus Young

Well, none of this should come as a shock to you by now. From Chad Ford over on ESPN Insider:

I'm told that's it's very likely that Georgia Tech's Thaddeus Young will stay in the draft, too. His family has begun to interview agents, a sign that he's in to stay.

Initially, Young set a condition of being in the top 15 to stay in the draft, but now he's saying top 20. It's a pretty safe bet that he'll go that high. In fact, Young was one of the 15 players invited by the NBA to attend the draft and sit in the green room, which is a good indicator of where NBA teams have him ranked.

If Georgetown's Jeff Green pulls out of the draft (some GMs and scouts now think he will), then Young's stock probably rises to the point that he goes between No. 10 and No. 15.

Where are they now - Quick Hitters

A handful of "Where are they now's" :

  1. Tommy Hammonds likes to race cars........... however, we're not talking a hobby here. We're talking "Tom Hammonds Racing" - check it out.
  2. It's the final weekend of decision time for Thaddeus Young. Monday is the deadline to withdraw his name from the draft. There's a reason I am commenting on this in the "Where are they now" section. I think you know what I'm talking about. I wish you the best in the NBA Thad (he's been doing fairly well in private workouts and even has one scheduled for AFTER the Monday deadline with one team. What to make of that?)............. Thad is a 15-20 pick.
  3. Interesting look at the the best NBA drafts of all-time, including the Stephon Marbury 1996 draft.
  4. Former Jacket beesball assistant coach Henry "Turtle" Thomas gets a head coaching job at FIU.
  5. This on the possible magnitude of Calvin Johnson's rookie salary and bonus:
    1. Rogers’ signing bonus of $14.4 million could be a relative pittance compared to what Johnson will get.

      The salary cap in 2003 was $75 million. This year’s salary cap is $109 million — $34 million more than when Rogers was drafted, and an increase of $7 million from 2006.

      Guaranteed money in rookie contracts has become more important than signing bonuses, and the Lions will have to lay out some heavy dough for Johnson. Mario Williams, a defensive end drafted first overall by Houston last year, got $26.5 million guaranteed on a six-year contract. Running back Reggie Bush, drafted second overall by New Orleans, got $26.2 million. Quarterback Vince Young, taken third by Tennessee, got $25.7 million.

      With those benchmarks, and an expected increase in the range of 7 percent over last year’s draft class, look for Johnson’s guaranteed money to be in the range of $28 million.

      Tom Lewand, the Lions chief operating officer and lead negotiator on player contracts, said negotiations on rookie contracts usually don’t begin until July.

      The Lions want a six-year contract for Johnson.

  6. Lots of info here on beesball Jackets around the minors.
  7. Guess who was golfing with Steve Spurrier when he heard the news about Billy Donnovan's weird saga with Florida and Orlando? Our own Bobby Cremins
    1. Strangely, Spurrier's current school was the victim of a similar about-face in 1993, when Bobby Cremins left Georgia Tech for the Gamecocks and then changed his mind after two days.

      Spurrier said he was actually playing golf with Cremins when he heard the Donovan news.

      ``Bobby said, 'I know how he felt,''' Spurrier said. ``So it happens a lot.''
  8. Pat Swilling was inducted into the Louisiana HOF and here's a great article about him, including this cool quote from Bill Parcels:
    1. When Bill Parcells was in the middle of his Super Bowl reign with the New York Giants as coach of a defense built around arguably the finest outside linebacker to ever play in the NFL, Parcells often motivated the man who wore the red, white and blue No. 56 by invoking the name of the man who wore the black and gold No. 56.

      Shortly before the Giants were getting ready to play the Los Angeles Rams in a 1990 playoff game, Parcells went up to Lawrence Taylor and told the future Hall of Famer that he had a plane ticket for him.

      "I want you to go to New Orleans," Parcells told Taylor. "Go find Pat Swilling. Give him your plane ticket and your helmet. You stay in New Orleans and have a nice time. He'll play."

  9. Will Bynum is going to play against the New York Knicks - with his current team.
  10. You know John Salley is on TV, but did you know he's on a new series.
  11. Will Joe Anoai join the WWF?
    1. "Former Georgia Tech star Joe Anoai, who is the brother of former WWE star Rosey, got cut by the Minnesota Vikings on 5/31. He didn't even make it to mini-camp. It's almost a lock that if he doesn't hook up with another NFL team this year, or doesn't at least make practice squad roster, that he'll be offered a developmental contract from WWE."
  12. For all the bad press Stephon Marbury gets, it seems that he's trying to do some good things - first with the cheap shoes for kids, and now this:
    1. I have written about it before, but that bad attitude dude, Stephon Marbury is at it again. Appearing on WFAN this Friday with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, Marbury showed his true character. His latest exploit - buying books for an underfunded library on Staten Island, in an impoverished area where Marbury grew up. Marbury was out on Staten Island earlier in the week participating in a reading-to-kids program, and made the donation in conjunction with that program. This is nothing new for Steph. Though regularly vilified for his bad attitude and presumptively bad character, there are few professional athletes in all of major American sports that devote as much time and energy to good works as Marbury.

      Marbury, of course, has also taken the basketball-sneaker world by storm, since his well-selling Starbury one line goes for anywhere from 9.98 to 14.98. As Benigno and Roberts pointed out, that’s way less than the sneaker line of the now officially anointed Le Bron James (which go for about $150 a pop). And, as Marbury told Outside the Lines last summer, the reason he was doing this was so that families like the one he grew up in didn’t have to choose between buying groceries and buying basketball shoes.

      We’ll have made progress when guys like Marbury don’t get judged to be bad characters by whether they cooperate sufficiently with the media.

  13. Not sure you can do a "Where are they now" for someone who never showed up at Tech - here's J.Parker - the best fastball in high school in the nation - and he's not coming to Tech. A first round pick in the MLB draft has assured us of that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where are they now - Jarrett Jack

Jarrett was on the "2 Live Stews" the other day on 790thezone. It was a bit of a strange interview. Check it out for yourself:

Jarrett Jack passes gas in class

Posted by Casey Holdahl June 13, 2007 08:59AM

Categories: Audio

Jarrett Jack took some time out of his busy finals schedule at Georgia Tech to talk to a Atlanta-based sports radio show called "The 2 Live Stews." You can listen to the interview here. As you might expect, the Stews asked Jarrett about life in Portland and playing for the Blazers, and about the possibility of Jack coming back to the ATL to play for the Hawks. Jarrett notes that he hears his name involved in rumored trades, but that he's a Trail Blazer until someone tells him otherwise.

Jack also talks about passing gas in public, the suicide rate in Portland and the rainy season. Give it a listen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Recruiting - Relationships

The most important quote about our newest commit? This one from his high school head coach:

"We've built a good relationship with Tech," Hawkinsville coach Lee Campbell said recently. "I know (Tech recruiting coordinator) Giff (Smith) really likes Kamaron."

Developing strong relationships at key high schools throughout the state is an obvious key to recruiting.

Hoops Recruiting - Iman Shumpert

A primary target for Paul Hewitt is Iman Shumpert (great name by the way - sure to be a potential SI best name candidate). Check out the PDF article from the free Illinois hoops mag........... word is that Tech is in his final three - although there are a lot of big schools after him.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Football - More on the Truth

....... the Truth that is Calvin Johnson:

Not only does Mike O'Hara predict Calvin Johnson's salary at $28 million, based upon last Reggie Bush's (last year's No. 2 pick) plus a seven percent gain, but he also quotes Jon Kitna talking glowingly about the Lions' rookie.

June 10, Detroit News: "He's a lot like Roy," Kitna said. "I haven't played with anyone like that big, who runs, snatches everything.

"This guy is like the perfect mold for receivers, and he has the desire to be great. He went above what I thought he could be. He has a different way about him.

"He doesn't take any plays off. He gets mad at himself. That's a good thing."

Terry Foster has talked with some Lions vets who think very highly of Johnson. But don't forget about Alama-Francis, either.
June 11, Detroit News: Everybody is impressed with Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson . In fact, one ambitious Lion told me he is going to become the LeBron James of the NFL. Let's not put that pressure on Johnson, the Lions' first-round pick this year.

Defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis isn't getting as much attention. But the word is, this guy is going to be fantastic. He has great hands and balance and is quick within space. He's not an instinctive pass rusher yet, but he should be very strong against the run. Coaches are thrilled because they believe, in time, his work ethic will place him ahead of linemen drafted ahead of him.

Where are they now - Tommy Hammonds

Racing cars -that's where. Here's some video of him prepping his car:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Where are they now - Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus impresses the Hornets.

Where are they now - Levon Thomas

Former Georgia Tech WR Levon Thomas was signed by the Orlando Predators, the same Arena football team that Joe Hamilton led for a few years.

"Levon is an explosive receiver, who has great hands and runs accurate routes," Head Coach Jay Gruden. "We've had a hard time covering him in practice and I am anxious to see him in game conditions." Thomas has spent the last 11 days with the Predators as a member of the practice squad.

Thomas could play as early as Saturday against the Dragons.

Football - Tashard and the Heisman

Fox Sports on Tashard Choice and his Heisman potential:

18. RB Tashard Choice, Sr., Georgia Tech

Fund a campaign: Choice steps outside Calvin Johnson's shadow one year after leading the ACC in rushing and going for more than 100 yards in nine of his last 10 games. A local phenomenon for much of the season, he amassed some important national style points by shredding West Virginia for a career-best 169 yards in the Gator Bowl.

Buy new wrestling mats: If an all-timer like Johnson labored to crack the top 10 last year, imagine how difficult it'll be for Choice, a very good, yet still pretty anonymous back. Unless Tech is in the hunt for another ACC title, he'll struggle to capture the attention of voters outside the southern region.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Beesball - Final Draft Results

From the great site -

  • Results of The MLB Draft...
    • Matt Wieters: 1st Round (5th overall) - Baltimore Orioles
    • Jarrod Parker: 1st Round (9th overall) - Arizona Diamondbacks
    • Neil Ramirez: Comp A (44th overall) - Texas Rangers
    • Danny Payne: Comp A (64th overall) - San Diego Padres
    • Derek Dietrich: 3rd Round (111th overall) - Houston Astros
    • Michael Fisher: 6th Round (198th overall) - Atlanta Braves
    • Tim Ladd: 9th Round (288th overall) - Atlanta Braves
    • Wally Crancer: 12th round (369th overall) - Baltimore Orioles
    • Eddie Burns: 16th Round (498th overall) - Atlanta Braves
    • David Duncan: 23rd Round (700th overall) - Washington Nationals
    • Jared Hyatt: 33rd Round (1008th overall) - Texas Rangers
    • Luke Murton: 40th Round (1217th overall) - New York Yankees
    • Ryan Turner: 45th Round (1337th overall) - Texas Rangers

  • Matt Wieters was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the fifth pick of the first round. See Wieters/Teixeira/Scott Boras related story on the state of the Orioles along with coverage from the Baltimore Sun, an Atlanta-based "newspaper" and

  • "D-backs get their man -- Jarrod Parker". See story.

  • "The eyes of Texas were on Neil Ramirez at draft". See story.

  • The Astros used their first pick of the draft on Derek Dietrich. See story.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beesball - Wieters Goes to the ......

.............. Baltimore Orioles with the #5 pick in the 2007 MLB draft..........

MLB Draft - Must Miss TV

Ok, so ESPN thinks they can may hay with the MLB draft on TV, which airs today at 2pm on the duece (ESPN2). For Jacket fans, the first 10 picks are worth watching as Matt Wieters will be picked anywhere from #1 - 10. My guess is somewhere between 5-10 because his agent happens to be Scott Boras. Boras clients tend to fall because teams get scared away from big signing bonus demands and other red tape. That happened to Mark Teixeira (who happens to be the subject of trade rumors by the way) Here's some comments about Boras:

Several agents and executives who follow the draft closely indicated Wednesday that one of the draft's top players -- Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep right-hander Rick Porcello or Groton (Conn.) Fitch High School right-hander Matt Harvey -- could drop into the latter half of the first round.


Agent Scott Boras, escalator of the baseball economy, is advising them all.

Wieters, least likely to drop to the Tigers, is expected to ask for a major league contract worth between $8 million and $10 million. If he falls to the Tigers, they are certain to be intrigued. Wieters, a switch-hitter, has All-Star potential, and could develop into a major league starter within three years.

Here's more on Boras / Wieters:

Tech catcher is probably the biggest enigma in today's draft.

"There's no question that Matt Wieters is the biggest wild card on the board and that's because of Scott Boras," said Baseball America Editor-in-Chief John Manuel. "If you go on talent alone, Matt is the second-best prospect behind (Vanderbilt pitcher) David Price. Matt Wieters has the athletic ability to play a number of different positions. We know he's listed first or second on a lot of teams' draft boards right now, but when you've got Scott Boras as an adviser it changes everything. There are some teams that just refuse to deal with a Scott Boras player.

"Matt could go anywhere from the second pick to the second round. If he does slide it won't be because of his talent. It will be because of his representation. Even if Matt does slide a little, he's still going to get money equivalent to someone that was a top-five pick."

......... and more on the Boras / Teixeira / Wieters connection:

Wieters, who helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the College World Series last year, has been compared to Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who was another switch-hitting catcher for Georgia Tech.

"I think Matt has more talent than Jason, but Varitek has more intangibles," Manuel said. "Matt has better physical tools than Jason, but Jason might be the best on-field leader in major league baseball. I think a better comparison is to Mark Teixeira."

Ironically, Teixeira, the Texas Rangers' starting first baseman, is also represented by Boras and is a former Georgia Tech standout. Teixiera was the fifth overall pick in the 2001 draft and signed a $9.5 million bonus.

..................... Wieters was named 1st team All-American again and a finalist for the Johnny Bench award............. Here are some draft overachievers if you're interested.......... Here's a very cool article on Nomar / Jay / Jason and that awesome 1994 team.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Losing the Moniker

"Pulling a Cremins" just might become "Pulling a Donnovan"........ straight from the FORMER head of the flip-flop club:

"They'll probably call it a 'Donovan' now instead of a 'Cremins,' '' Cremins said. "We'll probably nominate him president of our club."
Here's a nice interview with Cremins......

The day the earth stood still

Calvin drops a pass in practice

-- At one point during Monday’s practice, rookie wide receiver Calvin Johnson took off down the right sideline. He pulled well ahead of the defensive backs chasing him. The ball fell right into his hands …

And Johnson dropped it.

The Lions’ facility echoed with gasps and groans. Johnson had made so many remarkable plays since the Lions drafted him second overall, it was as if no one could believe he could actually drop a ball. Alas, the kid is human.

Here is another version of the same thing:

For those of you that like to rip and say Kitna isn’t an accurate long-range passer I wish you had been in practice today. He threw one bomb and it was a perfect strike (sixty yards in fact) that he dropped in a spot that only CJ could get it while in double coverage. CJ dropped it and not only was I shocked since it was a perfect pass and he has made some much more difficult catches, but the entire staff and team all yelled out in shock. It was as loud as the team got today and it was a wonderful camaraderie moment as it was more of a come on rook moment.

In other news, reports of a white horse flying in the clouds over Detroit..................

In addition there were these nuggets:

The WR’s in this system are trained to go to a spot. I know that some people struggle with that concept but it is the way things happen with Martz. Early in practice the players had to make an eight-yard sprint and cut between the eight and ten yard marks. There were two cones that they had to cut between. CJ ran past the cone and the coaches’ tore him up. I can’t tell you exactly what was said but after practice someone close to the drill essentially told me “he was just instructed that out here people don’t care where you were picked, just make the cut and catch the ******* ball! The players really like CJ and his work ethic and he loves that he isn’t getting any special treatment. He gets ripped like any rookie trying for a spot.

Another sign of respect and what the Lions think of CJ. He was double teamed all day in team sessions. That was probably part of the reason he struggled but the dude is a rook and that happens?! (yes I realize I used to punctuation marks and that is how I felt) The point that stuck out however was that they did it all day.

Another CJ note. Travis Fisher wanted to make a point when covering him today and CJ just literally ran by him. He had Fisher twisted and turned and was just another flash of potential greatness. You will see less of the miraculous catches for now as CJ is learning his routes but his speed is spectacular and he knows what to do with it.

..................and the AJC laments the Falcons lame attempt (or lack there of) at getting CJ.

Lastly, CJ's WR mate - Roy Williams had this to say:

"We're a good group," Williams said of the Lions receivers. "We just got to get Calvin (Johnson) to where he needs to be. Once he gets there, it's over."

The Lions' No. 1 pick out of Georgia Tech, Johnson has been running first team since mini-camp because of Williams' injury. Williams said the two are perfect compliments for one another.

"This system is based on that," he said. "Nobody gave Mike Furrey the time of day last year but when you catch 103 balls Û me and him just fed off each other 1-2 and hopefully me and Calvin can do the same things. But he's going to have to beat out Mike Furrey for that position."

Williams paused for two seconds, then finished his remarks with a laugh, "Ha, ha."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Statistically Speaking

Some interesting stats from the Orlando draft camp on a bunch of measurables, including height with and without shoes, weight, wingspan, standing vertical and max vertical, etc. A couple of notes

  • Without shoes, Thaddeus Young is not even 6'6" (6' 5.75")
  • Without shoes, Javaris Crittenton is 6'3"
  • Thad was faster than Crit in the 3/4 court sprint.
  • There are about 80 potential NBA players on that list and not one of them had a standing vertical of 40" or more. Anyone even more in awe of Calvin Johnson at this point. "Freak" fits.

In other notes, Chad Ford indicated on his Blog that the Hawks are focusing on Brandon Wright with their #3 pick and possibly Javaris Crittenton with their #11 pick........................ Next week, the Bobcats have scheduled Corey Brewer, Julian Wright, Jeff Green and Thaddeus Young to work out against each other next week.......................... Javaris will work out for the Wizards Friday.

Where are they now - Calvin Johnson

Some interesting notes on the Lions working on fade routes now that they have additional weapons.

.... The Lions all last week in the OTA’s worked on adding this to their reservoir of plays. I witnessed it personally on Tuesday when I was allowed to be at practice but talked with players about it to see how it progressed. Because the information is proprietary and I certainly have no desire to hurt the Lions I am not going to give great specifics but here is what I can divulge.

Hypothetically let’s picture the Lions in a three wide set (CJ and Roy in the endzone and Furrey in the slot) and a TE and a back. They can send two much larger WR’s (Roy and CJ) towards the corners in a dangerous double fade route, Furrey across the middle and a TE in a quick route (simply moves to a middle slot just inside the endzone as fast as he can) as well as a RB in a flare (quickly moves parallel with the line of scrimmage) while the QB is in a shotgun set. The defense cannot double-team anyone. Critics will say that teams will use a zone blitz to defend it but a double fade and the ancillary type routes of the slot (middle) receiver, TE and RB simply takes such little time and spreads out the defense so much that there isn’t time. Kitna will have to identify the open man ASAP but that my friends is the biggest news out of the OTA’s that any of us could want.

I have told you that the Lions didn’t ignore this part of the offense but that they didn’t have the manpower for it. Now they do. Now you will see it as part of a redzone package that they worked on all last week.

I can tell you that Kitna didn’t throw one bad pass when they were practicing the fade and Orlovsky looked almost as good. People may ask why the fade route is so critical and here is that reason. It is the one play that is indefensible in the football game. If the receiver has size and is in single coverage, a perfectly thrown ball cannot be defended and the corner of the endzone insures that the WR gets his feet down in bounds. It is essentially the perfect play. One that the Lions couldn’t use and the fans were insane (rightfully) about.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hoops - Thaddeus Young Snippet

From Andy Katz's blog:

"Right now, I want to play in the NBA."

That was the statement Georgia Tech freshman Thaddeus Young made to Friday afternoon in Orlando.


Young told that he was mentally and physically ready to play in the NBA. But he, like all of these players, wants some sort of guarantee that he will be selected.

Everyone has their cutoff point. Young wouldn't say it was definitely the lottery, but the NBA personnel is under the assumption that he is in the draft to stay.

Nothing really new - but just a reminder to you that on two separate occasions I have indicted that both Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young would be gone and that you should prepare yourself for that fact and save the headache and heartache. I reiterate my position.................

Football - ACC Standings

Thought I would post the ACC football standings the past number of years. Any interesting conclusions? I find it interesting that only once has Clemson finished higher than Tech in the standings even though their fans have INCREDIBLY high expectations. I know we've had our ups-and-downs with Chan Gailey, but Clemson fan is hating life much more.

1. Wake Forest 6-2
2. Georgia Tech 7-1
3. Virginia Tech 6-2
4. Boston College 5-3
5. Maryland 5-3
6. Clemson 5-3
7. Virginia 4-4
8. Florida State 3-5
9. Miami (FL) 3-5
10. North Carolina 2-6
11. North Carolina State 2-6
12. Duke 0-8

1. Florida State 5-3
2. Virginia Tech 7-1
3. Miami (FL) 6-2
4. Boston College 5-3
5. Georgia Tech 5-3
6. Clemson 4-4
7. North Carolina 4-4
8. North Carolina State 3-5
9. Maryland 3-5
10. Wake Forest 3-5
11. Virginia 3-5
12. Duke 0-8

1. Virginia Tech 7-1
2. Florida State 6-2
3. Miami (FL) 5-3
4. Virginia 5-3
5. North Carolina 5-3
6. Georgia Tech 4-4
7. Clemson 4-4
8. North Carolina State 3-5
9. Maryland 3-5
10. Wake Forest 1-7
11. Duke 1-7

1. Florida State 7-1
2. Maryland 6-2
3. Clemson 5-3
4. Virginia 4-4
5. North Carolina State 4-4
6. Georgia Tech 4-4
7. Wake Forest 3-5
8. Duke 2-6
9. North Carolina 1-7

1. Florida State 7-1
2. Maryland 6-2
3. Virginia 6-2
4. North Carolina State 5-3
5. Georgia Tech 4-4
6. Clemson 4-4
7. Wake Forest 3-5
8. North Carolina 1-7
9. Duke 0-8

1. Maryland 7-1
2. Florida State 5-2
3. North Carolina 5-3
4. Georgia Tech 4-3
5. North Carolina State 4-4
6. Clemson 3-4
7. Wake Forest 3-5
8. Virginia 3-5
9. Duke 0-7

1. Florida State 8-0
2. Georgia Tech 6-2
3. Clemson 6-2
4. Virginia 5-3
5. North Carolina State 4-4
6. North Carolina 3-5
7. Maryland 3-5
8. Wake Forest 1-7
9. Duke 0-8

1. Florida State 8-0
2. Georgia Tech 5-3
3. Clemson 5-3
4. Virginia 5-3
5. North Carolina State 3-5
6. Duke 3-5
7. Wake Forest 3-5
8. Maryland 2-6
9. North Carolina 2-6

If anyone wants to calculate the aggregate standing of all these records I'll post it here later.

Where are they now - Jeremy Slayden

A pretty detailed look at former beesball Jacket Jeremy Slayden.

Slayden does have some speed – being a combined ten for ten in stolen bases in Lakewood and Clearwater is either a display of luck or some skill – but he is clearly a masher. He’s a walks-and-home runs (and sub-par defense) kind of player in the mold of the pre-2004 Oakland A’s. (Recently the A’s have emphasized fielding and speed a little more in their personnel decisions.) This is the kind of player than Billy Beane builds teams around.

Not surprisingly, scouts have been slow to appreciate Slayden’s skills, if they do at all. Top Prospect Alert doesn’t rank Slayden in their pre-season Top Ten or even their mid-season Top Ten. Baseball America pretty much dismisses Slayden’s pro prospects all together. Gregory Golson, an inconsistent hitting speedster who plays in the outfield with Slayden, is rated at a Top Ten prospect by both publications. Golson is an athlete scouts see as having tools and potential. Slayden is all-wrong as a ballplayer, although the stats back him up. The Phillies, seemingly one of the more sabremetric-friendly franchises in baseball, don’t particularly seem to be interested in Slayden’s development either. While Costanzo seems poised to make a run on the Phillies roster in 2008, Slayden seems fated to spending 2008 in Reading and then 2009 in Allentown. If he even gets a chance at playing outfield for the Phillies, Jeremy Slayden will have to wait until 2010 at the earliest.

Tomorrow we’ll talk a little about the 2007 MLB Draft, but I want people to keep players like Jeremy Slayden in mind. Guys like Slayden are unheralded and ignored by scouts, but they perform time-and-again on the field and deserve attention as great ball players. My prediction is that Jeremy Slayden will have a better baseball career than Mike Costanzo. Let’s see if it happens …

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Football - Confidence Showing

Jackets motivated by close, late losses |
"To know how close you were to a big fat ring on your finger ..." quarterback Taylor Bennett said. "I think we'll be conditioned enough to finish. I think people are going to be surprised at how we finish games now in the fourth quarters."

Anyone excited about the start of football season again?

Where are they now - Javaris Crittenton

JC will be working out for the Trailblazers June 27.

Here's some more on JC with quotes.