Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Where can I grab a pair of those? But on a serious note (although I am serious about the pants, I want a pair), JJ posted a 2 under today to put him at -1 for the tournament. That should be good enough to make the cut which is something we didn't get to see from JJ last year. By the way he was rockin a purple gator belt as well. Spit.
Baseball coach Schlossnagle has dream job at TCU Star-Telegram
NCAA regionals at TCU all about Frog doggedness, past and present Star-Telegram
NCAA baseball tournament: Regional breakdowns ESPN
Tough stretches ahead for several teams ESPN
TCU opens regional play at 7pm vs Wright State GoFrogs.com
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Is it the winner of Colonial, who will take home a cool $1.1 million of the $6.2 million purse and a sweet plaid jacket? Is it the TCU athletic department, who will reap the reward of massive ticket sales from TCU and Aggy fans filling Lupton Stadium? No, it's the kids who live in the neighborhood in between campus and the country club, who are going to make a fortune letting people park cars in their parents' driveways and front yards. Sure, they aren't going to make millions of bucks like the PGA guys and TCU will, but remember how much $100 was to you when you were 9? Shit, I'm nearly four years removed from graduating college and $100 is still a big deal to me.
This weekend was already slated to be one of the bigger weekends of the Cowtown athletic year. Colonial is pretty much all Fort Worth has outside of the Frogs in terms of major spectator sports...unless you count Texas Motor Speedway, but that's practically in Oklahoma. Colonial evokes the ghosts of the city's numerous illustrious golf legends and...who am I kidding? It's a corporately-sponsored keg party. I'm sure there are a lot of serious golf fans out there- but for most of us, without Tiger or Phil, all there is left is Lumpy, Rich Beem...and booze. Don't get me wrong, I love Colonial, but I'm not really going to be glued to the leaderboard all weekend...unless Ben Crenshaw makes the cut.
Then the NCAA decided to plop one of it's 16 Baseball Regionals about a mile from there. Now, don't get me wrong here, either- I'm beyond ecstatic for this development, but it's going to turn the parking & traffic situation in the area from annoying inconvenience to migraine-inducing nightmare. You're likely to have to hoof it quite a ways to get to Lupton for the games (unless you take a taxi...but I'm not 100% certain they even have those in Tarrant Co.), but once you get there you won't be disappointed. As a veteran of a good handful of NCAA Regionals, I can tell you it's a really fun atmosphere. Add in the fact that the '06 & '07 Champs will be here (Oregon State) along with Aggy and all of the nonsense they bring along AND the magnitude of what it means to TCU's program to be hosting the event, and this should be a memorable few days at Lupton. Don't discount Wright State, either- the Horizon League champs are 33-28 and have a salty lineup to go along with some stud pitchers.
On top of all of that, the football program is apparently hosting a very special guest this weekend. As you may have seen in yesterday's Morning Dump or on any number of other TCU-related sites, Aundre Dean will be visiting campus and the hot rumor is that he is strongly considering committing to transfer to TCU. Long story/short on Dean: he ran for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his high school career at Katy (where he played alongside Andy Dalton as a soph. & junior), was DCTF's 5A Player of the year as a senior in leading the Tigers to a state title, and was a 4-star recruit who had offers from just about everyone before comitting to UCLA. He ran for just 22 yards in 6 games for the Bruins last year and initially listed the Frogs among his top three choices for transfer destinations along with UT and A&M, but in subsequent interviews he has all but ruled out moving to Austin or College Station. Getting Dean (who would have to sit out this fall but could play as a sophomore in 2010) would put another feather in the Patterson staff's recruiting hat and would add one more dangerous weapon to an already potent stable of running backs.
This is really going to be a hectic couple of days in the TCU area- try to enjoy it and don't go too crazy trying to park. Hopefully come Monday, I'll be writing about how the Frogs are headed to the Super Regionals, Aundre Dean is enrolling in classes and I've replenished my koozie drawer with some freebies I don't even remember ganking from the Champions Tent.
Rain leaves TCU waiting to finish second round Star-Telegram
Fort Worth regional: A wide open race Rivals
Bombers sign Chase Ortiz Our Sports Central
Coaches poll to be confidential beginning in 2010 Associated Press
Link to the webcast of tomorrow's baseball game for those who can't be there
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sometimes it doesn't take s star to save a season Rivals
5 burning questions on bracket, regionals ESPN
All-session reserved seats sold out GoFrogs.com
Aundre Dean was a top 10 RB in the '08 class and is set to transfer from UCLA. He will be on campus this weekend and rumor is he plans on joining his former high school quarterback in the Frog backfield, after sitting out a year of course.
Being that this is TCU's first crack at hosting, the NCAA was no doubt keeping an eye on ticket sales. No doubt, also, that the quick and overwhelming demand for seats to this regional will stick in their heads the next time TCU is a candidate to host.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
TCU baseball receives No. 1 seed at Fort Worth regional Star-Telegram
Getting to know the TCU Horned Frogs Building The Dam, OSU site
Getting to know the Wright State Raiders Building The Dam
Fort Worth regional at a glance The Oregonian
Wright State draw familiar opponent in NCAA first round Springfield News-Sun
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
San Diego State sends Utah to elimination game with TCU Star-Telegram
SDSU stuns Utah; 1 win away from MWC title San Diego News Network
J.J. Henry to donate $25,000 to Kinder Frogs GoFrogs.com
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Facing a tough uphill battle if they want to win conference, the Frogs got perhaps the most important performance of the season from freshman starting pitcher Kyle Winkler. In a tournament where pitching arms are going to be the most important commodity, Winkler last all nine innings as the Frogs won, 9-2. He was able to keep his pitch-count down and didn't walk a batter, which gives Schlossnagle the luxury of keeping the remainder of his pitching staff fresh with the possibility of having to play three games in the next two days.
It should also be noted that after committing three errors in Wednesday's loss to Utah, TCU played error-free baseball against BYU. Also, senior 1st Baseman Matt Vern went nuts today: he was 4 for 5, had a 2-run home run, scored three runs and stole two bases in the critical 7th inning- one of which was a steal of home plate.
So now the Frogs advance to play tomorrow at 3:00pm, when they'll take on the loser of tonight's San Diego State-Utah game. If they win there, they'll turn around and play the winner of tonight's game tomorrow night at 7:00pm. A sweep tomorrow by the Frogs would give them a chance to win the tournament Saturday at 1:00pm.
Who do we cheer for tonight? In my opinion, it doesn't really matter. The Frogs will have to play both teams if they keep on winning, so it's really a moot point. Instead, I'd just root for both starting pitchers to get chased from the game early, so that both teams have to put their bullpens to work.
Is TCU poised to become the latest BCS buster? Will Ole Miss really challenge for the SEC crown? Ivan Maisel and Beano Cook discuss those topics and more in their latest podcast.
Fans missing their chance to boost their TCU Frogs Star-Telegram
Fourth inning lifts Utah past TCU in the MWC baseball tournament Star-Telegram
Utah topples top-seeded TCU Salt Lake Tribune
Does the M-West and 2008 Utah have beef Scout
The Frogs seemed to have everything laid out for them: another regular-season conference title and #1 seed in the conference tournament they're hosting, A&M getting swept by OU to make hosting a regional a very realisitic possibility, and then Utah upsetting BYU on Tuesday to let the Frogs avoid Stephen Strasburg.
Then they go out and lose to the #6 seed Utah, 9-7.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time going over what went wrong, because frankly I'm not really a baseball expert. But I'm pretty sure that allowing 15 hits, walking 6, committing 3 errors and having 2 runners thrown out at 3rd isn't exactly a recipe for success. I'd love to give credit to Utah, who has a pretty good start on a nice little Cinderella story going, but really they were just the less-ugly team last night in a really, really ugly baseball game. Like, Dirk's girlfriend ugly.
Now though, the Frogs have to look forward. They've given up the relative ease of the winner's bracket, where they would've had to win just three games to capture their 4th straight MWC Tournament title (and 6th straight conference tournament title- they won the last two in CUSA), for the dreaded loser's bracket. To win the tournament now, they'll have to reel off four wins in three days.
The long road back to glory starts today at 3:00pm, when they'll take on the winner of BYU and New Mexico (who play eachother at 11:00am). Win that, and they'd take on the loser of tonight's Utah/San Diego State game tomorrow at 3:00pm. Win that, and they'd turn right around to play the Utah/SDSU winner at 7:00pm tomorrow night. Win THAT, and then they'd have to beat that team again Saturday at 1:00pm for the championship.
Sounds like a tall task, right? That's why losing last night was so costly. The good news, though, is that the Frogs have by far the deepest pitching staff in the conference. If any team is capable of fighting back to win this thing from the loser's bracket, it's them.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
TCU Horned Frogs can't look past Utah in MWC Tournament Star-Telegram
Take notice, NCAA: TCU baseball deserves to be regional host Star-Telegram
NBA Mock Draft Los Angeles Times
-Look TCU has a player going in the lottery
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
That's good news for the Frogs, who will avoid a showdown with San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg in Round 2. Instead, they get the #6 seed Utah, who's pitching staff had to work 10 innngs this afternoon while the Frogs rested.
Now though, we might see just how much of a gambler SDSU coach Tony Gwynn is (yes, THAT Tony Gwynn) . He had already committed to betting he could beat UNLV without Strasburg to save his ace for Wednesday. Now does he think he can beat UNLV and New Mexico without him to try to use him Thursday? It's a really risky move, but his team's only real shot at making the NCAA Tournament is to win the MWC Tournament.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Bruce Feldman just came out with his annual list of workout warriors and for the second straight year a Frog has come in at the 10 spot. Turns out Cannon isn't only a weight room freak, but he is pretty nimble too.
10. Marcus Cannon, TCU, OT: About a month ago, I asked TCU All-American DE Jerry Hughes whether there were any freak athletes in the Horned Frogs program. He paused for a moment, then began to shake his head and tell a story. Turns out Cannon, TCU's 6-5, 350-pound starting right tackle, offered to bet Hughes a few years ago over whether the mammoth offensive lineman could pull off a double front flip off a diving board. Hughes jumped at the bet, then watched in amazement as the TCU big man went all Cirque du Soleil on him. "I can do a double front flip, a one-and-a-half and some other stuff off the board," Cannon later explained. "I used to be a lifeguard."
At the very least, this might earn Cannon the title of being the world's most improbable diver since Rodney Dangerfield climbed up poolside. Cannon is a pretty good shot-putter, too. Earlier this month, he finished third overall with a personal-best throw of 54 feet, 4 inches at the Texas Invitational. On the field, he has emerged as one of the Mountain West Conference's top linemen, and he is coming off a near-flawless performance in TCU's 17-16 Poinsettia Bowl victory over Boise State.
TCU sweeps UNLV in baseball; golfers advance to NCAA championship Star-Telegram
Top 25 Baseball America
MWC spring wrap College Football Fantasy Insider
TCU's campaign benefit tops $200 million FW Business Press
Olathe East's Rick Settle, the Star's 2009 male scholar athlete of the year Kansas City Star
-Will walk-on at TCU
Sunday, May 17, 2009
So far, we know that the #1 seed Frogs will be playing their opening game of the tournament Wednesday at 7:00pm. We don't know their opponent for that game yet, but Tuesday's games will determine that. #3 seed BYU takes on #6 Utah in the first game at 3:00pm, and then #4 San Diego State battles #5 UNLV at 7:00pm. The lower-seeded winner from those two games would advance to play TCU Wednesday night, with the higher-seeded winner playing #2 New Mexico at 3:00pm.
If both of the favorites win Tuesday's games, that would match TCU with San Diego State. Aztecs' coach Tony Gwynn has apparently said he would use his #2 starter in the Tuesday game to save his All-Everything ace Stephen Strasburg for a shot at the Frogs. In their two previous meetings, Strasburg has bested the Frogs winning both times while fanning a combined 28 batters in 15 innings of work, while only giving up 7 base hits in that time.
This all-too possible scenario would put the Frogs in danger of having to battle through the loser's bracket in order to reclaim their conference title, so it's safe to say that it would be their most important game of the year to date. You can buy all-tournament tickets right now, or you can get single-day passes when they go on sale Tuesday morning at 8:00am.
Friday, May 15, 2009
18. TCU Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs have built their reputation on defense during coach Gary Patterson's successful tenure, but TCU's offense might be reason for optimism in 2009. Quarterback Andy Dalton is entering his third season as a starter, after helping the Horned Frogs set single-season school records for points (437) and touchdowns (56) last season. Top wide receiver Jimmy Young also is back, along with tailbacks Joseph Turner and Ryan Christian. The Horned Frogs must replace seven starters on defense, but end Jerry Hughes is back after leading the country with 17 sacks in 2008. The secondary must replace two starters, but Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders form one of the country's best cornerback tandems. TCU plays two ACC opponents on the road (at Virginia on Sept. 12 and at Clemson on Sept. 26) and plays at BYU on Oct. 24. The Horned Frogs host defending MWC champion Utah at home on Nov. 14.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
You can vote for who is going to win the MWC (Utah is first with 36%, TCU second with 31%, and BYU third with 30%), if a MWC team will make the BCS (64% Yes), and who is the best defensive player in the MWC (Hughes is at number one with 36% of the vote and Washington a distant fifth with 11% ).
Faith sustains TCU golfer Travis Wolf Star-Telegram
OSU AD Mike Holder still eyeing Big D News OK
Projected field of 64 Baseball America
Graham Watson chat ESPN
Ex-Valley star looking for new team after leaving Va. Tech Las Vegas Sun
Sachek helps TCU regain conference spot Zionsville Times-Sentinel
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As we discussed last week, this year's MWC regular season title will be determined by winning percentage. At 12-5 (.706) in conference play right now, the Frogs are in the driver's seat to claim a 4th straight crown. In fact, winning two games against UNLV this weekend should clinch it for them. The Rebels have played well in Vegas, though, with a 21-10 record on their home field. If the Frogs were to slip up and lose the series, they not only run the risk of losing out on the regular season title, but possibly also out of a first-round bye in the MWC Tournament. San Diego St. plays at Utah and New Mexico plays at Air Force this weekend- both teams could pass TCU in the standings with three wins coupled with a series loss by the Frogs.
Then there is still the possibility that TCU could be chosen to host an NCAA Regional, as was detailed by David Peterson over at hornedfrogsports.com. Basically, right now it looks like A&M will be chosen to host over TCU. But A&M has a weekend series against OU in Norman this weekend, and if they slip up there and have a pedestrian showing at the Big 12 Tournament, the Frogs and their superior RPI ranking could sneak past the Aggies with a sweep against UNLV and a dominant performance at the MWC Tournament at Lupton next week.
Just think about having an NCAA Regional at Lupton the same weekend as Colonial. My goodness, that could be one of the most satisfactory popcorn dinners I've ever eaten at The Oui...
Mountain West spring wrap-up ESPN
Washington Redskin's Robert Henson could be a 'special' player Bleacher Report
Record setting TCU women's hurdler looks for more Star-Telegram
From Hogan to Tiger, writer Dan Jenkins knows golf's majors USA Today
TCU to hsot Super Bowl XLV practices GoFrogs.com
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Carpenter leads TCU past Dallas Baptist Baseball Insider
It's brother vs. brother for current and former Beavers players Oregon Live
Slumpers drop out of region projections ESPN
Camp schools lions rookies Detroit News
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I don't know about y'all, but I love what the marketing department has done this year to promote the frogs. The new marketing posters and campaign is awesome. This billboard is located just outside of downtown Funky Town on Lancaster. And yes, I made a detour just to take this picture with my phone and share it with the rest of SpitBlood nation.
Of course, with two more weeks of regular-season baseball and the conference tournaments still to go, there's obviously a lot that can change between now and when the NCAA Field is announced. But since, as of now, the Aggies appear to be TCU's main competitor to host, you may want to pay attention to their remaining games against Texas (3), Texas State (1) and Oklahoma (3).
Owls hsoting Lennon Creer Scout
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
But you know how, after a long weekend of partying, you'll be suffering through your hangover and wondering just what it is you're doing with your life and thinking how much of a mess you are? And then you turn the TV to A&E's Intervention and see how fucked up those people are and realize that you're actually pretty normal?
Well, then I saw this story about a soccer fan in Kenya and realized, holy shit- compared to that guy, I'm like a girl that doesn't even know how many points a touchdown is worth or what team we're playing or if we won or lost.
I mean, Go Frogs and all, but dude....
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
10 breakout players from spring practice ESPN
Frogs pick up a new recruit ESPN
Three strikes Baseball America
Top 25 Baseball America
Hill signs national letter of intent with TCU men's basketball program GoFrogs
TCU men's golf team seeded third in regional Star-Telegram
Monday, May 4, 2009
Because Mother Nature has affected the schedules of so many teams in the conference this year to varying degrees, the MWC title will be determined on percentage points. With a 10-4 conference record (and .714 winning percentage), the Frogs currently find themselves on top of the MWC standings as they try to win their 4th consecutive regular season title.
The teams with the best chance to catch TCU are San Diego State and New Mexico. The Aztecs are currently 10-8 (.556) with six very winnable games left against Air Force and at Utah. If they were to win all six (and they should), they'd push their record to 16-8 (.667). New Mexico sits in second place right now at 12-8 (.614). With just three games remaining, they'll have less of a chance to make up ground, but those three are at Air Force, so the Lobos ought to win out, too. That would put them at 15-8 (.652).
The Frogs' six remaining conference games are a home series against Utah this weekend and then next weekend in Las Vegas against UNLV. To clinch the conference title, they would need to win four of those six to give them a .700 winning percentage. If they were to slip up and go 3-3 down the stretch, though, they would risk falling behind both San Diego St. and New Mexico and losing the first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Of course, all of this assumes that weather won't force any more games to be cancelled, so I may have just wasted your & my time by typing this all out. Either way- rain or shine, regular season title or not- the Frogs will be playing for their 4th straight conference tournament title when the MWC Tournament comes back to Lupton Stadium on May 19-23.
TCU wins Mountain West gold title after playoff Star-Telegram
TCU football program needs to think and act big-time Star-Telegram
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
As lyle and others have pointed out throughout the week, little ole TCU had some big ole success in the NFL draft. After being blanked last season, it looks like the draft gurus decided to redeem their transgressions and give some love to the # 7 team in the country. With last year’s group of seniors arguably being my favorite of all my TCU days – and with Phillips, Henson, and Hodge alone, it’s hard to argue this – our draft success was extremely satisfying for me as a fan, and doubly satisfying for me as we had more picks taken than those dreaded Longhorns. Heck, we had more picks taken than anyone in the state! This isn’t the time to talk about UTs success rate with NFL prospects… but, since it’s always a good time to bash UT, unless Roy Williams proves me wrong, and I hope that he does, it’s just not that good. Name one UT player who has had as much success in the NFL as LT? I rest my case.
On that note, however, let me get to the meat of my article: what are the chances of success for our guys with their current NFL teams? Unfortunately, when a pick is taken in a lower round, there are no guarantees that they will continue on with the team who drafted them. This isn’t to say that they won’t make an NFL roster, because in most instances a guy who gets drafted and cut will be picked up elsewhere, but right now all we have to go on is how our guys stack up against the competition at their positions. So, starting with the highest pick and going to the lowest, let’s take a peek. Note: I’m going to use the NFL.com draft analysis in order to give an unbiased look at the picks before my inevitable TCU love fest takes hold.
Jason Phillips – Baltimore Ravens - Rd 5, 1st pick (137 overall)
Pick Analysis:The Ravens pick up a highly productive linebacker to add to their already-stout corps. The former Horned Frog has good instincts and shows a natural knack for finding the football. He won't be counted on to contribute as an every-down player immediately, but he could emerge as a future starter in a year or two
ILB – Ray Lewis (6’1”, 250, 14 year veteran
ILB – Tavares Gooden (6’1”, 235, 2 year veteran)
LB – Brenden Ayanbedejo (6’1”, 228, 7 year veteran)
LB – Jameel McClain (6’1”, 250, 2 year veteran)
LB – Jaret Johnson (6’3”, 265, 7 year veteran)
It was a pretty foregone conclusion that Phillips would be the first Horned Frog selected in the 2009 NFL draft, and, honestly, I can’t think of a much better place for him to be than Bodymore, Murdaland. Ok, ok, other than the obvious, Wire-esque aspects of Baltimore, there really aren’t a whole lot of bad things I can say about the place, at least football wise. Yes, they lost their defensive coordinator and yes, Ray Lewis is a murdering fake Christian, but the fact remains that place absolutely breeds linebackers, and Lewis is a big part of that. No matter what you think about the guy, and I don’t think much of him, he’s a great leader in the lockerroom and one of the best inside linebackers the league has ever seen. He’s also in the home stretch of his career and in need of an apprentice to step in and his take his place in a couple of years. It speaks volumes about how the team felt about J-Phil seeing as how he is the only linebacker they took in the entire draft -they took Paul Kreuger from Utah who is listed as a DE/LB, but he will be more of an OLB if he makes that move, so he should not affect Phillips’ standing with the team, same with Johnson– but this could also have something to do with the amount of linebackers they have on the team. Given, they only list 2 ILBs in Lewis and Gooden, both from Miami, it looks like Phillips will have some competition with Ayanbadejo and McClain when it comes to grabbing a spot on the roster. In fact, Ayanbadejo is a three time pro bowler and McClain was a rookie FA last year who not only made the team, but saw action in every single game the Ravens played including the post season. Gooden was a special teamer last year, but don’t think a hard hitting ILB from “the U” is going to let a rookie come in and beat him out without a fight.
Compared to these guys, Phillips is pretty small at 6’0”, 236 pounds, but, you know what they say about the dog in the fight… I was very surprised that Phillips lasted all the way until the fifth round, and I really think the Ravens got a steal with the pick. I definitely agree with the NFL.com analysis about Phillips not being a major contributor immediately, and maybe not even a 3 down player later in his career, but he will have every opportunity to make an impact with the Ravens. Those 3-4 defenses, which the Ravens sort of run, are always looking for solid linebackers and said teams hoard these guys like SMU kids stockpile 8-balls and their dealer rolodexes. Ray Lewis doesn’t have to worry about losing his job, but I think Phillips being able to learn from one of the best is going to be a huge boost to his career. Besides, he started wearing purple, and now he gets to keep wearing purple.
Chance of making team: 99%
Robert Henson – Washington Redskins - Rd 6, 13th pick (186 overall)
Pick Analysis:Henson is a shorter linebacker who runs really well. He will provide the Redskins with special teams help, but he's not ready yet to contribute consistently on the defensive side of the ball
Alfred Fincher (6’1”, 238, 4 year veteran)
Rocky McIntosh (6’2”, 232, 2 year veteran)
Tyson Smith (6’2”, 250, 2 year veteran)
Robert Thomas (6’0”, 235, 7 year veteran)
Cody Glenn (6’0”, 235, Rookie)
Well I got in half right. I honestly thought Henson would be a free agent pick up for some lucky team, but not only did he get drafted; he was drafted before AB and Hodge, two guys who I thought would go ahead of him, especially Hodge. Obviously this is one of those mistakes that I am very glad to have made. I don’t know how many of you listened to Henson’s post-draft interview with David Smoak, but you could definitely sense the excitement in his voice and really grasp how much he’s going to give it everything he’s got in DC. I know Spitpurple will be very excited about having Henson play close to home... although I've been to that stadium and it's anything but close to DC. Despite what was written by myself and others last week about his potential character issues, the disagreements between Henson and Patterson obviously played little role in his draft status, and we can only attribute this to knowing that, despite what you read, Henson is a top notch guy with a big heart and a huge desire to succeed. The only way I could be any happier for him is if he hadn’t gone to a division rival, because I have a feeling Dallas is going to hate seeing him twice a year. Let’s hope that one day Henson replaces David Wesley as Longview’s only recognized sports star - come on LGV, no Bobby Taylor?
Enough of that love fest though -I warned you it was coming -let’s get down to business. I was unsure of what Henson’s role at the next level would be, but given his size (6’1”, 242) and speed, outside linebacker seems like a natural fit. Unfortunately for Henson, he’s got a bit of competition with the Redskins as two young guys have worked their way into starting roles and don’t plan on going anywhere. Washington was also one of the better teams against the run this past season (8th), and will be even better this year with the additions of Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo on the line. The Skins also drafted another OLB in the fifth round who will have the exact same chances as Henson will to make the team.
The good news, though, is that Fincher, the SAM, didn’t exactly set the world on fire last year at the position, ranking near the bottom of the team in tackles. Is Henson strong enough to be a starting strong side linebacker in the NFL? I don’t know, and I really hope he is, but this seems like a great place for him to start learning the position and have an opportunity to make an impact in the future. I think he definitely gets a shot on special teams, and if he can fire up the DC crowd like he could fire up the Frog crowd on kickoffs they’ll be all the better for it. Out of all of our guys, I will be keeping the second closest eye on Henson’s success, but only because of a later pick to be outlined shortly.
Chance of Making Team: 90%
Aaron Brown – Detroit Lions – Rd 6, 19th pick (192 overall)
Pick Analysis:Brown came in as a freshman at TCU and played extremely well, but never lived up to the hype after that. The thought is that he might be able to become a wide receiver. He's a speed guy with return skills in the kicking game. He could become a backup to Kevin Smith in Detroit.
Kevin Smith (6’1”, 217, 2 year veteran)
Maurice Morris (5’11”, 216, 8 year veteran)
Allen Ervin (5”10”, 224, 1 year veteran)
Brian Calhoun (5”10”, 208, 4 year veteran)
Aveion Cason (5”10”, 204, 9 year veteran)
Alright, so I’m not going to sugar coat it: What a terrible, terrible place to have to play football. Overlooking the 0-16 record last year… well, you can’t really overlook it, but go with me… Detroit is the armpit of the entire country. The demise of the auto industry, as well as Eminem, has noticeably crippled what was, while admittedly never a desirable place to live, at least a serviceable place to live. Now, kaput. Thanks for Motown and the White Stripes, but there won’t be any nostalgic songs written 10 years from now when Detroit is sold to Canada for scrap.
I digress though, this is supposed to be about a young man and his desire to play football at the highest level possible, which AB has an excellent shot to do. On the bright side, it looks like Detroit is relatively serious about upgrading that abysmal offense. Despite being known for some of the biggest first round receiver busts in the history of the NFL, the Lions look like they have a good one in Calvin Johnson, and they also picked up talented 903 TE Brandon Pettigrew in the draft. You may have also heard of some QB dandy from Highland park they took in the first round, but the jury is still big time out on him until he laces them up for a NFL game. Sure, he could be the next Montana, but when you commit 60 million to a college junior to lead your team and there’s talk that he could sit on the bench behind Daunte Culpepper of all people, let’s just say there are no guarantees.
Ok, ok, I’ll talk about AB. That analysis is spot on – huge expectations that were destroyed by injuries. I was kind of surprised he came out as a running back, and it looks like Detroit is definitely open to lining him up wide, but let’s just look at one thing: the RB competition. How many of those guys have you heard of? I don’t know why I’ve heard of Kevin Smith, but seriously. Brian Calhoun? Aveion Cason? Let’s just say they don’t exactly have a full stable up there in Sludgeville. Oh yeah, Detroit also finished 30/32 teams last year in rushing offense. Let’s just say they can use some help.
I still think AB will end up as a slot receiver, another place where the competition isn’t exactly steep – I dare you to look at their receiving corp and tell me one stat about anyone other than Calvin Johnson – but seeing as how so many teams are going with a RB platoon nowadays, and Detroit’s pitiful need for backfield help, the opportunity is definitely there. To me, I just don’t think he has the size to take an NFL beating at 6’1”, 196, but I’m not naïve enough to think that strength coaches are there simply to draw a paycheck.
Honestly, I think AB has a fantastic chance to stay on with this team, despite being taken in the 6th round. He will begin the season as a backup, but once Stafford realizes how thin that offensive line is, he’s going to beg the coaching staff to keep AB around for his ability to sneak out in the flat and take a dump pass from him before he gets his spleen caved in.
Chance of Making Team: 95%
Stephen Hodge – Dallas Cowboys – 6th, 24th pick (197 overall)
Pick Analysis:Hodge is a special teams ace. He played safety at TCU and he will be a backup on defense. Still, he helps Dallas in the kicking game and continues the trend of the team trying to fortify what was a weakness last year in special teams.
DeMarcus Ware (6’4”, 262, 5 year veteran)
Greg Ellis (6’6”, 262, 12 year veteran)
Anthony Spencer (6’3”, 255, 3 year veteran)
Jason Williams (6’1”, 241, Rookie)
Call me a homer, and I am, but I can’t think of a more exciting player for the Cowboys to have taken this year than Hodge. Ok, ok, I’m over-exaggerating, and, unfortunately this isn’t the best situation for Hodge to be successful based on the depth chart, but I couldn’t be more excited about seeing how this all pans out. Hodge was probably my favorite player on the defense last year, not necessarily because he was the most exciting or had the most impact – see: Henson and Hughes – but, as I’ve mentioned countless times, when that guy hit someone, everyone is the stadium just went, “OOOOOOHHHH!!!!!” He may not have done it as dirty as Gator, but he was close.
Like I said though, this may not be the ideal situation for the guy. On one side, you have the best defensive player in the NFL in DeMarcus Ware and he’s about to get REAL paid, so don’t expect that side to open up in the next 7 years. On the other, you’ve got the artist formerly known as Greg Ellis, and then previous first round pick Anthony Spencer, who Dallas is fighting tooth and nail to develop as a nice bookend for Ware. With all the attention that Ware gets from opposing teams, this is probably one of the more stat padding positions to play on defense for any team because you’ll have clear shots to the QB on a lot of plays. The Boys also drafted another OLB with their first pick in the draft who will initially be given preference over Hodge.
However, like I said earlier with Phillips, those 3-4 teams LOVE stock piling those pass rushing outside linebackers, and Hodge can definitely be that. AT 6’0”, 234 he doesn’t have the size of current starters Ware and Spencer, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in (cliché alert) grit and determination. All of the pundits say the Cowboys drafted a bunch of special teamers this year rather than future starters, and considering the analysis immediately labels him as a “special teams ace,”, it looks like Hodge is definitely going to have an uphill battle to be a starter in this league. However, Keith Davis has made his entire Cowboys career as a special teams weapon and is now considered one of the most valuable parts of the team. He even got a few starts at safety this past season due to injuries, so you never know where the opportunity lies. Given Dallas’ lack of depth at safety, and Hodge’s familiarity with the position, don’t be surprised if he moves back to his old spot on the field after camp. I don’t think he’s guaranteed a spot, but I do think the odds are in his favor.
Chance of Making Team: 75%
Blake Schlueter – Denver Broncos – Rd 7, Pick 16 (235 overall)
Pick Analysis:Schlueter is a football player, plain and simple. He's very mature and has unbelievable quickness and agility as an offensive lineman. The question for him is whether or not he can keep his weight up. He had one of the best workouts at TCU of anyone in this year's draft.
Kory Lichtensteiger (6’3”, 295, 2 year veteran)
Casey Weigmann (6’2”, 285, 14 year veteran)
Alright, I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong, and I was dead wrong on this one. I thought Schlueter had no chance to make an NFL roster, and if he did it was only an outside shot as a practice teamer. However, dude got swiped in the seventh round by a team that could actually use some help at the center position as they only have two on the roster, and one is old. Perhaps I was only looking at the negatives last week when I wrote my draft preview, and I likely was, but I thought his size would hill him, and speed and agility were pretty far from my mind. Apparently someone else thinks I’m an idiot, which isn’t a surprise. However, and I understand when you have to blurb 250 college athletes you start running out of things to say, but isn’t describing someone as a “football player, plain and simple” a bit of a cop out? I mean.. yeah.. he plays football.. which, by definition, makes him a football player. We understand that complex equation. I’m not claiming to be an elite writer, but come on now, you’re better than that.
Anyway, as lyle mentioned earlier, Denver isn’t exactly a bad place to be brought up as an offensive lineman. Let’s look at the obvious parallel here: Tom Nalen was one of the better centers to play the game, and he was also a seventh round pick for the Broncos. He played 12 years in the league, was on 2 Super Bowl winning teams, played in five pro bowls and had 6 running backs rack up 1000 yard seasons behind him. Not exactly a bad resume for a guy who almost fell out of the draft. I’m not sayng that Schleuter will have that kind of career, but you’ve got to like the footsteps he’s following. As mentioned earlier and in the analysis, size is an issue, but not as much of one as I thought. Perhaps I’m used to seeing Andre Gurode with Dallas (6’4”, 316), and while I knew centers were not near as big as he is and were typically the smallest guys on the line, I just thought that at 284 pounds, Scheluter was in trouble. However, he’s actually on par with Denver’s other two centers. Weigmann is in his first year with the Broncos and was obviously brought in as a veteran to push Lichtensteiger, but who’s to say Schleuter can’t do that as well? After 14 years, Weigmann can’t have much left in the tank, and L (not typing it out anymore) is only a second year guy who hasn’t earned a starting role yet.
After looking at all of this, and despite my initial thoughts, I think Blake landed in the best possible place for him. The competition is there, but no one is entrenched. There’s a new QB to break in, so it’s not like there’s an established QB-center relationship to battle. With a little more meat on his bones and some composure, I don’t know why Schleuter can’t stay on with the Broncos and be on the full time roster. He may be a scout teamer to start, but I think he makes it. I’ve been wrong on him before, but surely I can’t be wrong twice, right?
Chances of Making Team: 66% - because there’s 3 centers on the roster, see what I did there?
So, there you have it, one man’s biased, hastily researched and likely incorrect opinions on the future of TCUs 2009 draftees. Chances are I’ll be wrong on at least one or five of these guys, but you never know, maybe I’m a clairvoyant? Anyway, hopefully we/I can keep a bi-monthly column going this fall on how these guys, and other TCU athletes in the NFL, are doing with the respective teams. I’ve failed on all of my blog ambitions this off season so far, but perhaps I can turn over a new leaf. I doubt it, but never say never. Until next time…
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Is Congress kidding? It has no place in the BCS Contra Costa Times
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