Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rooster at the NFL Combine.


Having just suffered through watching another late game collapse by the Diamond Frogs, once again due to Fullerton pitching lights out and some QUESTIONABLE managerial tactics towards the end of the game, I turned my attention to Sunday's coverage of the NFL Combine. For the four of you who are reading this and have followed the Combine at all, you'll know that today marked the "glamour" workouts of the QBs, RBs and WRs. Despite their being hours upon hours of coverage from Rich Eisen the NFL network crew, with the number of athletes involved you can imagine it's hard to put too much focus on any one player... unless that player in Cam Newton because they serviced his sack harder than they even did Tebow's last year. Still, Dalton got some ample screen time during his workouts and, for the most part, fared about as well as expected.

To start with the actual football related aspect of the Combine drills, they had each QB throw three short out routes and three deep routes, just to see how the QBs could handle the different situations. As expected, Dalton was all over the out route, completing all three, but had trouble throwing the deep ball, hanging it in the air a bit too long on one and over throwing his man on the other. Of course, coming from a spread offense, QBs have rarely taken deep drops so it is always going to be a learning curve and making those types of passes will improve for AD with practice. As a comparison, Ryan Mallett and his family arm looked absolutely monstrous on this drill, making absolutely perfect deep throws that had NFL team scouts rushing to the nearest public restroom to Paul Reubens themselves. On the other end of the spectrum though? Believe it or not, Cam Newton, who looked incredibly uncomfortable trying to make the transition from a college to an NFL passer. Of course, he'll still go top ten because he's an absolute beast of an athlete, which will once again complete the self fulfilling prophecy that is the NFL combine that is getting underprepared athletes overpaid. They also had each QB take a deep drop and throw deep outs, but they did not feature Dalton during this so I cannot say how he performed.

As for measurables, Dalton was bottom of the barrel in his 40 time, coming out of the drill with a 4.87, which wasn't as slow North Carolina's TJ Yates who ran a sloth-like 5.1, but also couldn't touch Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor's 4.51. This surprised me simply because he looked quite fast when running the option at TCU, but at the same time it doesn't bother me because an NFL QB doesn't have to be fast to be successful. I'm guessing there are O Linemen who would smoke Peyton Manning in a foot race and he's done alright for himself. He also had one of the weakest verticals of any of the QBs who participated in the drill with a 29.5, although aggy's Jerrod Johnson, the pre-season best QB in Texas, continued to look ordinary with a 29. The other two drills he competed in were the three cone and the broad jump, where he was more towards the middle of the pack, but did not blow anyone away with a 6.93 and 8'10" in the events, respectively. Cam Newton and Tyrod Taylor out jumped him by nearly two full feet, which was to be expected.

To be honest, watching AD against the other top QBs in this class made me a bit weary. On the one hand, he did exactly as we expected he would do - he made the short passes, struggled with the long, and didn't wow anyone with his physical tools. Unfortunately, despite all of the phenomenal things he did while in Fort Worth, to the layman he's a relatively doughy red head who could use an inch or two of height and put on a few more pounds of muscle. But, where Dalton is clearly going to shine throughout the rest of the Combine and leading into the draft is clearly the interview process, where NFL GMs are going to go nuts for the guy. He's not going to be a bullshit cornball like Tebow who had apparently had ex-Broncos Coach Josh McDaniels creaming his jeans and ultimately losing his job because of it, but just a straightforward, level headed kid who is going to work his ass off to be the best that he's capable of being. It's hard to say where he will go specifically, but any team that is settled in at starter and has the time to groom a guy for a few years would be absolutely foolish not to give him a shot. It's incredibly doubtful that he'll go in the first round as a couple of mock drafts have proposed, believe it or not, but if he's sitting there in the middle of the third round, teams would be absolutely insane to pass on him. I'll be very interested to see where his draft stock sits once the Combine is complete.

I also took note of how Marcus Cannon, Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley handled themselves and will put that up later today or in the morning. Hopefully you all will be able to dial back your overwhelming sense of anticipation long enough to wait it out.

Also, you can check out up to date stats for all participants HERE.

Frogs Fall After Late Titans' Rally.

Frogs Fall Short despite Witte's 3 RBIs.

After six straight innings of no offensive production, the Frogs heated up late, tying the game at 3 all in the eighth. Unfortunately for TCU, from that point forward the only K's for Erik Miller were in his first name and the day ended in an 8-4 loss.

With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Frogs had Jerome Pena on third with 1 out and looked to be a played ball away from stealing a game they looked out-manned in all afternoon. Then the wheels completely fell off as Pena was picked on the ole suicide squeeze play, and then Miller gave up five in the top of the ninth. Both TCU losses this season have at least partially been the result of overly aggressive base running and one would have to think the coaching staff is going to take a hard look at their tactics going forward in that situation.

However, all due credit needs to go to Fullerton pitcher Tyler Pill who absolutely killed the TCU batters all afternoon. In 6.1 innings of work, Pill gave up 2 hits, 5 strike outs and a wide array of infield ground balls and line outs, never giving the good guys much of a chance. He did have two earned runs, but they were the result of back to back walks in the eighth, at which point he was pulled and his relief man was responsible for the runs crossing the plate. I've always thought the whole "earned run" thing was one of the sillier stats in baseball. It feels a lot like Little League where everyone gets a chance to play - "It's ok, even though you gave up a grand slam, it's not REALLY your fault!" Baseball, I want to love you, but I'm still a skeptic.

For his part, Stephen Maxwell kept us in the game, going relatively toe to toe with Pill in his 7 innings of work, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. It's just a shame his run support was in such short supply. Our hitting line wasn't what we've become accustomed to - 7 hits, 4 runs and 9 men left on. Jantzen Witte, as mentioned above, batted in three on two hits, with Jerome Pena tallying the other run.

A very tough loss for TCU, but when you're playing the #13 team in the country and their pitcher seemingly can't be hit, sometimes that's just how baseball go.

The Frogs look to take the series this afternoon at 1, although according to Spitblood's own Stefan Stephenson, Matt Purke will be held out until the weekend series in Lubbock while still nursing a blister on his throwing hand. Typical midweek starter Andrew Mitchell will likely be on the mound.

In other news, in my very own version of "An Idiot Abroad," this was the first game I've attended in person at Lupton in multiple years and, despite being relegated to riff raff Hill, I'd have to say that a college baseball game is one of the more underrated sporting events there is to attend. Not because of the game itself, I'm talking about college girls and their moms, and specifically what they choose to don on an 80 degree afternoon. You won't see that much silicon at a Charlie Sheen orgy. I went with my brother in law who will be a freshman at TCU in the fall and all I can say is that September can't get here fast enough for him. I also found out that in 1937 TCU had a player named, I shit you not, BEAR WOLF!! You can have your Barkevious Mingo, Name of the Year, because Bear Wolf is the name of the century. When we eventually win the College World Series, here's to giving credit to Bear Wolf for getting this thing started back in the dark ages.


Sunday Dump

Baseball:

Five-run 9th inning brings down TCU Star-Telegram

Frogs' rally falls short in 8-4 loss gofrogs.com

Titans' five-run 9th too much for TCU Orange County Register

Frogs' pitching is stellar, but offense needs work Skiff


Basketball:

New Mexico hands TCU 12th consecutive loss ESPN

Horned Frogs fall to Lobos in home finale gofrogs.com

For senior Greg Hill and TCU, just another defeat Star-Telegram

Lady Frogs drop New Mexico, 84-71 gofrogs.com

TCU women top New Mexico in long-range shootout Star-Telegram


NFL Combine:

Dalton impresses NFL with winning ways Star-Telegram

TCU's Andy Dalton: 'I can't stand to lose' The Sporting News

Marcus Cannon's stock rising at NFL Combine SI.com