Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #9 Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith says-

Smith is one of the best prospects on the hoof in this class. Blessed with an ideal NFL frame and has the outstanding feet and athleticism necessary to be a starting left tackle. Does a great job staying in front of speed rushers, locks on and sustains, and can anchor against the bull rush. Shows solid power in the running game and is really productive out in space. Football IQ is lacking. Fails to find his target at times in the running games and is a tick slow recognizing blitzes. Smith could come off the board early in the first round due to his rare physical gifts.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 2 #35- Tampa Bay- DT Brian Price

The first huh pick of Round 2. Tampa has taken two defensive tackles so far in the draft. writes- Price is a short, powerfully built interior defender that has been a disruptive force for UCLA’s defense over the past three seasons. Price penetrates the line of scrimmage with good quickness and anticipation. He is best when in a stunting mode, but is adept at holding the point in base schemes. Price has strong hands to control and leverage blockers while maintaining gap responsibilities. Price is a solid pass rusher that can bull rush with good power or counter with a variety of pass rush moves. Price is a good football player that lacks typical height for the position but should fit well in 4-3 schemes and is regarded as a top five defensive tackle in the 2010 draft.


Former NFL Player Mosi Tatupu dead at 54

His son Lofa is currently a NFL linebacker. Very sad and RIP.

Mosi Tatupu (MOE’-see tah-TOO’-poo), a fan favorite who played 13 seasons for the New England Patriots, has died. He was 54.Mosi Tatupu

Ashley O’Brien, a spokeswoman for Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Mass., said Tatupu was pronounced dead at the hospital Tuesday. She did not give a cause.

Tatupu was chosen by the Patriots in the eighth round of the 1978 draft out of Southern California. He stayed with the team until 1990.

The running back rushed for 2,415 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was better known for his special teams play.

Tatupu had his own cheering section known as “Mosi’s Mooses.”

He coached his son, Lofa, now a linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks, at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham.


2010 NFL Draft to include record tying 53 non-seniors

The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-

The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.

Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.

“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”

Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.

I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.

What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.

The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.


NFL Linebacker Junior Seau says he is retiring

This is his 4th retirement. From AP-

Junior Seau is retiring again.

The 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker, who returned to the New England Patriots this season, said in remarks to be broadcast on Showtime on Wednesday night that he has played his last game.

Seau first retired in August 2006 after 13 seasons with San Diego and three with Miami. But he signed with the Patriots four days later and played 27 games for them over two seasons. He retired again after the 2007 season, then came out of retirement for the final four games in 2008 before retiring after that season.

Seau played in 8 games for the Patriots this year, but all were in a backup capacity. When Seau hasn’t played in a game or worked out with a NFL for two years, then I’ll believe he is retired for real.


Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin pulled a ‘Doug Dickey’

The front page of the Palm Beach Post’s sports section had an article and a column about Kiffin’s departure for USC. I’m a history buff and used to follow college football much more seriously than I do today. As I drank my coffee I thought of a former TN Volunteer coach who left the school for another football program. His name was Doug Dickey.

I did a google search after I finished breakfast, and found this article written by Randy Moore.

Lane Kiffin’s sudden decision to leave The Hill in favor of his previous college coaching stop (Southern Cal) has created the same mixture of shock, dismay and outrage among Volunteer fans that arose when Dickey bolted in ’69 to take the reins at his alma mater (Florida).

That’s understandable. Consider the similarities in the two situations:

- Dickey was a former college quarterback (Florida). Kiffin was a former college quarterback (Fresno State).

- Tennessee was Dickey’s first head coaching job at the collegiate level. Tennessee was Kiffin’s first head coaching job at the collegiate level.

- Dickey was an “outsider” (a non-UT grad) who followed two UT grads (Harvey Robinson, Bowden Wyatt) as the head coach. Kiffin was an outsider who followed two UT grads (Johnny Majors, Phillip Fulmer) as head coach.

- Dickey had incredible support from Tennessee’s administration and fan base. Kiffin’s support from those same groups was no less incredible.

- Dickey surrounded himself with outstanding assistants who excelled as recruiters and teachers. Kiffin surrounded himself with outstanding assistants who excelled as recruiters and teachers.

- Dickey was a radical departure from his predecessors, shifting UT from the single-wing to the I-formation and lobbying for artificial turf (dubbed Doug’s Rug). Kiffin was a radical departure from his predecessors, as well, making national headlines with his brash comments and lobbying for black jerseys on Halloween.

- Dickey went 4-5-1 in Year 1 but raised Big Orange hopes by playing third-ranked Alabama to a 19-8 loss and playing seventh-ranked LSU to a 3-3 tie. Kiffin went 7-6 in Year 1 but raised Big Orange hopes by playing top-ranked Alabama to a 12-10 loss and playing top-ranked Florida to a 23-13 loss.

- Dickey closed his Tennessee run with a 14-13 Gator Bowl loss to 14th-ranked Florida. Kiffin closed his Tennessee run with a 37-14 Chick fil-A Bowl loss to 12th-ranked Virginia Tech.

- Dickey’s departure led UT to promote receivers coach Bill Battle to the top job. Kiffin’s departure led UT to promote receivers coach Kippy Brown to the top job (albeit on an interim basis).

Those are an awful lot of similarities. Both coaches last game was a Florida located Bowl appearance.

I understand Volunteer fans who are angry at Kiffin. Greg Stoda at the Palm Beach Post does make a point-

Yeah, y’all got jilted. It hurts. It happens. Both ways. Vol Nation didn’t exactly treat ol’ Phil Fulmer kindly by kicking him out the door after 17 mostly real-good seasons in making room for … Kiffin.

The whole karma bit can get ugly.

What goes around comes around. Tennessee should move on. Isn’t Volunteer football bigger than one man?


Seattle Seahawks to name Pete Carroll head coach

A press conference will announce the hiring at 6 p.m. From ESPN-

The Seattle Seahawks confirmed Monday they have agreed to terms on a contract with Pete Carroll to become their next head coach.Pete Carroll

“We are excited to add Pete as our coach,” said CEO Tod Leiweke in a statement. “He brings a great passion for winning and a positive attitude that is contagious. We now turn our full attention to the hiring process for a general manager.

“Our intended structure is for Pete and the new GM to work in a collaborative capacity on football matters.”

Carroll is jumping ship at USC just in time. The school is facing NCAA sanctions in the not too distant future.

How will Carroll do with the Seahawks? He’s had two chances in the NFL already, with the NY Jets and New England Patriots. Carroll’s combined record over 4 years with those teams was 33-31, hardly spectacular.

I think Carroll is in for a even rougher time in the NFL. It isn’t a for a successful college coach to transition to pro ball. For every Barry Switzer, there’s at least three Steve Spurriers, Rich Brooks, and Bobby Petrinos. Jeffri Chadiha at ESPN pretty much says what I’m thinking also-

What those other coaches eventually learned is that there is a substantial difference between leading grown men and leading boys who are becoming men. Like Carroll, most of those coaches came from places where they had dictatorial power and a gift for nabbing hordes of talented players who could elevate their programs. The NFL is different. It’s easy to suffer through lousy personnel moves that haunt your franchise for years and even easier to end up with players who don’t respect you.

Carroll should know this last fact better than anybody. He never became a top head coach because the perception was that he was too soft. As much as his hypercaffeinated, rah-rah nature excited college kids who gravitated to his affable personality, it had an opposite effect in the league. The players didn’t merely see a players’ coach. They saw a pushover, which is the last thing an NFL head coach can afford to be.

Seattle will still be struggling in 2013 and again looking for a new coach to lead them out of the wilderness.


Los Angeles Angels announcer Rory Markas dead at 54

He also used to do Milwaukee Brewer, Los Angeles Clippers, and USC Trojan broadcasts. RIP.

Los Angeles Angels broadcaster Rory Markas has died. He was 54.

Markas was found dead at his home in Palmdale, Calif., on Monday and the cause of death was not immediately available, Angels spokesman Tim Mead said Tuesday. Markas had surgery for a blood clot on his brain in late 2008.

Markas was with the Angels for eight seasons. Many remember his call in the 2002 World Series when center fielder Darin Erstad was about to make the final out: “Erstad says he’s got it! Erstad makes the catch! The Anaheim Angels are the champions of baseball!”

Markas also did broadcasts for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Clippers, USC men’s basketball and Pacific Coast League baseball. He had been a sports reporter for KNX Radio and a sports anchor for KTTV.

During Markas’ six seasons with the PCL, he spent three years doing radio broadcasts for the Salt Lake City Gulls and three for the Vancouver Canadians.

“The entire Trojan family is shocked and saddened to learn of this sad news about Rory,” USC athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement released by the school. “We held him and the outstanding broadcasting work he did for us in the highest regard. He was a consummate professional and a well-loved individual. He’ll be a very difficult person to replace. We want to extend our support and condolences to his family.”

“Rory was one of the great professionals in the business,” said Jim Hefner, who worked with Markas as the analyst on USC radio broadcasts, in the USC statement. “But more importantly, he was one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever been around. I’m sure that everyone who worked with him will truly miss him. He was one of a kind.”

He was honored with two Associated Press Sportscasting awards and received the 2008 Radio Play-by-Play Award from the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 5 #172 – Dallas Cowboys – K David Buehler

The Dallas Cowboys picked a placekicker, USC’s David Buehler, with the 36th pick in the 5th round.

How in the world does that make sense? They drafted Nick Folk two years ago and he made it to the Pro Bowl as a rookie.  He was excellent last year, too.  Unless  they plan to keep two kickers on the active roster, this is a wasted pick.

DMN’s Tim McMahon thinks that the ‘Boys will indeed keep two, making Buehler a kickoff specialist.  He adds, “Buehler made big news at the combine by putting up 25 bench press reps, more than some first-round offensive linemen. He practiced at fullback and safety for the Trojans, so maybe Buehler can help the scout team, too.”  Man, if we’re drafting kickers as safety and fullback projects, we’re in worse shape than I thought. agrees that he’s a tremendous athlete, though.


Unlike most place-kickers, Buehler is an impressive athlete with exceptional strength for a player at his position. He proved that recently at the NFL Combine, where his 25 repetitions bench pressing 225 pounds was more than even three of the 2009 NFL Draft’s elite offensive linemen, Michael Oher of Mississippi, Eugene Monroe of Virginia and Max Unger of Oregon. One look at his family tree, you can see that stellar athletes are the norm in the Buehler household.

His father, John, was a three-year letterman (1969-71) on Southern California’s track team as a shot putter. His uncle, George Buehler, lettered in football at Stanford for three seasons (1966-68) and then played offensive guard with the Oakland Raiders (1969-78) and Cleveland Browns (1978-79). Another uncle, Charles, lettered in football at Stanford for three years (1960-62).

During his prep and junior college playing days, Buehler served as his team’s place-kicker, linebacker and running back. He also competed in volleyball, golf and track. Upon his arrival at Southern California in 2006, he also worked at fullback and strong safety.

Still, it is his strong kicking leg that he will make his professional living. He holds the distinction of being the only the second kicker in school history to score at least 100 points (2007) in a season, joining Ryan Killeen (122 in 2003, 112 in 2004). Buehler’s kickoff abilities are also quite special. On 180 kickoffs, 105 of them (58.3 percent) have pinned opponents within the 20-yard line, with 69 resulting in touchbacks (38.3 percent).

Buehler handled kicking chores at Canyon High School, where he also saw action as a fullback and linebacker. He earned 2004 All-Century League honors as a senior. He also lettered in volleyball, golf and track.

As a freshman, Buehler attended Santa Ana Junior College. Playing on both offense and defense, in addition to handling kickoff chores he was selected to the All-Mission Conference National Division first-team. He registered 25 touchbacks on his 58 kickoffs, and 29 tackles (19 solos) with one interception as a linebacker. Playing fullback, he rushed for 50 yards on nine carries (5.6 avg) with five touchdowns and also caught a pass for a 2-yard score in ten games.

Buehler transferred to Southern California in 2006, playing behind the late Mario Danelo during his first year in the program. He appeared in 11 games, making his only field-goal try, a 49-yarder vs. California, the longest three-pointer by a USC kicker since 1998. He kicked off eight times, pinning the opponent inside the 20-yard line on six of those attempts, including three touchbacks.

With the tragic death of Mario Danelo, Buehler inherited the place-kicking chores for the Trojans in 2007. The All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention scored 100 points on 16 of 19 field goals and 52 of 54 extra-point attempts. He added three solo tackles and pinned the opponent inside the 20-yard line on 35 of his 84 kickoffs, producing 18 touchbacks.

Buehler was named the Trojans’ co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008. He added All-Pac 10 Conference first-team honors, as he amassed 92 points, delivering on 9 of 13 field goals and 65 of 66 PATS. He pinned the opponent inside the 20-yard line 64 times on 88 kickoffs that included 48 touchbacks.

Junior College

He made the 2005 All-Mission Conference National Division first team as a freshman placekicker, linebacker and running back at Santa Ana (Calif.) Junior College. He had 25 touchbacks on his 58 kickoffs in 2005, plus recorded 24 tackles and one interception

High School

Attended Canyon (Anaheim, Cal.) High School, earning All-Century League team honors as a senior…Also lettered in volleyball, golf and track.


Positives: NFL-caliber leg strength. Capable of handling kickoff and field-goal duties at the next level. Accurate. Gets good, quick elevation on his kicks. Rare size and athleticism for a kicking prospect. Can break down and make the open-field tackle in coverage. Practiced at fullback and safety with the Trojans. Unfazed by jump in competition from junior college to USC.

Negatives: Regressed as a senior in his deep accuracy. Only made 1-of-4 career field goal attempts against rival UCLA. Lacks experience in clutch situations; USC rarely played in close games.

Scouts, Inc. says he’s the 3rd best kicker in the draft:

Overall Football Traits
Production 3 2005: Buehler started his career at Santa Ana (Calif.) Junior College where he kicked and contributed at the linebacker and running back positions. 2006: Transferred to USC appearing in a back-up role and connecting on his only field goal attempt. (49 yards) Also recorded three touchbacks in six kickoff attempts. 2007: Connected on 52 of 54 extra point attempts and 16 of 19 field goal attempts. He also averaged 64.6 yards and recorded 18 touchbacks on 86 attempts while kicking off. 2008: Hits on nine-of-13 field goal attempts with a long of 43 yards. Also average 67.9 yards and notched 48 touchbacks with his 88 kickoff attempts.
Height-Weight-Speed 1 Tremendous frame, bulk and strength for the position.
Durability 1 Durability is not a concern as he has yet to miss playing time due to injury.
Character 2 Related to George Buehler (Uncle) who played guard in the NFL for a total of 10 seasons with the Raiders and Browns. Also no off-the-field incidents we are currently aware of.

UPDATE:Tim MacMahon reports, “David Buehler won’t be just a kickoff specialist.”

David Buehler is a football player whose best skill happens to be booting kickoffs into the end zone. That isn’t the only thing the Cowboys plan to have him do, though.

Nick Folk has a firm grip on the point-scoring part of the kicking job. But new special teams coach Joe DeCamillis told Buehler that the Cowboys plan to expand his special teams role past kickoffs. “I believe I’m a kickoff/special teams player, but I’m not positive,” Buehler said. “I’m going in there with my eyes wide open.”

Buehler, the 172nd overall pick, played linebacker, running back and kicker in junior college. He practiced at safety and fullback after transferring to USC and played on special teams as a non-kicker before becoming the full-time kicker. He has the size (6-1, 227), speed (4.62 40) and strength (27 bench-press reps) to cover punts or block for returners.

“I’m fair game,” said Buehler, who has been buddies with Folk since they met at a kicking camp a few years ago. “I’m their property now, so I’m willing to do whatever helps the team win.”

Or whatever justifies a roster spot.


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