THUNDERING BLURB » Jets http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 San Jose State Pro Day Wrapup http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/san-jose-state-pro-day-wrapup/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/san-jose-state-pro-day-wrapup/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2009 05:19:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=421 So getting up at five AM isn’t something I do very often anymore, which has hurt my surfing patterns, but improved the level of grumpy, for which my family is grateful.

However, the opportunity to hit a Pro Day as a fully media credentialed writer for the Draftbible and Draftguys is always welcome and as I am two hours away from San Jose and the workouts started at 8am – well sacrifices were made.

Somehow I am still awake. Or this could be a dream.

It was an incredibly smooth running day as well as an early one. Just a handful of years ago, San Jose State was fighting to keep the football program alive and now it’s cranking out Pro level players. If Coye Francies and Chris Owens pan out, some people were joking it’s going to get titled ‘Cornerback U’.

I’m awaiting confirmation on the exact number of personnel and teams, but there were easily between 20-25 teams represented, 30+ people and two head Coaches – Carolina’s John Fox and new Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. More on both is a bit.

The three biggest focal points were the aforementioned Francies and Owens, as well as Defensive End Jarron Gilbert.

Francies was hot after the Senior Bowl, but since then, Owens has started to overtake him and today may have locked that down. That isn’t to say Francies won’t make a fine corner in the NFL – he probably will. But Owens is hot.

Owens was faster overall, running a pair of 4.40’s in the 40, while Francies was clocked between a 4.59 and a 4.65.

Side note- when it comes to timing, here’s how it goes at a Pro Day. We (that is to say, media and Scouts) all have our own stop watches and do our own timing. Often right after a run, we’ll all double check the time with people around us. After all the speed drills are done, the scouts convene in a seperate location and get a consensus time or range of times.

Francies’ was a wide range. I don’t know how or why, but the range on his runs was wider than I’ve seen in the year and a half I’ve been there. For what that’s worth.

Regardless of how wacky those numbers were, Owens was faster by a margin.

Of course, straightline speed isn’t everything to a cornerback. Both corners worked out well in the position drills and looked good. Both tracked the balls well and looked good overall. Francies looked good flipping his hips and turning to move upfield. Owens looked great tracking the ball and very fluid.

It’s close. I will say that Jets Coach Ryan (told you we’d touch on him again) made a point to chat with Owens and it was clear they had talked before. He might have doen the same with Coye, but I didn’t see it. But Ryan definitely looked interested in Owens and given that he likes current Jet and former Spartan Dwight Lowery, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jets go to that well again. (I realize he didn’t make that pick, but GM Mike Tannenbaum did and I’m sure he chatted it up to Ryan.)

I wonder how the Jets might get Owens as it’s hard to know where he might go and it’s possible he won’t be there with the Jets’ second round pick. Will the Jets move up like they did for Dustin Keller last year?

They certainly might.

But the guy who seemed to be Ryan’s biggest focus was Gilbert. When it was time for the D-line drills, Ryan stepped in and led them. While he spent plenty of time with the other two Spartan DEs there (Marcus Keli and Jeff Schweiger, who I will talk about in a minute), he worked with Gilbert the most and definitely was focused on testing and probing him.

I walked away thinking that the Jets have to be thinking Gilbert is a high priority. Like Owens, you have to wonder how they would pick him up. He’s slotted on many sites to be a guy who could go somewhere in the second or third (I lean towards second) so again, the Jets might have to make a move to get him.

By the way, many sites have him listed as a Defensive Tackle but he can play Tackle or End, specifically end as a five technique in a 3-4 which could fit what the Jets are looking at.

I call him an End because that’s what he was in school.

Whatever you call him, he too looked solid in drills and is definitely more than a YouTube video and some stats. Gilbert ran a 4.76/4.83 40 with a good 10 yard time of 1.66. Not the fastest bloke, but quick enough.

When guys like Gilbert, Francies and Owens attract a spotlight, sometimes it splashes on some other players as well. One player I am looking more into is defensive End Jeff Schweiger.

Schweiger was a transfer from USC and had an OK, though not spectacular season in 2008. He had a very good workout today, including a 4.71/4.74 40 time, with a quick 4.56 short shuttle which looked pretty solid. Add to it a 35 1/2 vert and a 10 foot broad jump and he’s an intriguing guy who isn’t on many radars.

I’m not saying he’s a first round pick. I’m saying he may have gotten himself enough notice to have a good shot at being a rookie street free agent if not a late second day pick.

It only takes one team to fall in love to make that happen. He’s already worked out for the Atlanta Falcons.

I’ll be looking at his film this week and am curious to see how he looks.

Finally, I wanted to touch on the bonus portion of the day’s program – the workout by players from Cal-Poly, Sacramento State and other small schools.

This took place after the San Jose State day and a bunch of scouts stuck around. It was a long day by the time it was done – from 8am to after 1pm.

Of course, the teams who stayed (including John Fox) were there to see Cal-Poly wideout Ramses Barden do his thing. I think Carolina has to be looking at him given that they have nobody behind Smith and Dwayne Jarrett hasn’t worked out. Barden is a big guy, like Jarrett was, and as he learns to use his size and hands to beat corners high, he could be a great complement to anyone, Smith included.

Among the other teams remaining were the Giants, Rams, Panthers, Pats, Dolphins and Packers. The Panthers had two other men there along with Coach Fox, who busted me up more than once with little side comments.

There’s a guy I dearly want to have a beer with. He strikes me as a fellow who could make an evening fairly entertaining.

Back at the workout, Barden smoked his Combine 40 time, which was listed as a 4.58, with his first run timed at a speedy 4.51. His second run was a 4.55, closer to the Combien time but still solid. By the way, I clocked his first run at a 4.48. Barden told me he liked that time best and who am I to argue?

Barden was good in his workout as well and between the Combine and today, helped himself quite a bit. His 39 arm length, 10′2″ broad jump and 7.1 three cone drill helped also.

One other guy I am looking into after watching him in the second half of the day is Montana State Running Back Demetrius Williams. Williams had speedy 40 times of 4.44 and 4.45 (although one scout had him at 4.39) and overall had a good workout.

Liek Schweiger, Williams may benefit from the teams who stuck around to watch Barden and get himself some workouts. I’m curious to look more closely at his game and examine if he might be able to catch onto a practice squad or on a special teams unit.

Sometimes it’s not just the big guys who leave you fascinated.

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Thursday Morning Stampede http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-morning-stampede/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-morning-stampede/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:54:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=92 You can tell we’re getting to the end of camp and towards proper football when the news deluge becomes a trickle as it has the last few days.

Answers we are still waiting on:

  • Will Steven Jackson report? Owners in many drafts are banking on him not holding out but with conflicting reports about whether the sides are even talking, it makes me nervous. The longer this goes on without significant movement, the riskier a top 5 (maybe even 10) pick becomes.
  • Will Jason Peters report? I will say it again – an offensive tackle is just as integral to a good running game as anyone else involved. Peters is the best o-lineman in Buffalo and it’s bad enough he was holding out, but now the team is racked by injury. The value of Marshawn Lynch and that whole offense could hinge on Peters coming back to the fold but like Jackson, no real progress has been made.
  • How bad is the 49r QB situation? It looks pretty grim and what does that mean for Gore? Keep in mind that Gore has put up good numbers in awful offenses before. How much will Martz control the overall offense vs HC Mike Nolan? Does it matter who wins the job with that group?
  • Can Tarvaris Jackson progress? It probably won’t matter to Peterson that much, but should to the rest of the team. The Vikes are very close to Super Bowl status. If Jackson can take a significant leap forward, utilize Berrian and Rice to their potential and give Peterson even more room than the O-line does on a play-by-play basis – I would tap them as heading to Tampa Bay.
  • Will McFadden live up to the hype? People are still kicking themselves for undervaluing Peterson last year and so McFadden has occasionally gone way too early in drafts this year. Peterson was/is a freak and was in a much better situation O-line-wise than McFadden is. we;ve seen soem good play but what does it mean so early? It’d be nice to have been blown away but I am not yet. I still want to know what he can do, an answer I will only get during the season.
  • What effect will Favre have on the Jets? Here’s an answer we’ll get a glimpse at this weekend when he makes his preseason debut, but from a fantasy perspective there are some questions that will take a few regular season games to answer. Will he open up the offense give Thomas Jones room to run? Will Cotchery and Coles see their numbers go up? Will he be Favre from 2007 or 20006? A lot of owners – myself included – are betting heavy that he has increased the value of this team.
  • Who is catching balls in Seattle/Jacksonville/Carolina? You could throw in a few other teams but these three will have more value than most of the others you could name. Steve Smith is suspended for two games – will it affect his season overall? Can DJ Hackett stay healthy or is it already too late? Who will fill in as the #2 across from Burleson in the injury decimated Seattle WR corp? Or Jacksonville? As we find these things out, some Hail Mary picks at the end of drafts could have huge value.

I’ll be back later with any news that shows up plus a few things that we definitely know coming to the end of Training Camp.

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Thursday Camp News http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-camp-news/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-camp-news/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2008 16:30:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=78 A few things of note post-Favre trade….

Of course, Chad Pennington is to be released by 4pm EST. Could land in Chicago or a few other places. I hope he gets a good fresh start.

Denver rookie WR Eddie Royal was running opposite Brandon Marshall. With Marshall suspended a few games, Royal will see some action, and it looks as though he continues to impress and may get some chances even when Marshall is back.

The Cowboys expect to know about Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones’ suspension by the 30th. If he comes back, he will be a factor in the defense and knock Anthony Henry back a notch.

I mentioned on ‘The Blurb’ last night that Carolina receiver DJ Hackett’s biggest challenge is staying healthy – and the struggle continues as he has spent a lot of time on the injury bike in camp and fighting an ankle problem. Still like him as a sleeper, but am certainly hesitant to tout him as anything more.

The Atlanta Falcons continue to discuss increasing Jerious Norwood’s reps. As Michael Turner will be carrying a lot to keep the offense moving, it makes sense to have more carries for Norwood so he can spell Turner. Norwood is an electrifying player and will compliment Turner well.

At least one stud running back will avoid contract issues – Brian Westbrook and the Eagles should be coming to terms in the next few days.

Thats all for now – more later!

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More Training Camp News and More Favrewatch 2008 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/07/more-training-camp-news-and-more-favrewatch-2008/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/07/more-training-camp-news-and-more-favrewatch-2008/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2008 23:21:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=39 The Brett Favre saga continues. It looked for a time as if the NY Jets were close to making something happen but according to the Newark Star-Ledger chances now seem remote that the Cheese State Gunslinger will play in the Meadowlands this season for Gang Green. How remote – well if you click on the linked article and read the web address in your menu bar the link ends with:
favre_to_jets_is_absolutely_de.html

I assume the ‘de’ starts the word DEAD. While I won’t go that far (and the title says ‘very remote’) it isn’t looking pretty. Now is that a Favre thing or will the Pack not budge off the request for a 1st round pick (a price way too high for the Jets in my opinion)? We may never know. But as a wise man once said – it ain’t over until it’s over.

Favre didn’t file his paperwork for reinstatement with the league yet – though he could fax it in at any time – so we won’t see him Sunday and maybe Monday.

Stay tuned!

Asante Samuel Strains Hammy, set for MRI

Samuel strained his right hamstring this mornign at practice – according to NFL.com, he’ll have an MRI tomorrow to see the extent of the injury. I was just saying the other day how Lito Sheppard might benefit from setting up across from Samuel this year – but given Lito wants some new money, he might benefit in different ways if Samuel is out for any amount of time.

In other MRI News -
Saints Running Back Deuce McAllister Already Had One
McAllister missed Saturday’s practice after his knee swelled up post practice on Friday. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says the MRI was negative and revealed no structural damage but you can’t be very happy that after a handful of practices, he already had some doubts. I’ve been touting Pierre Thomas for a while now and I think he’ll compliment Bush very well at some point – whether that point is imminent could be debated but McAllister has now had both knees rebuilt and the Saints were looking at LaMont Jordan (I’ll get to him in a second) so they can’t be all that sure about Deuce either. Thomas played well in limited action and I think is a sneaky play in Fantasy Leagues this year – it ain’t just me and if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Brian Baldinger back in May. All I’m saying is, Baldy knows his stuff (even if I think he’s way overstating his case regarding Darren McFadden), so think on it.

Speaking of LaMont Jordan -
The Pats Swooped in and Signed Him
Almost as soon as Jordan was released, Adam Shefter was saying to watch out for the Pats. And he was right. I don’t know if I am that worried about Maroney now that this has happened – frankly Jordan is turning 30 and wasn’t as effective as everyone thought he would be when he left the Jets a few years ago, though much of that wasn’t his fault. He’s more likely a security deposit on Kevin Faulk than Maroney. I don’t expect huge things from him and he shouldn’t be drafted in a Fantasy League as anything but a deep back up. But I also am not worried about Maroney and he should remain a #2 or 3 back for you.

All that said, from a practical NFL standpoint, good signing. Jordan will fit in well there I think, the Pats can turn careers around and revitalize them (see: Dillon, Corey and Moss, Randy) and frankly they won’t expect him to carry the team so there will be less pressure than he’s had in the past.

Finally – for this edition -
The Arizona Cardinals Might Use Kurt Warner in a Specialist Position Again
This would just kill the value of either QB in a Fantasy League – and I have said this before, but it’s a terrible idea for the developement of Leinart. HC Whisenhunt has called Leinart the starter, but ‘won’t rule out’ using Warner like they did prior to Party Time Matt’s collarbone breaking last season – as the ‘no-huddle’ guy.

Listen, either Leinart is your Qb or he isn’t. Enough is enough. A quarterback needs to be in a rhythm during a game – throwing one in on special sequences is ridiculous. This soudns worse than when Romeo Crennel figured out his starting Qb last year by flipping a quarter. And I think HE was joking at least.

I’m not saying Leinart should win the job – I have no idea, and frankly I lean towards him beign a bust as he seems to spend more time beer bonging with nubile young co-eds than practicing or working on his game in the off-season. But he could be working when I don’t see him. Or he could be that gifted. But whatever – slapping Warner in during certain (and might I add pressure packed) moments of a game smells of a lack of confidence. Ify our franchise Qb can’t hack it when you need him most…. well, you need to question if he should be your franchise QB. Pulling him can’t be doing his confidence any favors and I am adamantly opposed to it. Either go with Matty L or with Warner. enough waffling.

Warner has been told it’s an open competition though Whisenhunt says it’s Leinart’s job. Further messy communication or motivation ploy? I can’t tell, you guys can let me know.

That’s it for now. More later and regularly M-Fri as we swing into Training Camp full force.
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Leave a comment below or email me at ThunderingBlurb@gmail.com

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