Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Notre Dame Practice Highlights from today reveal a LOT of poor tackling



When the smallest guy on the Notre Dame football team, Nico Fertitta, is the only guy showing proper tackling form and technique you know new defensive coordinator Mike Elko has his work cut out for him. Granted we are only looking at a quick highlight video courtesy of Irish Illustrated but it looks like the ND secondary has a LOT of work to do.

Maybe they should focus on the opposition's belt buckle and not their helmets.  Just a thought.

Senior captain Drue Tranquill looked like he was trying to tackle his shadow and not the ball carrier.  No wonder they went 4-8 last year.

The good news is it's just the start of spring practice and they got plenty of time to fix their fuck ups.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Notre Dame Football Spring Practice Highlights March 8 2017

Notre Dame football officially kicked off 2017 spring practice today.  Here are some video highlights courtesy of BlueandGold.com



With a new strength and conditioning program led by Matt Balis and a revamped coaching staff minus head coach Brian Kelly who remains despite the 4-8 disaster of 2016 the team is looking to be more energetic, more up tempo and more fundamentally sound.  From most media accounts it did just that.

Kelly says not to take too much into account about the depth chart this early in spring practice as it will be fluid and of course change as new offensive coordinator Chip Long sees fit.  Fingers crossed Long gets to mold this offense into using more of a run game/get the ball to the tight end which was seriously lacking in 2016.  Tight ends combined for 13 catches all season in 2016.  That's unacceptable.

Here is how the offense lined up today in practice:

OFFENSE
FIRST-TEAM
LT: Mike McGlinchey; LG: Quenton Nelson; C: Sam Mustipher; RG: Alex Bars; RT: Tommy Kraemer
QB: Brandon Wimbush
RB: Josh Adams
TE: Durham Smythe
W: Equanimeous St. Brown
X: C.J. Sanders
Z: Chris Finke
SECOND-TEAM
LT: Aaron Banks; LG: Robert Hainsey; C: Tristen Hoge; RG: Trevor Ruhland; RT: Liam Eichenberg
QB: Montgomery VanGorder
RB: Dexter Williams
TE: Nic Weishar
W: Miles Boykin
X: Chase Claypool
Z: Austin Webster
THIRD-TEAM
LT: Hunter Bivin; LG: Logan Plantz; C: Parker Boudreaux; RG: Jimmy Byrne; RT: Sam Bush
QB: Ian Book
RB: Tony Jones Jr.
TE: Aliz'e Jones
W: Javon McKinley
X: Kevin Stepherson
Z: Deon McIntosh

First thing that shocked me was seeing Stepherson on the third team after his productive freshman season.  As Kelly mentioned don't be too worried this early about the depth chart but after hearing rumors all offseason about Stepherson possibly being in the doghouse/transferring this doesn't do much to dispel the notion that he could be on thin ice.  Guys like walk-on's Chris Finke and Austin Webster shouldn't be getting more reps at this point but then again Kelly did stress he wants to keep Stepherson at the X receiver slot and both of those guys play the Z.  

But overall if you look at the totality of the offensive depth chart it has to be one of the most impressive during the Kelly era.  The offensive line is stacked with experience, talent and depth.  Getting McGlinchey and Nelson back is huge for protecting the QB's blindside and both of those guys should dominate during their senior season with more strength and endurance with the help of Balis.  

The QB position should be excellent this season with redshirt sophomore Brandon Wimbush going into his third season of college football off season training and by most media and coaching accounts the most talented of the QBs during the Kelly era.  

Tailbacks are stacked with Josh "The Gazelle" Adams getting the majority of carries with Dexter Williams and Tony Jones looking to get 40% of the load.  

The receiving core which was inexperienced last season comes back as a strength especially with the tight ends included.  Any time you get talents like Equanimeous St. Brown, Chase Claypool and academic suspended tight end Aliz'e Jones back on the field it's a good thing.  Wimbush will have plenty of weapons to choose from.  Even though he isn't listed on the depth chart watch out for early enrollee Brock Wright at the tight end position.  Wright provided a lot of oh's and awe's today.

Overall the tempo and energy of the offense was improved from what we saw last spring and it appears to everybody that Wimbush is the clear cut leader at the QB position.  Hopefully this helps the team's leadership and cohesion because it was a clusterfuck last year with Deshone Kizer and Malik Zaire battling it out.

Here is how the defense lined up today in practice:

DEFENSE

FIRST-TEAM
DE: Andrew Trumbetti, Daelin Hayes
DT: Jerry Tillery, Jonathan Bonner
LB: Nyles Morgan, Green Martini
ROVER: Asmar Bilal
CB: Julian Love, Nick Watkins
SS: Drue Tranquill
FS: Nick Coleman

SECOND-TEAM
DE: Jay Hayes, Julian Okwara
DT: Micah Dew-Treadway, Elijah Taylor
LB: Jonathan Jones, Te'von Coney
ROVER: Robert Regan
CB: Troy Pride, Donte Vaughn
SS: Devin Studstill
FS: Jalen Elliott

THIRD-TEAM
DE: Khalid Kareem, Adetokunbo Ogundeji
DT: Pete Mokwuah, Brandon Tiassum
LB: Jamir Jones, Josh Barajas
ROVER: Devyn Spruell

If Notre Dame is going to field a legit defense under first year coordinator Mike Elko they got to get pressure and push up front with their big linemen.  Looking at the personnel it is clearly the weakest link on the depth chart.  Trumbetti has to have a break out senior season.  Hayes has to stay healthy and both turned heads today in practice with their performances.  Daniel Cage didn't practice and there are still concerns about his concussions even though he has been cleared to play according to Kelly during yesterday's press conference.   Not sure why he wasn't out there because he would start next to Tillery.  You can't really tell much about the defense early on especially with the linemen but it did appear to be a more physical unit and hopefully will get stronger under the tutelage of Balis and play better with Mike Elston now moving back to defensive line coach.

Bilal is the early leader to play the ROVER position and he looked OK out there.  His speed and athleticism is good enough for him to cover RB's and slot receivers but he still tends to over think instead of just playing.  The linebacker core is solid but not spectacular.  Morgan should be a beast but Coney and Barajas are too highly recruited LBs who need to step up now if this defense is going to be formidable.

I really like the secondary even though they are still considered young.  Watkins and Coleman made plays all over the field this morning which is great considering both struggled last year.  The corners on the outside of Love, Watkins, Pride and Vaughn are all great athletes who with the right coaching and preparation should excel.  The safeties of Tranquill, Coleman, Studstill and Elliott all have experience and smarts to play better than what they showed last year.

Overall it was a good first practice.  You never know how a team is going to respond after so many changes are made coming off one of the worst season's in ND history but clearly they are out there battling and hustling to leave it a distant memory.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kate Upton Makes Another SI Swimsuit Cover and Here Are Our Top 10 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Covers


"Kate the Great" Upton makes her 3rd Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in her young career and it's good to see she regained her fastball.  Her velocity was sagging there for a couple of years but she clearly worked on her best assets and brought the heat while not stalking Justin Verlander.  With Upton making her 3rd cover it got me thinking about all the greats who have graced the cover.

Here are my power rankings for the 10 best SI Swimsuit covers.


10. Kathy Ireland 1992

While it's not a great cover shot Lucy from Necessary Roughness is the only one of these models I've actually met in person and I can say without a doubt she is a goddess.  I still get flustered when I think about those eyes.

9. Marissa Miller 2008

Miller is the Sandy Koufax of SI cover girls.  She was a shooting star who was here for a hot minute then vanished from the spotlight.

8.  Brooklyn Decker 2010

I present without comment...




7.  Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen 2014

What can I say other than I have a thing for threesomes.  While Teigen has no business being on the cover with her butterface Agdal and Aldridge saved this cover and made it memorable.

6.  Cheryl Tiegs 1975

No bottom.  No bottom.  My god the 70's were so much better.

5. Elle MacPherson 1987

It's a bit nippy in here.  Elle MacPherson was the total package back in the day.  She's still bringing the heat in her 50's.  She injured a lot of adolescent wrists in the 80's and 90's.

4.  Kate Upton 2012

Upton made her debut in 2012 and quickly shot to stardom via the internet.  She's parlayed her huge assets to being Mrs.Verlander and a horrible acting career.

3.  Bar Rafaeli 2009

I could belly up to the Bar any day of the week.


2.  Heidi Klum 1998

Heidi brought her A game in "F me/bedroom eyes" category for this cover.  I'm still all hot and bothered looking at it nearly 20 years later.

1. Dream Team Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson, Rachel Hunter 1994

As I said before three is always better than one and this is a Hall of Fame cover by three of the greats.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mike Mayock's 2017 NFL Draft position rankings are out and worth arguing

No lie I miss me some Mike Mayock.  Mayock was the lead analyst on NBC's Notre Dame Football coverage for a few years and brought an understated expertise of the game that didn't exist since Cris Collingsworth left for bigger broadcasting pastures in the mid 90's.  Mayock was replaced with another Boston College alum in Doug Flutie who doesn't hold a candle to what Mayock brings to the broadcasting booth.

Anyways Mayock knows how to scout and judge college football players for their overall talent and abilities coming into the NFL draft.  Mayock's eyes and knowledge are probably ten fold to what I possess.

Let's take a look at Mayock's top 5 players by position going into the NFL scouting combine and I will give you my thoughts/arguments/agreements with Mayock's list.




Quarterback


1. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
2. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
3. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
4. Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
5. Davis Webb, California
My thoughts:
For all intended purposes this is a very weak year for QBs in the draft.  None of those 5 names Mayock mentions pop out to me as can't miss.  Kizer has the size, arm, and athleticism that makes scouts wet.  But he went 4-8 last season with a talented ND roster surrounding him and when he had chances to win the game in the 4th quarter he fell short numerous times.  Watson isn't the prototypical NFL QB size wise but he has the moxie, leadership and winning attitude that none of the other QBs have.  Trubisky is a complete wild card to me.  I've seen Trubisky play a few times and honestly I don't see why scouts are so high on him.  Mahomes tore up the BIG 12 conference but his lack of height is concerning while playing in a spread offense.  Webb has NFL size at 6'4 and an arm to match.  He was under the radar in Berkeley and had a great senior season coming back from an injury during his junior season.  But none of these guys scream out first round pick.  If anything I'm trading down to get a guy like Mahomes or Webb in the 2nd or 3rd round instead of taking a gamble with Kizer, Watson or Trubisky who most draft pundits have as first round locks.



Running Back


1. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
2. Leonard Fournette, LSU
3. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
My thoughts:
I love Dalvin Cook.  The guy does it all.  He can cut on a dime and take it to the house.  He can run between the tackles with power.  He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.  He's a matchup nightmare.  Cook is a can't miss type of player IMO.  I once thought the same with Fournette but his junior tape wasn't great.  Bama bottled him up again.  He took plays off, sat out the bowl game and did his best not to get injured so he could collect a big paycheck come April.  I don't blame him but I'm not sure I want that type of player on my team who thinks me first.  McCaffrey is a great college player.  He should have won the Heisman over Derrick Henry.  Put him in the right offense and he could be great but I'm concerned about his injuries and he too sat out the bowl game in order to collect a big check.  Kamara and Mixon are both headcases.  Kamara couldn't cut it in Tuscaloosa and Mixon knocks out girls in fast food joints.

Wide receiver


1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2. Mike Williams, Clemson
3. John Ross, Washington
4. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
5. Zay Jones, East Carolina
My thoughts:
I'm surprised Mike Williams isn't #1 on Mayock's list.  Nothing against Corey Davis but Williams was a game changer for Clemson and made Deshaun Watson look a lot better than he actually is.  I would probably put John Ross as my #2.  Ross is very intriguing and he reminds me a lot of Antonio Brown.  Kupp has come out of nowhere and is drawing comparisons to Jordy Nelson because he's a scraper, high motor, first one in last one out aka the white guy.  Zay Jones is another sleeper like Kupp.  No he's not white but the guy caught a million balls for East Carolina and at the very least will be a good #2 receiver in the NFL.




Tight end


1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Jake Butt, Michigan
5. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
My thoughts:
Howard has the size, speed, talent and hands to be an excellent NFL tight end.  It's really just up to him because God blessed him with elite skills.  I would have Engram #2 over Njoku right now but I can see why Mayock is high on Njoku.  Njoku has developed into a matchup nightmare for linebackers and I think Howard, Njoku and Engram could all be 1st round draft picks.  Butt suffered a knee injury in the Orange Bowl but his hands and blocking are top notch.  I know absolutely nothing about Everett or South Alabama so I'm not going to bull shit you.  You can't go wrong with any of those first three names on Mayock's tight end list.

Offensive tackle


1. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
2. Garett Bolles, Utah
3. Antonio Garcia, Troy
4. Roderick Johnson, Florida State
T-5. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
T-5. Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
My thoughts:
Mayock throws out his first hot take with no mention of Bama's Cam Robinson in his top 6.  Must be something to do with those pesky gun and drug issues he had in Tuscaloosa that were conveniently swept under the rug.  Big fan of Ramczyk and Johnson.  Both can play left or right tackle in the NFL.  The other guys on Mayock's list I'm not familiar with so I'll take his word for it that they will be earning millions in the NFL while going bankrupt in retirement.

Interior OL


1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Cam Robinson, Alabama
3. Dan Feeney, Indiana
4. Ethan Pocic, LSU
5. Dion Dawkins, Temple
My thoughts:  Well I be damn.  Mayock has Robinson at guard.  Hmm.  Watch him drop to the 2nd round and the Cowboys pick him up and he becomes yet another elite offensive linemen for the Cowboys only to never win a playoff game.  Feeney would be my #2 behind Robinson.  Lamp has drawn comparisons to All-Pro Zach Martin which is why Mayock is so high on him coming out of Western Kentucky. In terms of talent the interior OL might be the strongest position as Pocic and Dawkins also have bright futures at the next level.

Interior DL


1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2. Caleb Brantley, Florida
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
4. Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
5. Chris Wormley, Michigan
My thoughts:
Allen is a boom or bust prospect.  Allen led Bama in sacks the last two seasons but he's also been surrounded by great players and rarely was double teamed.  Brantley is a little undersized but he can play with the best of them and is a high motor player.  McDowell could be #1 on Mayock's list but he has a tendency to be lazy and take plays off.  That shit won't fly in the NFL.  Not sure why Ogunjobi is in Mayock's top 5.  He's undersized and tends to get pushed around.  I would put a guy like UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes over him who isn't even listed.  Wormley is just another Michigan guy who shouldn't be listed.

Edge rusher


1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Tim Williams, Alabama
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
5. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
My thoughts:
Not a fan of Michigan football by any means but I don't know why scouts are sleeping on Taco Charlton.  He was the best player by far on Michigan's defense but yet everyone talks about future bust Jabrill Peppers instead.  Anyways Taco should be on Mayock's list.  Garrett is the clear cut #1 overall pick at this point.  Garrett is a can't miss type of player unfortunately he will be going to Cleveland where clearly a lot of players wind up misses.  Williams is overrated and not better than Barnett, Thomas or Taco.  Williams is another guy with gun issues that got conveniently swept under the rug by Nick Saban.  Thomas is the whole package and will be a star in the NFL.  McKinley was great on a bad UCLA team and at worst should be a 2nd round pick.  Barnett is a guy scouts are high on but I never saw him dominate the college game.


Linebacker


1. Reuben Foster, Alabama
2. Haason Reddick, Temple
3. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
4. Jarrad Davis, Florida
5. Alex Anzalone, Florida
My thoughts:
Cunningham would be my #1.  That dude is all over the field and despite playing on a mediocre Vandy team he was the main reason they had a huge win at UGA.  Foster isn't a MIKE linebacker like Cunningham so he's going to be OLB but he seems a little small for the position.  Speed wise Foster is elite and I think he will be one of the better Bama NFL linebackers.  Temple's Reddick had an outstanding 22.5 tackles for loss.  No issues with Davis being up there but I would have JJ Watt's brother T.J. over Anzalone in the top 5. 

Cornerback


1. Sidney Jones, Washington
2. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
3. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
4. Teez Tabor, Florida
5. Tre'Davious White, LSU
My thoughts:
No objections here.  Jones and Lattimore are basically the same player.  Lockdown corners who you could flip spots and it wouldn't really matter.  Beginning of the season I thought Humphrey was the best of the bunch but he slipped slightly.  All 5 of these guys should at the least be serviceable.

Safety


1. Malik Hooker, Ohio State
2. Jamal Adams, LSU
3. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
4. Budda Baker, Washington
5. Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
My thoughts:
Same with the top two cornerbacks the top two safeties in Hooker and Adams have set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.  Peppers might not go first round because he doesn't really have a position he plays that he excels at but his ability to return kicks should help his draft grade.  I like Baker more than Peppers because he can play centerfield and not let anything get on top of him because of his speed.  I'm not familiar with Melifonwu.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Less than a week till Atlanta destroys New England in the Super Bowl and we Need All Falcons Fans to buy these shirts! Rise Up!



Ignore what all the main stream media is saying.  The Atlanta Falcons are going to win the Super Bowl.  It's just an opinion right now but it will be proven a fact come February 5th in Houston.  While everyone is kissing Tom Brady's deflated balls this week we all know the real MVP Matty Ice is going to show the world he is ELITE on the big stage.  The Falcons had no troubles crushing Seattle and Green Bay while putting in their 3rd and 4th string players in the 3rd quarter so you can only imagine what they are going to do to those fucking chowderheads up north.  It's time to bring the Lombardi Trophy to the ATL.  

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