Buckeye News Around the net for 08/15/08
Donte Whitner, Ryan Pickett, Vernon
Gholston, Troy Smith, Roy Hall, Kenny Peterson, Ashton Youboty, Michael
Jenkins, and Matt Wilhelm.
By Bill Smith
Preseason NFL Report
Carpenter led the Cowboys in tackles against the Chargers. But he played three
quarters and the numbers don't tell the whole story. Carpenter had been getting
rave reviews in camp for his play. However, against the Chargers he struggled
mightily and looked like the same old Carpenter that has had trouble getting on
the field since being drafted in the first round in 2006. Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips liked
what he saw from LB Bobby Carpenter Saturday, Aug. 9. Carpenter finished
the game with five tackles and four assists, according to the coaches' chart.
Carpenter received extensive work at both inside linebacker spots.
Whitner (ankle) returned to practice during evening workouts Monday, Aug.
11. He was wearing a cast on his sprained hand. He got better fast as he
started Thursday against Steelers and played very well including an
interception. We will have a scouting
Pickett (hamstring) will not play in the team's preseason opener Monday,
REPORT: LB Vernon Gholston is coming along slowly, although he has shown
flashes of his outstanding pass-rushing ability against the Jets' backup
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Kyle
Boller vs. Troy Smith for starting QB — Boller was accurate in the
preseason opener but he committed two costly turnovers (a fumble and an
interception). Smith didn't turn the ball over but he was inaccurate.
Paolantonio of ESPN reported Wednesday that “In the three way competition for
quarterback, it clear that Troy Smith, the former Heisman winner, has the
support of several of the veteran leaders in the Raven's locker room.”
Hall vs. WRs Devin Aromashodu, rookie WR Pierre Garcon and WR Courtney Roby
for fourth WR role in the Colts offense. Hall missed most of his rookie year
with the Colts on the injured reserve list. He was a top candidate to replace
former Indianapolis WR Aaron Moorehead as the fourth receiver in the team's
rotation. But he's been getting plenty of competition from Aromashodu, Garcon
and Roby. Aromashodu got substantial playing time last year when starting WR
Marvin Harrison was sidelined with a knee injury. Hall's injury is not helping his cause. Hall (hamstring) will not play in the team's
preseason game Saturday, Aug. 16.
defensive tackle, Marcus Thomas moved up on the depth chart and supplanted Kenny
Peterson with the first team. Thomas is a promising second-year player.
From USA Today
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Ashton Youboty vs. Leodis McKelvin and Will
James for backup CB duty in nickel and dime — With Terrence McGee (ankle)
sidelined, Youboty earned the start against the Redskins and came up with a
nice interception. He played extensively with the second-team defense as well
and did a good job. Youboty, a third-year pro out of Ohio State,
needs a big camp to keep his roster spot and this game helped his cause.
From USA Today
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Michael Jenkins vs. Laurent Robinson at WR — Robinson
opened training camp as the starter, with good reason. The second-year player
is a game-changing complement to Roddy White and has equally as impressive
physical attributes. He has fallen out
of favor with the coaching staff, though, after missing more than a week of
practice with a bruised tailbone then returning the Thursday before the
preseason opener, hoping to play. He did not make the trip to Jacksonville. Jenkins has seized the
opportunity and has played well. Helping Jenkins is he a very good run blocker
who fits well into the run-friendly system.
From USA Today: It was quite a ride for the Chargers last
season for inside linebacker Matt Wilhelm.
was a roller coaster," Wilhelm said.
By the time the wheels stopped spinning, last year's Chargers were 1-3
and Wilhelm wondered about his life as a starter. After biding his time as a backup and on
special teams, Wilhelm was a first-teamer last year. But a strained calf interrupted his opening
month, forcing him to miss nearly three games — the Chargers went 0-3.
"With my injury and the team being down, I was
down," Wilhelm said. "I felt I could help but I couldn't come back.
That wasn't fun." The good times were to come — save that bruising
afternoon in Minnesota
when Adrian Peterson set the NFL rushing record.
"After that hiccup in Minnesota, from there on we were on a roll,
myself included," the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Wilhelm said. "We started
to zone in and understand each other as a defense and that was what gave us
great success." The Chargers are
expected to be great again this year and make a beeline for Tampa, Fla.,
and the Super Bowl. If so, Wilhelm will
"He is a tremendous athlete," said veteran
Carlos Polk, Wilhelm's backup. "And he's more comfortable in there. That
first year starting he was thinking and learning what he should do. Now he knows
what he is doing and learning what offenses throw at him. He's a very smart
player, as well as being a good athlete."
Wilhelm was oh-so-good — despite missing nearly three games — to finish
second among Chargers with 144 tackles, with three interceptions and a
sack. But what Wilhelm, a six-year pro,
holds dear is the experience. The knowledge that comes with being a starter and
what is expected over a demanding season that tests a man's body and soul.
"I understand now what it takes to be a professional,"
he said. "I thought I knew, but it's the week in, week out rigors you deal
with mentally and physically that are ever-changing. And it's something you
need to quickly adapt to."
tackle Ryan Pickett, coping with a sore hamstring, had yet to practice
through two weeks of training camp.
However, that is not putting his starting spot in jeopardy. Pickett is the leader of the interior of the
Panthers head coach John Fox said CB Chris Gamble (hamstring) will not
travel with the team for their preseason game Thursday, Aug. 14.
S Donte Whitner (ankle) returned to
practice Tuesday, Aug. 12, and was able to participate fully. Whitner admitted
there was some discomfort, but he believes he can play through it. Whitner is
planning to see how his ankle responds to Tuesday's practice before deciding on
his status for the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 14, but head coach Dick
Jauron believes Whitner will suit up.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Na'il
Diggs vs. Landon Johnson for starting SLB - This is the closest battle in
training camp this summer. Diggs and Johnson have been splitting a lot of reps
with the first team during practice. Diggs started against the Colts, but
Johnson was in the game early on.
Diggs started last year but as we
told you several weeks ago, he is in a real battle with the former Bengal starter.
York Giants have placed OG Shane Olivea (back) on Injured Reserve,
ending his 2008 season. Olivea (back)
had been expected to return to practice this week.
more suspensions in College Football this week.
Check out my editorial on the subject on eScoutRoom.com.
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com