Buckeye News Around the net for 08/05/08

Buckeye News Around the net for 08/05/08
Beanie Wells

Buckeye News Around the net for 08/05/08

Antonio Pittman, Jay Richardson, Tyler Everett, Paul E. Brown, Na'il Diggs, Orlando Pace, Beanie Wells, Todd Boeckman, Terrelle Pryor, Troy Smith, Vernon Gholston, Ben Hartsock, Mike Vrabel, Joey Galloway and Ashton Youboty.

By Bill Smith

The Good

            Antonio Pittman has gotten a lot more reps for the Rams with Steven Jackson out of camp with a contract dispute.  With no end in sight to the holdout, Pitman should continue to get reps in both practice and in preseason games.

            Jay Richardson has been making his case at training camp to be more than a first-and-10 and short-yardage defensive lineman. Richardson may emerge as a pass rushing option as well.

            Calvin Watkins, of The Dallas Morning News, reports Dallas Cowboys FS Tyler Everett is competing for the No. 5 and No. 6 cornerback jobs on the roster.

            Bengals president Mike Brown good-naturedly joined the Carson Palmer-Ohio State flap during the team's pre-camp luncheon, reminding the Bengals quarterback that Brown's father, Paul E. Brown, coached the Buckeyes for three seasons.

            "I was going to talk to him through you," Mike Brown told reporters. "He may not know my dad coached at Ohio State and beat USC two years in a row. 33-0 and (28)-12, and if he wants to make something over that, he knows where he can find me." 

            Paul E. Brown, Bengals founder, coached Ohio State 1941-43.  Brown said he knew Palmer's comments were in fun and went on to praise the team's sixth-year quarterback

            Report of The Sporting News: OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Na'il Diggs vs. Landon Johnson for starting SLB — Diggs started the last two seasons for the Panthers and doesn't seem ready to give up that job easily. Even though the Panthers gave Johnson, a former Bengal, a three-year $10 million contract this offseason, Diggs is holding him off for the starting job. It won't be easy because teams tend to want to get the guys they pay big money to on the field. Diggs had best not suffer another training-camp injury.  LB Na'il Diggs is moving to the strong side after the team's decision to move Thomas Davis to the weak side.

            LT Orlando Pace has been protected early in camp as he returns from a torn labrum that was suffered in the opening game of the 2007 season. For an O lineman, a torn labrum is about as serious an injury as you can get except for one in the knee.  Until it is completely healed it prevents a player from lifting which is absolutely critical for the position.  As expected, left tackle Orlando Pace participated at the start of practice and did a lot of the work in the early parts of practice. In the team segments, he took two snaps and then gave way for the rest of the segment to Adam Goldberg. "It was good to see Orlando out there," coach Scott Linehan said. "We will modify his work, like we are doing with (defensive tackle) Adam (Carriker). Adam did get more reps than Orlando." Pace had surgery last season for a torn labrum, while Carriker had shoulder surgery in January.

            Head coach Scott Linehan said OT Orlando Pace (shoulder) is playing quite a bit of snaps during training camp. He noted if the team had a game this week, Pace would be available to play some snaps in it. However, he also noted that Pace is not at 100 percent healthy yet. "My feeling is he is going to be good to go for preseason and obviously the regular season," Linehan said.

            The media and the OSU fans are expecting a lot more from Beanie Wells this year.  Given several factors in his favor, he most likely will not disappoint us.  According to College Football Today's Trevor Matich “Beanie Wells at 6-1 237 has it all.  He has the power to pound it inside but he has the speed to outrace you to the endzone as well.  Last year he did it with a sore ankle and a wrist that required surgery after the season.  Expect even more this year from a healthy Beanie.”

            There are other reasons we can expect more not only from Beanie but also the rest of the offense.  The O only lost 2 players from last years team.  A full year of experience will help QB Todd Boeckman.  The addition of a change of pace from Terrelle Pryor should make it harder to defend OSU.  Given the suspensions of Georgia players and the hard schedule, by Oct. 1, the winner of the OSU/USC (9/13) game should be #1.

The Bad

Mike Duffy Baltimore Ravens site published the following article:

Troy Smith is biding his time at Ravens training camp.

            Cool, calm and collected, the former Heisman Trophy winner isn’t letting the media hype surrounding the quarterback competition in Baltimore get to him. Speaking to the media after Monday’s morning practice, Smith’s chilled-out demeanor came through when he was asked about the possibility of starting the Ravens’ preseason opener against the New England Patriots Thursday.

            In line with his stoic pocket presence, Smith took a team-first stance.

            “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “This is preseason. There’s a lot still to come out of this. I know that we’re pretty much going to get about the same amount of playing time. The cards will fall whichever way they do, and hopefully our preparation will get us a win.”

            Coming out of offseason minicamps, many thought Smith would be the starter at Gillette Stadium. Since then, there has been fluctuation based on day-to-day performance in each practice.

            He has split equal training camp reps with the first team with Kyle Boller and Joe Flacco, a deliberate strategy according to head coach John Harbaugh.  At this point, even Smith acknowledges that he still has room to grow.

            “We, as a team and as an offense, have so far to go,” the second-year veteran explained. “My development is coming along but still, I’ve got a long way to go. This is an incredible offense and an incredible opportunity for this city. We’re looking to win some games.”

            Harbaugh refrained from naming his starter in the early session, but did indicate he had a player in mind. Even if that is Smith - who helmed two games last year, earning a victory in the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers - the Ravens are viewing the first preseason contest as more of an audition, not a finality.   To the former fifth-round draft pick, competing for a victory is more important that the depth chart this early in the year.

            “We want to get a win,” he said. “We’re already being counted out in just a preseason game. That, at times, can work against you, but we’re using that as a positive. We’re going to step into the situation and go to New England and try to win that game.”

            Pro football Weekly reports that the Ravens may be coming back around to Boller. Kyle Boller's efficient play early in training camp has enhanced his chance to win the Ravens' starting QB job, the way we hear it. Boller outplayed second-year pro Troy Smith and rookie Joe Flacco in the early stages of camp, largely by limiting his mistakes. Smith's play, according to a source close to the club, was up-and-down early in camp, with Flacco faring the worst of the quarterbacks who are competing to start. Of course, much can change in Baltimore's four preseason games, and the quarterbacks' performances in those games will be given significant weight by the coaching staff. But there is little doubt Boller has helped his stock by limiting his errors early on.          

            Word out of New York is that rookie Vernon Gholston has been slow in adjusting to linebacker after playing his college ball at defensive end, but that his speed off the edge has been readily apparent. He offers a defensive element the Jets haven’t had in years.

            Sporting News said that “LB Vernon Gholston is "swimming" so far, according to coach Eric Mangini, as he tries to catch up. Gholston missed the first day of practice as well as the prior week of rookie orientation.”  LB Vernon Gholston took some snaps with the first-team defense this week in practice. 

            PFW reports that Falcons quarterbacks may be looking away from the TE tandem of Ben Hartsock and Martrez Milner on passing downs this season. Observers of the team’s training camp said the pair might be the worst group of tight ends in the league. They don’t have good hands and have dropped passes frequently, although we hear they have shown some ability as blockers.

            Karen Guregian, of the Boston Herald, reports New England Patriots LB Mike Vrabel (undisclosed) is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not participate in practice Wednesday, July 30.

            Ira Kaufman and Anwar S. Richardson, of The Tampa Tribune, report Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Joey Galloway (groin strain) did not practice for a fourth consecutive day Tuesday, July 29. The Buccaneers believe Galloway, 36, will be back on the field within days. Head coach Jon Gruden said Galloway ran 20 100-yard dashes Monday, July 28, and looked pretty good.

            CB Ashton Youboty, whose soft play has been a thorn in the Bills’ side since his rookie season of 2006, is no certainty to make the team.

The Ugly

            We have reported about the OSU players that have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons.  However, other schools are as much trouble if not more.

            Georgia—four players suspended in two separate incidence.  Penn State—six players suspended this off season and an investigative reporter hit piece on network TV.  USC had the OJ problem (Simpson and Mayo) and the trial of Reggie Bush started this week.  What is going on? 

            This week we will have an editorial about why so many more players are in trouble now compared to those that were 20 years ago.  Be sure to check back for that.

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

Tags: Buckeyes Football NFL Ohio State

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