Buckeye News Around the net for 08/20/08

Buckeye News Around the net for 08/20/08
Jay Richardson

Buckeye News Around the net for 08/20/08

Jay Richardson, Ted Ginn Jr., Greg Oden, Troy Smith, Chris Gamble, Kirk Barton, Mike Vrabel, Santonio Holmes, Anthony Gonzalez, Shawn Springs, Drew Carter,  Michael Jenkins,  Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty, Vernon Gholston, Roy Hall, Ryan Pickett, and the Cleveland Tans.

By Bill Smith

Preseason NFL Report

            Jay Richardson DE OK Richardson looked outstanding against the Titans.  He played the entire first half.  He was tough against the run and got a half sack on the Raiders only sack of the half.  Stopping the Titan's running game isn't easy.  Lendell White is a load but twice Richardson cut him down for very little gain.  He also made a saving tackle down field on another run.  He was double teamed several times and still got close to the QB.  He scored 17 scouting points in a half.  Grade A.

The Good

            In A new Quinnipiac poll of Ohio sports fans across the entire state, the results show that by a 58 – 28 percent margin, voters back the Ohio State Buckeyes over their favorite NFL team.  The Browns top the Bengals 55 – 30 percent.  Please note that the survey was taken before the Browns laid a 1,000 megaton stink bomb in New York last night.

            WR Ted Ginn Jr. played very well against Jacksonville.  He caught 2 passes from Chad Pennington (Chad 1).  He was tightly covered on both and each throw was down the middle and well over his head.  He made both catches look easy for long gains.  A third pass from Chad Henne (Chad 2) was just too close to the sideline and he was ruled to have been out of bounds when he got control of the ball.  Ginn went on to catch 4 for 58 yards.  He is cementing his spot as the #1 receiver in Miami.  Grade for the Jags game A-.

            Palm Beach Post : Ted Ginn Jr. gained 39 yards on his first two catches Saturday night in the Dolphins' 19-14 exhibition win over Jacksonville - 1 yard more than he gained in last year's four exhibition games combined. And it was more receiving yards than he had in 13 of 16 regular-season games in 2007, his rookie season. After catching one pass for 10 yards in the exhibition opener against Tampa Bay, Ginn got "more at-bats" Saturday, as coach Tony Sparano vowed he would last week during training camp. Ginn caught four passes for 58 yards in one half of play Saturday, and Sparano was pleased with the way Ginn played "faster." "He knows he still has a long way to go," Sparano said. But "it's good for Ted. He went out there and competed at a high level."

            Ginn should have a much better season with Pennington passing to him.  Pennington has the the head of a coach, the heart of a lion but the arm of a chicken.  But he does get the ball to the open man on time.  Ginn should have a ton of YAC yards after catch this season.  He is a real value in to any Fantasy Football player.

            Greg Oden is back on the basketball court.  He practices in front of some NBA reporters this week.  "I'm feeling good," Oden said. "I do not have any pain or soreness in my knee."  The knee problem cost Oden his entire rookie year.  We all wish him the best of luck.

            Troy Smith is now the “consensus” leader in the starting QB contest.  The pundants that cover the team regularly now have him leading in votes 9-3 over Boller.  However, these results may be no more accurate than presidential polls.

            Cornerback Chris Gamble said his goal is to make the Pro Bowl. The fifth-year cornerback knows if he can reach that goal he'll set himself up for a big payday next year when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.  This past off-season, Philadelphia lured Asante Samuel away from New England with a six-year, $57 million contract. DeAngelo Hall left Atlanta and signed a new seven-year, $70 million with Oakland.  Gamble took notice.

            "Every other day somebody else was getting signed and it's a DB," Lucas said. "So it's like, 'Man, my time could be up next.'"  Still just 25, Gamble should be a hot commodity next February even if he turns in an average season. He brings a wealth of experience (56 career starts) and corners with Gamble's athleticism are hard to come by.   So far, the Panthers haven't made any serious overtures to Gamble about a new deal. But he knows at some point talks will heat up.  Until then, he plans to focus on bringing his game to the next level, the level where everyone around here things he belongs.

            "I could be that next DB, but it starts first on the field," said Gamble. "I've got to make myself go out there and have fun and make plays like I know I can. When I see that, it just puts a smile on my face that I could be one of those guys."

            Pro Football Weekly reports that Bears observers keep having good things to say about seventh-round OT Kirk Barton, who they believe could become a factor on the right side of the line sooner than later.  We here at BrutusReport.com have been telling you the same thing for weeks.

            LB Mike Vrabel was activated from PUP on Tuesday and took part in that day's practice work. The linebacker did not play in the preseason opener against the Ravens.

            WR Santonio Holmes is looking very good in preseason.  He has refined his route running and is using his speed much more effectively.  Look for him to be a very big part of the Steeler offense this year.  He is going to be another Fantasy Football steal.

            WR Marvin Harrison returned to the field in the Colts preseason game last week but I still believe that he will be used sparingly at least for the first quarter of the regular season.  That should give Anthony Gonzalez a solid start on the year.

            CB Shawn Springs started at FS against the Bills because of the absences of LaRon Landry (hamstring), Vernon Fox (personal reasons) and Chris Horton (virus).  He played pretty well even though he has had almost no experience at the position. 

The Bad

            QB JaMarcus Russell is struggling to build a rapport with WR Drew Carter. Carter is competing for the No. 2 receiver role during the preseason but has just one reception in two games.

            Atlanta Falcons WR Michael Jenkins has yet to record a 100-yard receiving game. He has 135 career catches for 1,595 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jenkins is looking to have a breakout season. "All of us (wide receivers) pus each other to improve some part of our game every time out there," Jenkins said. "You can say it's my turn (to breakout), but I feel like it's always been my turn. At some point, though, you've got to just go play football and stop talking about it."

            SS Donte Whitner (ankle) did not play against the Redskins but the injury is not considered serious.

            Ashton Youboty is still listed as 6th on the CB depth chart.  The Browns would love to make a deal with the Bills for him.  A possible trade would be TE Dinkins and a draft choice for Youboty.

            LB Vernon Gholston is coming along slowly, although he has shown flashes of his outstanding pass-rushing ability against the Jets' backup offensive linemen.

            WR Roy Hall (hamstring) missed the Colts game against Carolina.  He is being hurt in his attempts to work into the regular rotation by not being on the field.

The Ugly

            DT Ryan Pickett is still out of the lineup for the Packers.  Based on the very ugly performance of the new starting QB against the 49'ers this weekend, it looks like the Packer D will be on the field a lot in 08.  Great move sending a Hall of Fame QB into exile and relying on the unproven Aaron Rodgers.  Wasn't he the one that got injured in practice wearing the “no contact” jersey.  Why yes he was.

            When I saw the Browns come out for their preseason game against the Giants in brown pants, I though that was the UGLY award winner of the week.  However, after gift wrapping a 30-3 advantage to the Giants by the first minute of the second quarter, I changed my mind.  THAT is the ugliest thing I saw this week.  They looked like the Cleveland Tans, a shadow of their former greatness.

            BURN THE BROWN PANTS.  I never want to see them again.

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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