Buckeye News Around the net for 09/2/08

Buckeye News Around the net for 09/2/08
James Laurinaitis

Buckeye News Around the net for 09/2/08

James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Fencing, Lacrosse, Men's Soccer, Ashton Youboty, Dustin Fox, Donnie Nickey, Bobby Carpenter, Kirk Barton, Troy Smith, Orlando Pace, Ryan Pickett, Alex Stepanovich and the NFL cuts.

By Bill Smith

The Good

            Mel Kiper's first top 10 Senior list for the 2009 draft was released last week.  Both James Laurinaitis who was ranked 1st and Malcolm Jenkins (6th) represented OSU.  Two USC Trojans were also on the list Rey Maualuga LB at 2 and Brian Cushing LB at 5.  The “Big Board” changes even before any games are played if Kiper has a bad hair day.  In past years, you could depend on his first list as the most accurate.

            OSU ranked 6th on the top 25 2008 recruiting classes as reported by ESPN.  Miami Fla. was 1st, Florida was 4th, Georgia was 5th. USC was 7th, and Notre Dame was 9th.

            In the Big 10, Michigan came in 13th , Illinois was 16th , and Minnesota 23rd,


            According to the Big 10 Network, the 25 Best moments of 2007 include the following OSU references:

            18.  OSU Wins the NCAA Fencing Title

            14.  OSU Defeats Cornell in Lacrosse

            11.  OSU Wins the Men's Soccer Tourney over Indiana and got the NCAA Finals        

              2.  Illinois beats OSU (with the help of the Refs) in football.  (OK, so I'm still steamed and the network failed to mention the help.)


          Even though he didn’t play in the Packers’ preseason finale vs. the Titans, we hear starting WLB A.J. Hawk is progressing steadily from his mysterious chest injury but may not be ready to go full tilt in the season opener vs. Minnesota.  He might be a week or two away from returning.

Former Buckeyes on the bubble that should make their team’s final roster:

          Even after the “final” cut, players that are on the bubble can not breath easy.  The next few days will see released players picked up by other teams.  When they sign a cut player they must release someone from the current roster.  Here are those that might still be on or near the bubble.


          Buffalo Bills CB Ashton Youboty is expected to make the team's final 53-man roster.  As we predicted a couple of weeks ago, Youboty got the roster spot at the expense of Dustin Fox.  If the Bills find a cheap but talented CB, Youboty may still be let go.

          Donnie Nickey as predicted here made the Titan's roster in part because of his play in the last 2 preseason games. 

         Bobby Carpenter survived the second cut.  He should be safe but still needs to sweat out the next week of roster shuffling.

         Kirk Barton, a late 7 round choice, has made the Bears.  Given the injuries they have suffered along the offensive line, he may work his way up the depth chart.

The Bad

            Baltimore Ravens QB Troy Smith is recovering from tonsillitis.  Although Boller lost the starting QB battle to Troy Smith in the preseason and doesn’t appear to be in the team’s long-term plans, sources say the Ravens do view his injury as a major setback for their club. Baltimore was hoping to keep rookie QB Joe Flacco on the bench for most, if not all, of this season. It will be much more difficult to accomplish that if Boller is lost for the season, leaving Flacco as the primary backup to Smith, who is also on unsure footing after missing time with tonsillitis. The team signed Casey Bramlet on Aug. 27 but released him on Saturday. Baltimore is expected to add another veteran quarterback.  The illness has left Smith dehydrated as he did not eat for four days. He was considered a game-time decision for the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.  Smith did not play.  QB Joe Flacco took all of the snaps in practice Tuesday, Aug. 26, and could play all of the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28. Flacco could also win the starting job by default if QB Troy Smith (tonsillitis) is not ready to go in week 1.  According to local sources, Smith is feeling better, though he looks like he has lost between 15 and 25 pounds after his bout with tonsillitis.  Smith missed the team's practice Monday, Sept. 1and he is not expected to play Week 1.

Yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Joey Harrington (Falcons). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.  If Smith would not be available in week 1, the Ravens needed at least one healthy backup to Flacco.

            Ram LT Orlando Pace is hurt again.  It is a shoulder injury but is not in the same area that kept him out of almost all year in 07.  “If there’s good news, it’s that he says he hurt a different part of the shoulder (than the part that was injured in Week One in 2007 and ended his season),” a team insider told PFW. “But you just don’t know about him. It’s still a real wait-and-see type situation.”  Pace participated in practice Monday, Sept. 1, and should be fine for the team's Week 1 game.


           The Cowboys cut Tyler Everett. 

           The Ravens cut Adrien Clarke.

           The 49'ers cut Larry Grant.

           The Browns cut Brandon Mitchell.

           The Eagles cut Brandon Childress.

           The Bills cut Dustin Fox.

           The Falcons cut Doug Datish, Tim Anderson and David Patterson.     

           While these cuts are hard to take for the players, there is a chance that some of them may be signed to the practice squads.

           Rich Cimini, of the New York Daily News, reports New York Jets LB Vernon Gholston was a disappointment for the team throughout the preseason. Gholston made little impact in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28, recording just three tackles with no sacks or pressures.

           From the New York Daily News:  As expected, Eric Mangini turned the last tune-up into a showcase for the second- and third-stringers, many of whom will be sweating out the final roster cuts tomorrow. The most prominent player on the field — certainly the one with the biggest paycheck — was rookie Vernon Gholston, who finished a disappointing preseason with another hollow performance.

          The Jets' top pick, appearing in 46 plays at outside linebacker and defensive end, was credited with three quiet tackles. Gholston had no sacks and no quarterback pressures, with only one impact play — he forced backup right tackle Winston Justice into a holding penalty. Another way to look at Gholston's night: He made fewer tackles than wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, who made four stops in his NFL debut at cornerback.

         "I'm still learning," said Gholston, making the transition to linebacker from defensive end. "It's a slow process, moving to a new position. You're going to hit a few bumps, but I'm getting better."

       If all the injuries to DL and potential suspension of  Johnny Jolly (substance policy) weren’t bad enough, DT Ryan Pickett, the line’s undisputed anchor, is just now starting to test a hamstring that sidelined him the first month of training camp and, according to team insiders, might have adversely affected his conditioning. Packer's GM Ted Thompson started putting out feelers for help after witnessing his D-line’s lackluster effort in the preseason game vs. Denver, as the unit’s gap discipline proved to be a particular eyesore. The Packers appear to have surpluses at wide receiver and the offensive line that could be appealing to potential suitors. But more likely than not, one or more of their nine 2009 draft picks would be the most likely bait should a deal actually materialize.

       Atlanta Falcons OL Alex Stepanovich (back) has not practiced in three weeks and could be out at least another week.

Editorial:  The Ugly—and stupid to boot.

       Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to Ocho Cinco (Spanish for 85).  He has not commented on what his motive might have been.  It is important to know that a player gets a cut of his jersey sales.  I don't believe that was his motive.  He was just being stupid.  By rule, the league will have to allow him to wear his new last name on his jersey. 

        The Bengals will have as many starters playing for the Hamilton County Penal Team as they do playing for them.  The team now uses a no huddle offense because according to their parole agreement, none of the convicted can be within 50 feet of another criminal. 

       The Bengals have pawed their nose at the league and the Commissioner's personal conduct policy by resigning the multi-arrested Chris Henry.  To make amends, the team should force the athlete formerly known as Johnson to wear number 11.


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


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