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Everything posted by Wes

  1. Chris did you watch it on TV or were you at the game? I was at the game on the lower deck but i was on the north goal line so it was hard to watch exactly what was happening with the Offensive line every play so you may be more spot on with the O-line analysis. But I still think that unit needs to play better.
  2. Score: Texas: 37, Wyoming 17 I have mixed feelings about the game. There was stuff that I liked, stuff that I expected (good and bad) and stuff that was terrible and needs to be corrected immediately. 1. Wow, what the hell happened on the opening drives for both teams? The Horns came out and stunk it up with a quick 3 and out. And Wyoming’s opening drive marched down the field by tearing up the secondary and throwing in some decent run plays with their spread attack. It was as if the opening drives for both teams had reversed success from what we normally would have thought. The only positive for UT was that they were able to hold Wyoming to a field goal… I can’t believe I just said that… 2. Wyoming torched UT’s secondary in the first half. No excuses. Wyoming’s quarterback Brett Smith threw for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did, however, eventually throw 2 interceptions once the defense was able to apply good pressure and make the plays they are capable of in the defensive backfield. But let’s not shy away from the fact that one player for Wyoming, Robert Herron, ended the day with 5 receptions for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. I was very disappointed in the secondary that should be one of the strongest position groups on the team. They did eventually get their act together later in the game so hopefully they were just getting used to actual game play. But you better believe Manny Diaz won’t be happy with that performance. 3. Enough about Wyoming’s passing attack, let’s talk about UT’s… Honestly David Ash performed about as well as anyone expected. What did you expect of a quarterback who just won the job over another player who simply doesn’t have the arm to play at this level? Ash wasn’t terrible but he wasn’t incredible. He still often stares down his first read on every passing play and that’s just asking for a defense to pick off the ball (I’m actually surprised he didn’t throw a single pick all night). I really would like to see him go through his progression more. On the positive side he did seem much more relaxed and patient in the pocket this game compared to last season… At times too patient. Ash’s play wasn’t terrible but if Texas wants to win at least 9 games he will have to improve his game. 4. I was really disappointed in the secondary play. But they picked it up as the game went on and they will bounce back and be all right. I’m more disappointed with how terrible the offensive line played. I would have expected better from the starting unit but they literally were pushed around all night by Wyoming, and that’s sad. I know the Horns rushed for over 200 yards tonight but a lot of that was because the running backs were breaking tackles or making guys miss and busting big plays. Offensive line needs work and fast. If they can’t get it together soon then it will be a long season for the entire offense. 5. D.J. Monroe finally impacted the game in a way we have all been waiting for. The little speedster touched the ball 6 times (5 carries, 1 reception) for 51 yards (36 rushing, 15 passing) and 1 touchdown. I really hope this will be a recurring theme this season because any added offensive production will be key to this team’s success since the passing game is currently limited. *While we are on this topic of players showing up, I liked what I saw from Jordan Hicks. He needs to continue to bring it and show us all why he was so highly recruited. 6. Jaxon Shipley needs to touch the ball 10 times a game. Simple as that. 7. Both Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown carried the offense tonight and started the season off exactly as expected. Even with the offensive line having it’s troubles the duo was able to rack up a combined 215 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. Bergeron displayed his bruising style with the ability to rip off big gains and Brown showed off his shifty but physical running style. I know we barely saw any of Jonathan Gray but he showed some quick burst in the limited action he got. He needs to adjust to the game speed but when he does he will add a different third element to a offensive backfield that is arguably the best in the nation. 8. Josh Turner is one heck of a back up defensive back. He was making plays on defense and on special teams. Number 25 can make plays and fly around the field (though he did take a terrible angle and whiff on one of Wyoming’s big touchdown plays). He will definitely help the secondary bounce back next week. 9. Mack Brown should be riding the medical staff’s butt to make sure they do anything and everything they can to get Anthony Fera Healthy. He is needed for field goals and punts, badly. The difference between Nick Jordan and Anthony Fera is at least two wins this season. I was also disappointed in Alex King’s punts after seeing him play in person. But replacing Jordan is more important. 10. Case McCoy saw the field tonight… But in the complete opposite way that I had envisioned before the game. I expected McCoy to trot out onto the field late in the first quarter or early in the second with his own package of plays. But to my surprise he didn’t step onto the field until the game was pretty much won and it was time for the back-ups to get some reps. Folks that says A LOT about how Mack, Harsin, & Applewhite felt about David Ash’s play tonight. You may have been frustrated but they feel that he did enough to remain in the starting lineup the entire game until it was time to pull the starters… Bonus note: The tight end position was one of question before the season started. Though he caught 1 pass for 4 yards, D.J. Grant seems to be the number one guy for that position at the moment. I’m still curious to see if the tight end (I don’t care which one just who ever takes control of the position) will get more involved in the offense. Having a reliable TE would be big for a young QB, like Ash. Though it’s just one game, and the first game nonetheless, at the moment I feel as if the horns are an 8-win team. The secondary and offensive line play need to improve immediately for me to feel that they can get to 9 or more wins this season. The kicking game needs improvement too but that isn’t something that can necessarily improve by next week unless Fera becomes healthy. On a positive note the Longhorns won the turnover battle and succeeded in not giving up any turnovers, and that is also big. I came away from this game with mixed feelings. Give credit to Wyoming because they actually played pretty well, especially in the beginning of the game. But practice for the Longhorns should be nothing less than intense this week. Game next week is at home (in Austin) against New Mexico. Kick is again at 7PM Central and will also be shown on the Longhorn Network for the second straight week. Hook’em. Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  3. I'm thinking Texas 38 Wyoming 10. Big day on the ground.
  4. Before I start this thread let me say this... My grandfather was an Aggie. And he was in the Core. He also was in the Navy and served on the Lexington (both my parents went to UT). I have good friends at Texas A&M and I do not think all Aggies are as crazy as they are percieved. But a lot of them are and the ones that are ruin it for the rest of them... I got this from Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein). But over on Texags.com there are Aggies who are stating they are dropping AT&T U-Verse and some are even going as far to switch phone carriers from AT&T because....... Wait for it..... U-Verse is carrying the Longhorn Network... BAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAAAHAHA TexAgs.com - A&M Football Are you kidding me? Grow up. What happens if Time Warner Cable picks up LHN too? haha I'm still laughing...
  5. We’re a day away from seeing the 2012 University of Texas Longhorn football team run through the white smoke as they trot onto the field to kick off the season against Wyoming. Much hype, anticipation, and questions have been placed on the offensive side of the ball, mainly the quarterback position. But one of the more refreshing topics to look forward to this off-season has been not just how the defense will play this fall, but how well they will play and how nasty this unit can be. I’ll say it now, and I’m sure many of you will agree, but the Longhorns should have the best defense in the Big 12 this season and one that could fight to be the best in the nation. It’s a defense that returns 8 starters and has crazy athleticism and above average depth all across the board. Let’s break it down though. Defense Defensive Backs Starters: Just try to throw the ball against this secondary. Seriously, I dare you. Mack and his staff have done it again by assembling arguably the best defensive backfield in the country. Starting corners Quandre Diggs and Carrington Byndom, and starting safeties Adrian Phillips and Kenny Vaccarro could all be playing on Sunday when they each leave the 40 Acres. Last year all these players played well but I fully expect them to improve their 12 total interceptions from last year to closer to 20 this season. The one guy I really want to watch early in the season in Adrian Phillips. I truly think he has the talent and skills to have a season that could be very similar to Earl Thomas as far as interceptions and big plays. I know, I know Kenny Vaccarro is also a beast roaming the field back there, but Phillips actually has the better coverage skills than Vaccarro. Regardless, every one of these starters have the ability to match up with any receiver in the country and give them trouble. Reserves: Mykell Thompson and Josh Turner lead the reserve unit that also currently includes freshman Duke Thomas and sophomore Sheroid Evans. Other than the freshman Thomas, all of the reserves have seen some game action and add to the strength of the entire defensive backfield. Defensive Ends Starters: The two names that come to mind first are senior Alex Okafor and junior Jackson Jeffcoat. These two combined for 14 sacks and 60 solo tackles last season as both made huge individual improvements from the previous season. But neither have hit their full potential yet and either one could very well end up as the top defensive end in the country. They are both that good. Reserves: Backing up Jeffcoat and Okafor are Reggie Wilson and Cedric Reed. These two athletes are both talented but have very limited game experience. Their lack of game play contributes to the main weakness of the defense, which is inexperience. But I’ve liked the moves I’ve seen Wilson make on the field in his limited play and I actually feel pretty good about both these guys as reserves to the two studs on the outside. Defensive Tackles Starters: When I think of defensive tackles from UT I think back to the days of Casey Hampton, Frank Okam, and the other big mammoths from years ago. What was once a strong position for UT has been in a funk recently. I say funk because the position wasn’t necessarily a bad one but was a weird one that seemed to be patched up rather than fixed. There were tackles that ended up leaving the team, tackles who didn’t ever give nearly enough effort, and tackles that simply didn’t pan out. But with the help of Juco Transfer Brandon Moore the defensive tackle position is already in a better place now than where it was late last season. Both Brandon Moore and former running back Chris Whaley (Mack has gotten good at this conversion…) are locked in as the starters for Saturdays game. I’m excited to see what type of craziness these two can create in Wyoming’s backfield as both have shown the ability to push opposing linemen around and get into the offensive backfield this off-season. Reserves: For the first time in a long time the Horns actually have good depth at defensive tackle. Both Desmond Jackson and Ashton Dorsey have seen game action. Add those two guys with 5-star freshman Malcolm Brown and that gives UT one of the best defensive tackle reserve units in the country. All three of these guys could be big time starters next year and beyond. Linebackers Starters: Led by junior Jordan Hicks, the LB core has a ton of talent. And it’s time for Hicks to put all of it together and make the next step in his play. He had just 30 solo tackles last season, compared to Emmanuel Acho’s 61 and Keenan Robinson’s 52. With both of those two guys heading to the NFL Hicks should have more opportunities to show why he was so highly recruited out of high school. But as talented as this LB unit is, it has a lot of inexperience as well. Other than Jordan Hicks no other linebacker has seen any extensive playing time, if any at all. That doesn’t worry me though. The other starters, Steve Edmond and Demarco Cobbs, have been tearing it up in practice all summer long. And on top of that Cobbs was poised to make a difference last season as a sophomore who was supposed to be the fourth linebacker in the rotation on game days before his season ending injury last year. This is a unit who does have to prove itself, but they shouldn’t having any trouble doing so. Reserves: Currently sophomores Kendall Thompson and Tevin Jackson are locked in as the back ups to the three starters, with Thompson as the reserve at MLB and WLB. Once again these are guys with immense talent but lack any game experience. If any of the starters were to go down we may see some growing pains for a few games but I fully expect both of these players to contribute each game as well off the bench. This defense is full of talent all across the board. There are players at each level of the defense who could emerge as the best at their position in the country. But Manny Diaz will have to get these players to create more turnovers and big plays than they did last season if they want to live up to all the pre-season hype. If I was a betting man I’d go all in with Diaz and this defense, though. Special Teams Kicking/punting: What was once a big question mark and potential weakness after the departure of current starting kicker for the Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker, Mack Brown was able to work his magic once again and recruit one of the top kickers in the country away from Penn State to play for his Horns this fall. Though he is currently injured and may miss a couple of games, Anthony Fera is undoubtedly a huge get for the Horns, as he alone could end up being the difference in a couple of games this season. In his absence freshman Nick Jordan will handle the kicking duties. But even if Nick does well while Fera is out, expect Fera to be inserted as the starter once he returns. Though Fera is capable of punting as well, I actually don’t expect him to hold any of those responsibilities once healthy, unless there is some special need for him. Duke transfer Alex King is listed as the current starter and I bet he remains there for the entire season if he kicks well. Kick Return/Punt Return: The starting punt returner is Quandre Diggs, and his back up is Jaxon Shipley. Both guys are dangerous and can take it to the house on any kick. The starting kick returners are D.J. Monroe and Mykell Thompson. I personally prefer Marquis Goodwin over both of those guys, but maybe D.J. Monroe will finally make a name for himself this season… On top of the kicking game and return game I’m also excited and interested to see if the special teams unit can block some punts and kicks. Having a great special team unit means being great all around. In the return game, kicking game, and blocking punts/kicks. This is exactly what Mack wants to achieve this season. “What we’re trying to do, we’re trying to have the best special teams we’ve ever had,†Brown has said. “We’d like to lead the country, and you’ve got to put your best players out there to do that. And if every time they punt to us we’ve got a chance to block it or return it for a touchdown, that gives us a chance to win a tight ballgame.†This quote is very important for this team since they may have some struggles on offense. Both the defense and the special teams have the potential to be the best in the country. It’s great to see buzz and potential back for the team on defense and special teams. What’s sad is that the potential and greatness of the defense and special teams could be hindered and wasted by the lack luster offensive play, specifically of that by the quarterbacks. But hey, if SEC teams can win a national championship with incredible defenses, great special teams, dominant running backs, and average quarterbacks, then UT can as well. Is it Saturday yet?
  6. The Offensive Line Preview 2012 By Wes Crochet Much of the focus this off-season has been on how the starting quarterback will perform, or whether the receivers will make plays, or which running back will have the best year. Well guess what, none of that matters if the offensive line doesn’t play well. And for an offensive line coming off a year where they gave up a total of 28 sacks for 242 yards, they have much to prove and improve (in retrospect, the SEC bound Aggies gave up a total of 9 sacks for 44 yards last year. That’s impressive for any school). In defense of the O-line, there was a new position coach, Stacy Searels. And the new coach barely had enough scholarship players to form a starting unit with back ups at each position. But luckily for the Horns improvement is exactly what should happen. Four of the five starters either have experience at their position or have started there in the past. And the remaining starter, Juco transfer LT Donald Hawkins, has already meshed well with the rest of the unit and looks as if he will be the solution to what was once a question mark at Left Tackle. And considering that there isn’t a single senior in the starting unit, this unit could potentially become one of the best offensive lines we have seen in the past few years. Starters: Left Tackle: Donald Hawkins – JUCO transfer who has been flashing greatness as he learns the offense. Left Guard: Trey Hopkins – move back inside to guard where he is better suited. Center: Dominic Espinosa – Looks to be the weakest link of the offense but was thrown into the fire last season as a freshman and should improve. Right Guard: Mason Walters – arguably the best linemen on the team, he will be the leader and anchor. Right Tackle: Josh Cochran – Won the starting tackle job late last season as a freshman and should be locked in as the starter for at-least this season and next. Reserves: Thomas Ashcraft, Kennedy Estelle, Sedrick Flowers, Luke Poehlmann, Garrett Porter. During Mack Brown’s press conference a few days ago he stated there were still two main weaknesses with the depth chart. The first was at the tight end position. But the second was with the depth at offensive line. Mack singled out Thomas Ashcraft as the only reserve he was really confident sending into the game. Where as the other reserve linemen still need to gain Brown’s trust and confidence before he feels comfortable with the depth behind the starting unit. Let’s take a look at the reserves to try to understand why Mack feels this way. As I stated earlier, Thomas Ashcroft is the only reserve Mack Brown has singled out as the back-up linemen he has the most confidence and trust in. Whether there are injuries or not, having multiple reserves you can count on to spell the starters or play in their place is key to an O-line’s success. Kennedy Estelle – It’s understandable that Mack could still have some question marks for Kennedy Estelle. Though Estelle is a four star recruit and a mammoth standing at 6’7†and weighing 300 lbs, he is a true freshman. The fact that he is even on the depth chart and listed as the reserve at Left Tackle gives me confidence that though Estelle may still need work he has shown signs that he can be a talented linemen down the line. Sedrick Flowers – Currently listed as the reserve at Left Guard, I’m really hoping Flowers turns it up soon. He is a bit undersized to play on the outside but his 6’3†frame should be able to handle the guard duties where he is listed. There was some positive buzz around Flowers during the off-season but what concerns me is that Sedrick has already had a year with the team and Mack still has question marks for Flowers. The doubts could mean he still is struggling with consistency or to learn the new blocking assignments. But he was dominant in high school and has been working hard in the weight room to increase his weight from 280 lbs when he stepped on campus to his current 313 lbs. I think he can take the next step in his performance early in the season and become a viable reserve. Garret Porter – Once a red-shirt freshman, Porter is entering his fourth year as a Longhorn. But the 2009 recruit has yet to show any indication he is capable of starting. He is listed as the reserve at center but was not always seeing snaps as the immediate reserve. Instead Mason Walters has also seen snaps as the reserve center. Porter was a four-star recruit from Odessa but still hasn’t put it all together. I admit that I will be a bit nervous if Porter is called upon to start at Center for a large portion of the season. Luke Poehlmann - A three-star recruit from the 2008 class, Poehlmann has seen action on the offensive line and at the TE position mainly in blocking situations. I like Poehlmann’s versatility to play Tackle or TE but his weakness is that he is decent at both positions but not great at one of them. Though he has the experience to handle a starting role, he would struggle with a larger DE/DT due to his 275lb size. The depth behind the starting unit is full of in-experience, youth, and some simple lack of talent. I’m confident with all of the starters on the line, though Dominic Espinosa is currently the weakest link with that unit. But if he, or any of the linemen go down with an injury don’t be surprised if offensive-line coach Stacy Searels moves guys around and changes up the line up. His coaching philosophy involves placing linemen in different positions across the line during practice, and that philosophy is part of what makes him one of the best coaches at his position in the country. Much talk has been about the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers, but the success of the team this fall also very much relies on the growth, improvement and health of this offensive line and the depth that lies behind it. Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  7. wont be surprised if walters is shifted over and flowers plays guard. Flowers seems to be on the rise, as he should be.
  8. Congrats Chris, I look forward to reading more of your work man
  9. Today the depth chart for the horns came out and Mack had many different notes on each position and who's going to play. One thing that struck me was his comments on the QB position. The depth chart has David Ash as the starer, Case McCoy as 2nd string, Follwed by Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet in that order. But when asked about the starter, Mack did mention both David and Case will play. He didn't know exactly how or what role Case would have since David is the starter. But when asked about leadership on the team Mack went on to single out Case by saying he "is one of the best leaders on the team". So what does that mean? Mack also said he hopes to red-shirt both Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet. Which is what I originally thought should happen. But wait just a second... Both David and Case will be playing in each game and Mack still hopes to red-shirt both the young QB's? Here are my questions... and my initial thoughts. -Why is McCoy still in the mix for playing time during a game? -When McCoy steps onto the field what does he bring to the game that Ash isn't bringing? -Why doesn't Mack know what role McCoy will have for the games? (Mack literally said he needs to sit down with Harsin and Applewhite to clarify McCoy's role during the games. Yet Mack knows McCoy still needs snaps?) -If Mack wants to red-shirt both Connor and Jalen, then why would he put both his starter and back-up QB in a game where both could get hurt? Here are my initial thoughts for all those questions: McCoy has a special gift that isn't necessarily teachable and something you can't shy away from, especially with this team. He has leadership. He has that presence and mind-set his brother, Colt, had. But his brother also had a better arm and was more gifted physically. If Ash had Case's leadership abilities then Ash would easily be the starter, no questions asked. That also tells me Ash hasn't become the leader for the team that he needs to be. Which is why McCoy is still in the mix. Ash has the athletic ability but isn't the leader he needs to be. McCoy has the leadership & presence but can't make as many throws as Ash. To me, Ash seems like a shy guy who will open up when he feels comfortable in a situation. For him to feel comfortable with his team he will need to play well and earn some respect from how he performs during games. I think if Ash can perform well, then we will see a more open and confident David Ash who will then take more of a leadership role. It is disappointing that it seems as if he hasn't taken more leadership, because not only is leadership critical for the QB position but this team also had leadership issues the past couple of years and having the starting QB be the unquestioned leader on offense would really help the offense and the team. Mack realizes Case is one of the best leaders on the team and is going to show Case and the team respect by still giving him snaps. But Mack also knows that if he truly wants to get back to national prominence, Case simply can't make all the big time throws that Ash should be capable of. As for the rest of Mack's comments about the depth chart... Mack mentioned that tight end and offensive line depth were the two weakness that still needed to be fixed. D.J. Grant could have a decent year, but I think Mack sees MJ McFarland as the better receiving weapon. Problem is MJ hasn't shown the ability to effectively block, which contributes to the weakness at the position. Currently, McFarland isn't even listed on the depth chart. But in a passing situation McFarland could enter the game. I would also not be surpised to see Miles Onyegbule on the field as a tight end split off the line only in receiving situations. He too needs to improve his blocking before he is an every down option. The starters on the offensive line are solid but the depth behind the O-line is where the concern emerges. Mack singled out Thomas Ashcraft as the first guy in to sub for the starters but needs to see more from the other guys to feel confident in them. Overall I felt good about the rest of the positions Mack Brown talked about. Defensive line and the defensive backs will be a strength. If the inexperienced linebackers can play well during the games like they have in practice then they too will be a strength, which will form one of the top defenses in the country. There are playmakers all over the special teams and the longhorns could very well go back to having one of the best special teams units in the country again, like that had a few years ago. The running backs are all talented and as many as four (Bergeron, Brown, Gray, Hills) could see the field for multiple snaps a game. That's crazy depth. *Daje Johnson will be suspended the first game for violating team rules "and that won't change". Both the starters, Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis, are dealing with some minor injuries but should be good to go by the opener. Other than Marquis, depth behind the receivers will still be an area to monitor but is not seen as a huge weakness by Mack. (of course not, the horns will barely throw the ball until they figure out what they have at QB...) I expect the floor to be 8 wins and the ceiling to be 11 wins. Anything worse will be a disappointment and anything better will be incredible. The depth chart can be found here: MackBrown-TexasFootball.com - Official website of the Texas Longhorns - Texas Football Jump into the conversation and let us know what you think. Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  10. Haha i gotta rival that name! This league is mine for sure, i got the discount double check on speed dial and will lead me to the promise land. Ill think of a team name soon but right now it's drinking time
  11. y'all wanna save time and give the fantasy king my prize now? I'm in.
  12. haha i get carried away with analysis at times... all the time. but let me know how that draft goes. I'm definitely on board for the league too, ill go join. All of these guys weren't sold on Matthews. pretty interesting. and the fact that he got hurt dropped him even lower. My team name is The Real Deal but its a joke with some friend. The name may change. It is nice to play that many RB's & WR's. It's actually 3 RB or 4 WR at max. We used to just do RB, RB/WR, WR, WR. But we added another flex since more and more back fields and receiving corps are becoming diverse.
  13. Before I begin I need to explain the league I play in. It's an 8 team league and we have our own customized scoring system. The system isn't drastically different from the standard scoring system but we like to think it's more accurate as to how players are playing and more detailed. Because of this system the top QB's have always been more valuable than the top RB's/WR's (just like in the actual NFL) but having a top RB is still key to success. Oh and we also play with individual defensive players (2 D-linemen, 2 LB's, 2 DB). I really suggest trying a league with defensive players. After we started doing the league that way I've never preferred a league with team defense/special teams. If I can figure it out I'll try to upload a screen shot of my league's scoring system and the entire draft order. Like I said it's an 8 team league. We do a snake draft. I had the 8th pick.... One of the 2 picks I did not want. In my oppinion the 7th and 8th pick were 2 of the worst picks based on where talent drop offs in the first 5 rounds. And I also hate having back to back picks (I.E. drafting in the last spot then drafting the very next pick since it's a snake draft.) But I did what I could to make it work and was pleased with my first 2 picks as far as who dropped to me. Roster: QB, RB, RB/WR, RB/WR, WR, WR, TE, DL, DL, LB, LB, DB, DB, K, IR (injured reserve). Like I said, if i can make it work ill attach pictures of the draft order. but the first and second rounds went like this... RD1 1. Matthew Stafford - Our draft order is randomized one hour before the draft. My friend clearly thinks Stafford is going to be the best QB in the league. Stafford won't be the best. But he is a top 5 fantasy QB this year with the #1 receiver. I smell what he's stepping in, but I'd never take him first. 2. Arian Foster 3. Aaron Rodgers 4. Calvin Johnson - I was surprised to see Johnson this high. He's a beast, but the WR depth this year is insane. I'd have gone QB or RB. 5. Drew Brees 6. LeSeanMcCoy 7. Tom Brady 8. Ray Rice - My first pick. I was verrryyy surprised to see Rice fall to me at 8. I rank him in the top 5 overall. RD2 9. Cam Newton - After Newton, the QB talent drops off. Had to snag him now while he is still here. (Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Stafford, Newton are my top 5 QB's.) One could argue Vick will have a big year but he's made of glass and I try to avoid those injury prone players early. 10. Andre Johnson - Also made of glass but when he's healthy he's one of the best. Little early for him here. 11. Chris Johnson - Really interested to see what he does. Call me crazy but I too think he will have a great year. 12. Rob Gronkowski - I'd take Jimmy Graham before Gronk. But Gronk and Graham are in a league of their own. 13. DeMarco Murray 14. Matt Forte 15. Maurice Jones-Drew - surpised MJD was this low. If rice was gone when i picked at 8, MJD would have been my next pick. 16. Jamaal Charles Order of players drafted I drafted 1. Ray Rice - Honestly I never thought he would have fallen to the 8th pick, but the added value to QB plays into his fall because 4 QB's were taken in the first round... a little different than standard leagues. 2. Cam Newton - Had him last year and I think he does it big this year again. 3. Steven Jackson - It was either him, Trent Richardson, or Frank Gore then the talent dropped. Gore will be part of big committee. I went with Jackson because Fisher loves running the ball and steven is still in good shape. Richardson is also a good pick here, but he did just scope his knee... 4. Antonio Gates - The top tight ends were starting to go off the board. I always like to make sure to get a top tight end because they can put up stats like a receiver. Especially when I won't be picking again for a while. 5. Dez Bryant - if he gets his act together he will put up top 5 points this year. Big IF but worth the risk. 6. Brandon Lloyd - In the past two seasons he put up a combined 2,414 yards and 16 TD's WITHOUT Tom Brady as his QB... Huge year with Tom. 7.Eric Decker - I keep going back and forth trying to figure out if Decker or Thomas will have the bigger fantasy impact. I want to jump on the Peyton train this season and will try to have one of those two on every team i draft in. Thomas was gone when i had this pick so Decker was the pick. 8. Jeremy Maclin - Everything coming out of Philly is indicating Maclin is healthy and looking like a number 1 wide out on a powerful offense. 9. Jarad Allen - my first defensive pick of the draft. I put a lot of emphasis on trying to get top tier players at every position. There are always tons of Linebackers that can put up good stats. The amount of top defensive linemen are limited. Allen should see reduced snaps but he is still a freak. 10. Antonio Brown - if the steelers can invest over 40 million dollars in him then i can invest a late draft pick. But he needs Wallace on the field to get his top potential production. 11. Calais Campbell - Another fantasy IDP stud on the d-line. And in real life. 12. Pierre Garcon - if RG3 is all that then he will need someone be on the other end of his stats. Garcon has looked good so far and seems to be Griffins favorite target so far. 13. Morgan Burnett - flies all over the field making plays. One of the best safeties in da leagueee doeee 14. Ben Tate - although he is a back up he still had over 1,000 yards. And god forbid Foster gets hurt but if he does then Tate will have a huge year. But if another player emerges in free agency, Tate may be one of the first players I'd cut. He's still a back up so it's tough to predict when he will have big games. 15. Ben Roethlisberger - decent back up QB if Newton goes down. 16. Doug Martin - Martin will be the starter. Blount may vulture some TD's, but Martin has been out shining Blount in training camp. 17. Jarius Byrd - solid DB who could provide many turnovers 18. Luke Kuechly - taking a flyer on him early in the season but hearing he's been all over the field in training camp. If he doesn't work out there are always LB's that can be picked up. 19. Sean Witherspoon - tackle machine. 20. Sebastian Janikowski - biggest leg in the league. And kicks of 40+ & 50+ yards have bonus points awarded. The biggest improvement I could have made to this draft was trying to get another top RB. It wasn't my best draft but I came away pleased. Feel free to ask questions on here or on twitter (@WesKCrochet).
  14. the tight end position gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.... and has for a few years now.
  15. The production of the tight ends and wide receivers this year will obviously be dependent on who emerges as the starting quarterback and how well that individual (I sure hope it’s an individual leading the way at quarterback and not a rotation of 2 or even 3 QB’s…) develops. Let’s take a look at the numbers. Wide Receivers Last season the two starting receivers, Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley, were almost identical in their statistical production. Davis had the edge in receptions by 1, and in yards by 2. But Shipley had the edge in his receiving average and receiving touchdowns. Mike Davis: 45 receptions, 609 yards, 13.5 average, 1 touchdown Jaxon Shipley: 44 receptions, 607 yards, 13.8 average, 3 touchdowns Though the stats are similar, these players are very different. And the touchdown difference between the two is what sticks out. Sure, it’s only a difference of 2 touchdowns. But with better quarterback play that difference would be greater. (It should also be noted that Shipley did not play in 3 games in the later half of the season). Don’t get me wrong; both are above average route runners. Both understand how to get open against different defensive coverages. Both have good hands, speed, and have the ability to make acrobatic catches. But Shipley is the guy who will emerge as the number one receiver for the Longhorn’s offense. He is a big time playmaker, much like his older brother was for the Horns. He’s physical and fearless when going for the ball. And he has the speed, quickness, and route running ability to be lethal against just about any defense in the Big Twelve. If the quarterback situation pans out then I expect big things from number 8. Though I do see Shipley as the number 1 receiver, I don’t necessarily think of Davis as the number 2 receiver. I really see it as being more of 1A & 1B in the fall, as far as how many balls each receiver sees coming his way. Davis had a great freshman year but didn’t exactly follow up with quite the year we were all hoping he would have. It wasn’t all his fault, but regardless of the QB situation he seemed to disappear at times and didn’t provide some of the same big play ability that we saw from him his freshman year. When I watch Davis play, I always see him as more of a guy who would thrive as the second wide-out option on any team. I say that based off of the way he plays and his skill set. I wouldn’t call him a possession receiver because he does a decent job running after the catch and has great speed. But I think once Shipley really becomes established as the lead receiver at the beginning of the season Davis will be a great compliment to have lined up on the opposite side of the field. The depth behind those two isn’t great. Other than Marquis Goodwin, the rest of the receivers are either young, inexperienced, or both. I was sad to see him miss out on winning a medal for our country. But I fully expect Goodwin to bring it this year. He will be a senior and is a guy who I’ve always liked a lot but I’ve never understood why he hasn’t had a bigger role in the offense. Granted, he did leave football briefly before returning for the BYU game last season. Ironically last season was his best season when he caught 33 balls for 421 yards and scored 2 receiving touchdowns. But one stat I really loved was that he also had 22 carries (mostly on reverse type plays) for 220 yards. Of course I don’t really know what discussions are had between the coaches or what happens in practices, but I’ve always wondered why Goodwin wasn’t utilized more. He should have been the guy that was used for the role that D.J. Monroe tried. Marquis is just too fast and has too good of vision to not at least get a shot at that. In that role, I think he could have been shown flashes as a “Percy Harvin†type player. Maybe freshman Daje Johnson will end up seeing success at that role… But whether Goodwin gets the carries or not, I’m hoping for a big year out of the senior. As for the rest of the receivers, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will step up. When I was younger my favorite player was Roy Williams (when he was a Longhorn. After that we had a bit of a falling out). Because of this I’ve always wondered when there would be another big, tall receiver that would be a big time player for the Horns. No, Limas Sweed never qualified for that role in my books. But I bring this up because I’d love to see 6-3 freshman Cayleb Jones or 6-3 Sophomore John Harris step up this year and produce quality minutes. However, they will be competing for playing time along with D.J. Monroe, DeSean Hales (another guy who always disappears when the season starts), Kendall Sanders, Bryant Jackson and whoever else Harsin wants to try at receiver. Tight Ends The fact that Mack Brown wants to try former WR recruit Miles Onyegbule at tight end gives me a sick feeling in my stomach for the tight end position. Not because I think Onyegbule can’t be a great tight end, but because none of the guys already at that position have taken control of the position. There has been some bad luck at the tight end position in recent years in the form of injuries. Blaine Irby, D.J. Grant, and Trey Graham have all had horrific knee injuries once they got on campus. Regardless, this position has not been a strength of the Longhorn’s offense in recent years and has been a frustrating one to figure out. When I think about the tight ends for the fall the first two names that come to mind are senior D.J. Grant and redshirt freshman M.J. McFarland. Both saw action at wide receiver in high school and both have since been converted to tight ends once they got to the 40 Acres. Other than the UCLA game, D.J. Grant never really showed that he had fully come back from his knee injury and was ready to take control of the position. (By the way, what on earth was that explosion of production D.J. had in the UCLA game? And where did it go?) But he is another year removed from his injury, and as a senior he will have every opportunity to try and take control of the job. M.J. Mcfarland is in a different place than D.J. Grant. After being converted to Tight End, McFarland was handed a redshirt his first year on campus and didn’t see any playing time on the field in games. But he showed that he had been working hard in practice by having a great day at the Orange and White game this past spring. He will also continue to get many opportunities to lock up the job. Behind those two guys are unknowns. Seniors Barrett Matthews and Luke Poehlmann, though listed as tight ends, are both mainly used in blocking situations. That leaves Trey Graham, former wide receiver Miles Oneybule, former defensive end Greg Daniels, and freshman Caleb Bluiett (currently listed as DE on the Longhorns roster but this kid is a freak athlete and played tight end in high school which is why he may see time at TE in practice) as the guys who will also be fighting for playing time. 2012 Both the receiver and tight end positions are not nearly as strong as they have been in years past. But there is plenty of youth at each position. And as these quarterbacks develop, the receivers and tight ends should continue to develop right along with them. It will be very interesting to see just how much each position is called upon this season, like last season, with the new emphasis to the run game on offense. Let us know what you think, and post in the forums. Article by Wes Crochet Follow Wes on Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  16. I'm sure Harsin already has all kinds of plays just for Gray to show off his stuff... can gray play qb too?
  17. Appreciate it. And as long as that offensive line gels together they will... but i'll get to that in a post coming up.
  18. 2011 UT Rushing Statistics Broken Down & Some 2012 Projections By: Wes Crochet Since last season was the first season for the longhorns new run dominant offense, I wanted to go back and really break down the numbers in an attempt to get a better idea of what type of production we may expect from the running backs this fall. *Statistic from – http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/stats/_/id/251/texas-longhorns Total Rushing Attempts (includes RB, QB, WR): 613 (ESPN says 589, but Case McCoy’s 24 carries are not added onto those stats, which is why I’m going with 613. Also note that some QB carries are sacks). Total Rushing Attempts by RB’s ONLY: 443 1. Malcolm Brown – 172 2. Joe Bergeron – 72 3. Fozzy Whittaker – 66 4. Cody Johnson – 48 5. D.J. Monroe – 48 6. Jeremy Hills 36 Average Rushing Attempts Per Game by RB’s ONLY: 34 When focusing on just the running backs, the Horns averaged about 34 rushing attempts per game. For the 2012 season, I don’t expect that number to change much, though I do think it could hover around the 40 mark. The first thing that stands out to me is the amount of players who attempted 20 or more carries in 2011 (including RB’s, QB’s, WR’s), which is a total of 9. The number increases to 10 when you add Jaxon Shipley’s 11 carries. Compare that to 2010 where there were only 5 players with 20 or more carries (4 of those players being running backs) and you start to see where the differences lie in this offensive scheme to the previous one… RUN, EVERYBODY JUST RUN. Let’s take a closer look at each player’s carries last season. MALCOLM BROWN – Not including the 3 games Brown sat out, he averaged about 17 carries per game over the 10 games he played in. His 172 total carries are about right on par for what I expect for the 2012 season. And yes, I unfortunately am taking into account that he may be banged up a couple of games. But I think he averages closer to 15 carries per game. JOE BERGERON – I love how hard Bergeron runs and I really hope he stays healthy all season, but he actually is extremely hard to project for the fall. I know everyone is high on him and it can be very easy to think he will be the best back out of the committee at UT in the fall, but not so fast, my friend (thanks Corso). It’s important to note that Bergeron didn’t receive more than 6 carries in ANY game until the 7th game of the season against Kansas, who’s run defense is plain awful. Against Kansas, and against Texas Tech the following week, Bergeron ran for a total of 42 carries for 327 yards, giving him an average of 7.8 YPC. And in those 2 games he scored five touchdowns, which were his ONLY touchdowns of the entire season. After those 2 games he had 12 carries the rest of the season. Granted, he was also hit by the injury bug and didn’t play in all of the games the entire season. But If we take those 2 monster games out of his stats and look at the rest of his production his stats would be 30 carries for 136 yards, giving him an average of 4.5 YPC, and 0 TD’s. That’s not a terrible average, but assuming Bergeron will be the best back this year may be a bit of a stretch. So what should we expect from the bruiser? Since Joe Bergeron is a physical, power running back I still would think his carries will be less than Malcolm Brown’s. If we still agree that the Horn’s will average 35-40 rushing attempts per game, and if Brown gets 15 of those then I’d assume Bergeron sees about 12-15 carries per game. I know there will be games, like the Kansas game last year, where one back could see increased attempts, but we are talking averages here. For all you non-math majors out there, like myself, that now totals about 30 carries. We have 10 left… who uses them? Perhaps Jonathan Gray? When you start breaking down the numbers it gets really tough to see exactly where the production will come from and how it will all play out. Add in the fact that D.J. Monroe, Daje Johnson (freshman), Jaxon Shipley, Marquis Goodwin, and who ever else Harsin can find will all be used to carry the ball in one way or another then the madness that Harsin creates and Mack wants begins to show. At the end of the day I really don’t care who leads in which statistic as long as the Horns are improving and getting wins. I personally love that the Longhorns should have a plethora of weapons to use in the running game, as long as the coaching staff is riding the hot hand/hands… Especially since neither quarterback has yet to “make the decision for [Mack]†on who will start. Join the conversation and tell us what you think. Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  19. When scouring over the Longhorn’s offense for the 2012 season, there is no denying that the running backs will be the strength of this offense, and that’s exactly what Mack Brown wanted when he drew up his blue print for this new offensive scheme. And in the past couple of years Mack, the recruiting king, has been able to bring some very talented running backs to Austin. Much of the conversation this off-season regarding the running back position has been centered on who will emerge as the better back. I think that question is a stupid one to be asking right now, if at all. These running backs are all very different in their styles and in return should be used differently for whatever the situation calls for. The strength of this group will not be built on one player emerging as the best back, rather it will be built on using the running back with the best skills and talent for the given situation. Let’s take a look at each player before I continue. Joe Bergeron– Averaging 6.4 yards per carry last season, Joe Bergeron is everything you’d want in a power running back. His running style currently seems to be very straightforward and simple. As a matter of fact, that’s a great way to describe Bergeron’s running style – Straightforward. His power is in his legs, which helps keep his weight low to the ground and allows him to excel in exploding through holes in the line and through defenders. The first time I saw Bergeron play, in person, was at the “USA vs. The World†football game 2 years ago. I knew he was a talented back but what I didn’t expect was for him to take the game over the way he did and completely run over “The World’s†defense (writing that makes me imagine a “World Football Leagueâ€â€¦ How weird would that be?) On each play Bergeron ran like a mad man on a mission to flatten anything and anyone in his path. And that bulldozing power showed once more when he hit the field in Austin. But, what I really like about his running style is that he doesn’t dance around in the backfield waiting for holes to open up like some of the other big power backs UT has had in recent years (Cough, cough, Henry Melton, cough). In addition, Bergeron is more dynamic than your typical power running back because he also has great vertical speed for his size, and he is deceivingly more elusive than would appear, which only makes him more lethal as a runner. Joe should have no problem continuing to be the power back for the Longhorns this season. Malcolm Brown – So if Joe Bergeron will be the “bruiser†for UT this upcoming season where does that put Malcolm Brown? Last season Malcolm came to the 40 Acres as the more highly touted recruited. A five star, Brown was expected to win the starting job and dominate on the field from day one. And though Brown saw success on the field and was an effective force in the offense, the word “dominate†should not be put into a description of Brown’s performance last season. Before he played in his first game, I thought we would see a running back that would rip off huge, home run-like runs of over 40-50 yards. And see explosiveness and a killer running instinct from the five star recruit. Instead, Brown’s longest run was for just 27 yards and he didn’t quite show the explosiveness through the holes that was expected. However, Malcolm Brown was a true freshman. And as a freshman, like with David Ash, adjusting to the game speed can make a huge difference between being one step quicker than the defense and/or making that one extra move to hit the home run play. There is a lot to like about Malcolm Brown, though. I love watching his combination of patience and vision when he first hits the offensive line. He sees the holes very well and usually makes great decisions that net positive yards. At the same time, I want to see him hit those holes with more explosiveness once he finds them. He seemed to be a half step slow hitting those holes but if he improves that then breaking off the big runs should be inevitable. Reserves – Running back is not UT’s strength just because of the talent at the position; it’s the strength because of the NUMBER of players at the position with talent. Highly touted freshman Jonathan Gray and experienced, versatile Jeremy Hills will be fighting for snaps as back ups all season long. *In my original post i stated that Jonathan Gray would average about 5-10 carries a game. But I decided to go back and take a look at that statement and then crunch some numbers from last season and I'm critiquing myself. (I'll throw up another post with the numbers I crunched to explain why I did this). But it should be pretty easy for Gray to get about 10-15 touches a game. Whether it's on the ground or catching passes out of the backfield, he will be a nice weapon to throw into games to spell Bergeron and Brown.* Granted, I know there may be a game or two where he is called upon for many more plays than that, but otherwise I think his playing time will average to 10-15 touches a game by the end of the season... The only other way I see him receiving a good amount of snaps is if he wins the job as the running back in the game on passing situations. With Bergeron not recording a single catch last year and Brown catching three passes for 17 yards, neither of those guys really showed they are viable pass catchers yet. But for now I see that job being handed to Brown. As for Gray, I like his skills and potential a lot. He has incredible speed, quickness, vision, and strength. There’s no question in my mind he will be a big time playmaker in the near future. However, what I love is this athlete’s positive attitude towards the running back committee this up coming season and his work ethic to be the best. That’s the type of attitude that often goes hand in hand with athletic stardom. Jeremy Hills simply provides solid depth at the position. His potential as a player has pretty much been reached, but if called upon he can step in and produce positive yards. Other than the first two games, I don’t expect him to see the field much unless the injury bug strikes again. This brings me back to my first statement. Having Joe Bergeron’s powerful, downhill, bruising style, combined with Malcolm Brown’s patient yet physical style he utilizes with his exceptional vision, and also throwing in Jonathan Gray’s expected speed, quickness, and play making ability, the Longhorns seem to have a back to use in any situation they encounter, as long as these players can all stay healthy. I do expect there to be certain games where one of the running backs will have a huge day by himself. And I also expect there to be games when the production will be spread out somewhat evenly. These players are all very talented running backs but they all have very different styles that will give the Horns a major advantage for this offense. I cannot wait to see how offensive coordinator Brian Harsin uses each of the athletes in his game plans, especially as they continue to gain more playing time and experience throughout the season. Just imagine a package where Bergeron, Brown, and Gray are all on the field at the same time… That’s just scary. Follow me on Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email me at: Wes. Sports@hotmail.com

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