Yes baseball fans, the time has arrived for total usage of instant replay in a modified system. Do not us it on balls and strikes. Use it on calls on the bases like the one early Tuesday morning in the 19th inning on the tag at home plate by Pirates catcher Mike McKenry and blown call by ump Jerry Meals. Use it on the call by Umpire Jim Joyce who took away a perfect no-hit game by Armando Galaragga. Even Jim Joyce admitted he blew the call. Instant replay is utilized in home run situations so extend it and use it on calls at the bases, fan interference, and hits down the line and at the base of the wall extended to the foul pole. Either do it like college football and buzz the home plate umpire and discuss the call with an instant replay official or secondly give the manager a red flag like the NFL does and he has 2 opportunities to challenge a call during the game. Basically what I am saying is get the call correct. A multitude of mistakes have been made by umpires over the years that really can affect a team's momentum or cost a team a victory. The technology is there and the time has come for a modified version of baseball instant replay.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Should the Pittsburgh Steelers sign free Agent Offensive Tackle Willie Colon? My opinion I say Yes. Unfortunately for Willie Colon, he suffered a pre-season injury working out getting ready for the 2010 season and missed the entire 16 games plus the playoffs. Prior to that Colon had 4 successful seasons and according to previous Offensive Line coach Larry Zierlein, he was one of the best run blockers in the entire NFL. That may be a true statement for the stalwart from Colonial Athletic Conference team Hofstra which dropped football a few years back. Colon beat out right tackle Max Starks 4 seasons ago but Starks shifted to Left Tackle and has done a solid job protecting Big Ben's back side. My case for signing Colon is that it is hard to find solid offensive linemen that can compete against the speed of the DE's in the NFL. Colon can do that. His injury to his Achilles is totally healed and his motor is on high throttle. Willie Colon has the potential to have a Pro Bowl calibre season. The Steelers should look at signing him to a long term agreement for Colon has a lot of mileage left in his tank. Colon is valuable part of the Steeler machine.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
When the Big East football coaches and administrators meet on August 2nd, I wonder if they are going to discuss expansion. Maybe they should. In 2011 the Big East has 8 participants in football:UConn, Rutgers,Pitt, Cincinnati, Louisville,Syracuse, WVU, South Florida, and TCU coming in 2012 which makes it 9 members. I feel the Big East should expand to a 12 team league in football. Villanova is close to entering the league pending on a vote from the members. If the VU Wildcats come in that makes it 10 members. Where would 11 and 12 come from? I would like to see the Navy become a member and possibly have Central Florida and/or Memphis become the 12th team. If you have 12 members , the league can be split into 2 conferences, the Big East North(UConn,Pitt,Rutgers,Villanova,Syracuse,Navy) and the Big East South(WVU,USF,Louisville,Cincinnati,TCU,Memphis or Central Florida). There are also rumors floating out there that either Army or Air Force may want to join the Big East Football League. This would be a very interesting football conference if any of this happened. Adding TCU was a great move for the Big East. Villanova needs to move from 1AA to 1A and bringing Navy or another academy school in would be VERY interesting.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
There is a new summertime football craze for the high schools across the entire country. It is called 7 - on- 7 tournaments. It has been going on for some time now but has really exploded the past 5 years nationwide. There are tournaments all over the country. High School Players and coaches are criss-crossing the country to participate in these tournaments and events. The definition of 7 on 7 is basically a passing scrimmage without offensive linemen and a pass rush. As a football scout, I like 7 on 7 for fundamental reasons. Defensive players(Linebackers and Defensive Backs) can work on coverage skills(both man to man and zone), footwork, hip turn, running with receivers, picking up secondary receivers, and a multitude of pass coverage sets. The offensive players(Quarterback, Running Backs, and receivers including tight ends), can work on pass routes, timing, running after the catch, setting picks, and a working on a multitude of offensive sets and schemes. Another description of 7 on 7 is sophisticated organized flag football.
No one blocks or tackles anyone and there is no pass rush. It has become so popular that ESPN televises the 7 on 7 National Championship. Numerous high schools coaches like 7 on 7 but there are a group that do not and stay away from it. My philosophy is that anytime your players can work on fundamentals in a group setting and the 7 on 7 situation is totally organized, it can be a positive thing. It has similarities to AAU Basketball. Some regions have All Star 7 on 7 teams that travel nationwide. 7 on 7 all star teams are good for the better players but myself I like the 7 on 7 tournaments with participation with your own high school team.
Monday, July 18, 2011
One swift year ago, I wrote an article on this blog about Pitt having the potential of having 5 First Round NFL Draft choices in April, 2011. As the world turns, WR Jonathan Baldwin was the only one chosen in Round One, DE Greg Romeus still got drafted in Round 7 despite having injury problems and Romeus could have been selected in Round 1. Others drafted were DE Jabaal Sheard in Round 2, and RB Dion Lewis and OG Jason Pinkston in Round 5. Nice draft year for the Pitt Panthers. Here we go again! Are there potential first rounders in this group. National Scouting has OT Lucas Nix graded after his Junior Year a Potential First Rounder. In matter of fact, National has him and Georgia OT Cordy Glenn as the top 2 Offensive Linemen of the Senior Class. Nix is a huge guy with good feet and bends well. Next for Pitt that is rated high and a real good hybrid type player DE/OLB is Brandon Lindsey. Lindsey played lights out in 2010 coming off the edge making multitudes of plays in space and rushing the passer. Next in DT Chas Alecxih who initially was a walk-on at Pitt but really elevated his game into becoming a solid DT prospect at the next level. Alecxih plays with a great motor. Next is OG/OC Chris Jacobson who is a strong physical interior lineman whom the coaching staff is moving to center this 2011 season. Jacobson is a physical pounder and is strong. Even though CB Antwuan Reed had a couple of inconsistent games NFL scouts like this speedy and good sized corner. LB Max Gruder has played solid for the Panthers and scouts like his linebacker ability. Another LB that the NFL guys like is Greg Williams who has very good upside. DT Myles Caragein is getting lots of looks from scouts. Caragein is strong at the point and a battler with good quicks. Another guy with upside is big OT Jordan Gibbs, a converted high school TE, who has a future as a OT. NFL scouts are flocking to Pitt. Dave Wannstedt and company did not leave the cupboard bare for Coach Todd Graham
Sunday, July 17, 2011
You can see it now and it has finally arrived, the Pirate Nation. On every televised away game, when the television crew scans the crowd, numerous people in the crowd are wearing Pittsburgh Pirate golf shirts, hats, t-shirts, etc. This is great to see and it tells you that Pirate fans nationwide have been waiting for this for a long time(18 years in fact). This team is for real and a solid all around team with many good young players and a really good pitching staff. Any baseball observer can see that Neal Huntington and his staff have made some solid trades over the past few seasons. Some of the players that have been brought up from the minors are playing really well especially left fielder Alex Presley. Right now, Presley is really getting it done at the plate. He is patient with pitches, he understands the strike zone, he has quick wrists, and he can drive the ball when he strikes it. I love his burst of speed and his overall intensity. There is still plenty of baseball ahead, but the 2011 Buccos are bringing the crowds into PNC Park and are creating a buzz around this city. Can this Pirate team win the National League Central Division. With their starting pitching and their bullpen, the Buccos definitely have a shot at winning the division. who would have thunk it?
Monday, July 11, 2011
Pro Football Talk recently had a story on Brett Favre because at this time of the year the past few years, he always announces he may come out of retirement. Could this happen again? His brother says absolutely not but Brett Favre has playing football in his blood. Least we not forget that Youngwood, Pennsylvania's George Blanda played until he was 46. I think Favre could still be an excellent back-up quarterback that could spell the starter if any injury occurred. But would Brett Favre be receptive to being an NFL back-up quarterback. Probably not, but you never know. On January 17, 2011 Favre officially sent his retirement papers into NFL headquarters. But did he sign them. Brett Favre is a very active guy, loves the game of football, and probably needs to be around the game in some capacity, whether it be an announcer, a player, or in some capacity an administrator or coach for some NFL or college program. He has personal website titled officialbrettfavre.com. I would not be surprised that Favre shows up somewhere publicly in the game football not only for this season but maybe in the near future. Brett Favre is the kind of guy that is not going to disappear.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
The final version of the NFL's top 100 players has been posted recently. As we know of it, the players themselves chose the top 100 players. Giving much credit to a multitude of NFL players, they do line up against these guys on a weekly basis. BUT, do the players see everyone play? The answer is NO. Who sees everyone play? A real good question that probably cannot be answered. The logical choice to pick the top 100 would be the NFL scouts and NFL quality control coaches and not the players. One guy that should have been in the Top 10 but was number 11 is Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. This guy can flat out play. The fans had Rodgers number 2. The players voted 3 undrafted free agents into the top 25: OLB James Harrison, TE Antonio Gates, and RB Arian Foster. I will harp on this from here until doomsday, undrafted free agents are a very important part of an NFL team. In the 2011 Pro Bowl, 23 of the players were undrafted free agents. BINGO! The first Offensive Linemen selected was at the #28 position in Dolphins OT Jake Long. As Rodney would say"Let me tell ya, Offensive Linemen get no RESPECT." Another guy who gets no respect is Browns Running Back Peyton Hillis. My opinion, Hillis should be in the Top 25. He is a Fantasy Football Dream Pick. Peyton Hillis is not even in the Top 100.