that is nice bonus change
Mike Cervenak has enjoyed one of the top offensive seasons in the IL and currently ranks 2nd in the league in hits (99) and T-7th in average (.304). The 31-year-old will be making his second Triple-A All-Star appearance, having played in the 2005 contest while with Fresno. Earlier this season, he amassed an 18-game hitting streak, the longest by any player in the IL this year. Last year, he led the IL in hits (157), at-bats (554) and games (140) while playing with Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides.
Cervenak was the captain of the 1999 Wolverine baseball team coached by Geoff Zahn. He has played 10 seasons of minor league baseball, starting in independent ball and working thru 4 organizations (Yankees, Giants, Orioles, and Phillies). He is still working towards his first big league at bat.
Dear Football Gods,
I've been a very good fan this offseason. I've been following every news story and blog about our team. And even though I'm 8,000 miles away I plan on making a pilgrimage back to the holy lands this October. Thank you for sending us a savior. (Mike Barwis be his name) And while I was sad that you took away our old coach (Bo), I'm grateful you gave us a 21st century (RR) version to ease the pain.
So, if it would't be too much trouble, please give us the following things this season:
1. A 10 win season
2. An Appalacian state victory over LSU
3. A win over OSU
4. ND losing 9 games
5. Competant QB play
6. No major arrests (no MORE major arrests)
7. Two 4* DE recruits
8. A fourth SuperBowl victory and another MVP award for Tom Brady
9. Good fortune for all M alumni in the NFL (even Ryan Mundy)
Thanks in advance,
I have proposed the theory that the major Big Ten teams play an archaic brand of offensive football which has propped up the defenses—most notably of OSU and M. These defenses were then unmasked in post season play. Tressel’s defense, in particular, has been shredded by a more modern offensive philosophy in the past 2 bowl games. Rather than using labels like ‘shot gun spread’ that will leave me open to snotty purists dismissing me by noting “Florida and LSU run completely different offenses”, I will explain what I see as the salient aspects of the ‘modern offensive philosophy’ (or ninja football) that I’m talking about here.
- First you have to reach an athletic minimum to avoid being overwhelmed by OSU. Sorry Purdue.
- Keep the defense off balance by spreading the field with multiple potential playmakers.
- Use a variety of formations and action to disguise what may be a limited selection of plays—including run/pass variation.
- Have some method of dealing with the pass rush that will result from more electrons and fewer fat guys. Here you can go with a mobile QB or quick developing plays.
- Many teams who run these offenses do so out of a shotgun. I’m not sure that is a requirement but may be tied to point 4 (running QB or helping the QB make faster decisions.)
Compliments of that hulu site that was posted here I watched the entire championship game from last season to answer several questions.
Things LSU did and did not do.
- LSU was not stopped by the OSU defense. There was some lingering belief that LSU had a good string of short field TD’s before OSU solved them. This was probably perpetuated by the incorrect announcer babbling and the methodical way LSU worked down the field (they certainly looked less impressive than Florida.) The announcers went on and on about the 2nd half stops by OSU. The first, they incorrectly called a 3 and out, LSU drove to the 50 (2 first downs) and Flynn made his first mistake with the intentional grounding leaving an unmakeable 3rd down (which was promptly forgiven by the roughing the punter.) The second stop was Flynn’s second mistake--messed up timing pattern. Jenkins made a nice play but was not covering his man at the time or else he would not have been near the ball. The only times LSU didn’t score were due to their own mistakes—dropped pass followed by a missed snap, intentional grounding, INT, running out the clock (2 line plunges and a throw away.)
- LSU’s offensive success was not due to awesome athletic ability. Even more so than Florida, LSU’s offense was not considered a juggernaut. They succeeded by making good decisions, avoiding mistakes, and keeping OSU off balance—not by going toe to toe with OSU’s athletes.
- LSU did not have a QB who was a running threat and yet still ran more than they passed. LSU ran out of a variety of formations, including empty backfield (to Jacob Hester.) They did not rely on Hester plunging into the line except on short yardage and clock killing.
- Although Flynn played a great game and made excellent quick decisions not much was asked of him except to make accurate, short passes to open primary receivers. Flynn had several weird, never going to be successful runs, that I wonder may have been pass plays that weren’t immediately there.
- LSU did not stop the OSU pass rush (or dominate run blocking) and it didn’t matter. LSU ran quick developing passes that avoided having Flynn standing in the pocket and getting buried by Ghoulston. They threw one, wildly successful, long pass. LSU’s running was varied in terms of formation, ball carrier, and inside/outside keeping OSU from keying on any one thing.
- In big spots LSU went to their TE in the middle of field, usually off some action to draw Lauranitis and it worked stunningly all 4 times. Illinois did this also. The TE caught 2 TD’s, took a third to the 1 yard line, and made a big 3rd down conversion. I can only assume this was scouted and planned deliberately.
Mistakes M has made in the past.
- Not enough options and variation. Presnap, people paying attention could predict the play including the ball carrier or receiver. If you do this Tressel will stop you.
- Aside from hoping for “super great blocking” no mechanism for handling the pass rush (2003 was the only year the “super great blocking” happened.) The pass rush be damned, Henne will stand in the pocket waiting for Ghoulston to bury him while M receivers complete intricate, late breaking patterns miles downfield.
In conclusion, I do not believe that Florida played the game of their life or ‘nobody could have beaten LSU.’ Both myths which are presently being perpetuated by the media. I think OSU’s defense and defensive coaching (possibly since Dantonio left?) have weaknesses which can be exploited and RR is especially qualified to do so.
Note: I have some thoughts on the other side of the ball which I may be posting along with my somewhat depressing prediction for OSU in 2009 (lest anyone get the idea I am predicting OSU’s immediate ruin or an M victory in 2009.)
Go Mav's! Go Blue! Go to hell OSU!
Here we are in the UK (been here almost a year now actually lol) The boy is quaterback for the EK Mavericks youth team and i have recently accepted a position as defensive coach.. God help them, i've not played football since i was 10!
Today is Part I of the Kevin Grady saga. Part II will most likely arrive on Monday, due to the holiday and all. Assuming I don't pull a Grady and end up in jail myself, that is. Enjoy.
MyFairGrady: barkeep get me anotha one of those dranks
Barkeep: You mean another water, sir?
MyFairGrady: yea bitch gotta keep hydrated for that crazy bitch barwis
MyFairGrady: you hear about yesterday man he broke tim jamisons back cuz he was eating an ice cream store clerk
Barkeep: Sounds stressful. Perhaps a drink to unwind?
MyFairGrady: fuck you i got my h20
Barkeep: Very well sir – can I ask who your friend here is? He looks underage
McGuffTheTDDawg: yo yo yo check it
McGuffTheTDDawg: you aint know me?
Yo check it 1 2
my name is sam
i'm slippery like a pan covered in pam
cooking oil that is what im sayin
burnin fools like canola in the toaster
MyFairGrady: man what in the fuck
dont worry about him hes with me imma watchin out for his ass
i run for miles
like i'm boobie miles
cept he was black and kind of whack
im texas bred and destined for a plaque
MyFairGrady: dont get down on boobie man he tore an acl just like me, you aint know shit bout comin back from that
McGuffTheTDDawg: im drizzzunk in this bitch and that chick looks like a witch
MyFairGrady: imma buy her a drank
get some of those panty drop shots or whatevr you fucks call it
Barkeep: Very well sir
***Barkeep has handed MyFairGrady a strawberry daiquiri***
***MyFairGrady has fumbled the drink into his lap***
McGuffTheTDDawg: fumbles over here cant get his game on
cuz he cant keep the drink off his shirt
MyFairGrady: that dont even come close to rhyming you stupid motherfucka
get me anotha one of them things
***MyFairGrady has spilled the drink on his shirt***
MyFairGrady: mothafuck i am outta here get yo shit togetha drunkie mcguffie we going home u gonna meet my folks so they can tell u what a dumb mothafuck u are
***MyFairGrady and McGuffTheTDDawg are driving***
McGuffTheTDDawg: yo check it
mcguff aint feelin right tonite
like he swallowed a tin o vegemite
think he gonna have gastrocardiac episode
all in your pontiac
***McGuffTheTDDawg has vomited on MyFairGrady***
***MyFairGrady has vomit in his eyes and swerves the car across the center line***
LadyCop: Excuse me, sir, I noticed you were driving erratically back there.
MyFairGrady: come on miss this dipshit in the seat next to me puked on me
LadyCop: That's Sam McGuffie, All-American recruit from Texas. He wouldn't do that. Who are you?
MyFairGrady: u kidding me lady im kevin grady, all-universe recruit from this fuckin town
LadyCop: Whoa there, Mr. Grady. Maybe you should step out of the vehicle.
***MyFairGrady has exited the vehicle***
LadyCop: Now, if you are Mr. Grady and you are sober, then you should have no problem taking this handoff from me.
/pulls out football
***MyFairGrady has fumbled the handoff***
hey! found it! here. nah, it doesn't look bad at all. i actually like it.. (and for the sake of a minimum of 25 words, here's.. WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! yum.