“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
EPIC. Thujone's latest paint opus has panels for Tate Forcier, Big Ten expansion, and Les Miles, but this is where it's at:
As always, Thujone comes with a CARTOON PENIS warning. Do not click if you are in a situation where being caught looking at a cartoon penis would be compromising.
Epic in the other direction. Chris Brown's latest at Smart Football is one of those posts that instantly illuminates a part of football that was murky before, and this one even comes with locally-relevant content. He describes the "snag" and "y-stick" plays you may have seen in your copy of NCAA 12 (or any year since '08 since they haven't changed it since). They incorporate stretches both vertical (i.e., making a cover two cornerback pick between a high guy and a low guy) and horizontal (i.e., making a flat defender pick between an outside guy and an inside guy) with routes that do well against man coverage.
Presenting that concept taking candy from a baby:
The snag is so synonymous with the triangle concept that some teams simply call it “triangle.” The basic concept involves one receiver in the deep third on a corner route (good by itself against man-to-man), one receiver in the flat, often a runningback or inside receiver (which can also be good against man from a bunch-set), and a third receiver on the “snag” route, sometimes also known as a “slant-settle” or a “mini-curl.”
As a general matter, against a Cover Two defense the quarterback will have a high/low read of the cornerback; if he sinks back he can throw it to the inside receiver in the flat; if the cornerback drops he will throw it to the corner route behind the cornerback, as shown in the clip below.
Against a Cover Three defense, the cornerback should take away the corner route by dropping into the deep third, but the snag/mini-curl and the flat should put a horizontal stretch on the flat defender and one of the two should be open.
At times like this I think to myself "boy, I hope I got that right." Drumroll…
NFW Michigan can defend this as aligned, as Rogers(-1) has a nasty choice between giving up the corner or the flat and chooses poorly by not sinking into the corner. (Cover -2, RPS -2); Gordon has no prayer of getting over in time and can only hope to tackle. Also, Avery(-1) appears to be abandoning his zone to ride the WR on a little hitch farther, which means the flat is wide open; Michigan is putting lots of guys in the same areas on their zone drops
Not bad. Michigan didn't even make that snag hard; by the time the ball is gone Mouton and Ezeh are within a yard of each other and Avery isn't much farther away. I still don't think there was any way for Michigan to defend this staple play as aligned, which points to the incoherence of the defense. Everything from last year points to the incoherence of the defense, sure.
Outdoor hockey is go. The on-again-off-again outdoor game in Cleveland is on again, this time officially. It's January 15th.
I wonder what the fan breakdown will be. This one's a bit farther than the Big House but still an easy drive and Ohio State fans don't usually turn out for hockey. They do make an exception for Michigan, though, and they'll probably make a larger one for the outdoor game PR stunt. 50-50?
Let's be friends. Dimitri Martin has a one-liner about bumper stickers: "to me, all bumper stickers say the same thing: 'let's not be friends.' This is one of two exceptions:
You know what happened in 1973, I'm sure. If not MVictors has you covered.
The other exception: once I saw a guy with a black bumper sticker that read CASH, as in Johnny.
Very aggressive. I'll take anything more than three guys this year. Also, feel the soothing reassurance of Greg Mattison talking vis a vis Greg Robinson.
Euroleague says thanks. Someone credible enough to get retweeted by Pete Thamel says he "keeps hearing" NBA owners are pushing for an eligibility structure similar to the NFL. I.E.: you can't enter the draft until you're three years out of high school.
At that point wouldn't a lot of kids scheduled to be one-and-done GTFO? It's one thing when you've got to cool your heels for a year nailing cheerleaders and maybe taking a few classes. Three years is a totally different matter. The money will be bigger overseas since they can expect some high-level performances when the #1 pick in the NBA draft is 21.
Football can get away with their structure because there's nowhere else to play and they're almost always right: you should not be playing in the NFL less than three years after prom because you will die. The Adrian Petersons of the world are exceedingly rare. In basketball there are a dozen guys coming out of high school every year who can be all right NBA players right away.
I feel like the NBA should go with MLB style rule with regards to NBA draft eligibility. You can go straight to NBA after HS but if you choose to stay in college, you'd have to stay at least 2 years before declaring for the draft. It's a win-win for both NBA and NCAA. The elite won't make a college academic a sham by not doing much in class work then go straight to NBA. By choosing college, the players can develop into a better player than they were coming out of HS. There will be more star power in NCAA.
It's about time for the NBA to adopt something similar to the NFL. This way, all the kids not mature enough will be weeded out in college, and will no longer be a huge burden on payrolls.
Also, with 18 yr old players entering the league, certain players simply get stale. For example, I'm already extremely tired of LeBron James, and he's only like 26 years old. He could play for another 10 years if he wants. It's about time the NBA begins managing its brand better, and would be wise to take cues from the NFL. This way, I(typical casual NBA fan) might actually start watching again.
Young guys are not a burden on NBA payrolls. With a hard slotted rookie wage scale, those on rookie deals (even 19 or 20 yr olds) are the best value deals in the league. Nobody needed to see another year of Kevin durant scoring 30 a game in his sleep
I believe the NBA tried to adopt similar rules in the last collective bargaining agreement but the players union would only compromise on 1 year out of high school. The only losers are the few guys a year that can actually make the jump from high school to pros each year. The quality of play in the NBA is better and the NCAA is no worse than when there was no one and done rule. As a selfish fan I would really like to see this.
As with the paying players debacle of an argument, I'm perfectly willing to let the future LeBrons get "screwed" (if that's the term people want to use to describe a kid who - HORRORS - has to wait a little while before he can become obscenely rich) in order to protect the Korleone Youngs and countless other anonymous dreamchasers from themselves and the scumbags trying to make a quick buck off of them by filling their head with dreams of extreme pimpitude.
A structure similar to baseball would be just fine with me, where a guy doesn't have to make a life-altering decision that he can never take back. The draft shouldn't be a blindfolded leap into the darkness. I can see the arguments from the teams, that they would risk not getting anyone at all in a draft that's designed to help right away, so my response would be, well, pick someone you're a lot surer about and learn to scout something other than Duke and Kentucky games.
Baseball is not really the comp you are looking for. Baseball draftees do really have to make life altering decisions. Team A drafts a player who has an opportunity to obtain a college scholarship. Baseball player has to choose whether to sign with Team A, or go to college. If he goes to college, he is not eligble to be drafted until his junior year, at which point the original drafting team has lost his rights and he is back in the pool. While such dual players do have leverage, they still have to excercise that leverage with a life-altering decision even before they enter college.
Hockey on the other hand, does allow one to draft a player and then not sign him for several years while he plays out his junior/ncaa eligibility while the drafting team still retains the rights to the player (NCAA to CHL defection loophole excepted). Truly the hockey players retain the best of all worlds from a draft perspective.