March 2009 Archives

The Washington Wizards Roster

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images.jpgIn the depths of March Madness, we might forget that there is another brand of basketball still being played. In this here town too. They are called the Washington Wizards. They play in this league called the National Basketball Association. Yeah, I'm surprised too, I thought this NBA thing didn't start until April or May and only involved 16 teams playing the same opponent for best of 5 or 7 series.

So looking down the roster, i recognize some names.

Gilbert Arenas - isn't he that guy who writes the great blog?
Caron Butler - I remember him from UConn. Boo!
Juan Dixon - now here's a player I know. Terrapin great. Helped Maryland win it's first national championsihp.
Brendan Haywood - hated NC Tarheel. Boo!
Antwan Jamison - see Haywood, Brendan
Darius Songala - he played somewhere in the ACC right? Not Maryland though.
Nick Young & Etan Thomas - sound familar, but I don't know who these characters are.

Then the rest I have no clue. Andray Blatche, Javaris Crittenton, Mike James, JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, Olesksly Pecherov, and DeShawn Stevenson. Really, can someone tell me who these are?

Is that Jordan guy still playing for the team? How about Chris Webber or Juwan Howard?

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Chicago Bears

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The Chicago Bears are on the clock with the 18th Pick in the draft.

The Bears Defense hasn't lived up to its usual form the past couple of years since Rivera left as coordinator. There isn't an impact player available to improve the defense significantly and since the Bears seem committed to Orton at quarterback there's two positions the Bears may consider with the pick.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: New York Jets

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The New York Jets are on the clock with the 17th Pick in the draft.

Although the Jets may like to address other areas of need on the defensive side of the ball, the loss of Coles (WR) leaves New York with only Cotchery as the top receiver. Finding another option at receiver to stretch the field will be a primary concern heading into the season.

17th Pick: Percy Harvin, WR Florida

Harvin's speed, versatility, and play making ability will be welcomed in New York. It's always a treat to watch Jets fans at the NFL draft. They may be satisfied with Harvin. He can even add some excitement in the kick return game. He may not have the size most teams look for in a receiver, but that shouldn't be new to the Jets. Coles wasn't a tall receiver either.

The Chicago Bears are now on the clock with the 18th Pick in the draft.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: San Diego Chargers

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The San Diego Chargers are on the clock with the 16th Pick in the draft.

The Chargers can improve the roster by drafting any one of the following players Percy Harvin (WR), Knowshon Moreno (RB), or Rey Maualuga (ILB).

Percy Harvin could provide one more scoring option to open up the field for Tomlinson and Rivers. Harvin's a playmaker with excellent speed. A more balanced and spread offense with a healthy LT should confound opposing defenses. Greater running lanes for LT and more holes in zone defenses and mismatches in press coverage should increase Gates numbers, too.

Historically it usually takes two to three years for receivers to significantly contribute to the offense and whether Norv Turner has that type of time remains to be seen. Chargers fans are learning what Redskins fans learned a long time ago. Turner as a head coach can't take a team to the title with or without talent. Norv may be on a short leash and not be afforded the luxury of adding another scoring weapon that will take time to develop. Not every receiver makes the immediate impact of a DeSean Jackson.

Twittering Away

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So recently we've heard about Twitter creeping into the professional sports world. Charlie Villenueva of the Milwaukee Bucks tweeted about his play and how he has to step up. Shaquille O'Neal actually twitters away at all times of the day. OK, really night. You can follow Shaq at @THE_REAL_SHAQ. The amazing part is that he does a bunch of it from his Crackberry Blackberry.

There are also a few parodies of front office people. Like your hockey? Follow Brian Burke or Bob Gainey. For a local twist, Vinny Cerrato is waiting for you.

If you did not already know, you can follow @thedcsportspage for some live commentary. We tweet often.

2009 Mock Draft: Houston Texans

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Having never visited Houston, I have nothing pithy to say about this city, so my only tangential story has to deal with a Houston Oilers player I once saw in Vegas (Yes, I know the Oilers are now the Titans, but I got nothing else, so just shut up and listen). It was April (probably back in 2004 or 2005). After a night of carousing, thoughts of food at 4 or 5 in the morning was on the minds of me and my fellow friends, so for whatever reason we decided to hit the restaurant on the ground level of the Barbary Coast (not that we were staying there, but whatever). The place was packed so we actually had to wait for a table and so we milled around the casino floor while waiting.

From out of the blue near the gaming tables we heard shouts of "Run and Shoot!" So as my friends and I looked over we saw Hall of Famer (not then) Warren Moon making his way to the after hours club Drai's with two ladies in tow strapped to his arms. Hey, isn't Moon married? I'm sure they were just business associates. Or maybe we all saw a Warren Moon impersonator. A few nights later one of my friends sans women tried to get into Drai's, but he didn't have Mr. Moon's luck.

So, onto the pick...

2009 Mock Draft: New Orleans Saints

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Who can think of New Orleans and not picture the mayhem and fun (I guess) of Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street? However, have you ever been in New Orleans on the morning after? Well, I haven't but, I have been in the unfortunate position of being in this city on a Sunday morning during the summer. Just imagine walking around in a city with the sun beating down on you and oppressive humidity which covers you like a sticky blanket. Then add in the smell of the sewer as an additional assault on your nose... but it's probably just the smell of vomit from the previous night's reveling. There are nice things about New Orleans especially if you like gambling or river boats, but I'll admit I have no need to ever visit this city again.

(Wait... this isn't Q's travel blog?!? Darn it.)

The New Orleans Saints finished 8-8 last season having suddenly found themselves in a strong NFC South with the unexpected emergence of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Saints had an offense which lead the league last season at over 410 yards per game and almost 29 points per game. It's obvious it's not this side of the ball which needs the most help.

World Baseball Classic thoughts

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A few quick thoughts on the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic:

  • How long will it be before Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish is going to be pitching for a team in the United States?

  • Here's a good way to sum up the problem with the team that the United States put together for the WBC: Ted Lilly was the number three starter on the team. If Ted Lilly pitched for the New York Yankees, he wouldn't even be the third best American starting pitcher, never mind in all of baseball. The U.S. can't compete with the rest of the world unless we have our best players on the field.

  • Even if the WBC never achieves the recognition that World Cup soccer or Olympic Basketball has, the WBC is still an enjoyable exhibition that I hope sticks around every four years as planned.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Washington Redskins

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To continue our own mock draft, the Washington Redskins are on the clock with the 13th Pick in the draft.

Assuming the Skins still have this pick and haven't traded up or down or acquired Jay Cutler, Washington has several areas of needs. The Redskins could definitely use help along both lines, as well as upgrading a line backing unit that was battered and aging all last season. Washington also needs to plan for the future and draft a cover corner and running back. Betts and Portis are approaching 30 and with the load that Portis has carried it has him mirroring an Earl Campbell like ending.

Below are the positions of need with analysis:

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Denver Broncos

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To continue our own mock draft, the Denver Broncos are on the clock with the 12th Pick in the draft.

The Jay Cutler debacle could completely change what direction the Broncos take in the draft. With Sanchez already gone in our draft and assuming that Cutler is still a Bronco, Denver may look to address the pass rush off the edge.

12h Pick: Everett Brown, DE/LB, Florida State

He's a player that could provide exactly what Denver needs in that hybrid position DE/LB as the Broncos move to the 3-4 Defense. Brown's stock may be slipping on some draft boards but his upside and potential could be too much for the Broncos to pass on as his skills and versatility can create matchup problems for offenses.

The Redskins are now on the clock with the 13th Pick in the draft.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills

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To continue our own mock draft, the Buffalo Bills are on the clock with the 11th Pick in the draft.

The top tackles and defensive ends are now off the board. TO was added to provide another scoring threat, but the key may be at the quarterback position. Is Trent Edwards really the answer? Will he provide the stability and steady hand that will keep Owens happy? While other teams have addressed other needs the best player available in the draft may just be the right fit for the Bills.

Too Much Talk; Terps Fall in 2nd Rd To Finish Season

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Maryland ran into the buzz saw of the Memphis offense as they fell 89-70 in KC yesterday. Memphis was just too athletic and overmatched the Terps. Maryland hung tough and brought a 29 point deficit in the 2nd half down to fewer than 20 by game's end.

A long and exhausting season came to close for senior Dave Neal and the Terps. Tim Brando and Mike Gminski of CBS were gracious and complimentary of Maryland during the route that was occurring during the game. Little was made of Vasquez' comments about Memphis during the game and more made of the excellent coaching of Gary Williams this season and what Neal meant to the Terps this season.

Maryland Moves to Round of 32

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The Maryland Terrapins headed out to Kansas City and defeated the California Bears 84-71. It was a close game almost from the beginning until late in the game when the Terps broke out and held the double digit lead. Cal, the best 3-pt shooting team in the nation, could not get traction from long range. They also could not contain Maryland's offense.

Greivis Vasquez led Maryland with 27 points while Dave Neal scored 15 and Eric Hayes added 14 from the bench. This again was a total team win, like their efforts in the ACC tournament last week. From the opening tip, Sean Mosley, and Adrian Bowie ran up and down the court. MD's defense held Cal in check and provided a highlight of a steal at midcourt with key passes finishing with Vasquez leaving it for Hayes for the easy lay-in. Another highlight was the rare dunk by the Terps as Hayes missed a lay-in with Dino Gregory picking up the rebound and a light slam.

It was good to see that every minute of every Terp helped contribute to the win. They'll need it to handle Memphis on Saturday and take sight of the Sweet 16. There are already calls that Maryland can win against the Tigers. Memphis plays in the weaker Conference USA. Howvever, after the close call with Cal State Northridge in their opening round game, Memphis will probably be on their guard against Maryland.

March Madness Picks, Part Deux

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"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" Only the original version, not the remakes. This is the real sporting event. College Bowl season? It's actually as long as a season now, so who cares? The Superbowl? A great event, but until recently, blowout city. World Series and NBA Finals, are they over yet?

So here is how I observe it.

1. Upsets - I see Dayton over West Virgina, USC over BC, Texas A&M over BYU and MD over Cal. I just don't feel it for WV, BC is spotty and A&M over BYU is my one 9 over 8. Of course I have to pick my Terps over Cal.

2. Like the Sports Freak, I don't see it going chalk all the way. I see Syracuse and Missouri making runs to the Elite Eight. Also UCLA will take out Villanova this weekend.

3. In the end though, I got all #1's in the Final Four.

Unlike our President, I don't see UNC taking it all. Pitt over Louisville. Yes, even as an ACC alumnus, I get 2 Big East teams into the finals.

Good luck in your brackets.

March Madness Picks

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With the clock ticking down to enter brackets, here are some quick tips along with my final four and champion. I usually hedge and create multiple brackets. Doesn't everyone?

1. Most everyone has heard of the 5-12 upset. As I stated last year the 6-11 is the new 5-12. George Mason was an eleven seed when they went to the Final Four. Upsets were more common when schools from the mid majors were given an opportunity to defeat a school from a power conference. The selection committee began pitting mid majors against each other and this year barely selected any for an at large bid. With weaker power conference schools getting into the big dance and facing stronger schools this may be another year that's close to chalk.

2. The Big Ten is overrated this year, while the ACC and Big East carry seven teams into the tournament. Of all the ACC schools North Carolina and Florida State look like they could make a strong run. The Big East has more teams that could go farther into the tournament then some of the ACC schools.

3. Several schools have lost someone for the season and others are still battling injuries like UConn, MSU, & UNC. How deep these teams can make it depends on the match ups. There isn't a clear favorite.

4. Now for some possible upsets.
A. Cleveland St. over Wake Forest. For a tall frontcourt, Wake plays smaller by playing from the outside.
B. BC over Michigan St. Tom Izzo is a great coach, but the injury bug may finally prove too much to overcome.

Not going completely chalk I selected two ACC and two Big East schools: North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, and UConn with UNC the Champion. The Seminoles could be a risky pick due to Hamilton getting out coached at times. He has strong guard play from Douglas and a productive front court for a good inside outside game. The teams that go the farthest usually have good play at the guard position.

Pitt and Nova could go far and so could Syr. if they have anything left in the tank after the Big East Tournament. Gonzaga could be a sleeper this year and give UNC a run for their money.

The East & South could disintegrate after the sweet sixteen while the Midwest Region has potential to implode the most from upsets from Wake Forest and MSU to OSU. Don't be surprised if an upset occurs in Duke's path as somehow things always find away to help the Blue Devils. Over the past few years, Duke's region has usually been in the eye of the storm.

Good Luck! The clock is ticking to enter your brackets with friends.

Ah... the "City by the Bay." It's a great city. It has a lot of things going for it, including the weather, culture, and the myriad of activities available in the area. It also has had a rich football history. However, there are negatives including the high cost of living; the threat of the next epic earthquake always looming; and the Market Street Cinema. Whatever you do, STAY AWAY from the Market Street Cinema! In fact, if you ever think about having a bachelor party in San Fran, don't. Go to Vegas instead. You have been warned.

Now, onto the pick...

NCAA Tournament Quick Hits

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A few quick thoughts before the tournament starts:

Usually the team that most people think didn't deserve an at-large bid to be in the tourney ends up winning their first round game. As such, look for Arizona to beat Utah, which also would be a classic 12-5 upset.

High and Low Seeds and Rankings

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As the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament begins, this simple question needs to be asked: what are the highest seeded teams in this year's field? The answer is Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut: the teams seeded number one. The teams seeded number 16 are the lowest seeds in the tournament. This may seem as obvious to you as it does to me, but some people, such as tonight's PTI guest Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, seem to be confused by this. Just because the number 16 itself is mathematically greater than the number 1 does not mean that a 16 seeded team is higher than a team seeded number 1.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Green Bay Packers

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To continue our own mock draft, the Green Bay Packers are on the clock with the 9th Pick in the draft.

9th Pick: Aaron Maybin, DE/LB Penn State

The Packers don't need a receiver or quarterback and are always able to find a good young running back. Ryan Grant will look to rebound from last season's performance. As the Packers move to a 3-4 defense this season, Maybin should provide the speed and pass rushing skills necessary to build on the 34 sacks from last season. The secondary could use some help, but more pressure on the quarterback should limit the secondary's time spent in coverage. It's not a great draft for corners and coming away with an edge pass rusher couldn't hurt.

San Francisco is now on the clock with the 10th pick in the draft.

2009 Mock Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars

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To continue our own mock draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock with the 8th Pick in the draft.

The Jaguars will look to rebound from a dismal 2008 campaign and return to the 2007 form that saw them reach the AFC Championship game. To do this, they will need to improve on both sides of the ball. At #8, they will have options to address a number of different areas. It appears there most pressing needs are on the offensive side of the ball. With the recent signing of Tra Thomas, they appear to have addressed one position that needed an upgrade, at least for the near future. They will still need to address an underwhelming offensive line, but do they do that here or try to add a playmaker at WR.

Terps Return to the Dance

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The Maryland Terrapins had their ticket punched for the NCAA Tournament yesterday. They return as the 10th seed in the West to face formidable California on Thursday at 2:55 ET. Congratulations to Gary Williams and his team for the accomplishment.

The Terps took the hard road getting there. The consensus was to win at Virginia in the regular season finale to get in, but after losing they had to make a move in the ACC Tournament. Even then it was thought that MD had to get to the ACC final to get in. But with wins over NC State and Wake Forest concluding with a well fought battle against Duke, that catapulted them in the dance. Suprisingly they received the 10th seed, indicating they may have not been the last team in.

Maryland was projected to finish last in the ACC, so getting in as the 7th ACC team shows the real accomplishments that Gary Williams put together in a team that does not have the best skills. With only 2 ACC wins projected, they took that and nearly went .500, even losing enough games close that it was conceivable to be 10-6 in the ACC. The anti-Gary detractors should now realize and remember that there is a reason the real fans call College Park Garyland.

Maryland Awaits Selection Show

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After Maryland's 67-61 loss to Duke yesterday, the Terps will have to wait for the NCAA selection show on CBS. Mississippi St Conference win over Tenn. took another at large bid away. The Terps must now wait.

2009 Mock Draft: Oakland Raiders

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To continue our own mock draft, the Oakland Raiders are on the clock with the 7th Pick in the draft.

7th Pick: Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech

Owner Al Davis may need to hire Smithers from the Simpsons to wipe away the drool from his face as WR Michael Crabtree is still available. Maclin may be slightly faster, but a playmaker like Crabtree doesn't come around very often. Complimenting McFadden and Russell by adding another scoring threat would greatly improve the offense in Oakland. ILB Rey Maualuga could also be an option as he fits the mold of a tough hitting defensive player that would look great donning a Raiders uniform, but in the end Crabtree just seems like the right fit.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock with the 8th Pick in the draft.

2009 Mock Draft: Cincinnati Bengals

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To continue our own mock draft, the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock with the 6th Pick in the draft.

The Bengals have so many areas to address that not all of them will not be resolved even through the draft. The player they may have coveted the most on our mock draft is now gone. Monroe (OT) would have been the ideal fit. He's the most NFL game ready OT and doesn't have any character related issues on a team that desperately needs quality individuals and talent. An OT would have helped the running game and in the protection of Palmer. Andre Smith (OT) seems like too much of a risk for a team that has had player character issues. Selecting Oher (OT) is too much of a reach this early in the draft.

Terps Keeping Bubble Alive

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The Maryland Terrapins keep their NCAA bubble alive by beating Wake Forest 75-64 last night in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. They finished this game, unlike the home finale where they lost to the Demon Deacons after leading much of the game. This takes the Terps to 20 wins and an even 9-9 in the ACC. Some bracketologists believe that the 2 wins have punched MD's ticket to the dance. But Gary Williams and the team aren't taking that advice and are looking at Duke and the ACC title.

Greivis Vasquez led the team with 22 points and 9 assists. Dave Neal continued his senior season by contributing 10 points. As the Sports Freak has said, the Terps can't win with Neal as the second leading scoring. In this game, Sean Mosley stepped up and scored 12 points. It was a team win as Eric Hayes brought 11 points to the game from the bench. Landon Milbourne scored 8 points and was active on the boards with 11 rebounds.

While 20 wins and a .500 conference record are generally enough for an ACC team to get to the NCAA's, another win should shelve the question. Also in mind is that with Duke today and presumably North Carolina in the final, the Terps have a shot at the ACC crown. First things first though. Beat Duke.

2009 Mock Draft: Cleveland Browns

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To continue our own mock draft, the Cleveland Browns are on the clock with the 5th Pick in the draft.

Cleveland has added many players to the defense the past few seasons and has yielded little in the way of total sacks. They need more of a presence on the edge to help create turnovers and change the battle for field position.

5th Pick: Brian Orakpo, DE Texas

Orakpo should deliver the pressure Cleveland is looking for to build on the 17 sacks they produced last season. His athleticism should also help when needed in dropping into a zone blitz package for coverage.

The Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock with the 6th Pick.

2009 Mock Draft: Seattle Seahawks

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To continue our own mock draft, the Seattle Seahawks are on the clock with the 4th Pick in the draft.

The signings of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh and Colin Cole DT give the Seahawks the flexibility to go in several different directions heading into the 2009 Draft. A team that ranks near the bottom in most statistical categories on both sides of the ball and offers little help for Matt Hasselbeck at the skill positions improved itself during the free agency period.

Seattle may still consider stand out wide receiver Michael Crabtree as another target for Hasselbeck and immediately becomes the receiver of the future. They may also have an eye on B.J. Raji at defensive tackle. His stock has risen since his combine workouts. He's a DT that can stuff the run and apply pressure up the middle.

Terps Stay Alive in NCAA bid

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The Maryland Terrapins took the first step toward receiving their NCAA bid by beating the NC State Wolfpack 74-69 in the first round of the ACC Tournament. This time Greivis Vasquez was not the leader of the Terrapins, but another guard, Eric Hayes was. Hayes stepped in when MD was down 13 in the first half and scored 3 straight 3 pointers to help MD turn that deficit into a 3 point lead. He scored a career high 21 points including some key free throws in the last 2 minutes of the game to ensure the Terp win.

This was a group win. Vasquez, while only scoring 4 in the first half, came back in the second to finish with a double double, 17 points and 10 assists. Dave Neal continued his spectacular senior season with 10 points. The second half stayed close until the last few minutes. Probably the only drawback in the game was the slow start and the double digit deficit they had to fight back from.

Up next is a rematch with Wake Forest tomorrow. The bracketologists say the Terps need 2 or 3 wins in the ACC so tomorrow is yet another must win.

2009 Mock Draft: Kansas City Chiefs

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To continue our own mock draft, the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock with the 3rd Pick in the draft.

It didn't take long for new GM Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley to make improvements to the roster this offseason. The Chiefs could go in a number of different directions with the 3rd Pick in the draft, but the acquisition of QB Matt Cassel from the Patriots for a 2nd Round pick makes things a bit more clear.

Terps Post Season

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After the 2002 National Championship & 2004 ACC Tournament Championship, the legacy of one of the biggest underachieving recruiting classes paved the way to playing in the NIT. After the 2nd Half collapse versus Wake Forest and 2nd Half let downs versus Virginia, the Terps find themselves in familiar territory. They'll need to win at least three games to garner the attention of the NCAA selection committee. An ACC Tournament win would provide an automatic bid to the big dance.

The Terps haven't found much success over the years in the ACC Tournament. The two most recent wins came twenty years apart in 1984 and 2004. Before the team and recruits imploded Gary coached one of his best seasons at Maryland mastering both the talent and personalities along the turbulent season. What separated the 2004 season from the subsequent season was the ability to fight that was instilled from the leader and point guard John Gilchrist. The team didn't back down from anyone despite the key losses during the season. As opposed to the current roster that just like every Gary team can rebound for a scoring run when the Terps are down, the 2004 team was relentless. They could break your heart, but never backed down or stopped fighting. The spirit and attitude led by Gilchrest made playing the Terps so tough in 2004.

2009 Mock Draft: St. Louis Rams

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To continue our own mock draft, the St. Louis Rams are on the clock with the 2nd Pick in the draft.

After the Lions pick, it's difficult to believe the Rams are in this position two consecutive years with the current talent on the roster. Then again sometimes the stats don't lie.

Eagles Fire "Seasonal" Employee

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So as a Redskins fan, I have little reason to cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles. I got to give them props for the way they handled themselves in the playoffs and we know in the Snyder era, they've come closer to the Superbowl than the Redskins. But never fail, the Eagles will burn that goodwill for this stupid act.

Fire an employee for saying something on their Facbook status? Granted, I don't know how Snyder would react if a ticket taker at Fedex did the same thing. But I wonder what would have happened if say Jason Avant said the same thing? Or Donovan McNabb if he didn't have that great comeback late in the season. The employee removed the offending status, realized his mistake and apologized and they fire the guy. If you take game time work only, and let's say he works 8 hours a shift for 10 games (including the pre-season games). At a generous $20/hour (not his actual salary), we are talking $1,600 for the season. Cold and heartless. I hope they change their mind. The guy seems to be a big fan and genuinely wants to work for the Eagles.

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Detroit Lions

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We thought it would be fun at The DC Sports Page to run our own mock draft, rotating the picks among the bloggers. We'll be bringing this to you over the next few weeks.

Much has changed in the league due to free agent signings, trades, and recent waivers. The Lions look to rebound and rebuild again after casting off the demons left behind by Matt Millen era. The under achieving shouldn't entirely fall on Millen's shoulders as disagreements with ownership occurred as well as failures at the coaching levels hurt Millen. He wasn't helped by his poor decisions and drafting after the first round.

After jettisoning Jon Kitna for CB Anthony Henry, it becomes apparent that the franchise saw the reward of drafting young quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in Atlanta and Baltimore as it looks to replicate the results.

1st Pick: Matthew Stafford, QB Georgia

As Detroit looks for some magic and leadership at the QB position, Stafford leads the top of the list. He doesn't possess all of the poise and play calling skills that Ryan learned at Boston College, so dumping Kitna so early may take a toll on Stafford. Hopefully for the Lions, he's able to make it though the season and not worry about protection instead of looking down field. Finding another veteran QB to take some of the heat while Stafford adjusts to the professional levels could only benefit him and the orginazation in the long run.

TO Shuffles Off To Buffalo

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Terrell Owens signed a 1 Year $6.5M deal with Buffalo. Entering the upcoming draft this allows the Bills to go in several different directions, as well as, leverage their draft position. They can draft a receiver in the hopes that by year two they can contribute or look to bolster the defense.

It also forces the Bills hand whether Trent Edwards is a franchise quarterback with talent around him such as TO or if a quarterback should be drafted to lead the organization in the future. Sanchez from USC may slip back to Buffalo if such a need occurs. A TE like Pettigrew could also be tempting to compliment TO.

Owens switches to an AFC team for the first time in his career. Signing a contract so quickly after being cut also indicates the shrinking market for TO's services .

Cavalairs End on a High; Terps Hopes Flushed Away

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Vasquez and the Terps slowly pulled away from the Cavaliers to extend the lead to double digits two thirds of the way through the first half. Vasquez sliced his way down the lane for high lay ins off the glass.

The Rudy of the team, Dave Neal, felt the stroke as he sunk three 3 Pt shots and finished the game with 15 Pts. Many questioned why a scholarship was given to Neal when he started at Maryland. He's since won many fans over on this depleted roster and a Maryland team many thought would finish near the bottom of the conference. His wide body and big heart have provided the steady backbone the team has needed at various times during the season, but make no mistake about it that the Terps won't win many games with Neal as the second leading scorer like today's loss 68-63 at Virginia.

Just Say No to T.O.

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prod.jpgSo the rumored cut of Terrell Owens from the Dallas Cowboys spurred new rumors of who will sign him. The Washington Post reports today that the Redskins are saying no.

Good for them and us. There is no argument that he could help the Redskins on the field. Antwan Randle-El would probably have to go, but Santana Moss and Owens starting would be a pretty strong receiving team. But at the cost of his money and his mouth? Probably not. Of course until Owens is actually signed by a team, he could always use the Redskins as a ruse to get a bigger contract. Or then again, like last season, a key injury to a player might bring a trade or in this case, a signing that was denied earlier.

I like T.O. as a player. He is on my fantasy team right now. But if you ask me if I want him on the Redskins, I might would say no.

MD Puts Tourney Bid at Risk

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Neal for a 3The Maryland Terrapins couldn't close the game against Wake Forest last night. After leading by 7 at the half they lose by 2. While the score appeared close, last minute scoring including senior Dave Neal's game ending 3 closed the gap on a 7 point deficit with less than a minute to play.

It was senior night and Neal was greeted to chants of "Dave Neal" in the pre-game ceremony as well as parts of the game. He collected 2 quick fouls and sat for much of the first half but played most of the second half draining 3's and driving the lane at times. He had a "career" game although it may not have really been his best game. He did look good out there and showed why he's important to this squad.

Taylor Released by Redskins

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The Redskins decided to part with Jason Taylor yesterday. After Taylor declined to spend the majority of time in town working out in the offseason to spend more time with his family, the Redskins severed ties with the former all pro defensive end. Taylor was in the last year of a contract. He was due to count $8.5M against the cap.

Although the move itself isn't too surprising the timing of it may have caught some off guard. Would it have been necessary to cut Marcus Washington if releasing Taylor would have provided the same salary cap relief? In a weak free agent season for defensive ends Washington will scramble to fill the void and most likely reach out to Evans and Daniels. The vacancy at outside linebacker has yet to be filled and with so few draft picks and so many needs, the team may use the additional cap space for more depth in the secondary, offensive line, or a starting linebacker.

The loss of Taylor for some wasn't that great at all. Would it have been nice to see what Taylor could do in a pure pass rushing role next to Haynesworth? Absolutely! It's difficult to judge last season's performance by Taylor amid all the injuries contributing the lack of success. Another year older and unwilling to stay in the area for team workouts, the writing was on the wall as the two parties decided to part ways.

Minor free agent spending could come across the tickers with new found cap space and many vacancies to fill. What takes place next will have an impact on the draft, as well. Offensive Tackle an obvious need, but the Skins could also find themselves with a decision among one of the four top offensive tackles, Orakpo (DE), Maualuga (LB), or even Raji (DT) if he slips that far.

Bowden Era is Over

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Jim Bowden resigned yesterday as General Manager for the Washington Nationals. He cited that it was difficult for him to conduct Nationals business while the allegations of skimming money are still looming over him. He also denied that he participated in that wrongdoing.

We should feel bad for him. While he has not been charged with any crimes, he is "guilty by association" in related aspects. The age scandal over the prospect who is now really 23 instead of 19 or so involved a Dominican player, which is where some of the suspected money skimming has occurred.

Aside from the controversies, we need to analyze Bowden as a GM. He had a tough task ahead of him, taking the Montreal Expos underspent payroll, decimated farm system, and zero fan base to a team that at least you could say was a Major League Baseball team. Then the unenviable task of taking that team and competing against the Mets, Phillies, and Braves, in arguably one of the better divisions in baseball. His work was not stellar, but he has made progress. Sometimes in the process, the GM has to be sacrificed. In a few years, we'll know if Bowden really had the team headed in the right direction.

Redskins Sign Haynesworth - Look For Pressure Up Middle

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The huge contract Haynesworth signed with Washington worth a record guaranteed $41M and a total amount of $115M that includes $15M in incentives represents more than money but a returned focus to interior line play. Some critics believe that Haynesworth's great play the past two years has been fueled by the Titans keeping him hungry while in two consecutive contract years. His effort level on every play has been questioned as has maturity for the longest suspension for an on field incident. Yet since the suspension he's dedicated himself to be the best at his position making this record contract possible.

Is it the money that's drawing such stark criticism or that few teams were willing to compete for Haynesworth's services at such a price? No matter how much the pundits express that Dan Snyder is back to his freewheeling spending ways, no one can argue that the Redskins have "the" best defensive tackle in the game while he's in the prime of his career. It isn't the same situation as the best available player that became overpaid such as Stubblefield or Gilbert. The closest comparison would be the Packers signing Reggie White. The difference in the two signings being Haynesworth is younger and in his prime, while White entered into a Packer uniform near the end of his career and as the final piece of a puzzle to win a title in Green Bay.

Haynesworth's ability only makes the defense and offense stronger due to pressure and turnovers. Much like UPS here's what Haynesworth can do for the Redskins.

Terps Back on Winning Track

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Maryland continued to improve their NCAA tournament resume by defeating the NC State Wolfpack 71-60 down in Raleigh, NC. Greivis Vasquez stayed out of foul trouble today, playing nearly the entire game with 38 minutes and scored 33 points to lead the Terrapins. The Terps move to 7-7 in the ACC with Wake at home Tuesday and Virginia in Charlottesville to end the regular season.

After losing to Duke last week, this win was a necessary step to push for an at large bid in the NCAA's. It also showed that Maryland could shake off the loss and get back in the game. Sean Mosley, who played with a noticeable limp after getting injured in the Duke game seemed to have healed and was playing strongly tonight. The Wolfpack's bigger lineup could not clamp down the Terps scoring. While Dave Neal and Eric Hayes contributed 11 and 9 points respectively, 2 of the most important points came from Cliff Tucker. Late in the game with a slim lead, Tucker scored a jumper with just a second left on the shot clock.

The TV broadcast team noted early that Vasquez plays with so much emotion. As the NC State fans taunted him late, he responded by scoring more and giving a key no-look pass assist to Dino Gregory. Still at the end of the game, his emotion continued to show as he shot a 3 pointer to end the game, although the Terps already had a 8 point lead. Gary Williams will probably speak with him about that, as he has to keep it in check and respect the opponent.

The home finale will be Tuesday against current #13 Wake Forest. It will also be Senior Night, where we'll send off Dave Neal, hopefully with a good performance and win.

Manny Ramirez and Angel Presinal

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Manny Ramirez and Angel Presinal have nothing to do with one another except the fact that I want to comment on two recent Major League Baseball topics in one post.

Angel Presinal is the trainer who has worked with Alex Rodriguez and numerous other Major League ballplayers. After seeing the Sunday March 1, 2009 edition of Outside the Lines on ESPN, I have one question regarding Presinal being banned from clubhouses by Major League Baseball: aren't all personal trainers banned from Major League clubhouses? I couldn't find a definitive answer to that question, but I seem to recall hearing about trainers who were not employed by teams being banned by MLB in regards to Jason Giambi a few years ago. The media insinuates that just because Alex Rodriguez used steroids and worked out with Presinal that therefore all players who work out with Presinal use steroids.

Regarding Manny Ramirez rejecting the Los Angeles Dodgers latest contract offer, the reason for the rejection has nothing to do with his agent Scott Boras playing hardball to get more money. Instead, the reason for the rejection simply has to do with the fact that Manny just doesn't want to go to spring training. Look for Manny to accept the Dodgers offer after he is done playing in the World Baseball Classic.

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    This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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