Thursday, January 05, 2006The Day After...
-- The Trojans carelessness on offense left 9-21 points on the board. The first mistake was a coaching error: Up 7-0 and facing a 4th and 1 inside the Texas 25 yard line, Carroll called a QB sneak that Leinart completely botched and slipped on; The second mistake was Reggie Bush's lateral after breaking a middle screen for over 30 yards. This was just incomprehensible and he affected Bush's mentality for much of the game because the Trojans were still up 7-0 and driving towards another score; Of course the third mistake was Leinart's interception at the Texas goal line, this was a great play by the defensive back, but an unnecessary change taken by Leinart when Dominique Byrd was open in the flat at the 15 and could've at least taken the ball inside the 10.
My feeling is that the Trojans wanted to end this quickly and given their opportunities, they could've had a 24-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Unfortunately they tried to end it too quickly and instead found themselves trailing 9-7 at the same point. For a team with so much experience and composure, they showed none of it during that span.
-- Young was just ridiculous. There's no way to defend a player like that without a five-man front that can smother him and USC didn't have the pass rush. One of the people I was watching the game with, my old high school football coach, said a 5-2-4 alignment could work against Young as long as you have Jonathan Vilma and Ray Lewis as the linebackers.
Still no pass rush against Vince Young is career suicide. He's a much better passer than you think and he runs like a great running back.
-- Mack Brown didn't outcoach Pete Carroll, hell Mack Brown didn't try to coach at all. He let his playmaker do what he was supposed to do and offered words of encourage. Carroll got a little too LenDale White happy, normally that's a good thing but not when Reggie Bush and his Heisman trophy are standing on the sidelines during the biggest play of the game. You think he'll regret that move sooner than later?
Was going for it on 4th and 2 the right call? Absolutely. Was giving the ball to White the right call? Most Definitely. Was leaving Bush on the sidelines a smart move? Uhhhh no (Duh!). Especially when Texas went into a rare 11-0-0 formation.
Bush should've been on the field and Leinart should've done playaction to White and hit Byrd on that rollout that had been working all game. Would've fooled everyone.
-- Speaking of Leinart, lost in the Young hoopla was the fact that he was beyond phenominal in the second half, something like 17-of-20 for 240 and a touchdown. He showed why he is who he is.
-- Should Young go pro? Ummm yeah, but I still would pick Leinart over him. Leinart is such a refined prospect, he's already Joe Montana in my mind and in the NFL game with all the speed at the skill positions, a strong, technically sound quarterback is what the doctor ordered.
For a team like New Orleans, which has Duece McAllister, Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson, Leinart is a perfect compliment to them.
For a team like the New York Jets which needs to rebuild their running game and offensive line, a dual-threat phenom like Young can make life a little easier.
Otherwise congrats to Texas, they are the undisputed National Champions of the 2005 season.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006It's Time...
Starts off close, USC is too much to handle for four quarters.
Southern Cal 35, Texas 24
Monday, January 02, 2006Early NFL Draft Predictions
1) Houston: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
What they should do: Trade the pick for tons of offensive linemen. Here are the starting running backs in the last three Super Bowls -- Antowain Smith, Stephen Davis, Michael Pittman, Charlie Garner, Corey Dillon and Brian Westbrook. Outside of Dillon can we consider any of these guys as upper echelon? Pittman and Garner are third-down backs, Westbrook is a glorified receiver, Smith was a cheap fill-in and Davis was a back who gets winded in the second half of the season. Right now the Texans have no offensive line and they need to build there so we can actually see if David Carr and Domanick Davis are quality football players.
2) New Orleans: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
What they should do: Take Leinart and start anew. I know they believe Adrian McPherson could become the QB of the future, but Leinart IS the QB of the future.
3) Tennessee: A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
What they should do: The Titans will trade down once Leinart is taken. They need several pieces, but a quarterback is most important so they will try to land Jay Cutler in the 10-15 spot.
4) N.Y. Jets: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
What they should do: Probably trade down a little and try to land cornerback Jimmy Williams. Ferguson is a great prospect but this draft is especially loaded with quality offensive linemen. Williams gives the Jets the potential shut down corner they are hoping Justin Miller will become.
5) Green Bay: Greg Lee, WR, Pittsburgh
What they should do: Well if Brett Favre returns they will probably opt to revamp the offensive line through veteran free agents instead of breaking in a talented rookie like Ferguson, but if he doesn't Ferguson is the right pick here if he's available. Lee, a junior, is a good alternative and the best receiver in a fairly weak class. They might trade down and still land him.
6/7) San Francisco: DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama
What they should do: The Niners will trade Kevan Barlow in the offseason in hopes of a first-day pick because they think Frank Gore has the ability to be a star (they are correct). And I think the Niners will be players in the free agent market, especially for a top receiver. Ryans will give their defense a major jolt of energy. If Ferguson is available here, that's their best option.
7/6) Oakland: Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
What they should do: Well the Raiders could reach for a QB here, but in the end they will wisen up and give Kerry Collins a paycut to stay and draft his eventual replacement in the second round (Brady Quinn?). There are MAJOR holes on this team, but none bigger than in the secondary.