Saturday, March 29, 2014

NFL Scouting Series - Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater
Height: 6' 2 1/8" 
Weight: 214
40 Yd Dash: N/A
Accuracy: 8/10
Vision: 8/10
Arm Strength: 8/10
Pocket Presence: 9/10
Anticipation/Elusivesness: 7/10
Size: 8/10
Overall Score: 8/10
Teddy Bridgewater is the star QB out of Louisville. Preseason projections had him as the number one QB available in the draft. The things that stood out the most to me are his pocket presence, and his ability to put the touch passes down field exactly where they need to be.  The negative things i saw were related to his elusiveness. He definitely has the physical capabilities to move  around and get away from pressure, but it seems like sometimes he doesn't sense the pressure or senses it too late. If i was a general manager of a team that was in need of a quarterback and Bridgewater was left, I would have no problems picking him up, and being confident that we were getting a franchise quarterback. Look for him to go top 5 in the upcoming draft.

NFL Scouting Series - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

*this is the first post in a series that will go over what i think of some of the top players in this years upcoming draft.

Name: Blake Bortles
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 232
40 Yd Dash: 4.93
Accuracy: 6/10
Vision: 8/10
Arm Strength: 6/10
Pocket Presence: 7/10
Anticipation/Elusivesness: 8/10
Size: 9/10
Overall Score: 7.3/10

Blake Bortles is the traditional sized QB out of University of Central Florida. The person he reminds me most of is Geno Smith but more elusive. He is accurate in the 0-15 yard range. In the 4 games that I watched every throw in, he threw 121 total passes, and only threw 16 20+ yards.  His deep accuracy is very suspect, only completing 8 of the 16 and 2 were intercepted. Bortles has good vision and awareness to escape the pocket when pressure is coming.  He will go early in the first round, but I would personally wait to  take him until the late first or early second.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Half Way Through The NBA Season (What Have We Learned)

#1. Kevin Durant Is A Man On A Mission

Kevin Durant also known as the slim reaper is on a terror. He is currently averaging 31.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists nightly. Compare this to Lebron James who right now is averaging 26.5 points, 7 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Kevin Durant has done all this while leading his team to the best record in the NBA making the Thunder one of the clear favorites to challenge Lebron and the Heat for a championship ring. If KD continues this amazing performance for the rest of the season, the only option is to give him the MVP of the regular season.

#2 Charles Barkley Has No Idea How To Pronounce Jonas Valenciunas

#3 The Eastern Conference Only Has Two Contenders.

The eastern conference only has the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers as legitimate title threats. Going into the all-star break they only have two teams who are above 30 wins, the west has 8 teams above the 30 win mark. The teams that i would consider as title contenders out of the west are, the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Portland Trailblazers.

#4  Carmelo Wants Out Of New York (wait, does he?)

This year the Melo-drama has been Denver Melo-esque. We have had reports from his wife that he wants to stay in New York while other reports have come out that he wants to go to anyone from the Lakers, to the bulls, to anywhere he can win a championship. And with the tweet today stating, "I want to win a championship. If I have to become a free agent to do that, then that's what I have to do."  It doesn't look like it's going to get any better.

Personally, even though we are only halfway through the season, I cannot wait for the playoffs. If we are all lucky enough to get an Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat finals it will be one for the ages.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who is Travis Wilson?

QB 1: 22 completions on 44 attempts, 288 yards, 2 Touchdowns, 6 interceptions
QB 2: 23 completions on 34 attempts, 234 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

These are the stat lines from two very different quarterbacks. One is Travis Wilson the 19 year old who makes questionable decisions, and loses a close game to the UCLA Bruins on a red zone interception. The second is Travis Wilson the leader and game manager of the Utah Utes who beat the then ranked #5 Stanford Cardinals.

Which one is the real Travis Wilson?

Travis Wilson started his Utah career when Jordan Wynn went down with a career-ending shoulder injury. In came a 6 foot 7 true freshman from San Clemente High School in California. In high school he was one of the top 20 quarterback recruits in the country. He started 7 games for the Utes in the 2012-2013 season going 3-4. That season Wilson had a quarterback ranking of 122, and completed 63% of his passes.

This year Wilson has looked great at times. Take the stat line for QB 2 and it looks like we have a leader who when a senior should cause a lot of damage to the PAC-12. During the game against Stanford, Wilson had a quarterback rating of 139. The next two games he suffered with an injury to his throwing hand, and played limited minutes attempting very few passes. Through the first 8 games this year, Wilson has completed 58% of his passes but has improved his quarterback rating to 133 from last years 122. If you remove the last two games though, he has a stellar quarterback rating of 154. A 154 rating would put Wilson in between Aaron Murray (Georgia) and James Franklin (Missouri) and 19th in the nation overall.

So what do all of these statistics mean for the initial question of who is Travis Wilson? It means for those of you who are giving up on Travis Wilson already, don’t give up just yet. Aside from an injury, the Utes have a top 20 quarterback in the country, as a true sophomore, who has NFL size and is improving. So, although there have been moments in which you might ask yourself is this the quarterback that will take the Utes back to the BCS bowl games and conference championships, or is there someone else that could do better? When you get down to the numbers, there is no reason to doubt that Travis Wilson is the guy to get the job done. Expect big things from him in the next two years.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2013-2014 NBA Storylines

The NBA season kicks off today, and i could not be more excited for another year of great storylines. Which is why I decided to share my top five storylines of this year.

#5. The New-Look Nets

The starting lineup for this team is incredible. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez. Is there a better starting lineup on paper?

There are still quite a few question marks about this team. How many minutes will Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce realistically have per night? Paul Pierce averaged 33.5 minutes per game last year while, KG only averaged 29 and missed 14 games. It will be interesting to see how Jason Kidd handles the minutes of these two future hall of famers.

Which brings me to my next point. Jason Kidd as a head coach, will he succeed in the form that  former point guard Mark Jackson (Warriors) has started to show and Doc Rivers ( Clippers) has shown? Or will he be just another failed player turned coach such as Lyndsey Hunter (former Suns)? On the bright side, he has a team of all-stars that should make the transition easier.

#4. Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan. Need I say more?

Blake Griffin has been criticized over and over again for his lack of toughness. Luckily, there is not a coach in the league that will turn Griffin from a soft big man into a nightmare power forward like Doc Rivers will. Is he going to be Kevin Garnett? No. Is he going to let Zach Randolph get away with the insults he got away with last year? Not with Doc around. Expect more out of Blake Griffin this year than just a few dunks and some awesome commercials like this one.

Here’s something scary to think about, the Clippers won 56 games last year. This included a 17 game win streak spanning the course of November 28 to December 30. During this streak, the clippers offense exploded with 104.7 points per game on 48.5% shooting. They also turned up the defensive intensity, holding opposing teams to 95.2 ppg during the streak. This is just a preview of the potential this team has, and Doc Rivers will maximize this potential every night of the NBA season.

One more thought…

How could you not be excited for more of those?

#3. James Harden Dwight Howard Combo

The western conference is having sleepless nights, because there’s a bearded dwightmare in Houston that is coming for them.

James Harden solidified himself as an all-star caliber player last year. He went from sixth man of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to averaging 25.9 ppg as the leader of a young Houston Rockets team.

Dwight Howard did the opposite last season. He went from being labeled as the best center in the league, to someone who couldn't handle the pressure of the Lakers uniform. Was this because he was still suffering from back problems, or the product of a coaching scheme that wasn't fit for him? We’ll never know.

Enter the Houston Rockets. This is Howard’s chance to redeem himself. He has a young team around him, with a back-court made to play basketball from the inside out. The Rockets led the league with 29 three-point attempts per game. Dwight will only make it easier for the Rocket Guards to get 3 pointers in bunches by forcing the other team to actually believe Lin, Harden, or Parsons might throw the ball down low.

The Rockets are my choice for western conference champions this year. Time will tell whether I’ve bought into the hype, or I get another “I told you so.” moment.

#2. The Return of Derrick Rose

He’s BAAAAAACCCCKKK!!! After sitting out all of the 2012-2013 season while rehabbing a torn ACL the 2010-2011 MVP is back. With reported  gains of 10 pounds of muscle and 5 inches to an already impressive vertical, D-Rose 2.0 is ready to make his run at the defending champion Heat.

The Chicago Bulls were the number one team in the league both 2010-2011, and 2011-2012 seasons with Rose. If they are the number one team through the regular season again this time around, Rose would be very hard not to pick for MVP.

#1. The Super Splash Brothers.

Is there a team more exciting to watch than the Golden State Warriors? I don’t think so. The now super stardom of Steph Curry, and his sidekick Klay Thompson, could possibly be as Mark Jackson has said, the “greatest shooting back-court in the history of the game.”

At the end of the season the Warriors front office must have asked themselves “how can we be even more exciting than we were last season?” The answer: Andre Iguodala. Iggy is one of the most explosive players in the game. Adding him to an already stacked starting lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut, the NBA should be on high alert, because the warriors are here for the long run.

Final thoughts on the season

This season has enough storylines to make it one to remember. Will the heat get their three-peat? Who will lose enough games to win the lottery and get Andrew Wiggins? How many times will Brandon Knight get embarrassed this season? With all these different things to watch for I will be sitting on my couch until late June. You’ve been warned.