Posted April 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Five Longhorns were selected this weekend in the 2008 NFL Draft this weekend but several eligible players went unselected. Players like [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] might have been disappointed Sunday, but being signed as a free agent by the best team who made the best offer is often a better situation than being a 6th or 7th round pick. Last year Selvin Young sign with perfect team (Denver) and ended up rushing for 729 yards on the season.

On Monday four players were quickly snatched up by NFL teams. Griffin and wide receiver [tag]Nate Jones[/tag] were both signed by the Minnesota Vikings. If those two can earn a roster spot they’ll join Cedric Griffin and Brian Robison and definitely make the Vikings a team for Texas fans to keep an eye on.

Defensive tackle [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, one of several teams that he had to choose from. “Evaluating it all, Kansas City was the best option for me and I jumped on it. I’m really excited about the opportunity. They were one of the teams that showed a lot of interest in me throughout the process,” Lokey said. Lokey well join Derrick Johnson and fellow rookie Jamaal Charles in KC.

[tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] agreed to a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. If any team can look past Foster’s height it would be the Colts, starting Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders is only 5-foot-8. Foster is the only cornerback the Colts are bringing in.

On Tuesday receiver [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] became the fifth Horn to sign a free agent deal when he agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers.

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Posted March 20th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Brandon Foster runs the 40 at Texas pro dayPro day, or pro timing day, is an NFL Draft prospect’s chance to show scouts what he’s got in a comfortable environment. They’re on their own campus, in their own gym, working out with their teammates and coaches. It also is a chance for the guys who weren’t invited to the NFL Combine to show their stuff. At Texas’ pro day Wednesday, sixteen players were weighed, measured, timed, and did position drills for 75 NFL personnel people.

Most of this information is cribbed from NFL.com, Orangebloods, and the Austin-American Statesman blog post on UT’s pro day. The numbers are inconsistent because they always are, everybody gets their times from a different source. Here’s how some of the Horns performed:

  • Cornerback [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] – 5-7 5/8, 185, 10-8 broadjump. Ran a blazing 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash. He also showed athleticism with a 38-inch vertical jump. His performance might offset the fact that Foster was measured at 5-7.
  • Running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] – 5-11, 199 pounds. Elected not to run, allowing his 4.38 time that he posted at the combine to stand. Ran position workouts and looked good catching the football.
  • Receiver [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag] – 6-4 1/8, 210, 37 vertical. Ran a 4.40, shaving nearly a tenth of a second off of the time he ran at the NFL combine last month. 4.33 short shuttle, 7.14 cone drill. Ran position drills and looked good catching the ball.
  • Tight end [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] – 6-4 3/4, 240 pounds. Ran a 4.62, dropping his time from the combine by .24. His time is now the second fastest run by a tight end in workouts leading up to next month’s draft.
  • Backup safety [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] – 6-0 1/2, 216, 10-9 broad jump. Posted a 41.5-inch vertical jump and ran a 4.45. We’re checking to see if any other player in the country has jumped higher in draft workouts.
  • Defensive tackle [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] – 6-1 3/8, 293, 33.5 vert. Did 38 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He also worked out at fullback and deep snapper. 9-foot, 4-inch long jump, 4.37 short shuttle, 7.57 cone drill, 38 reps in the bench press, and ran position drills.
  • Linebacker [tag]Scott Derry[/tag] – 6-2 1/2, 221
  • Tackle [tag]Tony Hills[/tag] – 6-5, 307 lbs. 24 reps in the bench press, but could not run or do other drills due to an injury.
  • Defensive tackle [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] – 6-4 7/8, 27.5 vertical. Dropped 12 pounds since his weigh-in at the combine. He is weighing 335 right now.
  • Safety [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] – 5-10, 196, 37.5 vert. Ran a 4.5 40.
  • Wide receiver [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] – 5-11, 195. Ran a 4.56.
  • Also participated: safety [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag], wide receiver [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], linebacker [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag], defensive tackle [tag]Thomas Marshall[/tag], punter [tag]Justin Moore[/tag], and former Longhorn safety [tag]Lee Jackson[/tag].
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Posted December 9th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Greg Davis, Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Ken RuckerThe Texas Longhorns held their annual football banquet Friday night (photos) where they honored team members for their accomplishments on and off the field. Though fans and recruits do attend, the event is definitely a night for the players to look back on the season and to honor the careers of the outgoing seniors.

Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] were deservedly named the team MVPs. McCoy didn’t have as good of a season as he did his freshman year but he definitely is the player that made this team go (when it went anywhere). Charles was also named Darrell K. Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player while the Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Players were [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] and [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag].

In a team vote [tag]Dallas Griffin[/tag], [tag]Tony Hills[/tag], and [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] were honored with the D. Harold Byrd Leadership Award. Also, in a shocking development quarterback McCoy was given the Outstanding Quarterback Award.

In a move that infuriated Internet Coaching and Motivational Experts [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], [tag]Scott Derry[/tag], and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] shared the honor of being the team’s Outstanding Linebackers. I’m not sure what else you can really do though as no linebacker really deserved the honor and it would be pretty embarrassing to not hand out an award for the position.

A list of all the award winners is after the jump.

(more …)

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Posted January 4th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football, Live

Let’s see how this goes. I’ll post as often as I can stand to. Horns and Trojans are about to get underway.

BIG FREAKING GAME!

Did we win the coin toss, defer, and USC chose to kick? Will we receive to start both halves? Nevermind, the official said it wrong.

First Quarter
  • Great deep kick and good coverage on Reggie Bush. Great start to the game for the Horns.
  • Bush stopped for a loss on the game’s first play. Now let’s do that 60+ more times.
  • Texas’ defense in the backfield with great penetration on the first 3 plays.
  • Holy crap! [tag]Aaron Ross[/tag] fumbled the punt. Crap crap crap. Come on defense step up. Crap.
  • Reggie Bush has no class. Hand the ball to the ref instead of flicking it up in the air after a 5 yard run. Let’s hope he actually gets ejected if he punches someone again this game.
  • Too bad helmet-to-helmet contact isn’t illegal in college football. Plus [tag]Cedric Griffin[/tag] hit him in the chest.
  • Stupid penalty by [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag]. He seems to get one per game, let’s hope this is it. Come on D!
  • Turnover costs the Horns 7 points. Game started off fantastically and then suddenly went downhill from there.
Texas 0, USC 7
  • Let’s go Vince, get fired up.
  • Looks like no huddle for the offense to start things off again this week. I like it.
  • Poor spot on 2nd down leads to 4th and 1. [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] elects to go for it and Horns get nowhere. Turnover on downs at midfield. All the momentum is going USC’s way now. Defense has to make a big play here and get things back going Texas’ way.
  • Apparently guy in charge of the clock doesn’t realize it should stop after incomplete passes.
  • Freaking Rose Bowl and national championship and the clock breaks?
  • Horns go to 3 down linemen on a 3rd and long. Interesting look.
  • Texas makes the stop but a face mask on Michael Huff gives USC the necessary yards for the first down.
  • [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] in the game early instead of [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] (I think that’s who isn’t in there.) [tag]Gene Chizik[/tag] getting more speed on the field.
  • [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] has a pick go in and out of his hands.
  • Reggie Bush gets about an extra 2 yards thanks to the generous spot. These simple plays need to be reviewed as much as any others.
  • Another generous spot for Matt Leinart on the 4th down QB sneak but I still think they’re short. Come on!
  • Horns stop them and get the ball back. Let’s go let’s go!
  • Meanwhile ABC is on commercial break #26 after like two minutes of football.
  • Bad play design or something as [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] and [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] end up next to each other on pass routes. Complete to Pittman for the first though.
  • Another freaking fumble. Charles bumps into David Thomas and just drops it. Crap. Lost 5 yards. Kills the offense’s momentum.
  • Bud Light commercial featuring the “daredevil” are dumb.
  • Lost takes such long hiatuses that they have to have recap shows by the time they come back.
  • Interesting counter play from USC. Kind of a WR and FB counter instead of a GT counter.

(more …)

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Posted October 29th, 2005 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Quick Hits

Billy Pittman and Ramonce Taylor have been close friends for 10 years.

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Posted August 28th, 2005 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The 2005 Texas Longhorns will begin their season in less than one week against Louisiana-Lafayette. It won’t be long till we find out how this team compares with the nation’s best, we’ll know a lot about how good this team is the following week against Ohio State. But how does this year’s team compare to the Longhorns who went 11-1 and capped the season with a Rose Bowl victory last year? Here are my thoughts…

Offense

OL – Big improvement over last year. Best tackle tandem in the nation and a ton of attitude from the guards. We lose Jason Glynn but [tag]Lyle Sendlein[/tag] should be a very capable replacement.

QB – [tag]Vince Young[/tag] will be better in every facet, depth is much worse and scary as hell. Young must reduce his mistakes. If he can cut his interceptions in half this year (he had 10 last year), the Longhorns’ offense will be tough to stop.

Ramonce Taylor last year versus ColoradoTB – Pretty big drop off overall but I think statistically they’ll still be pretty good. Will they be able to get the difficult yards against the OSU’s and OU’s of the world? I expect big plays out of [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] and [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] that could really break open some games.

FB – Worse at lead blocking and therefore will be de-emphasized. Still serviceable though. I think the position will be back next year (with Marcus Myers, [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag], and Michael Houston) and will be more versatile than we’ve seen in the past.

TE – Improved in single TE sets with [tag]David Thomas[/tag] having an All-American season, and improved blocking when [tag]Neale Tweedie[/tag] is in there. Pass-catching threat out of 2 TE sets will be down, especially early in the year as true freshman [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] gets acclimated.

WR – Up a notch from last year’s group, but that isn’t saying all that much. All the young guys have improved (some obviously more than others, especially [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag]) and the more time a QB and his WR’s get together the better. The additions of a hopefully healthy [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] and a quickly improving [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] could be huge.

Defense

Frank Okam hunts down the Baylor QBDL – A lot better if [tag]Larry Dibbles[/tag] is with us (academic eligibility rumors are swarming) but I’m excited by the idea of a healthy [tag]Rod Wright[/tag] and [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] together. Starting ends should be improved and the backups should be able to contribute to the pass rush.

LB – Big improvement at two spots and an even bigger drop off at the other. More blitzing and more sacks, but fewer turnovers forced unless converted safety [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] goes INT crazy. You can’t expect to replace Derrick Johnson but overall I think we’ll all be very happy with the play out of these three spots this season.

DB – Corners are improved and safeties will be by the end of the year. Mike Griffin needs experience but he’s got the potential to be better than Phillip Geiggar was last year. We need sure tackling from the entire secondary and to limit our stupid decisions. More pressure on opposing QB’s from the front seven will make their job much easier. Depth is some of the best in the country.

Special Teams

FG/XP – Yikes, everyone has struggled this fall in practice. Whoever is doing the kicking needs to make a few kicks in the early weeks to build some confidence.

Kickoffs – A healthy [tag]Richmond McGee[/tag] should mean more touchbacks and more kicks into the right zone. Better coverage because the overall depth of team means better athletes on the coverage teams. Hopefully all the talk of more emphasis on this facet from the coaching staff wasn’t just lip-service.

Kick Returns – Every kickoff should be exciting with Taylor back there. How much will [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] provide if teams kick away from Ramonce? Might see one of the younger guys back there deeper into the year. I expect Cosby to make an appearance at one of the return slots sometime early in the season and it’ll be interesting to see what he’s capable of.

Punting – McGee has gotten better every year and there’s no reason that should change. Hopefully he won’t have to do it very often.

Punt returns – Selvin Young back there should mean fewer fair catches and more big plays, but I’ll be worried about his health everytime too. I don’t want Ramonce back there right now, he scared the crap out of me everytime last year. Get him some returns in mop up time so he’s ready to tear it up next year. Anybody think Pittman deserves a chance to show what he’s got?

Final Thoughts

Almost every spot is either improved or equal to the talent we had on the field last year, so overall we should be a better team. You can’t lose guys like Cedric Benson and DJ and expect to hit the ground running the next season, but that doesn’t mean this team isn’t capable of big things. We’re relying on a lot of young talent and have a huge test early in the year, so the success of this team will hinge a lot on how quickly those guys can become ballplayers.

I’ll post my national and game by game predictions later this week.

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