Former Longhorn offensive tackle [tag]Mike Williams[/tag] and NFL Draft bust is attempting a comeback. He’s still too heavy and he has a long way to go, but the Washington Redskins think his raw ability is still worth taking a chance on. He’s lost 40 pounds but still tips the scales at 404 pounds, more than 70 pounds more than any other player on the roster.

Williams can credit ex Texas teammate [tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag] and a Texas reporter with this chance:

Williams, selected fourth overall by the Buffalo in the 2002 draft, came to Washington in an unusual way. Pushing 450 pounds in February while running an oil services company, Williams decided to enroll in a fitness program at Duke to lose weight and become healthier. Around Easter, Williams and his wife, Enisha, moved in with former Texas linemate Derrick Dockery and the Redskins guard’s wife, their close friends, to take care of their goddaughter Madison while her parents were occupied with a baby due any day.

A reporter from Texas reached Williams on his cell phone for a where-are-they-now predraft story and wrote about his desire to play again once he got in shape and worked on football skills he hadn’t practiced in years. A Redskins official read the story Thursday and called Dockery to reach Williams, who worked out and signed the next day. He won’t participate in this weekend’s minicamp, but the Redskins hope he can lose 35 to 40 more pounds to reach his playing weight for the organized team activities that start June 1.

“I wanted something different for my life, just healthwise,” Williams said. “Then I’m like, ‘I’m feeling really good.’ I definitely missed playing. I know I still have the talent.”

Best of luck to Williams on dropping the weight fr his NFL comeback and more importantly his long-term health.

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Posted January 3rd, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

The NFL is now littered with former Texas players from the [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] era. It seems like every game involves a Longhorn in the starting lineup. The biggest impacts appear to be on both lines and in the secondary while linebacker is without a doubt the weakest position. Injuries affected a few of the players 2008 season, but the program should be proud of what these guys are accomplishing.

[tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] – The Atlanta Falcon’s made the playoffs behind a great running game and solid quarterback play. The unsung unit on the team was the offensive line. Blalock has cemented himself as a starter on an upcoming team by starting all 16 games after playing in 14 last season. At Texas, Blalock played tackle, but in the NFL he has been able to slide back to his natural position of tackle. Blalock was even able to score a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

[tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] – The forgotten member of the 2005 secondary has become a solid nickel corner in the NFL for the 49ers. Brown played in 15 games and started in one. He recorded 30 tackles and two interceptions.

[tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] – The beginning of the season didn’t appear good for Benson. After being cut by the Bears it appeared no one would request his services. The Cincinnati Bengals fell apart and came calling four games into the season. Benson started 10 games, gained over 700 yards, and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He also added 20 receptions. “EL Ced” finished with two huge games; making the chance he is offered a longer deal by the Bengals a real possibility.

[tag]Tim Crowder[/tag] – Crowder struggled with injuries and the depth chart all season. He played in six games, starting zero, and recording one tackle on the whole year.

[tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] – Charles had a rookie season that has to be seen as a success. Charles sits behind Larry Johnson on the depth chart, but made plays when given the opportunity. The speedster averaged 5.3 yards per carry and added 27 receptions. His only touchdown of the season came on a reception. If Johnson isn’t retained by the Chiefs, Charles may get a look as an every down back.

[tag]Leonard Davis[/tag] – The offensive line for the Cowboys underachieved this season. Davis will go to another Pro Bowl but o-line selections are based on reputation more times than not. It was not all Davis’ fault but he did not perform at the level he did the previous year.

[tag]Phil Dawson[/tag] – Dawson was once again a lone bright spot for the Cleveland Browns franchise. He went 30/36 with a long of 56. He was perfect on extra point, but the 18 attempts magnify the struggles of the Browns offense.

[tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag] – Dockery is one of the higher paid linemen in the league, but is never as dominant as his salary would warrant.

[tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] – Finley had a hard time getting started this season. He ended up playing in 14 games while starting one of them. The rookie finished with 6 receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown on the season.

[tag]Cedric Griffin[/tag] – Griffin has turned into a solid starting cornerback for the Vikings. He gets a lot of action playing opposite of Pro-Bowler Antoine Winfield but holds his own pretty well. Griffin plays with excellent enthusiasm and competitiveness which makes him an eager corner in run support. He played in all 16 games for the second straight season and recorded 91 tackles and a pick.

[tag]Mike Griffin[/tag] – Michael Griffin had the type of year that have made many hail him as the best defensive back to come out of the 2005 group. Griffin is a Pro-Bowl alternate after recording seven interceptions and a sack on the year. He is quickly becoming one of the best safeties in the league. His play has allowed the Titan defense to become one of the best in the league. Griffin also returns kicks for the #1 seeded Titans.

[tag]Ahmard Hall[/tag] – The former Marine has established himself as one of the last true fullbacks in the game. The Tennessee running game is one of the best in the league behind the duo of Chris Johnson and Lendale White. The two split carries with mirrored success, and the one constant is the presence of Hall. He has also become a weapon in the flat out of the backfield, recording two touchdown receptions this year.

[tag]Casey Hampton[/tag] – Hampton had a tough season as he struggled to get on the field with health and conditioning problems. When Hampton can play he remains the best 3-4 nose tackle in the game. He recorded one sack in 13 games that he was rarely able to make it all the way through.

[tag]Michael Huff[/tag] – The Thorpe award winner hasn’t lived up to his draft status so far in his career, but it is still early. Huff lost his starting job and didn’t record a sack, interception, or forced fumble on the year.

[tag]Quentin Jammer[/tag] – Jammer had another great year in San Diego. He is one of the most physical corners in the league and continually gets matched up with the opposing team’s biggest and best receiver. Jammer recorded 88 tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles for the playoff bound Chargers. It has been amazing to watch the turnaround of Jammer’s play after struggling for the first few years in the NFL. The pressure of being a high pick has subsided and Jammer’s play has risen.

[tag]Derrick Johnson[/tag] – DJ has moved inside and performed well for the Chiefs. The knock on the former Texas star coming out was his unwillingness to take on blocks, and after a few years as a pro the criticism still exist. When playing in space he excels, but at the point of attack he has remained a liability. Johnson has been up and down, but has shown flashes of potential. He ended the year with 85 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and four forced fumbles. If/when the light turns on for DJ the sky is the limit.

[tag]Frank Okam[/tag] – Okam may have earned himself a roster spot for next year with his play down the stretch. He lacks the motor and intensity most coaches want out of an interior defensive lineman, but he has the tools to become a solid player in the league if he ever turns it on.

[tag]Cory Redding[/tag] – I feel bad for Cory Redding. I feel bad for any player, coach, trainer, and journalist (except Rob Parker) in Detroit. Redding was the heart and soul of their defense (if that is possible), and if he ever gets out of Detroit he may have a chance to make some noise. Until then, he’ll be rich in Detroit. He got three sacks on the year.

[tag]Brian Robison[/tag] – Robison plays behind Jerod Allen so his snaps are limited. When he is on the field he shows up and makes plays. He managed 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 15 games.

[tag]Shaun Rogers[/tag] – Shaun Rogers is the most disruptive interior lineman in football today. The guy is just huge and unstoppable when his motor is turned on. He took over games at points this season in spite of double and triple teams. Rogers will be in the Pro-Bowl again after turning in 76 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He has Hall of Fame type talent when it is all clicking for Rogers.

[tag]Aaron Ross[/tag] – He may not be the best athlete in his marriage, but the Thorpe award winner has become a better than average cornerback in a tough place to play. Ross started in every game he played, 15, and grabbed 3 interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. Ross has the ability to be a shutdown corner as his technique and confidence continue to grow.

[tag]Bo Scaife[/tag] – Scaife has emerged as a very productive tight end even in the face of losing his quarterback and his team bringing in a big name free agent in Alge Crumpler. There were a few games where Kerry Collins completely forgot about Scaife, but he finished with 58 receptions and two touchdowns. Scaife has also become better as a blocker which allows him to stay on the field in all situations.

[tag]Lyle Sendlein[/tag] – People tend to forget about Sendlein when discussing the better offensive lineman Mack Brown has put into the NFL. Sendein has started every game of the season for a playoff team. Not too bad.

[tag]Chris Simms[/tag] – Simms is the number three quarterback on Tennessee’s roster.

[tag]Kasey Studdard[/tag] – Studdard remains a reserve lineman for the Houston Texans. He hasn’t been able to crack the starting lineup.

[tag]Limas Sweed[/tag] – Sweed is listed as the 4th receiver on the Steeler roster. One would think Sweed will contribute more after a full off season.

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] – The Patriots use a lot of tight ends in their offense, so none of them have numbers that are going to blow you away. Despite that Thomas has been able to get on the field a lot so far in his career. He pulled in nine receptions for 93 yards, but was never able to reach the end zone.

[tag]Nathan Vasher[/tag] – Injuries rendered the 2008 season a wasted one for Vasher. He played in eight games, recording one interception, before being placed on injured reserve.

[tag]Ricky Williams[/tag] – The former Heisman trophy winner and league pariah has made his comeback has a productive back in the Miami system. He was one of the many bright spots on a team full of them this year. Williams is able to make plays without being relied on to carry the full load because of the presence of Ronnie Brown. Ricky scored four touchdowns on 659 yards rushing. He may have made his biggest impact as a receiver out of the backfield where he averaged over seven yards a catch on 29 receptions.

[tag]Roy Williams[/tag] – The losing ways of the Lions followed Williams from Detroit to Dallas. Roy was never able to make an impact for the Cowboys for reasons that still remain unclear. He has proven to have the ability which leaves work ethic and injury as the two other reasons for his lack of production. Williams has unfortunately been criticized for both a lack of work ethic and inability to stay healthy in his career. He will need to have a huge year next year to justify the trade and contract Jerry Jones awarded him.

[tag]Selvin Young[/tag] – Young was another Longhorn that struggled with injury. Denver is notorious for alternating backs, and with the addition of injuries Young was never able to stay on the field. When he was healthy he produced so it will be interesting to see what the new coach in Denver decides to do with Selvin.

[tag]Vince Young[/tag] – 2008 was not a good year for VY. The greatest player in Longhorn history lost his job after one game and a knee injury, and never was even given the chance to win it back. It now appears Jeff Fisher made the right choice as Tennessee earned the #1 seed in the AFC. While they did it with defense and running the ball, Collins has done a good job in a Trent Dilfer type role. This season may end up being the best thing that has ever happened to Vince as a professional if he uses the experience in the right way.

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Posted October 22nd, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Roy Williams saw limited action in his Cowboy debut

Roy Williams saw limited action in his Cowboy debut

[tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] – Tarell had a decent day at nickel back for the San Francisco 49ers. He ended the day with four tackles and no pass breakups.

[tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] – Benson got his first start since he left the Chicago Bears. He had a solid day, carrying the ball 14 times for 52 yards. Benson recorded his first reception of the year but has failed to reach the end zone. The highlight of the day came when he blew up Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

[tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] – With starting running back Larry Johnson “suspended” by his team Jamaal received more playing time but the rookie running back and his team failed to get anything going against the Titans. Charles finished with three carries for 17 yards and four receptions for 26. He may be the starter next week.

[tag]Tim Crowder[/tag] – Crowder provided pressure that forced an interception by Matt Cassell on Monday Night Football, but his team got crushed on national TV. Crowder has yet to record any stats but continues to get snaps in a backup role.

[tag]Leonard Davis[/tag] – The Cowboys are hitting rock bottom and the offensive line has had a lot to do with it. Tony Romo is out because of a pinkie injury he suffered because pressure had gotten to him. New quarterback Brad Johnson had little time to do anything in the loss to the Rams.

[tag]Phil Dawson[/tag] – Dawson made one of the two field goals he attempted in the loss to the Redskins. He is nine for 11 on the season.

[tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag] – Buffalo has become one of the better teams in the league because of a strong running game. Dockery is earning his huge contract with big play up front.

[tag]Cedric Griffin[/tag] – It was a tough day for the Vikings defense. The group gave up 48 points in a loss to the Bears. Opposing teams continue to attack Griffin in order to avoid Antoine Winfield’s side of the field. Griffin had nine tackles and a pass breakup in the game.

[tag]Michael Griffin[/tag] – Michael Griffin recorded seven tackles in his team’s destruction of the Chiefs. Griffin is becoming one of the better players on arguably the best defense in the league. It is only a matter of time before he is a Pro-Bowl type player.

[tag]Ahmard Hall[/tag] – The Titans are one of the only teams left that use a true fullback and it is because of how well Hall has played. The tailbacks he leads the way for combined for over 300 yards in the game on Sunday. The Titans gave him a carry towards the end of the game which he got six yards on.

[tag]Michael Huff[/tag] – Huff had two tackles and two pass breakups in the overtime win over the Jets. The Raiders defense played much better this week than they did last week against the Saints.

[tag]Quentin Jammer[/tag] – The Bills avoided Jammer’s side of the field for most of the day. Lee Evans did make an incredible catch over Jammer for a touchdown. After a rough start to his career, Jammer is becoming one of the better corners in the league.

[tag]Derrick Johnson[/tag] – It was a bad day for D.J. and his defense. The Chiefs gave up over 300 yards rushing to the Titans. Johnson continues to struggle taking on blocks in the run game. He is great in space, but gets manhandled too often in the trenches. He finished the game with six tackles.

[tag]Cory Redding[/tag] – Redding has been banged up all year, but is without question the leader for the Lion defensive front. That may not be a good thing. He recorded five tackles and a sack in the loss to the Texans.

[tag]Shaun Rogers[/tag] – When Rogers is healthy and into the game there may not be a better player at defensive tackle. The big man had seven tackles and a sack in a defensively dominated game.

[tag]Bo Scaife[/tag] – Scaife is still putting up numbers with Vince Young on the sideline as the backup. The Titans did not have to pass much in the blow out win but Scaife finished with three catches for 48 yards.

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] – Thomas didn’t record any receptions but continues to get playing time as the second or third tight end and on special teams for the Patriots.

[tag]Nathan Vasher[/tag] – Vasher missed another game with an injury.

[tag]Ricky Williams[/tag] – The Heisman Trophy winner had his least productive day of the year. He only carried the ball four times for 16 yards with no receptions. The Ravens did a great job stopping the run and it forced the Dolphins out of their game plan. Ronnie Brown is the clear number one in Miami.

[tag]Roy Williams[/tag] – Roy Williams thought he was making a huge step up by being traded from the Lions to the Cowboys. Not so fast. The Cowboys played horrible and Roy never got involved in the game recording no catches.

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Posted March 5th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Leonard Davis signs with CowboysIt was a very good weekend to be a former Texas Longhorn offensive lineman. Former first team All-Americans [tag]Leonard Davis[/tag] and [tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag] both signed megadeals last week as NFL free agents.

Davis officially agreed to a seven-year, $49.6 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys yesterday. $18.75 million of Davis’ contract is guaranteed. It’s the richest deal for an offensive lineman this offseason. “Big” was the number two overall pick out of Texas by the Arizona Cardinals and was a solid but unspectacular player. For the Cowboys Davis will either play right guard or move outside to play right tackle if the team can’t resign Marc Columbo. He should be a big upgrade over the hurt/mediocre Marco Rivera.

Dockery’s deal is almost as rich. He signed with the Buffalo Bills for seven years and $49 million. $18.5 million of the deal is guaranteed and he’ll earn $23 million in the first three seasons. Dockery was a third round pick in 2003 and spent all four years in Washington as a starter at guard for the Redskins.

Great to have two former Longhorns getting big pay days, hopefully they can both improve on their play and earn those big checks rolling in. Both players are also going to teams I’m much more interested in watching on Sundays. I have to watch the Cowboys on TV every weekend and can’t catch many Titans games, so it’s great to see a Longhorn join the Cowboys.

Probably a pretty useful recruiting tool for any 2008 or 2009 offensive line recruits. Come to Texas, get fifty million dollars.

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Posted August 23rd, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Vince Young runs over a USC defenderIn an effort to measure which college programs have been the most successful over the last five seasons, the Wall Street Journal has come up with The Dow Jones College-Football Success Index. I’m not sure why, but they have chosen to use a formula that calculates the success of college football teams using only NFL information. They use the number of players starting/contributing on NFL teams as one factor, which also includes how many games their NFL teams win. The other factor is a team’s “draft success” which attempts to determine whether a team’s players have lived up to their draft promise.

The Longhorns land at number sixteen, which isn’t too low except for the fact that teams like North Carolina and Texas A&M land ahead of the Horns. That’s a pretty tell-tale sign that your ranking logic is horribly skewed. They list only [tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag], [tag]Casey Hampton[/tag], and [tag]Derrick Johnson[/tag] as standout players. I guess Pro Bowlers [tag]Nathan Vasher[/tag] and [tag]Shaun Rogers[/tag], who might be the best defensive tackle in the league, don’t count as standouts.

Here’s their comment on Texas:

National champs sent only three players to the NFL this year from the nation’s top offense. One problem: Longhorns’ shotgun formation isn’t popular in the NFL.

Not a very good argument there. I’m guessing a better reason we only had three offensive player’s drafted is that the team has seven returning starters this year on that side of the football. It’s kind of hard to be drafted when you’re still in college. [tag]Vince Young[/tag] went third overall, tight end [tag]David Thomas[/tag] went in the third round to the Patriots, and tackle [tag]Jonathan Scott[/tag] was the Lions’ fifth round selection. Guard [tag]Will Allen[/tag] signed a free agent deal with the Saints and backups [tag]Matt Nordgren[/tag] and [tag]Ahmard Hall[/tag] also found teams despite not being starters at Texas. Actually seems like a pretty good success rate to me.

So basically they took a faulty premise and backed it up with terrible analysis. There’s a lot of ways to determine a successful college football program, but how many backups a school has in the NFL is probably one of the last things you should consider.

Via: The Wiz

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