Safety [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] and linebacker [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] have been invited to the Chicago Bears’ rookie camp for a try-out. They will join 26 other unsigned players, 12 draftees, and 10 rookie free agents at the Bears’ rookie minicamp this weekend and will have three practices to try to get someone’s attention.
A try-out is not the same as signing a rookie free agent deal, there will definitely be a huge uphill battle in front of them to make the team. Their best hope may be that in this limited opportunity they can impress enough to make the Bears’ coaching staff believe they could make an important contribution on special teams. Even if they don’t make the Bears’ roster it is important they show up well and generate a little buzz around their name, hopefully resulting in a try-out with another team.
Pro 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 monthâ€™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. Weâ€™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].
What happened to the 5-star prospects? CFN re-ranks the top prospects from the 2004 recruiting class including Frank Okam and Drew Kelson.
I’ll be posting periodic updates, comments, and vulgarity as the game goes on. It’s kickoff time and I’m as fired up as I’ve been since early on in the season. Let’s see how the Horns respond to a little adversity.
- 2 seconds in to the game and it’s clear Brent Musberger didn’t do any preparation. Brutally mispronounces [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag]‘s name and then calls [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] the name of some random walk on. Houston takes the very short pooch kick off and the Horns start the game off with the ball out at the 50.
- Looked like a bad read by [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on the zone read. Picks up close to 10 yards though and the Horns have a 3rd and 3. Big play as the team really needs to get going early.
- 3rd and short run that the line did a terrible job blocking on but [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] breaks it for a 15 yard game.
- [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] is right. Charles was hit out of bounds down low and that should have been a penalty.
- Bad awareness by [tag]Nate Jones[/tag]. He was wide open but let himself drift out of the back of the end zone. Announcers have good comment though about how the design of the end zone in the stadium could be confusing.
- [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] is a gosh damn genius!!!!!!! WoooOoo! Touchdown [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] for the touchdown!!! That a boy! Bill Belichick would be proud.
Arizona State 0, Texas 7
- The team really looks fired up. Let’s hope that results in some inspired play, and no let down once that energy wears off.
- [tag]Jared Norton[/tag], [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag], and [tag]Scott Derry[/tag] are the starters at linebacker. That might shut some Internet coaches up (for a few minutes.)
- And Norton is already hurt. Damnit.
- Defensive package on 3rd and long includes only 3 down lineman, [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] in there as extra pass defenders. Nice new look.
- Designed QB draw play. I don’t mind McCoy scrambling (in fact he’s been darn good at it this season) but not sure we should be calling too many first quarter QB runs in the huddle.
- As Musberger talks about [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] I just noticed that freshman [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] is getting the start at right tackle and they’ve moved [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] to the left side.
- [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] on the reverse pass. Not really anybody open and Cosby does the smart thing and just throws it away. Or maybe it twas just a terrible throw. The play wasn’t blocked well and the receivers were all covered as well.
- [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] in there on this series. Norton back in there as well.
- Fumble! Maybe. They called it a fumble on the field at least as corner [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] appears to rip the ball out as the ASU running back falls to the ground. Looks like he had it out before his knee was down and doesn’t look like there’s 100% evidence of the contrary. Replay confirms, Texas ball!
- Hot damn! Hey there [tag]John Chiles[/tag], I vaguely remember you buddy. The young dual threat QB is in there and on the first play Charles takes the zone read hand off close to 50 yards. On the very Next play Chiles keeps it on the same play off the left end for the touchdown! (Psst… where has this been all year?)
Arizona State 0, Texas 14
- In case you hadn’t noticed, yes I’m about 5 minutes behind live on the DVR. I’ll be caught up after one or two commercial breaks.
- Wonder what the wind situation is like. [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag]‘s kickoffs have all been pretty short.
- Has Roger Clemens hired investigator to “discredit Brian McNamee” or two prove that he didn’t take steroids? Those are two very different things.
- Not only did senior [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] not get the start at linebacker but I haven’t seen him in on defense at all yet tonight. Two series in a row where it’s nothing but the young guys and Derry is off the field as well.
- [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] got really burned on a deep pass but gets back just in time because of the underthrown ball (and maybe a little early) and the ball is tipped up and safety [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] has the ball come right to him for the interception.
- I like the fair catch trash talk by the ASU punt returner. “Did you see the way I waved my arm and caught the ball. You can’t handle this!”
- Killebrew, Derry, and [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] in there for this series.
- Can Musberger get anyone’s name right? It’s Dick Tomey, not Toomey. Dufus.
- Finally. McCoy scrambles and throws deep on the run and get its to his open receiver Cosby for a huge 55 yard gain. That a boy Colt.
- And Charles runs tough and right through the Sun Devils’ defense for the 15-yard TD run. Heck of a run and refusal to get tackled by one guy. The Horns are now up 3 scores and it’s still the first quarter. Come on guys keep this up, don’t let an ASU score or anything swing this momentum.
Arizona State 0, Texas 21
- Veteran linebackers in for second series in a row. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] getting some early playing time at defensive end.
- Bobino shaken up. Now both middle linebackers have needed to be helped up by the medical staff but both were able to walk off on their own power.
- We’re bring multiple linebackers on every play and if we don’t start getting to Carpenter a step quicker we could be in trouble.
The 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.
Nothing gets me more fired up than watching Ducks Unlimited TV before a big Longhorn game. Do you think Versus would show a show about hunting and killing ducks if Oregon was playing instead of Texas and [tag]Baylor[/tag]? That might be a little awkward.
If you’re not one of the many Texas fans who made the trip to Waco you’ll have to surf through about 1,000 channels before you’ll find Versus and you’re probably only getting it if you have satellite or digital cable. Versus is on channel 603 on DirecTV, channel 151 on Dish Network, and on 470 if you’ve got Time Warner digital cable in Austin.
Here we go…
- I like the straight zone run play with [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] than the zone read or the counter. Gives Jamaal a chance to hit the hole fast and get going north/south quicker.
- I like that a professional football announcer doesn’t know the difference between the zone read and a counter. Not even run out of the shotgun is a zone read.
- Three attempts towards [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] already. One good completion, one ball he should have caught, and one that he and [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] had a miscommunication on.
- And another pass towards Finley. Texas attempts a fake field goal after he goes out wide and uncovered but [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] can’t get the play off quickly enough and then can’t get the ball out to him before the defense adjusted. Versus missed the whole play because we were zoomed in on kicker Ryan Bailey’s helmet.
- [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] has been serviceable at safety this season but he is absolutely awful at adjusting to the ball in the air. He was there in coverage on a terrible Baylor pass but couldn’t make a play on the ball. Looked similar to the unnecessary pass interference penalty he picked up last week.
- Baylor offensive lineman Dan Gay IV commits a holding penalty. How unfortunate is that last name? Especially with the IV after it. You can essentially put any noun after that and hilarity will ensue.
- I’m surprised how empty Floyd Casey Stadium is. Enough Texas fans normally make that trip to fill up the place a little better.
- Second time already that I thought the Baylor defensive back got there early on pass coverage. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] doesn’t drop many passes, it looked like he got bumped early.
- Great punt but Jackson can’t down it before it bounces into the end zone. The only good thing to come out of the Kansas State game is punter Justin Moore.
- Versus really likes to use the camera angle from the roof of the press box. The damn thing is so high i can’t tell anybody’s number.
- [tag]John Chiles[/tag] and the second team offense is in there for this series. I actually like the timing of this one better than last week. The first team offense didn’t have much momentum so it’s not really going to disrupt them.
- Chiles has to be more careful with the football. First downs are important but not as important as holding onto the football. Don’t stretch the ball out in traffic on your own 40 yard line.
- Smithson Valley sucks!
- Big run by [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] up the middle. 18 yards on the carry is probably the second teamers biggest gain against first team defenses. I think as Chiles gains more experience running the zone read the whole offense opens up. Right now he looks a little like he’s keeping and handing off randomly and not doing a great job reading the defensive end. That’s a tough read and you can only really learn in live game situations.
- Set your feet before you throw John.
- [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] nails the 46-yard field goal into the wind. Right down the middle.
Texas 3, Baylor 0
- How sad is Baylor that the announcers are talking about their defense getting a victory by holding the second team defense to only a field goal?
- Not sure if this is their first series or not, but the young group of linebackers are in there now for Texas.
- What did they rule that play on the field? I thought I saw an official pointing that he was down before the fumble. Looks to me like the ball is coming loose a little before the Baylor running back hits the ground.
- Not sure how they ruled he was down after reviewing that play. Looked pretty clear from one angle that the ball was loose before his butt hit the ground.
With the first official depth chart released for the [tag]Arkansas State[/tag] we can officially do our first second guessing of the 2007 season. Let’s
complain examine the defensive side of the ball first:
|DE (Quick)||Brian Orakpo||
|I think everyone is expecting a big sack total from [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] this season, I’m thinking he could be our breakout defender. I’m excited to see [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] play, kid is a future star.|
|Nose Tackle||Derek Lokey||
|If [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] doesn’t get hurt, Texas wins the Big 12 and ends up in the Fiesta Bowl last year. A healthy Lokey helps the entire defense.|
|There were all-world expectations for [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] when he arrived in Austin and he’s yet to perform at that level. He’s still got a chance to be a high draft pick if he can be healthy and active this year.|
|DE (Power)||Aaron Lewis||
|Maybe the weakest spot on the defensive line but a couple of guys that impressed in limited time last season. [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] and [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] are both about a biscuit short of becoming defensive tackles.|
|Strongside LB||Robert Killebrew||
|Any chance [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] comes in and takes this position over after his suspension? [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] needs to make more plays.|
|Middle LB||Rashad Bobino||
|[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] is consistent but has trouble getting off blocks, [tag]Jared Norton[/tag] will knock your teeth out but is inexperienced. We’ve got to find the right mix of heady guys and playmakers at linebacker.|
|Weakside LB||Scott Derry||
|[tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] was our best linebacker before he tore up his finger against Rice and this season he’s listed as a co-starter. I think Muck ends up being on the field as much as any of the other guys.|
|Right CB||Ryan Palmer||
|Uh oh. Now we’re into the area where fans are making a little noise. [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] has the makings of a solid player but he hasn’t performed well when he had opportunities. [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] has a chance to take the starter’s job if he wants it.|
|Free Safety||Marcus Griffin||
|Everyone knew [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] was the starter but I was surprised to see [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] the number two guy here and not at strong safety. Maybe Kelson plays in likely running situations.|
|Strong Safety||Erick Jackson||
|Glad to see [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] earn himself a chance. Kid has some bad luck but he was has all the measureables and was highly rated coming out of high school. And [tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] is named Ishie, you’ve got to root for him just for that.|
|Left CB||Brandon Foster||
|Even more worrisome than the other corner spot. [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] is about the same as Palmer but an inch and a half shorter. He’s got two true freshmen behind him so it looks like a experience versus potential battle.|
It’s just Arky State so I’m not going to get to worked up over anything on this depth chart. It’s the first game of the year so I think guys who have been here longer are going to have the edge over the young guys who have only been on campus a month. It’ll be interesting to see if the freshmen and sophomores battling for spots can show enough against ASU to see increased time against TCU.
Report on Drew Kelson’s intelligence and his move back to safety. The position change should be good for him & the team.
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.
- 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.
In a nutshell, Texas had their way with Louisiana Lafayette, which is indicated by the 60-3 score. Texas did pretty much anything they wanted to on offense, including rushing for 418 yards. The defense was also stout, and you could tell right from the start that Louisiana Lafayette was going to have trouble doing anything. I guess the only real down spot is Saturday’s game is the special teams, who missed 3 extra points! Now let’s move on to a position-by-position look at how the Longhorns graded out on Saturday.
Quarterback – Overall Grade: A
After [tag]Vince Young[/tag]‘s 5 touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl, there is no surprise that he entered this season as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. With all of that pressure, I was interested to see how he would perform. I think it is safe to say that Young did not disappoint. Young finished the game with an efficient 13-17 for 173 yards. He looked to be very comfortable throwing the ball and you could tell he has gained a lot of confindence this past off-season. [tag]Matt Nordgren[/tag] played for most of the second half but did not attempt a single pass attempt. He did scramble a few times, showing off an interesting technique of gaining more yards when going out of bounds.
Running Backs – Overall Grade: A+
Texas appears to have a full stable of speedy and powerful tailbacks to compliment quarterback Vince Young this year. Freshman running backs [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] and [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] had a huge impact on the game, with Charles running for 135 yards and 1 score and Melton running for 65 yards and 2 scores. I swear it looked like Melton couldn’t be tackled. A bigger and quicker [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] added 65 yards and speedster [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] also added 65 yards. With a total of 418 yards, I would say things are definitely looking good for the Texas running game.
Receivers / Tight Ends – Overall Grade: B
[tag]David Thomas[/tag] was up to his usual self, making big plays and scored 2 touchdowns on 3 catches. With his 2 touchdowns, David Thomas moved into fifth place all-time at Texas for a tight end with his 51th career reception. Senior [tag]Brian Carter[/tag] also help out by setting a career high with three receptions against the Ragin’ Cajuns for 65 yards, matching his previous career total of three receptions in only the first half. [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag], and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] also performed well, with Nate Jones scoring his first career touchdown. It was nice to see some consistency in this group and I look forward to seeing them improve this year.
Offensive Line – Overall Grade: A+
Considering that Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles, Henry Melton, Ramonce Taylor and Vince Young averaged 9.5 yards per carry, I would say that the offensive line did pretty well on Saturday. [tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] (fellow Plano East grad) led the offensive line who just totally dominated Louisana Lafayette. Hopefully they keep the same aggressiveness next Saturday against OSU.