Saturday, August 25, 2012

Schiano: Davin Joseph out for season

Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano has confirmed that guard Davin Joseph will have surgery for a torn patella tendon and miss the entire season.

Joseph was injured in the second quarter of the Bucs game against New England on a play when Donald Penn drove Patriots rookie defensive end Chandler Jones into the back of Joseph’s knee.

"It's [a] big [loss], but that's part of what we do, right?" said Schiano. "You mourn, and you move on. That’s what you do. That's what we have to do, and Davin wants us to do that. He's going to be in surgery and then on his road to recovery, and we've got to fix our sights on how we're going to move forward."

This is a tremondous blow to the Bucs, particularly their desire to establish a solid run game. They signed free agent Carl Nicks during the off season in the hopes he and Joseph would give them the best guard tandem in the league.

"We're going to try to work a couple things," said Schiano. "Obviously, Larsen has worked there, and we have other options that we can look at, which we will. We're trying to get the best five on the field. I think we have the answer internally, and that's why we've been trying to build depth at all positions. But we always look outside; that's a constant. If there's somebody we think fits our mold, then we'll try to do what we can to get him."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Are Mike Jenkins and Dallas owner Jerry Jones at odds over his injury?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has sent out mixed messages about whether Mike Jenkins would play in the team’s season opener against the Giants.
Mike Jenkins says he will play when healhy
Jenkins has made it clear he won’t play unless he is one-hundred percent healthy; And by his calendar that doesn’t figure to have him ready for the Giants game.

The controversial owner told KRLD-FM in Dallas that he didn’t expect Jenkins to play and then contradicted himself by saying it would be an interesting scenario if the cornerback out of USF/Southeast High is cleared by his surgeon.

Jenkins played a good part of last season with the damaged shoulder and still performed admirably though he was in and out of games because of the injury. He was lauded by Dallas head coach Jason Garrett for his courage.
“He’s going to have his shoulder evaluated by his surgeon and it may be a little late in the pre-season for him,” Jones said. “I don’t think so (he will play). But that would be real interesting if we had an evaluation on him by this weekend. I’d like to have that problem to mull over.”

Jenkins doesn’t expect that to happen. He cannot practice until he is cleared by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. He is scheduled to meet him on September 2nd two days before the Cowboys-Giants game.

Jenkins told Wednesday that he is not going to rush things and will not play unless he is 100 percent healthy.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Jenkins said. “When I saw the doctor, he said four weeks (from the August 5th surgery). So I’ve got to go back to the doctor and see what he says. But I’ll be 100 percent when I get back.”
There were reports that Jenkins is unhappy anyway because he figured to lose this starting job after the Cowboys acquired cornerback Brandon Carr and drafted LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with their first pick in this year’s NFL draft. He denies that.

“Like I’ve said, no quotes ever came out of my mouth about being unhappy. There’s no frustration. That’s just people talking and assumptions,” Jenkins said. “I’m hurt and trying to get healthy. My time will come. I know I’m good enough to be on anyone’s team. The only thing I’m frustrated with is getting my shoulder right and going through this rehab.”
Garrett seemed to side with Jenkins on this one, particularly about him being ready.

“He needs to be able to practice football before he plays in Game One,” Garrett said Thursday. “We don’t have these hard and fast rules, if he doesn’t practice by this minute of this day, he can’t play in the game. That is not the way we do it. (But) we value practice. We value getting our guys ready to play. So, we understand the challenge he has coming back, having missed all the offseason and all of training camp, and we will treat his circumstance very individual and very specifically. But we believe in practice.”








A.J. Love still hanging with Vikings; gets another chance tonight vs Chargers

The Minnesota Vikings game tonight against the San Diego Chargers could be crucial for A.J. Love and Mistral Raymond.
The two formers USF teammates and Manatee County products have different goals, but the importance of this game is equal for both.  

 The Vikings cut Love and then re-signed him two days later on August 6th after Greg Childs (fourth round pick) tore the pateller tendon in each of his knees.
An undrafted free agent, Love is a long shot to make the team, but he is been dealing with those type of odds ever since he took the field as an unheralded receiver at Southeast High and overcame two ACL tears and subsequent surgeries at USF.

The Vikings have 90 players on their roster. They must cut down to 75 on Monday. The regular season 53 man roster must be set by August 31st.
Raymond’s story has been well-documented. The Palmetto High product had to overcome personal tragedies to become the Vikings sixth round draft pick last year.

Raymond is in a battle for the starting safety spot with Vikings first round 2012 draft pick Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame and three year veteran Jamarca Sanford (Mississippi), who started 15 games last season. Smith seems a lock to start.

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier had been leaning towards starting Raymond next to Smith, but Sanford was working with Smith on Wednesday and the whole situation seems fluid.

“We are going to give Jamarca another shot just to see how he does,” Frazier said. “He’s had a great camp and he’s busted his tail to compete and fight for a job.







We are gong

Friday, August 17, 2012

LeGarrette Blount says he is okay after leaving game because of injury

Tampa Bay Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount, who was forced to leave Friday night's game against Tennessee late in the second quarter because of an injury, said he feels fine.

"I took a hit on my side and tweaked my groin a little bit," Blount said. "It hurt a lot for awhile, but it's not serious. I will be good. I've had a lot of nicks and bruises and is kind of what it is. They are going to check it out (Saturday)."

Blount said despite feeling good he doesn't know if he would play if the season opener was next week, but doesn't see this injury as anything to worry about.

Blount had only 11 yards on eight carries it was a disappointing night for the Bucs all the way around in a 30-7 loss.

"There are a lot of things we have to work on and a lot of things we have to improve on," Blount said. "I feel good now. Offensively tonight we get beat obviously so there is lot we have to improve on and a lot we have to look at film wise. Hopefully we can correct a lot of things.'

Barron will make debut tonight in Bucs matchup against Tennessee

Mark Barron, the Tampa Bay Bucs heralded first round draft makes his NFL debut tonight at Raymond James Stadium agianst the Tennessee Titans.

The safety from Alabama sat out the pre-season opener last week against Miami because of a toe injury, but says he is ready to go full speed tonight. Barron said he has a good understanding of the defense despite missing some practices.

The 6-1, 215 pound Barron was selected seventh overall in this year's draft because of his reputation as a hard hitter, which new Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was needed to help a team that collapsed at the end of last year and looked soft.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Former coach says Brian Poole's switch to safety will help his career

Brian Poole switches to safety
Southeast defensive coordinator Brian McKnight, who coached Brian Poole for four years,  sees his switch to safety at Florida as a positive move that will enhance his career.

He has the size and speed to play the position and I think it will be better for him because now he will be on both sides of the field instead of just one when he plays cornerback,” McKnight said.

During his electrifying football career at Southeast, Poole was known as a guy who could play any position and do it well.

Though he was an All-American cornerback, Poole excelled on offense as a running back and was a top notch punt returner. He also caught passes and even threw a few.

It didn’t take long for Florida head football coach Will Muschamp to take advantage of Poole’s multiple set of skills.

Poole was recruited as a cornerback and rated number two in the country at the position by one scouting service. But Muschamp announced a few days into pre-season camp that he was switching him to safety.

It’s a move made out of necessity and made possible because of Poole’s talents. The Gators are loaded at cornerback with four veterans and have needs at safety.

When Muschamp made a visit to Lakewood Ranch a few months ago for a Gators rally, he said he expected Poole to be on the field this year as a true freshman if he picked up the defensive schemes.

He reiterated that theme in announcing Poole would be making the switch noting he is intelligent and has the athleticism to get out on the field right now

“He has good instincts in zone. He’s a bright young man. He’s a physical player. He will tackle," Muschamp said at his media conference. "We felt like in the recruiting process he was a corner/nickel. He’s a guy that can go in the slot and play. But when you have a young player I think the best thing for them is to get them in one spot and let them have an opportunity. Athletically we felt like he’s ready to play.”

One thing will remain the same for the 5-10, 206 pound Poole. He was able to get the number 24 jersey, which is the same number he had during his Southeast days.

The starting safety spots for the Gators are manned by heralded junior Matt Elam (5-10, 202), who started every game last season and senior Josh Evans (6-2, 201), who started eight games. There is speculation that Elam could declare for the NFL draft after the upcoming season.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blount shows he is not conceding anything in Bucs pre-season opener

Things to take from Tampa Bucs pre-season opener at Miami:

LeGarrette Blount is not conceding anything to rookie Doug Martin, who everyone is predicting to be the Bucs primary running back.

Their numbers were similar with Blount running for 30 yards on seven carries and Martin picking up 21 yards also on seven rushing attempts. They both scored short yardage touchdowns and had one reception each.

Tiquan Underwood, who has been a standout receiver during training camp, continues to make a case for himself and is starting to generate some conversation that he could be an extremely vital part of the offense.

The former wideout from Rutgers (where else?) led all receivers with three catches for 76 yards, including an impressive 44 yard reception that he gathered in with two defenders draped all over him.

Quarterback Josh Freeman was efficent and safety Cody Grimm looked bad on a missed tackle on the Dolphins first drive, which didn't help his chances of making the 53 man roster.

Interception by rookie linebacker Lavonte David had to make new head coach Greg Schiano happy for many reasons bolstering belief he is the perfect WLB for the Bucs new defense.

What does it all mean?

Not really much considering there a lot of teams that finished pre-season undefeated and failed miserably when the regular season started; remember Jimmy Johnson's 1-15 first year with Dallas
or John McKay's 2-14 team in 1983 that followed undefeated pre-seasons.

The Bucs were clearly in better condition than the Dolphins and that was a factor, which might not be an advantage when the regular season starts or heads into the stretch run.

The "worst performer" award has to go to fumble prone Preston Parker (8 last year), who fumbled a punt and was guilty of personal foul after a play was whistled dead.

With his 74 yard kickoff return rookie speedster Michael Smith brings a lot of hope and Luke Stocker had a nice third down catch in traffic. Two starters in the secondary, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety Mark Barron did not play because of injuries.

Manatee's Ace Sanders little big man for South Carolina

Ace Sanders primed for big season
At 5-8, Ace Sanders is one of the smallest receivers in the SEC, but he has become a big part of South Carolina's offense.

Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier thought so much of Sanders that he took the former Manatee High standout with him to the SEC media day festivities and allowed him to give his assessment on the team's passing game.

“The coaches handed the reins over to me,” Sanders said at the SEC media day. “I look over the group to make sure they know where they’re going. I have to make sure they’re on the same level as me.”

The junior is the top returning threat from the Gamecocks passing game and is the only returnee with 20 or more receptions. His presence will be even more important this season with All SEC receiver Alshon Jeffery now in the NFL.

A lot of people at South Carolina, incuding quite a few of his teammates are predicitng a break through season for Sanders based on his speed, elusiveness, soft hands and intelligence. Sanders runs a 4.3 second 40-yard dash.

Sanders has added 20 pounds, mostly pure muscle and appears primed for big things this season also with his kick return skills.

"Ace has developed into a real top-flight receiver. He’s going to have a good year," Spurrier predicted.”

Last season Sanders was the  second on the Gamecock with 29 receptions for 383 yards (13.2 avg) and caught two TD passes. He was South Carolina's primary punt returner with 16 returns for 149 yards (9.3 avg) and one TD.