April 19, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Defending Dion’s Defense?

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“Byron Scott has repeatedly talked about his struggles on defense, but I haven’t really noticed Waiters getting blown by very often. That’s because his problem isn’t staying in front of his man. Instead, it’s just staying on his man and recognizing his assignment. I don’t have very man questions about Waiters’ ability to play defense in the NBA from a physical standpoint. He has enough length and strength to compensate for whatever he may lack in pure height. Thus far, Waiters’ defensive struggles are primarily mental (and not entirely his fault).” [Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]

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Tressel on his desire to get back into coaching- “Asked if the end zone ride made him yearn to coach again, Tressel said, “Oh no. I just enjoyed being with them, enjoyed being with the fans. I didn’t all of a sudden go back upstairs and feel like calling plays. I’ve made a commitment to the University of Akron.” His name continues to be mentioned for NFL and even collegiate job openings, although he has served only two of a five-year virtual ban on college coaching imposed by the NCAA.

Are the mentions flattering? “It depends on who’s doing the mentioning,” said Tressel, whose Akron job description is Vice President of Strategic Engagement.” [Livingston/Cleveland.com]

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Not unlike Gordon’s “illegal” hit. Only this one wasn’t flagged. “Boldin peeled back from his deep route, sprinted toward Weddle and knocked him out from an angle that was ruled to be to Weddle’s side — not his back — without making helmet-to-helmet contact. Daopoulos said, while not sure if there was helmet-to-helmet contact, he would have penalized Boldin.

“It’s just such a vicious hit,” Daopoulos said in a phone interview from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “I just think it wasn’t a legal hit. It had the potential for a block in the back. It also was a hit on a defenseless player. It kind of fell into a couple of categories. …” [Gehlken/North County Times]

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“For the first time since Art Modell owned the Cleveland Browns, everyone working for this franchise is finding out they need to hold themsevles to a higher standard or they have to answer to Haslam. It is kind of like how the Steelers view their franchise. Not a bad model to follow. Even better, with the Browns’ new attitude and leadership netted a victory over the Steelers.” [Delco/Orange and Brown Report]

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“This set of 11 retired players who were active after the dead ball era ended enforces Mark McGwire’s 70-homer season in ’98 as the upper limit for candidacy. Eight of them are in the Hall of Fame, a ninth is in for his playing and managing record, and a 10th probably should be in. And yet hardly any of them ever managed to have a double-digit homer season. Here’s the list, in descending order, with sketches of each player:

Lou Boudreau, 68. In his Historical Abstract from the ’80s, Bill James points to a type of player fairly common in the ’30s and ’40s: small, drew lots of walks, hit .300 or more, didn’t have home run power, typically played up the middle, and scored lots of runs. Some of those players, including Boudreau, are on this list. He averaged nearly 40 doubles annually, hit around .300, drew another 70 walks or so, and what’s more, Boudreau led AL shortstops in fielding percentage seven times.

He played only nine full seasons, but he managed the Indians as well from the age of 24 onward. His managing career was finished after he turned 42, but Boudreau had already led the Indians to their last World Series title to date. Later, he became part of the Cubs broadcast team and the father-in-law of Denny McLain.” [Christensen/Hardball Times]

  • mgbode

    Louisville to the ACC now too. What a joke. The ACC had been the Big10′s equal in balancing sports and academics. Apparently, they no longer care.

    Louisville is ranked #160 as a tier3 school.

    http://outkickthecoverage.com/us-news-rankings-of-top-six-football-conferences.php

  • mgbode

    “It’s just such a vicious hit,” Daopoulos said in a phone interview from
    Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “I just think it wasn’t a legal hit. It had the
    potential for a block in the back. It also was a hit on a defenseless
    player.

    ———————

    wait, so now if a hit is too hard or has the potential to be an illegal hit even if it is not, then flags are thrown? what?!?

    the NFL better straighten out what is and what is not a penalty and not have the refs with so much gray area. i don’t even blame the refs on this one as it’s the NFL (and competition committee made of former/current players/coaches/refs) responsible for creating a set of rules that they can call consistently. there is no way to be consistent with what is there right now.

  • Harv 21

    Here was my troubling take away quote: “There’s not 100 percent evidence that it was an illegal hit. It just didn’t look good to me. I was troubled because we try to protect these defenseless players, and he was defenseless coming from that position.”

    The problem with making “defenseless” as subjective as “it didn’t look good to me” is that it removes all onus on the tackler to be aware of blockers. In Josh Gordon’s case, I thought he came from a permissible angle while Ed Reed turned his head to follow the ball carrier. Suppose Gordon could have yelled “Incoming!” but it should be the defensive player’s responsibility to be aware of blockers coming at less than a right angle from his own body direction. Otherwise the refs are demanding that a blocker make a split-second read of the opponent’s head angle at the moment before initiating contact. Ridiculous.

  • mgbode

    our HS coach actually did tell us to yell “watchout” on kick blocking for blindside blocks. caused a few head-turns and you get a nice clean block w/ no potential for a flag and usually can drive them back further as well due to the angle

    also, it led to funny situations later where you could yell it and they’d flinch expecting the block and you could just hit the next guy :)