Got a case of the Mondays? Football always helps.
College Football Summer Stock: Previewing 2011 season for USC Trojans - ESPN: I saw this article and thought it was of note because Lane Kiffin, USC's Head Coach, is a protege -so to speak- of Pete Carroll, and their philosophies could align on a lot of things. One thing that Kiffin stresses hard is special teams play; the field position game, momentum, being aggressive, etc. RIght out of the Pete Carroll book of coaching. It's an ESPN Insider piece but I included a snippet below regarding the special teams:
"Field position and special teams advantages were frequently created last season, but USC rarely took advantage of those opportunities. According to Kiffin, it will be a focal point for success in 2011.
"We're always trying to gain an advantage somewhere in the field position battle," Kiffin said in a recent phone conversation. "The stats will show you the percentage of scoring based on how long the drive is. But it's psychological, too. If you have 90 yards to go on offense, it's a big difference from the momentum of a [punt or kickoff] return that puts you at midfield."
USC was exceptional in generating a field position advantage last season, as calculated by our FPA metric. FPA adds up the total scoring expectations in a game based on starting field position of each team and calculates the percentage share of that total value earned by each team. The Trojans earned a 0.55 FPA rating for the season, fifth best in the nation.
The other top-12 teams in FPA last season averaged 11.3 victories (see table). So USC had the field position opportunity for a better record but didn't capitalize. A prime example of these breakdowns can be found in the late November loss to Notre Dame. The Trojans had four drives start in plus territory following turnovers with an average starting field position on those possessions at the Irish 23-yard line. But they converted only one of those opportunities into a touchdown (a four-play, 2-yard "drive") and settled for field goal attempts on the others.
Kiffin stresses those situations because of how quickly everything flips back in favor of the opponent when the opportunity is squandered. "The other team coming out having given up [nothing] and getting the ball back ... you're trying to maximize the situation because of the points and the momentum."
Are you ready for some (nauseating) football? | Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com: Blurb on free agent Seahawk (or former Seahawk I guess?) Matt McCoy from a Philadelphia paper: "Strange sight recently at the informal Eagles workouts in New Jersey -- former Eagles linebacker Matt McCoy, a 2005 second-round pick who played in only 26 games in three years before being cut. After two seasons in Tampa, McCoy spent last year with the Seahawks. He has no interceptions in 61 career games, hasn't had a sack since his two in 2006 and hasn't forced a fumble since 2006."
Scout.com: Setting odds on a Vikings veteran: "Hasselbeck (60:1) — He is the ideal candidate for the Vikings job, but he is almost assured to re-sign with the Seahawks, where he has spent his entire career as a starter and, given his postseason resurgence, the home-town deal may be better than what he will be offered out of town."
Whitehurst thinks he can start in Seattle - CBSSports.com: "And there's a good chance that Pete Carroll calls on one more mid-level/low-end starter -- could it finally be his reunion with Matt Leinart?? -- to compete for the starting gig in whatever training camp Seattle has. But that hypothetical new guy and Whitehurst are going to suffer from the same disadvantage: time. Which is why someone like Hasselbeck stands a much better chance of ending up starting over someone like Whitehurst. Again."
Cullen Jenkins: Cullen Jenkins a face of NFL lockout - chicagotribune.com: "Slowly, he fit into the defense and now, at 30, will be pursued widely because he fits both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. His last contract was a $16 million, four-year extension. He will command more than that. Playing with a broken hand to start last year and then missing three games with a calf injury, he finished second on the Super Bowl champions with seven sacks."
The 2011 Defense Market - Offseason Low Down - Rotoworld.com: Evan Silva predicts that DT Cullen Jenkins signs with the Hawks. I am for it. And I hope we re-sign Mebane too. "Cullen Jenkins, defensive lineman Scouting Report: A late bloomer and former undrafted free agent, Jenkins did a stint in NFL Europe before landing a spot on Green Bay's roster in 2005. The team's starting right end since overtaking Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Jenkins has shown a complete game when healthy. But that's the rub. Jenkins has missed 17 games over the past three seasons, last year battling a fractured hand and torn calf, and in 2009 going on I.R. with a torn pectoral. Jenkins is 6-foot-2, 305, so the eyeball test says he'd be better suited for an interior position outside of Green Bay. Availability: The Packers didn't use the franchise tag, and Mike McCarthy spoke of Jenkins in the past tense at his year-ending press conference. "I really enjoyed coaching Cullen," the coach said in February. Speculation has linked Jenkins to the Bears, Redskins, and Broncos. He can project to a variety of positions in all schemes, so there should be no shortage of suitors. Prediction: Seahawks on a four-year, $22.5 million contract."
How the Eighth Circuit could issue a ruling neither side will like | ProFootballTalk: "One of the best things about doing radio spots is that the discussion often gives me the kind of clarity that merely sitting at the keyboard doesn't. That's exactly what happened earlier today, when I chatted with Howard Balzer of 101 ESPN in St. Louis."
ProFootballWeekly.com - Lockout limbo: 49ers report: "With the NFL teams stuck in a state of limbo thanks to the lingering lockout, we are taking a tour around the league and looking at where teams stand as they await the opening of the 2011 league year. Today, we offer our take on where the 49ers stand."
Tom Brady optimistic that a labor deal will get done | National Football Post: "New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is crossing his fingers that a deal will happen. "Nobody knows, hopefully soon," Brady said, per Comcast Sportsnet New England. "There's been a lot of positive news from both sides. Everyone's working hard for a great outcome and I'm confident that a lot of reasonable people will come to a very reasonable agreement.""
NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post: "*If Seahawks receiver Mike Williams is telling the truth about doing six hours of cardio a day, he will show up at training camp as skinny at this guy."
Dave Krieg's Strike Beard: Bobby and Darrell: "A few days ago on twitter I started a conversation about which Holmgren-era Seahawks would end up in the Ring of Honor someday, and I came up with Mike Holmgren, Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Mack Strong, Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant (That list by itself, and how I came up with it, might warrant another post soon). I asked my followers if I was missing anyone, and a chorus arose of "Bobby Engram!""
Kolloen: Pete Carroll, be my boss | sportspressnw.com: "If Pete Carroll was your boss, every day would be casual Friday, with Pete leading the way in his polos and khakis. If Pete Carroll was your boss, you could chat music with him, everything from oldies to reggae to new bands. Recently Carroll declared "Mumford & Sons" week. (As folk rock goes, I prefer Avett Brothers, but I’m sure we could have a rational discussion about it)."