Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Huskers at the 2009 NFL Combine

February 16, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I love to watch the NFL combine. I’m fascinated by it. Many of the same athletes that we have been watching for the past few years now suddenly have their future in the balance based solely on their workouts.

It is astonishing to think that several tenths of a second in the 40 yard dash could cost a player millions of dollars. Three-inches in a player’s vertical leap could be the difference between being a sixth round pick or not even being drafted at all. You would think that these subtle differences in their scores would have nothing to do with the game of football, but to every NFL coach, scout, and general manager, they do.

Even more, I enjoy envisioning who these players will be playing for on Sundays as the NFL Network’s correspondents discuss team needs. Almost a full week of listening to the likes of Rich Eisen and Brian Billick talk college and NFL football in the middle of February certainly is something not to be taken for granted. Therefore, I watch.

Last year, I remember Sports Illustrated’s Peter King discussing that the NFL combine isn’t relied upon as heavily as it once was in large part because of a former Boston College player Mike Mamula. Mamula was so impressive at the 1995 combine that former Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Ray Rhodes traded away two first-round picks to select him at #7 overall. Ever heard of Mike Mamula before? The myth of Mamula has been widely debated as his career was not nearly as bad as many made it out to be. However, because of the draft mythology involving Mamula, NFL General Managers don’t put quite as much emphasis on the numbers at the combine as they used to. Maybe a few rounds can be gained or lost this weekend, but you won’t be seeing a virtual unknown rocket up to #7 overall out of nowhere again based on his workout. Nonetheless, this weekend still matters.

300+ former college athletes and six Huskers will be taking part in this weekend’s combine in Indianapolis.

Nebraska’s 2009 NFL Combine Invitation List (for the complete list of participants, click here.)

GLENN, CODY NEBRASKA 09 LB12 OLB
LUCKY, MARLON NEBRASKA 06 RB19 RB
MURTHA, LYDON NEBRASKA 02 OL39 T
POTTER, ZACH NEBRASKA 08 DL41 DE
SLAUSON, MATT NEBRASKA 02 OL47 G
SWIFT, NATE NEBRASKA 05 WO38 WR

You can watch the combine in its entirety from Thursday, February 19th through Wednesday, February 25th on the NFL Network or on NFL.com. For the complete schedule, click here –> NFL Network Combine Coverage Schedule.

Some times of interest:
Saturday, February 21 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Kickers, Offensive Linemen and Tight Ends
Sunday, February 22 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs
Monday, February 23 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Linebackers, Defensive Lineman

Which former Husker do you think will have the most successful NFL career?
( polls)

The End of the Ahman Green Era?

February 11, 2009


On Tuesday, the Houston Texans released former Nebraska RB Ahman Green. More than likely, this will end Green’s 11-year NFL career as there is not much room in today’s game for aging, injury-proned running backs.

With Green’s retirement on the horizon, I got to thinking as to where Ahman Green sits among the best Nebraska players to play running back in the NFL. Surprisingly, Roger Craig is the only former Husker to have a career comparable.

Craig, a 4-time Pro Bowler & 1-time first-team All-Pro, finished his 11 year NFL career with 8,189 rushing yards, 4,911 receiving yards, 13,100 total yards, 73 TDs, and three Super Bowl rings. Even as of today, Roger Craig remains the only running back to lead the NFL in receptions for a single season, and the only one ever to record over 100 receiving yards in a Super Bowl. Craig made the semi-finalist list for the Hall of Fame this year but was not elected.

Green (probably) will finish his career with 9,045 rushing yards, 2,865 receiving yards, 11,910 total yards, 73 TDs, and four Pro Bowls. Green’s last two seasons in Houston were marred by injury as he rushed for only 554 yards and missed 18 games. His 9,045 career rushing yards puts him at #29 on the NFL all-time rushing list.

Although it will be difficult for either back to be elected to the Hall of Fame, I’d say Roger Craig has the better case. Regardless, if this is it for Ahman Green, then congratulations on a great, great career.

After you hit the mute button, enjoy the Ahman Green highlights below from his days as a Husker. It’s sometimes easy to forget how special he really was in college with all of the greats he was fortunate enough to play with.

The Ndamukong Suh Draft Dilemma

January 8, 2009


Husker DT Ndamukong Suh’s decision to either return for his senior season or leave for the NFL is not going to be an easy one. His decision will likely not be based much at all – if any – on how much he enjoys the college game but rather on dollars and cents. Recently, Suh was projected as high as 25th overall by NFLDraftDog.com and 31st overall by ESPN’s Scouts Inc. and Todd McShay.

The dilemma Suh faces is if he can improve his draft status by returning to school for one more year. Currently, Alabama’s Terrence Cody (junior), Boston College’s B.J. Raji (senior), Ole Miss’ Peria Jerry (senior), and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy (RS sophomore) are the defensive tackles that are listed around or ahead of Suh in most projections for the 2009 draft. Gerald McCoy has yet to declare but he is currently listed as the top defensive tackle and near the Top 10 overall. Terrence Cody never filed his NFL paperwork.

If McCoy leaves, that would tentatively leave Cody and Suh as the top two returning defensive tackles in college next year. Assuming both would have equal if not more successful seasons than they did in 2008, their draft status will certainly shoot up the board. And if Terrence Cody does decide to leave along with Gerald McCoy, then Suh would have a great opportunity to be the first defensive tackle taken in the 2010 draft.

How much of a difference does it make if you are drafted early first-round or late first-round you ask? Let’s do some math.

2008 NFL Draft – Defensive Tackles

Glenn Dorsey (DT) – 5th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed a five-year, $51 million contract with $23 million guaranteed.

Sedrick Ellis (DT) – 7th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints. He signed a five-year, $33.5 million contract with $19.5 million guaranteed. Another $15.5 million is available through incentives.

Kentwan Balmer (DT) – 29th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. He signed a five-year, $11.5 million contract with $6 million guaranteed.

Jason Jones (DT) – 54th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans. He signed a four-year, $3.21 million contract with a $1.505 million signing bonus.

Pat Sims (DT) – 77th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed a four-year, $2.473 million contract which included a $768,200 signing bonus.

Glenn Dorsey and Kentwan Balmer were both first round draft picks. In fact, they were only separated by 24 picks. Big discrepancy.

  • 24 picks = a $39.5 million dollar contract difference.
  • 24 picks = a $17 million dollar difference in guaranteed money.

If Suh does decide to forgo his senior season, he will more than likely be looking at a contract in the ballpark of $12+ million dollars with around $6+ million of that guaranteed. If Suh does decide to return for his senior season and can produce equal to or better than his 2008 season without getting injured, he will more than likely be looking at a contract in the ballpark of $45+ million dollars with around $20+ million of that guaranteed – at least.

Although that’s a very rough estimate and although many things can change, Suh has quite the decision to make. Either way, it’s good to be Ndamukong Suh right about now.

To invest or not to invest? THAT is the question.

Anger Management

October 18, 2008


From ESPN

Richie Incognito’s alleged actions in the St. Louis Rams’ first win of the season did not go unnoticed by the NFL.

Richie Incognito

Incognito

The league has fined the Rams offensive lineman a total of $35,000 for multiple offenses allegedly committed during the Rams’ 19-17 victory over the Washington Redskins Incognito, penalized three times during the game, was fined $25,000 for repeated verbal abuse of a game official; $5,000 for a major facemask; and $5,000 for a chop block. in Week 6. Referee Walt Coleman issued a 15-yard penalty against the Rams after Incognito allegedly berated officials while St. Louis was driving deep in Redskins territory. The penalty turned a potential 34-yard field goal into a 49-yard attempt, which kicker Josh Brown converted on the last play of the game to give the Rams their first victory of the season. Jim Haslett, making his debut as the Rams’ head coach, spoke at length with Incognito this week about controlling his emotions. Haslett also took a measure of responsibility for Incognito’s actions, saying he had encouraged the offensive line to play with an attitude.

It never ceases to amaze me. Such a huge talent and such a huge nut job that you have to wonder why any NFL team would attempt to keep this kid on the roster for more than a year. The Rams have kept this kid on the roster for 4 years. One thing that pisses me off to this day is the 2002 Nebraska vs. Penn State game where Incognito was ejected for fighting. Because of this asshole, Dr. D and I had 10 coal miners hitting us on the head with their empty Miller High Life bottles. I still maintain I could have made it through the 3rd quarter if it wasn’t for Incognito grabbing a Penn State defensive lineman in the balls.

Huskers Affected by NFL Roster Downsizing

August 31, 2008

The following players didn’t survive NFL cutdown day:

DL Titus Adams (Patriots)
G Toniu Fonoti (Panthers)
LB Steve Octavien (Chiefs)
LB Carlos Polk (Chargers)
WR Maurice Purify (Bengals)
LB Bo Ruud on Reserve/Injured List (Patriots)
LB Jay Moore on Reserve/Injured List (49ers)
RB Cory Ross on Reserve/Injured List (Ravens)

This might not be a complete list, as I just scanned the lists while I drank my morning coffee. If you know of more or actually follow the NFL more closely than I do and can offer some additional insight feel free to run with it in the comments.

Nebraska the Football Factory?

August 28, 2007

Football Outsiders one of the better football analysis sites recently compiled a fairly comprehensive look at which college football programs perennially produce the most NFL talent. You see these types of pieces yearly, but this one relied on an actual, and interesting methodology, rather than anecdotal evidence and author opinions.

Points were awarded for the following criteria:

1) Each school earns points for each player drafted. The number of points is based on the round the player was drafted in:
1st round: 3.5 points
2nd round: 3.0 points
3rd round: 2.5 points
4th round: 2.0 points
5th round: 1.5 points
6th round: 1.0 point
7th round: 0.5 points

2) Schools get 10 points for each NFL starter.

3) Schools get 15 points for producing a player who has made it to the Pro Bowl. They get a 5-point bonus for any player with three or more Pro Bowls.

4) Schools get 5 points for each NFL player with a career of 5 or more seasons.

5) Finally, schools get 1 point for each player on an NFL roster.

Not a perfect analysis, but clearly better than most.

As for the results, here is the Top 10

1. Miami
2. Florida State
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Michigan
6. Tennessee
7. Florida
8. LSU
9. Texas
10. Nebraska

And here is what they had to say about the Huskers:

Nebraska has been a collegiate powerhouse throughout history, making a bowl game every year since 1969. Eons of talent have traveled through Lincoln on their way to successful NFL careers. Though Nebraska now is not as dominant as they were in the ‘90s, they still produce a very good crop of NFL talent on a yearly basis. Headlining the solid list is running back Ahman Green, who’s on the downside of his career, but had four or five brilliant years in the early 2000s. Other contributing Nebraska alums are Richie Incognito, Cory Schlesinger, Scott Shanle, Correll Buckhalter, Josh Bullocks, Demorrio Williams, Kyle Larson, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Mike, Josh and Kris Brown. Though none of the players stand out as perennial bests at their respective positions, each is a more than capable pro. They’ve been highly effective throughout their careers.

Draft pick points: 68
Starter points: 170
Pro Bowl players: 3 for 50 points
Experience points: 80
Player points: 42
Total: 410

Just something to tide you until Saturday.

NFL ‘N’sider: A Dancing Pork Chop

August 24, 2007

Check it out. This is Cory Ross. This is Jazzercise. This is unbelievable. A friend of a friend of mine shot this footage and posted it on YouTube (so don’t think I was googling Cory + Ross + Jazzercise). That’s not my bag. But if I’m Cory, I’m really hoping Ray Lewis doesn’t see this.

NFL "N"-sider – Huskers in the NFL Videos – II

August 22, 2007

Ravens vs Giants (Cory Ross, Sam Koch)

Titans vs Patriots (Kyle Vanden Bosch)

Panthers vs Eagles (Mike Rucker, Correll Buckhalter, Stewart Bradley)

Rams vs Chargers (Adam Carriker, Richie Incognito, Ryon Bingham, Carlos Polk)

NFL N’Sider – Huskers in the NFL Videos

August 16, 2007

Highlights of all of the major Husker-related plays:

Brandon Jackson at Green Bay

NFL ‘N’sider V2.1

August 15, 2007


After a sabbatical, I feel privileged to return to the great DXP website. Last year I tried to make my ‘N’sider and ‘Take the Double Extra Points’ articles as much fun as I could. This year I hope to do the same. A few times a week you might have to put up with erroneous rhetoric on all things gambling, NFL, and of course girls. That’s just what I do.

Well, let’s get started…

I definitely don’t want to bore you with statistics and updates on every Husker in the NFL as the preseason is just beginning, but I will keep you updated on the rookies trying to make their first NFL rosters this preseason. NU had 4 players drafted in 2007 (4 were drafted in 2006 and only 3 in 2005), while 7 more were signed as undrafted free agents. There have already been some casualties, but there have also been some rising stars in the making.

Drafted


Adam Carriker (NT, 1st Round, St. Louis Rams): That’s right. The Rams believe Carriker’s ogreish body is strong and big enough to move to the middle of the line. He is currently listed as #1 on the depth chart at Nose Tackle and in his first outing, had 1 tackle at Minnesota.

Brandon Jackson (RB, 2nd Round, Green Bay Packers): Jackson is already listed at #2 on the depth chart, and with Vernon Morency listed as the #1 RB, expect Jackson to see the ball early and often. If 114 yards on 32 carries and 2 receptions for 2 yards in his first exhibition at Pittsburgh doesn’t convince you, then maybe you also still believe Sam Keller and Joe Ganz are in a dead heat to be the starting QB against Nevada.

Stewart Bradley (LOLB, 3rd Round, Philadelphia Eagles): In his first pre-season game against Baltimore, Bradley shone with 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles. Evidently losing 12 lbs. after shaving your head only adds to your speed.

Jay Moore (ROLB, 4th Round, San Francisco 49ers): In San Francisco’s 3-4 scheme, Moore is a perfect fit for outside linebacker. In fact, here is a great article discussing how Moore was overshadowed throughout his career at NU by Carriker, including stats and combine results that are truly impressive. Moore is still only listed at #3 on the depth chart and had only 1 assisted tackle against Denver in their first preseason game.

Undrafted

Ola Dagundro (DT, Dallas Cowboys): Mercifully, the Cowboys haven’t release Ola even though he hasn’t played and hasn’t recorded a tackle this preseason. Furthermore, he is not listed on the depth chart.

Matt Herian (TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Herian’s career has never been the same after his broken leg in 2004. The Matt Herian and Zac Taylor combination appears to have ended in Tampa. Matt is 5th on the depth chart and Taylor is back in Lincoln and was last seen holding Callahan’s hand.

Kurt Mann (C, Green Bay): Cut and out of work. I do, however, have a consolation picture. Cheeseheads are awesome. Dr. D likes dancing with them and I occasionally enjoy a cheese taco here and there.


Andrew Shanle (S, Chicago Bears): Although still listed on the Bears’ roster, Shanle recorded 0 tackles in their first preseason game against the Texans. On an encouraging note, Mike Brown returned to the starting lineup and had 1 solo tackle and 1 assisted.

Zac Taylor (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Whether it was Callahan’s idea or his agent’s, someone decided that it would be a good idea to sign with Tampa Bay. What’s the problem you ask? Joining Taylor in training camp at QB was Jeff Garcia, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, Jake Plummer, and Luke McCown. Taylor has said repeatedly he wants to pursue a professional career at any level, but I find it difficult to understand why he chose to compete when he clearly had no shot – even though the Jon Gruden WCO is a mirror image of Callahan’s WCO.