Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekend Watch 03/14/2014

Welcome back to the weekend watch. It’s been awhile but let’s jump into it.

All Weekend Conference Tournaments

I will be watching lots of college basketball this weekend and will highlight a few of the championship games below, but the point is, even though I’m only going to highlight the Championship Games of the tournaments, I will be watching more rounds then just that.


8 PM EST: Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks (Comcast Sports Net)

This game shouldn’t be much of a game as the Blackhawks are 2nd in their division, 3rd in the conference while the Predators are last in the conference and 3rd to last in the conference. Saying all that, Nashville always gives the Blackhawks trouble, I would keep an eye on this game because it might be closer than it should be.

Who I want to win: Chicago Blackhawks

Who I think will win: Chicago Blackhawks


NCAA Conference Championship games


Of all sports days this weekend, Sunday looks the best.

1 PM EST: NASCAR Food City 500 @ Bristol Motor Speedway (FOX)

I know you guys are thinking I’m still drunk on NASCAR after my trip to Daytona for the 500. While that might be the case, Bristol is one of the better races of the year that I used to watch before I started going to Daytona. It’s a .5 mile track with 43 Cars on it. Even though it’s not as fun since the track has been repaved, there is always a lot of action, passing and wrecking. If you are nursing a St Patrick’s Day celebration hangover and want to watch something other than College Basketball, try and catch the last 30 laps of this race, I think you will enjoy.

Who I want to win: Tony Stewart

Who I think will win: Kyle Busch

NCAA Basketball Selection Show (CBS)


Now that you are as jacked up as I am, this is the best non-sport sports event of the year outside the NFL Draft. Who’s in, who’s out, who are you going to pick for your brackets, just a great show.

Who I want to win: Indiana, ok they need a miracle to get in but whatever

Who I think will win: It’s too early still, but screw it I’ll say Kansas

7:30 PM EST: Detroit Red Wings vs Chicago Blackhawks (NBC)

Now that Detroit and Chicago are in different divisions and missing out on more rivalry games we should cherish the ones we get. Both teams are playing for something as Chicago is trying to catch St Louis (I don’t think they will) for the top seed in the division while Detroit is trying to make the playoffs as a number 8 seed. This was a fantastic series in last years playoffs, well at least for Blackhawks fans, and I’m looking forward to this one as well. I will leave Jeremy Piven to have the last words on this game here.

Who I want to win: Chicago Blackhawks

Who I think will win: Chicago Blackhawks

Scouting Report 14 - Dee Ford - DE #3

So, I'm obviously a little bit behind here. I'm going to try to get 3 in today. The first guy I'm going to look at is Dee Ford. He is the third ranked defensive end. Here are his vitals:

Name: Dee Ford
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 lbs
Position: 3-4 OLB/4-3 DE (probably a better fit at 3-4 OLB)
College: Auburn
Stats: 31 tackles, 10.5 sacks (only played in 12 of 14 games)
Projected Round: 1-2

The first game I'm going to look at is Auburn vs. Florida State (this past year's national title game). In that game Dee Ford had 3 tackles and 2 sacks. The game took place on January 6, 2014.

Dee Ford appears to be really quick. It looks like as soon as he is out of his stance he is able to explode towards the line of scrimmage. Having said that, he appears to have average reaction time to the ball being snapped. But his quickness allows him to overcome this. He also uses several moves to beat offensive linemen, including his speed.  He is able to over power linemen with his strength, he uses his hands well, he has a spin move, and he has a swim move. He is able to generate consistent pressure with these moves. He also appears to be a smart player, and not easily duped into biting on misdirection plays.

Having said that, he doesn't appear to maintain his gap integrity on running plays. I wouldn't call him a good run  defender by any mans. He also seems to tackle high, which will lead to a lot of broken tackles in the NFL. While he seems to have good speed and quickness, I didn't notice good closing speed. I'm not sure if that means he takes poor angles or what, but he just doesn't appear to have that ideal closing speed. Finally, he looks like he gives up on running plays once they are beyond him.

The next game I'm going to look at is the 2014 senior bowl with Dee Ford.

In this game it looks like he has the very rare ability to fly off the at the snap. He was consistently the first out of his stance at the snap, sometimes he was running before the linemen even broke out of their stance. His speed and quickness were also on display. He managed to grab two sacks. He relied mostly on his edge rush in this game. He also does a good job of recognizing when he's not getting to the quarterback and getting his hands up. He does a good job of reading option plays as well. he appears to be a smart player. On running plays, he appears to play more conservative as well.

The more I see of him, the less concerns I have. However, he appears to have two major issues: 1) He doesn't take great angles when he's pursuing ball carriers. This allows ball carriers to gain a few extra yards. Those extra yards are important. 2) He tackles way to high. It's going to be a huge problem in the NFL. Especially against huge QB's and running backs. In this game a running back runs right through his attempt at a tackle because he is trying to bring him down at his shoulder pads. He needs to get lower.

The final game I'm going to look at is Auburn vs. Clemson from 2012.

His ability to speed rush is on display again. I've also failed to mention, but noticed in each game, he does display good balance. I'll repeat it again as well, he has a plethora of moves to work with in the pass rushing game, which makes him all that more effective. But is strength is his speed. When he is lined up as a wide-9 DE or the LEO he flies around the edge. He also looks great when he's standing up and rushing the passer off the edge. However, he's not as effective when he's lined up as a pure 4-3 DE. With that said, he still manages to get good pressure.

Another thing I noticed is that he really needs to improve his pad level. It may help with his tackling, but he seems to come up to the offensive linemen with a slightly high pad level. He also gets manhandled in the running game. The offensive linemen just move him out of the way. In this game, he also seemed to be overly aggressive. To his credit, this was over a year ago, and he did seem to vastly improve in that area.  But, he was consistently getting beat in the running game and on misdirection plays.

Overall, I think he can be a very effective pass rusher in the NFL if he is a 3-4 LB. I don't think he's ready to be an every down player at this point, because he really needs to improve his strength when he takes on blockers in the running game. Having said that, he does display the elite ability to pressure the QB. He is quick off the snap, very athletic, and pretty sound on his fundamentals. He needs to improve his tackling and his pad level as well, and the angles he takes when chasing down ball carriers. I don't think the Bears will draft him because he appears to be a 3-4 guy solely. Having said that, I could see him getting around 10-12 sacks consistently in the NFL.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Trivia


Since Ryan has actually started posting on the Blog and I’ve realized we’ve had this Blog for 5 years and used to post 300+ posts a year when we started I am going to try and bring back 2 of my old recurring themes, no no no I’m not going to finish the countdown of my top Top 10 sports moments,

although I should (Even though it wasn’t a post associated with that countdown, the perfect game post was my number 1 moment). Also, Top Chef is out of season right now so it won’t be Power Rankings.

I am going to bring back Monday Trivia and the Weekend Watch on Friday Mornings. So here we go with Trivia

Of the four Major Sports, the City of Chicago has won 25 Championships. Name the Teams and the Years they won them.

As always, Answers will be in the comments.