Category Archives: NFL

R.I.P. Will Smith

If you didn’t have the pleasure of watching Will Smith, who was tragically and senselessly  killed in New Orleans on Saturday night, play for Ohio State, he was the most dominant defensive lineman I have seen in Scarlet and Gray.

He wasn’t quite the physical marvel Joey Bosa is, but he was even more disruptive.

While Sports Illustrated put Craig Krenzel on the cover after the Buckeyes won the national championship over Miami in January 2003, Austin Murphy focused on the defensive line’s role in ending the Buckeyes’ three-decade national title drought and gave Smith the first quote in his cover story.

 

If you listened closely, you could hear it calling out: Pop my cork–you’ve earned it!

Someone had left a bottle of Moet in the ice bucket in Room 6414 of the Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Even as the hundreds of Ohio State fans at the hotel — and the rest of the red-clad horde that had descended by the tens of thousands on the Valley of the Sun for the Fiesta Bowl — swung into full party mode, neither Will Smith nor Darrion Scott seemed much interested in champagne.

‘It hurts to move,’ Smith said.

Source: “The Best Damn Team…” Wins The Big One Underdog Ohio State stunned mighty Miami in a two-overtime thriller to win its first national championship since 1968

Ohio State NFL Combine review 2016

Another NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone, and this one had a distinct Ohio State flavor.

The 14 Buckeyes in Indianapolis got to meet NFL scouts and personnel and compete against their peers for the right to be picked in the next draft. IMG_1220

Some random thoughts on numbers they posted and reaction to some scouting reports I have seen follow.  Continue reading Ohio State NFL Combine review 2016

Football without helmets and shoulder pads might make more sense than current targeting rules

This first weekend since July without a football game is as good as any to talk about the future of the game.

The Deadspin article about removing helmets and shoulder pads from the game and the news that replay officials will probably have more control over deciding what is and isn’t targeting in college football next season provide a pair of points worth discussing.

First on helmets and shoulder pads: Drew Magary admits he’s not the first person to raise this point, and he’s right. Joe Paterno, who played in leather helmet era, suggested getting rid of the facemask before his death, and I’m sure there have been others.

This is a valid discussion, and Magary makes some good points.  Continue reading Football without helmets and shoulder pads might make more sense than current targeting rules

Cincinnati native Luke Kuechly has risen from 2-star recruit to NFL star 

From the weekend:

Luke Kuechly’s high school coach knew early on he could be a special player, but the rest of the world needed more time to catch on.

Source: Carolina’s Luke Kuechly has risen from 2-star recruit to NFL star | FOX Sports

The Super Bowl’s representation of Ohioans is not limited to those players who played for Ohio State.

Downtown Cincinnati viewed from the southwest
Downtown Cincinnati viewed from the southwest

Maybe the highest-profile player from the Buckeye State did not even have an offer to be a Buckeye.

That would be Luke Kuechly, whose coach told me last week he knew early on he had a potential pro at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.

He was a two-star recruit heading into his senior year and ended up a three-star after picking Boston College over Jim Harbaugh-coached Stanford among others.  Continue reading Cincinnati native Luke Kuechly has risen from 2-star recruit to NFL star 

When a tie feels like a loss

With Ohio State off this weekend, Ohio had a chance to focus on its pro football teams, and the Browns and Bengals certainly delivered plenty of storylines to get us through. Some thoughts on the men in stripes…

OK, so it wasn’t all bad. And it isn’t all bad. But it sure felt bad. And a day later it really hasn’t started feeling better.

The Bengals did some good things Sunday against the Panthers. They also did some bad things. The latter could have been erased with one kick by Mike Nugent, but the home-state hero didn’t come through.

The result was a 37-all final score that left the Bengals in first place in the AFC North but lots of questions about the rest of the season.

The way the Browns whipped the fading Steelers made the result all the more meaningful, leaving the division lead feeling more precarious, but the tie was not really the top story in Cincinnati.

Continue reading When a tie feels like a loss

Johnny Manziel on Braxton Miller

Johnny Manziel has only been a Cleveland Brown since May, but he seems to be doing a good job of getting in good with the stars of some of the state’s other teams in relatively short order.

First there was LeBron James (even before he returned to the Cavaliers), now it is Braxton Miller. Continue reading Johnny Manziel on Braxton Miller