Thursday, April 30, 2009
“I never questioned the handling of the (A&M) players in any way and have always expressed the utmost respect for their coaching staff.
“I’ve always said that it is truly exciting to play Texas A&M - the quality of coaches they have, the great team and great tradition and, above all, the quality of players they have. I’ve always known A&M had great players. The fact that they have the luxury to put a third- or fourth-round draft pick on the bench, to me, identifies what a truly great team they are.
“It’s an honor for us at Texas Tech to have the opportunity to play them. There are numerous players on our team that will never get a look or play a down in the NFL, so you can imagine how exciting it is for me and them to go play a team the magnitude of Texas A&M and look over there on the bench and see third- and fourth-round draft picks.”
Tech's Pirate sails in his own direction - often into stormy seasAgain, I usually like this stuff from Leach. His comments about Brandon Williams as a QB are hilarious. It's trying to disparage the success of a player from a rival team to console his own bitterness that's out of line. He's worried about Cody Harrell following the footsteps of the rest of his QB's, all the way back to Tim Couch and Josh Heupel and the impact that will have on his ability to recruit QBs. I don't know why he would care. He seems to do fine with the guys he's had, and hasn't needed the blue-chippers like Harrell.
07:47 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 29, 2009Kevin Sherrington
Straight up: If your baby is ugly, don't ask Mike Leach if he thinks it's cute. The Pirate says what he thinks, which is often entertaining as long as it's not your baby he's talking about. He's Miss Manners' worst nightmare. No tact, no governor, no regrets.
But just because he's crazy doesn't mean he isn't right occasionally.
Take the flap the last couple of weeks over a couple of his Texas Tech players and the NFL draft.
When a Cleveland media blog indicated the Browns had no interest in star receiver Michael Crabtree – the term "diva" was invoked – Leach said Crabtree has had a better career than the Browns' young coach, Eric Mangini.
And when the Raiders' record-setting quarterback, Graham Harrell, went undrafted, Leach noted that the NFL's history of drafting quarterbacks is "notoriously bad."
Of course it is. The NFL hits on quarterbacks at the same rate the Rangers are right on pitchers. But Leach couldn't leave it at that.
And that's what gets him in trouble.
Asked what he thought about the Cowboys drafting Stephen McGee, whose Texas A&M days looked like something out of a 1970s scrapbook, he said the Cowboys liked McGee better than his Aggies coaches did.
Even if it was clever stuff, Mike Sherman took exception, and rightfully so.
If it's any consolation, Leach said it's nothing personal. It never is.
People call. He answers.
Simple as that.
"In all my life, I've never been mad at Texas A&M about anything," he said Wednesday. "I've always respected their traditions and what makes the school special.
"It just seems like once every six months, they get upset with me."
Pretty much any time he says something about them, as a matter of fact.
The reason to call Leach on Wednesday was to ask if he ripped the NFL because it won't employ his quarterbacks, a trend that could pose a detrimental effect on recruiting.
A college recruiting primer: Most blue-chip quarterbacks pick programs that best prepare them for the NFL. Or at least they hope so. McGee was drafted out of a program that, for three years, used him as a battering ram. But if a kid thinks that the school doesn't help, or, worse, its "system" might even hurt, what's the incentive?
Leach wouldn't answer that question. Not directly, anyway. But he did say that NFL offenses look more like his spread every day.
And it's not as if any other college coach has a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL, either.
"I can't think of anybody that's got more than two," he said.
Even with all the recent rhetoric, Leach swears he bears no hard feelings toward the NFL. And why should he? The league just drafted four Tech players, more than had been taken in the first seven rounds any year in school history.
Not that it matters to him whether the NFL offers its stamp of approval. He pretty much does as he pleases, which doesn't always turn out well.
For the record: When Leach's contract negotiations became public this off-season, I came down on management's side. Not everything Leach says is the gospel. I never said he wasn't self-serving. He just can't bite his tongue.
Frankly, that's what makes him fun. Consider his take on the draft order of the state's top quarterbacks, which went Matthew Stafford, McGee, then Rhett Bomar, with Harrell and Chase Daniel bringing up the rear as free agents.
"I ranked them Harrell and then Bomar," Leach said. "Stafford I liked also."
For a few moments, he didn't say anything. But you could sense it coming.
And sure enough . . .
"You know, the NFL likes size so much, Brandon Williams should have been drafted as a quarterback," he said of his former defensive end, picked by the Cowboys. "He's tall, about 240 pounds, and he can throw it a real long ways. As a matter of fact ..."
Thanks for the time, Mike. As always, nice talking to you.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"Maybe if I went to Georgia I would have been a first-round draft pick."
"To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t my dream offense, it’s not necessarily what I wanted to be in as a throwing guy."
If it wasn't for his mouth, I would probably have liked McGee his whole career. He's tough, and he really got screwed over by both of his coaches.
His start to last season was so pathetic, even I wanted to see Johnson in the huddle. When McGee got hurt, it just helped Sherman out of a hole. He knew he had to do something to get aggy going, and Johnson was his horse.
Don't get me wrong, Johnson looks pretty good for a young guy. He shook things up, but he also made a lot of very poor mistakes. Anyone remember the Baylor game?
McGee, as much as I hate to say it, had earned his right to play this past year, and his coach kept him on the bench when he could have played. Sherman wants everyone to believe that McGee was in a body cast most of the year, and also developed rickets as the real reason he was on the bench, but we know it's not true. The fact of the matter is that every aggy knows it's not true either.
Sherman did what a lot of coaches would've done - only he's not man enough to admit it.
11:49 PM CDT on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 By CHUCK CARLTON / The Dallas Morning News
Texas A&M football coach Mike Sherman has answered Texas Tech counterpart Mike Leach one more time in a verbal battle sparked by the NFL draft.
After Leach wondered in a SportsDay interview Monday where Sherman, a former NFL head coach, would have drafted former Aggie quarterback Stephen McGee, Sherman issued a statement Tuesday night:
"There is nothing Mike Leach could ever say that would offend me," Sherman said. "I do find it unfortunate, however, that a college coach feels the need to question the handling of a player by a staff particularly without any knowledge of the facts or the extent of a player's injury. It is equally bothersome that a football coach would question the draft status of a player. This doesn't make any sense to me.
"I have stated numerous times before the draft I thought Stephen McGee was a late third or early fourth-round pick. It is apparent the Dallas Cowboys felt the same way. It was a great pick."
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"I don't understand Coach Leach's comments about Stephen McGee," Sherman said Monday. "He was named our starter until he got injured. I've always believed in Stephen's character and I've always believed in his talent, and I always will. I see him having an outstanding NFL career.
"Coach Leach is in no position to comment about my relationship with Stephen McGee."
"I don't know where that comment came from or who it was directed at," McGee said. "But I am shocked because my time at A&M was very special to me. Obviously, I got injured, and many people think that Coach Sherman benched me. That's just not true.
"...based on all the fuss and commotion on this, I can't help but wonder what round Coach Sherman would have drafted Stephen McGee, given the fact he was once a head coach in the NFL."
"I'm not sorry for what I said," Leach said. "I'm sorry if they feel offended."
Monday, April 27, 2009
I can't say enough about McBath, really - I began to focus on him during the UTEP game a couple of years ago. My buddy, BJ, was doing color for FOX, and told me after the game that he would be a star some day. He was right - McBath was a huge part of last years D turnaround. In fact, he was in on just about everything at the end of last year.
I'm convinced that Dallas wanted him, but it just didn't turn out that way. McDaniels deserves credit for this one. The Broncos just started rebuilding its D in a major way as I believe McBath will continue to improve and impress.
Vasquez is one of those guys who just shows up for work. The guy took a back seat in the press to Reed, and it was no big deal. That's the guy you want. He's a moose, and I believe that he'll be able to contribute right away. Arguably, he may be a bit better than Reed, but only because of his health and longer shelf life.
The Chargers did well by taking him, and its fans will see soon enough that maybe that their GM Smith isn't that stupid after all - then again, people always underestimate Norv's ability to pick talent because they want to judge him on his head coaching record only.
Getting confirmation from an odd source, so unsure yet if it's true.
If it is true, it's going to be an even more fun pre-season than normal. Obviously, with both McGee and Harrell battling each other, the rivalry will spill over into the NFL.
At any rate, thank you, Football Gods, for ensuring all of us that baseball sucks it, and that pro basketball swallows it. Or is it the other way around?
Love this guy - he absolutely pulls no punches.
Leach, apparently perturbed about Eric Mangini referring to Crab as a "diva", after a pre-draft interview, had this to say about the new Browns coach:
"Crabtree as a receiver has been more successful than that guy has been as a coach. I think he took it upon himself to figure that in a few minutes he had all the expertise on the subject of Michael Crabtree that he needed. And so we’ll see how those non-divas up there in Cleveland do this year.
Here’s the other thing: What’s interesting to me, a guy that really has not accomplished a great deal there at Cleveland or the Jets for that matter to publicly comment on A) someone he doesn’t even know and B) someone whose accomplishements speak for themselves and, within the specific field that Michael Crabtree’s in, Michael’s accomplishments speak louder than Mangini’s do."
He also had an interesting comment regarding McGee as well:
"I'm happy for Stephen McGee. The Dallas Cowboys like him more than his coaches at A&M did."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I always love it when Roosterbowl veterans are picked up by the Cowboys. I think these were two good picks. Williams will be a solid player. Lots of questions will swirl about the choice of McGee, especially since Chase Daniel and Graham Harrell went undrafted. I believe NFL scouts were running from those guys, because of what I call "The Jimmy Klingler Effect". They put up gaudy numbers, but both were throwing 50 passes a game, and in this case, to great receivers who would just go up and get it. In Harrell's case, he put up gaudy numbers in the same system that also saw BJ Symons, Sonny Cumbie, and Cody Hodges put up impressive stats. What do those guys do for a living now? I think Hodges does color commentary for Texas Tech radio broadcasts now, and the other two guys are working at a carwash in Sweetwater. They also run everything out of the shotgun. Outside of taking a knee, I doubt either of those guys have lined up under center 1o times since junior high. You would have to be drafting them into a system that runs everything out of the gun, or be willing to build an offense around them, to even give them a shot.
McGee, on the other hand, has all the dimensions and the tools to be a good NFL backup, and maybe with some decent coaching, a starter. Good move by Jerry and Stephen.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It's hard to believe, but Crab will be the first Red Raider chosen in the first round since Gabe Rivera in 1980.
This should prove to be Tech's best draft since then, with 5 possible picks - Darcel McBath, Louis Vasquez, Brandon Williams, and Graham Harrell.
Will Leach be watching on TV?
"Oh hell no. I'm not watching it. I'd rather watch golf than that."
Friday, April 17, 2009
Not sure about this guy.........not sure it matters. We couldn't beat Graham, but we struggled with Symons and that other spare too.......
Thursday, April 16, 2009
As you are well aware, two Roosterbowl vets are on the draft board at the QB position. Graham Harrell and Stephen McGee. The Dallas Morning News lists the top 15 QB's. Highland Park/UGA quarterback Matt Stafford is #1, as expected. Stephen McGee is listed at #5, and Graham Harrell at #15, and they project Chase Daniel to go undrafted.
|THE TOP 15|
|1. Matthew Stafford||Georgia||6-2||225||25 TD passes in 2008|
|2. Mark Sanchez||So Cal||6-2||227||64 percent career passer|
|3. Josh Freeman||Kan St||6-5 ½||248||Only 8 INTs in 2008|
|4. Pat White||West Va||6-0||197||56 career TD passes|
|5. Stephen McGee||Tex A&M||6-2 ½||225||1,750 career rushing yards|
|6. Rhett Bomar||Sam Hstn||6-2||225||Transfer from Oklahoma|
|7. Tom Brandstater||Fresno||6-5||220||4.87 in the 40|
|8. Brian Hoyer||Mich St||6-2||215||6,159 career pass yards|
|9. John Parker Wilson||Ala||6-1 ½||219||Started 40 games|
|10. Drew Willy||Buffalo||6-3||215||65 percent passer in '08|
|11. Mike Teel||Rutgers||6-3||225||59 career TD passes|
|12. Julian Edelman||Kent St||5-10||195||1,370 rushing yards in '08|
|13. Hunter Cantwell||Louisvlle||6-4||235||1-year starter|
|14. Nate Davis||Ball St||6-1||226||74 career TD passes|
|15. Graham Harrell||Tex Tech||6-2||223||Unitas Award winner|
|Potential first-round picks in bold|
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Brad Hastings was one of the most highly recruited football players ever landed by Texas Tech. By signing when he did — after the program had suffered four straight losing seasons — Hastings gave Red Raiders fans hope for brighter days.
Hastings, a three-time all-Southwest Conference linebacker who ended his career as Tech’s all-time leader in tackles, died early Monday at his mother’s home in Arlington, according to his father. Fred Hastings, who said his son had high blood pressure and breathing problems, said an autopsy was being performed later Monday.
“He was absolutely one of the most outstanding football players I ever was around,’’ former Tech coach Spike Dykes said. “He was a great leader, and he was a great player. I think had he not got his knee hurt before his senior year, no telling how long he would have played in the NFL.’’
Hastings was 44 years old. No. 44 also was the jersey number he wore from 1983-86, when he racked up 480 tackles, a total that still ranks second all-time at Tech. He had the record for 15 years until another middle linebacker, Lawrence Flugence, broke it.
Hastings was an honorable-mention all-American in 1985, his junior year, and a third-team all-American in 1986. He played in the Blue-Gray all-star game. But a recurring knee problem — he had five surgeries on the same knee, his father said — derailed his pro aspirations.
Lubbock businessman Bart Reagor, a former teammate, said he remembered Hastings having arthroscopic knee surgery on a Wednesday and playing three days later when the Red Raiders visited mighty Miami (Fla.) in 1986.
“As far as toughness goes, that’s a great testament to his toughness,’’ Reagor said. “The dadgum sutures (from the knee surgery) weren’t even healed. … He was just a lot of heart. He knew how to play the game.’’
Dykes, who had been head coach at Midland Lee, came to Tech as defensive coordinator in 1984 and was Hastings’ position coach his last three years.
“He was one of those guys that always practiced hard, but on game day, just stay away from him,’’ Dykes said. “He was zeroed in. He was unbelievable.’’
Coming out of Arlington Bowie High School, Hastings was a Parade magazine all-American and was listed among the top 20 recruits in the nation by the Dallas Morning News. It was considered a major coup that he signed with Tech in 1983, when the Raiders hadn’t had a winning season since 1978.
“He went out there, and he felt like he was at home,’’ Fred Hastings said. “He loved the campus and loved the coaches, especially Jerry Moore, who was the head coach at the time. He really did like him. He was recruited by everybody.’’
Around the same time, Moore signed several more talented players, especially on the defensive side of the ball, who went on to NFL careers. Though Tech wouldn’t break through with a winning season until 1986, Hastings and future pros such as Carl Carter, Roland Mitchell and Dwayne Jiles helped the Raiders build a solid defense.
“They were great football players,’’ Dykes said. “Brad was the leader of the bunch. When you’re the signal caller, the middle linebacker, you sort of inherit that position, and that’s what he was. He was the bellcow, no question about it.’’
Fred Hastings said a memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. April 19 at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington. Hastings’ survivors, in addition to his parents, include two children, his father said.