Wild Card Wednesday

FeaturedWild Card Wednesday

By Braught / 35th & Jackson

Every spring I receive the text message that says “hope springs eternal” regarding the Mariners and their season. This year, I really couldn’t see it. I thought this team was destined for mediocrity. If I recall correctly, I predicted 82 wins, mostly because I didn’t want to think about them being .500 or below.

Then the Mariner’s went on a tear and won every close game. They played loose, fast, and fun. Even with all the data about run differential, one run games, and it all being unsustainable, you thought just maybe, maybe they could pull it off.  And with all the past trauma, you knew it couldn’t last, but you finally refused to believe that. SoDo MoJo was occurring. It was a great day to be a Mariner fan.

Well, it all came crashing down. The A’s somehow became good and refused to lose a series. The Mariners bats went cold, the pitchers had the injury bug, and it appeared that nothing could snap them out of it.

With multiple games against two of the worst teams in baseball, the Padres and Orioles, coming up, it was time for the Mariners to put up or shut up. Instead the Mariners dropped the first two games to Padres and played one of the ugliest games I have seen this season against the Orioles last night. They are 1 and 3 in those four games so far, with three more to go. The Mariners also have 11 games vs the sub .500 Rangers and Angels to go this season.

So where does that leave the Mariners chances at the playoff? Baseball Prospectus and fiveeightythree each put it at about a 3% chance, and fangraphs puts it at 5%. It’s not looking good for this year. But somehow, there still is hope. The M’s will need to win at least eight of those 11 games I mentioned, to have a chance in my opinion.

I will return next week with another Wild Care Wednesday and hope that the M’s have improved those odds. Back to the game for me.

Cheers!

Braught

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Best Case/Worst Case: 2018 Beaver Football Preview

FeaturedBest Case/Worst Case: 2018 Beaver Football Preview

By Con/35th & Jackson

Our annual nod to the Ted Miller. Previously ESPN.

Here we will run our best case/worst case scenario for the 2018 Oregon State Football season. All very real possibilities but extreme in both cases.

PSA: We were not EXTREME enough last year obviously…that is saying something…we will try and take this to another level… for last years, see here: Best/Worst Case 2017

Here’s to 2018.

@ Ohio State:

Worst: It’s a new season, new year, new coach, new everything, or so we thought…

First play in the horseshoe, Arty takes the opening kickoff 94 yards for TD and drops ball at .5 yard line channeling his inner Chad Johnson. Refs review play, take away TD. Arty so disappointed in himself he says sorry to Coach Smith as he is mic’ed up. Coach Smith then punches Arty in the face on camera, Arty is out for the season with fractured jaw. Confused by what he has just done, Niner forgets to call correct play and runs a tight end middle screen at the .5 yard line… Isiah Smalls gets popped by Nick Bosa fumbles, and it gets housed 99.5 yards the other way. Niner gets taken off field by same police that investigated Urban Meyer, so all hope is not lost… Mike Riley is in attendance at the Horseshoe and walks into a decimated locker room at halftime and proclaims: “We are still in this. It’s only 79-0. We still have one half we can win.” Brian Lindgren takes over head coaching duties, Tim Tebesar quits, becomes interim head coach at Ohio State.

We lose 93-3 on a last second field goal by the ghost of Alexis Serna.

Best: It’s a new season, new year, new coach, new everything, and we are who we thought we were…

Niner is juiced pre-game. ESPN video shows him shaking every players hand in locker room and handing them each a small stone. Audience is confused, but players locked in. Smith pulls a slingshot out of his back pocket, “Let’s go slay the giant.”

We start with a steady dose of Arty trying to free up the long game, it pays off. 8th play of game, Timmy streaks free with shades of CSU, no one within 25 yards. 7-0 and the Horseshoe is silent. We trade a few scores, Niner calls a great steady dose of Arty who has 124 yards at half. We lead 17-14 at half. Kenneth Pancake starts salivating at the possible article he will write about the biggest upset in 2018 and that he knows some other writers who predicted it…

THE OSU comes out with fire to start the second half. Scores 28 straight. 42-17. One quarter left… QB throws pick 6 to Kee, he dances in. Beautiful onside kick executed and recovered by Andre Bodden. Jemar Jefferson rips off a 54 yard TD, 13 minutes left, 42-28… Hughes Murray comes up with a HUGE sack on third down, Trevon Bradford houses the ensuing punt. 42-35. But the comeback ends there as THE OSU bleeds the clock and eventually breaks the D’s back.

We lose 49-38.

Southern Utah:

Worst: With Niner suspended and future in question, Lindgren guides the team. Mike Riley is offensive coordinator. Promotes Jake Dukart to starting QB. Runs “pro style.” Everyone is confused, clamors of a Riley takeover are peppering Corvallis. Jake Cookus gets promoted for the second straight year to DC. Different tune this time around, he plays prevent… Southern Utah hangs 48 on us, but we hang 49 on a last second 2 point conversion attempt by Jemar Jefferson, Ice Blast 35… (Sun Bowl 2006)

We win 49-48

Best: Leading up to Southern Utah, the tune is buzzing like a week 1 victory, regardless of the outcome. Kee has game of his life, 3 sacks and a pick 6. Defense dominates, offense running like a well oiled machine, quick passes, slants, screens, occasional deep ball and steady diet of you guessed it, Arty.

We win 55-3.

@ Nevada:

Worst: Lindgren playing ghost during the week. JS gets Urban’s attorney and THE OSU prez recommendation, gets 2 game suspension. Arty has transferred at this point to UO. Mariota center has secret, next gen, 3D bone printer and reconstructs his jaw perfectly and fit for Flex Friday. Arty gets a waiver to play right away because of his abuse. He becomes starter 3rd week as Tony Brooks James has broken back from Bowling Green. Vegas comes around, Lindgren meets up with Mike Leach on vacation, brings WR coach to “gentlemen’s” club. Tristan Gebbia gets out of limo, and straight into a craiglist escort aka a cop. Lindgren gets off scot-free, WR coach fired 5 years later, claims innocence, story to be revisited… Riley coaches game against Nevada, has fun handshake with defender who blasts Jake Luton back into Pullman. Colin Kapernick is shown on jumbo-tron ironically not kneeling as Luton is taken off the field on stretcher. Conor Blount refuses to play again, claims medical redshirt, Dukart is inserted again with Riley at the controls. Nevada pounces. Picks the freshmen off 5 times, routes OSU. Riley goes to In and Out alone. Brings Niner back a double double with animal style with fries. They eat alone in the basement of Gill. Jay John pats them both on the back.

We lose 38-10.

Best: 4-star Isiah Rutherford commits mid-week, says he “feels another stick will be added to the Dam soon.” Andrew Nemec writes headline of “UO pulls scholie of 4-star who has just been downgraded to low 3-star, commits to OSU reluctantly”

New beat writer Nick Daschel zones in the prophetic words of 35th and Jackson. Joins them at pre game HHPR tailgater. Dan Hoff gives Bob Lundeberg job as Chief Beaver Sports writer/Civil Engineer. Roth complains about “fairness.”

The actual game is an afterthought. Nevada still is the same Nevada as 2018. OSU is not. Defense dominates. Offense pounds the rock. Arty goes for 237 and 3 TD’s. Hits 600 yard mark 3 games into season. 7 TDs. JS says it’s too early to tell, but “we have something special here.”

We win 31-3.

Arizona:

Worst: Jesiah Irish gets the official start at receiver. Teagon Quintariano tries to hold his own at TE as Isiah Smalls is out for the season. Kevin Sumlin hatches a plan to get the OSU playmakers out of the game. Goes after Irish third play on a touchdown catch post play. James Rodgers cowers from the sideline. Irish out for season with broken fibula. With Arty, cranking out 200 yard games at UO. Jemar Jefferson gets his chance. Runs for 132 yards but it isn’t enough. Khalil Tate runs for 239, passes for 383. 8 total TD’s. Riley still running the team, leaves for Texas fake NFL job right on schedule. Says it was nice to “fill in for Jonathan.” JS can’t come back quick enough, sitting at 1-3, team in turmoil, his arrival back, even with charges pending against him, is a breath of fresh air.

We lose 59-21.

Best: Team is 2-1, feeling like 10-1. Playing their best football in years. Niner is confident, but trying to keep perspective for still a young team. Timmy Hernandez goes down in a crazy practice drill, Jesiah Irish and Champ must step up. Champ takes a fly sweep 43 yards for the score to take the lead going into half 23-20. Smith reminds the team, “We have to stay grounded. This is built stick by stick. One at a time.” Randomly, Kee puts on a new t shirt under his jersey for second half. D come out with vengeance, Luton throws 3 TD’s, two to Irish. A new combo is brewing. Beavs add another stick to the dam.

We win 37-30.

@ ASU:

Worst: The 35th and Jackson crew cancels their trip to ASU because Andy and Hai are homeless and living out of the side of a burrito food cart. Hai is making some paper though selling out of the back… Elmer Fudge pays a visit, Jay John buys a burrito from the truck. Still coaching with Sean Miller, he kicks back as Tres begins pondering a grad transfer to Arizona basketball…

JS is back at the helm and it is well received. Jemar Jefferson raises JS on his shoulders pre game as he proclaims “you got us here coach.” Herm Edwards tries to motivate his devils on the 118 degree afternoon in Tempe. Beavs come out hot for their new coach, Jefferson running hard. But Blake Brandel goes down on a nasty helmet to knee by Vontaze Burfict’s son. Because of depth and dehydration issues, Elu Aydon is inserted at left tackle. Elu blocks air for the first play, then is gassed, Quin Smith replaces as the makeshift line holds up. Luton is back starting with JS at the helm, throws 4 picks in an ugly game. It’s a battle until the end, but we don’t come out on top.

We lose 13-11.

Best: Arty is being touted as possible first round draft pick. His ability to run and catch sets him apart, with his football IQ making him above and beyond any other RB in the nation. Beavs feed him. Rips off 153 yards, 223 all purpose. Luton throws 2 TD’s on 5 passes. Jack Colletto running the OSU version of QB power, adds 2 TD’s on the ground. ASU keeps it close but Beavs squeak out a victory.

28-24.

WSU:

Worst: Good vibe on this Friday night in Corvallis. Halfway through the year and with a week of stabilization, OSU looks primed for an upset of the #22 Cougars. WSU starting QB gets knocked out first play by helmet to helmet from Jalen Moore. Unfortunately Moore is kicked out for game and next. A walk on QB torches the OSU secondary. But Conor Blount replacing Jake Luton won’t have another loss. He comes out of his fake medical redshirt, throws 4 TD’s, 300 yard second half, similar to another walk on QB. Game ends the same as that one did though, Niner goes for two but the slant to Jesiah Irish is knocked down by Desmond Trufant IV.

We lose 31-30.

Best: Mike Leach proclaims “Ryan Nall is so much better than Arty.”

You can guess what ensues. Arty officially cracks the top 5 Hesiman vote.

Adam Soesman is lost for the season with bruised thigh… go figure.

We win 27-14.

Bye Week:

Worst: JS investigation into punching former RB Arty ends, OSU is fined $5 million. Must ad back the “ad” section of the replay video board with Beaver Blitz advertisements. Oregonian is promised a full section. Dedicates it to “routine” background check information. Pat Casey has a stroke and dies. OSU women’s BB loses Destiny Slocum and Kat Tudor to season ending injuries. Scott Barnes receives community service award.

Best: Isiah Rutherford tweets out “Another stick!” The mystery builds on the recruiting trail. David Morris is cleared to play…

Cal:

Worst: Pre-game Beau Baldwin kisses Scott Barnes hand and says “thank you my savior,” as he smugly walks down the ramp from Gill. Phil yells “Hey Beau, I hate your name!” Cal gets out to a quick lead, their huge white RB having a game. Missed tackles plague defensive unit being coached by Cookus, prevent game is picked apart by the former Bear Raid. Beavs show fight as JS likes to call it, but it isn’t enough.

We lose 45-21.

Best: Fresh off being cleared during the bye week, David Morris has 3 picks, defense leads the charge and shuts out Cal for the first time Beau Baldwin has ever coached in any football game as any coach. Offense does what it needs to, Gus Lavaka retires due to “personal reasons.” JS says post game when asked about amazing defense: “Tim Tibesar is great coach. He just does the things Kevin Clune and Gary Andersen didn’t. Same players, different coach. Thanks guys.”

We win 24-0.

@ Colorado:

Worst: The Buffaloes are coming off a huge win against USC. Ralphie is running and it’s homecoming for Brian Lindgren. He loses it. Tries to get cute. Switches over the the “better quarterback who the coaches were saving all along” in Conor Blount permanently. Jake Luton shuts it down for the season. Blount breaks wrist on zone-read running into Jemar Jefferson’s biceps. Jack Colletto comes in and looks like Braxton Brumiester. That’s bad FYI. Goes 2-17 for 8 yard and 2 picks. Buffaloes silence the momentum that Niner thought he had built with losses…

We lose 29-7.

Best: College GameDay appears in Boulder. Buffaloes are undefeated, Beavs at 6-1, already bowl eligible. Phil holds sign on GameDay: “Ucks Suck” Gets a laugh from Kirk and the boys. Ryan Simmons is the guest picker for GameDay as it started a new tradition of picking someone from a random city and state every week and it happened to be Redmond, Oregon. Simmons declines because he has to play “worship” the next morning. Guest picker ends up being Young Life’s former head of Human Resources. She picks the Buffaloes. Corso asks why. Response: “They are mentally capable. I’m not sure OSU is.”

Niner addresses team with a calmness like no other. Ends with: “FU$$ THIS ELEVATION!” TV station forgets to pre watch recording…

Luton having a solid season already, steals the show. Arty gets concussion in first quarter, knocked out for rest of game. Luton completes passes to 9 different receivers, Champ houses kick return to put the game out of reach late. JS proves he can adapt on the fly with an aerial assault. Isiah Smalls catches his 4th TD of the season, sets ball on top of pile of sticks on sideline. Makes ESPN Sunday morning. Simmons misses clip because of “worship.”

We win 28-19.

USC:

Worst: After a drubbing at Colorado, JS gets put on blast by the same Beaver Blitz crew who praised him. Says he has “lost the team and they aren’t having fun.”

Niner goes on the offensive. Literally. Jack Colletto being so bad that he gets kicked off the team mid game, Niner being a new coach and all thinks the new redshirt rule applied to him in college so he trots out for his 5th year. Throws 4 TD’s, can’t see over the O-Line still and the defense causes a few turnovers. USC can’t play in Corvallis…still! Beavs pull a massive upset, but the NCAA opens investigation into Niner literally playing QB and winning the game. Says it will take a year to resolve if it was legal or not. Niner claims he has been taking meds that make him think he is someone else… Uses same attorney as earlier in the year to fight case.

We win 31-26.

Best: It’s a black out in Corvallis. USC at 7-1. OSU at 7-1. Both coming off big wins respectively. Beavs come out of the tunnel to O-State Ballaz and Jeff Van Orsow and Greg Layborn lead the charge with a 10 foot log signed by each member of the 2007 and 2009 football teams that beat USC. The turns out to be a barn burner. Back and forth we go. Tie ball game heading into half. Niner calls Mike Riley on phone who is at this 4th home in San Antonio preparing for his fake NFL 3 month league… “Mike, I can’t shake these guys!” Response: “Then run ’em over Jonathan!”

The Beavers proceed to run the ball 39 out of 41 plays in the second half, including the last 30 plays straight. Niner turns the game into a grind. Timmy Hernandez out there making crack-black blocks on defensive ends. Clayton York’s cousin leading the way at fullback. OSU goes full jumbo at one point with Elu Aydon and Kalani Vakamaleo at TE’s. David Shaw watches film for pleasure…

We win 27-21.

@ Stanford:

Worst: Stanford doesn’t throw a pass. Runs 92 plays. Elu plays 3 plays. Fans throw their books on the field at Stanford stadium because they are bored. Game mercifully ends. OSU loses OLB commit Omar Speights. Sights “change of heart.” Andrew Nemec tweets about it. Speights upgraded to 5-star prospect. Tosh Lupoi flys to CV game vs CHS…

We lose 31-0.

Best: Power against Power. Billed as the RB show down of the century with Heisman front runner Bryce Love against runner up Artavias Pierce. Both have already eclipsed the 1200 yard mark on the season. Arty with 30 more catches and 3 more TD’s but Love with 300 more rushing yards. Both backs go for 149 but it’s the 149th yard that counts the most for Arty as he punches it in from one yard out on an inside zone behind Elu at full back to win the game in overtime.

We win 35-31 in OT.

@ Washington:

Worst: Sitting at 2-8, Niner tricks the media into believing they can finish 4-8. The sentiment is: “Well if Gary could do it, I can.” Canzano writes article detailing Smith’s involvement in abusing Arty and how Arty has recovered by running for 1539 yard and 30 TD’s for UO in 9 games… Danny Moran provides editing and sourcing for story. Game is an absolute blood bath for Niner and company. Aidan Willard is the starting QB with Matthew Tago as the emergency back-up. Kee Whetzel is lost for the season with broken arm, Isiah Hodgins torn ACL, Jalen Moore pre maturely declares for the NFL draft and Elu out for the year with “exhaustion.” The Beavs are depleted. Matthew Tago comes up with a pick and a sack. Brian Lindgren is seen laughing as he comes out of the press box. Niner says “trust the process and we will live in the hard.”

We lose 59-10.

Best: At 9-1 (7-0 in conference) and Washington at 9-1 (6-1) in conference, it is the first time ever that OSU has a chance to clinch the conference outright before the last game of the season. Tensions are high as Dawg fans are verbally abusing Niner pre-game wondering why Jake Browning never got any better during the 12 years he has played at UW. Niner doesn’t come out whole pre game on field. TV thinks he isn’t at stadium. No players warm up. No one can be found…

Orange smoke rises after the Dawg Pound quiets, an inflatable log seems to be holding the OSU players inside the smoke, Kee Whetzel leads the captains in front, they part like the Red Sea, and there is Niner in the Bobby Bruce Bunny Mask… Words can only show so much of this picture…

Timmy Hernandez scores twice early. Browning is on though…Myles Gaskin takes a screen pass to the house and Luton throws a late first half pick 6. UW leads 21-17 at half. The Dawg Pound trembles… Brian Lindgren needs a play… UW is stuffing Arty at the line so Lindgren dials up the perfect flea flicker and Luton throws a bomb on the pass back to Kolby Taylor streaking down the middle… Browning responds with a 12 play 88 yard TD drive. 28-24 heading into the 4th.

Beavs go three and out to start the 4th, Browning leads UW to another TD drive. Luton has the ball 8 minutes to go, down two scores. Screen pass to Arty and he spins off a defender, gets a blindside block from Trevon Bradford, Luton is leading leading Arty down the sideline like Sunshine in Remember the Titans. Get’s knocked out by UW safety. Arty scores though… Luton out for the game but Beavs only down one score. Defense forces a three and out and punt team takes the field. Beavs run a return reverse to non other then Champ Flemmings who was hidden behind Elu Aydon in the middle of the return team. He houses it for a TD for the Beavs first lead! BUT an offsides penalty by the nose tackle over the ball, gets it called back. 89 seconds to go, Beavs down 35-31 and need a TD. Niner inserts Jack Colletto instead of Conor Blount… Colletto shovel passes to Christian Wallace who then laterals back to Colletto and Colletto scampers for 42 yards to the Washington 5. Niner gets the play in, 6 seconds left. It’s a Timmy Hernandez WildCat Statue of Liberty to Arty and he gets the outside only to be stopped at the 2 by a UW linebacker. Game over. Coach Pete greats Niner at midfield and says: “Not my play against me…”

We lose 35-31.

*Ucks:

Worst: No comment.

We end season 2-10. Brian Lindgren leaves citing “stress issues.” Jake Cookus opens a donut shop in Eugene. Niner says he will stick it out… Now has to find new DC, OC, ST, and WR coach. With a depleted roster, Niner spends the summer working for free as the QB coach at Independence Community College where he runs into Simi Kuli playing D-End. Tristan Gebbia transfers there and gets signed the next year by UO. Smith returns to UW the next year as OC and says “OSU is impossible to resurrect. I have tried twice.” OSU hires Art Bryles. Mixed reactions from fans. Bob Lundeberg gets assigned to cover 2A 8 man football in Baker City. Gina Mizell gets hired as head of team Ideation at Oregon State. Scott Barnes gets contract extension and increases the fan experience committee to 50 people none of which are OSU grades. Cites “diversity.” Andy never comes back from Arizona, the rest of 35th and Jackson loses their jobs and are forced to work as redcoats. Scott Rueck leaves to be the coach at Baylor WBB. Kevin McGiven is hired as head football coach. Bruce Read is special teams consultant.

Best: With a win securing at least a tie for the Pac-12 North title, Niner locks himself and the team in the baseball teams “Omaha” room for 4 days leading up to the Civil War. “This is how champions are made.”

Beavs come out in all black unis for Mario’s funeral and honorary captains for game are Jacquizz Rodgers for OSU and John Boyett for UO. Jacquizz re-invents the bull doze of 2010… Boyett vaporizes into the November air… First play from scrimmage is a Isiah Hodgins slant that goes the distance. Justin Herbert gets knocked around by the Kee and Hamiclar who set the single season record for sacks with 18 each. David Morris picks off Herbert and knees the ball and just points at Mario Cristoballz… Beavs don’t have a third down on offense and Mario asks for Friday Night Tykes mercy rule…

We win 50-0.

UW loses on last second Hail Mary by Ortez Jenkins son at Arizona. Beavs win Pac-12 North outright. Play Utah in the championship. Gary doesn’t show. Neither does the Utah D-Line. Arty runs wild and finishes the regular season with 3429 all purpose yards and 41 total TD’s. Win’s the Heisman over Jake Luton. Niner wins coach of the year nationally and gets offer from Western Michigan. Turns it down. Kennesaw State offers $100 million over 4 years, JS says no. Beavs win Pac-12 championship. Play Wisconsin in Rose Bowl, beat Paul Chryst and the Badgers. Niner smiles and gets high five from his former OC. Beavs play Florida State in National Championship and blank Willie and boys 31-0. Niner says “the civil war ha ha ha ha.” Willie leaves to be the coach back at USF. Scott Frost takes FSU job. Mario Cristobal gets extended for life after a 6-6 season. Jim Leavitt vows to bring the “black shirts back” and accepts the HC job at Nebraska. Half of Cristoballz staff leaves, he wonders why… And finally, Isiah Rutherford tweets out “Dam built!” and simultaneously Michael Johnson Jr. decommits from Penn State and announces his commitment to OSU. States he was a silent commit and that “It just feels like home, it always has.”

Both scenarios are extremely likely to happen. Which one will it be???

Scrimmage notes: Beavs in Bend

Scrimmage notes: Beavs in Bend

By Andy / PNW

The Beavs officially finished fall camp this afternoon as the team took the field for a final scrimmage at Bend’s Summit High School.

I saw a lot of positives and a few reasons for concern. Here are some quick notes and updates as to where things stand.

  • Luton probably played the best of the QBs again. I would still like to see more consistency from this group overall, but he should get the nod week one. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Blount get snaps and possibly Colletto at some point.
  • Tight End is going to be interesting. Noah Togiai went down with an apparent knee injury. Hopefully it’s not too serious. Isaiah Smalls and Teagan “Quentin Tarantino” Quitoriano were somewhat invisible. But that isn’t a slight, I have high hopes for both of those guys, but they are only freshman. Growing pains are expected.
  • Artavis Pierce looks good. That’s a pretty big “duh”. He didn’t get too many carries as I imagine they are probably trying to keep his legs fresh. He had a few nice runs early. Freshman, Jemar Jefferson continues to run well. He is firmly the number two back until Calvin Tyler JR. returns. Christian Wallace is an athletic freak as we all know, but I don’t know if the mental side is going to click for him. If it does, look out. I also like what I saw from the youngster, Kase Rogers.
  • Too many drops from the starting receivers. I was disappointed by that. Still a very strong group overall that I have high expectations for. Jesiah Irish, Tino Allen, Champ Flemmings and Kolby Taylor all look like they can step up if called upon. I like the depth there.
  • The O line looked ok. Some good push and even on “sacks” the QB had 3+seconds so it wasn’t really their fault. I think this line can be sneaky good.
  • Connor Blount was up and down. Should’ve had a TD but unfortunately Trevon Bradford couldn’t quite haul it in. Jack Colletto has good legs and is improving. Every QB behind those three is light years away from starting.
  • D line played decent considering the depth concerns. The guys out there were gritty. For a freshman, Isaac Hodgins was holding his own and of Course Kalani Vakameilalo is a stud. Elu could be a big boost if he is able to get his weight down a little. Good player, but his fitness has held him back.
  • The linebackers were super active and flying all over the field. This is crucial to the style of play DC, Tim Tibesar is after. So that was a good sign.
  • There was some choppy secondary play, but that was expected with depleted depth.
  • Seeing Morris and Jeromy Reichner in boots makes me depressed. But hopefully they can get back sooner than later.
  • Kee Whetzel and Hamilcar Rashed were looking good. Pads were popping. Kee is so rangy. Shemar wasn’t bad either. And Hughes Murray wants to kill people. He was very animated when they stopped the offense on 4 downs. Fun stuff. Again, this is what Coach Bray and Tibesar are looking for.
  • My tweet about Jordan Choukair barely sneaking in a field goal was a little harsh. He JUST made the first one, but drilled every kick in the scrimmage. I think he can be a real weapon.
  • Punting is still a concern. Hopefully that continues to improve.
  • I like Bradford, Irish and Champ as returner options.
  • Things were pretty clean and smooth overall which was refreshing. A couple of miscues, but overall players seemed to be playing full speed and with confidence.
  • I cannot wait for September 1st. Not saying they are going to pull the upset of the century, but I’m excited to see how this team looks in real life. I believe they are going to play smart and with passion. That’s all any Beaver fan wants at this point.

Go Beavs!

Seahawks Update: Preseason reaches half way point.

FeaturedSeahawks Update: Preseason reaches half way point.

By Andy / PNW Sports

We are halfway through the ever painful tradition of preseason football. I shouldn’t be so down on it, as it is a good way to see what newcomers might contribute and sort out any position battles that may be up in the air. But even so, it does leave one longing for the real deal.

Through the first two games the Seahawks have had some good moments and some ugly ones. The roster is slowly starting to take shape (although there are big cuts still coming). After processing all that has happened over the last couple of weeks I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts and provide an update on the current state of the Seahawks.

Depth:

One of the main benefits of preseason football is that it allows teams to see just how deep they are? In the Pete Carrol era, depth has certainly been a strength. However with high roster turnover in the offseason, depth has to be a little bit of a concern for the 2018 Seahawks. The team definitely has young players who are capable of stepping up, but it might take a while for them to come along. Having bodies is one thing, but having a strong team requires a team full of guys that can come in and perform at a high level if a starter goes down.

Which leads me to my next aspect of the depth conversation. . . Injuries. Ailments are already starting to add up at this point. A lot of them aren’t thought to be too serious, but to have so many injuries this early on is certainly concerning. Perhaps the most concerning are two players who figure to be key contributors in Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny.

Right Tackle:

This position needs to be fixed. Germain Ifedi (now in year three) just isn’t a viable option as a starter. At some point the team needs to move on from the Ifedi experiment. I hear that he’s a hard worker and puts in the time, but the guy just isn’t a NFL starter. George Fant is someone I’d like to see get a shot, but at this point any type of shuffling along the line that helps get a better player at right tackle would be a good move. I want to believe that the coaches are going to put the five best guys on the field, but to this point, they haven’t. Let’s see if that changes this week.

Kicking and Punting:

Everything got sorted out in the “foot to ball” department. Jon Ryan was released this week after spending ten epic seasons with the Seahawks. I’m going to miss that guy. He really was a great punter, a pretty good athlete and an entertaining individual. Although, for being more athletic than most at his position, he did get blown up as much as any guy I can remember. The big three that come to mind involved him getting knocked into another dimension against the Bears on a punt return, the broken nose he suffered after trying to hurdle in the ten-below Wildcard game against the Vikings, and of course his 40+ yard dash against the Rams where he juggled the ball and then was practically beheaded. I’m not trying to be mean spirited. All of those things happened and were obviously memorable. But just to make up for it, who could forget his heroic touchdown pass that started the Seahawks furious rally against the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game? That throw on the run was a beauty!

Sorry, enough about Jon. He was cool, but it’s time to move on. Michael  Dickson ( the guy replacing Jon Ryan) is insanely good. I think he has a chance to become the best punter the league has ever seen. Not only can he casually bomb punts 60 yards with impressive hang time, he also can put a disgusting spin on the ball that opponents seem to have a hard time catching. When a punter is the MVP of a bowl game, you find a way to get him on your team. Pete and John did just that.

Ok now on to my favorite part of the whole thing. The Seahawks kicker will be Sebastian Janikowski. This is the kicker Seahawks fans deserve. He has been in the league for 19 years, is listed at 6’1″ 260 lbs and is still splitting the uprights at age 40. YES PLEASE! Even if he misses a few here and there, he’ll still be lightyears better than what we had to endure last year. The guy makes kicks. Simple as that. And I really like the thought of having the most unique kicker in football on the roster. He even wears the baggy sleeves!

Russell Wilson:

One quick note here: This team is screwed without Russell Wilson. I know most of you are smart enough to realize that, but yikes. If the team had to turn the keys over to Austin Davis or Alex McGough (though he threw some nice balls last week) I shutter to think what might happen. So here’s to hoping Russell somehow finds a way to play in every game, once again.

Bonus Thought:

I really haven’t thought about Earl Thomas much. I hope he shows up eventually as it would give this defense a much needed boost. I have a feeling he’s sort of feeling forgotten about at this point. I imagine it’s killing him to be away. I think Earl eventually caves and shows up.

Calm Before the Storm: 2018 OSU Football Overview; Fall Camp

FeaturedCalm Before the Storm: 2018 OSU Football Overview; Fall Camp

By Con

Fall camp is upon us. The weather is turning already, thanks Oregon…I walked into work today with a morning mist on my face and a breeze in the air. The time has come. The Return.

This will be some quick comments and overview of each position group and key players to watch out for. Let us know your thoughts and what you are looking out for or want us to report on more.

Offense: We will be watching the  creativity and play calling closely. Coaches are preaching: “we will do what fits our personnel.” However, we don’t know and I don’t know if the coaches know what that means yet. With questions on our o-line, will OSU be able to run the ball? Protect the passer? It all starts up front. A good o-line can hide a lot of other issues and make everyone better. However, it can go the other way just as easily with a bad one.

QB: Our pick to start is Jake Luton, but end of the year Conor Blount. I don’t see JS being afraid to yank a guy after a few games or mid game. Despite what other reporters say, Luton is NOT a statue behind the line. He can scramble a bit. Not like Blount but he isn’t inept. Will be interesting how much read option game OSU really runs. See JS at UW…basically ran a fake read option with Jake Browning for the past three years and Browning maybe kept the ball 5 times a year and still produced. Luton could be in that same mold. Blount seems to be a gamer and a gun slinger. Luton safer pick but Blount could be the playmaker and leader the offense needs.

Grade: C

RB: Arty has this locked up and for good reason. Seems like a stouter Yvenson Benard. Look for him to have a big year and many touches out of the backfield and carries. JS has also mentioned Calvin Tyler consistently as someone to look out for. Kick returns, third downs Tyler could showcase. Chrisitian Wallace wildcat package. Mark my words.

Grade: A-

WR: Timmy, Trevon and Hodgins look like locks to start. Kolby Taylor will be a regular guy and can go over the middle and take a hit. Has been mentioned by JS many times. Champ Flemmings will be used in different packages, Tino Allen on kick returns and punts. Walk on Andre Bodden is a stud and big time special teams contributor who could get some time. Mentioned by coaches a handful of times. Need a QB to get these guys the ball on time and in the right place. Watch out if that happens…

Grade: B

TE: Help us. Togai returns but is crazy overrated. Can’t stay on the field with injuries and has not proven to be consistent at all. He gets the praise because it has been years since OSU has had a solid tight end for multiple years. Quin Smith could make an impact here as a reliable, Colby Prince type option. JS commented how much OSU just needs bodies at this position. Isiah Smalls will have the opportunity, see if he takes it.

Grade: C-

OL: So many question marks and yes experienced players but not Pac-12 caliber proven! Blake Brandel will be a stud, but one great OL hardly can carry a Power 5 O-line. Center position is wide open. Lavaka way out of shape, hopefully Jim M. can work his magic. Look for #65 Onesimus Clarke to grab a spot. He was promising as a redshirt, has gotten in shape and has some stuff. Jim M. is high on Hawaii transfer Kipper, but he must sit out. #55 Keli’i Montibon JC transfer last year was praised. Looks to be in great shape and athletic.

Grade: D

Special Teams Return/Kicker: 

Jordan Choukair should be an honorable mention all Pac-12 player. Tino Allen, Trevon Bradford, Calvin Tyler, Christian Wallace, Champ Flemmings all in the mix for return touches. Look for Calvin Tyler on kickoffs as primary option. Coverage on kickoffs should be interesting with the new redshirt rule. I want Matthew Tago running down as wedge buster. Our boy Kee will be on it no doubt. Andre Bodden, Trajon Cotton, Omar Hicks-Onu, Jordan Gregory, DeShon Wilson are some names to watch on kick coverage.

Grade: B+

Defense: Tim T. seems like a guy with a plan to get FAST guys on the field. Sideline to sideline coverage has been a GLARING issue for OSU since 2007 defense led by Derrick Doggett, Joey LaRouqe and Alan Darlin at LB’s that carried OSU. Key will be to make this defense simple. Players connected to PNW Sports Fans harped for years how Mark Banker had more than 2,000 plays in the defensive playbook, Kalani Sitake wasn’t organized and Kevin Clune refused to send blitz packages or trust guys to make plays. The common theme with every coach according to players was too complex of systems where guys didn’t know the right plays or places to be and were too concerned with learning them instead of playing free, fast and fiery. Will be interesting to see the pressure Tim T. cooks up for QB’s. I think the last time OSU landed a real sack on first contact and solid hit was back when Robo Duck existed down south…

DL: ELU HOW DO YOU WEIGH 380 POUNDS??? MORE THAN 40 POUNDS FROM 2017??? DIDNT KNOW HUMAN LET ALONE A D1 FOOTBALL PLAYER COULD ACHIEVE THAT AND STILL MOVE.

On a real note, Kalani V. seems to have one DL position locked down and JC transfer Jeromy R. another. Walk on, RS Frosh Jalean Bush will make an impact ala Slade Norris in 2007. He can get off the edge, is long and can hold his own physically. Other then those 3 guys, so many unproven, D-1 questionable guys. I am sure Tim T. knows this could be an issue and will play MANY 2 down lineman packages.

Grade: D-

LB: Looks to be athletically in good shape here. Shemar Smith, Doug T. and Jonathan Willis will man the inside positions. Willis must show leadership here or he will get pulled out. Matthew Tago might be candidate inside or outside. Emony Robinson could contribute on special teams or in rotation.

Kee Whetzel will anchor us outside. He is fast, strong and sideline to sideline cover. Brings the juice and dance on top of that. He will be a candidate for All Pac-12 award if OSU turns in a solid defensive year. Hamiclar Rashed will not be far behind. He is a little bigger then Whetzel but brings it. Look for him and Kee to be dancing in some backfields this year. Bring back the pat down please. Andrzej Hughes-Murray will get plenty of time. True frosh John McCartan and Isiah Tufaga could get some looks. Both have been mentioned by coaches as body ready for this season. Look for nickel packages to be brought in a lot to get best defensive guys on the field at a much deeper position at DB.

Grade: B

DB: Even with the loss of Xavier Crawford, OSU looks to be in decent shape at DB. David Morris, Jalen Moore, Omar Hicks-Onu, Jeffrey Manning are great candidates at safety and nickle positions. Morris should have strong year and Jalen Moore could get some great attention heading into his senior year next year. At corner, Dwayne Williams when healthy is a great option, Shawn Wilson, undersized but a fighter, Jay Irvine could be big. PNW has their eye on two guys that could be great corners for OSU for a long time… Isiah Dunn and frosh DeShon Wilson. Dunn has GREAT instincts and sticks guys right after the catch and in space. Fights well with his hands and has good size. DeShon Wilson has brought the stuff from Day 1 of spring ball. He is a true freshmen with a senior’s body. Has the size and speed to be a great corner for OSU. Would have probably played regardless of new redshirt rule this year. We will be watching both those guys closely not just on defense but for years to come as team guys and leaders.

Grade: B-

Special Teams Punting/Coverage

Alex Bland our would be starting punter just left school. That leaves walk on Daniel Rodreguiz as likely starter. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS POSITION. Remember when the ghost of Kyle Loomis haunted OSU punting for three straight years until Johnny Hekker saved us? Alexis Serna god bless his soul, tried but was put in a bad spot and it HURT OSU and caused so many field position battles to be lost and put defense in bad spots. OSU cannot afford that this year if they want to be competitive.

Coverage looks to be solid with Andre Bodden, Jalen Moore, Matthew Tago, Shemar Smith, Drew Kell, Jaydon Grant and Justin Gardner some names to look out for on punts. OSU has always been solid in their coverage game with some big hitters and limiting returns on punts and kicks.

Grade: C+

Coaching will be the difference instantly if OSU is competitive this year. With virtually the same roster and arguably and uptick in effort based on who is starting, it will be a good gage to evaluate this coaching staff. Do players quit? Give up in games? Play one half? Do coaches drop unknown F-Bombs in their last press conference as a head coach? YEAH LOOK IT UP GARY ANDERSEN POST GAME VS USC WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT MISSED FIELD GOALS…

Should be an interesting year. Go Beavs.

Monday Morning Update from PNW Crew

FeaturedMonday Morning Update from PNW Crew

By Con/PNW Sports Fans

The team as been MIA. We apologize. But what is there to really write about? Neil Olshey sucking for the third straight year? Summer MLB baseball; YAWN. Pac-12 media day? Meh.

At PNW we are still on the euphoria of shutting down TD Ameritrade, having a chariot pick us up for our victory parade in downtown Omaha towards an authentic Cuban cigar lounge. Who has it better then us in college baseball? Answer: No one!

In the next few days we will be coming out with a few previews for Seahawks 2018, OSU football fall camp and whatever Brian Braught can drum up.

As always, our info will be detailed, fans perspective, realistic and always free to everyone. We are die-hards who believe in coverage that is accurate and detailed that other die-hards will appreciate the overall picture of each program and team we cover vs the paid stuff you get or the local things that are written by people who don’t even like those teams or some unpaid high school journalist. Looking at you Danny Moran.

That being said, any suggestions or questions are ALWAYS welcomed and wanted to improve our coverage or assess certain positions or questions about players specifically. Reach out to us on twitter or our personal lives if you know… you know…

PNW Sports Fans