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!

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Seahawks Update: Preseason reaches half way point.

Seahawks 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

Calm 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

Monday 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

Notes from Omaha: Day 4

Hogs in two?

What in the world just happened? That was the most incredible sequence of events I’ve ever witnessed in a baseball game. And it was all right in front of Con and I. Wow!

  • Today the Lord led us out of the desert and away from the clutches of our enemies. We checked out of that dump in Council Bluffs and checked into a life saving oasis in Omaha.
  • The day was full of good omens. The hotel, was only the beginning. We went back to a place called Upstream. It was delicious the first night we were here, so we figured we’d try it for lunch. Saw a few members of the Casey family, met a great beaver fan that chatted us up for a bit, took a ride with an unstable Lyft driver (but she kept saying how much she hated Arkansas, so that was fine.) It was just good vibes all around. We also got a spot in the shade for the ticket line. There was something in the air.
  • “Hogs in two”. Heard that one on repeat today. Listened to a lot of fans making celebration plans.
  • We switched it up and went to right field today. It was a great choice.
  • Fans were a little more tolerable tonight, but still a lot of annoying people. One guy behind us brought up Luke again (real original) I told him what I thought about that. He actually wanted to fight me and I gave him an open invitation. Oddly enough nothing happened. So sick of jokers that think they can just say whatever disgusting remarks they want with no consequence.
  • Another frustrating game. The Beavs continued to be their own worst enemy. I believe we counted three times that the Beavers had someone on third with one out or less and something catastrophic happened resulting in no runs.
  • Another gem from the bullpen. Eisert held down the fort in a phenomenal 5 inning, 7 strikeout affair. The bullpen has saved this team during throughout their stay in Omaha.
  • Things looked pretty scary right up until the Beavs were down to their final strike.
  • Grenier had a 2-2 count with a runner on third and two outs. He popped up the pitch in foul territory down the first base line, three Razorbacks moved in for the title clinching out…
  • Thud. The ball fell harmlessly to the ground. The Beavers had new life.
  • Grenier drove in the tying run with a single up the middle. We lost our minds. A brand new ballgame.
  • Then, Trevor Larnach crushed a ball to the right field bullpen and mayhem ensued.
  • The home run happened right in front of us and we lost our minds once more.
  • And a hush fell over the once incredible Arkansas crowd. Shoutout to Chris Herb.
  • Then Mullholland slammed the door in the 9th to finish it off.
  • The Beavs live to play another day. Game three is happening!
  • Arkansas fans went dark following the game. That crowd goes from arrogant to hopeless in about the time it took for Larnach’s home run to clear the fence.
  • So… Hogs in two?
  • Go Beavs!

Notes from Omaha: Day 2

We survived night one. I mean that quite literally between some rough Lyft rides and the things I mentioned regarding our hotel last night.

Here’s the updates we have to share:

  • Our Lyft driver last night was navigating off of his phone that was laying across his lap. I was praying as we zig-zagged down the road.
  • Got some 98 cent shower flops at Wal-Mart. Best purchase I’ve ever made. It takes me back to my days in Finley Hall.
  • Woke up to rain (some foreshadowing).
  • American Airlines had some weird glitch where the prices of their flights playfully bounced back and forth, fluctuating by as much as $200 within seconds. That’s a fun game to play while looking for flights home. I think we have one figured out for Thursday.
  • Got to the stadium at 2pm to stand in line for GA seating. We were behind a group of friendly Razorback fans. Friendly, but very confident.
  • Haven’t played a game yet and have already listened to about 100 hog calls.
  • We managed to be some of the first 150 people in the park. We had front row seats above the left field bullpen.
  • Some severely simple Arkansas fans were saying terrible things to Luke when he was warming up. Several old Beaver fans were ready to jump them, I threw in a few insults that I’m fairly certain they couldn’t understand.
  • Here’s where it got good. Freshman, Kevin Abel just stared that whole group down. He said something to them, but I couldn’t make out exactly what. That crew got pretty quiet after that. But it was cool to see how tight knit that crew is. With that attitude, I want Abel on our football team. Respect to him.
  • One Arkansas fan came over to apologize for the stupidity of the people in his section. Nice guy.
  • Meanwhile it was a gorgeous evening, but the game was sent into a delay due to the possibility of a major storm. We were baffled as it looked to be a great night for baseball.
  • 5pm turned to 6, then to 7. Approximately 15 minutes after 7, it hit! Lightning strikes were all over. The rain picked up and it felt like being in a hurricane on a fishing boat for a several minutes. The field quickly puddled up with water.
  • That Thursday flight? Yeah, we just cancelled and got one for Friday.
  • About 7:45 they officially called it. Game 1 will take place tomorrow evening at 4pm PST, 6pm CT.
  • We’re off to grab some pizza and avoid the hotel for a few hours.