Greetings Cougs, and a happy Tuesday to you. So the T.O. news is still reverberating around the great NW, as the Seahawks signed the oft-maligned WR to a reasonable 1-year contract. As ESPN's CindyB tweeted yesterday, "Get your Latte's Ready" as a shot at the infamous "Get your popcorn ready" quote from T.O.. The reactions from the twitter-verse seem to be all over the map, but one thing seems somewhat clear - either the reactions are 1) HATE IT, or 2) LOVE IT.
I think the "HATE IT's" are out in front right now, as it's pretty clear that the majority of Seahawk fans aren't exactly thrilled. But you know what? I THINK I am trending more towards like it, if not love it?? Call me crazy, and there are risks of course, but here's the way I see it:
1) He can still run - Did ya hear about that 40-time he turned in yesterday? In the 4.4-range, at his size (6-3, 220)? That's amazing that a 38-year old can still run like that. But by all accounts, he's in tremendous shape and has been preparing for this.
2) He can still make plays - OK, he didn't play in the NFL last year and was a washout in the Arena League of all things. But did you know that in his last NFL season the year before, in 2010, he had 72 receptions for 983 yards and 9 TD's as a Bengal? Those numbers would have led all Seahawk receivers in each of those categories last year. But while the Randy Moss signing was praised by many in San Francisco this offseason as a risk, yet with high upside, Owens has actually been more productive than Moss in his last full season of playing time (Moss' last season as good as TO's was 2009).
3) If Pete likes to give fresh starts to troubled guys? Well, here we are. After this guy's issues on reality TV and all the other stuff you are more than aware of, to the point that T.O. has become somewhat of a punch line? And when you have guys like Marshawn Lynch, Kellen Winslow Jr, etc? IF he makes the team, Pete and company have their work cut out for them.
4) The Seahawks are desperate - Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant, etc, and you knew that they are in dire need of WR help. Bryant has already been sent packing, and who knows how much Edwards has left in the tank. But now they reach for T.O., hoping to get something, anything? You wonder what this says about Sidney Rice and the team's concern about his health, and/or their lack of confidence in some of the younger WR's like Kris Durham, Ricardo Lockette, and Golden Tate.
I guess it's worth a kick-the-tires scenario here. Let him play for a few weeks in the preseason, see what he's got left. But get him on the field right away and then decide if he's worth it by adding him in with Rice, Doug Baldwin, Braylon Edwards, and Kellen Winslow. And if he flops the next few weeks? Thanks for coming out, and cut him free to pursue other opportunities! If anything, it's great sports talk radio topics/message board/comment fodder for the next month??
All that out of the way, on to this morning's links:
One team that doesn't seem to have a need for WR depth? How about Washington State!? That's right, I said it. The Cougs are so deep at the WR position overall that they have moved Rahmel Dockery over to the defensive side of the football. It's true, as young Rahmel is now a cornerback per Joe Doyle at Cougfan. Personally I admit to being somewhat surprised by this, as all the highlight videos out there on Dockery are some of the spectacular variety while doing things with the football in his hands, but he played a ton of DB in his high school days as well so this isn't exactly a fish-out-of-water scenario. Brian Floyd has a decent take on it over at Cougcenter, so check it out.
Floyd was also at practice yesterday, and has a full recap here with nuggets strewn throughout the post. Floyd seems impressed by some of the younger guys like Gabriel Marks and Brett Bartolone, among others. So check it out and enjoy it!
Howie Stalwick has this in the Kitsap Sun, as it appears some of the tough Leach discipline is bringing the team closer? I know there's been a ton of criticism towards Leach's approach to the rules and his high expectations (and lack of second chances) for his players. But maybe that is one thing that many of us have kind of missed here, and that the strict rules can have the trickle-down to the players, bringing them closer and more accountable to not just the coaches, but each other as well? Hmm. Stalwick also touches on the new-found fitness levels of many of the players (Travis Long down to 245 pounds?) and some brisk ticket sales early on, where MAYBE we're looking at the first sellout of Martin Stadium in six years!? (NOTE - wow, has it really been six years since we've put 35,000 people in Martin Stadium!? No wonder Moos wanted a splash hire with Leach!)
Finally, Christian Caple touches on Day 5, including some thoughts on the recent position changes. One point here that he makes on Rickey Galvin, and it's a point that I agree with - Leach is not exactly saying Galvin doesn't work as a running back, but that putting him in the slot can simply maximize his value to the offense. But another point that I thought about yesterday is that maybe a move to the slot is a good thing for Galvin, given his less-than-stout frame?
I mean the kid is quick and fast as hell, but he doesn't have the bulk that you might prefer to have with a starting running back in this offense. You think about it, the running back is going to get the majority of his touches out of the shotgun, and with not a lot of help blocking up front (meaning not always a true tight end, but instead a tight end split out in one of the slot positions, and of course, no fullback to help lead him through the traffic). That could mean that Galvin might be more at risk in taking a pounding from defensive linemen and linebackers inside on handoffs and draw plays, when really his strengths are to get him the ball outside and in space against safeties, corners and nickelback's? Maybe they just look at it as a way to maximize his value to the team, all the while giving him a better chance to stay healthy?? We still have a few weeks to see how it all works, but it's an interesting scenario with one of the more explosive athletes on the roster!
That's it for this AM. Look for something soon from our own Longball. Enjoy your Tuesday morning, and as always, GO COUGS!