Archive for January, 2009

Getting To Know Vontae Davis
January 28, 2009

The NFL draft is still months away but after the Senior Bowl last week it’s safe to say the first round of the draft is taking shape.

Thay said,  it’s now time to learn about University of Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis.

 

vontae2

On nearly every mock draft that’s been update after the Senior Bowl Davis is projected to go to the Saints.

Will the Saints try to trade down?  Sure.

Will the Saints draft a defensive player other than Davis?  Very good chance.

But right now the thought amongst those who obesse about the draft seem to be all about Vontae Davis.

{Davis Bio Courtesy: www.fftoolbox.com}

vontae31

 

“Vontae Davis is the younger brother of San Francisco tight end and former top ten pick, Vernon Davis. Athleticism obviously runs in this family, because both of the Davis brothers are freakishly strong and fast. Vontae is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign that saw him smother even the best receivers the Big Ten has to offer. Davis finished the season with 76 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 8 passes broken up, and he even blocked 2 kicks on special teams. Other than Malcolm Jenkins, Davis is the best defensive back available in this year’s draft. Davis has the potential to put up an untouchable amount of reps on the bench press, and possibly run in the high 4.3 range in the 40. Davis had a down year by his standards, but Illinois’ abysmal pass rush didn’t make his job any easier. He recorded 78 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 10 passes broken up in coverage, and 3 forced fumbles during the 2008 campaign. During his time at Illinois, Davis has improved drastically. He has gotten to the point where opposing defenses have virtually stopped throwing in his direction; cutting the field in half for offenses. He would be a great fit for an aggressive team because he’s an excellent blitzer. Davis is just as comfortable rushing the passer from the corner spot as he is in coverage. Davis is a sure fire first rounder this year, and shouldn’t slide past the top 20 for any reason.”

More Hornets Trades
January 28, 2009

Someone wrote me two days ago and asked:

“Fletcher, how’s about writing something about the Hornets other than a trade scenario.”

This person is right…so here goes.

Chris Paul is amazing.  Our city is lucky to have him representing us.

David West is a very good player and a great compliment to Paul.

Byron Scott is as open and honest of a head coach as you’ll find in sports and a guy truly capable of motivating players.

When Peja Stojakovic is hot, the Hornets seem unbeatable.

But the New Orleans Hornets in my mind are not a championship team.

Yes, they’re going to the playoffs and they’re going to do fine, but winning the west means beating the Los Angeles Lakers. 

In my opinion the Hornets need one more capable scorer to get past LA.

So here are two trade that may work for both teams involved:

TRADE #1

New Orleans Hornets

Incoming Players
Marco Belinelli
Marco Belinelli

Salary: $1,446,720  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 9.6  REB: 1.7  AST: 2.1  PER: 12.60

Outgoing Players: Julian Wright

Golden State Warriors

Incoming Players
Julian Wright
Julian Wright

Salary: $1,869,600  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 3.0  REB: 1.6  AST: 0.8  PER: 11.58

Outgoing Players: Marco Belinelli

WHY: young 1st round pick for young 1st round pick.  Belinelli has finally started getting minutes for the Warriors and he’s producing.  Belinelli could be the scorer the Hornets have been missing.  The Italian tore up the Hornets in the Vegas summer league two summers ago and is a player that could eventually start in the back court with Chris Paul…meaning Belinelli helps the Hornets now with offense off the bench and long term as a starter.  I’d do this deal in a second but given the fact that Byron Scott seems have some sort of disdain for developing young player and euros (expect CP3 and Peja) I doubt this trade would ever happen.  Read the next trade below to see why Julian Wright helps Golden State.  

TRADE #2:

New Orleans Hornets

 

Incoming Players
Kelenna Azubuike
Kelenna Azubuike

Salary: $2,900,000  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 13.8  REB: 4.8  AST: 1.5  PER: 14.29

Outgoing Players: Sean Marks, Julian Wright

Golden State Warriors

Incoming Players
Sean Marks
Sean Marks

Salary: $797,581  Years Remaining: 1
PTS: 2.4  REB: 2.5  AST: 0.2  PER: 5.02

Julian Wright
Julian Wright

Salary: $1,869,600  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 3.0  REB: 1.6  AST: 0.8  PER: 11.58

Outgoing Players: Kelenna Azubuike

WHY: Golden State has an insane number of wing players (Corey Maggette, Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson, Monte Ellis, Marco Belinelli) and Azubuike has the most tradeable/managable contract.
Azubuike could step in and start at shooting gurad or be a top scorer off the bench as a wing player. 
The Warriors are terrible this year and looking to reshape their roster a bit.  Wright would team with Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins giving coach Don Nelson more depth in his front court.  Sean Marks contract makes the deal work money-wise.   

Three Hornets Trades That Make Sense
January 27, 2009

Peja Stojakovic was unreal Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.  17 Points in the 4th quarter.  The Hornets are a good team and fun to watch.

But I still really believe the team has to make one of the below deals to help them make a push deep into the post season!

None of these trades are far-fetched or over-the-top….they keep the Hornets core in place and can easily be done.

TRADE #1:

New Orleans Hornets

Incoming Players
Ben Gordon
Ben Gordon

Salary: $6,404,750  Years Remaining: 1
PTS: 20.0  REB: 3.3  AST: 3.7  PER: 16.33

Outgoing Players: Rasual Butler, Julian Wright

Chicago Bulls

Incoming Players
Rasual Butler
Rasual Butler

Salary: $3,630,000  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 9.7  REB: 2.7  AST: 0.7  PER: 12.69

Julian Wright
Julian Wright

Salary: $1,869,600  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 3.1  REB: 1.4  AST: 0.8  PER: 12.51

Outgoing Players: Ben Gordon

WHY:  Chicago is going nowhere fast and Gordon is going to leave via free agency at the end of the season. 
The Hornets get a 20 point a night scorer who’d immediately step in as the team’s starting shooting guard. Chicago gets a young lottery pick who’s from Chicago in Julian Wright and a quality shooter who’ll be a nice bench player in Butler. 
TRADE #2:

New Orleans Hornets

Incoming Players
Charlie Villanueva
Charlie Villanueva

Salary: $3,448,050  Years Remaining: 1
PTS: 14.3  REB: 6.5  AST: 1.4  PER: 19.78

Outgoing Players: Devin Brown, Julian Wright

Milwaukee Bucks

Incoming Players
Devin Brown
Devin Brown

Salary: $998,398  Years Remaining: 1
PTS: 5.1  REB: 2.2  AST: 0.9  PER: 9.60

Julian Wright
Julian Wright

Salary: $1,869,600  Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 3.1  REB: 1.4  AST: 0.8  PER: 12.51

Outgoing Players: Charlie Villanueva

WHY: Milwaukee is going to lose Villanueva to free agency so getting what they can for him is important.  Wright and Joe Alexander would give the Bucks two promising young forwards to build around.  Devin Brown makes the deal work money-wise.   
In Villanueva the Hornets get a versitile big man capable of playing three positions.  The former UConn star has been playing great lately and would no doubt continue to excell as he is looking for a big pay day next season.
TRADE #3:

New Orleans Hornets

Incoming Players
Vladimir Radmanovic
Vladimir Radmanovic

Salary: $6,049,400  Years Remaining: 3
PTS: 6.5  REB: 2.7  AST: 0.9  PER: 12.37

Outgoing Players: Morris Peterson

Los Angeles Lakers

Incoming Players
Morris Peterson
Morris Peterson

Salary: $5,592,240  Years Remaining: 3
PTS: 5.7  REB: 2.2  AST: 0.5  PER: 13.13

Outgoing Players: Vladimir Radmanovic 

WHY: Although I doubt the Hornets and Lakers would trade with one another it’s not out of the question. The Hornets did swing a deal with division rival Houston last year.  This deal is basically under-producing veteran for under-producing veteran.  Radmanovic is roting on the Lakers bench because coach Phil Jackson is unhappy with the euros defense.  MoPete is roting on Hornets bench because his shooting has become very inconsistent.    
Both could use a change of secenery.

Usama Young NFL Commercial
January 26, 2009

Saints cornerback Usama Young will star in a :60 second commercial that will air during the Super Bowl this sunday (February 1st).

usama

 

The commercial is reportedly very similiar to the one that aired last year during the Super Bowl and featured two Houston Texan players.

Saints New Safety?
January 26, 2009

Posted by Mike Florioflorio3

 

www.profootballtalk.com

Veteran safety Darren Sharper, a 12-year veteran whose contract with the Vikings has expired, likely won’t be returning to Minnesota for a fifth season.

The thinking in league circles is that the Vikings won’t have the cap space to pay Sharper close to his market value, given that the team signed safety Madieu Williams as part of last year’s free-agent splurge.sharper

The presence of Tyrell Johnson, a hard-hitting second-round pick in 2008, also could make Sharper a luxury that the team can’t afford.

We’ve already heard some speculation that the Saints might make a run at Sharper, as they attempt to beef up their defense in order to keep coach Sean Payton from getting fired.

Sharper spent the first eight years of his career with the Packers, before making the intra-division leap to Minnesota. He has 54 career interceptions, which currently ranks 18th on the all-time list.

Only four more picks would put Sharper in the top ten — and he needs only eight to tie Dick LeBeau and Dave Brown for seventh place with 62.

So, yeah, Dick LeBeau really should be in Canton, given his combined playing and coaching exploits. With a few more solid seasons, Sharper likely will have earned a spot, too.

Tulane Loses Out On Top Prospect
January 26, 2009

John Curtis runningback Kenny Cain verbally committed to TCU Sunday Afternoon.

Cain had narrowed his choices to TCU and Tulane.

kenny-cain

 

“TCU is on a roll on the recruiting trail. The Frogs, fresh off of a commitment from Katy Morton Ranch’s Michael Venson, scored a big commitment Sunday from John Curtis’ star athlete, Kenny Cain. TCU now sits at 19.”

http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=1&pr_key=63947

Tyson Chandler For Shawn Marion?
January 23, 2009

below clip courtesy: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/basketball/miami-heat/story/868229.html

Heat president Pat Riley confirmed on Thursday that he is still looking for a big man to help the team.

He admitted that there are roster voids that he will look to fill via trade before next month’s deadline.

“The big picture always trumps the present moment,” Riley said of swinging a deal that might jeopardize their cap flexibility in 2010. “While the present is important, I’m not going to do something to take away from what we can achieve down the road.”

{FLETCHER’S TAKE: I REALLY LIKE TYSON CHANDLER AS A PERSON AND A PLAYER.  I THINK HE’S GREAT FOR THE TEAM AND THE COMMUNITY BUT IF THE HORNETS CONTINUE TO WIN WITHOUT CHANDLER IN THE STARTING LINE-UP THAN I THINK HE IS A PERFECT PLAYER TO BE TRADED TO HELP UPGRADE THE HORNETS!  IF THE HEAT ARE LOOKING FOR A CENTER THEN WHY NOT SWAP CHANDLER FOR SHAWN MARION?  MARION GIVES THE HORNETS SCORING PUNCH AND PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE.  CHANDLER GIVES MIAMI THE BIG MAN THEY’RE LONGING FOR. } act_shawn_marion1act_tyson_chandler1

Haslett To Panthers?
January 23, 2009

HASLETT A POSSIBILITY IN CAROLINA?

Jim Haslett could be a fit for the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator job, according to Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer.

Haslett and John Fox worked together with the Raiders back in 1994; Fox was the defensive coordinator and Haslett coached the linebackers.

jim_haslett_0001

According to Chandler, it is believed that Haslett would like the chance to join Carolina’s staff.

After being told by the Rams that he wouldn’t return, Haslett interviewed for the Packers’ defensive coordinator position, which was eventually filled by Dom Capers.  A source told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Haslett was offered the Packers job, but he wouldn’t accept until the Rams picked their head coach.

When asked to confirm that he was offered the Green Bay position, Haslett declined comment.

Dan Morgan Back With Saints?
January 22, 2009

DAN MORGAN PLANNING A COMEBACK

After sitting out all of the 2008 season and playing only four games in two years before that, linebacker Dan Morgan is eyeing a comeback.

Per a league source, Morgan intends to return to the New Orleans Saints.

dan1

 

Morgan, who turned 30 last month, was a first-round pick of the Panthers in 2001.  He retired earlier this year after signing a free-agent contract with the Saints.

His career was plagued by concussions, but it was a lingering Achilles’ tendon injury that prompted him to call it quits.

dan-morgan

 

“When we signed Dan, he was committed to making a fresh start, and he was making every effort to rehabilitate the leg injury that he suffered last year,” coach Sean Payton said when Morgan decided to retire in May.  ”But it wasn’t responding as well as he had hoped it would.  We wish him well in his continued recovery, and he will be remembered for the excellent player he was during his career.”

Presumably, Morgan remains on the Saints’ reserve-retired list.  If the Saints were to release his rights, he would become a free agent.

Senior Bowl Stars
January 22, 2009

My sources tell me two players I really like had another solid day of practice Wednesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Cornerback Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest again looked great in pass coverage.alphonso

Also showing ‘ball hawk’ skills as a free safety….Rashad Johnson from the University of Alabama.rashad_johnson_feature

Personally, I’d love to see both of these guys wearing black and gold this season!