Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

Titan Tuesday – Rookies vs. Chicago Bears

August 30th, 2011 | Comments Off on Titan Tuesday – Rookies vs. Chicago Bears

After each preseason game, Titan Tuesday will give grades to each Titan rookie based upon their performance, progress, and potential for making the final roster.

Jake Locker (2 for 4, 24 yards; 2 carries, 14 yards) – (C+)
Locker got little playing time with the Bears dominating time of possession.  The Titan 2nd O-line is dreadful and Locker did as expected.  He survived another game.

Akeem Ayers (4 tackles) – (B+)
Solid, reliable, and physical at the line of scrimmage.  Ayers will make some rookie mistakes, but is the most promising defensive rookie the Titans have seen in years.

Jurrell Casey (Tackle) – (C-)
Casey needs to make some plays in the final preseason game.  Even with the release of Jovan Haye, the Titans have 6 DTs on the roster. Somebody will be left out.

Colin McCarthy (3 tackles) – (B-)
This Hurricane had a much better week, including a nice 3rd down stop in the backfield.  Look for McCarthy to easily make the Titan roster as the back-up MLB.

Jamie Harper (13 carries, 36 yards, TD) – (A-)
Harper’s stock just keeps rising. He instinctively runs downhill and finds the open field, already.  Javon Ringer could be losing his foothold as the interim starter.

Karl Klug (Tackle, Pass deflection) – (B)
Klug’s constant motor makes him disruptive on virtually every passing play. And new Titan coach Mike Munchak inferred that Klug’s play led to Haye’s release yesterday.

Byron Stingily – (F)
Not sure that Stingily ever saw a snap in this game.  Even though the offensive line is not a deep position, Stingily’s only shot to stay a Titan is on the practice squad.

Zach Clayton (Tackle) – (D-)
Clayton will probably not make the Titan 53-man roster, more because of the depth of this position than the quality of his play. But, his hopes of staying are still alive.

Tommie Campbell (Tackle, Interception, TD) – (C)
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Tommie Campbell. You have to make plays to stay when you are an obscure 7th round draft pick. Just ask the last one

 

Rookies vs. St. Louis Rams

Rookies vs. Minnesota Vikings

 

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Ten by Two

August 29th, 2011 | Comments Off on Ten by Two

After two months, The Lead Block mentoring movement is impacting the lives of athletes at 3 schools. Here are some of the best from the blog posts along the way.

10. Rookies vs. Minnesota Vikings
The first look at the 2011 Tennessee Titan rookie class.

9. What is Lead Blocking?
A quick post about The Lead Block mentoring movement.

8. The Thing About Tim Tebow
The most inconceivably controversial quarterback and why…

7. Becoming a Lead Blocker
The first blog post ever written about Lead Blocking.

6. According to Plan
Recounting the Hall of Fame induction of one my childhood heroes, Deion Sanders.

5. Field of Dreams 2
The most clutch golf shot I have ever seen and the best movie parody trailer.  Ever.

4. Sure Bet
A hilarious NCAA commercial and Michael Jordan wins a bet.

3. Scott Stallings is a Champ
A profile piece about the best up-and-coming PGA golfer.

2. Putter Slinging
This Best Red is tribute to Scott Stallings’ first PGA tour win.

1. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
The first Weekly Block revealed where my sporting loyalties truly lie.

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Best RedBig Make a Difference

August 26th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best RedBig Make a Difference

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. Trouble in Paradise
Courtesy of Mike Silver and Yahoo! Sports

Whether trouble lurks under the calm surface of the NFL labor agreement, remains to be seen. But, I disagree with defending the immature and unappreciative.

2. Come Fly with Duke
Courtesy of Jeff Eisenberg

Frequently, I defend athletes and the athletic system.  The money and platform athletics generate are an opportunity to change the world, not circumnavigate it.

3. Cool Contest
Courtesy of Arian Foster and Twitter

Like him or not, Foster is agreat example of what athletes are capable of doing when given influence and a platform. Way to be, Arian!                       -Signed a Titans fan

 

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Titan Thursday – On the Bubble

August 25th, 2011 | 1 comment

After each remaining preseason game, Titan Thursday will give percentages for Titan players on the bubble of making the final roster based upon their performance.


Rusty Smith
– (90%) (Competition: Brett Ratliff)
A recent rule change and new OC Chris Palmer’s disinterest in the wildcat formation are Smith’s greatest ally, as Rusty tries to entrench himself as the 3rd Titan QB.

Lavelle Hawkins – (60%) (Competition: Justin Gage, Stafon Johnson)
Hawkins looks to be in the driver seat with 2 preseason games remaining.  He will see plenty of time with the first team and is younger than Gage with more upside.

Rennie Curran – (50%) (Competition: Patrick Bailey, Nick Schommer)
For players like Curran, becoming an NFL starter one day is probably not likely.  So he will have to earn his stripes through special teams, versatility, and work ethic.

Jovan Haye – (45%) (Competition: Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug)
Haye is essentially the only holdover of the previous regimes’ DTs and also never delivered the stats from his time in Tampa Bay.  He has to hold off Klug to stay.

Stafon Johnson – (35%) (Competition: Jamie Harper, Lavelle Hawkins)
The Titan coaching staff like Harper and Ringer as Chris Johnson’s supporting cast, so Johnson’s best chance is to prove more valuable than Hawkins going forward.

Byron Stingily – (33%) (Competition: Troy Kropog, Mike Otto)
Stingily is a rookie drafted late, meaning he has no job security.  But, the Titans are looking for some fresher offensive line options.  He has to play through this.

Tommie Campbell – (25%) (Competition: Frank Walker, Anthony Smith)
Campbell is the Titans’ 7th round draft pick; long, athletic, and huge potential.  But, he has to prove worthy of becoming a project player to stay in this Titan secondary.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN ON OFFENSE:
Brett Ratliff, Yamon Figurs, Michael Preston, Joseph Hills, James Kirkendoll, Owen Spencer, Herb Donaldson, Kestahn Moore, Joe Tronzo, Patrick Hill, Riar Geer, Cameron Graham, Pat McQuistan, Kevin Matthews, Thomas Gray, and Adam Terry

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN ON DEFENSE:
Hall Davis, Pannel Egboh, Malcolm Sheppard, Zac Clayton, Julian Hartsell, Mike Montgomery, Kevin Malast, Jonathan Cornell, Chris Hawkins, Peter Ittersagen, LeQuan Lewis, Nick Schommer, Myron Rolle, Robert Johnson, and Anthony Smith

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Chad Cunningham, John Stokes

Rookie grades vs. St. Louis Rams

Rookie grades vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Weekly Block – Time-Out!

August 24th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Time-Out!

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott ‘Slater’ Stallings (31st in FedEx Cup Points)(29th on the Money List)

Tomorrow, Stallings enters the 2011 PGA playoffs at The Barclays.  Here are some thoughts and experiences coping with the ups and downs of his new found success.

2. Bayside Cubs (56-72)(5th in NL Central)

Good news: Jim Hendry has been relieved of his duties as the Cubs GM, finally.
Bad news: The Cubs are a disaster of talent and unprofessionalism, right now.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Zach Attack)

Yes, that was an obscure reference. And no, Zach Randolph was not involved in the brutal assault of a man innocently looking for a fair priced marijuana dealer.

4. Tennessee Titans (Time-out)

Mark my words, Chris Johnson will get his blockbuster contract from the Titans soon. The only question now is, will he hold out or play while waiting for it. Time-in!

5. Final Block (Titan Thursday)

Be sure to check out the extra post tomorrow, Titan Thursday!

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Titan Tuesday – Rookies vs. St. Louis Rams

August 23rd, 2011 | 1 comment

After each preseason game, Titan Tuesday will give grades to each Titan rookie based upon their performance, progress, and potential for making the final roster.

Jake Locker (8 for 18, 82 yards, INT; 1 carry for 9 yards) (C+)
Locker is a completely different passer out of the pocket, than in it.  Fortunately, the INT was simply a rookie mistake.  He needs to improve his throwing under pressure.

Akeem Ayers (No tackles) – (B)
Ayers should not assume the starting LB spot is reserved for him.  Gerald McRath is lurking behind him and he needs to showcase himself in the final preseason games.

Jurrell Casey (3 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss) – (C+)
It is becoming clearer that Casey is better as a pass-rusher than run-stopper. He had 2 TFL this week, but look for the Titans to use him in the nickel alongside Klug. 

Colin McCarthy (3 tackles, sack) – (C)
McCarthy had a sack late in the game, but was also out of control on a punt block drawing a penalty.  He has to be able to play special teams to make the roster.

Jamie Harper (11 carries for 83 yards, TD; reception for 24 yards) – (B-)
Harper is looking less like LenDale White and more like the compliment back Chris Johnson needs.  It was nice seeing him put his down at the end of this long run.

Karl Klug (No tackles) – (B-)
Like Ayers, Klug was a ghost in his second preseason game, making little impact.  Klug could start in the nickel package, but only if he proves more disruptive.

Byron Stingily – (D)
Against Robert Quinn (Rams 2011 1st round pick), Stingily held his own for some plays.  On others, he was flagged for a false start and beat badly with a good spin.

Zach Clayton (Tackle, Pass deflection) – (D)
Clayton’s best play was also the play he was injured, shedding his blocker and stuffing an inside run.  The DT backfield is crowded, he has to heal and play to stay.

Tommie Campbell (2 tackles)– (D)
Campbell had several special team plays and is a special athlete with a shot to make the final 53-man roster.  But, talent will not be enough.  He has to make plays.

Rookie grades vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Win the Crowd…

August 22nd, 2011 | 1 comment

The NFL Lockout recently provided me a great opportunity to hangout with some Tennessee Titans as they were working out at Father Ryan High School.

In these visits, I saw players that loved their jobs enough to workout without pay and enjoyed hobbies like golf, basketball, or playing Call of Duty on xBOX Live.

On one occasion, a Father Ryan senior bounded up to Titan corner, Cortland Finnegan, and shared a hug.  The senior was a cancer survivor Finnegan and Titan teammate, Ryan Mouton, had visited in the hospital last season.

Sadly, this story was only covered locally.

While this story, received national attention.

Cortland Finnegan is known for being a dirty player.  Not a gentle, brotherly figure.
A hothead that walked out on his teammates. Not a leader that arranged workouts.

When perception meets reality, truth is rarely the product.

For this reason, pro athletes must manage their public perception with the greatest of care, including on-field behavior, interviews, social media, and fan interaction.  Because neglecting these opportunities can reduce future ones.

I believe [one of the reasons], Tiger Woods is having difficulty restoring his legacy because winning tournaments was more important than winning the crowd.  Now Woods is scrambling to win anything, because without winning, he has nothing.

The opposite is also true. 

The legacies of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are seldom questioned.
Why?  Because they earned that freedom in public perception a long time ago.

Each week, Lead Block athletes are challenged and equipped to capitalize on opportunities to earn freedom from public perception.  Become a part of this mentoring community and click ABOUT to find out more.


Be sure to check out the extra post this week, Titan Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Red – Football is Back

August 19th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Football is Back

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. Vick’s Pick
Courtesy of Doug Farrar and Yahoo! Sports

The route to Vick’s redemptive path was allegedly chosen for him with a little help from the NFL.  Regardless, this should not affect giving Vick the credit he deserves.

2. Madden-ness, I say
Courtesy of Matthew J. Darnell and Yahoo! Sports

As a part of Madden-Nation and a firm believer in the uncanny accuracy of this EA game to rate NFL players, the knee jerk overvaluing of Jamaal Charles is frustrating.

3. Football is Back
Courtesy of NFL.com

In honor of football’s return, here are the Top 10 plays from the NFL preseason openers.  Jake Locker makes the list with his own version of the fumblerooski.

 

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Weekly Block – Dollars and Sense

August 17th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Dollars and Sense

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott Stallings (30th in FedExCup Points)(29th on the Money List)

Stallings is choosing to take the week off and visit a place he does not often get to see.  Home.  Sometimes money and success change people, thankfully not Scott.

2. Chicago Cubs (54-69)(5th in NL Central)

Carlos Zambrano had a big weekend. And by big weekend, I mean he imploded on and off the field. It is nice to see some remorse, but make no mistake, Big Z is gone.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Cheap Seats)

Scraping together enough for a Weekly Block segment about the Grizzlies will soon be harder than affording Grizzlies tickets next season. If there is a next season.

4. Tennessee Titans (CJ2Ka-ching)

Uh, oh.  Chris Johnson’s holdout just took a turn for the worst. The man makes dollars, not sense. (sigh) At least the 2011 Titans rookie class looks promising.

5. Final Block (Dollars and Sense)

Charles Robinson dropped the equivalent of a nuclear strike on the University of Miami athletic program and really the entire collegiate sports system, quite frankly.

Sure, every sports fan and media outlet in the country had suspicions.  We all secretly feared that our beloved Alma mater was guilty of some infractions.  But not…

“…cash [to players], prostitutes, entertainment [in a school booster’s] multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.” -Courtesy of Charles Robinson

It is not just at the University of Miami, Ohio State, USC, and Tennessee.
It is not just in the Big-10, Pac-12, SEC, and Big-12 Conferences.
It is not just in the football, basketball, and baseball programs.

Did you know, the NCAA has punished 53 of 120 universities in the 2000s? 

Half.

The collegiate sports system is broken.

Exploitation of young athletes is not good business. And it is certainly not something that should be sacredly celebrated on Saturday afternoons across the country.

Be a part of the solution and partner with The Lead Block, an organization that actually gives young athletes the respect and accountability they deserve.  We strictly follow all TSSAA and NCAA guidelines, ensuring compliance for everyone involved.

And each player sponsored receives personal mentoring, a plan for their future, and vital real-life experience.  Find out more about how you can get involved!

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Titan Tuesday – Rookies vs. Minnesota Vikings

August 16th, 2011 | 3 comments

After each preseason game, Titan Tuesday will give grades to each Titan rookie based upon their performance, progress, and potential for making the final roster.


Jake Locker – (B)
Composure under pressure, best describes Locker’s highlight-filled performance.  He is accurate and elusive out of the pocket.  Still, he misses too many open targets.

Akeem Ayers – (A-)
Ayers is quite possibly the most exciting of the Titan rookies and made several nice plays.  This linebacker could give Von Miller a run for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Jurrell Casey – (C)
Casey chases the ball well for a defensive tackle and good things (fum rec) happen to players that hustle.  Still, he is getting pushed around too much for a run-stopper.

Colin McCarthy – (C+)
McCarthy looks knowledgeable calling the defense and should be an interesting project/depth option behind Barrett Ruud.  Rennie Curran will challenge for this spot.

Jamie Harper – (C+)
Harper is athletic and powerful, but still a little too timid.  He did show progress throughout the game.  He will have to put his head down to hold off Stafon Johnson.

Karl Klug – (B+)
Klug is already playing better than holdover Jovan Haye and Sen’Derrick Marks, but he still has his work cut out for him.  His constant motor will is an asset to his cause.

Byron Stingily – (C-)
Stingily played with the third-string offense, meaning he will be battling to stay on the roster.  He will have to beat out Troy Kropog and Kevin Matthews to stay around.

Zach Clayton – (C)
Yes, it was against the Minnesota Vikings third-string offense, but a sack is a sack.  It is also a great way for a seventh-round defensive tackle to make an impression.

Tommie Campbell – (C-)
An offside penalty on the kickoff team is not exactly the way a seventh-round pick wants to start the preseason.  But his size and athleticism are apparent on the field.

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