Despite having reservations about fit, Cardinals still expected to pursue Kolb
Despite Monday’s report by Scout.com that said the coaching staff has concerns about whether or not he’s a fit in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense, the Cardinals are still expected to pursue quarterback Kevin Kolb if/when he becomes available if/when the lockout lifts.
From the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers:
*Whenever they are able, the Cardinals will pursue a trade for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb. Kolb had highs and lows last season, but if you are looking for reasons to be excited about him, check out this highlight video of his game against the Falcons. He completed 23 of 29 for 326 yards and three touchdowns against good defense.
Kolb is considered a prototypical West Coast offense quarterback and Whisenhunt’s system involves more downfield throws, which is where the supposed concern comes in from Arizona’s coaching staff. Also, Kolb only averaged 6.46 per pass attempt in his five starts in 2010.
But Somers knows his stuff and is an excellent beat writer, so I would be more inclined to believe him over Scout.com if I were a Cardinals fan. There are going to be concerns no matter which quarterback (Kolb, Marc Bulger, Kyle Orton or whomever) the Cardinals wind up acquiring this offseason. But there’s little doubt that Kolb represents an upgrade over John Skelton and besides, the Cardinals’ coaching staff doesn’t have final say anyway. The final decision on whether or not to acquire Kolb will ultimately be made by GM Rod Graves.
Your quick & dirty NBA Finals preview
The Finals start tonight (9 PM ET, ABC) and there seems to be a feeling of dread emanating throughout NBA fans around the country, as the Miami Heat get ready for the final hurdle in their quest for a title that started in earnest last summer with LeBron’s Decision.
One Celtic fan I know is angry because his team is about to fall off a cliff, and Miami’s Big 3 are poised to control the East for the foreseeable future. One Laker fan I know doesn’t want to see LeBron win a title because it somehow tarnishes Kobe’s legacy (i.e. it happened on his watch). When he isn’t worrying about LeBron, he’s scratching his head thinking about the Mike Brown hire. One Bulls fan I know is wishing that his team had done a little more to shore up the two guard position after watching Kyle Korver shoot 29% from long range against the Heat. He thinks that perhaps the Bulls should have blown Ray Allen away with an offer when he was briefly available as a free agent last summer.
One thing all three have in common is that they’re rooting for the Mavs, even if it means pulling for a team owned by Mark Cuban.
But Dallas is the underdog for two reasons: 1) The Heat have three of the four best players in the series, and 2) Miami has home court advantage.
It’s going to be tough to overcome both, but the Mavs are playing great basketball right now and definitely have a shot to win the series. But they’re going to have to find success in two areas if they’re going to pull the upset:
1. Dirk Nowitzki must find a way to score efficiently.
Against Miami during the regular season, Dirk shot 17-for-44 from the field (39%) and averaged 24.0 points per game in two Dallas wins. If he continues to shoot less than 40% from the field, it’s going to be tough for the Mavs to win. It will be interesting to see who the Heat decide to use to defend Nowtzki. LeBron is an obvious choice and with his athleticism and quickness, he is likely to give Dirk some problems. The Heat could also use Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, but Dirk would have the advantage on both.
2. The Mavs’ bench has to make an impact.
The Heat’s stars are a lot better, but Dallas is deeper. They bring Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic, Brandon Haywood and J.J. Barea off the bench, and those guys really deliver offensively, but can they keep up with the Heat defensively? I asked ESPN’s John Hollinger about this in today’s chat, and this is what he said:
“It’s going to be difficult. The strength of Dallas’ bench is against other benches, but Miami’s bench hardly plays because LeBron, Wade and Bosh are all going 40-plus a night. And Dallas’ bench guys are weak defenders who will have a very hard time matching up defensively. I think that’s the key to the series, how those guys can line up.”
The Heat are playing their best basketball of the season and Hollinger argues that has nothing to do with being able to close games at a higher level. He feels that the Heat are able to go from good in the regular season to great in the playoffs because they have the luxury of playing three superstars in their prime 40+ minutes every night.
This makes sense. To stop the Miami juggernaut, Dirk is going to have to continue to superstar-level basketball and Dallas is going to have win the X-factor battle at least four times in the next seven games.
My pick: Heat in 7.
Should Pryor apply for the NFL supplemental draft?
With the future of Terrelle Pryor’s career at Ohio State in doubt, there’s speculation that he could apply for the NFL supplemental draft this year.
On Tuesday, an NFL official told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the supplemental draft would be held sometime in July – as long as there are applicants, that is.
“So far, there have been no applicants,” a league official told ESPN. “If there is one, the supplemental draft would be held mid-to-late July, no later than 10 days before the first training camp opens.”
A total of 45 players have been selected in the NFL supplemental draft since its inception in 1977. The supplemental draft is intended for players who missed the filing deadline for the annual NFL draft or had issues that affected their college eligibility. (You know, like if some player swapped championship memorabilia for tattoos or were given the opportunity to ride around in cars they never paid for.)
In order to be eligible for the supplemental draft, players have to be out of high school for at least three years. That’s obviously not a problem for Pryor, who is heading into his senior season at Ohio State. Teams then submit picks to the league and if their bid is the highest, they receive the player but lose the corresponding draft pick the following year. So in other words, if the Dolphins took Pryor in the third round this year, they’d forfeit their third round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Seeing as how Ohio State and the NCAA are investigating whether or not Pryor received cars and extra benefits during his playing days as a Buckeye, now might be the time for him to jet off to the NFL. There’s no guarantee of course that he’ll be taken in the supplemental draft, but he may wind up being suspended for the entire 2011 college season. If that happens, he’ll have to wait an entire year to see if some team will take a flier on him in the 2012 NFL Draft, which seems highly unlikely.
If Pryor did apply for the supplemental draft, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for Ohio State. He has already been suspended for the first five games of the season and with Jim Tressel resigning on Monday, the program doesn’t need this Pryor investigation hanging over its head all year. Granted, just because he’s gone doesn’t mean the university or the NCAA will halt their investigation, but at least from a media standpoint, Pryor wouldn’t be around.
Ohio State has enough on its plate then to worry about the constant stream of questions from the media regarding Pryor’s eligibility in 2011.
Hanley Ramirez says pain in lower back and upper leg is “worst he’s ever felt”
Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets the pain in Hanley Ramirez’s lower back and upper left leg is “the worst he has ever felt” in his life.
For example, Ramirez said he can’t even put his shoes on. That’s no good. The 27-year-old has tried to play through the lingering back pain, which helps explain his uncharacteristic .210/.306/.309 batting line to begin the season. The Marlins haven’t mentioned anything about a potential DL-stint, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he missed a few days this week, at the very least.
Maybe it is time for Ramirez to make a trip to the DL. I remember when he was working out in the offseason and seemed to have a renewed sense of pride in his craft. Now he’s in the midst of his worst season as a professional and if he’s hurt, then pressing isn’t going to help the issue.
Of course, fantasy owners have a real dilemma on their hands. If you drafted him and haven’t dealt him yet, then you’re probably not going to get fair value for him right now unless other owners in your league haven’t been paying attention to his injury situation. At this point, it might be best to ride it out provided that you have other options. If you can pick up someone like Alex Gonzalez, Ryan Theriot or Jason Bartlett in the meantime, maybe Ramirez’s situation will eventually play itself out.
Or, if he is in a ton of pain and you think this is going to be an issue all season, then nobody would fault you for bailing now and seeing what you can get in a trade (assuming you don’t play in a keeper league). But if it were me, I’d be patient. This is a career .307 hitter we’re talking about here. One would think he will turn it around eventually.
Ohio State, NCAA to investigate Terrelle Pryor
According to 10 TV News in Ohio, the NCAA and Ohio State University have opened a separate investigation into quarterback Terrelle Pryor and whether he received cars and extra benefits as a Buckeye. This news comes on the heels of head coach Jim Tressel’s resignation on Monday.
Records obtained by 10 Investigates showed that Pryor owns a 2006 Dodge Charger. However, video taken by 10 Investigates showed Pryor entering a 2009 Dodge Challenger with dealer license plates, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reported.
The 2009 vehicle was tracked to Auto Direct, located at 2300 E. Dublin-Granville Rd.
NCAA rules prohibit players from getting free access to cars because of their status as players.
10 Investigates spotted Pryor in the performance car from late March through mid-April at his home, around Columbus and at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where the football team practices.
Traffic tickets showed that Pryor was pulled over at least three times in the past several years, driving cars that belonged to dealerships, Aker reported.
One of the vehicles was a GMC Denali that belonged to car salesman Aaron Kniffin. In the past, Kniffin and Pryor denied any wrongdoing involving the vehicle. Kniffin recently told 10 Investigates that he gave Pryor the Denali because he wanted to trade his Hyundai and planned to take the Denali to Pennsylvania to show his mother.
The story goes on from there but you get the point: Pryor is in deep trouble here. His career as a Buckeye is certainly in doubt and while we can only speculate what the fallout will be from this NCAA investigation, there’s reason to believe that Pryor has taken his last snap at OSU.
It seems pretty clear from these reports that Pryor was receiving more than just free tattoos. I’m sure it’s like this for other major college programs across the nation, but that doesn’t matter. Ohio State has gotten caught and they’re the ones in the spotlight right now. You get the feeling that things are only going to get worse for the Buckeyes before they get better.