Former Record beatwriter Aditi Kinkhabwala and WRSU's Danny Breslauer were on the 12th Man Rising show on Saturday to talk Mike Teel and Courtney Greene. As you could expect, both Aditi and Danny come off as well-versed on the topic. I listened to the show yesterday; while I would recommend that any readers listen in themselves to hear the full thing, here are a few brief threads that I thought were interesting.
Things started off with Aditi, as all reporters and coaches tend to do, gushing about Teel on a personal level. If you are fortunate enough to spend five minutes around Mike Teel, is your life better for it? I don't like the "Mike Teel was booed against UConn" argument much, as it wasn't solely directed at him. Teel will be the first to say that all that matters is a team's W/L record, but truly the best way to do that is to play well. He had great pocket awareness and made good pre-snap adjustments, and certainly did manage games at points. It's one thing to just hand the ball off thirty times, but Teel's play at points did hurt the team last year.
Nor do I agree that Mike Teel never got a fair shake from fans. He was supremely green in 2005. In 2006, Teel did face some muted criticism, but it was tempered by him being only a sophomore. When he was terrific in the second half that year (barring the Cincy letdown), wasn't pretty much everyone on board with having a franchise QB on our hands for the next two years? In 2007, his mid-season struggles were attributed to a thumb injury, and that's why I took issue with some of the preseason external media criticism of Teel at this time last summer. It wasn't until that stretch in September and October of 2008 before the knives really came out.
Either way, Teel continues to be a divisive topic around these parts. On the whole, he had a good career, despite being too inconsistent and streaky at times. You have to take the good with the bad. Still, it is an awful shame that Rutgers came within inches of winning the Big East conference in two of the past three years, and doesn't have a decent bowl appearance to show for it to this point. Fair or not, everyone will always focus in on a quarterback, and there's undoubtedly some frustration over our recent near misses.
The 12th Man hosts wanted some insight into the 1-5 start last year. Neither brings up the near misses against Fresno throwing off his rhythm, playcalling, or Underwood's drops. There was a discussion about the OL play; it wasn't at the level Rutgers had seen in past years, but the pass protection wasn't awful last year. Of course, indirectly any issues with the running game will impact play action, and that hurts a ton.
Both Aditi and Danny couldn't stop singing the praises of Kenny Britt in response to a listener's question. Aditi thinks that the Giants erred in not taking him. He's, and I quote, "another T.O. without any of the attitude." "Strong, fast, and he loves to hit." A New Jersey caller asked about why Peter King apparently felt the need to slag the Seahawks for taking Teel in the sixth round, and neither thought that there was any personal enmity there.
And now, the question I'm sure that you've all been waiting for with bated breath: what's Aditi's next career move? She's "still in the process", and "hopefully will have some news soon".
There was some talk last year about Greene's conditioning, but I didn't want to speculate about him bulking up or not when I had little to no concrete information on the topic. Both are in a much better position to know about this. Aditi said that he was too bulked up, looking a step slow. Neither brought up the departure of Ron Girault, or the skill sets of Lefeged and Kitchen. The last topic of discussion was about his chance to make Seattle's roster. He's behind Deon Grant and Brian Russell to start, who is probably one of the worst starting players in the NFL. The hosts indicate that Seattle likes another young safety, Jamar Adams, in more of a coverage role; but that certainly leaves and opening for Greene to step in, help in run support, deliver a few big hits, and generate turnovers.
It's a decent way to kill an hour if you're starved for Rutgers football content. And really, what more can you ask for a podcast?