Tim Pernetti wasn't kidding about the pace of expansion. Check out the new pictures, and check everything out in person from 5:30 - 7:30 pm this Sunday at Fan Fest.
Day three of camp meant that the pads came on, but there was still no hitting. It's good to see Sanu and Carrezola working their way back. Multiple beatwriters indicated that there may be depth chart movement today. Luicci has much more on the Martinek/Brooks battle and other intriguing developments, as does Kyle Franko on several other matters. Interesting that Coach Schiano would slag Justin Francis in his comments, when the Targum names Francis as one of several early standouts. Gotta hope Natale and Jefferson keep it up too.
Former walk-on Billy Anderson entered camp as a starting corner, and now we're starting to see some movement at WR, with Marcus Cooper ahead of backups Robinson and Julian Hayes. I know far less about Cooper (and Eddie Poole) than fellow second year players Tim Wright and Keith Stroud. Presumably, what the team needs opposite Timmy Brown is a reliable possession receiver.
One underplayed storyline, kind of, is that everyone's taking for granted that the offensive line will be good. Last year's starters return, they improved down the stretch (especially with run blocking) last year, and were a bright spot in spring practice. When reviewing last year's Pizza Bowl however, I thought that freshman guards Caleb Ruch and Art Forst made several mental mistakes. It's reassuring to read Ruch's vow to improve, and that Coach Flood is emphasizing the value of experience and cohesion with that unit.
Khaseem Greene ceded his spot on the safety two deep to David Rowe for the moment, but that doesn't mean that we won't see articles highlighting his future battles with younger brother Ray Graham now an incoming freshman at Pitt. Make no mistake, Rutgers will be second guessed many times in the future Rocket Williams/Graham debate. Graham is very skilled, and I love his North-South running style.
Ryan D'Imperio was named to the Bednarik watch list.
Coach Trivers (RB, and former HS coach in Maryland) apparently claimed that Joe Lefeged is the second fastest player on the team.
Pretty much the worst case scenario that could have resulted from yesterday's Alamo Bowl reshuffling appears to be in the works.
Should the Big Ten/Gator deal go through, sources say the Big East is prepared to announce a deal that would send its No. 2 team to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. The game previously hosted the Big Ten's No. 4 or 5 team. Notre Dame would be included in the Big East's arrangement, which could be announced by early next week.
I already don't trust Marinatto's competency or qualifications, so I'll hold off on the full meltdown until any deal is announced. If the Gator Bowl fell through because, as rumored, the Big East said no to restoring their pre-2005 arrangement, that would be dangerously stupid. No, Champs is not better than Gator because Orlando is a better location than Jacksonville. The Gator has more prestige, it's a better matchup, and it pays more money. Unless the latter two change for the better, this is an unmitigated disaster. Replacing the Pizza Bowl with the Sun helps, but it's not nearly enough. The #2 BE team would get hosed with merely a Champs bid.
Don't forget that replacing the Alamo Bowl with the Gator makes the Big Ten, the worst of the Big Six conferences by Sagarin and other statistical measures, even more ludicrously overmatched in its bowl slate. But that's what large fanbases happy to buy tickets for mediocre football can do. In the Big East, West Virginia sells tickets, Rutgers is on its way, and it's hard to say what's up with Louisville with Kragthorpe destroying their program. That's why the conference has to ally with Notre Dame for better bowl bids.
I didn't catch the Ravens game last night, but Ray Rice saw a fair bit of action. Yesterday, the AP ran a story on Rice off the field. NFL.com has the highlights. He had a nice, long reception is right at the beginning. L.J. Smith had one nice catch too.
With Kenny Britt back on the practice field, the Nashville papers are starting up again with the Larry Fitzgerald and T.O. comparisons. Just think, only two days before he's swatting off defensive backs like flies at the line of scrimmage. I'm like a thirsty man in the desert after the past eight months of no Britt. Then, there's this too:
The cameras came to see rookie receiver Kenny Britt on Thursday, but it was his teammates who put on the biggest show.
An NFL Films crew watched Britt’s every move for a "Hey Rookie, Welcome to the NFL" segment that will run in coming weeks on ESPN. Britt made a few nice catches on a day full of highlights.
Dave Hutchinson thinks that blocking could be the key to Kevin Brock sticking with the Jets (and that Westy has outplayed Vernon Gholston). On Saturday, look for Brian Leonard to see playing time in short yardage situations and on third down.
Maryland is cutting its football budget to cover a season ticket revenue shortfall. Speaking of rough breaks for the Terps, they were counting on sophomore Dion Armstrong to start at NT this season, and he just left their football team because of academics. They are young and thin in the trenches, and can't afford much attrition.