As of last night, Mike Teel remains on a NFL roster, and Graham Harrell and Chase Daniel do not. The CFL awaits. That pretty much says it all, right?
The spread offense not only distorts evaluations of how quarterbacks will project to the pros, it actively retards their development. Pirate Captain Mike Leach be damned; Harrell and Daniel are marginal natural talents. It was frankly insulting to Teel to even consider them to be on the same level as pro prospects; much less see the two spread products as Teel's superiors. What Teel was doing under center in Piscataway was far more complex, and most viewers lacked the context to properly recognize how difficult his tasks were. He could have thrown for 5,000 yards in a spread, with last year's receiving corps. Doesn't excuse his bad start, but does put it in perspective, somewhat.
In other pro news, the Seahawks decided to part with Courtney Greene, although he could end up with another team's roster, or a practice squad. I think they made a mistake in jettisoning a player who could start for them down the line. You wonder if his knee injury made a difference. What I really didn't get was how the Seahawks could keep Brian Russell, truly one of the worst players in the NFL, over Greene. That part of the mystery was solved, when the team ended up adding veteran Lawyer Milloy.
Brian Leonard and Eric Foster survived cutdowns, and in retrospect, both may not have been in as much danger as media reports suggested. Cutting DeMarcus Faggins ended up being a good sign for Jason McCourty, who made the Titans. Brandon Renkart made the Jets. As expected, the Packers cut Porter, and the Jaguars chopped Underwood and Stephenson, who could return on their practice squad too. The only minor surprise was that the Texans cut Clark Harris.
Anyway, I'll try to keep up with any more news on that front over the coming days, with NFL teams putting the final touches on their rosters. I'm pushing the more topical stuff to tomorrow morning. That's also when you should see my post about Jamaal Westerman at The Fifth Down. With Calvin Pace serving a four-game suspension, the Jets are looking for a starting OLB, with the candidates being Westerman and Vernon Gholston. It's remarkable that Westy has actually looked better in camp and preseason, but probably will start out as the second option there. Maybe neither ends up being any great shakes, but this could at least be a redux of what happened with Dave Brown and Kent Graham.
In other games of note from yesterday, the Al Groh era at UVA is all but over after a harrowing loss to William & Mary. It was a surprise to see Duke lose to Richmond as well. I'd put the latter loss more along the lines of Temple's loss to Nova. I still like Al Golden and David Cutcliffe as coaches, they'll bounce back just like Rutgers did in 2004. But, the problem with RU hypothetically scheduling a Duke is that their program isn't on a very strong foundation, and will probably fall back when Cutcliffe does leave. It's been a bad couple of days for aspiring BE members, with Temple falling, and UCF/ECU looking rather shoddy.
The other contest that stood out was Cal blowing out Maryland, who looked just as weak as expected on both lines. Cal was crowding in the box, justly unscared of the Terp passing attack, but how does the Fridge not give Da'Rel Scott more carries? The Cal offense was firing on all cylinders, with their dominant rushing attack setting up the pass. Things could be looking up in College Park for the Knights in a couple weeks.
Wow, the bloggers sure were wrong on Illinois, right?
I also want to briefly touch on UConn/Ohio. The Huskies are pretty much who we thought they were. Spread be damned, UConn is going to run the football. Now, Randy Edsall is a good coach, who wins his share of ugly games. They're underrated again, and will steal a few more. Don't draw too much from that close victory. The UConn game scares the hell out of me. However, there's no doubt that Rutgers has the better roster this year. Doesn't mean they'll win, but RU has far more talent, especially on offense. The offseason complaint out of Storrs wa that there wasn't a meaningful distinction between Rutgers and UConn this year. That is pure nonsense.