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anyone with a subscription, could you please post kiper's and mcshay's most recent mock draft? i know they are tools, but could someone post them regardless?

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Bills to trade back into first for Tebow?

9:51

AM ET

Buffalo Bills Top Email

 

The wait's almost over as we head toward the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, and last week we considered whether the Buffalo Bills would go whaling with their first pick and take Bryan Bulaga, the OT from Iowa.

 

In this week's edition of "Sunday at the Post," Michael Lombardi of National Football Post wrote that he's been hearing the Bills will, in fact, take an offensive tackle with their opening pick at No. 9 overall. Unsurprising, given the need and the talent available. But what is surprising is Lombardi's other assertion, that the Bills are interested in Tim Tebow and "might have to move to the bottom of the first to be in position to get him." Two key things here. First, saying the team "might have to move" into the back-end of the first round is obviously quite different than saying they "might move" to the back-end of the first round. There's no insinuation that the Bills will definitely be making the trade. But the second insinuation here is that Lombardi believes -- as some other pundits now argue -- that Tebow will be a first-round draft pick.

 

If that second point proves true -- that multiple teams want Tebow badly enough to either use their first-rounder or trade back into the round to grab him -- the final ten picks could be very exciting on Thursday. As for the fit for Tebow on the Bills, we have argued in the past that Bills coach Chan Gailey will need an athletic QB under center if he chooses to use his spread offense in Buffalo, and Tebow is certainly athletic.

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He's talking about the rumor concerning Jason Taylor, scroll down the page a little bit, it's there.

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Jason Taylor | Dolphins | Interested: Jets?

 

 

1245.jpgAccording to a tweet from the Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington, Jason Taylor was leaving the country on Thursday, and will not make a decision on the Jets' offer until his return. Literally, he has become an International Man of Mystery. But Darlington reports that Taylor will return to the States on Monday, and it's likely he'll make a decision between then and the draft. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter thinks the Jets will nab him: "Before all is said and done, it sure sounds like Jason Taylor is going to wind up as a NY Jet," he tweeted on Thursday.

Our speculation on this one has always been that the only thing holding back the signing is Taylor's expected level of participation in the offseason program, and also the way he's perceived by the Dolfans; if he can make it look like Miami doesn't want him, they won't be that upset with him. With the team cancelling a previously-scheduled meeting between Taylor and coach Tony Sparano last week, public scorn might already have shifted to the front office.

 

williamson_matt_30.jpgMatt Williamson

 

Taylor could be a strong veteran presence

"If New York is able to land Taylor, who played quite well this past season as both a pass-rusher and in run defense, its outside linebacker position will feature four former first-round picks in Taylor,
,
and fellow starter
. Of course, Gholston has not approached what was expected of him when the Jets selected him, but having around a professional who has had as much experience on this level as Taylor could help out a great deal."

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Barry Zito is 4-0 after shutting down Colorado on Friday, Henry Schulman writes.

Through the course of a year, I'll do about a half-dozen sessions with college students at different schools, and invariably, some version of this question will be asked: Why don't high-priced baseball players care more?

And the answer will be some version of this: Most of them really do care. And Barry Zito could be Exhibit A.

The instant he signed his seven-year deal with the Giants, the $126 million in his deal was guaranteed. All he needed to do to get his money thereafter was show up. But when he went to work in 2007, the first year of the deal, it started to go badly for him, right away. His velocity was down, and he considered altering his mechanics to make up for the loss of power, and he switched back.

Zito posted a 4.53 ERA in his first year with the Giants, and it got worse from there. Zito lost 17 games in 2008, and after his second start in 2009, his ERA was 10.00. Scouts were reporting that his fastball was in the low 80s, and the feeling within the industry was that in order to find success again, Zito would have to become a Jamie Moyer-like left-hander, pitching precisely -- and that was something that he really hadn't done before. He wasn't regarded as a pitcher with touch-and-feel command.

Zito could have shut it down emotionally; undoubtedly, other players have. I once covered a veteran with a significant guaranteed contract who didn't bother coming to the park during his time on the disabled list. He just didn't care about his teammates that much.

But Zito has always cared, and he has always worked to make adjustments, and lo and behold, he has become a Jamie Moyer-like left-hander, doing more with less, keeping hitters off balance. His time with the Giants will never be exactly what he or the team envisioned when he signed his contract, but Zito should always get credit for trying to make it work. And now it is working.

Why Zito won Friday, from John Parolin of ESPN Stats & Information:

A) Rockies hitters went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts against his curveball. In five starts this season, Zito has not allowed a hit with the curveball. (Batters are 0-for-35 with 11 strikeouts against it.)

B) He threw 38 pitches inside, getting hitters to miss on 41.7 percent of them.

C) He finished off batters when getting two strikes; the Rockies were 1-for-15 in those situations.

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I only posted the Zito/Giants related part of the article because I'm assuming all you cared about... but if you want the rest of it just let me know.

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What to make of the Buster Posey call-up

 

The San Francisco Giants' phenom arrived with a flourish, and had three RBIs, Henry Schulman writes. He added a spark, Andrew Baggarly writes.

Posey is in the big leagues now, and if his first game is any indication, he's going to help the Giants this season. But the organization's handling of Posey over the last year makes no sense; when you look back on everything that has been done and said, it looks like a series of spur-of-the-moment decisions, rather than a script from some well-thought-out plan.

Audible No. 1: Posey was summoned to the big leagues in middle of last September, which meant that his service-time clock started -- and then down the stretch, he barely played, getting just 17 at-bats. Posey's debut was very solid, but the process leading to it was flummoxing.

Audible No. 2: The Giants did not go headlong in their pursuit of Bengie Molina at the outset of the offseason, partly because of Posey's standing as the catcher of the future. But when Molina dropped into their laps at a price tag they liked, they made their move -- which meant blocking their best prospect at the position for which he was drafted.

Audible No. 3: The Giants played Posey at first base in spring training, to get a look -- and he absolutely thrived. "He's their best offensive player," one rival evaluator said midway through camp. "With that bat speed, I'd find a way to keep that guy."

The Giants sent Posey to the minors to start the year to work on his catching.

Audible No. 4: Posey was doing well in average and on-base percentage in the minors, leading to a lot of speculation near the end of April that perhaps the light-hitting Giants would promote the catcher. But on May 9, Giants general manager Brian Sabean slapped down all of that -- forcefully -- saying that Posey was "still learning how to catch. Some of that is game calling. Some of that is the consistency that he'll need as, we hope, an offensive catcher." It was a very rare case of a club executive downplaying the performance of a team's top prospect.

Most teams will delay the promotion of their best young prospects until the beginning of June, in order to avoid a situation in which the player is eligible for arbitration, as a so-called Super Two. For the Giants, however, this option was not possible for Posey in 2010 -- because the player accrued service time when the team summoned him to the big leagues at the end of 2009.

Audible No. 5: Three weeks after Sabean's statement that Posey wasn't ready, and two months after the Giants opened their season without Posey working at other positions, they promoted him to the big leagues. Which raises several questions:

1. If the Giants were willing to use Posey at positions other than catcher, why didn't they do that at the end of spring training?

2. If the Giants think their catcher of the future is still learning how to catch, why did they move him to first base?

3. Why didn't the Giants just wait another month, until Posey was out of the Super 2 arbitration class, before promoting him -- or, more to the point, why did they promote him last year and then not play him?

Regardless of all that, though, he's here, and it looks as if he's going to help the Giants.

Bengie Molina's playing time is safe for now, however.

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For anyone who wants insider, you can find really cheap ESPN Mag subscriptions online. I got mine for $4 a year.

 

Also, if you want a good read on the Posey call up, you should check out Hardball Talk, http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/giants-call-up-buster-posey.html.php. The blog is one of the best baseball ones I've seen

Edited by theglobalcowboy
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Can anyone with an insider account please post Bruce Feldman's article on strength training facilities in college football?

 

Thanks

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What's the best way to gauge top weight rooms around the country? I ended up consulting a group of NFL scouts, college administrators (who had toured many facilities as they tried to get ideas for their own upgrades) and some well-traveled coaches for today's top-10 list.

 

1. Texas Longhorns:

What Jerryworld is to head-turning stadiums, that's what the Al-Rashid Strength Complex has been to college weight rooms. The room, named for Saudi Arabia native and UT graduate Dr. Nasser I. Al-Rashid, is 20,000 square feet and includes a 70-yard turf straight-away for timing and conditioning. More than half of the people I spoke to for this began their list with Texas.

 

 

2. LSU Tigers:

The Tigers' program has a legacy going back more than 50 years to the days of pioneering strength coach Alvin Roy. LSU's facility (aka "The Complex"), unlike that of a lot of other big-time programs, is for football only. One source praised it for the graphics and coloring of the complex, talking about the great energy of the facility. Another pointed out that the setup is smart in that it also opens up to their indoor facility.

 

3. Nebraska Cornhuskers:

One of the sources I spoke to said he suspects if you spoke to 100 people who had toured the top weight rooms, most would put Nebraska's at No. 1, ticking off a series of reasons for its prime spot: two levels. Spacious. Great equipment. Great flow, from the cardio area to the Olympic area. The setup is only going to get better with former NU star Ndamukong Suh's $2 million donation to the program.

 

4. Alabama Crimson Tide:

An NFL scout who canvasses the SEC named Alabama's as the best weight room he's seen. Like that of Texas and a few others, the Tide's facility is about 20,000 square feet. For more on the Tide's training program, check out this Matt Siracusa story from earlier this month.

 

[+] Enlarge

Jim Sigmon/UT Athletics

This is where the Longhorns go to do work. It's among the best in the land.

5. Oklahoma Sooners:

The Sooners' facility was one of the most impressive around when I visited it a few years back, but I'm told it has really been upgraded since former OU star Roy Williams donated to his alma mater for a football-only training space.

 

6. Florida Gators:

Renovated in 2008, the Gators' 25,000-square foot complex is as big as any. It also includes a 50-yard turf area.

 

7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish:

The entire Notre Dame campus is just impressive, and its football hub -- the Gug -- is no different. Check out Pat Forde's piece earlier in the week on ND's program and strength coach.

 

8. Oregon Ducks:

"With all of the effort this school puts on its uniforms, you don't think they wouldn't do everything possible to be state-of-the-art in facilities," said one source who raved about the Ducks' training environment. Earlier this spring, the state approved a plan to step things up even more.

 

9. Kansas Jayhawks:

Hearing about the Jayhawks' setup surprised me. KU spent $8 million on the Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center, and the reviews are very favorable. "The size, flooring, flow of the place is just very, very nice," a source said. "It is impressive."

 

It certainly sounds like it, based on this Jim Catalano story:

 

The two-story design of the Anderson Center has an especially effective plyometric-training area: a 20-yard indoor "hill," which consists of a ramp rising from a 37- to a 45-degree grade, plyometric steps that are filled with shredded tire, and a row of stadium-like steps. Inspired by a similar outdoor facility designed by Istvan Javorek, Strength Coach at Johnson County Community College, the area enables the Jayhawks to do resistance training, rehab, and hill training.

 

10. Pittsburgh Panthers:

The Panthers share the sprawling UPMC Sports Performance Center with the Pittsburgh Steelers; the place is almost always touted by anyone who has visited a lot of college strength and conditioning setups.

 

Around college football

• Are football staffs too big for their own good? That's been a hot topic in a lot of places lately, and the NCAA's Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet has proposed legislation that would curb the number of noncoaching staff members with responsibilities specific to several high-profile sports. The key change for major college football would be limiting non-coaching staff dedicated to football teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision to four:

 

Cabinet chair Petrina Long, senior associate athletics director at UCLA, said the proposals were especially timely, considering the June 17 release of a report from the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics calling for a similar reduction. "The membership has made it clear that there continues to be a proliferation of these noncoaching staff members," Long said. "Our survey also was clear, with more than 80 percent indicating that growth should be limited. The cabinet felt like we were justified in putting something before the membership."

 

The issue is often one of competitive equity. Schools without the funding to hire as many people to help with duties such as arranging travel or keeping statistics must assign those responsibilities to assistant coaches. Because the proliferation of those types of positions is concentrated in football and basketball, the cabinet addressed those sports with its initial proposals. Long cautioned that these three proposals are likely not the end of the cabinet's work in this area.

 

• One of the changes at USC since the NCAA sanctions came down a few weeks ago is that the media is no longer allowed to attend USC summer camps. Only parents of campers may watch. What's interesting here is that many top schools draw big-name talent to their camps not only for the competition, but also for the exposure they can get nationally from the reporters who use it as a de facto recruiting camp.

 

• Top-100 recruit DaVaris Daniels, the son of longtime NFL DE Phillip Daniels, is an athletic young wide receiver from the Chicago area. He had planned to have a news conference to announce his college choice. However, on the eve of that, a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about how Daniels was going to commit to Miami and wrote that his choice was driven by the fact that Daniels was "unable to qualify academically for admission" at Notre Dame.

 

The younger Daniels ended up canceling the news conference, and someone claiming to be Phillip Daniels jumped on the comments section of the story taking issue with the reporter. Keith Arnold, who covers the ND beat, wrote that something seemed "fishy" to him about the story that academics was the main reason why Daniels wasn't going to ND:

 

True, admissions will never allow every prospective student-athlete to attend Notre Dame, but you'd think that this early in the tenure of Brian Kelly and the transition in the admissions office with Dan Saracino departing, that Notre Dame wouldn't offer someone that wasn't going to be admitted to school. Even more importantly, not every kid is fully qualified by the end of their junior year in high school, and Notre Dame will work with student-athletes to get qualified before Signing Day.

 

Then there is the Georgia side of this story, which Chip Towers points out:

 

Meanwhile, Daniels' recruitment by his father's alma mater remains somewhat of a mystery. What is known is that the Bulldogs have not offered the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Daniels a scholarship. This is frustrating to Phillip Daniels, who has personally weighed in on it before on the fan forum at UGASports.com.

 

It has been theorized that the Bulldogs -- who are in need of wide receivers -- simply want Daniels to attend a camp so that can get a first-hand assessment. As of this writing Daniels hasn't done that.

 

• Corey Marshall, the country's No. 75-ranked DT prospect, picked Virginia Tech over Virginia but might have some explaining to do once he gets there, Doug Doughty writes:

 

Marshall announced his decision on Comcast Sportsnet during the program "Washington Post Live," that is emceed by Ivan Carter. When Marshall still had four hats in front of him, Carter asked him "which school had the prettiest girls walking on campus?"

 

"Uh, UVa," Marshall said, "No doubt."

 

Marshall kept up the suspense by eliminating two schools -- Michigan and West Virginia -- before Carter advised viewers that the final choice would come at the end of the show. He had more than a dozen Division I-A offers and had eliminated Tennessee earlier in the process.

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12. Sacramento Kings | Future Power Rating: 518

 

PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT

214 (11th) 69 (21st) 143 (3rd) 21 (28th) 71 (8th)

 

 

 

You might be surprised to see the Kings in the top half of the rankings given how the past two years have gone.

The Kings still have several negatives -- a dinosaur of an arena, a tiny market, and a front office that has saddled the team with several bad deals -- but two overwhelming positives have the Kings on the rise.

The first is financial: Sacramento should be well under the cap next year and could be in position to expand its talent base quickly.

The more tantalizing one is the current roster. Sacramento scored DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick in the draft and will pair him with 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans -- meaning it's very possible the Kings somehow got the best player from each of the past two drafts in addition to two other solid contributors in recent drafts, 2009 first-rounder Omri Casspi and 2008 pick Jason Thompson.

We don't know if this is the right organization to keep Evans and Cousins on the straight and narrow, but we do know the team is in a much better position with them on the roster.

(Previous rank: 19)

 

 

 

 

 

HOW FUTURE POWER RATING IS DETERMINED

 

PLAYERS (0 to 400 points): Current players and their potential for the future, factoring in expected departures MANAGEMENT (0 to 200 points): Quality and stability of front office, ownership, coaching MONEY (0 to 200 points): Projected salary-cap situation; ability and willingness to exceed cap and pay luxury tax MARKET (0 to 100 points): Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city's desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans DRAFT (0 to 100 points): Future draft picks; draft positioning

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12. Sacramento Kings | Future Power Rating: 518

 

PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT

214 (11th) 69 (21st) 143 (3rd) 21 (28th) 71 (8th)

 

 

 

You might be surprised to see the Kings in the top half of the rankings given how the past two years have gone.

The Kings still have several negatives -- a dinosaur of an arena, a tiny market, and a front office that has saddled the team with several bad deals -- but two overwhelming positives have the Kings on the rise.

The first is financial: Sacramento should be well under the cap next year and could be in position to expand its talent base quickly.

The more tantalizing one is the current roster. Sacramento scored DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick in the draft and will pair him with 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans -- meaning it's very possible the Kings somehow got the best player from each of the past two drafts in addition to two other solid contributors in recent drafts, 2009 first-rounder Omri Casspi and 2008 pick Jason Thompson.

We don't know if this is the right organization to keep Evans and Cousins on the straight and narrow, but we do know the team is in a much better position with them on the roster.

(Previous rank: 19)

 

 

 

 

 

HOW FUTURE POWER RATING IS DETERMINED

 

PLAYERS (0 to 400 points): Current players and their potential for the future, factoring in expected departures MANAGEMENT (0 to 200 points): Quality and stability of front office, ownership, coaching MONEY (0 to 200 points): Projected salary-cap situation; ability and willingness to exceed cap and pay luxury tax MARKET (0 to 100 points): Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city's desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans DRAFT (0 to 100 points): Future draft picks; draft positioning

 

Arco arena is one of the few things endearing about that team.

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• Corey Marshall, the country's No. 75-ranked DT prospect, picked Virginia Tech over Virginia but might have some explaining to do once he gets there, Doug Doughty writes:

 

Marshall announced his decision on Comcast Sportsnet during the program "Washington Post Live," that is emceed by Ivan Carter. When Marshall still had four hats in front of him, Carter asked him "which school had the prettiest girls walking on campus?"

 

"Uh, UVa," Marshall said, "No doubt."

 

DAMN STRAIGHT

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DAMN STRAIGHT

 

Werent his other offers like WVU and Michigan or something (I follow ACC recruiting way too closely)? If he wanted to see some real talent, JMU is where its at. Thats a trip you should be making regularly.

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