Archive for November, 2009

Still Has It

Ricky Williams has seen a lot during his nine years in professional football. Before his abrupt retirement in 2004, he was a dominant rusher for the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins. After battling personal issues and marijuana, Williams showed Thursday night that he still has it.

Williams started in place of Ronnie Brown, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday and it was against an opponent which he has had a history of dominating against, the Carolina Panthers. Williams ran for 119 yards on 22 carries and had two touchdowns along with 19 yards receiving and a touchdown, and led Miami to a 24-17 win over the Panthers. With many worried that the Dolphins game would sink, Ricky made one message clear:

“I’m still here and I still have it”

With Williams and rookie Lex Hilliard who made his debut and ran for 24 yards on four carries, it looks like the Dolphins rushing attack will be just fine. If Williams has more consistent and dominant games like he had against Carolina, Miami will be in a great position for the playoffs. They are already surging, and although the injury to Ronnie Brown is devastating, and it kills the wildcat formation, Williams is capable of starting, and will succeed in this role again. He displayed the speed and the brute power of shedding tacklers on his 46 yard run Thurs. night.

After failed drug tests, a suspended season in 2005, a CFL stint, and three stints with the Miami Dolphins, Ricky Williams has been through a lot, but when his number was called to start, he answered, and one thing was perfectly clear:

He still has it.

Advertisements

Thursday Night Football Recap Week 11

Week 11 started off in the Queen City of Charlotte, NC with the Carolina Panthers hosting the Miami Dolphins. Two teams at 4-5 looking to improve their playoff hopes. A great statistic from the NFL Network: 21 of the last 22 seasons, a team that reached 5-5 has went to reach the playoffs.

Miami 24, Carolina 17- In three short days after losing RB Ronnie Brown to the foot injury that landed him on the IR, the Miami Dolphins relied on the legs and power of Ricky Williams, who ran for 119 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns, and he caught a touchdown pass from Chad Henne, and the Miami Dolphins held off the Carolina Panthers 24-17. Williams first score was a 14 yard TD reception from Henne that put Miami up 7-3. Then from the wildcat formation, Williams beat the defense to the pylon for a one yard TD run, and his third touchdown, which was set up by a rollout pass by Chad Henne to Davone Bess on 3rd & 11, was a 46 yard TD run in which he ran over the Panthers like he did many times during his days with the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers got back in the game down 17-6 when Jake Delhomme found Steve Smith for a 27 yard TD pass. Smith had seven catches for 87 yards to go along with the TD. The win was huge for Miami as they stay very much alive in the playoff picture, and the loss was devastating for the Panthers as they had a chance to be 1/2 game out of the wild card spots, but now find themselves 1 1/2 games back and will need a load of help on Sunday to stay well in the picture. Dolphins (5-5) Panthers (4-6)

Next Thursday Recap will be part of the Thanksgiving Triple Header, and TSX will be back on Monday morning for the Sunday games.

Facebook Fan Page

Become a fan of The Sports eXpress on Facebook by going here:

Jauron Gets the Axe

The Buffalo Bills and not the Washington Redskins were the first team to show the coach the door during the regular season, firing Dick Jauron after 3 1/2 seasons with the team. The team was 24-33 under him during his tenure in Buffalo. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was named head coach on an interim basis, but it is apparent that the Bills are trying to find a head coach right away. They have contacted former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan about the vacancy and are really trying to put together some kind of splash in the AFC East.

But it will take more than a coaching change to make this team better.

The Bills offense needs work, and Shanahan is an offensive mind, which is a plus. The starting QB needs to be determined, as Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick are battling for the starting job. This season, the Bills looked more efficient on offense under Fitzpatrick, and judging from Terrell Owens’ latest reaction on the sidelines, Trent Edwards is not the answer (and T.O. will not be back next year). The running game is just not doing what it needs to do as Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch have not produced this season.

The Bills defense has been decent, led by Jairus Byrd and his NFL-leading eight interceptions, and Paul Posluszny at middle linebacker. The disappointment on defense has really been Aaron Maybin, who has been non-existent this season.

How will Perry Fewell fare as a head coach? He started out saying in a brief press conference: “We are who we are”. This clearly means that they are the 3-6 team that has been bad all season. If he wants to win and be a head coach, he has to change the culture, especially if Shanahan doesn’t take the job. This is seven weeks to show that he can be the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. “We are who we are” does not pose well.

For Jauron, it was anticipated that he would lose his job, but it wasn’t anticipated this early. Bills fans wanted him gone, and now they got their wish. Jauron will get a job as a coordinator or assistant, but it is all he probably will get and/or be comfortable with. Aside from one good season in 2001, with the Chicago Bears, it was his ONLY winning season in his career with the Bears and Bills.

Only time will tell on where the Bills go from here. There needs to be structure before anything else can be done. Let Fewell finish the season out, and evaulate the team from there.

Wrong Answer

Allen Iverson wanted to start, the Memphis Grizzlies needed sellouts.

Wrong answer.

The Grizzlies and Iverson parted ways yesterday and it capped off an 0-4 career in a Grizzlies uniform and Memphis really got the short end of the stick because Iverson never played in a single home game, and Michael Heisley did not get to even sell out the FedExForum one time with Iverson there. Both parties are both in the wrong and here’s why.

Heisley thought about the bottom line, plain and simple. He knows that the Grizzlies are a bad team, and he’s losing money in Memphis. He needed his wallet boosted, and why not get a player of Iverson’s caliber? Sure the Grizzlies are loaded with young talent led by Rudy Gay (who did not sign an extension) and O.J. Mayo (who will be looking elsewhere when he gets the chance), but there was no way that this current team was going to generate good revenue. Bringing in Iverson and telling him what he wants to hear so he can sign was wrong on his part.

Iverson might have had selective hearing, or maybe he was told he would start when he arrived. Apparently Lionel Hollins (Grizzlies head coach) did not get that memo, as throughout the four games Iverson played in, he was on the bench. This did not sit well as AI wanted to start, he needed to start. Patience was not in his vocabulary, simply because it was going to be earned, Iverson was on the verge of starting because he was playing lights out. Hollins would have had no choice to start him. The opportunity to be a better teammate was there and to show the contenders that he could BE a team player and get that year in Detroit out of people’s minds went out the window when he took his “leave of absence”. Iverson was wrong for letting his pride and ego get in the way of the team game, and he would never succeed and get a ring on a true contender.

So now there are a couple of contenders that could be interested in the guard, who does have a lot left in the tank, but if he does play for a contender like Cleveland, he has to not let his pride and ego get in the way, as Mo Williams and Anthony Parker are doing their thing for the Cavs, and of course there’s a guy named LeBron. If he REALLY wants to start as he desperately does, the only NBA solution would have to be the New York Knicks. they are bad, and Iverson could be a starter easily. Aside from the Knicks, there really isn’t that many teams he can play for and start and those who would actually WANT him.

Until Iverson can be a team player, and teams sign him for his services and not for JUST dollar signs, any arrangement for him for those reasons will be the wrong answer.

MLB Postseason Awards- Manager of the Year

The MLB Postseason Awards have been dealt out in the past couple of days, and while word awaits on the NL Cy Young Award winner (Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals won the AL Cy Young Award yesterday), we will assess that tomorrow or when the award is announced.

Today, however, the AL and NL Managers of the Year were announced, and the candidates were well deserving of the awards given, but maybe there was a better choice for one of them.

Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was named the American League Manager of the Year today, and although some people may say Joe Girardi should deserve the award after leading the Yankees to 103 wins and their 27th World Series Championship, but look at what Scioscia and the Angels had to endure: They suffered a devastating blow with the death of their future young ace, Nick Adenhart, and after allowing his players time to grieve for their fallen teammate, the Angels used Adenhart’s death as a rallying point and played for him. The end result was a 97-65 record, and their fifth AL West pennant in six years. The awareness of the circumstances was present among the voters, and it was a good job on their part to give Scioscia the award. The award is his second, after winning it the first time following the 2002 World Series ending in the Angels’ only crown.

Jim Tracy of the Colorado Rockies won the National League Manager of the Year in a season where he did not even start out as the manager. After an 18-28 and the Rockies trailing by 14 1/2 games in the NL West, the Rockies fired then-manager Clint Hurdle, and Tracy took over and guided the Rockies to a 74-42 record, and a Wild Card berth in the playoffs, before falling to the Philadelphia Phillies in four games in the National League Division Series. There was no dispute in this voting, as Tracy was the distant winner and becoming the second manager to win the award after taking over a team, joining Jack McKeon of the Florida Marlins in 2003. The same day he won the award, he was awarded with a three-year contract.

Stay tuned throughout the offseason for MLB news on TSX.

The Best & Worst of Week 10

Week 10 is in the books, and since we are on a short week, we have to move quickly to the best and worst of the week, with that said, let’s get into it.

THE BEST

(courtesy: Getty Images) The Indianapolis Colts secondary: The tackle on 4th & 2 is going to live in NFL lore forever. The tackle by Melvin Bullitt and the play of rookies Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey was amazing. They got torched by Tom Brady and Randy Moss, but they showed up when they needed to, which was at the end. Give this unit credit instead of talking about Belichick’s call.

Sidney Rice: Seven catches, 201 yards, and although he had no touchdowns, this is the quietest 200+ yard receiving game that has been on the record of the NFL. Reason why? A guy named Brett Favre and another one named Adrian Peterson. Come on Brett, if you’re going to give this guy a 200+ receiving game, at least give him ONE touchdown.

The Cincinnati Bengals defense: They took Pittsburgh style of defense in Sunday’s game against the Steelers and used it against them. They held Big Ben and the offense to zero touchdowns, and limited them to four Jeff Reed field goals. They only difference in the game was the kickoff return by Bernard Scott, and that difference has put them in the driver’s seat for the AFC North crown.

THE WORST

Steven Hauschka: Not often you are part of the winning team, and on the worst list, BUT after a missed field goal AND a missed extra point, the Ravens have had enough and gave him the boot. Tough week for the kid.

Brady Quinn: Quinn has had a rough go at it lately, but when you get a second chance to resurrect your career and resurrect the worst NFL club this season, you can not throw away the opportunity. But it’s not all Quinn’s fault, as he has virtually no playmakers. As said in the Monday Night Recap, the city of Cleveland deserves so much better than what they have.

The injured: Michael Turner, Jordan Gross, Ronnie Brown, Marc Colombo, Brian Westbrook, Kyle Orton, and many others that went down just made Week 10 the infirmary week. There were tough breaks (literally and figuratively) for them and their teams, and it will be interesting to see how these teams will bounce back from these injuries to their key players.

THE BEST OF THE WORST

Donovan McNabb- McNabb threw for 450 yards and two touchdowns, but the rest of the Eagles offense was too one-dimensional. It seemed like after Westbrook went down with the concussion, the Eagles just abandoned the running game. McNabb is older than his receivers, but there has to be balance in the offense. Use LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver more if you have to, and keep the balance.