Remember that running back who keeps on getting in trouble? Unemployed and waiting like by the phone like the desperate girl on Friday night, Cedric Benson cleared time on his apparently busy drinking calendar to talk with the Statesman this week (full story tomorrow). The Lions took him on a date, said they'd call (don't they all), but never did. So did the Saints, but they didn't want to make a commitment, just fool around. "I never would have thought there'd be a day like this," says the artist formerly known as C-Benz. Of course you didn't, Cedric. Maybe that's the problem. How long have people around him talked about him being an NFL star? Around a decade, perhaps, dating back to his days matriculating in football-obsessed Midland. The result: a guy his defensive teammates tried to injure and a poor work ethic. Benson is still optimistic, however, claiming, "I truly believe the light is going to shine brighter than it's ever shined before." Seems unlikely considering the significant and public damage to his reputation. I wonder if he understands how far from grace he seems to have fallen with NFL teams. Maybe not. To be fair, Benson was probably stoned when he made the comment (something like this).
Go play intramurals, brother. Er, son. My little football addiction problem compelled me to watch the entirety of the WVU-CU game last night, which turned out to be quite entertaining. Even though CU won, I wasn't impressed by Little Hawk. He's just doesn't have the skills to be a good college quarterback. His size is a huge problem in the pocket, where he struggles to get off throws, as is the limp rag he calls his throwing arm. He makes Colt McCoy look positively Cutler-esque. He's most effective on roll outs (you almost have to move the pocket for him), but the arm strength hurts him even there. He would dominate intramurals, though.
Mack Brown Curse, any, D-Scott? The biggest epiphany in the game was the play of diminutive Rodney Stewart, who carried 28 times for 186 yards and repeatedly showed why Darrell Scott hasn't played much. Guy had incredible feet, repeatedly changing direction and fitting into small spaces. Sounds like Fozzy Whittaker, huh? Except with execution instead of potential. Compared to Stewart, Scott looked leaden-footed and slow. And in an homage to the obsession of the Texas coaches over blitz pick-ups, CU almost cost themselves the game on one late play in the red zone. Little Hawk, spotting a defender showing blitz on the outside right, shifted Scott from his left to his right side. Either Scott or the tight end missed their assignment, as Scott went left and the tight end failed to block the blitzer. Staring down the left side, Hawkins never saw the defender and fumbled the ball as he was hit. WVU recovered and a major scoring chance went by the wayside. Game changing. It wasn't the first time that Scott didn't look like he knew what he was doing either.
Avery Bradley love. Good Fran (not Frannypants) has nothing but positive things to say about recent Texas commit Avery Bradley. While the first comparison coming out about Bradley was Russell Westbrook because of a shared defensive prowess, Fraschilla made the comparison to former Arizona stud Jerryd Bayless. With that skill set, it's unlikely the Longhorns will get Bradley for anything more than two seasons, possibly looking at a one-and-done. But for 2009, Bradley could be the catalyst (at the 1 or 2) for a team that will have all the pieces (if Hamilton signs) to compete for a national title. It will be interesting to watch the offensive development of that team because it may or may not have an established point guard (depending on the emergence of Dogus Balbay), but an extremely deep frontcourt. Will the Longhorns channel the fun-and-gun Suns or the current no-run Suns? Hey, at least Rick Barnes is adaptable. Easy to be that way when you don't have run a particular offensive system.
About that Mack. Something of a disagreement broke out in the comment thread to my Morning Coffee report yesterday concerning the treatment of Mack Brown by HornChamps. While I criticized Mack Brown about his comment concerning the running backs, called out Nice Mack, and wonder how much he is to blame (note: that post is not a manifesto, nor is it required reading) for the issues Texas fans have with the offense, I want to make it very clear that I do not dislike Mack Brown. In fact, I really like Mack Brown. It's easy for Horns fans with short-term memories to forget the position of the program when Mack Brown took over. The combination of his coaching and recruiting returned Texas to its rightful place among the nation's elite, which, as numerous Texas coaches proved, is hardly guaranteed. He reached out to Darrell Royal and embraced the program's traditions. He reached out to former players, trying to keep them close to the program. Without his success and the related boost to the athletic department coffers, the beautiful north end zone wouldn't exist. Listening to him talk with Bob and Bucky reminded me how much I like him as a person. Along with Rick Barnes and Augie Garrido, I can't imagine Texas coaches better representing the values I believe in as a sports fan of the University of Texas. Kudos to DeLoss Dodds. They are all excellent coaches, but more importantly, excellent people. Mack Brown is a class act, self-deprecating and always quick to praise Texas high school coaches, which I find amusing. This Afternoon Brewsky is tipped back for Mack Brown. Take a second to think what he has meant to the Texas football program.
We are the Joneses. 54b's excellent post today about his trip to El Paso got me all riled up again. Ironic considering how much I laughed out loud reading it. Note to 54b: you are the shit. Back to my point--We are the Joneses. Do you hear that, UTEP? Let me speak to both UTEP fans here. You are not Texas. The University of Texas at Austin is Texas. We're Texas. UT. You are a system school, like UT-Arlington, UT-San Antonio, UT-Pan American even. You don't see them get uppity do you? I can understand having an identity crisis seeing how you've changed your name four times. I can see how you have an inferiority complex, Aggy does, too. You have a stupid looking mascot called Paydirt Pete. That must be painful. You adopted "Eyes of Texas" as your fight song in the early 1920s. You copied it. That must make you feel small. Like the little brother no one cares about. All that's okay. But this is fundamentally a problem of recognition. You need to recognize. The University of Texas at Austin is, has been, and always will be UT. Always will the Texas. Ignorance and dementia does not change who you are, so let's leave fantasy land and take up residence in the real world. UT=UT-Austin. UTEP=UTEP. End rant. At least you have Jack Handey going for you.