After Norm visited with Tom Hicks, Evan took Hicks’ statements to his players in Oakland …
Although some players declined to discuss the assessment, several of the team's key contributors disagreed with Hicks' assessment about a lack of toughness and leadership.
"Absolutely not," shortstop Michael Young said when asked if he thought the club lacked the necessary toughness to win. "If anyone questioned my toughness or my ability to grind through a season, I'd have a big problem with it.
"We didn't win because we lacked toughness," Young added. "We didn't win because we got outplayed. But don't question my approach to the game. Any player that takes pride in the game would look at those comments personally."
Said first baseman Mark Teixeira: "He's entitled to his opinion, but the fact of the matter is that in the four years I've been here, we haven't had what it takes to win. We've had different teams every year, and none of them have turned out like we would have hoped. We're still searching for the right combination."
For the second time in two weeks, Hicks bemoaned the loss of Dellucci's leadership.
Hicks singled out Young as a great player and said he leads by example but added that the All-Star Game MVP and reigning batting champ is "not a captain of the clubhouse kind of guy."
"Mike Young is for sure our leader," third baseman Hank Blalock said. "He doesn't need to yell. He is so confident and expresses that confidence that he never has to yell at anybody. I see him talking to Ian Kinsler off to the side, he talks to me, and I know he talks to other guys. He doesn't yell, and he doesn't do it out in front of people, but he does [communicate]. And he does it well.
Added Blalock: "I don't understand the toughness part of it. Michael Young and Mark Teixeira play 162-game seasons in 100-degree heat. You've got to be pretty tough to do that."
Ohio State – Texas just days away …
Last year's meeting between Texas and Ohio State was the first between the two storied programs. The Longhorns' comeback victory, led by Vince Young, allowed them to clear a major hurdle on the way to their first outright national title since 1969.
That was also the year Texas was last involved in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular-season matchup. Texas beat Arkansas in 1969 in one of the most famous games in that rivalry.
The Longhorns are 4-0 in No. 1 against No. 2 games, the latest coming last season when they beat USC in the Rose Bowl for the national title as the second-ranked team.
Ohio State is 2-0 in 1-2 games, the last coming in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. The No. 2 Buckeyes beat top-ranked Miami in that game to win their last national title.
Add that game to Penn St at Notre Dame and we have some nice games for Saturday-
In Aggieland, They want Goodson to hold onto the rock …
Texas A&M coaches kept harping on freshman running back Mike Goodson in practice: "You have to hold the ball different."
"It really never sunk in," Goodson admitted.
Not until he fumbled twice in his debut Saturday against The Citadel.
"He got a tough lesson," coach Dennis Franchione said. "Fortunately for us, the
lesson came in a game where we could overcome those mistakes."
Now the challenge for Goodson is to prove to coaches that they can trust him in a game where the Aggies can't afford such miscues.
"He needs to go to practice and practice ball security, be focused on that and show us in practice, 'I'm going to keep the points of pressure the right way on the football and not be slinging it out here loose,' " Franchione said. "When we see that, that will give us more confidence to put him in more situations."
Coaches want Goodson to hold the ball close to his chest, not away from his body. Goodson could get away with not worrying about technique in high school. He estimated that he lost two fumbles his entire senior season at Klein Collins.
"It's just more take the ball and run in high school," Goodson said.
In college, he's already noticed that defenders put more effort into trying to strip the ball.
More from the Goodson – Reggie Bush file …
One name, dear to Texas A&M fans, kept freshman Mike Goodson from following his sporting idol, Reggie Bush, to Los Angeles.
"Kyle Field," Goodson said of the Aggies' home turf.
A wide-eyed Goodson, the state's top-rated running back out of Klein Collins High last year, met Bush last year, when Goodson was trying to pick a school.
"I'm Reggie Bush's biggest fan," Goodson said. "On my recruiting visit to USC, he was my host. I loved USC, but I still don't think it could compare to this field here. I even went to the USC and UCLA game — and Kyle Field blows (that) out of the water."
When Aggies coach Dennis Franchione compared Goodson to Bush during fall camp, Goodson happily accepted the challenge of trying to live up to that billing.
"Man, that's like the biggest shoes ever to fill," Goodson said, grinning.
Leach hopes to get Hicks back …
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach hopes wide receiver Jarrett Hicks will return this season after missing the Red Raiders' season-opening victory over SMU pending an NCAA academic-eligibility appeal.
"It's obvious to me he should be granted his eligibility," Leach said. "The timeliness of it has been inconvenient. It seems to me this type of thing should have been sorted out long ago. We knew it was on appeal, but they kept putting him off."
Week 2 College Football TV Schedule …
JJ Taylor with a fine story on play calling …
Here's what happens between the time the ball is spotted at the line of scrimmage and the ball is snapped. The play is usually decided upon while the ball is being spotted:
• Passing game coordinator Todd Haley uses a wireless communication system to give quarterback Drew Bledsoe a play number. Normally, he repeats it twice.
• Haley gives the personnel group – Detroit means the base offense of two receivers, two tight ends and one back – and a quick tip like, "Watch out for the free safety" or "Look for the strongside blitz."
• Bledsoe looks at a wristband with 70-75 plays and finds the number, which tells him the play. Plays are divided into 2-minute, runs, drop-back passes, third down, inside the 20 and short yardage.
• Bledsoe delivers the play in the huddle, usually saying it just once, and the team breaks the huddle and gets aligned at 20 seconds.
• The NFL cuts off communication with the sideline at 15 seconds. Bledsoe is at the line of scrimmage getting a pre-snap read that will probably tell him where he's going to go with the ball on a passing play. He watches the middle linebacker for clues about the defense, tries to identify the pass coverage and starts any motion or shifting. With five seconds left, the ball is snapped.
The NFL to toughen up the drug testing …
The National Football League is discussing strengthening its testing program for performance-enhancing drugs and could make changes during the season, which begins tomorrow. Among the potential modifications are more frequent testing and additions to the list of banned substances.
Whatever alterations the league and its players union agree to would come after questions arose about the effectiveness of the program, which has long been viewed as the best among professional sports leagues in the United States.
The following story is most likely only interesting to me, but Christine Kahrl of baseball prospectus.com is a must-read for me. She writes great baseball analysis for those of us who play overly psychotic fantasy baseball. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I read that She was really a he …
Malkin joins the Penguins …
India has talent
LL Football Coach attacks 13 year old
Here is the football coach snapping story …
An assistant football coach in Stockton, Calif., is accused of rushing the field and attacking a football player on a rival team.
With just a minute left in the game, observers say 13-year-old, 116-pound Brian Wood made a late hit, prompting the referee to call a penalty.
Then, Cory Petero, 36, the assistant coach of the rival team and father of the boy who had taken the hit, tackled Wood.
"I got up to go to the huddle, and I was about to take off my helmet, had my straps off, and then he just came out of nowhere and hit me from behind," Wood said. "Then he rushed me again, and my big brother came up and then there was just a big old brawl out there."