Yesterday, I found a great story on the life and times of Drew Henson. Basically, one of my favorite NFL writers, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal, was a huge supporter of Green Bay going to get Henson 3 years ago. They ignored him, he was bitter, and now
he apologizes and tries to understand what went wrong …
Let's briefly review Henson's career.
After backing up Tom Brady at Michigan in 1998 and '99, Henson started eight games in 2000. Using the NFL system, his passer rating was 109.4 in 2000, 92.4 for his career.
He left the Wolverines a few days into spring practice before his senior season to sign a six-year, $17 million contract to play third base for the Yankees. He hit just .248 over portions of six minor-league seasons. Sensing Henson's baseball career heading south, the Texans drafted Henson in the sixth round in 2003 for the chance to hold his rights until the start of the draft in '04.
Henson walked away from a reported $12 million in guaranteed money in January 2004 to resume his football career. With David Carr, the Texans had no use for him.
The Packers talked about taking Henson in '03 but decided against it. They were all over Henson in February 2004, sending Sherman and four of his top aides to Houston for his well-attended workout.
At about the same time, Sherman telephoned Wolf and asked him if he would evaluate tapes of Henson's final collegiate season. Wolf hunkered down at his Annapolis, Md., home, studied every game and then gave Sherman the thumbs-down.
"He was like a yo-yo," Wolf recalled last week. "He finished with a flourish against Ohio State and Auburn in a bowl game. I (concluded) that he wasn't very good. But I had to reserve that because I didn't know anything about his arm or his athleticism. I always felt the most important thing at that position was to see a guy play live."
The Packers decided Henson was a player they could live without. It turned out to be one of Sherman's best personnel moves ever.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones did fall in love with Henson and traded a third-round pick to Houston on March 12. Henson was given an eight-year contract with lucrative guarantees based on minimal playing time. He still counts $2.678 million against the Cowboys' salary cap.
That August, Wolf spent a week in the Cowboys' training camp as a guest of his pal, Parcells. Wolf said Parcells never asked him about Henson before the deal went down. However, a mutual acquaintance said Wolf tried to tell Parcells not to do it.
"He's out there in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 and some (coach) is telling him where to go with the ball and he looks outstanding," Wolf said. "I'm thinking to myself, 'Boy, I really missed this guy. It's terrible how bad I missed him.' "
Wolf visited Dallas in November, put on the exhibition tape and saw the same player that he didn't like at Michigan. His evaluation of Henson crystalized further on his week-long summer sojourns to camp in 2005 and '06.
"He's just not very good, and he got progressively worse," said Wolf. "They brought a kid (Matt Baker) in from North Carolina this year who definitely was better than Drew Henson. He is what he is. He can't play."
This summer, Parcells compared Henson to one of his former players who couldn't relax and would hyperventilate in the huddle. In 2004, Henson played the fourth quarter of one game, then started four days later on Thanksgiving and was benched at halftime. He never played again, surpassed in '05 by Burlington's Tony Romo as No. 2.
In two exhibition seasons, Henson had a passer rating of 51.5. In NFL Europe this spring, Henson started fast but fizzled down the stretch.
Henson had tryouts with Carolina, Indianapolis and Miami last month before being signed to the practice squad by Minnesota on Sept. 27. The Vikings released him Tuesday.
Henson, trim and fit at 6 feet 4 inches and 240 pounds, has a powerful arm and can make all the throws, according to coaches and scouts who have seen him work recently. Highly intelligent, Henson comes across to some as a bit arrogant and a tad resistant to hard coaching.
Although Henson can run fast in a straight line, he showed almost no scrambling ability in Dallas. "He's got baseball-player feet," said one scout, and that isn't a good thing.
During their two-week look at Henson, the Vikings came to regard him as a poor fit for their West Coast offense. They didn't like his long, deliberate release and weren't overly impressed with his accuracy.
"He just doesn't make quick decisions," former Cowboys personnel chief Gil Brandt said last year. "Rudy Bukich of the Bears was the same way. Great arm but a slow decision-maker."
While Henson was off trying to master baseball for three years, it now stands to reason that his quarterbacking skills went to seed. Brady, now of the New England Patriots, doesn't have nearly the physical gifts that Henson possesses, but he does have the poise, awareness and burning desire that Henson seems to lack.
Henson remains a 26-year-old project. Another team will sign him. Maybe he'll hook on and play for a year or two. Worse quarterbacks dot NFL depth charts.
I generally don’t paste so much of a column, but since I believe it is a subscription link, I wanted you to read as much as you could. So, the next time you think the backup QB is the next star in this league…and how come those guys on the team can’t see what you can see from your couch…think Drew Henson.
And now, this email from Brad:
Obviously you saw the brawl between Fla Atlantic and Miami.
Did you know that Lamar Thomas was doing the radio play by play for the Comcast Hurricane Network? The same Lamar Thomas that beat up his preggers girlfriend for showering in the wrong bathroom.
You really should get the audio of you can because he starts talking all sorts of smack about how Fla Atl can't come into the "OB" and talk noise at the 'Canes because their gonna get smacked. It's pretty funny in a really sad sort of way. How does that pile of crap get a job in radio?
Here is the fight audio that got Lamar fired:
Lamar Fired …
Saturday's mid-game brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International University claimed its first off-the-field victim Monday when Lamar Thomas, a former Miami player who cheered the fight on from a broadcasting booth and even threatened to join it, was fired from his announcing job.
Comcast Sports Southeast fired Thomas from his job doing color commentary on Hurricanes games and will edit his fiery remarks during the brawl from a replay of the telecast Wednesday.
''We don't condone Lamar's statements,'' CSS general manager Mark Fuhrman said. ``He unfortunately got caught in the emotion of it. He blurred the line between what takes place as a participant and your role as a broadcaster.''
When the head-stomping, helmet-swinging brawl erupted during the third quarter, Thomas not only repeatedly cheered UM on, but said he wanted to join them in taking a shot at the FIU team.
''You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked,'' Thomas told viewers. ``You don't come into the Orange Bowl playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city over there. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt kicked. I was about to go down the elevator and get into that thing.''
He even seemed disappointed when the referees finally got control. ''Why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more?'' he urged. ``You don't come into the Orange Bowl, baby -- we've had a down couple of years -- but you don't come in here talking trash. . . .
``You come in here talking smack, it's time to get it on. We let you play in our stadium -- they play well, I gotta give it to FIU, they played well so far -- but you cross the line at some point.''
And here is a taste of Lamar’s past …
Jul 28, 1996: -- Lamar Thomas and Mel Agee signed --
The Dolphins announced yesterday that they have signed former Tampa Bay Wide Receiver Lamar Thomas to a contract for undisclosed terms. Thomas, who played for the University of Miami before joining the Bucs, was waived by the Buccaneers after being arrested for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend during a July 4th party.
During 3 years with the Bucs, the 6'2", 173 lb receiver caught 25 passes for 386 yards and 2 TDs.
And then here is what I remember of Lamar Thomas. As George Teague makes one of the greatest plays I can ever remember…
Teague’s Got the Ball!!
Who does Vegas list as the favorite to win the NBA Title? The Dallas Mavericks …
In hockey, the Stars are in San Jose tonight. This sets up for a loss, as the Stars are at the end of a long road-trip and San Jose is really, really good. We shall see.
Marty Turco – player of the week & tv star …
Marty Turco has been one of the revelations of this early NHL season.
The Dallas Stars goalie has been in the crease for each of his team's first five games, earning five wins as the Stars have stormed to the top of the Western Conference charts. Dallas, along with Buffalo and Minnesota have a League-best 10 points.
Turco has been a big part of Dallas' early success, posting a 1.56 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage -- both those marks good for second in the League.
Not surprisingly, Turco was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending Oct. 15. The NHL has revamped its weekly awards this season, going to the three-star format, a staple of hockey games at the pro level, in place of the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards that existed in the past.
Chicago's Martin Havlat, who has 10 points, was named Second Star and Toronto's Mats Sundin, who reached the 500-goal tally for his career this week, was tabbed as Third Star.
Turco's profile should get even bigger in the next couple days as a commercial prominently featuring him hits the airwaves this week, debuting Oct. 18 on national TV outlets Versus and TSN. Turco was chosen to take part in the 30-second humorous spots that have NHL players reminding average people who are going about their daily activities that the season has started.
Similar bits involving Philadelphia's Peter Forsberg and San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo already have aired. A spot featuring Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby also will debut Oct. 18.
Not only did the Avalanche lose a home game to the Blackhawks, but they also Received a message from their fans …
The Avalanche's 487-game sellout streak ended Monday night. It was the longest recorded string in NHL history. The last time Colorado didn't have a sellout was Nov. 1, 1995, against Calgary.
FC Dallas prepares for playoffs versus old foe …
Colorado and Dallas have done battle three times in the 10 editions of the MLS Cup playoffs. Dallas has yet to come out on top.
A highly motivated FC Dallas has another chance for payback beginning Saturday, when it visits Colorado in the first leg of an aggregate-format first-round series.
"I don't think we just want to go out there and get a tie," said defender Bobby Rhine, a casualty of two eliminations, in 2002 and '05, to the Rapids. "We want to win."
Last season, FC Dallas was the Western Conference's second seed and the favorite against a Colorado club that it did not lose to in the regular season. FC Dallas escaped the first leg in Denver with a scoreless tie. In Frisco, FC Dallas let precious opportunities slip away in a match that, to the home team's dismay, finished in a shootout. Ahead 2-1 and with a man advantage in overtime, FC Dallas allowed a goal and was on the short end of the shootout, losing 5-4.
Texas Tech is not good …
It's not such a stretch, however, to say that this is the worst Tech offense in Leach's seven-year tenure.
The Red Raiders have failed to score in double figures in two of the last five games, including Saturday's 30-6 loss to previously winless Colorado. The scoring drought happened twice during Leach's first six seasons. It hadn't happened in 75 games before the 12-3 loss to the Horned Frogs.
Tech's production in four major offensive categories – total yards (413.7 per game), rushing yards (76.4), passing yards (337.3) and scoring (28 points) – is the lowest since Leach's first season in 2000. And those numbers are inflated by a 62-0 rout of Division I-AA Southeastern Louisiana. The Red Raiders, who had eight returning offensive starters, are averaging a pedestrian 22.3 points per game against I-A competition.
Every Leach-coached Tech team except the 2000 squad has averaged at least 35 points. There is one obvious similarity between Leach's first Tech team and this one: sophomore quarterbacks.
Graham Harrell, like Kliff Kingsbury in 2000, has struggled at times despite being the Big 12's leading passer. Kingsbury, of course, went on to rewrite the school's passing record book.
The Japanese pitcher everyone wants ….
Six years ago, as the major league playoffs dominated the attention of American baseball fans, Bobby Valentine was asked about the potential impact of a player from Japan. Valentine, then managing the Mets, said he believed the player was already one of the five best in the world.
That player was Ichiro Suzuki, who quickly proved Valentine right by winning the American League Most Valuable Player award for Seattle the next season.
Now, as the manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, Valentine has a more intimate knowledge of Japanese talent. If his instincts are the same, then Daisuke Matsuzaka will be the next big star in the majors. “This guy is the real deal,” Valentine said last week in an e-mail message. “He has the ability to be one of the top starters in M.L.B.”
Matsuzaka, a 26-year-old right-hander, was the most valuable player of the World Baseball Classic in March. His team, the Seibu Lions, gave him permission last week to pursue a career in the majors, and the Yankees are among the teams expected to show strong interest.
Japanese players need nine seasons before becoming eligible for free agency, but Matsuzaka will be using the loophole Suzuki and others have used. The Lions will post him for blind bids by major league teams.
The team that bids the highest will get exclusive negotiating rights with Matsuzaka for 30 days. If there is no deal within that window, the team’s buy-in is returned and Matsuzaka continues to play in Japan. Teams can begin bidding around Nov. 1.
Peter King MMQB …
Weekly Buccigross Hockey column …good reading…
Please help me understand something here. Watching the Tito vs.Shamrock III, I noticed that even glancing blows incur an appreciable amount of damage if continuous. However, watching Triple H vs. Randy Orton on WWE, Triple H rains down about 6-7 undefended blows to the chin, and after about the 8th, Randy Orton starts to teeter and then falls on his face... and not even a swollen eye. Do these UFCers just have glass jaws or are the WWEers just that badass and are able to take blows.
And another thing, what is the deal with those referees. Why doesn't Matt Hughes get a nookie girl manager to stand in his corner. That way, she can crawl up on the octagon apron and distract the referee so Matt Hughes can hit his opponent with his championship belt. Either that, or move out of the way so his opponent knocks out the referee, and then Hughes can hit him with a chair that is thrown in.
I would love to see the biggest WWE star climb into the octagon with someone like Arlovski or the Iceman or even one of the middle tier UFC guys. Can you imagine the pay per view sales? The WWE supporters that don't recognize "sports" entertainment, and the overzealous UFC enthusiasts that feel the need to further legitimize the business... The slaughter of UFC vs. WWE would be one of the biggest pay per views ever...
Russ "the doo doo maker" P1
Pretty Freakin Bizarre workout
Are you Retarded?