View Full Version : Initial Shrine Game Review

01-17-2009, 09:03 PM
Strictly based on the game itself. This isn't a ranking of who the best players are, just who had the best games. Keep in mind this is a FIRST review, I usually go through and watch this game three or four times.

Best Quarterback: Stephen McGee
Comment: This one's easy. He had moxy, he had size, he threw the ball very well, he improvised but sometimes the timing and placement wasn't right on the improvisations (which you would expect), and I like the way he carries himself. Brian Hoyer did do well, definitely, and some folks might say he was the best out there. Maybe I'm biased because I personally believe Hoyer is a no-talent slap***** piece of trash...but I just thought McGee smelled a lot more PRO out there. Hunter Cantwell got scroooed on the playing time otherwise I thought he stood a very good chance of looking the best. People don't realize that Cantwell had to transform his mechanics completely and he's actually throwing the ball a lot better now because of it. Mike Reilly was pretty awful. Chase Daniel was also bad. Tom Brandstater had very good moments and also some bad ones.

Best Runningback: Gartrell Johnson
Comment: Showed a lot of different things, but most importantly, fight. He's a good, thoughtful kid with power, does not have anything approaching top end speed, but he makes really good cuts and when I think of that old saying "If they don't bite as puppies, they don't bite"...this guy bites. He's a fighter. He blocked, he played some special teams, he made a tackle on an interception, he's all about one cut and go, he has strength to him. Jarvarris Williams actually looked very good...on special teams, running the ball, and I almost wanted to give him the nod here.

Best Fullback: Not Javorskie Lane
Comment: Fatso showed up 295 pounds and I thought he might be able to do something anyway but he looked like he had cement in his shoes the whole time and like he was just too tired to work hard or finish plays. The other FB was this Army kid Mooney but he has no future and I didn't really want to give him the nod because even though he's a fighter he wasn't that good.

Best Wide Receiver: Jarrett Dillard
Comment: I want to say this was not even close, but the reality is Mike Thomas was very good in this game. He's such a fighter and he showed all of the reasons why I like him so much. He had a touchdown. At first the balls coming out to Dillard were kind of poorly thrown, he didn't catch a low ball that he could have caught. By the second half he adjusted and he started catching. He had a really nice nine route touchdown on Morgan Trent who got burned for biting on the short stuff (which is how he got his interception). Dillard knew he was biting the short stuff, so he offered him a plant foot on his nine route and of course, Trent bit...then he just sped right by and McGee hit him with a nice ball over top. Three times they tried Dillard in the end zone (NCAA record 60 touchdown catches at Rice) and you know what, he ALMOST got all three. When he gets timing with a QB he's going to be hard to defend in the end zone despite his slight stature. He's an EXCELLENT route runner and he's got ups. Will be an excellent pro.

Best Tight End: Bear Pascoe
Comment: I really didn't expect him to be the best TE in the game but I guess he was, on the first viewing anyway. I was not at all into Bronson's showing, and Hafner looked too limited in what he offered. Bear Pascoe made a really big play over the deep middle on top of Courtney Greene and he also blocked well.

Best Offensive Tackle: Jamon Meredith
Comment: No surprises here, although Sebastian Vollmer showed up well and he will make some noise at the next level. Ramon Foster was good but he struggles some with getting a little heavy legged, needs to lose weight. Meredith played RT most of the game. And new Miami OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo recruited him to South Carolina. Hmm...

Best Interior Offensive Line: Probably Louis Vasquez
Comment: Really need to go back to the tape in order to see this one. Some of the other guys like Andy Kemp and Jaime Thomas I know did a good job. I really didn't see Ray Feinga out there, maybe he sat out.

Best Defensive Tackle: Daryl Richard
Comment: Richard was the second guy I wanted to get a good look at among the interior OLs and he did not disappoint at all. Jarron Gilbert did but only because right at the start of the second quarter he took a shot to his ankle and had to come out for the remainder of the game. Prior to that, Gilbert was doing everything I would have expected, excellent hand use, tremendous penetration, took on double teams and even a triple team and split them. But then he got hurt, and nobody likes an injured player. Richard popped for the entire game. He took on the double teams from the West offensive line. You won't mistake this dude for a pass rusher but he was handling the doubles very well, and he looked like a load to try and move. He and Myron Pryor made an excellent tandem because Richard was taking on the doubles and not moving much, and this would leave Pryor open to make plays on single blocking. Richard had me creaming on a short yardage play when he fired out so low and so fast that he wrecked the integrity of the offensive line and really the runner did not convert the down, except a friendly spot gave it to him. This is a guy that really started to come alive the second half of his senior season. At least, that's when he started to look different to me. I like him. Definitely.

Best Defensive End: Probably Nick Reed
Comment: Hard to say but I gave the nod to Reed who owned Alex Boone most of the day. Shaughnessy did well enough but didn't make many plays. Pannel Egboh started off slow and started to come alive later and I was tempted to give him the nod for best DE on the day. Stryker Sulak showed up, but not enough. Etienne Legare actually did pretty well. The guy that probably showed me the most potential is Lawrence Sidbury who very, very, very unfortunately was the victim of an equipment mistake that saw the name on the back of his jersey spelled out "Sidbuby". Most people would point out that Sidbuby played dumb, he had a costly off sides on a punt coverage that converted a first down. He also got called for roughing the passer. But you know what, I liked his size, loved his quicks, and he made some plays on special teams. I think he can make it, he's just extremely raw. Nick Reed, though...probably had the more polished day...taking advantage of Alex Boone as he did.

Best Linebacker: Kaluka Maiava
Comment: This guy can play. Teammates at USC speak very highly of him, too. They say that in many ways he was like the glue that kept everyone in place. He showed it today. I usually hate All Star games for their inability to allow linebackers to look good but Maiava genuinely looked good, in coverage, reading the action and jumping ahead of the play, shedding blockers, you name it. Wish he was bigger but if he was bigger he'd be like a Rey Maualuga. Dannell Ellerbe was also very good except for one play where he looked lost covering Ian Johnson on a chair route down the field. Ellerbe jumped the action very well and made a play on special teams. He had pop in his pads. Johnny Williams of Kentucky also played very well. After that, mixed to bad. Jason Phillips of TCU did not play well. Worrell Williams was awful, as was this late addition kid #45 Hall (truly awful). Jasper Brinkley was pretty good. Definitely not bad at all. Passes the eyeball test for sure as he does NOT look 275 pounds and seems like he runs very well. I try not to criticize linebackers for failing to stand out positively in this game because it's not set up to make them look good. I expected Jason Williams to pop out some more but again, I try not to criticize.

Best Cornerback: Don Carey
Comment: Definitely Don Carey here. Morgan Trent was just biting on the short stuff all day and he got burnt to a crisp because of it. That's not genuinely good coverage. Don Carey though was stuck to his man like glue for the most part except one fly route where he pulled a hamstring as he was running deep with the receiver, but had he not pulled the hammy you could tell he was able to run with Marko Mitchell stride for stride. He defended a pass on 4th & 10 that sealed the game. I was just very impressed and he had a great week of practice. I want to mention Ryan Mouton here because he quietly had a good day in coverage as well. He made a great read on Cantwell's eyes and jumped a pass intended for Aaron Kelly, breaking up a real rocket spinner that was thrown nice and high for the 6'5" Kelly. Mouton gave Kelly a lot of height but it didn't matter. Ryan Palmer made a good play at the beginning of the game, was quiet the rest of the time.

Best Safety: Keith Fitzhugh
Comment: I'm really going to have to look into this kid some more. He's 5'11" and 205 pounds, not terrible size, and he played with passion, fire, he made some tackles and he came over to a deep duck thrown by Mike Reilly toward Jarrett Dillard, and knocked it out of the sky...wasn't his fault that the CB decided he was going to basically tackle Dillard as he came back to the ball, without ever turning his head around. The West caught a pass interference penalty and it gave them the chance to win the game. But Reilly sucked too much to win it. Courtney Greene did well except for that deep middle ball to Bear Pascoe that was really a great catch and Greene was in position and NEARLY broke that ball up. One of those things where if Bear doesn't make a great play on the ball, Greene gets lauded for good coverage and breaking it up. Greene defended the pass with prejudice. I like that. Curtis Taylor really didn't show up much.

01-17-2009, 09:18 PM
Fitzhugh, by the way, drew some rave reviews during the practice week from at the very least Chad Reuter. He's definitely a passionate player, a fighter, and he can play in the box as a strong safety. Looks comfortable out in the flats making plays.

01-17-2009, 10:16 PM
I'd have to agree with nearly all of that, although I wasn't impressed Reilly he still looked decent and met my expectations as a 4th-5th round prospect and looked a little to skinny but showed good accuracy when he was scrambling outside the pocket.

01-18-2009, 12:49 AM
i was just able to watch the first 45 minutes because of work :( thx a lot for the review i was looking forward to one of them !

one guy i was anxious to see was brandon underwood...any thoughts on him anyone ? the time i was watching he only got one ball thrown his way and it was 10 yards off target ...

General Tso
01-18-2009, 01:25 AM
I dunno about Vasquez. I was watching him and the Oregon kid fairly closely and my initial impression was he's just a guy. Seemed to do ok in pass pro, but when he didn't have help in the running game he was simply holding his ground (if that). He didn't seem as big or powerful as he'd been described to me.

Overall, this was a fairly unimpressive game all around, except for a few RBs and Mike Thomas.

Two guys I was watching closely because I though we'd consider them with 5th or 7th round picks were Marko Mitchell and Aaron Kelly. I was disappointed with both, but Mitchell in particular had a terrible game. His arms are skinnier than Ginn's, he didn't look fast or explosive, he dropped at least two passes he easily should've grabbed and he somehow managed to get a false start. Pass on him...

01-18-2009, 03:40 AM
Marko Mitchell has had a terrible week of practice and Aaron Kelly wasn't standing out in practice. The WRs to watch were Jarrett Dillard and Mike Thomas and Dillard did a better job than Thomas, showed more pro ability, even though I think Thomas has a real home in the pros.