WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Here's vote for Texans drafting Manziel
Now that the Houston Texans have a new head coach, the hottest question
surrounding them the next few months will be what they do with the No. 1 pick
in the draft. Some will advocate trading down to get more picks, which is
almost always good strategy. Others will push for Louisville QB Teddy
Bridgewater or South Carolina defensive end Jadevon Clowney. My thought is to
take Johnny Manziel, which for sure goes against conventional wisdom. But,
after watching Manziel twice destroy Nick Saban's Alabama defenses, after
seeing what he did for a Texas A&M team that would have been mediocre without
him and after seeing what Duke coach David Cutcliffe said, I'm all for
rolling the dice on Manziel. Cutcliffe, who was Peyton Manning's QB coach at
Tennessee and Eli Manning's head coach at Ole Miss, called Manziel, "Maybe the
college football player of the past 25 years, if not more." That was before
Manziel's second-half magic against Duke that drew the highest TV rating for
a non-BCS bowl since at least 2000. For sure, there are reasons why Manziel
a risk. In this estimation, they are more than offset by Johnny Football's
amazing ability to make plays, by his leadership qualities, by his
fearlessness and by the exciting upside for a franchise that plays a poor
second fiddle to the Cowboys in Texas and nationally. Do I think the Texans
will take Manziel? Probably not. I'm guessing he's not new coach Bill
O'Brien's kind of QB. Among other things, he's too much of a maverick for
ultra conservative Texans' owner Bob McNair.
While I'm going out on a limb, here's a prediction that will make you
wonder what I'm smoking or drinking while writing this. With Bill O'Brien
giving no thought to retaining Wade Phillips as the Texans' defensive
coordinator, I could see Wade winding up back in Dallas as the Cowboys DC.
Yes, it's far out, but here's the reasoning. Dallas is desperate defensively,
Jerry Jones still likes Wade even though he fired him, Wade's son Wesley is
Cowboys tight ends coach, Wade still has a home in Dallas he hasn't sold and,
most important, Wade's ego isn't so big he couldn't handle going back. From
Jones' standpoint, there won't be a better coordinator available to fix one
of the three worst defenses in the NFL. For a precedent, think George
Steinbrenner and Billy Martin . . . This column, by the way, is being written
from Washington D.C., where I'm hanging out with 21-month old grandson
Hudson. Being in D.C. gave me a chance to read a rant in the Washington Post
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. The author of the following quote -- former
Redskins radio broadcaster Frank Herzog -- could just as easily have been
going off on the owner of the Cowboys. See if you can't visualize Jethro
while reading some of Herzog's words about Snyder. "First and foremost, you
remember one thing. This is Dan Snyder's train set, and if he wants to run
the locomotive off that round curve, he can do that. Because he owns it. The
is obviously a jock sniffer. All he wants to do is be buddy buddy with
football players, which automatically makes his coach half of what he could
be because players go around the coach to the owner." There was much more,
you get the gist and should be able to draw one simple conclusion. Jones and
Snyder are two peas in a pod.
Finishing third in Pro Bowl voting, behind high-profile QBs Peyton Manning
and Drew Brees, suggests Jamaal Charles' skills are starting to finally
become apparent to the pro football world outside Kansas City. Here's another
more impressive indicator. USA Today columnist Jarrett Bell handed out his
NFL individual awards Thursday and picked Jamaal over the Eagles LeSean McCoy
his Jim Brown Offensive Player of the Year Award. Here's Bell's rationale.
"Consider where the Chiefs would be without Jamaal Charles. Not in the
playoffs. Charles ranked second to McCoy with 1,980 yards from scrimmage and
led the league with 19 TDs. And no player had a larger share of his team's
yards from scrimmage this season than Charles, who accounted for 36.7 percent
of the Chiefs total, which is what ultimately separates him in this case." .
. . Best thing going for new Texans' coach Bill O'Brien might be the schedule
he'll face in 2014 as a result of Houston's last place finish. Home games, in
addition to division rivals Indy, Tennessee and Jacksonville, are Baltimore,
Cincinnati, Washington, Philadelphia and Buffalo. Outside the division on the
road, Houston plays at Dallas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the NY Jets and
Oakland. For openers, getting four games against the NFC East is a nice bonus
should be worth two to three victories . . . Dallas' 2014 lineup, by the way,
includes the NFC East trio of Philly, Washington and the Giants, plus home
games against the Texans, Atlanta, San Francisco, Indianapolis and New
Orleans. The non NFC road stops are at St. Louis, Seattle, Jacksonville,
Tennessee and Chicago. Can you say 6-10?
Louisville's Charlie Strong may or may not be the new coach at Texas. Either
way, it's clear he was the choice of UT athletic director Steve Patterson. It
was an interesting, intriguing and defiant decision on Patterson's part and
one that could end up biting him. By opting for Strong, Patterson has made it
clear he's his own man and won't be intimidated by the big money
donors who turned replacing Mack Brown into a political football. My sources
say Strong was not the first, second or even third choice of the fat cats. As
late as Friday, some of the heaviest hitters reportedly still thought they
buy Alabama's Nick Saban. If the Strong deal blows up, as appears possible,
Patterson could find himself in a world of hurt . . . I've been a fan of
Baylor coach Art Briles since I watched
his Stephenville team play Port Neches-Groves in the 1999 4A state
championship game in the Astrodome. What Briles has accomplished at Baylor is
as impressive as any coaching job I've ever seen in college football.
However, I'm thinking Briles should be embarrassed by how poorly prepared his
in losing to Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl. For Baylor to win the Big 12
and earn a first BCS bid, then deliver such an uninspired, penalty-marred
performance against a second-tier foe reflects badly on Briles. Makes you
wonder if he wasn't seriously distracted by all the talk about the Texas job
. . . Second worst coaching job in a bowl games has to go to Alabama's Saban.
"best coach in college football" never got his team back after its crushing
loss to Auburn. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops clearly earned vindication for his
remarks about Southeastern Conference defenses being overrated with the way
inexperienced, redshirt-freshman QB shredded Bama. The Sugar Bowl win may
finally get the Boise State monkey off Stoops' back.
It was noted in this space last week that the UIL should put an asterisk by
its new all-time attendance record of 54,347 for the Allen-Pearland 5A
Division I championship game at JerryWorld because the number was swelled by
fans awaiting the 5A, Division II title game between Katy and Cedar Hill.
When PN-G's 1977 4A title game against Plano set a record of 49,953 at Texas
Stadium, it was the only game. The fallen-record column note drew a response
from former PN-G player Scott Hall, who now lives in Garland. Hall, then a
member of PN-G's JV, was at Texas Stadium for the 1977 title game and in
JerryWorld for Allen-Pearland. He's betting there are few others in
attendance for both games. I'm thinking he may be the only one . . . Sounds
Barnett's "Southwest Icons of Coaching" show Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on Fox
Sports Southwest will be must-see TV. Barnett's guest is Jimmy Johnson and,
according to Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News, JJ tells Barnett that
Jerry Jones informed him three years ago he'd be inducted into the Cowboys
Ring of Honor. Color me still skeptical. I'll believe it when it actually
happens . . . As if 2013 wasn't dismal enough for the Texans, Dan Patrick
stuck the knife in and twisted it on his national talk show after the team
lost its 13th consecutive game. "And you thought the Astros were bad,"
Sports editor Bob West can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Here's vote for Texans drafting Manziel
Foshee, Pirates too much for Bulldogs, 6-0
Eric Foshee was for sure the man Tuesday night for the Vidor Pirates against the Nederland Bulldogs.
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Lady Bulldogs power past Lady Indians, 9-1
Round 1 of softball’s version of Mid County Madness goes to the Nederland Lady Bulldogs.
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Lady Cards sweep DH from Southeastern Louisiana
BEAUMONT — It may be just the second year of the program’s revival, but the Lamar softball team has already established a tradition: Winning the home opener on a walk-off home run.
Casey Cromwell’s three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Lady Cardinals a 6-4 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Ford Park in the first home game of 2014 for Lamar and the Southland Conference opener for both squads.
Lamar, which won its first game last year over UTSA on a walk-off home run by Ashley McDowell, cruised to an 8-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana in Saturday’s nightcap.
“This is why I love playing at home,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “The fans really get us pumped up, and we respond.”
Cromwell hit two home runs in the opener for Lamar (5-9 overall, 2-0 Southland). Beverly Corry also homered for Lamar. Shannon Millman (3-5) was the winning pitcher for the Lady Cardinals in both games, working 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in the first game before firing a three-hit gem in the nightcap.
“We got tremendous pitching for both Shannon and Tina (Schulz) today,” Bruder said. “We also got some great defense, and that really helped us.”
Candyce Carter and Jenna Holland homered for Lamar in the second game. Carter had three RBIs in the game, while Holland and Julianne Viator added two RBIs apiece.
Carter closed out the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving grab in center field to turn what looked to be a sure double off the bat of Brittney Tschoepe into the final out of the game.
The two teams wrap up their three-game series with a single contest at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Park. All senior citizens 55 and older receive free admission.
“It’s always tough to sweep a team,” Bruder said. “We know Sunday’s game will be tough.”
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