PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

August 13, 2013

Coleman's Saturday football talking points

PORT ARTHUR — Some things to talk about while I try and fail to muster up any interest in the NFL preseason…

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> 1) Mea culpa on Midnight Madness

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> Hey, remember earlier this week when I got kinda snarky about Midnight Madness? Turns out I was wrong. Twice in one week, now. That doesn’t happen very often (unless you talk to my wife).

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> Many teams in the area have gone to Midnight Madness in recent year. Vidor under Jeff Mathews is one, and other team are joining in by holding their first padded practice at Midnight Friday. Those teams include West Orange-Stark, Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Deweyville.

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> The funny thing is, I would rather cover a practice at midnight than one at 7:30 a.m. any day of the week. As a sportwriter, my schedule is usually about late nights and early mornings just bum me out. It hasn’t kept me away from all these early morning workouts and I have it better than the coaches who have to wake up when I’m usually going to bed to get ready for practice.

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> All that being said, I’m still not sold on Midnight Madness as a thing.

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> 2) De Shawn talks about Manziel, Aggies

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> After the second on Nederland’s practices today, Bulldog defensive lineman De Shawn Washington talked a little about his commitment to Texas A&M and his take on the Johnny Manziel mess that has dominated sports talk for the past month.

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> “I can understand he’s just a college student,” Washington said. “But, I don’t think he needed to be talking about partying all the time.”

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> Washington committed to Texas A&M in the spring and said that commitment hasn’t wavered at all despite the bad press being heaped upon Manziel and the Aggies. He said he’s got a great relationship with A&M defensive line coach Terry Price and that he doesn’t really care what happens on the offensive side of the team. He’s locked in on the defense.

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> Most interesting to me was his answer to a question about other teams recruiting him. I expected that some ruthless recruiters out there might attempt to get in his ear now and lure him away thanks to the swirling scandal. He said that hasn’t been the case at all, that he’s gotten a few letters from places like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but nothing negative yet.

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> 3) Depth for Indians at H-back

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> Last season, depth just didn’t exist for a Port Neches-Groves team wracked by injuries. Guys who should have been on the JV team got moved up because the Indians didn’t have many other options.

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> Cross your fingers, Indian fans, but it appears that PN-G has depth at a few places this year. One of those is at the all-important H-back spot on offense.

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> The Indians use the H-back in many different ways. They can split out wide as a slot receiver, stay inside as a fullback or line up as a tight end. They can go in motion and start a play nearly on top of the guard and tackle or come in motion from the slot to block inside on a running play.

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> Right now, it looks like both Reece Wardlow and Blake Lane are playing well enough to both see  repetitions during the season. Add in sophomore Jack Giblin playing some tight end and outside receiver and the Indians are stocked inside.

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> That allows them to do a few different things with personnel, moving people around on plays and keeping defensive coaches off-balance with their looks. In short, it’s a good thing.

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> Both Wardlow and Lane have been getting consistent reps in practice, so no clear-cut starter has emerged yet. Best guess is they both see plenty of snaps all over the field this year.

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> David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at dcoleman@panews.com and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.

 

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