Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monday Heat

It's Monday, you're busy, here's a quick glance at some of the big stories from the weekend.

The Nuggets are in trouble in their playoff series with the Spurs. San Antonio is comfortable defensively and Denver can't slow the Spurs' guards.

Meet the new Broncos' draft, same as the old Broncos' draft.

The Rockies have too much ability with bats in their hands to be a scrub team.

Still don't know how CU kicker Mason Crosby fell to the sixth round of the draft to Green Bay. The man is a third-round talent, at worst. Pro-Bowl caliber. Strong under pressure. With the importance of special teams, it defies logic. The WSN Word -- the Packers will look awfully smart for years.

CSU offensive tackle Clint Oldenburg getting picked by the Patriots (5th round) should make him smile, not only for the opportunity it affords him but something more. It's like getting hired by a top firm in your industry. New England defines success. And Oldenburg getting attention from the Pats must mean he has the requisite talent to play and that he is their kind of player. All good news for him and those who love him.

Former Colorado prep, guard Kasey Studdard (University of Texas) stays in state when getting selected by Houston, a good place for his skills. He's smart, durable, productive and coach Gary Kubiak's type.

CU defensive end Abraham Wright does get picked, finally, landing in Miami. He may not have all the physical measurables the pro scouts love but if he can become a player by hunger and effort, he could stick in the league as a situational player. I'll put the money on him.

The National Sweep

So Randy Moss gets his wish to get dished out of Oakland. Great talent acquisition by the New England Patriots but he does come with a warning label, too: beware of fool. Moss is simply not one to keep his head right when he's not happy. He is not a true professional. When he's right, mentally, however, he certainly still as All-Pro skills. The Patriots are hungry for more titles. This was an aggressive move, one that Denver should have looked at, as it was written here yesterday.

Kobe Bryant is rare, Lamar Odom is excellent and the Lakers are still not in Phoenix's class because of the Suns' talent and ability to play cohesively. Phoenix is not invincible like it seemed past champions were but it is the best the Western Conference has to offer.

The Bulls aren't all the way back but their series victory over Miami was as much a statement about where Chicago is headed these days as it is about the Heat's loss.

Better drafting -- Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay.

Broncos breakdown

Interesting draft for Denver.

It usually is, isn't it?

Taking a one-dimensional athlete (Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss) who has an injury history and is reed thin in the first round, despite the desperate need for a pass rush, is highly questionable. Then nabbing Texas DE Tim Crowder, a productive but mechanical bull rusher in round 2 leaves the WSN lukewarm. Notre Dame tackle Ryan Harris (third round) fits the team profile for an offensive lineman and that was a position of need. He is an intriguing selection. Florida DT Marcus Thomas is even more intriguing. A well-liked player by scouts who also note the Gator comes with a reported wooden head.

Bottom line -- getting talent and depth on the defensive line was impressive. Now, the questions are can any of these of these guys play, stay healthy and off the Mary Jane? It says here Harris is the conservative choice to prove himself the best of the bunch with Crowder a reserve, Moss a disappointment and Thomas a flunkie.

Hey, you think I like being the bearer of bad news?

O.K., let me try to say one nice thing -- the team was no wallflower when it came to securing the rights to people it found attractive.

One more note -- not going hard after Randy Moss (that we know of) was a mistake. Yes, he's muy loco but Rod Smith is a hundred years old, Brandon Marshall has off-field issues, and Javon Walker and Tony Scheffler are begging for help. Wonder who's more upset now -- Broncos' QB Jay Cutler, for not getting Moss or Pats' signal caller Tom Brady, who did?

Scoreboard Grumblings

Colorado's pitching got a failing grade for its' series with Atlanta but the offense broke out Sunday to overcome the lack of arms in a 9-7 victory. Matt Holliday, one of the best developing hitters in the game, homered, had another hit and drove in three runs and Brad Hawpe, in the 25th game of the Rockies' season, hit his first home run. Hawpe and Garrett Atkins have been major disappointments to this point, puzzling many with their lack of production.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki continues to dig himself out of a poor start by driving in two more runs. And this Tulowitzki guy, that unassisted triple play he pulled off will be nice clubhouse talk for the rest of his career.

This team does not lack talent. Answers, yes. Talent, no. So who is supposed to bring the answers to class? That's the job assignment of general manager Dan O'Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle, and those two need are in need of some immediate tutoring.

Post Office

A word from the street from Paul, who has something to say about the Broncos and more.

"Truth - I didn't like the Broncos trade yesterday at all either, although I still like Moss. He was the best pass rusher available, and he should have been around at 21. (Reggie) Nelson was the Jags pick all along, and we just handed them an extra 3rd rounder. I would have just taken either Moss or Nelson at 21.

"Also, I would have to disagree with you on the your evaluation of the Cardinals and (Levi) Brown. Come on, "low motivation" is something that is tagged to many players, including Trevor Pryce. Its such an overused and often unwarranted term that it doesn't mean anything most of the time. (Allen) Branch might be the steal of the draft and they NEEDED to keep (Matt) Leinhart on his feet. Brown is an excellent pass blocker, and just needs to fine tune his run blocking.

"I've written before about Buster Davis, and I still think he'll be a solid player - was disappointed they selected him one spot before Broncos were up. Call it anti-Notre Dame bias, but I think (Brady) Quinn is way overrated. If he went to any other school, he would have been less thought of.

"Anyways, the trade today the Broncos made brings up ambivalent feelings. I love the pick, as Marcus Thomas is NOT (Maurice) Clarett or (Randy) Moss. He seems to humbly learned a lot from his mistakes and he has tons of talent. But we traded a THIRD rounder, sixth and seventh, for ONE FOURTH rounder?? It just doesn't make sense...couldn't we have dealt a fifth rounder next year instead of a third rounder?"

WSN: Denver gave up too much on each trade they made. It don't mind tossing around draft picks like show offs to get what it wants, sort of like the Nuggets.

Now on to Thomas, whom the Broncos' PR people could have fun with in the future. I doubt he is Clarett crazy or Moss-like indifferent but he is far from Joey Boy Scout, too. We'll have to wait and see on him but if I were to have to file a recommendation report on him as part of my job, I couldn't do it. His past indicates future transgressions. And yes, he was seriously overpriced.

Regarding Arizona, the Cardinals do need protection for Leinart but Brown is not a franchise player and going no. 5 should be that type of talent. Branch passes the eye test but isn't motivated. Davis, I like, but he went to high.

Quinn, by the way, my man, is going to be a big winner in time. Especially with Joe Thomas his left tackle and running back Jamal Lewis out to prove he's not cooked. I am also a fan of wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Quinn, for all the Browns' fans, is not another Tim Couch.

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