Saturday, April 7, 2007

Saturday shakedown

Colorado State football coach Sonny Lubick seems to think his defense needs work on tackling, or so he said after Thursday's scrimmage.

What made him think that after all this spring ball?

Maybe the fact that his running backs look all-conference caliber and his receivers are doing their best Pac-10 imitations?

Yeah, guess you could say that defense is a little sloppy.

Where did you go Joey Porter, Clark Haggans and Brady Smith?

CU scrimmage

Looks like the Buffs' kicker is still going to be a star on this team as Kevin Eberhart converted three field goals. The offense still is growing and doesn't intimidate anyone right now. Of course, he missed a pair too.

Hear coach Dan Hawkins groaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

Nick Nelson is merely a stopgap at quarterback at this point while Cody Hawkins is the man but still developing.

Hugh Charles is fighting to get the majority of touches at running back this fall and he's making plays this spring. Kevin Moyd, the forgotten gnat, showed up too. Demetrius Sumler, who is being picked here to be a big factor in 2007, was the Invisible Man.

Stephone Robinson provided hope the return game won't be a non-factor again when he ripped off a 70-yard return. Byron Ellis flashed with a 52-yard kickoff return but that likely was an aberration.

The receivers?



Difficult to assess at this time.

Dan Hawkins likes the progress, realizing the team isn't going to win 10 games this season but has to be and will be superior to last season's flop.

Between the lines

If you saw Tom Kensler's work in the Denver Post, there it was all too clearly, how the former coaching staff could not motivate the team to do as it was asked, according to Buffs' star but not yet a leader, Richard Roby. The high-scoring swingman also said what observers and fans already knew -- the effort was also often lacking.


Coach Ricardo Patton had lost his team's year -- he was Dead Man Walking.

Who knows what Jeff Bzdelik and his staff are capable of doing in their first season in Boulder but there is no doubt the combination of available talent, more passion and finally, some structure and a real offense and defensive actually being played, not faked, will make this team significantly improved. A winning record should be a lock, and an NIT should be a reasonable expectation. If health is the rule and CU develops its' "bigs" then more might be possible.

The heat is on

Patrick Ridgell of Longmont's Times-Call
put Bzdelik on the hot seat in a Friday story and it appears the Buffs have just hired someone who is not going to play what he thinks are games. He's not 'splainin' himself for no one. He's there to coach some ball, be a drill instructor and get some wins. To answer Ridgell's question, I'm sure Bzdelik knows the huge task at hand just as his football counterpart, Dan Hawkins did when he enlisted to take over a fading program.

Rockies get embarrassed

Micah Owings was once drafted by Colorado but he never signed. Two schools later he did say 'yes' to Arizona. In his major league debut Thursday he allowed one hit in five innings, giving hope his sterling minor-league numbers were not a fluke.

Players of that caliber can't be misses on the field or in the negotiations.

The Rockies, no excuse, just as they did with Matt Harrington, failed miserably, even if Harrington's screwed up advisers later cost him a pro career. You draft someone then plan on paying them huge dollars if they went at the top of your talent harvest. Don't get to the checkout and then say you're not paying or everyone is going to know you're a chump.

Any apologists for Colorado, please mail your letters to:

123 I Don't Care Blvd.
Still Don't Have Enough Pitching, Colorado

Williamson forecast

The Broncos need help on the defensive line. You don't need to be a coach or scout to know that fact. So Bill Williamson of the Denver Post is predicting Denver will select Adam Carriker from that school so many in Denver love to hate -- Nebraska.

Carriker won't remind anyone of a Pro Bowl pass rusher but he will not underachieve like many current lineman on the roster either. Maybe he will end up a poor man's Rulon Jones. Yeah, I dated myself with that one but that's the name I'm going with today. One guy I won't compare him too is another ex-Husker and Bronco -- Neil Smith.

Big 12 being reshaped

Ricardo Patton -- split so he wouldn't get fired.

Bob Huggins -- used Kansas State for a year before quitting, angering Wildcats' administration. And people are surprised? How else is a rogue supposed to act?

Billy Gillispie -- movin' on up to Kentucky, leaving Texas A & M heartbroken and from the sounds of it he doesn't sound like he'll miss College Station at all. That has to sting the home folks. Good thing CU got to Bzdelik before all this evolved.

Breakin' it, shakin' it down -- the Buffs made an upgrade to Bzdelik but K-State and the Aggies will likely struggle to do the same. Advantage Buffs. Will say I have heard that A & M has an impressive list of candidates it is hunting.

Just in -- with KSU promoting assistant Frank Martin to replace Huggins, let's get one thing straight. He ain't gonna last. He was solely hired out of desperation, and fast, to save the touted recruiting class. Foolish move. Those players will come and go in a couple of years and the Wildcats will be stuck with an inexperienced coach when they could have had better.


So did Denver and Dallas ever finish last night's game? 75-71? Isn't that a halftime score of a Nuggets' game? That's the final score, you say? Come on now, don't be lying to me -- not cool.
Now as coyote ugly as that was, it says something that Denver can win a game like that. Believe it or not that bunch of scrubs is starting to play well.

O.K., maybe I was all wet about Rockies' newcomer Jason Hirsh, who looked like the real deal against San Diego (one run in six innings with eight strikeouts) in a 4-3 win. Wow. Dude dropped the hammer on the Padres. That is exactly what this team needs to be a player in the National League West. Now the question is -- was that a fluke or who Hirsh can be -- a dominator.

Difficult to comprehend there was any doubt as to whether Colorado should re-sign Kaz Matsui. Getting out of New York was like pumping oxygen into in. He's a totally different player. Give general manager Dan O'Dowd a hug for that move as it is brilliant. Against San Diego, Matt Holliday hit a tee shot long and high and beautiful. Give me more of that.

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