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1. Yesterday, The Daily Texan (my old stomping grounds at the University of Texas) scored a big scoop. According to a source with knowledge of the doctors that treated Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash after he injured his wrist in the 63-21 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, doctors are sure that Ash broke his wrist but couldn’t find the break when they examined him.
In any case, we don’t know about how he’s been practicing. All we know is that he practiced on Sunday with his severely swollen wrist and if he was willing to practice then, he’ll likely play on Saturday against Baylor.
David Ash, from all accounts, isn’t really a vocal leader but we’ve seen him lead by example. His game against Oklahoma was the best example he’s set. Even down big late in the 1st half and early in the 2nd half, he was still trying to make plays and showed some heart on the field, which is more than you can say about either offensive line and a lot of the defensive backs. The fans know it and appreciate it. If Ash comes out the first time the offense runs on to the field, I’d expect a rousing ovation.
2. Speaking of vocal leaders, there was an interesting moment in the Texas locker room after the loss to OU that was captured in this week’s edition of Texas All-Access, which airs on the Longhorn Network. Mack Brown is not usually tough on his guys and only gets mad on rare occasions.
I wish we could have seen that Mack Brown leading up to the OU game. In any case, Kenny Vaccaro called out his teammates before they broke their postgame meeting:
“Until we get more physical, we’re not going to beat anybody down. Just let that be known. [Mack: I agree] We’re not tough. We’re not a tough team right now. And I’ll call everybody out. [Mack: We've got some tough players, but we're not a tough team] We’re not. We can stick around with all the skill players and with our Moms and Dads but not against the tough ones that run the ball down our throat.”
Strong words. But then something unexpected happened before the team could break. Case McCoy spoke up:
“It’s time to come together right now. I don’t know if I have the right to speak, but I’m gonna speak because you know what? I sat in this locker room last year with all of ya’ll. And we let this game beat us two more games down the road. We’re not going to let that determine our future and our success right now. Ya’ll all heard Coach Cross at halftime. If that didn’t move and that didn’t stir you to go fight your ass off in the second half, then I don’t know what will. Let that move you tonight when you lay your head down. Let that move you and you decide, that we’re going to come back… whoever’s on the field, whoever steps on the field, we’re going to fight our guts out until that whistle blows every damn game. You understand? Let’s go.”
No one has ever questioned McCoy’s heart and leadership. Ash is more talented and means more wins for the Longhorns. He’s a better quarterback. That’s why he won the job. But at this point, I’m wanting McCoy to coach both lines and the linebackers the rest of the season. It was big for both Vaccaro and McCoy to step up and say what they said after the game. Hopefully the rest of the team gets the message because after their loss to the Sooners, people are legitimately starting to wonder if it’s actually possible that this year’s team could be worse than last year’s.
3. As for the Texas A&M Aggies, they’ve got a huge game this Saturday against the #6 LSU Tigers (that sadly kicks off at 11:00 am), but we don’t know if A&M will have Ryan Swope at wide receiver. The guy that has broken A&M’s receiving yards record each of the last two years only made one catch for five yards before having to leave the teams win over Louisiana Tech with a concussion.
Amazingly, three freshmen led the team in reception yards that game and played really well. The big and fast Mike Evans was most impressive, though. At 6’5, Evans racked up four catches for 137 yards including a 75 yard score that gave the Aggies their biggest lead of the game.
A&M’s producing yards and getting first downs through the air is incredibly important. LSU lives by shutting down the opposition’s passing game. The Tigers rank 2nd in the conference in overall and pass defense. They’re also tied for 2nd in the SEC with 10 interceptions. It would be big for the Aggies if Swope could play on Saturday.
4. Johnathan Joseph got burned a lot on Sunday night when the Green Bay Packers rolled over the Houston Texans. While only one of Aaron Rodgers six touchdowns on the night was scored on Joseph, he was still picked on constantly. Joseph was 2nd on the team in tackles because Rodgers picked apart the Texans secondary.
Joseph hurt his groin during the game and continued to play, but yesterday he was held out of practice. Gary Kubiak is confident that he’ll play on Sunday. Even if he can’t, the Texans are still plenty deep in the secondary and stopping Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens receivers is more about rushing the passer, much like the Packers.
Photo courtesy Grant Halverson/Getty Images
5. Speaking of the Texans secondary, Danieal Manning was fined $15,000 for punching Packers offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse in the head repeatedly after one goal line play in Sunday’s game. Unfortunately for the Texans, that penalty gave Green Bay a first down at the goal line instead of forcing the Packers to kick a field goal after a 3rd down stop.
Manning’s leg was pinned under him and Newhouse lying on top of him was quite painful. He probably could have found a better way to signal Newhouse to get off of him though. Still, Manning will appeal the fine and may successfully have it rescinded considering the circumstances.
6. Finally, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was mic’d up against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. He was featured in last night’s NFL Network episode of Sound FX. Flacco was mostly… average. Yes, the Ravens scored 31 points, but as we mentioned in our game recap, one touchdown was a special teams touchdown and Dallas turned the ball over right before halftime to give the Ravens a touchdown.
Now Flacco takes on the Texans where he’ll likely face more pressure and where the defense won’t play as well as they did against the Cowboys because of all of their injuries. Check out our Texans preview for more about that game.
Photo courtesy Darren Carroll
Extra shot: One more thing, something funny happened in Cleveland yesterday when vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited Browns practice. At one point, he praised rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden’s play and told him that he loved watching him at Oklahoma State.
The problem is that when Ryan said that, he was looking at Colt McCoy.
People think this was a funny mistake, but look closer. Colt McCoy actually played pretty well in Stillwater when he was with the Longhorns. McCoy was 2-0, leading a huge comeback in 2007 and dominating the 14th ranked Cowboys in 2009. In his two games, McCoy gained nearly 600 total yards and scored two touchdowns. He did throw three interceptions in the 2007 game, but led the comeback that won the game.
Jamaal Charles was actually the star of that show.
(As you probably noticed, Mack Brown’s tirade in this 2007 contest is the one referenced up top. We’ve come full circle!)
So really, people should give Paul Ryan a break on this one. And that’s as political as we get here at Playmaker Magazine. Happy Thursday!