Tag Archive | "tony"

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Terps snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Posted on 03 March 2008 by stevehennessey

So, I’m sitting on press row at Comcast Center, covering my mouth and saying under my breath
“what the hell is happening”, except that I threw in a few popular four letter expletives while I was muttering to myself. That’s what blowing a 20-point second half lead at home on “Senior Day” will do to you.   

How in the world did Maryland lose this game to a Clemson team who flat out stunk for 30 minutes?

Here’s my two cents from courtside. As is human nature, Maryland’s players took their foot off the gas pedal with a 59-39 lead. Turnovers (when, when, when will they cut down on the ridiculous number of turnovers each game?) and several defensive lapses let Clemson back in the game. 2-15 shooting from three point land and 57% from the charity stripe added to the collapse.

I’m a firm believer that games are won by the players on the court, not the coaches, but tonight I have to make an exception.

Gary Williams is a polarizing figure. There’s one group of people who believe that he saved a downtrodden Maryland program on the brink of disaster and took them to a National Championship, therefore he can do no wrong. There is another group who feels that Gary has coasted since wining the National Championship, stopped recruiting elite players and turned the Terps into a perennial NCAA tournament bubble team.

I am somewhere in between. I don’t view Gary Williams as a program savior by any means, but do think that he is a very good in-game coach. His 600+ career wins are a testament to that. I think his weakness has been in the “talent acquisition” department, which is another blog for another day.

With that said, I’m hanging this unacceptable loss on the head coach, not the players.

For the first time in a long time, Maryland’s bench players made a major contribution with 20 points, 10 boards and 4 blocks. During the last 11 or so minutes of the game when Maryland let the 20 point lead evaporate, Gary Williams left ineffective starters on the floor when he had bench players who were doing very well, gathering dust.  

Landon Milbourne was awful in all facets of the game, and couldn’t guard anyone. Cliff Tucker played very good defense while he was in the game, but rode the pine in crunch time while Clemson’s Terrence Oglesby (a freshman reserve) was lighting up Milbourne from the perimiter.

Bambale “boom” Osby had a bad game and could not guard Trevor Booker (a very good post player) down low. Jerome Burney (6 points, 3 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in 16 minutes) did a much better job guarding Booker than Osby. Where was Burney down the stretch? Sitting on the bench next to Cliff Tucker….

The Terps played tight at the end of the game and it was painfully obvious that Greivis Vasquez was the only player even remotely interested in trying to score. Why was Adrian Bowie (6 for 6 from the field for 12 points) on the bench late in the game? He certainly wasn’t afraid to take it to the hole, and played much better defense than Eric Hayes, who was repeatedly beaten off the dribble by Clemson’s guards.     

If Gary Williams was guilty of anything, it was being too loyal to his starting five, when three of them (Milbourne, Hayes and Osby) were being outplayed by their subs (see above).

One more thing… I love James Gist’s talent, but he just isn’t a clutch player. If you’re that talented, you plant your backside in the paint and demand the ball when the game’s on the line, not float out to the perimeter and watch others try to score.

This inexcusable home loss may be the pin that bursts the NCAA tournament bubble. How does Maryland come back from this?

I attended Gary Williams’ post game press conference, and in all fairness, he was very gracious. Obviously disappointed, but gracious. He’s coached a lot of games and has been on both sides of a result like this. I’m not sure how well a younger Gary Williams would have reacted to this loss.

The locker room was a morgue, naturally. I spoke to Landon Milbourne, whose voice was barely above a whisper. “Boom” Osby was searching for answers and Greivis Vasquez was almost at a loss for words.  Almost…

Comcast Center was packed (good to see) and filled with luminaries like Lefty Driesell, Buck Williams, Duane Simpkins, Tony Massenburg, Boomer Esiason, Scott Van Pelt from ESPN, Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bisciotti.  

How in the world did Maryland blow at 20 point second half lead at home to a sloppy Clemson team on “Senior Night”? I’ll be saying that to myself over and over as I head off to bed….

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Now the coaching search will finally heat up!!!!

Posted on 14 January 2008 by johnrallo

Now that the Colts and Cowboys have lost I think we will find out fairly quickly who our new coach will be. Here are my thoughts on several of the names that have been floating around.

1. Jason Garrett – I think he is the Ravens top choice. I just do not know why. Garrett is nothing more than the beneficiary of team loaded with offensive talent. He did not design this offense. As a matter of fact he really hasn’t done any better than Tony Sporano did in 2006 when he was calling the plays. Dallas scored 455 points in 2007. They scored 425 in 2006. Do not be fooled by the numbers. Anyone coaching this team would have put up similar numbers.

2. Tony Sparano- Like most people I believe he goes to Miami.

3. Jim Caldwell – I think he is replacing Dungy. I think Dungy may retire after this tough loss at home. Most people think Dungy is done or has 1 more year before he retires. Caldwell is his heir apparent.

4. Rex Ryan – Like Garrett I believe Rex Ryan has been the beneficiary of  extremely talented players. What has Rex accomplished that Lewis and Nolan didn’t? I like Rex. I think he is a solid coach. But he is all wrong for the Ravens.

Fist of all this team needs discipline. Rex is too friendly with the players to instill that discipline. Our defense lacked discipine. Whether it was Suggs jumping offsides regularly, Bart Scott throwing flags into the stands, or Ed Reed leaving his assignment only to have us think Rolle or Cmac got burnt in coverage, Rex was never able to stop these types of breakdowns. If he could not control the D, why does anyone think he could control the entire team?

Another reason I am against Rex is that the players want him. We can not have the inmates running the asylum. Billick and his staff were fired to bring in a fresh outlook. The team needs to be led in a new direction. I feel Rex would just maintain status quo.

5. Marvin Lewis – He is overrated as a DC. Just like Rex Ryan, Lewis was the beneficiary of tremendous talent on that side of the ball. As a HC he has done practically nothing. Cinci is basically a team that has played .500 football for the last 5 seasons. 3, 8-8 finishes, 1, 7-9 finish and 1, 11-5 finish. They have really had only one good season in his tenure.

He is supposed to be a defensive “genius”. His defenses have been sub par in Cinci. His best d ranking was 19th. The other 4 seasons were 30, 29, 28, 27. Hardly a stellar record. He had some talent his 2 years in Washington. The defenses in DC were ranked 5 and 25. The year he was 5th that didn’t tell the whole story because they were 21st in points allowed.

Marvin also is a poor judge of character. If he isn’t, the character of his players just does not matter to him. Look at the criminal record of the team under Marvin’s watchful eye. Also look at the way players like Chris Henry keep getting put on the field no matter how many times he is arrested or suspended by the league.

Now he has lost the team. Carson Palmer is ripping him in public. Once the locker room is divided you are going nowhere but down.

5. Marty Schottenheimer – He is my pick. I do not care about his age or post season record. What I do care about is he was just 14-2. He has had only 2 losing seasons in 21 years of coaching. He has a career .613 winning%. He made the playoffs in 13 of 21 years. I know he has a 5-13 post season record, but you can not get to the big dance unless you make the playoffs. Marty gives you that chance 2 out of every three seasons according to his past performance. Don’t forget he would have been in two Super Bowls if Earnest Byner does not fumble and Elway does not engineer “The Drive”.

I also like him because he instantly demands the respect of everyone in the organization. He will give this team the discipline it sorely needs.  It is time for a different message and Marty clearly has a different message than Billick.

I also like the fact that he already has Cam Cameron as OC and Mike Solari as Oline coach. Do not mention Marty ball. With Marty and Cameron running the Chargers O they were the # 1 scoring offense in 2006 and the #5 scoring offense in 2005.

Solari has been in KC most of his days. Many of you remember the stellar olines that KC had in the past. Mike Solari was the man coaching those offensive lines from 1997 -2005. He was the OC there the last 2 seasons.

I didn’t mention several other candidates because I did not feel they were getting serious consideration. Obviously this blog in based solely on the opinion I have formed based on the facts as I see them. Please feel free to agree or disagree with me. I just ask you give some reasons to back up your opinions.

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Five Things to Watch In The NFL

Posted on 09 August 2007 by roblong

Here is a list of five things I believe will happen in the NFL during the 2007 season:

– Tony Romo will be exposed flop.

– David Carr will become the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers

– San Francisco will contend for an NFC play-off spot as long as Alex Smith doesn’t get in their way.

– The NY Jets will fall back to an 8-8 team.

– The Titans will step up to get closer to a 9-7 or 10-6.

Give me a call, 410-481-1570 or email me at rob@wnst.net

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