Posts Tagged ‘Dan Gronkowski

08
Sep
09

Terp NFL rookies learn their fates

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Ah, come on in, son.  Sit on down here a minute. Can I get you anything?  All right.  Look, I wanted to tell you something. In this life, you win some, and you lose some. Know what I mean? It’s not how we face success that matters, but how we face adversity. Winning isn’t everything in life.  There are plenty of fish in the ocean. Understand? A stitch in time? Well, you know what they say. It saves nine. Forewarned is forearmed. You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. A penny saved is a penny earned. The future is not set; there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

What I’m driving at here, son, is that you’re cut. You are cut from this football team. Bet you wished you’d finished up that communications degree, eh? Looks like you’ll be retrofitting bathrooms for assisted living facilities in no time flat. I’m sure that’s fine work. If you haven’t cleared out your locker in 20 minutes, we’re legally authorized to shoot paint balls at you. Only the balls aren’t filled with paint. They’re filled with the powdered form of a low-grade nerve toxin. So go on, son. Git. Git your stuff. I’m sorry this had to happen. You played your tail off. Just think of this as the end of a dream. Does that help? I’m not much for speeches. Just try not to commit suicide while you’re still on team premises. That’s messy work, both legally and janitorially. I know you don’t want to put our general counsel, Phil, through that. Not to mention our head custodian, who is also named Phil. Okay, then.

A lot of would-be NFL rookies heard this same, exact speech — or surely a very, very similar version — last Saturday, when all teams trimmed their rosters to 53. How did the former Terps fare who were on the roster bubble?  Let’s take a gander:

  • Edwin Williams, C/G: Made Redskins roster as a backup O-lineman, mainly because of his ability to play guard as well as center. Edwin is a lifelong Skins fan, which probably means he is about to be sued. Current starting center Casey Rabach among league leaders in suckitude. Stay tuned.
  • Dan Gronkowski, TE: Slight disappointment here. Tight end drafted in seventh round by the defending 0-16 Lions impressed in preseason, and was signed to Detroit’s practice squad. Okay, Dan. I heard the Viking tight ends run something called a “screen” route. Think you could help us re-create that this week?
  • Moise Fokou, LB: The former Maryland walk-on had a monster camp with the Eagles, recording 24 tackles in three preseason games. He’ll back up Chris Gocong this season at strongside linebacker. Great story and huge ups for Fokou, whose jersey could be a hot seller among Philly fans, long noted for their sophisticated, family-friendly sense of humor.
  • Jamie Thomas, OT: Made Colts practice squad.
  • Jeremy Navarre, DE: Made Jaguars practice squad.
  • Chase Bullock, LB: Released by the Cardinals. I’ll admit it — I’ve never heard of Chase Bullock. But he went to Maryland (apparently he was injured a lot).
  • Dave Philistin, LB: Waived by Seattle.
  • Scott Burley, OT: Waived by Redskins.
  • Dane Randolph, DT: The subject of an interesting miniseries in the Post about life as an unsigned NFL rookie seemed to be at least mildly impressive at camp, but unfortunately didn’t make the regular or practice squad roster.
  • Trey Covington, LB: Invited to Jets camp, apparently didn’t survive very long.
  • Isaiah Williams, WR: See above, replace Jets with Ravens
  • Dean Muhtadi, DE: See above, replace Ravens with Packers

We kid, but seriously, congratulations to all of them for just getting a shot, which makes them athletically superior to about 98 percent of the population. Good luck to all of them moving forward. They’re all Terps for life, and will always have that going for them.

(Photo credit: Clem Murray, Philadelphia Daily News)

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02
Sep
09

Dan Gronkowski impressive with the Lions

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As a seventh-round draft pick, Dan Gronkowski‘s chances of making a 53-man NFL roster seemed pretty remote–even if that roster belongs to your 0-16 Dee-troit Lions. And especially since the Lions drafted another tight end in the first round. But so far, it’s all coming up Milhouse for Gronkowski. The first-rounder, Brandon Pettigrew, got injured in camp, which opened the door for Dan the Man. And he’s capitalizing. In last week’s preseason win over the Colts, he caught the game-winning touchdown. And apparently, he’s been generally impressive among the Lions rookies — he’s shown he can catch a football, but needs to improve his blocking to really make a great case. He’s got one more shot to do it — tomorrow night in the team’s preseason finale. Go Dan.

(Photo credit: WIVB)

23
Apr
09

The Terp fan’s ultimate draft guide

He a fast dude.

He a fast dude.

At this point, all us non-underneath-a-rock-dwellers know that Darrius Heyward-Bey is considered one of the top receivers available in the NFL draft.  But did you know there are 10 Terps who could potentially be drafted this weekend?   It’s true.  Let’s break it all down, shall we?

Obviously it all starts with the DHB.  ESPN’s two-headed monster of Kiper and McShay (I wonder which head will eat the other one first) have him ranked fourth at WR, behind Michael Crabtree, Jerome Maclin, and Percy Harvin. Not too surprising, given that he ran the fastest 40 at the NFL combine. I nerded out and watched a little of his combine workout…what surprised me was how built he is. For all that speed, he’s not a skinny dude. Every mock draft has him going in the first round…some to Baltimore with pick 26, some to Tampa with pick 19. (I also wouldn’t count out the Skins reaching for him at 13…might be hard for them to resist a big-play guy who would put local butts in the seats. Do you really expect them to draft a lineman if they keep that pick?)

It’s not all about DHB, though. Center Edwin Williams is projected for the late rounds (frankly, I thought he’d be higher…he was on the Rimington Trophy watch list, for jerk’s sake).  They’re saying Kevin Barnes could be a “value pick” in the middle rounds at cornerback…his season-ending injury basically took him out of the running for the early rounds.  I think he’ll be nasty in the NFL…the dude hits like Mark Carrier.

I also think someone’s going to get a nice, serviceable tight end in Dan Gronkowski. He catches some, he blocks some, he works hard, he plays hard. So look for him to continue Maryland’s NFL pedigree at “the tight end position.” I could see him having a decent, if somewhat inconspicuous, career for the Browns or someone like that.

Dan Gronkowski gets it on at the combine

Dan Gronkowski gets it on at the combine

There’s another solid draft possibility too. Do you remember Jaime Thomas at left guard? I admit it…I do not remember Jamie Thomas at left guard. But apparently, he could be a late-round pick.

There are other guys, but they could be destined for the practice squad, or a desk at the local Gold’s Gym. Dave Philistin and Moise Fokou are in the mix at linebacker, but my guess is they won’t be drafted. Same goes for Jeremy Navarre, who was good for the Terps but probably not athletic enough to be an NFL defensive end. Tackles Dane Randolph and Scott Burley are top-40 prospects, at least according to some.

But how about this as a potential surprise? In all the DHB talk, we forgot about WR Isaiah Williams. He was a decent player, and he ran the same 40 time as Crabtree…maybe someone will take a flyer. Eh? Who’s with me on this one?  Who’s excited? Can’t you just hear it…”with the 256th pick in the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select……Isaiah Williams, wide receiver, Maryland!”  I’m setting my Tivo right now.

Overall, here’s my guess:  DHB in the first round, Barnes in the fourth, Gronkowski and Thomas in the fifth, Edwin Williams in the sixth, Isaiah Williams in the seventh. So that’s six guys…not too bad.  As always, we shall see.

(Photo credits: DHB photo is Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf; Gronkowski is Scott Boehm/Getty Images)




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