Posts Tagged ‘Terps in the pros


Juan Dixon cut! Is this the end of the line?


The Atlanta Hawks cut Juan Dixon yesterday. Please! A moment of silence.

The move is not entirely unexpected, as the Hawks already had Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Mo Evans, Mario West, Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague, Dave Spiwack, World B. Free, John Havlicek, Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez and Donnie Wahlberg at the guard positions. That’s some serious small ball, but I bet they could put Rosie on the block if they had to. Don’t kid yourself. She has a big rack. Juan did average a respectable 9 points in three preseason games.

The NBA season starts next Tuesday. I’m guessing Juan signs with another team after an injury or something during the season. He’s not an All Star, but he’s definitely serviceable. I’ve always thought he would be a good fit on a veteran contender-type team that valued character guys and could use an offensive spark off the bench. Perhaps a team whose name rhymes with Shman Anshmonio. But if he has played his last NBA game, that’d be eight seasons in the league. He could’ve done a lot worse.


Former Terp Standout Kris Jenkins Injured Once Again


Another lost season for Jets nose tackle and former Maryland DT Kris Jenkins. After suffering a torn left ACL yesterday, Jenkins, a three-time Pro Bowler who played for the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, is shelved again. Jenkins, 30, helped key the turnaround of the Jets run defense, and can be dominant when he’s healthy. It’s just that that doesn’t seem to consistently happen. He missed all but one game in 2004 and all but four games in 2005, after injuring his shoulder and tearing his right ACL, respectively. The dude is running out of knees. He also battled back problems earlier this season, among other various ailments.

Jenkins was a three-year starter for the Terps and started 27 of the 41 games during his time there.  As a senior in 2000, Jenkins made second team All-ACC, logging eight sacks and 18 quarterback pressures to go with 62 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.  Him and Lamont Jordan were both drafted out of that team.

Jenkins, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract in 2008, should return for the Jets next season. Here’s hoping for a full recovery for Jenkins, who by all accounts is a good player, a good cook, and an all-around good guy.

(Photo credit: Andrew Mills/The [Newark] Star-Ledger)


Darrius Heyward-Bey not exactly tearing up the record books


Back in April, everyone agreed that the Raiders selecting former Terp wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey seventh overall was the swiftest move in the 2009 NFL draft.  For owner Al Davis, it was a legacy builder.  A masterstroke, even.  Dan Snyder chartered Big Boy I to fly out there and pick Al Davis’s brain.  And I don’t mean figuratively. 

The world was excited.  We watched and we waited.  With DHB, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, and pugnacious new head coach Tom Cable, Oakland had visions of glory.  Maybe .500?  Don’t jinx it, they cried!  It’s too sweet to even mention.

But now, oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Heyward-Bey is currently tied for 118th among NFL receivers with two receptions.  Just a few days ago, Chris Berman and Peter King — the Mount Rushmore of football journalism intelligentsia — both observed that DHB has fewer catches than he has names.  Oh, oh!   My goodness!   One teensy little problem, though.  His last name is hyphenated, making it one word.  That means his reception total is TIED with his name total.  So there.  Hey, guys, I’ve booked a third-grade-level grammar class for you.  My treat.

People might be quick to blame DHB because he was picked higher than people thought he should’ve been.  I guess he should have refused the money and the big-time spotlight, huh?   It’s not helping that DHB is saddled with another Al Davis masterstroke, JaMarcus Russell, who is just about the worst quarterback in the NFL (thank Gosh for Derek Anderson!).  He has thrown four interceptions and precisely one touchdown.  His completion percentage is 42 — good for worst in the league.  In technical terms, he couldn’t throw it into the ocean from a rowboat.   He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.  And let’s not even bring up the narrow side.

This is also not to mention the general suckitude of the entire Raiders organization.  Oh, and the pesky little fact that Cable may soon be facing felony assault charges.  But as always, time will tell where the blame lies for DHB’s stumble out of the gate.  After Al Davis ships him to Indy in two years for a seventh-round draft pick and two units of plasma, we’ll see who is right and who is wrong.


Juan Dixon is Homeless

You know you want to sign him.

You know you want to sign him.

Juan Dixon, who averaged 5.2 points and 2.4 assists per game last season with the Washington Wizards, is still an unsigned free agent as NBA training camps get underway. He’s in Atlanta now and is apparently a long shot to make the team. I hate to say it, but this could be the end of the NBA line for the greatest player in Maryland basketball history.

Juan’s numbers were down last year from his career averages, mainly due to nagging injuries, the coaches’ insistence on playing him at the one, and the general sucking tar pit that was the 2008-2009 Washington Wizards. I think he could still provide instant offense off the bench for a good team, but he’s no spring chicken any more (31 in October, Jesus, I’m old) and I’m not sure if he’ll get that shot. We’ll keep an eye on this and see if anything materializes. Best of luck to him.

(Image credit:


Shaun Hill’s Still Got The Skills…And His Rhymes Is Ill…and He Writes With Quills…


As you probably know, former Terp Shaun Hill, who led us to the Orange Bowl in 2001, is the starting QB for the 49ers.  Last Sunday, he stood toe to toe with Brett Favre until Favre apparently threw some kind of game-winning touchdown. Maybe you caught the highlight somewhere. In any case, interesting parallels between these two guys, as Hill holds his own in an unlikely NFL career.

Favre also won the statistical battle Sunday (24-for-46, 301 yds, 2 TDs, 1 pick), but Hill was more economical, going 15-25 for 195 and the same 2 and 1.  In their own respective ways, both these guys have become folk heroes to fans and writers. Every Favre story begins with something like “The Ol’ Gunslinger is still just a kid out there,” followed by some reference to his trimming hedges in Mississippi like he’s Forrest Gump.  It’s actually a national law now that Favre stories include all this — go ahead, look it up.  Meanwhile, there’s a similar common narrative on Hill now, along the lines of, “He’s not flashy, he’s just a journeyman farm boy from Kansas, but you know what he wins ball games OMG he’s like Everyman,” and so on.  I’m not comparing them skill-wise…just riffing is all.

On the season, Hill currently ranks 26th in passing yards, but he’s 11th in quarterback rating — above Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, and Philip Rivers, among others — and only has one INT.  And of course, his team is 2-1 and atop their division. 

As a final Terps note, Hill’s two TDs went to another Terp standout, Vernon “Duke” Davis, who’s averaging 56 receiving yards a game and is enjoying a bit of a resurgence.  Nice.

Don’t forget to vote Shell Games for Best Terps Blog!  We may not be the biggest blog on the block, but we’re proud, we’re scrappy…and we want that Cinderella slipper.  Thanks a million!

(Photo credit:


Terp NFL rookies learn their fates


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)


shawne merriman hits tequilla, finds himself behind bars

Tila Tequilla in one word, "classy".

Tila Tequilla in one word, "classy".

I like to think you learn something new every day.  I learned a couple things this afternoon.  First, I learned that Terrapin alum and star linebacker Shawne Merriman was dating the “star” of reality show “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequilla”.  That, in and of itself, made me laugh, and then turn my thoughts to bigger questions regarding the meaning of life.

Second, I learned how you mix Shawne Merriman with Tila Tequilla – shaken, not stirred. <rim shot>  OK, I’m backtracking already, there is nothing funny about domestic abuse, and I hereby formally disclaim any and all responsibility for that comment.  That was tasteless.  I apologize to our readers, Tila Tequilla, and her friends, family, and countrymen.

Shawne Merriman in one word, "collected".

Shawne Merriman in one word, "collected".

Anyway, their relationship ended today as Merriman choked Tequilla during a domestic dispute and was taken into custody at 3:45AM.  I, for one, am astonished that this match made in California ended in such a volatile manner.  Anyone that knows these two people will tell you they are both the picture of stability, and role models in their community.  In fairness to Merriman, it was a fair fight.  Shawne is 6’4″, 265 lbs of synthetic muscle, and Tequilla is, well she’s wiry.  Merriman had just started recovering his reputation from steroid scandal and now this.  Way to make us proud Shawne!  Jerk.

As I ponder the meaning of life I’m led to believe that love died today, and there will be no second shot at it.


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May 2020