Saturday, November 19, 2011

An interview with San Diego Chargers WR Richard Goodman

Back in July, Justin Adams and I did an interview on our podcast "The Bicoastal Sports Show" with Richard Goodman. He was gracious enough to give us a few minutes of his time, and talk to us. At that time, he seemed like a long shot to make the roster, but now Goodman has emerged as one of the best special teams players that the Chargers have. While some of the questions are a little dated, it was a really fun interview, and my first with a professional athlete. Here are a few of the highlights:

Q: "One of the things I found interesting about you, is that you played at Florida State, under Bobby Bowden. What kind of coach was he?"

A: "He was definitely a player's coach. He could relate to all situations, because he has coached so many guys: Hall-of-Famers, NFL stars. He was always hands-on and was there or players on and off of the field."

Q: "During the lockout, we read that many players were doing individual workouts. What exactly does that consist of?"

A: "I would usually wake up in the morning and lift weights with a few guys down in Florida(where he lives in the offseason). We would do sprints and cone drills, just things to stay in shape. It definitely isn't the same as practicing with your teammates.

Q: "What kind of influence do star players like Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, and Antonio Gates have on a young player, such as yourself?

A: "Just seeing guys who make a commitment each day. They always tried to get better, and go hard regardless of who the opponent is, or if we were coming off of a win or a loss. They take every rep seriously, and they make you want to get better as well."

Q: "The Chargers struggles on special teams have been well documented. How do you feel that you can help in that area."

A: "I definitely want to be a spark. I want to use my speed and quickness and make a play on special teams, either on a return, or by making a big tackle. I want to be able to help the team out in any way I can, so I look forward to playing a large role on special teams."

Q: "You played with Vikings QB Christian Ponder, what exactly does he bring to the table?"

A: "He is one of the smartest guys I have ever been around. So I bet he knows the playbook well. He is a winner, when he came to Florida State, people doubted him, but he played through injuries, and always made plays. He proved a lot of people wrong by getting drafted 12th overall. He has my utmost respect."

Q: "What is the toughest team you have played against?'

A: "I would have to say New England. The defense, with the way they lineup, it is hard to know what defense they are playing until the snap the ball."

Richard is a class act, and has a an for life in me! Give him a follow on Twitter at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My San Diego Padres Offseason plan

The San Diego Padres were one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 season, winning 90 games, and barely missed out on winning the NL West. Prior to 2011, the Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez, and lost 91 games in 2011. The team is clearly in rebuilding mode, however, they could still remain competitive in 2011, in a subpar NL West. If the season started today, here is what their roster would look like.

RF: Will Venable
SS: Jason Bartlett
CF: Cameron Maybin
1B: Jesus Guzman/Anthony Rizzo
3B: Chase Headley
C:  Nick Hundley
LF: Kyle Blanks
2B: Orlando Hudson

The Padres hit an NL worst .237, and scored only 593 runs, good for 15th in the 16 team National League. The lineup should be better if Chase Headley and Nick Hundley stay healthy, and Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson have rebound seasons. I am still a big fan of Kyle Blanks, put he has struggled to put all of his tools together. Here are a few free agents that would be within the Padres grasp.

  • Josh Willingham, OF: He may be a bit out of the Padres price range, perhaps commanding as much as $9 million over a two or three-year deal, but he has some pop. He hit 29 HR's last year playing in Oakland, and could give the Padres some much needed power. If his price drops a bit, I could see the Padres being a player. 
  • David DeJesus, OF: I have always been a big fan of DeJesus' game since he came up with the Royals. He had an off-year with Oakland last year, but did have an OBP of .384 in 2010. He could be a guy brought in to play the outfield on a one-year deal. 
  • Cody Ross, OF: The former playoff hero for the Giants had a subpar year, but would be a decent option in RF for the Pads. He has a little pop, and can play all three OF positions.
The rotation was not as strong in 2011, but without any additions, the Padres have a decent rotation. Mat Latos pitched well down the stretch, and should be starting on Opening Day. Tim Stauffer had a very solid season as well, and Cory Luebke looks like a future star. Aaron Harang won 14 games, but for some reason the front office has shown no interest in bringing him back. Here is what I project for the rotation:

SP: Mat Latos
SP: Tim Stauffer
SP: Cory Luebke
SP: Clayton Richard
SP: Wade Leblanc/Anthony Bass

The bullpen was the best in baseball in 2010, and for the early part of 2011, but trades and injuries have depleted the depth of the pen. The Padres will certainly look to bring in a few bullpen arms. Here is what I project as of right now:

RP: Josh Spence
RP: Ernesto Frieri
RP: Luke Gregerson
RP: Drew Carpenter
RP: Joe Thatcher
RP: Brad Brach
RP: Eric Hamren

Here are some candidates for both the rotation and the bullpen:

  • Jon Garland, SP: Garland has been a lock for 200 innings and an ERA around 4.00; however injuries ruined his 2011 campaign with the Dodgers. Garland was solid for the Padres in 2010, winning 14 games.
  • Joel Pineiro, SP: Another buy-low option for the Padres. He had a rough year in 2011 for the Angels, but he could be had for a low commitment, a one-year, $3M deal could be enough to bring him to San Diego. 
  • Jon Rauch, RP: Had a miserable year in 2011, but does have experience closing games, something the Padres will need, since the Padres are likely to lose Heath Bell. Chad Qualls had a bounce-back year in 2011, and perhaps Rauch could do the same.
The Padres did acquire Mark Kotsay today, likely to provide depth, and veteran experience. I really do not expect much from the Padres in 2012, but only time will tell. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Is Tim Tebow a legit NFL QB?

Tim Tebow. The name alone sparks so many emotions. Some people love the former Heisman Trophy candidate, praising his hard work and dedication. Others snicker at his lack of velocity and inaccuracy in the passing game. I really have no ill-will towards the guy, expect that he plays for the Denver Broncos, the team I hate the most.

However, everyone talks about Tebow. He is one of the most talked about NFL players that I can ever remember. The guy was an all-time great in college, a surprising 1st round pick last year, and has one of the best selling jerseys in the NFL. The fans in Denver begged for football Jesus to get a shot, and so far the results have been mixed.

This season Tebow is completing a pathetic 44.8 % of his passes, yet has thrown 7 TD's to just 1 INT, and has added 2 TD's on the ground. He has a 3-1 record in 4 starts, and has the Donkey's right in the mix in hte AFC West. His QB rating of 81.6 is ahead of starters like Philip Rivers, Matt Cassel, Michael Vick, and Josh Freeman.

In yesterday's 17-10 win against the Chiefs, Tebow completed 2 passes the entire game! Two! One came on a long pass play to Eric Decker, and Tebow finished up 2-8, for 63 yds and a TD. It also gave him a QB rating of under 100, which shows me how flawed that statistic is. Bottom line, Tebow is not a legitimate NFL QB in my opinion.

However, the team keeps winning. Head coach John Fox has simplified the offense, essentially bringing the option to the NFL. The team plans to keep running the football with Tebow and Co., until someone proves they can stop it.

I actually like Tebow. He seems like a really great dude, and I applaud his perseverance when every "expert" in the NFL has doubted him. I just do not see how a quarterback can be a long-term solution, while completing 45 % of his throws. Sure, the team has won 3 of 4 with Tebow at the helm, but this simply cannot continue long-term, right?

Personally, I think Tebow belongs in the NFL, just not as a starting QB. He would be interesting as a role-player. Line him up as a tight end, he can take a direct snap, and pound the ball between the tackles, and even throw a few times ago. I just do not believe in him as a viable QB. Tebow just keeps winning, so how can you bench him? If I am Denver, I am still looking for a "real" QB. Tebow is not the answer.