Reads Listens Views 2/24/2012

Lot’s happening right now. Here’s a partial list:

2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio News

April 1 is just around the corner, and I’m still studying film for the 2012 publication. So far I have evaluated 144 prospects at QB, RB, WR, and TE. I’m expecting to watch another 10-20 players before I publish. The 2012 RSP will be available through a link I provide here for $19.95. Past issues are also be available (2006-2011).

Beginning this year, 10 percent of each 2012 RSP sale will be donated to the organization Darkness to Light. Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse should be a top priority in this country and this organization provides programs that “raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.”

Learn more about the Rookie Scouting Portfolio here. To find out why it has a loyal following, check out what some of its readers have to say.

RSP Guess the Combine 40-Time Contest on Facebook

Win a free copy of an RSP from 2006-2011 if you are the first to accurate guess (to the 100th of a second) the 40 times of Chris Polk, Alshon Jeffery, or Robert Griffin III. Details on how to enter.

Sirius XM Fantasy SportsTalk Appearances

Every other Saturday night at 9pm (including tomorrow) I’ll join Bob Harris and Mike Dempsey for a segment to answer their questions about draft prospects and their fantasy football implications.

March 26 National Football Post Draftnik Roundtable Podast

I’ll be participating in a discussion about prospects with Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, ESPN’s Brent Sobleski, and NFP’s Wes Bunting. Details to come.

RSP profile highlights will be in the New York Times Fifth Down Blog in April

I have been invited back to provide excerpts of my takes on top prospects for the Fifth Down Blog for the second year in a row.

Homer McFanBoy Interview

The Redskins’ blogger was gracious enough to ask me my opinion of quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill.


These are thoughts I’ve shared recently on Twitter or elsewhere when I take breaks from the Film Cave:

  • I don’t know if I’m going to create a run-first offensive for the RSP Writer’s Project, but I don’t think there’s an aspect of football that I enjoy more than watching an offense dominate a defense on the ground. One of the best few hours of film watching I did this week was studying RB Bernard Pierce and Temple’s angle blocking scheme against Maryland and Wyoming to an unending loop of ZZ Top’s Jesus Just Left Chicago. Chocolate and peanut butter, man . . . chocolate and peanut butter.
  • Michigan TE Kevin Koger isn’t a dynamic athlete but if you’re a football fan, you have to have an aesthetic appreciation for guts. I watched Koger limp off the field late in the first half of the Iowa game after returning a short kick only to return in the second half and ding that ankle/leg in the third quarter. Although he was no longer given the responsibility of one-on-one match ups with defensive ends during the fourth quarter, Koger fought through the pain and discomfort to make a diving catch of a late-TD pass with a great double move in the middle of the field that got him just enough separation for a grab with linebacker hanging off him. Tough players.
  • I’d be a fool to think that the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t draft a running back in April, but I believe Chad Spann is going to earn a shot to play a more prominent role in the offense. I have a conversation scheduled with Spann later today that will be Q&A here in the coming weeks.
  • Alshon Jeffery can do a pretty mean imitation of Michael Irvin on the football field in  spurts lasting 5-10 seconds. I watched the South Carolina receiver catch a crossing route heading straight into a granite wall posing as an FSU defensive tackle in last year’s bowl game and he managed to spin off the contact and knock down this behemoth within a few steps. But the difference between Jeffery and Irvin is work ethic and I believe work ethic is a talent and not something just anyone has or can easily acquire.
  •  Miami QB Jacory Harris had a receiver in Travis Benjamin who did a fantastic job of exiting his breaks with a flat or angled path back to the quarterback. Benjamin’s routes essentially screamed “throw it to THIS spot,” and Harris still showed difficulty placing the ball on the correct shoulder of the receiver on short routes. I like Benjamin’s prospects as a future slot receiver and return specialist that can play outside in some situations. Harris is a major project.

Reads, Listens, Views

Scariest job on earth

I have a quick story that leads to a terrific video supplied to me by regular reader Steven Johnson, who specifically sent it for inclusion with today’s post. The feeling I got watching it reminded me of a part-time job I had nearly 20 years ago working at the University of Georgia’s drama school doing set design. My boss was the set design professor B. Don Massey.

“B-Don” was a generous guy who tried to teach me basic carpentry skills and introduced me to some welding (I wish I pushed him to teach me more – could have been a good side gig for a poor writer). If my wife is reading this, she’s probably laughing at the thought of me building walls, risers, and furniture. Trust me, my co-workers laughed plenty.

One day, B-Don told me we were headed to the rigging. This involved climbing an iron ladder attached to the back wall of the main stage. I had done some of the rigging work before, 2-3 floors above the stage. This is where we began, but then B-Don says we’ve got more to do at the top and to follow him.

What I didn’t realize is B-Don took me on a seven-floor ladder climb that ended about 3-4 feet below a “floor” of thin girders that held up the stage curtains. I’m already a little tired from the seven-floor climb to the top of this latter when I watch B-Don hike his leg knee-to-waist so he can get his foot on the cap of a pipe that ran parallel to the ladder while pulling on the girders to hike himself onto the “floor.”

This was the point where I began to have the realization that Kansas was about seven floors down. I managed to follow him up there, but when it was time to walk on this floor of evenly spaced girders that were close enough to each other that you couldn’t fall between them unless you were a newborn kitten yet wide enough that you could see everything below you was when my legs and eyes told my brain to take logic and shove it up Aristotle’s hind parts.

After five minutes up there, B-Don explained to me he was testing to see if I had the comfort level to work up there all day during the summer. Let’s just say that when I climbed down that ladder and kissed the stage floor that’s all you need to know about the outcome of his quiz.

I want you to watch this video and if you have a fear of heights once you get beyond the reasonable height of your roof, feel free to share how you felt watching it. While riveting, my legs and eyes were telling logic to shut up.


Drones Set Sites on U.S. Skies – There are some cool, practical uses for these unmanned flying devices. But there’s also something disturbing about them in an Orwellian sense.

My favorite comment at the end of this article:

Instead of wasting time and money fighting, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court, this new Orwellian federal law that will foster the proliferation of spy-cam voyeurism, the ACLU should just get some drones, fly them over the backyards of the Justices, upload the video onto YouTube, and then sit back and see how quickly the law is declared unconstitutional.

-LB, New York


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