Reads Listens Views 3/9/2012

John Wooden on true success

Ahead at the RSP Blog

The 2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio will be available on April 1 via a link to my shopping cart site. Learn more about the RSP process and content here.

Pre-order the 2012 RSP and buy past RSPs (2006-2011) here.

Steelers RB Chad Spann and I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago (preview below) and he has agreed to spend time studying a game of Ray Rice’s with me. Expect transcripts of that session in mid-April or early May.

The RSP Writers Project is still on, but I decided to push back the process of picking players until May since most of us doing the work are busy covering the draft. Expect an unveiling of teams in July and August.

Preview of Next Week’s Q&A Sessions with Chad Spann

Chad Spann has been a Pittsburgh Steeler since late fall. He’s a long-term sleeper to monitor. Learn more about what he’s learning to compete at the highest level.

Q: You talked with me in the past about what your Steelers teammates shared about your game and the advice they gave this year. One of those things was when Will Allen told you about maintaining your drive phase longer. For my audience, can you explain what that means and why it helps a running back?

Spann: If you watch a sprinter run the 100 meters the drive phase is usually that first 10-15 meters of the race where they still have their heads down, they’re arms are really high, they’re knee drive his really high, and they are pushing through to get to their top speed. How that translates to football is when you make that cut and explode through the hole or you just made a catch and you’re trying to explode past that defender. That’s crucial to being able to run away from defenders, finish long runs, make big plays, and for me to run through arm tackles.

Especially with my smaller stature, I will be more susceptible to arm tackles from guys 6’6”, 280-290 pounds on the d-line and those linebackers like Ray Lewis who have been doing it for years. I’m more susceptible to getting arm tackled so I have to be able to power through them by exploding as hard as I can.

To maintain that drive phase I have to have good dorsiflexion. I have to have (More from Spann’s “Lessons Learned and Work Ahead” Q&A in the coming days). . .


Mike Mayock Interview – Optimum Scouting’s profile/interview. Good read on how Mayock became one of the names synonymous with the NFL Draft.

Josh Norris’ Draft Rankings via Google Docs: Josh interned with the St. Louis Rams’ scouting department and does some work with Rotoworld. He’s dedicated, knowledgeable, and he’s good people.

Ryan Lownes’ Draft Rankings via Google Doc: Ryan writes for and he’s a student at Ohio University. He guessed RGIII’s 40-time down to the 100th of a second. Ryan and Josh have a true passion for the draft.

Sigmund Bloom’s Bleacher Report Draft Blog – Bloom has always been good at weaving together the moving parts of the NFL Draft to find compelling stories both large and small.

Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction – A little existential philosophy.

Free, But Not Cleared: Ernie Lopez Comes Home – a follow up to a story I linked to months ago.

Body Scanners – a series of stories on the effectiveness and health risks associated with these devices.


Stanton Moore is a terrific drummer with a `Nawlins funk influence. He gives a clinic to the North Texas State jazz program, which is the equivalent of a top-tier SEC football program when it comes to talent.

“Pot Licker”


What the Frack is in That Water? An well-presented info-graphic list of what oil and gas companies use to “Frack-up” the earth.

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