Walk on the Wild Side: Sunday Night in Mobile

Nothing like a little adventure in Alabama. Check out two receivers who could be the gas for their offense this week. Photo by Beau Owens Photography.

Just wrapping up a Senior Bowl preview with Jene Bramel for the New York Times Fifth Down and I wanted to share two videos of players I’ll be watching closely this week: Oregon State receiver Markus Wheaton and Louisiana Tech pass catcher Quinton Patton. Check out the thank you at the end of this post to see the true meaning behind this gas can photo.

Wheaton is often compared to Mike Wallace because of his speed, but I think he tells a much better story as a route runner than Wallace did at this point in his career. Truth be told, Wallace didn’t play on a team at Ole Miss that even coached the fine points of receiving so I’m not sure how fair a comparison/contrast that is between the two. Yet, I do like Wheaton’s savvy to work open on shorter routes and I think he’s a more physical player. Wheaton, unlike the player below, has film that shows more variety to his game than many vertical guys.

Patton is a raw receiver, but he flashes the ability to integrate his physical skills with his limited technique to make plays against quality college defenders. I think he has a knack for the position and I believe he could be a fast learner. Check out his fade route at the 1:55 mark in this video and you’ll see the type of precision that I think can be harnessed into most of his game. I hope to see him on a greater variety of routes than what’s seen in the video above.


I own a Prius. I bought it this spring. While I miss going fast, I love the mileage it gets (45-50 mpg). The only minor complaint I have about the Prius is the gas gauge. The computer doesn’t reset the gauge accurately if you refill at half a tank.

If you’re driving on the highway, the gauge can have a reading of a third or even a half a tank and within seconds drop to a tenth of a tank. I discovered this just outside of Montgomery, Alabama this afternoon about a half mile from a gas station. I’d like to thank Phil, an ER nurse from Tallassee, Alabama who was kind enough to help us out today when he spotted me jogging along the side of I-85 and offered to drive me to the gas station and back to my vehicle where Jene Bramel hanged back and wondered if the last he was going to see of me was getting into a silver Subuaru towing a cart that hid the license plate.

First time in 27 years of driving I’ve ever run out of gas. I’ve come close along the border of rural Montana/Wyoming 20 years ago, but my time came due today. Good thing I shaved my beard this weekend, not sure anyone would have felt save picking me up at the side of the road if I hadn’t.





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