Worth a second week to lead off Reads Listens Views with this twin bill from Emory Hunt and crew at Football Game Plan.
The Return of Reads Listens Views?
If you’re new to the Rookie Scouting Portfolio blog, welcome. Until last December, I used Fridays to post links to pieces that I’ve found personally compelling or to content I haven’t read yet. I moved in spring of 2014 and I had a lot of logistical adjustments, including finding an adequate way to build and maintain a growing library of college game games. I had to drop something from my schedule and it mean Reads Listens Views was the first to go.
I had a false start with returning RLV to the rotation in April, but I’m hoping I can make it stick. As I’ve long said about this Friday feature, you may not like everything listed here, but you’re bound to like something.
Reads: Football: A Love Story & What Did Football Teach Me
This duo of publications compiled by the crew at Footballgameplan.com is time well-spent. I found myself 30 pages into Football: A Love Story while standing next to my mailbox. Both books are compilations of coaches, players, and media telling their own stories about the game and the cross-section of people surveyed is fantastic:
- Future Hall of Famer Ed Reed
- Former NFL lineman and national media analyst Ross Tucker
- NFL and college coach Jeff Tedford
- Dr. Jen Welter, former player and Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker coach–the first female coach in the NFL
- Willie Robinson, head coach of the Lubeck Cougars, a German football team (an incredible story)
- Terry Bowden
- John Harbuagh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens
These two books are perfect for a trip or a series of brief moments where you want to get away from the world for a few minutes at a time. Pick them up at the link above.
Views: But of Course…
I don’t own any of the rights to the video below, I’m using the video for educational purposes. The music, Heavy Metal Paper Clip, is used with permission from Darren Kramer
Checking out a few carries from Ameer Abdullah’s game and there are notable skills on display that will translate to the regular season, the same way they did at Nebraska and in Lions practices:
- The first run was designed to get Abdullah warmed up to the speed of the game. It’s a toss sweep that takes advantage of Abdullah’s burst. Well blocked and you see a hint of his great skill at bending the corner at top speed and bursting down hill. This is what I have noted several times in my publication, articles, and podcasts.
- Multiple moves within a run while still maintaining a down-hill mentality is how I’d describe the second run in this clip. Great hip flexibility to make the safety miss in the hole. This is why Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles comped Abdullah’s quickness to Barry Sanders–not his overall game, just Abdullah’s quickness. It’s IMO, the most impressive move of the night.
- The play that’s getting the biggest rotation on social media is the third run where he sets up the linebacker in the flat and cuts the run back inside. Love the head and should fake to set up the cut and the explosion from the cut.
- Abdullah has to keep the ball a little tighter to his frame. Although Darrelle Revis doesn’t succeed with his attempt to knock the ball loose, Abdullah’s ball security left an opening.
You can read more about Abdullah in my Futures column written nearly a year ago. Or watch the RSP Film room with pro RB Chad Spann
The Rest of My Current Rotation:
- Cincinnati has drastically reduced their concussions with a “vision training” program – Article by Doug Samuels. H/T to Dan Hatman at the Scouting Academy.
- Nurture Shock – Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s book on the science of parenting. H/T to Ryan Riddle. Now on my list to read.
- Assholes: A Theory – Aaron James’ book explores what it means for someone to be an asshole and how to manage these people in your life. Looks fun and possibly helpful.
- The Art of Smart Football – Chris Brown’s (@SmartFootball) followup to his first book is an excellent combination of storytelling and Xs and Os deconstruction of what’s influencing the game. Do yourself a solid and buy this book. I also recommend his recent update to his football glossary at the Smart Football site.
- Several short sentences about writing – Verlyn Klinkenborg is a novelist, teacher, and on the editorial board of the New York Times. His book is a departure from many publications on writing. It’s meditative, elegant, and encourages you to let go of all the bullshit that you’ve picked up in school.
- The Complete Wide Receiver – Jay Norvell has coached the position for over 30 years. His pupils have included Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Michael Clayton, Jerome Pathon, Jerry Porter, and most recently, Dorial Green-Beckham. This book was recommended to me, because a scout thought I had read it based on my observations of the position. Reading it has been a validation and a valuable pursuit of knowledge.
Download the 2015 Rookie Scouting Portfolio + Post-Draft Update!
Friday’s are also my chance to thank you for reading my work, encourage you to follow the RSP blog, and download the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication.
If you’re in a dynasty league, the combination of the 2015 RSP and the RSP Post-Draft will have you prepared for this year and beyond.
Here’s just a sample of what my readers–new and old–are saying about the 2015 RSP. (Get ready for “Squee!” “Dammnits” and jaws dropping)
Take a video tour of the 2015 pre-draft to see what I mean:
Seriously, this analysis is worth the price of the 2015 RSP package alone, but you also get the post-draft addendum with your purchase of the RSP. Remember 10 percent of each sale is donated to Darkness to Light to prevent sexual abuse in communities across the United States. While that alone should get you to download the RSP package, do it because you will be blown away with the detail and insight of the analysis and content. It’s why the RSP has grown so much in the past 10 years.
Listens: Just Have Fun by Marvin Smitty Smith (Thanks for the follow, love your work)
In Case You Missed It/Coming Soon
- Gut Check No.342: Upside Down Draft Strategy 2015 – My suggested block of backs in the mid rounds, plus three mocks.
- Gut Check No.341: Updated PPR Tiers w/Safe, Balanced, & High-Risk Team Builds – I show you ways to use these tiers to your risk level as a fantasy owner.
- The Gut Check No.340 – Players I’m Wary Of – 20 rounds of players, some I might draft, but I share reasons I’m skeptical of their value this year.
- The Gut Check No.339 – Players I Believe In – Posted last night at Footballguys.com, I give you 22 rounds worth of players who I believe in what they can do if given the opportunity.
- Reality Sports Online Writers League Free Agent Auction – Journaling my plan and execution. Remember 10 percent off your RSO league with Promo Code: RSP10 .
- Waldman’s Receivers to Defend the Planet: Randy Moss – The easiest selection of my receivers for my RSP Writers Project Team.
- The RSP Writers Project: Team to Defend the Planet – How would you build a team if aliens challenged you to a game with the planet on the line? I discuss on RotoViz’s pod.
Views (Life In General)
- World Elephant Day was August 12. Great photos that convey great depth of emotion at The Atlantic.
- Winners of the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
- 15 Optical Illusion GIFs Designed to Make you Feel Like a Lunatic