Posts Tagged ‘Bradley’s Buzz’

Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN prescribes Vitamin D for the Falcons

There’s no defense for the indefensible, or something like that

Apparently Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com saw the same game I did. Because he spent the entirety of his post on the Falcons’ victory over San Diego — was there ever a victory so misleading? — discussing the winning team’s defense. Or the abject lack of same. Wrote Yasinskas:

“The Falcons aren’t going to go out and blow up their defense at the end of the preseason. They’re going with what they’ve got and that’s a little scary. They could have gone out and grabbed some blue-chip defensive backs in the offseason. But they didn’t.

“They’re going with Brent Grimes and Chris Houston as their starting cornerbacks and Erik Coleman and Thomas DeCoud as their starting safeties, for better or worse. If the Falcons are going to make the best of this, they need to do some of the same things they do with their offensive line. They don’t have a tremendous amount of talent there, but they make the most of it because they hide their …

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Bradley’s Buzz: GT’s Dwyer is on Mel’s board; Tebow isn’t

Dwyer breaks another, and this wasn't even against UGA. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Dwyer breaks another, and this wasn't even against UGA. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

First running back taken in April will be a Jacket

Here’s how big this Mel Kiper Jr. thing has gotten: Mel reveals his first Big Board of the 2010 Draft — which isn’t, as you might surmise, scheduled to occur until next year — and ESPN.com Insiders not only makes a huge deal out of of it but also gives us a feature entitled, “Behind Mel’s First Big Board,” written not by Mel but by Chris Sprow.

Because this is Insiders content, any link requires registration, we’ll do a deep dive — “deep dive” is a buzz phrase I took from last month’s AJC brainstorming — and give you most of the big names. Sam Bradford, the OKlahoma quarterback, is No. I overall. Eric Berry, the Tennessee safety, is No. 2. Carlos Dunlap, the Florida defensive end, is No. 3. Jevan Snead, the Ole Miss quarterback, is No. 7. And Dez Bryant and Russell Okung, a receiver and a tackle from Oklahoma State (which you’ll be seeing in …

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Bradley’s Media Buzz: SEC gets grabby; Vick on “60 Minutes”

Installing a window on football highlights

This might fall under the heading of One Of Those Media Furors That Doesn’t Interest The General Public, but I’ve got a feeling it’ll interest you soon enough. According to Jason Morton of the Tuscaloosa News, the SEC has just distributed to its 12 member institutions a new media policy that, if indeed enacted, will seriously inhibit what the media can do.

The biggest restriction seems — I say “seems” because nobody is yet sure what it all means — to be on video from football games. Morton reports that the policy will limit “news stations to clips of no longer than three minutes and [will allow] highlights for only 72 hours after the conclusion of a game.” Meaning: If WSB or WAGA or WXIA or WGCL wanted to show a replay of, say, A.J. Green catching the winning touchdown pass against South Carolina on Sept. 19, 2009 — the game will be played Sept. 13 — those stations couldn’t do it.

Also: No “bearer” of a media credential can post video …

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Bradley’s Buzz: Smoltz might not make it to October

The idea was for John Smoltz to bide his time and ready himself for the big games in September and October. The way he’s going, there might not be any of those. After what transpired last night in the Bronx, the Boston Red Sox are asking themselves if Smoltz has anything left.

He yielded nine hits and eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings against the hated Yankees. His record dropped to 2-5. His ERA rose to 8.33.

From Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: “In the end, the Braves were probably right in their decision to not re-sign Smoltz, though the execution was barbarian.”

From Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger: “Before Thursday night’s game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona insisted that Smoltz’s fastball still had life and his slider still had bite. Afterward, Francona couldn’t find many positives. He said he was unsure what to do with Smoltz’s spot in the rotation going forward.”

From Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald: “Now that plan is out the window. Instead of being the …

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Bradley’s Buzz: So maybe Wren was right about Smoltz

Now carrying an ERA of 7.12, the iconic J.S.

John Smoltz won a game Friday night. This was big news in Boston, where the locals were already having what-should-the-Sox-do-with-Smoltz conversations. By beating the Orioles 6-5, his record improved to 2-4. His ERA did not improve. It actually rose from 7.04 to 7.12. Which is not so hot.

Smoltz has made seven starts. He has yielded five or more earned runs in five of them. He has been touched for 50 hits (and six home runs) in 36 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .325 against him.

Last week Smoltz told John Tomase of the Boston Herald: “I just think I’m going to keep getting better, and the patience they’ve shown in me, the fruits will be seen down the road.” He meant in October. But if you’re the Red Sox and you have Beckett, Wakefield, Lester and Penny, do you even give Smoltz a postseason start?

Probably. That’s why they signed him, after all. But Inside Edge on ESPN.com broke down Smoltz’s pitches this season, and it found — …

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Bradley’s Buzz: There’s something fishy about Joe Cox

New Georgia QB likes Tiger, Halle and bass

You know Joe Cox — he’s taking over for Matthew Stafford as Georgia’s quarterback; he has red hair and a redhead’s temper. But do you really know Joe Cox? Do you, for instance, know who his “dream date” would be? Hint: She has won Best Actress.

No, not Helen Mirren. Halle Berry.

This nugget and more come to us from esteemed former colleague Jeff D’Alessio of Sporting News Today, who last week made J.C. of UGA the subject of SNT’s “My Profile.” (D’Alessio is famous in the biz for such daily touches — he did the “Gimme Five” feature for the ol’ AJC’s sports section for years.) And here are some revelations offered up by Cox himself:

He likes Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane. He drives a gold 2002 Altima. (Gold? Wrong school, Joe.) He doesn’t always check his voice mail. He likes Tiger Woods. But what he really likes is bass fishing.

He has a 10-pound bass he caught mounted on his bedroom wall. No. 2 on his “bucket list” is to “catch a …

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Bradley’s Buzz: Michael Vick goes free, but to do what?

Is the Wildcat the wild card in Vick’s future?

As of today, Michael Vick will no longer be in federal custody. The obvious and much-debated question: What’s next? The non-answer: Nobody knows.

In Sporting News Today, Albert Breer breaks down the now-familiar issues and Vinny Iyer lists six NFL teams that might be willing to hire Vick. (San Francisco, Miami, Jacksonville, Washington, Oakland, Seattle.) Two weeks ago Sports Illustrated, in an article by L. Jon Wertheim and Jack McCallum, examined the bigger picture: Hasn’t Vick already paid a higher price than most erring athletes?

But a key question can only be answered by Vick: Is it more important for him to play quarterback as he once played quarterback or to play in the NFL? Because those aren’t necessarily the same things anymore.

Vick’s best chance to find quick NFL employment might be to agree to serve as a designated implementer of the Wildcat formation. (This assumes Roger Goodell clears Vick to play, which the guess …

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Bradley’s Buzz: Frenchy makes an impression in NY minute

The fallout on Francoeur, and there’s a lot of it

The nice thing — well, one of the nice things — about hanging around New York is you can buy four papers a day. Pretty soon, though, you realize most every sports story in all four papers contains the same quotes. (New York writers, of which there are many, tend to travel in packs.) So I won’t offer every link regarding Jeff Francoeur’s arrival, lest we be here all week. I’ll hit the highlights:

• How did the deal happen? According to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News: “Mets GM Omar Minaya said assistant GM John Ricco suggested investigating the availability of the 25-year-old Francoeur during an afternoon brainstorming session on Thursday. The deal was completed within 24 hours.” (And you think the Braves weren’t thirsting to dump Frenchy?)

• The headline on Jay Greenberg’s post-trade column in the New York Post says it all: “Minaya’s swap is better than doin’ nothing.

• From David Lennon of Newsday comes this analysis: …

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Bradley’s Buzz: More Braves shoulda been All-Stars

Laying down the Law on the Midsummer Classic

A word here about the All-Star Game: I don’t much care about it, and I don’t get upset when Some Deserving Player doesn’t make the roster despite having had a good half-season. Because — OK, you’ve got me going now — who says one half-season defines an All-Star?

And why is it always the first half of a baseball season that counts? What about a guy who had a great second half of last season? Why should he get snubbed? Why wasn’t Kelly Johnson, who hit .308 over the second half of 2008, given an All-Star nod this summer? Huh? Huh?

OK, I exaggerate. But Keith Law of Scouts Inc. is one of those folks who takes the All-Star Game seriously. Writing for ESPN.com’s Insiders, he believes two Braves were given the royal scam (Steely Dan reference) this time. Guess which two.

You got it. Kelly Johnson and Greg Norton.

No, I’m kidding. Law plumps for Jair Jurrjens and Javier — he calls him “Javy” — Vazquez. (Link requires registration.) He also …

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Bradley’s Buzz: A kudo-worthy offseason for the Falcons

Two summers ago it was possible to characterize the Falcons as having had the worst offseason in NFL annals, and that would subsequently lead into what I decided was the worst single season in the history of professional sports. But look now.

Writing for SI.com, Ross Tucker lists the three NFL clubs that have had the best offseasons. Two of them are organizations of proven worth (New England, Philadelphia). The third is headquartered in Flowery Branch.

Writes Tucker, speaking of Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith: “The moves they did make were solid if not spectacular and the intensity of the offseason practices indicated this is not a franchise interested in resting on last season’s achievements.”

Tucker calls Tony Gonzalez “still an elite talent at tight end” and labels rookie safety William Moore “a physical phenom.” Tucker also hauls out his favorite Tucker-ism, referring to No. 1 pick Peria Jerry as “a rolling bucket of butcher knives.” (I ask again: Shouldn’t that be a …

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