Da’Rick Rogers to stay at Tennessee?

Just when Tennessee Vol fans thought they could sleep easy in knowing that the coaching staff and team for 2012 would finally be set in stone, they faced another situation that many thought would end in a departure from Big Orange Country.  Or at least that’s what many thought. 

On Thursday, scout.com confirmed that wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was considering transferring to Georgia State.  To Vols fans, this news gave a grim outlook for 2012 as Rogers was the one of the big highlights for a Tennessee offense that struggled to stay healthy in 2011.    

Today Rogers practiced with Tennessee, a move that leaves little to intrepret.  At least on the outside, it seems that Rogers is here to stay. 

Tennessee Vols head coach Derek Dooley has said little of Rogers’ situation, only that Rogers had to take care of something.  According to an article by Austin Ward on govolsxtra.com, Dooley was quoted saying “Glad he took care of what he had to do.” 

With the mysterious dialogue given by Dooley, only one thing is certain: Tennessee is very grateful to have their wide receiver back.

Washpun’s departure means little to UT

Losing point guard Wes Washpun for Tennessee basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin won’t mean much for his team in the long haul.  Instead of bringing back a player who had minimal experience last year, Martin gains another point guard in the next recruiting class and gets forward Kenny Hall back from suspension. 

Had Hall returned with Washpun on the roster, Tennessee would have gone over the scholarship limit.  That meant that Washpun’s departure not only has a minimal effect on the team’s outlook for the 2012-13 season, but it might have been necessary to make the team better overall. 

Washpun has the talent to start at other programs and this release is not necessarily a reflection on him as a player, but just that Tennessee’s roster just got crowded at the wrong time and, consequently, made Washpun the odd man out. 

The following days will be very interesting to see where Washpun ends up playing the rest of his collegiate basketball career.

Aaron Schoenfeld’s playing time with Colombus Crew could pay off for ETSU

Former ETSU forward Aaron Schoenfeld signed a contract with the Colombus Crew after being traded by the Montreal Impact. 

No sooner had Schoenfeld signed with his new team that he got the opportunity to play against the team who drafted him in the Supplemental Draft.  While he did not post any numbers on the box score, his performance opens the door for players coming from East Tennessee State University.

Led by head coach Scott Calabrese, ETSU played a stellar game against Virginia Tech on Saturday.  With Schoenfeld’s exposure to MLS, teams and scouts might pay closer attention to ETSU’s soccer program.  And if ETSU continues to win against teams from bigger-name conferences, their program will continue to excell. 

 

 

Manning decides against Tennessee return

All of the effort to bring Peyton Manning back to Tennessee failed.  Despite Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams trying to give Manning a lifetime contract, Manning signed with the Denver Broncos. 

Many in East Tennessee wanted to see Manning sign with the Titans just so they would feel like he “came back home.”  Unfortunately for Big Orange Country, Manning will not be playing for another Tennessee football team.  Despite fans waiting outside the Titans facility and yelling Tennessee-Vol chants and Manning wearing an orange shirt to the visit, he still decided to head further west and joined in the AFC West. 

Manning fans who watched Peyton play at Titans stadium might have to take a longer roadtrip to see their favorite Tennessee Volunteer play quarterback as the Titans and Broncos do not play each other in the regular season.  Barring a matchup in the playoffs, Peyton will not play against Tennessee for at least another year.

Martin to Illinois?

Tennessee Vols head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin received a coaching offer from the University of Illinois according to a source in Chicago.  According to govolsxtra.com, Martin denied any interest in leaving Tennessee on Wednesday. 

This is not the first time something like this has happened in the SEC.  Years ago, Alabama football head coach Nick Saban denied on several occasions that he would leave his position as head coach of the Miami Dolphins for the Alabama opening.  Weeks later, Saban signed with the Crimson Tide. 

Will Martin do something similar?  All indications at this juncture say “no.”  According to another article on govolsxtra.com, Martin signed a Memorandum of Understanding at UT, which said that in the event of Martin leaving for another job he would owe UT $2.6 million. 

If Martin is looking for a pay raise, Illinois would have to offer him a considerably higher amount that UT did just so Martin could pay the debt to UT.  And even then, Martin could still decide that he likes the direction of his current team as opposed to Illinois’. 

But, as the case was with Saban, keep an eye on Martin as surprises with coaching changes do occur.

Tebow should be excited about Peyton Manning’s visit

A report came out earlier today regarding Tim Tebow’s reaction to Peyton Manning’s visit to Denver.  An article written by Michael David Smith on Pro Football Talk said that Nicole Darin, a sports anchor at WSTP-TV, reported that Tebow was “rattled” by Manning’s visit. 

He shouldn’t be rattled.  This could be the best thing for Tim Tebow’s career. 

Tebow played well in an option-style offense.  Unfortunately he’s not at Florida anymore, this is the NFL.  Professional football turned into a passing-oriented game.  Teams can still find success running the football, but the teams hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in recent years had reliable passing offenses. 

Tebow cannot just run the option-offense for the remainder of his career and expect to win, a reality that he already knows.  That’s why he continued to work on his passing skills at UCLA during the offseason.  He wants to develop into that pocket quarterback the Broncos need. 

Who could help Tebow more than future hall-of-fame and, like Tebow, former SEC quarterback Peyton Manning?  If there is anyone whose attention to detail, perfectionism and experience can help Tebow to transition into the NFL, it’s Peyton Manning.  Oh and by the way, Manning might win a few games too. 

Being tutored behind a veteran quarterback is not exactly a revolutionary idea.  It’s been around for decades and several quarterbacks owe their successful careers to it.  With all of the success from rookie quarterbacks in recent years, it’s easy to forget about that.  Of all the starters in the league today, no one remembers a quarterback sitting behind Brett Favre before he got the reigns.  What was his name?  Oh yeah, Aaron Rodgers. 

Watching and learning the game from the sidelines does not happen as often today because teams are so desperate to find a quarterback to lead their team.  They draft a quarterback and expect him to win right away just because they have no other options. 

If Manning decides to sign with Denver, Tebow has a golden opportunity to learn the quarterback position from one of the best to ever play the game.  Although the prospect of losing the starting job that both John Fox and John Elway said that Tebow had, it will be a beneficial experience for the former Florida Gator in the long run.  Fox and Elway have not last faith in Tebow with this move, but it’s a move that signifies that Manning would give them the best chance to win this year.  And once Manning retires, Tebow would step in to the starting job with more training, experience and confidence.

St. Louis Rams trade second-overall pick

News of a potential trade before draft day circulated for about a month.  Now the speculation will end as the Washington Redskins made a colossial offer to the Rams.

The cost of this year’s second-overall pick includes Washington’s first and second-round 2012 picks as well as Washington’s first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.  Redskins owner Dan Snyder searched for an answer at quarterback for several years, and this trade seems to be that answer. 

Rumors said that Cleveland and Washington were both interested in acquiring the pick from St. Louis, which would allow them to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.  Cleveland holds two first-round picks in this year’s draft, selections that many believed would have been sufficient compensation in a trade with St. Louis.  Instead, the amount of picks in addition to the timing of Washington’s deal moved them ahead of Cleveland to get the franchise quarterback they want.