Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More mailbag

I'm pressed for time this morning. I have to head over to Southern Connecticut State University to cover the parade for the women's basketball team, which won the NCAA Division II national championship on Saturday.
Got some more mail. Here it is.

Question: How are the WRs looking so far this year? WRs have definitely been a weakness in the past, will that change? or same ol'? Also, how has the run blocking looked? Maybe it's just me but it appeared that every big run we had was outside of the tackles the last couple years and every time we ran straight up the gut we'd get a yard at the most. Any improvements there?
-- Jay

A: This was sent to me before the D.J. Hernandez switch. Obviously, I think D.J. will help. I don't see him as a major downfield threat like Brad Kanuch, but he should be a solid possession receiver. If he makes a catch with some room, he has the ability to make tacklers miss and tack on an extra five or so yards. He did this a few times on Tuesday.

I think the receivers in general will be much better. I expect Terrence Jeffers will double his 17 catches from last season, same with Kanuch (13 catches). They are a solid pair of bookends who gained physical strength and confidence since last fall. Larry Taylor is still there, and is a threat any time he gets his hands on the ball. That should happen more.

The offensive line is a bit banged up in the spring, so what we're seeing in practice isn't a true gauge of how the run blocking will be in the fall. I believe Lawrence Green, all 332 pounds of him, will be a huge help at left guard. My feeling is Donald Thomas will win the other guard spot, and as a fifth-year senior he brings experience and power (he's one of the strongest guys on the team) to the line. But there's still work, and healing, to be done on the line.

Q: What's up with Jarrell Miller? He was supposed to be a super recruit but haven't heard much on him.
-- Jaxson, Fitchburg, Mass.

A: Jarrell is working with the 2's at middle linebacker. Danny Lansanah is established there, and a candidate for one of the captains. He's big and fast, but as long as he's in the middle he will be in a backup role with the linebacker rotation.

Q: (In your last mailbag) you said "I love to rank things, no matter how random: all-time TV shows, rock drummers, movies featuring John C. Reilly, Sinatra songs. You name it, I'll rank it." Don't leave me hanging, what are the rankings? Obviously, New York, New York is the best Sinatra song but what about the others?
-- Max Power, Springfield

A: Any Yankees fan has to agree that New York, New York is the best Sinatra tune. I'll follow that up with 2) My Way; 3) Summer Wind; 4) The Way You Look Tonight and 5) Luck Be a Lady. Somewhere, Tom McCormack is smiling.

Top 5 all-time TV shows: 1) The Sopranos; 2) Cheers; 3) Seinfeld; 4) The Simpsons (for you, Max Power); 5) The Wonder Years (didn't see that one coming, did ya?). The Office is making a solid run at the top five. Just not enough longetivity there yet.

Top 5 rock drummers: 1) Neil Peart of Rush; 2) Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater; 3) John Bonham of Led Zeppelin; 4) Alex Van Halen and 5) This 12-year kid, who's not in a band yet bit is no joke. This kid's not bad either (plus, he's playing Rush, and doing a decent job).

Top 5 uses of John C. Reilly in a movie: 1) As Chest Rockwell in Boogie Nights; 2) As Carl Naughton Jr. in Talladega Knights; 3) As Happy Jack in Gangs of New York; 4) As Murph is The Perfect Storm and 5) As Monk Arnie Shankman in Anger Management,


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