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Detroit Lions logoForget all the talk about Super Bowl XL being in Detroit, let’s talk about the hometown team - the Detroit Lions.  I know you Detroit fans hate Matt Millen with a passion, so I hope to give you some optimism for next year.  Firstly, there has been a coaching change, even though some fans may say ex-coach Steve Mariucci wasn’t really the problem.  The new head coach coming in is a relative unknown. He is Rod Marinelli, a former Tampa Bay defensive line coach.  Lions also recently hired Donnie Henderson as their defensive coordinator, formerly of the New York Jets.  They also have their eye on Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator.  There has to be some excitement over the coordinator moves at the very least.  Well, those moves will only be as good as how the players perform on the field, and with that being said, they’ll most likely acquire a good player from the draft at the #9 position.  According to NFL Draft Countdown, they have Lions choosing a USC product and you can’t go wrong with those guys. Winston Justice, who played right tackle for the Trojans is one of them.  If not, USC RB Lendale White should still be on the board as well, if the Lions decide the injury prone Kevin Jones is not the answer.


Lendale White Will White blow by Bush in the draft also? I doubt it, but you never know.
More than likely USC RB Reggie Bush will enter the NFL draft, foregoing his senior year, in which he is projected to be a #1 pick.  For Lendale White, there is no uncertainty, he will definitely declare for draft.  While White gets far less of the fanfare from sports media, wouldn’t it be funny if ends up in the top 5 in the draft just like the Auburn tandem last year of Ronnie Brown, selected #2, and Carnell Williams, selected #5.  Miami and Tampa were both pleased with their pick, especially Tampa choosing Cadillac, who looks like their franchise running back for the next 5+ years.  Brown ended up splitting carries with Ricky Williams, who came back from retirement.  The parallels are there for the USC tandem are there, especially if the Houston Texans select Reggie Bush, will he have to split carries with incumbent RB Dominick Davis, or will Davis be used as trade bait?

Maurice Clarett Ok, so maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t the right move.

Maurice Clarett has been in the news quite a bit with his recent legal woes, this has made me wonder what if he were selected in this past years’ NFL draft by another ballclub.  Some notable running backs that were taken after Clarett were fourth rounders: Marion Barber of the Dallas Cowboys, Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants, and sixth rounder Cedric Houston of the New York Jets.  All of whom have played a fairly large role for their teams this year.

Maybe the Tuna, coach Bill Parcells could have gave Clarett some of that tough love he has known to give to some of his “troubled” players.  New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is almost of the same tough love mold, Coughlin being an ex-assistant to Parcells.  Coach Herman Edwards also is well-known for caring for his players off the field as much if not more than even on the field.  Maybe in these environments, Clarett could have steered clear of his legal troubles after being released by the Denver Broncos.  I’m not hear to second guess the Denver Broncos, many expert analysts thought if Clarett was going to succeed, Denver would be the perfect place, where many non high-profile RB’s with even less talent than Clarett have succeeded.  Denver had such great depth at the RB position they could afford to gamble.  Denver’s third round selection gamble did not hurt the organization, but maybe Clarett was the one who ended up getting burned.

Oklahoma takes itThis game caught my eye last night, I’ve been hearing that the Ducks were being disrespected by not being invited to a BCS bowl game. With the result, the bowl selection committee was correct. The final score 17-14, with the Ducks threatening to score in the final minutes, already in field goal range, Ducks quaterback throws an interception to end the game.

Funny notes towards the end of the game: Brady Leaf (Oregon) threw an INT with 33 seconds on the enemy 10 yard line.  Brady is the younger brother of failed NFL QB Ryan Leaf - who oddly enough is well known for throwing lots of INTs. After the play, the linebacker Clint Ingram was called for a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for celebrating.  On the insueing play on offense, Oklahoma QB Rhett Bomar was called for the same penalty after spiking the ball in celebration, which stopped the clock. On the next down they needed to take a knee again and let time expire, Oklahoma now was almost at their own endzone, almost causing a safety or fumble. Don’t blame it all on Leaf though, he was orginally the third-string QB.

Pat RileyNot only do the USC Trojans have to worry about the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl, but they are trying to be stopped by NBA coach Rat Riley’s lawyers. Coach Riley came up with the phrase and actually has a trademark on its use: If anyone else uses “threepeat” or “3peat”, he can demand financial reward for infringement. Anyone who wants to manufacture clothing with the term “3peat” will need to get a license from Riles & Co.

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Matt LeinertTo the casual football fan, Saturday was a day to tune in to college football.  The day ended with two huge blowouts, USC winning over UCLA 66-19, and Texas defeating Colorado 70-3. Both teams now end the regular season standing at a perfect 12-0.  Fans yearning for the yearly debate of implementing a play-off system will have to wait another year.  This year the BCS computer rankings will not cause any controversies, because the undisputed #1 USC Trojans will face off against the undisputed #2 Texas Longhorns for the National Championship. 
This match up is going to interest even fans that are only into the NFL.  Between the Texas and USC match up, you could possibly end up watching the top 3 players in the 2006 NFL draft.  Texas are led by QB Vince Young, who remind some scouts of a young Dante Culpepper, and USC boasts last years Heisman trophy winner, QB Matt Leinert,  and possibly this years Heisman winner, RB Reggie Bush.