Henson: Analyzing scouts’ evaluations of some UW prospects

first_imgQuite often, NFL scouts are wrong.They have a challenging job. A job that requires them to predict the future success of collegiate athletes for teams prepared to spend millions.They attend everything from the scouting combine to pro days and private workout sessions, charting every move a prospect makes, hoping to deliver an accurate grade to their respective war rooms.It’s widely understood that there will be inexplicable busts each year. That just comes with the territory of being a scout.But you’d assume all the proper research is done to ensure teams make the best pick possible.You’d assume they know everything there is to know about each player they scout.Well, that’s not always the case.Yesterday, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a story that provided unnamed scouts’ takes on various players from Wisconsin high schools or colleges, leading up to the draft.For the most part, the scouts’ insights made sense. Their evaluations of the former Badgers were in line with what we saw here at UW throughout the past couple seasons.But then I got to Bill Nagy and Scott Tolzien.Both players are expected to be late picks or free agent signees. For them, each scout’s view is critical as they try to get one team to take a chance on them towards the end of the draft. Most coaches and general managers aren’t spending a lot of time studying film of Nagy and Tolzien – it’s the scouts who get paid to find those late-round contributors.But sometimes these scouts’ logic makes you scratch your head.We’ll start with Nagy. Here’s what one scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:“There’s just no reason why he can’t come to an NFL team and be a center-guard for at minimum four years, Every time he went into a game he played well. Between that kid and that coach there’s something going on. They don’t talk him up. They don’t seem to think he’s much of a prospect, but the tape to me shows different. I don’t get why he didn’t start at center or guard.”Lets break this down.The scout spoke highly of Nagy, noting his ability to come into games when needed and perform at a high level.Then the scout hints there may have been a player-coach dispute, which explains why Nagy wasn’t named a starter.That’s news to me. That’s news to anyone who covered the Wisconsin football team this past year.Nagy was the odd-man-out for the deepest offensive line in the country. He had a shot to win a starting job at right guard heading into the season but lost out to Kevin Zeitler – one of the top interior lineman in the Big Ten. And as for the center position? Some scouts say Peter Konz was the best O-lineman the Badgers had last season (including Carimi and Moffitt). Nagy wasn’t slighted. He played behind some of the best lineman in college football.What’s worse is the other part of the scouts’ take could be interpreted as one of those “character issues” we always hear about come draft day. What did he do to lose favor with the staff? Why does Nagy have a poor relationship with head coach Bret Bielema?There is no evidence that shows these are questions that need to be asked.Bielema constantly praised Nagy for his hard work and dedication to the team. The senior played three positions for Bielema (guard, center and tight end) and did what he could to get on the field.His performance against Iowa, when he replaced the injured Konz, drew tons of praise.“Billy Nagy pops in, takes off the tight end jersey number and steps in there. Unbelievable, selfless act to give us that win,” Bielema said.Here’s what Nagy had to say after the 31-30 victory: “That’s my role, and I’m doing whatever I can to help the team win.”But that’s not the only questionable perspective I found.Here’s what a scout said about Tolzien to the Journal Sentinel:“He will be a third and smarter than the starting quarterback. He manages the game. He can’t win a championship for you. He couldn’t bring them back against TCU. He’s just not gifted enough to do it.”Everyone agrees Tolzien is probably destined to hold a clipboard in the NFL. He doesn’t have ideal measurables or arm strength, but he’d be a reliable backup quarterback – a guy who won’t make costly mistakes and who’ll know the offense perfectly.No problem with that sentiment.But it’s not fair to say Tolzien can’t win a championship because he couldn’t bring the Badgers back against TCU.You’re going to discount Tolzien because Horned Frogs’ linebacker Tank Carder made an incredible individual play to knock Tolzien’s game-tying 2-point try down? If Carder loses his footing, gets pancaked by the UW O-line and Tolzien completes that pass, does that give him a higher NFL grade?That’s absurd.Point to his mechanics or question his arm strength if you want, but Tolzien proved he could win the Badgers a game with his arm.UW’s running game was so good last year, Tolzien rarely needed to sling the ball around and engineer a comeback.But in that same game in Iowa City where Nagy impressed, Tolzien led a game-winning, 15-play touchdown drive. UW went with an empty backfield, shotgun formation and Tolzien delivered against the Hawkeyes at a point in the season when they still cared enough to try.Takes a pretty gifted signal caller to pull that off.Sure, Tolzien and Nagy aren’t perfect.Neither are the scouts.Max is a senior majoring in journalism. Think Tolzien and Nagy will be prove the doubters wrong? Email him at mhenson@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Football: No. 7 Wisconsin looks to keep pace atop Big Ten West against Illinois Saturday

first_imgIn what has become quite the entertaining three-way race for the Big Ten West, the University of Wisconsin football team looks to to to keep pace with the field as they defend Camp Randall from the University of Illinois Saturday.Over the past decade, the conference rivalry between border states has been almost entirely one-sided in favor of the Badgers. Wisconsin is 10-1 against Illinois in its last 11 games, and they head into Saturday afternoon riding a current six-game win streak over the Illini.After then-No. 10 University of Nebraska plummeted to a 62-3 loss at the hands of Ohio State University in Columbus last Saturday, the Big Ten landscape got interesting fast.Football: Wisconsin climbs to No. 7 in latest College Football Playoff PollWith the second College Football Playoff Poll in the books, the University of Wisconsin football team’s pathway to the 2016 playoff is Read…With the loss, many predicted the fate of the West to lie solely in the hands of Wisconsin, given that all the Badgers have to do now is win all three of their last games to guarantee a spot in the Big Ten championship.But UW’s border rival and division competitor, University of Minnesota, has quietly emerged in a lock with the Badgers atop the division standings. Perhaps most intriguing about this is the possibility of a Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe deciding the winner of the West in the final game of the season.Yet, the last thing the Badgers need to do is get ahead of themselves. Illinois’ record may not shine on paper, but the Fighting Illini still have the kind of playmakers in senior quarterback Wes Lunt and standout wide receiver Malik Turner that can decide the outcome of a game.While one quarterback has the No. 7 team in the nation and the other for a struggling 3-6 squad, guessing which team’s quarterback is having the better season statically might be tricky.Through 21 fewer attempts, Illinois’ Lunt has thrown the same number of touchdowns (six) as Wisconsin starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook, but more importantly, Lunt has also thrown six fewer interceptions. Lunt also boasts the advantage in accuracy, with a 3 percent edge over the UW freshman.Wisconsin continues to find athletic success in alumni hiresThere is something unique about the nature of Wisconsin athletics. It’s not the iconic “Jump Around” celebration after the third quarter Read…Malik Turner, Lunt’s favorite target, has already managed 35 receptions for 523 yards and four touchdowns. After Northwestern University’s star wide receiver Austin Carr managed 12 receptions, 132 yards and the Wildcats’ only touchdown last weekend in Evanston, it should be interesting to see how the UW secondary responds to handling Turner Saturday.Hayes’ Prediction: Wisconsin 34, Illinois 14ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Badgers a 92.9 percent chance to walk away from Camp Randall with the win Saturday night, and I think that sounds about right.Illinois has struggled to prevent its opponents from moving the ball this season. Allowing more than 407 yards per game and 5.5 yards per play thus far, Illinois is currently ranked 68th in total defense nationally.The Badgers don’t score a ton of points on offense, and their offensive attack is about the farthest thing from explosive. If Illinois wants to steal one from the Badgers in Madison Saturday, they are going to need veterans Lunt and Turner to put on a show through the air. Unfortunately for Illinois, I find it highly unlikely that Lunt and the Illini will be able to edge one of the best defenses Wisconsin has seen in years, especially not at home.Wisconsin vs. Illinois Cheat SheetWhere: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WisconsinWhen: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12TV: ESPN2 (Channel 661 on UW Residence Hall Cable)Radio: Badgers Sports NetworkSeries Record: 39-37-7 [Wisconsin]Line: Wisconsin (-26.5)last_img read more

Džeko might become Borussia Dortmund’s replacement for Lewandowski

first_imgAfter a frustrating time at Manchester City, Edin Džeko might finally cut his losses and seal a move to German giants Borussia Dortmud. While Džeko has been scoring plenty of goals this season, he has not been starting a lot of games.With Dortmund’s main striker Robert Lewandowski likely to seal a move to Bayern Munich or Manchester United in the summer, Džeko would be the perfect replacement. While he may not be as quick as Lewandowski, he is certainly a deadly finisher both in the air and with his feet.Despite being well off the pace in the league this season, Dortmund have been on an upward trajectory under manager Jurgen Klopp. They will not want to see Lewandowski‘s departure derail this good work. Signing Džeko would be the perfect move for them.The only snag to the move would be Džeko’s wages. If he is to get a move to Germany and get the first team football he wants, he will have to take a pay cut on his huge £120,000 a week salary. The transfer could cost Dortmund between 15 to 20 million EUR.last_img read more

Thank You Pape and Dragons!

first_imgBy Liljana Meshaj:Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified and participated for the first time in history at the World Football Championship.After the victory of B&H football team against Lithuania on 15 October 2013 and direct qualification for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Safet Sušić has become the first coach who has led the B&H football team to a major football competition.Safet Sušić or the so called Pape has been elected as one of the best European and World football players of his generation. Pape was chosen as the best football player of B&H and former Yugoslavia. Sušić at the session of the Executive Committee of the B&H Football Federation on 29 December 2009 unanimously was elected as the new selector of B&H representation. It was him, this great former player and coach with the Dragons that achieved the big step and represented our country at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.A great generation of B&H football players has achieved a historical success and fulfilled the dream of many fans who have watched the performances of “Dragons” since the first day of qualifications. The night that B&H football representation, after the victory over Lithuania, returned to Sarajevo was a wonderful manifestation of joy, enthusiasm and unity. Several thousand of citizens of Sarajevo gathered in front of BBI and at the square of children in Sarajevo, singing and dancing and celebrating this big historical moment. Fans were celebrating the victory of B&H team in other cities as well. This moment brought everyone together regardless of religion, ethnicity or living place. This event made everyone proud and united B&H and all of it thanks to Dragons and their selector Safet Sušić / Pape.Soon after the victory over Lithuania, the time came for the departure of B&H team to Brazil and for their participation at the biggest football event – Word Cup 2014. There were three key matches waiting for the performance of B&H team in order to qualify for the further rounds, match against Argentina, Nigeria and Iran. B&H played the first match of the World Cup against Argentina.  Match against Argentina took place at the stadium Maracana in Rio de Janeiro and ended with the defeat of B&H team. The result of the match was 2:1. First goal or the “unfortunate” auto goal was scored by Sead Kolašinac soon after the start of the match. The second goal was scored by Messi in the second half of the match, by increasing the advantage of Argentina on 2:0 and Vedad Ibišević scored the third goal of the match and reached the final result 2:1, result in favor for Argentina. Match was a real success regardless of the result. Players did a great job and they were all in a good shape.As Sušić stated after the match “Our aim was to provide a strong resistance and we did so. I am not unsatisfied with the match. We had a bad luck with the first goal”.If that bad luck would not occur, the match B&H -Argentina would have had a chance to end with the result 1:1 which could be the best expected result when playing against one of the greatest representations of the world such as Argentina.The match against Argentina was followed by the second match of B&H football team at the World Cup Brazil 2014, and that was the match against Nigeria. High hopes were putted into this match considering the great game of our representation in the first match. Match against Nigeria was played at the arena Pantanal in Ciuaba. Edin Džeko, our best scorer, in 20th minute of the game scored the first goal, which was a regular goal, but the referee by mistake called it as an offside goal. Peter Odemwingie, at the 29 minute scored the first goal in favor for Nigeria and the result of the match was 1:0 for Nigeria. This defeat of B&H representation cut of chances for a further qualification in the World Cup 2014.Nevertheless, there was a last game that they needed to play, against Iran. The game was played in arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, where B&H achieved the first victory in the World Championship 2014. Džeko, Pjanić and Vršajević were the scorer of our team and Reza Ghoochanneijhad was the only scorer from the Iran’s team.This victory did not mean much in terms of further qualification of B&H team in World Cup but is was a great moral satisfaction, such as for our players as well as for our people and country. They showed to the world that they can do it, that B&H is a great football team and can be expected a lot from them in future.As Šušić announced after the match “I congratulate the players on the good game and victory. We can not be satisfied just with this but with a little more luck and a little less mistakes by referees, we would have continued further, considering the qualities of our team. I’m sorry for those who are disappointed. These are good guys and players and they have to start thinking about qualifying for the European Championship. The first game was fair against a great team. If the referee would have recognized our goal in the second match, everything would have been different. We lacked experience in major competitions, but I have nothing what to complain about the players”.He has said it all. We managed to come to the World Football Cup for the first time in history. Having played a wonderful game against one of the best football representations of the world, achieved one victory and yes, there were some mistakes from our team and from referees as well which cut of our path for further qualification. At the end, this is football, this is life…Having a look on all the way from the start of qualifications for the World Football Cup until the end of our path, we must say that we are very proud of our “Dragons” and very thankful to Pape, who for the first time in history led B&H to the Word Football Cup. For B&H this means much more that a major football competition. This means that our flag has been waving in front of the world. This means that not just the disasters can unite us but victories as well. This means that B&H is recognized to the world for good qualities, and not just for conflicts and war. Everyone in this country has celebrated the victories of our team, qualification in World Cup, great game against Argentina and the victory over Iran.B&H football players and Pape are the best ambassadors of this country. They made this country to be recognized, spoken about in a good way and united everyone regardless of religion, ethnicity or other differences. We wish that such events to happen much often in this country.Thank you Pape and Dragons for all what you have done for the football and for this county!last_img read more

Town braces for planned power outage

first_imgThe utility is anticipating a 12-hour outage while the transmission line supplying electricity to the town is transferred to two new support structures from an existing structure that was compromised by soil erosion caused by recent heavy rains.Two back up diesel generators have been provided to supply power to the town’s grocery store and two gas stations, while the town hall, community centre, and police and fire departments will run on their own back-up generators. However, Mayor Larry White said power to the stores will be out for a period of time in the early morning while those generators are installed, and again in the evening to disconnect the generators when BC Hydro is ready to restore the power.The mayor said the local clinic has identified residents who need power for medical reasons and they will be accommodated. He added the town’s emergency social services personnel will be on hand to respond to any issues that may arise. He encouraged anyone with concerns during the outage to visit town hall.- Advertisement -The power outage comes at a bad time as the town is preparing to host its biggest annual event, the Grizfest music festival, this weekend. White said there is definitely a frustration and anxiousness among business owners concerned about the potential loss of revenue should something happen and the power is not restored before the weekend, which is typically one of the most profitable times of the year for many businesses. However, he said as of now, the music festival is going ahead as planned assuming power is restored tomorrow evening.AdvertisementThe problems with power outages have plagued the town for many years now, and the District of Tumbler Ridge has attempted to pursue other sources of power to utilize during interruptions to the main power supply. One such proposal, a biomass project, was submitted to BC Hydro last year but was ultimately rejected.The mayor said this latest incident continues to emphasize the need for a reliable, back-up power supply, and he intends to press the issue with the utility company.Advertisement “I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t found the pole and it went down without anybody’s knowledge,” he said, referring to the compromised power pole. “It’s scary to think about.”It would appear several residents have prepared for the power outage, as Cheryl Wheaton, manager of Northern Metalic Sales, said the store brought in extra generators and they all sold. She said her own home has been supported by a back-up generator for a few years.”We’re used to this,” she said. “For the last two years in a row its been in the wintertime this has happened, so were set up with our generator all the time.”Wheaton said for her business, she doesn’t anticipate much of an impact because most of her clients are industrial companies, not visitors, and she doesn’t need the power on in the store anyway to do business. However, she said there is undoubtedly an impact to the local workforce.Advertisement “We have crews of guys here that totally depend on these stores, hotels and restaurants,” she said.last_img read more