Roderick ‘Rod’ Smith was born in Texarkana, on May 15, back in 1970. He was all-league, all-area, all-state, and an all-state game choice as a senior at Texarkana High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. He earned two letters in football and basketball, and one in baseball while in high school. He attended college at Missouri Southern State, a Division II school.
While he was there, Rod set conference records with his 3,043 career receiving yards and 34 touchdowns. He broke his own school’s receptions record with 153, and as a senior, he was voted All-American by the AP, Kodak, Football Gazette, and NCAA Division II sports information directors - in other words, nearly everyone who covered Division II. In his senior season alone, he caught 63 passes for 986 yards and 13 TDs. He was a finalist that year for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given annually to the top Division II football player.
In 1994, he completed his studies with three degrees - economics and finance, general business, and the third in marketing and management. He was ready for his post-football life, which has been as successful as he was on the field. I follow him on Twitter just for the pleasure of it, and have found him to be one of the most positive and supportive folks I’ve had the pleasure to read.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Harris says he's ready to play tomorrow; including Harris and Quinton Carter, who were both limited in practice, Denver has listed six players as probable for tomorrow.
Chris Kuper remains out, as he recovers from his forearm injury, and is the only other Bronco on the injury report.
LB Tim Dobbins is questionable for Houston, while eleven others are probable.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I wanted to go over some positive differences in the OL from last year to this. I’m going to touch on some run blocking and some pass protection.
Let me start by showing you something simple.
The initial image is from the first possession of the Pittsburgh game. It’s just typical - the interior players usually are in three-point stances, and the tackles - who more commonly have to kick-step back to defeat a side or a speed rusher - often like to stay in a two-point stance.
Nothing new there - I included it mostly just so that you know where people are starting from.
Happy Friday, friends. As you read this, it’s likely that I’ll be in the air headed to Cleveland, but I wanted to give you a little something, since I’ll be off the grid for a few days. I’ll be attending a wedding, and then driving back with my girlfriend to move her down to Florida.
I’ve occasionally mentioned over the years that I’m an alumni member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and by number of chapters, we’re the biggest Greek letter organization in the world. Among our football-related members are Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms, Marv Levy, and Aaron Rodgers, and that’s not even getting to guys like Ronald Reagan, Elvis Presley, and many other famous people.
I bring this up, because fraternity men have a tendency to drink adult beverages (responsibly, of course) and sing songs with vulgar lyrics and subject matter. At my chapter at Cleveland State University, we have a song called Godiva, and we always dedicate the last verse to a brother. It goes:
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Finally, there's some good news regarding the health status of Chris Harris (ankle).
The nickel corner returned to practice yesterday, albeit in a limited fashion; Mike Klis thinks Tony Carter is likely to see more action again on Sunday. Quinton Carter was also limited (knee). Von Miller, Joel Dreessen, Tracy Porter, and Brandon Stokley were all on yesterday's injury report, but all were full participants.
Because the defense started Monday night's game on their own one-yard line, Champ Bailey's string of having started all of his NFL games was broken.
The league fined Falcons DE Ray Edwards $8K for a late hit, but still nothing for contacting an official, which should have gotten him ejected from the game after Knowshon Moreno's fumble. Let's see, it should have been Denver ball at the Atlanta 32 with the score 10-0, and Edwards tossed. Instead, It was Atlanta ball at the 17, and Edwards got to stick around. Of course, the statistics will show that the refs called a penalty, so everything is okay, right?
Enjoy the game, everyone!
From Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus earlier today:
In 2011 Elvis Dumervil went eight straight games with a sack late in the season. While he doesn’t have a sack yet this year, he has 13 overall pressures which ties him for the most among defensive linemen.
Pressures, schmessures. What every fan wants to see is sacks. There’s something exciting about seeing an edge rusher taking on a player who might outweigh him by 50 lb. and still flash by him, to, and through the quarterback. They’re the Holy Grail for the weekend watchers, a stat you can reel off and feel like you’re talking sense. And, no one can argue that sacks aren’t a great way to create negative yardage for the offense.
The sack is big news.
Elvis Dumervil doesn’t have one this year, and fans are getting antsy. Talk is increasing about how Doom isn’t having the same impact this season; how he’s been soundly beaten by offensive left tackles Sam Baker and Max Starks. With Jason Hunter out for the year and the DL having to try different options to get the pressure that the John Fox/Jack Del Rio scheme calls for, is Doom unfit for his role with the team?
Happy Thursday, friends. The All-22 film was made available yesterday, and I had occasion to review the Falcons game. I saw a lot of positive things to feel good about, but for today, I’m going to focus on some negative things.
Peyton Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter, and that put the Broncos in a very tough position. They nearly rallied to win the game, nut ultimately fell short.
I’ve reviewed the three plays repeatedly, and there are three general reasons why the interceptions occurred:
1. Mike Nolan is a good defensive coordinator, and the Falcons disguised their coverages well.
2. The Falcons have a very underrated pair of safeties in William Moore and Thomas DeCoud. Each is among the top ten players in the NFL at his position.
3. Manning’s mental game hasn’t been perfect. He may have some rust there that needs to be overcome.
But as one would expect, Peyton didn't have much to say, because what can he possibly offer? He's already told us many times that he's not 100%.
For his part, Eric Decker says Manning "hummed" the deep middle pass that sailed through the wideout's hands, and he of course says he should have caught the ball there.
Chris Harris and Chris Kuper did conditioning work, but neither practiced yesterday; Kuper is reportedly still a week away from practicing. Quinton Carter and Von Miller were limited, while Joel Dreessen and Brandon Stokley are on the injury report but were full participants.