Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lucy Van Pelt would have been a more appealing hire

Wouldn't it seem pretty clear that the Tampa Bay quarterback coach spot is one of the most important hires the team will make? Since they're trying to build around a physically gifted second year QB in Josh Freeman (who's struggled with poor on field decision making throughout his career), the person assigned to developing last season's first round pick needs to be one of the very best at what he does. The Bucs opted for a guy with two years of ineffective NFL experience in the role. Maybe Alex Van Pelt will prove to be a brilliant choice, but nothing in his career history tells me he understands anything about how to bring out excellence from either the position or an offense as a whole. Maybe the problem is that no quality assistants want to work under Raheem Morris, a coach who threw both his coordinators under the bus before his first year was even two thirds complete?

Tennessee football continues in scramble mode as they try and keep some semblance of a recruiting class together. How you go about signing defensive players when you don't have a clue what scheme your DC will want to play is beyond me, but they're about to try it. They're still trying to add touted WR prospect Markeith Ambles to the class. In a tweet over the weekend, Ambles crudely propositioned Knoxville radio morning host Heather Harrington. Interestingly the Knoxville News-Sentinel quoted his tweet directly but censored the pickup attempt in their report on Ambles visit. Guess honestly reporting that would have contradicted the whole "Go Vols" part of your website's name, huh guys? Meanwhile, after Ambles referred to UT recruiting intern Steve Rubio as "my boy", Rubio suddenly was interviewing for a job with Lane Kiffin in Los Angeles yesterday. Just a 100 percent classy group of people we're talking about here.

Monday in Lexington was all about putting out the fire caused by point guard John Wall's comment after Saturday's win against Vanderbilt that he would "just try not to listen to" coach John Calipari. The coach had the audacity to question the Great Wall, correctly pointing out the freshman has actually not been all that special in conference play. Wall maintains everything between them is fine now, but I'll be very curious to see how the Wildcats look at home against Ole Miss tonight. With a team composed largely of one and done guys, if things start to go south the conflicting interests of players wanting to show off for the pros could cause UK some serious issues.

Inaccurate web reports yesterday claimed that the NCAA had reached a decision to expand its basketball tournament to 96 teams. They say that's not the case yet, although acknowledging it's under consideration. This is a terrible idea at any time regardless of where it comes from. The current three week, two games per round format has been hugely successful. Removing all semblance of drama as to whether a team will make the field of 64 by making it borderline impossible for big schools to miss will kill off any value the regular season has. This would be the BCS's dream scenario should it happen, as it would support their weak rationale that small playoffs will always eventually expand too much.

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