The accent has always been on the first syllable of Sean Payton’s surname. Never, though, has the emphasis been more appropriate, or pronounced, than now.
In the wake of the New Orleans Saints’ roster purge, with more changes promised, the coach really is Sean Payton. If he really is the highest-salaried coach in the NFL, as has been reported, well, the seven-year veteran of the New Orleans sideline (not counting the 2012 season, when he served his “Bountygate” banishment), is going to earn his Payton payday in 2014.
Since we didn’t venture up I-85 for the Clemson “pro day” workout on Thursday (we’ll actually make the trip on Saturday, to watch the flagging Pitt basketball team play the Tigers), it would be unfair to offer a critique on the performance of Tajh Boyd in front of NFL scouts.
As he considers free agency and ponders what lies ahead at the age of nearly 36, Champ Bailey might want to dial up either a current Hall of Famer named Woodson (Rod) or perhaps a future member of the elite Canton fraternity with the same surname (Charles), and discuss the ramifications of moving from cornerback to safety at this point of his flagging career.
By Clark Judge
With the glut of quarterbacks at or near the top of this year's draft board it's easy to forget that the safest pick among offensive playmakers may not be a quarterback at all. It may be Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
By Len Pasquarelli
On Nov. 28, 2008, in the fourth quarter of Kent State’s season finale victory at the University of Buffalo, quarterback Julian Edelman threw the winning touchdown pass in a Golden Flashes’ win.
By Len Pasquarelli
It’s all but a given that offensive tackle Greg Robinson of Auburn and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews will be top 10 selections on May 8. And not far behind them will be Taylor Lewan of Michigan, who could be among the first dozen names called, and certainly in the top 12-15, at worst.
There were three safeties selected in the first round of the 2013 draft, a rarity for the position, and Jimmy Ward of Northern Illinois is doing his best to assure that history is repeated in 2014.
His sluggish 40-yard time at the combine (5.42) was the third worst among the offensive linemen in Indianapolis, and Dakota Dozier also put up only 23 “reps” in the bench press, one of the lowest totals among the top guard prospects.
But the draft stock of the former Furman standout hasn’t suffered at all, it seems, and one of the reasons is that, outside of UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo, the best guards all seem to have some warts. That’s not to say that Dozier – nicknamed “Bull Dozier” by his teammates, for his road-grading, mauling style – is without blemishes.
Nevada offensive lineman Joel Bitonio might be a bit of an enigma, but the senior Wolf Pack standout and three-year starter is one of the better rising players over the past few weeks and seems solidly entrenched now in the second tier of blockers.