Tag Archives: Shonn Greene

Slivers About Hawkeyes At the NFL Combine

No, not this kind of combine

No, not this kind of combine

Mitch King to fullback in the NFL?

OK, this is the only place I’ve seen or heard this so far about the Iowa defensive tackle at this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine. it needs more verification than this excerpt from http://cle.scout.com/2/841197.html

FYI, Mitch King has also been asked to work out as a FB here

When King is mentioned as a defensive tackle now, some form of the term “undersized” often is used. This is from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is not a big fan of Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson.

“He’s 6-7, 260. He’s going to run like a wide receiver. He’s going to jump like a running back,” Mayock said. “Everybody is going to fall in love with him. But there is way too much bad [game] tape of him for me to even like him a little bit. I don’t like him at all.”

“If you take that little nose tackle at Iowa, Mitch King, and put his heart in Michael Johnson’s body, you’d have a Hall of Fame player,” Mayock said. “I just think Michael Johnson is so talented, but he’s wasting it.”

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/02/21/combinenot0221.html

Mayock was also quoted in a sportingnews.com story about running backs. I’m guessing very few actual NFL team executives speak on the record at this thing, so NFL Network folks fill in the gaps. Based on the decreased number of media members at this year’s Super Bowl (I got in the main press box for the game for the first time in my four Super Bowls.), the NFL Network and ESPN will be all the media covering the game in a few years.

Anyway, the Sportingnews.com item — http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=519969 — on the running backs:

The NFL people know Knowshon

The NFL people know Knowshon

Pitt’s LeSean McCoy and Iowa’s Shonn Greene have first-round potential, but Wells (Ohio State) and Moreno (Georgia) are the first names mentioned when you ask most scouts to rate the backs. Both Moreno and Wells are entering the draft as underclassmen, and they have very different styles. Wells (6-1, 235 pounds) runs with more power while Moreno (5-10, 217) is more elusive and has superior pass-catching ability.

“Moreno is my No. 1 tailback,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “His lateral quickness and explosion are amazing. I’ve never seen a guy in the last 10 years who finishes every run the way he does: dropping the shoulder, not running out of bounds. I love the kid’s toughness.”

I’m pandering to the Iowa folks on this, maybe, but doesn’t that also describe Greene to a ‘G.”

And for a good, fresh story on offensive lineman Seth Olsen, another Hawkeye at the Combine, check out this effort by the Daily Iowan’s Amie Kiehn:

http://www.dailyiowan.com/2009/02/19/Sports/10141.html

Shonn Greene: Early Second Round is the Prognosis

The Hlog is interested in where Iowa running back Shonn Greene will land in the NFL draft. Greene has gotten praise from NFL people who have seen him in Iowa City. But that and three bucks won’t get you an iced mocha at Starbuck’s.

A cut to the chase: The National Football Post, a Web site serious NFL fans should consider bookmarking, has Greene going with the 38th pick (early second-round) to the Cincinnati Bengals.

These lists will change and change, but early-second round seems to be the consensus on Greene. Early-second round isn’t bad.

The link to the National Football Post mock draft:

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/2009/02/nfp-monday-mock-draft/

Leftovers from Arizona’s NFC Title Win

 

Arizona Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that quarterback Kurt Warner now has to get a dog for his family.

I thought Whisenhunt was making a clever twist on Barack Obama having promised a puppy for his two daughters if he got elected president. But Warner’s family does want a dog, despite the man of the house’s will.

“Ssssssh,” Warner said. “I never said that (he was getting his kids a dog). My wife said that.

“I don’t want to have any part of it because I know I’ll end up doing most of the work.”

____________

Rookie defensive end Ken Iwebema of the University of Iowa played in 13 regular-seasons games and has played in all three playoff games for the Cardinals, though almot entirely on special teams.

I briefly met up with Iwebema in the NFC champions’ dressing room after the Cardinals’ 32-25 win over Philadelphia. Iwebema asked me if Iowa running back Shonn Greene would be a first-round draft pick.

I said I’m hearing late first, early second round, but that Greene’s a smart player.

“He had, what, 13 straight games of 100 yards,” Iwebema asked. “You better believe he’s smart. He has to go in the first round.”

______________

Warner’s career postseason record in the NFL is 8-2. He has passed for 2,991 yards and 23 touchdowns in those games.

That, coupled with three Super Bowl trips, says he’ll be going to Canton, Ohio for a Hall of Fame enshrinement in the next decade.

________________

Iowa’s men’s basketball team had 12 first-half turnovers in its loss at Purdue Sunday.

It wasn’t a big deal here in Phoenix. Is it a big deal back in Iowa?

________________

So Warner wins an NFC title and Zach Johnson won the PGA Tour’s Sony Open within hours of each other. Nice day for Cedar Rapids Regis grads.

I went to Cedar Rapids LaSalle. Our most famous alum is … when we get one, I’ll let you know.

Scott Michaux, a fine sports writer at the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, seized on the Warner/Johnson/Regis angle Sunday night. The link:

http://blogs.augusta.com/node/2049

The Reality of the NFL Draft: Greene Running On Crowded Field

Beanie Wells will play before bigger crowds than this in the NFL

Beanie Wells will play before bigger crowds than this in the NFL

The National Football Post, fast becoming a Hlog favorite, ranks the order in which it thinks the 48 underclassmen who have declared for April’s NFL draft will fall.

Iowa running back Shonn Greene, the All-America and Doak Walker Award winner? He’s 19th of the 48. The Post projects him as a late first-round or early second-round draftee. Which would be fine, salary-wise.

But what kind of a different animal is pro football and evaulating talent when Greene is suddenly a face in a crowd, and that’s just among underclassmen?

Greene, according to the Post’s rankings, is only the No. 6 underclassmen running back entering the draft, and No. 2 among Big Ten underclassmen RBs behind Ohio State’s Beanie Wells (fourth overall).

No. 1 is Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, who could easily be the next Larry Fitzgerald.

Know that all such draft rankings will change and change and change in the next three months, know that a lot of teams will draft for need instead of the best player left on the board, and know that Greene has been told by NFL people that he will be a first-rounder.

Then wait and see what happens.

The link: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/2009/01/nfl-draft-ranking-the-underclassmen/

Hlas Column From Iowa’s Outback Bowl Savaging of South Carolina

The logo of the day in Raymond James Stadium

The logo of the day in Raymond James Stadium

TAMPA, Fla. — The last time Iowa had won a bowl game, it did so with a lightning bolt of a 56-yard pass that erased the team’s short-circuitry in that game’s fourth-quarter.

The 30-25 win over LSU in Orlando four years ago souped up hype for 2005 that never came close to fruition. It was the last thing to happen to the Hawkeyes’ program that was both big and good, until this season.

On the first day of January 2009, Iowa won a bowl against another SEC team. It wasn’t by plucking it out of the sky with a last-second miracle, but by using 60 minutes of substance. Rock-solid substance.

It won’t make the kind of instant lore that Drew Tate-to-Warren Holloway created, and it won’t become a poster that will hang on walls of rec rooms in Iowa homes for decades.

But you know what? It’s better.

The Hawkeyes brought Hawkeye football to Raymond James Stadium Thursday, at the expense of a completely outmanned, outworked South Carolina squad. The score was 31-10. The game was over well before halftime.

Iowa didn’t surprise Steve Spurrier’s team a bit with what it did on either side of the ball. It just did it. And did it, and did it, and did it.

It was Kirk Ferentz football. It was Hawkeye football. Like all programs, Iowa’s is a fragile ecosystem. But when Ferentz’s players are the right ones and of the right minds, as they were in 2001 through 2004, the system works.

“We had a dip at the end of the 2006 season,” Ferentz said after Thursday’s triumph. “I’ve said many times on record that it’s probably the toughest six weeks I’ve gone through.”

Iowa went from 5-1 to 6-6 that fall, losing its last five Big Ten games. It began a two-year run of genuinely mediocre football accompanied by off-field problems that were far worse than the losing. Ferentz made a lot of most-overpaid coaches’ lists. His name and “hot seat” shared a lot of sentences.

Back in Iowa, you no longer saw a halo over the coach’s head. It looked like we might be watching a man spinning his wheels as some of his players tarnished the reputation of the program and university with some bad trouble away from the stadium.

So what did Ferentz do? Fire some assistants, abandon his beliefs, turn away from the core of who he was and what he had established in search of a quick fix?

Nah. The guy is old-school in a lot of ways, and dealing with problems with common sense and focus rather than throwing people under a bus is one of them. Getting players to represent their school better on and off the gridiron was another.

It sounds like cornball stuff, sure. But it is Iowa, after all.

The Hawkeyes were 3-3 halfway through this regular-season. Why no blame-games from players? Why no cave-in from a team that knew too well what it was like to see a season disintegrate?

“I think it’s just been responding,” said senior center Rob Bruggeman, the subject of quarterback Rick Stanzi’s raves (”Great line calls. He makes everything easier.”) after the game.

“You never focus on the negative and just try to turn it into a positive,” Bruggeman said. “We had a stretch where we lost three games in the middle of the season, and there was never a negative attitude in the locker room. Nobody was pointing fingers.

“I think it started in the off-season. We came together as a team, decided we weren’t going to get down on each other, we were going to stay positive the whole season. We just focused on that.”

The right attitude requires putting in the work, 12 months per year. Iowa has always had to labor harder than many BCS conference programs to reach the Top 25. That has to be something that is understood and embraced. But it’s tough to pull off, anywhere.

“It takes a lot of work,” said another stellar senior Hawkeye offensive lineman, Seth Olsen. He sat on a chair in the bowels of the stadium Thursday and quietly basked in the satisfaction of a game well played and a year well spent.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” Olsen said. ““That’s one of the quotes in our program. That’s obviously true for us.”

Credit from one Hawkeye to another flowed like Gatorade after the game.

“Our offensive line came together tremendously since last year,” said senior Brandon Myers, who will probably become another Iowa tight end to graduate to the NFL. “I knew that right away in camp. Shonn wouldn’t have done what he did without this group.”

Ah yes, Shonn. That’s Shonn Greene. You know him. The nation got introduced to him too late for a trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, but he was everybody’s All-America.

Greene was Greene again Thursday. The yards, the first-downs, the bludgeoning of a defense, and a ninth Iowa win. Then he announced he was turning pro. It was decent of him, really, to say it now and let everyone move on right away.

For the umpteenth time, Greene praised his blockers. He took it beyond that at the team’s postseason banquet last month, asking Iowa’s offensive linemen to join him when he received his team co-MVP award.

“Phenomenal,” Olsen said about Greene.

That covers it in a word, but Olsen added: “He flatters us. He made us look good this year, too.”

Oh, Iowa’s defense had a rather productive season itself, allowing a mere 13 points and 94 rushing yards per game and bowing out with domination over a Steve Spurrier-coached offense.

“It’s been a great year,” Ferentz said. “I just told the team I can’t remember one that was more enjoyable. That includes the championship years. This was a championship in its own right. It feels pretty good.

“This is a team I’ll remember for a long time.”

This was a football team again. Hawkeye football is again substantial.

Iowa probably won’t be ranked higher than 20th in next week’s final AP poll. But are there as many as 10 teams in the nation that are better?

I don’t think so. South Carolina probably doesn’t, either.

South Carolina Video – With New Added Commentary

Over the top? This? By about 500 feet.

But, Iowa fans, there are a few clips of Hawkeye highlights you’ll enjoy seeing again before the final ominous warning from the filmmaker.

Someone didn’t think much of the work of the Gamecock fan:

http://aneyeandaneer.blogspot.com/2008/12/video-off-base-at-south-carolina.html

Hlas Column on Shonn Greene Loading Furniture Trucks Last Football Season

AP photo

AP photo

Unloading trucks at a furniture store here for $8 an hour is part of the Shonn Greene legend.

But the University of Iowa All-America running back from New Jersey has never made a big deal out of it. He had a job and did it. Like, you know, real people do.

People who worked with Greene at McGregors Furniture say he didn’t talk much while he was employed in the store’s warehouse from last June through December. He came to work.

“When we’d get a truck to unload,” said McGregors supervisor Calvin Taylor, “we’d joke and say ‘Get Shonn the ball on the 20 and let him go.’ He was a great worker.”

Greene was academically ineligible to play for the Hawkeyes last year. He transferred to Kirkwood Community College for a year to regain his eligibility at Iowa. On the side, he did some good, honest work in a warehouse.

“We’ve hired a lot of Iowa football players to work for us,” said McGregors service warehouse manager Rebecca Fried. They include former Hawkeye stalwarts like Bob Sanders, Jonathan Babineaux, Bryan Mattison, Drew Tate and Mike Humpal.

“Normally, it’s just for over the summer, until they start in with practice,” Fried said. “But Shonn stayed through December, so he worked a lot more than any of the players we had here. He worked in the warehouse, unloading trucks, getting things ready for delivery, helping customers pick up their orders, assembling furniture.”

Taylor said the Hawkeyes who have worked there have served the store well.

“You don’t have to tell them too much,” he said. “They ask what they have to do and then get it done. It’s a tribute to the team’s work ethic. They come in and don’t showboat or anything.”

Fried said most of the football players have been good workers, though “one in particular, it was his first-ever job and it showed.”

But “you could tell Shonn had a pretty good background. He was soft-spoken and got along with everybody. He wasn’t a ‘look at me’ type. He’d rather blend in.”

“He wanted to be one of the fellas,” Taylor said. “He didn’t want anybody to know who he was.”

People in Iowa City and Coralville know their Hawkeyes. Occasionally, someone in the store would ask “Are you Shonn Greene?”

“He’d deny it,” Fried said. “I think it was because he wasn’t where he wanted to be.”

“He just wanted to do his job like everybody else here,” Taylor said. “He knew what he wanted to do, and he was focused.”

Greene worked a lot of Saturdays in that warehouse during the 2007 football season. If it hurt him not to be in an Iowa uniform, he didn’t let it show with sulking.

“He still had team spirit,” Taylor said. “We listened to the games on the radio.

“Sometimes they’d talk about his position on the radio, and he wouldn’t have anything to add. He’d listen like everybody else, but he didn’t give an opinion one way or the other.”

Maybe Greene knew something the broadcasters and the audience didn’t about what was coming in ’08. Of course, he couldn’t have had an inkling of the personal success he’d attain with a dozen games of more than 100 yards rushing, the Big Ten’s Player of the Year award, the Doak Walker Award, and more.

“It’s been wonderful,” Taylor said. “For that mild-mannered guy to have been working in the warehouse for us … I can’t explain it.

“I’m just proud to know him and have spent some time with him.”

Fried is a big Greene fan, too, and not because he’s an All-America.

“It’s neat to see him become so popular,” she said. “He’s deserving of it. He was very humble and modest when he was with us. Probably his favorite person in the world is his grandmother. He’s one of those homegrown, lovable guys.

“As aggressive as he is on the field, he’s a teddy bear off it. For even mentioning us in having a part in getting where he is, that says a lot right there.”

This past summer was the first one in several years when McGregors didn’t employ a Hawkeye football player. There was no reason for it, Fried said. It’s just how things worked out.

“If Shonn was the last one,” Taylor said, “then what a last one to have.”

Shonn Greene a First-Team Football Coaches Assn. All-America

AP photo by the great Charlie Neibergall

AP photo by the great Charlie Neibergall

Iowa running back Shonn Greene was a first-team selection Thursday on the Football Coaches’ Association of America honor squad.

This is the first of what will be several national honors for Greene. It would be a shocker if he isn’t on the Associated Press’ first-team All-America squad, and if he doesn’t win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.

Interestingly, the first-team quarterback on the FCAA unit is Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell. That tells me most or all of  the voting was done before the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game.

Here’s a piece by someone at an oft-visited Web site who thinks Greene should be among the Heisman Trophy finalists over Harrell:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/87636-why-shonn-greene-not-graham-harrell-should-be-a-heisman-finalist

Another piece I find interesting suggests if the Heisman really went to college football’s best player, only one of the top 10 candidates would be a quarterback, and that would be Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. The writer lists Greene among the 10, and the only running back at that. The link:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/87636-why-shonn-greene-not-graham-harrell-should-be-a-heisman-finalist

Ten Heisman Voters Surveyed – Very Little Support for Shonn Greene

Oklahomas Slingin Sammy Bradford

Oklahoma's Slingin' Sammy Bradford

If the Rocky Mountain News’ most-recent survey of 10 Heisman Trophy electors is a good sampling, Iowa running back Shonn Greene won’t be one of the five Heisman finalists.

Here is what Monday’s Rocky reported:

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the new leader in this week’s Rocky Mountain News Heisman Trophy poll, just barely ahead of Texas QB Colt McCoy. Likely dazzled by Bradford’s four touchdown-pass performance in Saturday night’s 65-21 rout of Texas Tech, Bradford earned five of 10 first-place votes to jump from third to first with 42 total points. McCoy, who was off Saturday, remained in second place with 41 points that included three first-place votes.

The leader the previous three weeks, Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell, fell two spots to third, with defending Heisman-winner Tim Tebow of Florida remaining in fourth. The Heisman will be awarded Dec. 13 in New York City.

In its 22nd year, the Rocky poll is the longest-running weekly Heisman ranking in the country. The final poll, taken in December, has predicted the Heisman winner correctly in 18 of the previous 21 seasons. Ten voters select five players each week. The tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points for a first-place vote, four points for second, etc. First-place votes are in parentheses.

The Hlog notes: Heisman voters only list three players. Greene got either one fourth-place vote or two fifth-place votes. Which means he would have received zero votes had these 10 people — which include some well-known names in sports journalism — sent their Heisman ballots today.

This week’s Rocky poll, with statistics from last week:

Player, position School Last week Points
Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma 14-for-19 passing, 304 yards, 4 TDs 42 (5)
Colt McCoy, QB Texas Did not play 41 (3)
Graham Harrell, QB Texas Tech 33-for-55 passing, 361 yards, 3 TDs 27 (1)
Tim Tebow, QB Florida 9-for-11, 201 yards passing, 3 TDs 23 (1)
Daryll Clark, QB Penn State 16-for-26 passing, 341 yards, 4 TDs 4
Chase Daniel, QB Missouri Did not play 4

Others receiving votes: Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia) 3; Michael Crabtree, (WR, Texas Tech) 3; Shonn Greene (RB, Iowa) 2; Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri), 1.

Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Mike Griffith, The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel; Michael Lewis, Salt Lake Tribune; Bernie Lincicome, Rocky Mountain News; John Lindsay, Scripps Howard News Service; Tom Luicci, The (Newark) Star-Ledger; John Rohde, The Oklahoman.

The link: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/nov/24/heisman-poll-sooners-qb-bradford-soars-top-tech-tr/

Odds Still Seem Against Greene Becoming a Heisman Finalist

Probable future U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clintons Heisman pose

Probable future U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Heisman pose

This will be edited as more information filters in, but early returns Sunday show it will be an uphill run for Iowa’s Shonn Greene to become a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2 1/2 weeks.

From sportingnews.com Sunday: “He has the numbers to get to New York, but the name recognition still isn’t there.”

In Heisman watches in the Denver Post and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Sunday, four players were listed. None were Greene.

Before Saturday’s games, a McClatchey Newspapers panel of nine Heisman voters listed the way they would fill out their ballots (you only get to vote for three players). Only Jeff Shain of the Miami Herald listed Greene, and at No. 3. Quarterbacks Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, Colt McCoy of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida had every vote covered by the third-place vote for Greene and a third-place nod for Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree.

Greene’s 1,729 rushing yards lead all of Division I-A football, but it’s the Year of the Quarterback. Not that a running back with a dozen straight 100-yard games wouldn’t be a shoo-in for the Heisman ceremony had he played for a team headed for a BCS bowl, but an unranked 8-4 club has a harder time getting drum beats sounded for a Heisman candidacy.

It doesn’t help, either, that Greene isn’t glib or eager to do any self-promotion. Normally, the latter is a good thing.

Nonetheless, Greene will be making the rounds in December when national awards are handed out. He absolutely has to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. There will be other honors, and a first-team All-America spot. Those aren’t bad consolation prizes if he isn’t invited to New York.

Then there’s a bowl game. You know, Greene is only a 271-yard game from a 2,000-yard season …

In an unrelated matter, congratulations to former Iowa defensive lineman Howard Hodges for being a member of the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders. Hodges played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year, they went 3-15, and Hodges got waived. He hooked on with the Stampeders and played a significant role for the league champs.