Richard Miller: The Way It Is
Those will be some fun and highly quotable press conferences from the away teams’ head coaches (Josh McDaniels, Tom Cable, Eric Mangini, Andy Reid and Mike Shanahan).
Out of eight regular-season home games, Jacksonville will play two playoff teams from this season: the Colts and the Eagles. So, that leaves six possible games to be blacked out locally.
With the Jaguars’ needing depth at quarterback and with more than four months remaining until draft day, I will focus my attention on Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, Tony Pike of Cincinnati, Ole Miss talent Jevan Snead and, of course, Tim Tebow. However, it is still starter David Garrard’s job to lose.
If it were not for my profession, I would have turned off the TV when Texas quarterback Colt McCoy went down with a right shoulder injury in Thursday night’s national championship game.
True freshman Garrett Gilbert, who entered the BCS title game for McCoy, was not receiving much help from his teammates early in the game. Numerous passes were dropped, and Gilbert had little protection on his blind side. But, in the end, Gilbert played better than one could ask of a redshirt freshman.
I know every Florida State football fan tossed at least one item at the TV out of frustration because of Alabama’s sophomore receiver Julio Jones. The 6-foot-4 Jones, who only caught one ball against Texas, wavered between attending Alabama or FSU. Regardless of where your affiliations lie, it is impossible not to imagine quarterback Christian Ponder’s finding Jones in the end zone on Saturdays.
Immediately after the Pete Carroll to Seattle Seahawks story was first brought to light, a colleague pointed out the following in a nutshell: USC is a dirty program; Carroll does not want his hands dirty; and who really turns down $7 million per season? I could not have said it better myself.
On the baseball front, Englewood High grad and former Philadelphia Phillie Brett Myers has agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million to join the Houston Astros. Even after hip surgery last May, Myers, an eight-year veteran, still has enough juice to be in the starting rotation. Currently, with a 73-63 record, the 29-year-old Myers should reach 100 wins within three years.
With Urban Meyer’s hiring assistant coaches and bringing in new recruits, I wonder when his leave of absence will commence. My guess is that Meyer’s leave will begin sometime after National Signing Day.
After flip-flopping better than most politicians, football recruit Matt Elam, out of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, committed to the University of Florida on Saturday. Does Elam have a girlfriend? If so, his commitment issues must have been discussed.
The Jacksonville Sharks, the city’s new Arena Football team, plays its first home game on April 16 against the Orlando Predators. All home games will be held at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. For information on season tickets, call (904) 621-0700 or visit jaxsharks.com. Time will tell whether or not the play is spectacular, but the Sharks’ logo is eye-popping.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch Dhani Tackles the Globe, which begins its second season this spring, I suggest you do so. Dhani Jones, the star of the show and outside linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, travels the world searching for interesting sports to learn – such as dragon boat racing, Muay Thai boxing and rugby. The articulate and witty Jones carries the series. If Jones decides to be a football analyst, he has the potential to be one of the most entertaining.
Finally, Jay Leno will be heading back to his old time slot. First of all, Leno needed a desk in primetime. And Conan O’Brien is just a different kind of funny for The Tonight Show viewers.
What a below-average weekend of NFL football. I could have slept through three out of the four Wild Card games. Surprisingly, fans tuned in, which resulted in the first playoff weekend having its best TV ratings since 1999. I never would have guessed it.
Is our winter over yet?
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show.
Richard contributes to Inside the Game with Robin Valetutto every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.
You can e-mail Richard at Richard.Miller@jaxobserver.com