Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let's Make a Deal

Roar Lions Roar is brought to you by IvySport.

You can check out IvySport's Columbia products here.

Free Agent Frenzy

Now that the NFL lockout is officially over, the fates of a number of Ivy football grads will be sealed in the next few hours as rookie free agents try to get signed to pro teams and get into training camp.

I’m not sure how this will affect Alex Gross, but I am hoping to see his name in the free agency tracker websites that are sprouting up right now.

I will keep my eyes open.

Penn Transfer

The Ivy League football version of free agency is the transfer action.

Columbia is getting a former walk-on at Texas A&M this fall in transfer DL Wells Childress.

Not to be outdone, Penn is getting a former walk-on at Texas Tech this fall in WR Ty Taylor.

Dartmouth is also getting a transfer WR, (as reported here and other places months ago), in former walk-on Clemson Tiger Robbie Anthony.

Penn’s passing game has been a concern in recent years, not that it matters when you are a two-time defending Ivy champ with a 15-game Ivy winning streak.

But if the Quakers do pass the ball more this fall, (I’m not convinced they will), Taylor could be a real positive factor at Franklin Field.

The conventional wisdom is that Penn will have to throw more because of all the great offensive linemen the program graduated back in May.

I’m not really on board with that assessment because the same offensive line that makes running holes is also the line that needs to provide pass protection. And is anyone willing to really bet that Al Bagnoli and Co. don’t have decent talent waiting in the wings on the O-line?

The real clincher in my argument is the loads of talent the Quakers bring to the table at running back. QB Billy Ragone is basically just a runner, and only Columbia’s Sean Brackett rivals him in running talent at that position.

Then you have RB’s Lyle Marsh, Brandon Colavita, and Jeff Jack, all guys who could start and be the feature back at just about any other Ivy.

So for all the talk about how Bagnoli will have Ragone splitting time with the passing QB Ryan Becker in 2011, I’m not really buying it.

Sure, Penn might mix it up a bit on offense in the game against non-Ivy power Villanova. But everyone else will have to prove they can stop the run before the Quaker coaches mess with a winning formula that no one in the Ivies has had an answer for since late 2008.

I’m not trying to pour cold water on this transfer news. It’s clear to me that Taylor makes Penn a better team right now.

Just what we all needed… no?

In truth, it seems like every opponent Columbia faces this fall is clearly better than they were the year before.

I’ll get into the details of that in the coming weeks, but this is going to be a hack of a challenge for the Lions this fall.

Top 100 Moments of 2010

#53: Matt’s Fury

After Sean Brackett and Andrew Kennedy hooked up for a pretty 57-yard TD play, a strange incident occurred on the PAT.

Luke Eddy boomed the kick right through, but Lion LB Matt Morretto got too physical in his special teams blocking assignment and was flagged for a blatant personal foul penalty.

Anyone who knows Matt knows that he is a very charming, well-spoken, and was the “most likely to be a successful politician” type on the team.

So, the fact that the flag was officially thrown on him was curious. Some witnesses say the actual offender was Lion OL Tim Skalak.

Either way, for Moretto or Skalak to lose it like that surely the result of a frustrating day in the trenches against the super-physical Quakers.

The penalty was assessed on the kickoff and the result was predictable. Penn’s Bradford Blackmon took the kick in full stride at his 11 and returned it all the way back to the CU 40 yard line.


At Wed Jul 27, 06:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The personal foul was not on Matt, but on senior offensive lineman Tim Skalak who has now graduated.

At Wed Jul 27, 09:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nothing hurts more than reading about Penn here after the way the team physically dominated us last year. You have set the theme for the coming year - stop the run. The less obvious answer is how.

Recruiting more big bodies helps but is not the complete answer. The big bodies you see major BCS programs rolling out every weekend are not recruited, they are made through meticulous attention to strength and nutrition programs.

I have no doubt that Penn can compete with Villanova because they have found a way to successfully manage this aspect of the program in an Ivy academic environment.

How we improve in this area at Columbia I don't know.

Here's an article that talks about Wisconsin as an example of what programs are doing. Some of it may sound extreme, but a lot of it is common place now. Players don't get to be 300 lb athletes (as opposed to just big fat guys) by accident.

At Wed Jul 27, 08:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jake makes a great point about the talent in the Ivies being really high this year. There are a ton of good backs returning and I believe every starting QB returns. We could have a better team this year and a worse record, simply because the competition is better, both league and non-league. If we can't stop the run, it will be a long year.

At Wed Jul 27, 10:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People, yes Penn beat us 27-13, but we frittered away good scoring opportunities deep in their territory with turnovers. Brown and Harvard beat up on us alot worse than Penn did.

My view remains that the difference between 4-6 and 7-3 is in our coaching, whether that is the late season two a days that wear the players out or the poor play calling and poor ability to read the opposition's gameplan and adjust ours.

At Thu Jul 28, 01:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will have a better team and a better record. I have spoken to two returning senior defensive players, both starters, who are really pumped about our team. Almost every starter has been in town all summer, working hard in the weight room and on the field. Owen Fraser is apparently at 100%, and Childress has already made an impression on the other guys as an impact player. I really think that the negativity doesn't do us any good. In fact, the new Campbell Center should be a cause of unbridled enthusiasm. It is well under way and will be one of the very best facilities in the Ivies, if not in the Northeast. Go Lions!!!! And PS, I frankly couldn't care less about Penn. We get them at home this year, and we will beat them. Sean Brackett is the best player in the Ivies.

At Thu Jul 28, 06:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale game on YES.

At Thu Jul 28, 07:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good info from the players. With Fraser AND Childress on the D line, you gotta believe our Run D improves...clogs the middle...forces runs outside where our smaller but speedier LBs can get it done.

I can only see our offense improving under a new OC, a more mature Brackett, two fast backs and Chao doing the short yard and blocking thing. Kennedy/Guterrez leave a gap, but so did Knowlin the year before and yet Brackett passed for > 20 TDs.

Does this net us 8 pts vs Fordham? 4 points vs Yale? less than a TD against Dartmouth? You would think it would. Does it make up 2 TDs vs Penn, with their young O line and our playing at home for Homecoming?....that is a ticket I would buy in advance in order to find out. Albany and Sacred Heart at home...gotta win these.

I have ragged on the coaching as well, but look, NW replaced his two key coaches and has taken clear steps to plug the run. If this has anywhere near the impact that his fixing the kicking game did last year, then we can only improve!!!

Chen 82

At Thu Jul 28, 03:31:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Where did you get the idea that we have a new OC? Unless I missed it, Marino still there.

At Thu Jul 28, 04:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh...thought it was the case....perhaps I am mistaken...

Chen 82

At Thu Jul 28, 05:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Chen- You're better than that! You may have to go on "Post Probation" if you post false rumors like that, no matter how much we agree.

How many of you remember the last CU-Yale game on YES Network? If you watched it on YES, I assume that you were equally embarrassed by how the announcers (one was Jack Ford) commented that Norries looked like a deer in the headlights when Yale came back in the last quarter and Norries froze in his decision making for the last few minutes of the game. Then they caught themselves and said that Colmbia is making great strides just to be in the game that late. That pretty much sums up Norries and his staff's tenure.

RE: The post that the difference between 4-6 and 7-3 is coaching... Nail... head... BANG!

This is another year where we have 6 home games! Who gets that? Not to mention we're playing Sacred Heart and Albany. Really???

If we lose to PU and/or Cornell, I say we lock Norries' contract up for the remainder of decade... because that's what the administration will most likely do. Give him a corner office in the new Campbell Bldg. overseeing the #1 train and bus depot across the street. Location, location, location! What will attract more recruits more than a building that looks like a state of the art lavatory? For goodness sakes, we have an architect school. one of those kids could have gotten their crayons out and done a better job!

Fustrated Lion Fan!

At Thu Jul 28, 08:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still wouldn't put much hope in Childress making a major impact this year. Too little about him out there when he was at Texas A&M. I am thinking he may actually play at the DE position. That is what Texas A&M recruited him for.

I think there was a little hopeful thinking going on with regard to Chen 82’s comment on the OC. You do have to wonder why there hasn’t been a change.

At Fri Jul 29, 02:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TE Flaherty from Princeton to Saints


Post a Comment

<< Home