Monday, April 24, 2006

Matt Leinart's Favorite Things

Ok, now you know everything about SC's Matt Leinart. Well this and the reminder that he did lose to Cal.

On his new website, he lists his favorite things. There are some interesting matches. For example, his favorite color is green and his city to visit is New York. If that's not a clear signal that he wants to be drafted by the NY Jets, I don't know what is.

Matt Leinart's Favorite Things:

Color - Green
Food - Italian
Movie - Wedding Crashers
Actor - Jim Carey
Car - Chevy Tahoe
Football Team - USC
Basketball Team - Lakers
Baseball Team - Dodgers
City to Visit - NY
Vacation - Houseboating
Football Moment - Holding the Crystal Ball
Class in School - Social Psychology
Book - To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal - Dog
Video Game - Halo
Favorite Activity - Video Games
Restaurant - Wahoos Fish Tacos

NFL Draft - Cowboys Colts Trade? Playmaker88 Thinks So

Playmaker 88 gives a well-reasoned explaination why the Indianapolis Colts may wind up with the Dallas Cowboys 18th pick in the first round the the NFL Draft. Check it out via clicking on the title of this post.

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

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Chilling Effects

Publicity Surrounding Leinart Shines Light On Steve Clarkson's "Air 7 QB Academy"

Who's Steve Clarkson? Well, he's the guy working out USC's Matt Leinart in the photo. This one taken in 2005. He's also worked Leinart out this year, and is a key member of Team Leinart.

This bio I found on his old website reveals all, but before I subject you to a long read let me inform you that he's got a great relationship with former USC and now Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow, at least that's what Clarkson reports on his website.

It may be this relationship that caused Leinart to consider the agent switch to begin with. It may be that Matt believed that this relationship -- and not Leigh Steinberg -- was the key to his becoming a Titan.

It also sheds light on why some believed that Ben Rothelisberger might switch to CAA, now that the movie talent giant's football practice is marketing Mr. Clarkson's Air 7.

Whatever the story, it's clear that Mr. Clarkson's relationships -- or more accurately his maintenance of them -- is paying off.

Well, check out this bio on Clarkson:

What separates Steve and Air 7 from the rest is Steve's ability to parlay his relationships into the strongest network of college coaches and contacts among anyone who works in football at the high school level. His success as a quarterback coach, combined with the personal relationships he developed as a player and a coach, have given his students a much greater chance of getting to the next level.

Not only a quarterback coach, Steve excels as an offensive coordinator, having produced city championships (Carson HS), record setting quarterbacks (Perry Klein - Pacific Palisades, David Koral - Palisades, John Walsh - Carson, and Steve Sarkisian - El Camino) and providing fans an exciting glimpse into the future of the passing offense.

Steve is a 1979 graduate of LA Wilson High School. During that time, Steve led his Wilson High team to three LA City Championships with a three year record of 39-1. In addition, he was named to the All-City teams his Junior and Senior seasons and was the All-City Player of the Year in 1978. In that season, he led the state in passing yards and total offense. In the early 80s, Clarkson was a record-setting quarterback at San Jose State where he wore the number seven (hence the name of his company). He was briefly in the NFL and CFL with Denver and Saskatchawan. While at San Jose State, he was a three year starter name to the Academic All-American teams in 1981 and 1982. He played for Jack Elway (John's father) and Dennis Erickson where he went on to coach at the University of Miami and then with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.

The creation of the CaliFlorida Bowl HS All-Star Football game has allowed Steve to communicate directly and frequently with scores of college football head coaches, most notably Pete Carroll (USC), Karl Dorrell (UCLA), Mark Richt (Georgia) and Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee).

Having spent the last 20 years in the field of football training and coaching, Steve has developed relationships with: Bill Walsh (San Francisco 49ers); Jack Kemp (Current President of USA Football, Former Congressmen and Buffalo Bills Quarterback); Dennis Erickson (Steve’s godfather, former head coach at U of Miami, OSU & SF 49ers); Terry Donohue (Former UCLA head coach & SF 49er GM); John Elway (Hall of Fame QB); Mike Price (UTEP) Bill Walsh; Mike White (Kansas City Chiefs QB Coach) and NFL Rookie of the Year, Ben Roethlisberger (a client of Steve).

Among Steve’s closest professional relationships, is the one he has with Norm Chow. Norm and Steve have a strong relationship dating back to the early 80’s. Initially, the relationship began when Norm had great success at BYU, utilizing quarterbacks who had trained under Clarkson (John Walsh & Steve Sarkisian). Since those days, the two have become good friends as well. Most recently, the common bond has been Matt Leinart, a pupil of Steve’s, who became Norm’s most recent Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

Matt Leinart Meets Raiders Owner Al Davis At Raiders Headquarters

I found this at Matt Leinart's new website . He writes that he went to dinner in the Marina, which is really funny because that Thursday nigh of last week, I thought I saw a guy who looked just like Matt at The Balboa Cafe, which is in the Marina District of San Francisco.


QB meets with Raiders, Saints

It's been a long few days. I'm excited to be back home in L.A. It's been fun to meet everybody and go to the different places, but I'm definitely ready to get this over with.

As I'm writing this entry, I'm at my agent Chuck Price's house. I'm watching his two daughters dance to some Disney show. They're like the little sisters I never had. I'm kind of like their big brother.

I've been so busy traveling this week I haven't had a chance to talk to anybody.

Wednesday, I woke up at 4 a.m, and went to the airport to get on a flight to New Orleans. I had a layover in Houston. I got there and talked to the Saints' coaches. I met with the head coach Sean Payton, quarterbacks' coach Pete Carmichael, Jr. and general manager Mickey Loomis.

Coach Payton is a great guy. He'll be calling the plays in New Orleans. All the coaches I've met have been great, but coach Payton was really cool. I got along with him well.

Even though it was hot and humid in New Orleans, it was a good experience. What the city and people went through was horrible. I'm not one of those guys who would say I don't want to be with the Saints because of what happened to the city. It would be great to play for the Saints. To be there, to feel it, and talk about the community with the coaches was a very cool thing.

We had a nice BBQ dinner at my hotel after I got a tour of the Saints' facilities. It was really informal. I was there with coach Payton, offensive coordinator Doug Marrone, coach Carmichael and Mikey Loomis. We just kind of hung out and shot the breeze.

Thursday, I had an 8 a.m flight to Oakland to meet with the Raiders. After I arrived, I took a nap. I finally had a chance to catch up on some sleep.

I went out to dinner Thursday night with the quarterbacks' coach Jim McElwain. Everyone calls him "coach Mac." We went to dinner in the marina. We were right on the water. We had an awesome talk. This is his first year in the NFL. He's coming from college at Michigan State where he coached quarterbacks. He's a younger coach and very laid back.

The Raiders' facilities are right by the airport. It was really convenient. Everything was in silver and black.

After meeting with coach Shell, and watching film with offensive coordinator Tom Walsh and coach Mac, I met with Mr. Al Davis.

Mr. Davis and I met for 15 or 20 minutes in his office. I've never met him before. I told him that I've been a Raiders' fan for a long time. My brother and dad are also big fans of the Raiders.

Mr. Davis is so highly respected. He coached at USC a while ago. We talked about everything from my career to players he coached. I asked him about his quarterback situation. At USC, I was called "The Snake", which is Kenny Stabler's nickname. Stabler was his quarterback a long time ago, so it was pretty cool. Stabler was a lefty too. Mr. Davis actually said when he was watching film I reminded him of Stabler!

It was a cool experience. Mr. Davis is a legend. He's extremely smart. He's really the guy that started the NFL.

I got back to L.A on Friday. The plan for this weekend is to relax.

I played golf on Saturday with my brother Ryan, Chuck and a couple buddies. I still haven't gotten my golf clubs that I was fitted for. I had to borrow them from my attorney. As you know, I have the tendency to throw my clubs so I'm almost glad they haven't arrived. Once I start practicing, I'll be decent. I just haven't had the time.

I plan on packing this weekend for New York. I leave on Tuesday. I thought I would have more of an idea about who is going to draft me, but I still don't know. I probably won't know until draft day. It's a toss-up. That's the scary and cool part about it.

It will be great to go anywhere.

I'm excited and can't wait to get it over.

Ties Between Bush, Parents, and House May Be Coincidental - Bush To Associated Press

Hold on Cal and Vince Young fans. USC may not be in danger of losing scholarships, and Vince Young may not be given the Heisman that currently rests somewhere in the home of Reggie Bush.

Read this

Bush says Parents leased house being scrutinized by Pac-10
USC star says story has been blown out of proportion

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Former Southern California star Reggie Bush said there was nothing inappropriate about his family's living arrangement at a home owned by a man who reportedly sought to market him because they leased the house.

"It's kind of funny how this whole story is getting blown out of proportion," Bush said in a live ESPN interview Monday.

The Pac-10 said Sunday that it will investigate whether any NCAA rules were violated when Bush's family, including mother Denise Griffin, stepfather LaMar Griffin and brother Jovan Griffin lived in the Spring Valley, Calif., house while Bush was still playing for USC last season.

Bush declined to say who paid the rent.

The home was owned by Michael Michaels, who reportedly attempted to steer Bush toward signing with San Diego agent David Caravantes, and sought to handle Bush's marketing with a new firm he had founded, reported Sunday.

NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes and their families from receiving extra benefits from agents or their representatives.

"When this is all said and done, everybody will see at the end of the day that we've done nothing, absolutely nothing wrong," said Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner.

Bush chose to turn pro after his junior season with USC and is expected to be the No. 1 pick in Saturday's NFL draft. He eventually signed with a different agent and marketing firm; his agent, Joel Segal, and Mike Ornstein, who handles marketing, did not immediately return telephone messages left Monday by The Associated Press.

Yahoo reported that the family moved out last weekend after questions over its ownership arose. Bush suggested that the timing of the move was coincidental.

"That's the funny thing," he said. "We've been looking for a house for two to three months. Now that I'm in the position of buying my parents a house, we've even made a bid on another house, but it ended up being too steep for my pocket."

Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said Monday that a Pac-10 investigation could start soon, but gave no specific time frame. USC could forfeit its 2005 Pac-10 football title if Bush is ruled ineligible, he said.

"I'm not a rules expert, but I think one of the available penalties would be forfeiture of games if you compete while ineligible," Hansen said at the Bowl Championship Series meetings in Phoenix. "I want to caution that that's a long way from where we are now. And I think all of us have seen that so often there are allegations made and when you get to the heart of the matter there' s nothing there."

Any violation could also put Bush in a precarious position with the organization that awards the Heisman Trophy; the award ballot states that the winner must be in compliance with NCAA rules. Heisman officials will wait until the Pac-10 investigation is complete before deciding if any action needs to be taken, said Heisman Trophy Trust spokesman Tim Henning.

The Trojans went 12-1 last season, losing to Texas in the national championship game at the Rose Bowl. USC coach Pete Carroll was on the road recruiting Monday and was unavailable for comment.

The two-story house sits on a corner on a steep hill in an unincorporated area outside San Diego. The back yard is bare dirt and the pavement of the driveway apron is inscribed with the words "The Griffins '05.'"

San Diego County records show the 3,002-square-foot home has an assessed value of $339,394, including $99,394 for the land. State records showed construction was completed in early 2005 and Michaels purchased it for more than $757,000 in late March.

In a statement to the AP on Monday, William David Cornwell Sr., attorney for Bush and his mother and stepfather, said the tailback had no connection to the house.

"Reggie Bush was a full-time student at the University of Southern California and never lived in the house," Cornwell said. "As is the case with most 20-year-old college students, Reggie was not aware of personal or financial arrangements relating to his parents or their house. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin now realize that, given Reggie's profile, their personal decisions can reflect on their son."

Bush did not answer a question about his relationship with Michaels.

"There will be a later time for details," he said. "As of right now, it's still early and we don't want to get into all that."

In Crack-Induced Haze, ESPN's Michael Smith Writes That The Texans Should Take Mario Williams Over Reggie Bush

I love ESPN's Michael Smith. At Super Bowl XL in Detroit I asked him who his favorite team was "No one. None of 'em" was his quick witted response. I also enjoy his straight on conversational take on the NFL's Minority Hiring Problem.

But I don't agree with his latest column, which goes like this:

"Let me begin by assuring you that, to my knowledge, I never have suffered a head injury, not even a minor one. I've never used/abused recreational or prescription drugs. And it has been well over a week since I last consumed any alcohol. Also rest assured that when I wrote the following, I did so with a straight face.

With the first pick of the 2006 NFL draft, the Houston Texans should not select running back Reggie Bush of Southern California. And my reason has nothing to do with the recent report that his family allegedly accepted extra benefits during Bush's junior season.

And sorry, Houstonians, this isn't another plea for the Texans to pass over Bush in favor of University of Texas quarterback (and hometown hero) Vince Young.

They shouldn't trade down, either, or they might miss out on the player they should take. Mario Williams, the North Carolina State defensive end, should be the Texans' pick.

Choosing Williams over Bush is the smart choice if not the most popular. It isn't that Williams is the better player; a college scouting director whom I swear by told me that Bush is the best player he's ever evaluated, that Bush received a rating one point below perfect on his scale, while Williams graded out one point behind Bush. So I believe the Texans are in fact torn between Bush and Williams, whom they have rated equally atop their draft board."

The statistic that only four Super Bowl winners had running backs drafted in the first round is misleading. Yes, offense sells tickets and defense wins championships, but the vast majority of Super Bowl winners have had record-setting defenses made up of a collection of mid-first round and mostly-late round draft choices. Plus, the stat leads the uninformed and unsophistocated person to assume that every Super Bowl winner was able to draft a running back with the first pick in the first round.


I'm going to go out on a limb and say this: Mario Williams will never be the difference maker that Reggie Williams can be because a team can game plan to go away from him. They cvan use his speed against him. And as long as there are other weaknesses on the Texans defense, one player will not make the difference.

But a defense that keys on Reggie Bush can be hurt by play-action. Nuff said. That defense will then have the chore of just trying to catch lightining in a bottle. What Smith and others forget is this: speed kills.

In this election, I vote for Bush.

Maryland TE Vernon Davis - A Video Look Before the NFL Draft

Vernon Davis, Maryland's tight end and one of the top picks in the NFL Draft is causing many GM's to change who's near the top of their leader boards.

At 6'3 263 pounds and posting a blazzing 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash, Davis is not only an even better athlete than last year's TE pick Matt Jones, who went to Jacksonville, but unlike Jones played at that position in college, rather than being converted to it.

Several teams can benefit from Davis' right away: the Titans, 49ers, Packers, and Raiders for starters. It's not likely he's last beyond the 4th pick.

Here's a video of Vernon Davis at work: