Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some Issues on Thursday

Schaub with the Texans
In the midst of March Madness, it seems like the Texans have been going through their own kind of madness. I'm sure you've seen by now that the Texans traded for the former Falcons backup QB Matt Schaub and then signed him to a 6-year, $48 million dollar contract.

I know I wrote about this earlier, but let me spell this out: The Texans swapped 1st round picks this year with the Falcons, gave up their 2nd round picks for this year and next, and then gave Schaub this huge deal when he has yet to even win ONE GAME as an NFL starter. Unbelieveable.

I know David Carr didn't exactly set the world on fire, but it's kind of hard to complete passes when you're on your back. Does it really matter who the QB is if they have no offensive line? Who is running things down there? First they pass on Bush and now they're banking on a completely unproven quarterback? I'm confused. I'm really curious to see how the Texans handle the draft this year. You'd think they would want to address the offensive line now. They signed Ahman Green a few weeks ago and now they have Schaub. I question the direction they're going in when they sign an unproven QB and a quickly aging RB.

Maybe they know something I don't. Especially since they shocked everyone by drafting Mario Williams last year.

Papelbon Back in at Closer
I found it very surprising to see that after basically a whole offseason where Papelbon demanded the chance to start again, he finally admitted a few weeks before the season is to start that he wants to close for the "rest of his career."

This is great news for the Red Sox and their fans. Not only does his return to the closer's role fill a huge gap in the bullpen, but he seems as determined as ever to repeat his awesome 2006 season. To show just how great of a season he had, Papelbon finished with 35 saves, 75 Ks, a 0.92 ERA, and opposing batters only hit .167 combined against him. After putting up those numbers, why wouldn't he welcome the return to being closer.

With the improvement the Red Sox already added to the rotation with Dice-K to combine with Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield, and possibly Jon Lester, the Red Sox entire pitching staff should be pretty good top to bottom. Closer is the place where Papelbon should be at.

Tubby Smith Leaves Kentucky
I had to do a double-take at my computer screen when I saw this article on earlier today. I thought, at the very least, that if Smith was going to leave Kentucky, he'd be fired. But he wasn't fired, and he chose to leave and take the job at Minnesota. Wait, Minnesota?

Why did he go there to coach? I haven't read anything yet that says why exactly he went there. I can't even name any players on the Gophers. Maybe there will be less expectations on him and he won't have nearly as much pressure coming down on him from all angles.

I always thought he was a good coach, so I'm wondering to see what he can do with Minnesota. I'm sure in a year or two they'll be pretty competitive.

The other side to this story is the question of who Kentucky will pursue to coach the team now. I'm sure they'll be looking at a bunch of high profile guys since the job at Kentucky is one of the best in the nation. Should be interesting. They could go in a number of directions.

McRoberts Turns Pro
And finally, in one of the more uninteresting stories of the day, Josh McRoberts of Duke announced he's turning pro a year too late. Never really much of a scorer, he only averaged 13 points a game at Duke but did manage almost 8 rebounds.

Purely from a fan's perspective, I never really feared McRoberts when they played against Maryland. Duke's team this past year wasn't really that scary at all, even though they're a relatively young team. He didn't seem to have any great post moves other than a lefty hook that seemed to be just oddly thrown at the basket.

His best attribute is that he can handle the ball pretty well for his size. But other than that, I don't know how excited NBA scouts are going to be when looking at him. I'd be surprised if he was drafted in the top 20, and I don't know if he's anyone that fans would get excited about either. He seems more like Shavlik Randolph than Carlos Boozer.

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