Film Room: A Closer Look at Mason Rudolph and His Pro Prospects

first_imgPlant foot is literally facing backwards. Bad footwork = bad ball placement. pic.twitter.com/bRcVZk68mQ— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) May 7, 2017It was a lot of fun watching all of these games again, this period of the year is what I call the sports death hole and got me excited about football again. My summary would be that Rudolph is an excellent QB and a really strong candidate to be a good NFL QB as well. I think he needs to shore up some of his footwork issues and work on short/intermediate throws, but I think he’s in line for a big year. At this point I would rank him 4th overall for QBs in regards to the 2018 NFL Draft and pretty much a lock for 1st round pick.One more thing, someone please take the WVU 2015 offensive tape and set it on fire. I have no idea how we won that game. Prob shouldn’t have thrown into double coverage but great touch right in between 2 defenders. Hold on 66, called back ? pic.twitter.com/3XtzK44tq0— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) May 7, 2017This is one of my main knocks on Wyoming’s Josh Allen, who I’m sure most of you have heard rumors on him being a prime candidate for the No. 1 overall pick next year. I’m not on that bandwagon. He has a cannon arm but really only throws fastball and doesn’t show consistent touch. A big arm will only get you so far, just ask Jeff George. Rudolph shows great touch on a variety of throws in the games listed above, being able to diagnose the coverage and drop balls with accuracy into tight windows.One of my favorites. This is NFL throw. Anticipation, Ball thrown before MA clears LB. Big 4th down conversion. pic.twitter.com/lVxyuQKDVi— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) May 7, 2017I think Rudolph has plenty of velocity, this was shown on a few 10-18 yard out routes that were on the opposite hash and was able to get the ball there fine. The issue here is consistency, and I pair this with not being 100 percent confident in all of this throws. You could chart every single out route or hitch in intermediate range (10-18 yards) outside of the hashes and he throws with tremendous velocity and accuracy at an unbelievable rate. Actually I don’t think I recall one throw where he had sufficient time that he missed in that area. Simply put, it’s his best throw.Where you see inconsistencies are on quick passes in the slot and throws over the middle – both in accuracy and velocity. He just doesn’t seem as comfortable here, however there are plenty of examples where he is given time and rips a ball with good ball placement. It absolutely needs to be a point of emphasis this season, more consistency is needed. NOTE: coming into this study I was under the impression Rudolph was really strong in intermediate throws over the middle, I was wrong to a certain extent.There is a lot of discussion on Rudolph’s deep ball, specifically Pro Football Focus designating him as one of the best in this area. This certainly showed up on the tape. He showed consistent ability to throw the ball deep with accuracy and touch. He rarely overthrows deep balls (I believe I counted four in those six games, OSU throws the ball deep a lot), and if he misses he will short arm it a tad.I can live with this because I think it still gives the WR a chance to go up and get the ball. Especially with the back shoulder throws these days and how WRs are taught to look back, it’s an effective strategy. Given the ability of Lacy, Washington and Ateman to go up and high point underthrown balls, it’s not really a huge issue.His mobility will probably be something that will be discussed at length throughout the year. Rudolph has average athleticism, he is better really in more of a straight line running. I think his lateral quickness is actually below average. His pocket presence is solid, but at times is unable to bounce out of the picket and buy more time. A huge part of pocket presence isn’t really running, it’s slight movements up/back/left/right to buy just 1-2 more seconds to get a pass off.He is able to pick up first downs on the ground at times.Another problem is for Rudolph to consistently deliver good balls he really needs to have time and have his feet set, I don’t necessarily think his mobility will enable him to break away from consistent pressure to do this.Rudolph really struggles with short passes, under five yards and at or behind the line of scrimmage. You can clearly see at times that his footwork falls apart here, and like I mentioned earlier shows little/no confidence on some of these throws. A lot of these throws call for him to get set and throw the ball immediately after the snap, and it’s just not his comfort zone. I charted at least nine throws that were high on routes seven yards or less, there were other ones that were wide or short as well. He has a tendency to float some of these balls as well, which supports my theory that he doesn’t feel confident enough to throw the ball with zip. More often than not these balls were so bad they were incomplete or so high they gave the WR no opportunity for YAC. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.center_img Friend of the blog Adam Lunt (follow him on Twitter) broke down some Mason Rudolph film recently after all the buzz No. 2 has been getting for the 2018 NFL Draft. Hope you guys enjoy his evaluation of QB1.I recently did a pretty extensive film study of Mason Rudolph, I also did one on what are considered the top six QBs in next year’s NFL Draft – Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Luke Falk, and Lamar Jackson. My hope was this would provide some context on my evaluation of Rudolph, hopefully to shake off any orange-colored glasses that I may or may not have. I have a mild obsession with the NFL Draft, specifically QBs and OL as they are the two hardest positions to scout in my opinion.I think a good starting point with Rudolph is his leadership and “intangible” qualities. I really like the Bill Parcells method of evaluating QBs, I’ve listed the requirements below. He pretty much knocks all of these out of the park. He almost qualifies for all of these with one full season left.Be a three year starter – CHECKBe a senior in college – CHECKGraduate from college – CHECK (assumption)Start 30 games – CHECKWin 23 games – CHECKPost a 2-1 touchdown to interception ratio – CHECKTally a completion rate of 60% or higher – CHECKI’ve seen every snap Mason Rudolph has ever played in college. However most of those games were viewed live after one or two beers (or something around there) so I went back and watched every snap of the following games — @WVU 2015, Ole Miss 2015, Central Michigan 2016, Pitt 2016, Texas 2016, and Colorado 2016.Some things that you will hear on Rudolph all season while getting geared up for the draft next year will be the scheme he plays in and how it doesn’t expand into more complex route combinations and coverage reads. I think it’s a fair assessment, OSU’s offense is quite simple in terms of progressions and also route trees and doesn’t include a ton of anticipation throws.The core routes are go route, hitch, out, smash/corner, slant, seam and dig. There are a few good examples of Rudolph going through proper progressions but only a handful where he makes it to a 3rd option, which is usually some type of check down.These are the types of things NFL teams will hold against Rudolph come April 2018. Personally I don’t put a lot of stock in this, but I know a lot of people involved in draft process will. With the NFL going to more spread-based concepts by the day, I think Rudolph is more than competent enough to pick up on a NFL playbook.One thing that really pops out at you immediately is Rudolph’s touch. One of his best strengths is knowing when drive the ball on a rope or try to put more air underneath it to hit a certain spot, this is a big deal specifically in layered coverage you will see in the NFL. There are some really great examples of this, two throws to Austin Hays actually come to mind from Texas and Colorado games in addition to the dime he threw to McKleskey against Texas for a TD.last_img read more

Beyond the Chalk: Why the Term ‘Spread’ Has Lost Its Meaning

first_imgModern offenses have become the proverbial melting pot of college football. Teams are constantly changing and stealing from others in an effort to find success, which has in turn made offenses too complicated to label.Still, many fans or broadcasters will often use terms without actually knowing what they mean (Brent Musburger — not everything is an end around; please stop misusing it like Ron Burgundy’s “When in Rome”).In the world of the spread, teams’ philosophies often get categorized in an effort to help one understand what they are. But due to the nature and prevalence of the spread, this isn’t an accurate way of describing an offense. This directly applies to Oklahoma State, who has long been a chameleon, as Porter calls it, in a world where people are constantly trying to put things in boxes.AdChoices广告The nature of identifying an offense by a title is accurate when a team is running it in the purest form, like June Jones’ erstwhile “Run n’ Shoot” at Hawaii or Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” at Washington State. But modern offenses no longer rely on one overarching concept. The spread, which has become the craze of football at all levels, is a perfect example of this. The spread itself isn’t a particular set of plays or even a philosophy. The spread is an amalgamation of concepts and ideas that have accumulated from the beginning of football. Two teams might run the “spread,” but they might run it completely differently, The term might give you an idea of a team’s offense, but it doesn’t give you much of one. Additionally, with the media and fans constantly using the term “spread,” it’s created an effect of semantic saturation, meaning the term has been used so many times that it has lost its meaning.Oklahoma State is a perfect example. They have a number of different influences. They have an air-raid influence from their days of Dana Holgorsen, who was a direct air-raid disciple from his days as walk-on and eventual assistant coach for Mike Leach and Hal Mumme. They still have many of the same formations, concepts and signals from their Fiesta Bowl days, but they’re not the exact same offense. Now, the Pokes incorporate a cowboy back into their scheme, often moving it around the field in a number of different positions. In that sense, the offense frequently operates as pro-style or two-back, as OSU used 11 personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers) on roughly one third of their plays last season. The offenses during 2014 and 2015 could be seen as a more true pro-style offense because of their use of gap schemes (power, counter, etc.). There’s even a west coast influence, as the Cowboys use a handful of west coast concepts, including “sluggo seam,” which they installed last season.The point is that offenses, and specifically OSU, have become ineffable in a sense. They are too varied and their origins are too expansive to be accurately described by a single title. In the era of the spread, teams are actually often identified by the coach, and more importantly the coaching tree, that the offense operates under. Chip Kelly has his own offense while Urban Meyer has his, and so on. Mike Gundy is a wild card because he’s brought in offensive coordinators from a number of different backgrounds, and OSU is constantly evolving to both adapt to personnel and stay ahead of the curve. Gundy, who (don’t forget) is an intelligent offensive mind, has said in the past that he’s also constantly bringing new plays to the table.Expect the Cowboys to keep changing their version of the spread, just like they’ve been doing in the past. Fans are constantly worried about coaches not properly adjusting to the personnel as if they care less than the fans do. The Pokes will be fine this season. But when it comes to a name, does OSU fall under any particular title? What’s the most accurate name you can give to OSU’s offense? Successful. That’ll be plenty accurate, or at least we hope so.Writer’s note: This article was written in response to the great feedback I’ve received asking what offense OSU runs. This, combined with our devoted readership and constant drive to create original content, motivated me to write on the subject. Thank you to all the devoted fans of the Chalk Talk series — let’s have a fun season this year, shall we? While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

MLS has banner day in CCL

first_imgChampions League MLS has banner day in CCL but must get results next week to keep flag flying high Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 14:29 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Michael Bradley Enner Valencia Toronto FC Tigres CONCACAF Champions League Dan Hamilton Champions League MLS Toronto v Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders v Guadalajara Guadalajara Toronto Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders Liga MX Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders topped their Liga MX visitors but have work to do to make the semifinals of the tournament It is a banner day for MLS.All three teams remaining in the CONCACAF Champions League beat their Liga MX opponents in the first legs with Toronto FC topping Tigres 2-1 and the Seattle Sounders getting a 1-0 result over Chivas. The New York Red Bulls did it on the road, withstanding a furious effort from Tijuana to escape Estadio Caliente with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. MLS fans have been waiting for this moment. Well, not exactly this one. They’ve been waiting to have this moment, but next week. After the second legs. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp These advantages are nice, but the celebration will become embarrassment if, say, the Red Bulls slip up at Red Bull Arena or Tigres flex their muscle at home and roll into an all-Mexican semifinal.Fans with long memories will recall both feelings – that MLS is finally going to break through and the crushing disappointment of another failure in Mexico. The 2013-14 CCL quarterfinals saw all three MLS teams get results against Liga MX opposition. Then, Cruz Azul beat Sporting Kansas City 5-1 in Mexico City, Tijuana topped the LA Galaxy 4-2 at the Caliente and Toluca beat the San Jose Earthquakes in a penalty shootout.Things are different this time around, though. MLS really has grown and done so in ways that make the league more competitive in international club competition. Some of the main issues that were keeping MLS teams from having any chance at regularly getting past Mexican competition have become less significant.TAM, the latest method permitting teams to spend more on individual player salaries and spend on the team in general, has been flowing – especially with the teams at the top. Toronto FC is the most expensive MLS team in history. It shows. Not only does TFC boast stars like Wednesday’s Man of the Match Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco, it also can afford to bring in a player like Gregory van der Wiel to defend Tigres’ left side even with other former European club players like Javier Aquino and Eduardo Vargas included.The other issue has been depth. The money helps there, too. More relevant, though, is that MLS teams are beginning to see fruits of the seeds planted years ago. Jonathan Osorio, whose spinning backheel winner should be put on a lenticular postage stamp if TFC wins the CCL, is a TFC youth product. Marco Delgado, who set up Jozy Altidore’s equalizer, is a Chivas USA refugee.The Sounders also had a mix of stars, like scorer Clint Dempsey, and youth products who coach Brian Schmetzer felt comfortable tossing into the mix against Chivas (the Mexican one, which still exists). Handwalla Bwana, who joined the Sounders Academy in 2015, didn’t look out of place at all going at the Chivas defense while it was homegrown Henry Wingo who set Dempsey up for the tally.The gap is closing between MLS and Liga MX. That’s been true, though, regardless of results in a tournament. The true test will be results over time. For now, that still heavily favors Liga MX.This matchday, though, gave fans in the U.S. and Canada positive evidence that things are changing, that their sides won’t be steamrolled every time. The Red Bulls, TFC and the Sounders can have hope that they’ll keep the MLS flag flying high throughout the CCL. Instead of another entry in the book like the 2013-14 tournament, 2018 may be a new chapter.last_img read more

Klopp: Alexander-Arnold critics don’t know football

first_imgJürgen Klopp ‘They have no idea about football’ – Klopp hits back at Alexander-Arnold critics Nicholas McGee 17:06 12/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) KloppTAA-Cropped Getty Images Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester United v Liverpool Manchester United Premier League The 19-year-old defender was criticised for his display against Manchester United in Saturday’s game, but his coach sprung to his defence Jurgen Klopp has dismissed criticism of Trent Alexander-Arnold following his lacklustre defending for the opening goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.Alexander-Arnold was turned too easily by Marcus Rashford, who lashed into the far corner to give United the lead before the England forward took advantage of more haphazard defending from Liverpool to double the Red Devils’ advantage.An Eric Bailly own goal gave Liverpool hope but they could not complete a second-half comeback at Old Trafford, with club legends Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness taking aim at Alexander-Arnold. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Klopp, though, has no interest in their thoughts on the teenage right back.Asked about their comments, he said: “I don’t get it. If you wouldn’t tell me [about it], I would never watch it. That makes absolutely no difference to me, what people say.”What did they say? They said we defended bad? If somebody said it was only Trent’s mistake, then the guy who said that has no idea about football and I wouldn’t listen.”Dejan Lovren, in the first challenge, could be different, but it’s difficult. We were not there for the second ball and then it’s Trent.”I have to see it back again but when I saw the goal, for me Rashford did brilliantly and, exactly in the moment where Trent is ready for the challenge, he made a cut back.”He stepped too late and in the next moment he shoots. It’s the perfect striker movement and we cannot defend everything.”It’s easy afterwards to talk about it but I’m not interested. [Pundits] don’t give us points, they don’t cost us points, they are only the deliverer of good and bad messages, that’s all.”We lost 2-1, but everybody could see we’re strong. We brought them at the edge, with 2-0 down that’s really rare that you can turn a game against United, but we were close and actually we should have done it.”The weekend’s results leave Liverpool sitting fourth in the table, occupying the final Champions League spot, and just four points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Pogba: It may be my last World Cup

first_imgWorld Cup It may be my last World Cup – ‘Realistic’ Pogba determined to reign in Russia Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 20:38 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(7) World Cup France Manchester United Denmark v France Denmark Premier League Paul Pogba Knowing he is not certain to play in any future tournaments, the Manchester United midfielder is desperate to win the trophy this summer Paul Pogba wants to help France win the 2018 World Cup as he is “realistic” over the possibility of never playing in the tournament again.The Manchester United midfielder has helped Les Bleus record wins over Australia and Peru in Russia, sending them through to the last 16 with a game to spare in Group C.However, Didier Deschamps’ side have yet to dazzle ahead of their clash with second-place Denmark on Tuesday, with Pogba’s performances once again coming under intense media scrutiny. Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar However, having missed out on glory on home soil at Euro 2016, where France lost to Portugal in the final, the 25-year-old is less interested in what his critics have to say and is instead focused only on making sure France lift the trophy on July 15.”Maybe it’s my last World Cup, we do not know,” he told reporters.”I’m really enjoying myself, I’m going to forget the critics, do my talking on the pitch as it’s the only answer. “I give my best for my jersey, my team, for France. I really want to win this World Cup.”Asked why it could be his last tournament, considering his age, Pogba replied: “I’m realistic about the fact that it may be my last World Cup.”We do not know what’s going to happen tomorrow, maybe I’ll be injured or there will be players who will outperform me.”But I hope to do more than one. Some players do not even play one World Cup in their careers.”last_img read more

Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16

first_imgWorld Cup Colombia’s Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16 Harry West 05:00 6/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) JosePekerman - Cropped Getty Images World Cup Colombia Senegal v Colombia Senegal Colombia v England England Colombia and England will meet in the last 16 of the World Cup and Jose Pekerman knows Gareth Southgate’s side are to be taken seriously. Jose Pekerman has warned Colombia they will face an “in harmony” England side in the World Cup second round.Colombia defeated Senegal 1-0 in Samara on Thursday to secure their qualification as winners of Group H, before a much-changed England, already through, finished second in Group G following their 1-0 loss to Belgium.Those results set up a last-16 meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, from which the victors will advance to a quarter-final with Sweden or Switzerland, in what is perceived to be the easier half of the draw. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar But Pekerman says there are no straightforward games once the tournament reaches the knockout phase.”I would always answer in the same way. We know any team that reaches the last 16 is good, the 16 best teams in the world,” he said.”Obviously they can have a good day or an even better day but the whole squad operates at a certain level.”England are a young team that is in harmony, very confident, they have excellent individual players and they’ve managed to pass the group stage quite comfortably.”I’m sure now a different type of match is heading our way. These will be to-the-death matches, so these are extreme situations, [you have] to play a great game from the beginning.”England has what it takes and it’s going to be a match in which Colombia will also be confident to get a good result.”Lots of changes. Fewer chances.#BEL finish top & face #JPN on Monday.#COL await #ENG on Tuesday.#ENGBEL pic.twitter.com/773rbZVpGa— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018Colombia’s progress spelled the end for Senegal, who finished with an identical record to Japan but were eliminated due to accruing more yellow cards than their rivals.”We all knew when we came to the World Cup that these were the rules,” Pekerman said. “There are clear rules and a clear understanding, you don’t often get teams that are so even and from the beginning you could tell this would be an even group.”It’s incredible to be in this situation, it’s hard for a team to take on.”Had we been in their shoes we would also be quite disappointed because one can sometimes think this is not a part of football but it happens and sometimes you finish a World Cup final on penalties, as in Italy vs Brazil [in 1994].”To lose a World Cup final on penalties is extremely hard and you need to accept the result, somehow you need to find a winner.”But when it comes to cards I guess players will have to start thinking about how important a card can be and as a coach we should also start thinking about this.”last_img read more

Russia 2018 the best World Cup ever – Smertin

first_imgAlexei Smertin ‘This is the best World Cup ever’ – Smertin lauds success of Russia 2018 Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 15:05 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Artem Dzyuba Russia Egypt World Cup 190618 Getty Russia Spain v Russia Spain World Cup The former Chelsea and Bordeaux midfielder says that his homeland has smashed up preconceptions by hosting the tournament so smoothly Former Russia international star Alexei Smertin believes that World Cup 2018, hosted by his home country, has been so good that it is the greatest in history.The Chelsea and Fulham midfielder turned his hand to politics after his playing days, leaving him in the position to become the Russian Football Union’s anti-racism and discrimination inspector at their showpiece event.Many media outlets had raised fears around Russia’s ability to organise an international event of this magnitude. Particular focus had been on racism, which is in Smertin’s remit, along with logistics around the tournament and hooliganism. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Smertin believes that Russia has helped to kill off some of the negative stereotypes around the country and is keen to celebrate the success of the tournament so far.”Before the World Cup, there were so many fears on the part of foreign media, and we are glad that after arriving here all the negative stereotypes were destroyed,” Smertin told Goal. “Everyone has seen the diversity of Russia and our hospitality.”The FAN ID system in practice received the highest ratings, the cities perfectly prepared all infrastructure for the championship. Most importantly, this holiday has been a success. We receive exceptional reviews about this World Cup – from teams, from fans, from officials – everyone is happy that this holiday of football is here, in Russia.”For me personally this is the best World Cup in history. In all cities, an incredible atmosphere has been created, the whole country is living this football all this month. I am sure that this is the best legacy and the most pleasant thing is that we have two whole weeks to enjoy this holiday. The most interesting part of the tournament is yet to come.”Russia surprised some by being the first team to qualify for the last 16 after beating both Saudi Arabia and Egypt. However, their group stage ended in a 3-0 defeat to Uruguay and they have drawn Spain in the knockout phase. Smertin said he is not surprised with Russia’s qualification and he thinks work rate will, once again, underpin any further success in the tournament.”The Russian team did not surprise me with the results so far,” he added. “I was waiting for the team going to the knockouts from the very beginning. There was confidence in the actions on the field, they seemed at ease, especially in the first two games.Alexei Smertin“The team was able to cope with the pressure. In any case, we eventually went to knockout stage for the first time in the history of Russian national team [after the Soviet era]. Of course, Spain is the favourite on paper, but Russia have our own style which can help us to win.”I’m sure that our guys will lay out without rest on the field and will be able to surprise the opponent. Yes, we have never beat Spain at this level, but once we have to start!”last_img read more

Photos: Ohio State’s Braxton Miller Spent Some Time With NFL Great Keyshawn Johnson Last Night

first_imgBraxton Miller wears his helmet during warm-ups at Rutgers.PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 24: Braxton Miller #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during warmups before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)Now that Braxton Miller is a wide receiver, it’d probably be good for the Ohio State star to learn from some veterans of the position. It appears that he did that last night. At OSU’s Friday Night Lights recruiting event in Ohio Stadium, Miller spent some time with NFL great Keyshawn Johnson, whose son, Keyshawn Jr., attended the event.  Braxton says something to Keyshawn Johnson. pic.twitter.com/uZ0pYNY6SH— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) July 24, 2015Braxton and Keyshawn talking the finer points of receiving, it appears pic.twitter.com/huQ2pdT5eX— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) July 25, 2015Perhaps Keyshawn Johnson is passing some receiver knowledge on to Braxton Miller pic.twitter.com/FiFjx69GV4— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) July 25, 2015If Miller starts yelling, “just give me the damn ball!” at any point this fall, we’ll know where that came from.last_img read more