Thursday, March 26, 2009

CIFL Team Picks Up Two Alumni

Wheeling Wildcats Add Two Former WVU Stars to Roster
Our Sports Central, March 26, 2009

Wheeling, WV -- Wheeling Wildcats Head Football Coach Shawn Liotta has announced the signing of two former West Virginia University stars Kevin "Boo" McLee and Eric Wicks to contracts for the 2009 season. "We are committed to putting the best possible product on the field for our fans, and our goal is to compete for the 2009 CIFL Championship. These two outstanding players should immediately improve us on the defensive side of the football. Both players have a great football pedigree with some NFL experience and will be impact players for us this season," commented Coach Liotta.

Eric Wicks was a standout defensive back at WVU from 2004-2007 finishing his collegiate career with 187 total tackles and 9 interceptions. At the beginning of the 2006 season, Eric Wicks and fellow-Wildcat teammate Kevin McLee were named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. Following his outstanding 2006 season, Wicks was named to the All-Big East Team. In the preseason of 2007, Wicks was selected as the #7 safety in the nation by Lindy's, was a second-team All-American selection, and was a preseason first-team all-Big East selection. He was also selected on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list and Lott Trophy watch list. Wicks was named the Big East Defensive Player of the week , Defensive MVP, and Coaches Contribution Award during his tenure with the Mountaineers. Wicks signed with the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL in 2008 as an undrafted free agent.

Kevin "Boo" McLee was a standout linebacker at WVU from 2002-2006 finishing his career with 247 tackles and 2 interceptions. McLee earned 2005 first-team All-Big East honors, ESPN All-Conference honors, and All-ECAC honors. In 2006 McLee finished the season on the Butkus Award list and participated in the 2007 Senior Bowl. During the Senior Bowl, McLee was projected as one of the top inside linebackers in the 2007 NFL Draft Class. In 2007 McLee was signed with the St. Louis Rams of the NFL, and most recently spent time with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
. . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Browns and Ravens looking at White

NFL Draft: AFC Rivals Pursuing Same QB
By Ed Thompson, March 23, 2009

The Baltimore Ravens have Joe Flacco. The Cleveland Browns have both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Why, then, are both of these teams so interested in working out the same QB prospect? Ed Thompson has the answer.

A source has told that West Virginia quarterback Pat White will be working out for the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday prior to making an official visit with the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday and Friday this week.

As previously reported, White worked out for the New England Patriots, and he's also gone through a workout for the Denver Broncos.

Some critics have questioned if White can play quarterback at the next level since he's only 6-foot tall. But at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month, White addressed that issue by referencing his performance at the Senior Bowl. And he also noted that there are some offensive changes underway in the NFL that play to his strengths.

"I think I showed that I could get the ball over those guys who are 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-7," he said. "I think the implementation of the Wildcat and other spread systems will definitely help me out because of the style of offense we ran at West Virginia."
. . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2002 Undrafted Players

Corey McIntyre: Despite missing out on the draft, McIntyre has made a living as a backup fullback and special teams trooper. He has a simple view on his occupation, as the Buffalo News reports:
“That’s my love and pleasure, right there,” McIntyre said after finishing his first practice with the Bills Wednesday. “I love special teams. That’s where I’ve always earned my money.”

What’s his motivation on kick coverage? Simple, said McIntyre:

“My mentality is I have to feed my kids, so somebody has their food and I have to go get it,” he said. “I see the ball, go get the ball.”

Eight years before he made it to the Bills, McIntyre was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad. The following year, in 2003, he was relocated to NFL Europa's Frankfurt Galaxy. There he helped lead his team to the World Bowl. In the championship game McIntyre had 12 carries for 76 yards. Despite his efforts the Galaxy lost. After returning from Europe, the Eagles released McIntyre before the beginning of the 2004 season.

Shortly after his release in Philadelphia, the Cleveland browns picked him up. In 2004, Cleveland released McIntyre.

During the first weeks of the 2006 season, the New Orleans Saints lost two fullbacks to injury. They signed McIntyre and second fullback to fill the holes. The Saints waived McIntyre in November, before the end of the season, in order to make room on the roster.

A day later, the Atlanta Falcons snapped up the former WVU fullback. McIntyre was kept on the inactive list for the rest of the season but was quickly made special teams captian the following year. In 2008, the Falcons cut him at the end of training camp.

After spending a year with the Bills, McIntyre became an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season but has already been resigned. It appears that his blocking skills are appreciated up north.

Antwan Lake: The Detroit Lions signed defensive end Antwan Lake after the draft. He was inactive for all but nine games and totaled only one tackle in his first year. He was waived before the beginning of the 2003 season.

Lake was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 but did not play that year. Over 2004 and 2005, He served the backup function on a tenacious defensive line. Lake had one of his best years in 2005 when he accumulated total of 16 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and caused a safety. After the 2005 season, Lake had surgery on his shoulder and became an unrestricted free agent.

In 2006, Lake was signed by the Saints. Again, he played a backup role. Lakes best year with the Saints came in 2007 when he totaled 18 tackles and one sack.

In 2008, Lake suffered a groin injury during the first game, which kept him on the sidelines most of the season. He was released by the Saints and became an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season and has yet to be picked up.

Rick Sherrod: Saftey Rick Sherrod spent the first two seasons after he graduated bouncing around NFL teams during the offseason. After going undrafted, he was originally picked up by the Buffalo in April 2003 but was quickly released. The same month he was signed by the Saints before being released in August. The following year, before the beginning of the season, was again signed and released from two different teams, this time the Cowboys and the Jaguars.

After bouncing around the NFL, Sherrod joined the Arena Football League's Columbus Destroyers in May 2005. He was waived in January of 2006 and is no longer playing football.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

White Works Out With Broncos reports the Broncos are looking at White:
White worked out with the New England Patriots on Wednesday, spending the majority of the workout on wide receiver drills, and worked out with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, according to league sources.

They also insinuate that the Steelers are one of two teams willing to give him a chance at QB:
White has been on the record as saying he prefers to remain at quarterback, but estimated that only two of 32 teams are giving him serious consideration as a signal-caller. It’s a good bet White — who is not refusing to switch positions — had a clear understanding of those two teams are. In a live chat with White two weeks ago, he said if there was one team he was hoping would take him, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Make of it what you will.

UPDATE: Ed Thompson of believes Denver could be doing a little CYA with the Cutler fiasco going on:
I honestly think the Broncos are preparing for the worst—a messy-divorce with their young, talented quarterback. And with the various trade scenarios that are being rumored, one common theme is evident: The Denver Broncos won't have a quarterback as talented as Jay Cutler at the top of their depth chart when the dust settles.

So the interest in Pat White as a potential quarterback candidate for the team is a viable one, providing the team with a versatile athlete who could compete with Chris Simms and whatever other quarterback ends up in Denver prior to draft weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

White in New England

Pat White Working Out For Patriots
By Ed Thompson, March 16, 2009 Senior NFL Analyst Ed Thompson has learned that West Virginia QB Pat White is working out for the New England Patriots this week.

A source has told that West Virginia quarterback Pat White will be working out for the New England Patriots on Tuesday, March 17.

After watching White's speed and nifty moves as a runner, some NFL scouts were projecting White as a potential wide receiver who could also provide plenty of excitement as a return specialist. He rushed for 947 yards, an average of more than 81 yards per contest and ran the ball into the end zone eight times.

But the Mountaineers' signal-caller has made it clear that he could also have a successful career as an NFL quarterback.
. . .
While Tom Brady is expected to be ready to resume his role as the Patriots' starter this season, his former back-up, Matt Cassel will be leading the Kansas City Chiefs offense this year. Cassel was traded to Kansas City after initially being designated as the team's franchise player, preventing him from hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Currently slotted into the No. 2 role, by default, is second-year player Kevin O'Connell, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound passer out of San Diego State.

With White obviously on New England's radar, it appears that the Patriots are at least considering using one of their higher draft picks to give O'Connell a legitimate training camp battle rather than allowing him to automatically slide into the back-up role.
. . .

UPDATE (3/20/09) - The Boston Globe reports:
According to league sources, White worked out as both a wide receiver and a quarterback for the Patriots, who might be viewing him as a versatile player that they could use in their own version of the Wildcat, which grew in popularity around the NFL after the Miami Dolphins used it to score a 38-13 victory over the Patriots on Sept. 21.

UPDATE (3/25/09) - Mel Kiper adds:
Pat White, maybe New England. You keep hearing New England,” Kiper said. ”They have some interest in Pat White for obvious reasons. They got torched by the Wildcat. Maybe now they want to return the favor and get the ultimate quarterback who can do some damage in that regard. So, if New England is in fact one of those teams who is going to look at him, the late second round isn’t out of the realm of possibility for him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pro-day in Mo-town II

Here's a rundown on the other players at pro day:

- Here's a video interview with linebacker Mortty Ivy. reports:
...Ivy (6-1 5/8 and 239 pounds) put up 40 times of 4.84 and 4.78. He had a 28 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-foot, 2-inch broad jump with times of 4.44 in the short shuttle and 7.15 in the three-cone drill. He put up 17 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds.

- Dorrell Jalloh, wide receiver, caught passes from Pat White and ran a 4.55 second 40. The DA reported:
He also caught passes from White in all of his quarterback drills, including an over-the-shoulder grab on a deep pass that drew an loud applause from those in attendance.

- Pat McAfee, the punter/kicker, had an impressing effort. The DA reported:
McAfee kicked and punted for scouts and was especially impressive as most of his kickoffs traveled deep into the end zone.

- Interestingly, a linebacker who graduated two years ago, Marc Margo, also participated in drills for scouts.

- Ellis Lankster, a corner back, ran the fastest 40 time at 4.3 seconds.

- Backup linebacker Jim Lewis was impressive in his drills and ran a 4.5 second 40.

- Lineman Greg Isdaner didn't try to improve on his bench press but did participate in other drills. reports:
...Isdaner (6-3 5/8 and 324 pounds) had 40 times of 5.29 and 5.28 seconds. He had a 25 1/2-inch vertical leap and an 8-foot, 6-inch broad jump, with times of 4.75 in the short shuttle and 7.73 in the three-cone drill.

- Lineman Ryan Stancheck tried to wow the scouts too. reports:
...Stanchek (6-3 3/8 and 298 pounds) turned in times of 5.32 and 5.31 in the 40. He had a 27 1/2-inch vertical and an 8-foot, 7-inch broad jump with a 4.74 short shuttle and a 7.65 three-cone drill. He put up 29 reps on the bench press.

- Linebacker John Holmes, long snapper Adam Hughes, and lineman Stephen Maw also participated in drills.

Here's a general pro day video.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pro-day in Mo-town

Pro hopefuls and scouts gathered today at the Mountaineers' indoor field. WVU players attracted scouts from 25 pro-teams and at least one head coach, Mike Tomlin. So far as I can find, Pat White has had the only mentions in the news. Except for a quick mention of Pat McAfee. I'll update on the versitle kicker and others as information becomes available.

Back to White. By all accounts, White appears to have continued to impress. The most interesting development would be a local TV station saying White was not asked to perform wide receiver drills. However, and a couple others said Coach Stewart was the one to lay down those rules. Rule or not, most left after White was finished throwing.

Also, if you're interested, here's a Q&A session with White.

Update (3/13/09): Mike Mayock of the NFL Network reports (video) that many scouts were disappointed in the no wideout drill rule. He also suspects that if White does not show a willingness to play positions outside of QB, it will hurt his stock.

Video interview with Pat White

Mel Kiper on QBs

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some White Reading

"Sources from around the league have told the Examiner that the Bears and Panthers have been interested, and his stock definitely rose at the Combine. For his efforts, he was named co-winner along with Ohio State WR Brian Robiske of the General Motors Top Combine Performer."
-- Matt Pawlikowski, The Examiner

""It's a run-pass formation," White said [of the wildcat formation]. "The defense could be running one way and the ball's shooting out the other. Or sometimes you can sneak someone deep on a pass. I think I can do both of those. I don't know if that offense is tailored to me, but it does give me extra benefits.""
-- Rick Gosselin, The Sun Sentinel

Friday, March 6, 2009

2003 Undrafted Players

An updated version of this blog post is available at

Angel Estrada: In 2004, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL) gave Estrada his first professional start. Estrada dominated the league in defense while playing both sides of the ball and special teams. On the defensive side, he lead the league with 14 interceptions as well as recording 65 tackles and 21 pass break ups. For his efforts the team gave him the Rookie of the Year Award, the conference awarded him as the Defensive MVP and the league chose him as an All-Star.

In 2005 the AFL's Nashville Kats signed Estrada, where also played both sides of the ball. Before the regular season was over, Estrada was released.

The New York Dragons picked up Estrada for the remainder of the 2005. He played 4 games and caught an interception despite an injury to his hamstring. In 2006, he stayed with the Dragons and racked up 40 tackles, one interception and two forced fumbles while playing in 11 games.

The Grand Rapids Rampage contracted Estrada before the beginning of the 2007 season. He suffered an injury, however still played five games. Despite the few amount of games, he still racked up 26 tackles.

Estrada returned to the Dragons for the 2008 season. He preformed again though injury, recording 16.5 tackles.

As far as I can guess, Estrada is still with the Dragons but it's hard to tell for sure since the AFL season has been canceled due to the recession.

Lewis Daniels: The cornerback also began his pro career with the Ohio Valley Greyhounds in 2004. He had 28.5 tackles and 3 sacks his first season. They re-signed Daniels in 2005, a year where he totaled 61 tackles and 5 interceptions. In 2006 he totaled 39 tackles and had 3 interceptions. Daniels was not included in team statistics in 2007 and I was not able to find any other information on him.

Kenny Sandor: The offensive lineman was also with Greyhounds, but started in his draft year, 2003. He received a few starts in his first year after several injuries to starting players. Sandor received NIFL All-Star status for his help giving the team's running back, Rayshawn Askew, the rushing title. He was re-signed along with Lewis Daniels in 2005. Like Daniels, Sandor was not included in team satistics in 2006 and I could not find any other record of him playing anywhere else.

Jason Davis: The Texans took Davis, a defensive tackle, after the draft. He spent his fist three years (2003-2005) on the practice squad before being sent to play with NFL Europa's Berlin Thunder in 2006.

After a season in Europe, Davis was waived from the Texans. For the rest of 2006 he jumped around the NFL, spending time with both the Cowboys and Colts, before turning toward the AFL.

The Philadelphia soul signed Davis in 2007. He only produced one assisted tackle that year.

It looks like the following year the New York Dragons signed Davis. Beyond the one article, the books on him start to fade.

David Upchurch: The Steelers picked up defensive lineman Upchurch after he went undrafted in 2003. He spent all of 2003 and two weeks of 2004 on the practice squad before he was released.

After being released from the Steelers, Upchurch was signed with AFL's Orlando Predators but was given NFL waiver. He spent less than a month with the Ravens practice squad before being signed by the Chargers.

In 2005, Upchurch went back to the Predators. He had 7 tackles on the year after being hampered by an injury. Like Jason Davis, Upchurch's record fades. I'll update them both if I find more later on.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pros vs. Joes

Adam Jones will be making his second TV appearance by starring in Spike's Pros vs. Joes.

No word yet on if he'll receive an NFL contract but you can't blame the guy for trying to make ends meet.