Sporting News’ Q&A with Shonn Greene

July 13, 2009

Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene talks with the Sporting News’ Bill Eichenberger about the upcoming season, his duties and comparing Iowa with the NFL.

The New York Jets drafted Greene with the first pick in the third round.

Here’s the link: Q&A … with Shonn Greene


New York Jets ink Shonn Greene

June 15, 2009
Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene signed a contract today with the New York Jets, the team announced today. The Jets drafted Greene with the first pick in the third round in April’s NFL draft.

Terms were not disclosed. Here’s the story from the Jets’ Web site: http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3023-jets-third-rounder-greene-reach-agreement


The Iowa FB video you’ve got to see

May 4, 2009

I confess my artificial buildup is for this video I built with some of The Gazette’s best photos of the 2008 Iowa football season accompanied to “Hell Awaits” by Slayer.

Let me know what you think.


King had 20 teams interested

May 3, 2009

Former Iowa defensive tackle Mitch King picked Tennessee over about 20 other teams because he likes Nashville and the team’s coaching philosophy, according to the Tennessean.

King was surprisingly not drafted last weekend, but there were a flood of calls to him and his agent, Richard Rosa, after the draft.

In other news about former Hawkeyes:

Center Rob Bruggeman was one of eight rookie free agents signed by Tampa Bay, but one of 52 players hitting the field for rookie mini-camp.

Here’s more on wide receiver Andy Brodell, who failed his physical before Packers’ mini-camp on Friday.

Running back Shonn Greene shows his strength — and weaknesses in Jets’ mini-camp. Defensive tackle Matt Kroul also is at the Jets’ mini-camp.

A St. Louis Rams blog discusses cornerback Bradley Fletcher’s chances of improving the porous Rams defense.

Tight end Brandon Myers is seen as strictly as a blocking tight end in Oakland.

Here’s more analysis on guard Seth Olsen.


Tough news for Brodell; ex-Hawks compete in rookie camp

May 1, 2009
New York Jets lineman Matt Slauson, left, blocks Matt Kroul at the rookie football mini-camp Friday, May 1, 2009 in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

New York Jets lineman Matt Slauson, left, blocks Matt Kroul at the rookie football mini-camp Friday, May 1, 2009 in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Former Iowa wide receiver Andy Brodell didn’t even make it to his first practice.

Brodell failed his physical with the Green Bay Packers because of a torn hamstring, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Brodell told the paper he plans to speak with his agent and try to sign with another team.

Other Iowa football players were issued new numbers for the upcoming season.

Defensive tackle Mitch King (Tennessee) No. 62

Center Rob Bruggeman (Tampa Bay) No. 66

Tight end Brandon Myers (Oakland) No. 83

Guard Seth Olsen (Denver) No. 70

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher (St. Louis) No. 32

Running back Shonn Greene and defensive tackle Matt Kroul (both of the N.Y. Jets) have not been assigned numbers.


Draft notes: Ex-Hawk DeVries on Stafford; NFL Network’s Mayock on Shonn Greene

April 29, 2009
Detroit's Jared DeVries (95) tips Chicago Bears kicker Paul Edinger's field-goal attempt in the second quarter in Detroit on Nov. 9, 2003. The field-goal attempt was no good. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Detroit's Jared DeVries (95) tips Chicago Bears kicker Paul Edinger's field-goal attempt in the second quarter in Detroit on Nov. 9, 2003. The field-goal attempt was no good. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Former Iowa All-American Jared DeVries has seen many a savior come and go during his 11-year career with the Detroit Lions.

DeVries, a 32-year-old defensive end, was present the last time Detroit played in the postseason in 1999. He was there when the franchise hired — and later fired — president and general manager Matt Millen. He also was there in 2002 when the Lions drafted Oregon quarterback Joey “Blue Skies” Harrington and four wide receivers in the first round of five successive drafts.

The Lions now are on their seventh coach in DeVries’ tenure, second-longest on the team. The team picked first in last weekend’s NFL draft by virtue of its historic 0-16 season in 2008. So, that background also should give DeVries an open microphone for cynicism about his team. Instead, he chose optimism.

Detroit picked Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall. Stafford signed a six-year contract worth up to $78 million in incentives, including $41.7 million in guaranteed money. That’s the largest guarantee in NFL history. DeVries told the Detroit Free Press that drafting Stafford made sense.

“It’s a good pick,” DeVries said. “Everybody felt we were going in that direction. You never know until draft day, and hopefully he’ll be a good quarterback for us.”

DeVries, however, joined the multitude of veteran players displeased with Stafford’s deal.

“”I think we as players kind of messed up, and we need to fix the system,” said DeVries, who reportedly will earn $1.3 million this  year. “Rookies are getting paid entirely too much without playing a down in the NFL.”

DeVries suffered a broken left hand in the Lions’ ninth game against Jacksonville. He sat out one game, then returned only to re-break it against Tampa Bay. He had season-ending surgery two days later.

Iowa's Jared DeVries haunts Wisconsin quarterback Mike Samuel (10) and brings him down for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter. DeVries had three sacks costing the Badgers 18 yards on Oct. 24, 1998.

Iowa's Jared DeVries haunts Wisconsin quarterback Mike Samuel (10) and brings him down for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter. DeVries had three sacks costing the Badgers 18 yards on Oct. 24, 1998.

DeVries, a former Aplington-Parkersburg all-state running back

, had 45 tackles, two sacks, defended four passes and recovered one fumble last year in 10 games — all starts. He had his best season in 2007, when he started 14 games, recorded 54 tackles, notching 6.5 sacks, recovered and forced three fumbles and notched one safety.

MAYOCK ON GREENE

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said former Iowa running back Shonn Greene has a solid opportunity to play this season for the New York Jets. The Jets moved up 11 spots in the third round and traded three picks with Detroit to select Greene with the third round’s first pick.

“I had him late (round) two,  mid three, so that’s about where I thought he’d go,” Mayock said. “I think it’s pretty exciting for him, growing up in New Jersey and now being  joined at the hip with (top draft pick quarterback) Mark Sanchez. I think that’s an exciting opportunity.”

Greene, 23, could step in and play right away with the Jets. Starting running back Thomas Jones, 31, rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns last year, but is sitting out all off-season workouts.

“I think what (drafting Greene) does is provide them with an insurance policy,” Mayock said. “Thomas Jones is getting older and wants a new contract. Ultimately, I think (Greene’s) a really good fit with Leon Washington.”

Last year Greene won the Doak Walker Award, which annually is given to the nation’s best running back. He was a consensus All-American and rushed for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was the fifth running back selected in the draft.


Agent: Calls overwhelming after draft about King

April 27, 2009
Iowa's Mitch King shouts as he addresses the crowd during the Hawkeye Huddle at the Tampa Convention Center on Dec. 30, 2008, in Tampa, Fla. At right is Gary Dolphin. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)t

Iowa's Mitch King shouts as he addresses the crowd during the Hawkeye Huddle at the Tampa Convention Center on Dec. 30, 2008, in Tampa, Fla. At right is Gary Dolphin. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — An abormally high volume of calls came in moments after the draft for former Iowa defensive tackle Mitch King, according to his agent, Richard Rosa.

“We weren’t dealing with scouts,” Rosa said. “We were dealing with coaches, general managers … at least two team presidents called him personally and said, ‘That’s a guy we have to have.’ There was tremendous interest for him.”

“I can’t deny that there were teams lining up. He had an unbelievable amount of interest from teams. Ultimately, Mitch got to pick the spot.”

Rosa said King chose Tennessee because he felt most comfortable with defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who is known for his fiery temperment.

“The bottom line is Mitch King is a tremendous football player,” Rosa said. “One day he’ll have his day and he’ll say, ‘I told you so.'”

One day after Mitch King was left unwanted by NFL officials, one draft analyst said the slight might benefit King in the long run.

“He was much better off going undrafted than it would have been to go in the sixth or seventh round,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock on Monday. “At least he had an opportunity to make some decisions as to where he wanted to go.”

Illinois' quarterback Eddie McGee (10) lets go of the ball as he is hit by Iowa's Mitch King (47) during the second half Oct. 13, 2007 at Kinnick Stadium.  Iowa beat No. 18 Illinois 10-6. (AP Photo/Brian Ray)

Illinois' quarterback Eddie McGee (10) lets go of the ball as he is hit by Iowa's Mitch King (47) during the second half Oct. 13, 2007 at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa beat No. 18 Illinois 10-6. (AP Photo/Brian Ray)

The Tennessee Titans signed King, 22, Sunday night to a free-agent deal. Most draft experts expected King, a Burlington native, to be drafted anywhere from rounds three through five. Dan Shonka, general manager and national scout for Ourlads Scouting Services LLC., listed King as the fourth-best defensive tackle and a third-round pick. The Sporting News listed King as a fifth-round selection.

“Boy he could slip as far as six, but it would surprise me,” Shonka said before the draft. “You’re talking about (rounds) three to four and if he fell below that, it’s really a bonus to some team. He’s a third-, fourth-round caliber player.”

King ranks among the most productive defensive players in Iowa football history. He was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. He had 15.5 tackles for loss last year, including four sacks. He had 54 tackles, six quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. He was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press and first-team All-American by ESPN. He also was Iowa’s co-MVP and named a permanent team captain.

But King’s size seemed to concern most NFL teams. He stands 6 feet, 1 inch and weighs 280 pounds. For most teams, he’s too light to play defensive tackle, too big to play linebacker and not explosive enough to play defensive end.

“Whether it’s fair or not, he’s perceived as a tweener,” Mayock said. “You compare him, for instance, to a (Iowa cornerback) Bradley Fletcher, who had much less production, was nowhere near the player at Iowa. But when the NFL takes a look at those two players, Bradley Fletcher gets overdrafted because he’s a height, weight, speed guy, fits all the numbers they’re looking for and despite all of Mitch’s production, NFL teams look at him and say. ‘Where do we play him?'”

Tennessee might be the ultimate beneficiary. The Titans finished with the NFL’s best record last year at 13-3 but lost All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in free agency. The Titans are unsettled at defensive tackle and have multiple players with King’s dimensions at the position.

“We were surprised when he went undrafted,” Titans scout Mike Ackerley said. “Mitch is a high-energy, high-motor player. He is aggressive at the defensive tackle spot and a really good football player.”

King was one of eight Iowa players getting an NFL opportunity. Fletcher and running back Shonn Greene were drafted in the third round by St. Louis and the New York Jets, respectively. Denver drafted guard Seth Olsen in the fourth round by Denver, while Oakland picked tight end Brandon Myers in the sixth. Center Rob Bruggeman (Tampa Bay), defensive tackle Matt Kroul (New York Jets) and wide receiver Andy Brodell (Green Bay) all signed free-agent deals.

Mayock said King might benefit from playing with a group of veteran player and King might compare favorably with Tennessee’s other rookies at defensive tackle.

“Tennessee took a defensive tackle late in the second round, a kid out of Auburn, named Sen’Derrick Marks,” Mayock said. “And to be honest with you, he’s another one of those height, weight guys. He looks good, but I thought came out a year early. And he’s a kid that is inconsistent, whereas Mitch King will show up at every practice with an attitude.

“I really believe Mitch King, whether it’s this year or next year, will find a way on to an NFL roster.”


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