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Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 NFL Draft Town photo gallery


Here are some of the photos I captured from NFL Draft Town in Chicago:

I hope you guys enjoy them.























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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- NFL Draft preview with Bill Bender


                                Photo Credit: Geno Green


On this edition of The Geno Green Experience, Bill Bender from The Sporting News comes on to preview tomorrow’s NFL Draft.


Notable Topics:


Who will the Los Angeles Rams choose between Carson Wentz and Jared Goff?

Also, which team needs to have a successful draft in order to achieve immediate success.







Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.


Follow Bill Bender on Twitter @BillBender92.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On The Clock: The Rams in prime position to take a franchise quarterback



Photo Credit: Geno Green



With the annual National Football League Draft fast approaching on Thursday at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, the Los Angeles Rams will be the first team on the clock and are expected take a quarterback in that spot.

Here are the two players the Rams will choose from to tailor their future around:


The Jared Goff Profile:    



School: The University of California

            
Notable College Accomplishments:


- Set the California school record as a junior in 2015 for passing yards (3,508)

- Threw for 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions against Air Force in the 2015 Armed Forces Bowl


2016 NFL Combine Results:



40-yard Dash- 4.82 seconds

Vertical Jump- 27.0 inches 

Broad Jump- 110.0 inches

3 Cone Drill- 7.17 seconds



The case for Goff to be selected by the Rams:


- More of a pocket passer than Carson Wentz and shows an innate ability to use his arm to make big plays down the field.

- With players like running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Tavon Austin potentially at his disposal, the opportunities look to be endless as Goff could be the quarterback the Rams have been looking for since the Kurt Warner era (1998-03).


The Carson Wentz Profile:



School: North Dakota State University 
     

Notable College Accomplishments:

- Won back-to back FCS national championships as the starting quarterback at North Dakota State (2014- 15)

- Named to the College Sports Information Directors Association All-American team in back-to-back seasons (2014-15)


2016 NFL Combine Results:


40-yard Dash- 4.77 seconds

Vertical Jump- 30.5 inches 

Broad Jump- 118.0 inches

3 Cone Drill- 6.86 seconds


The case for Wentz to be selected by the Rams:


- More of an outside scrambler than Goff, Wentz presents a different dynamic and one the Rams might be willing to take a chance on.

- With quarterbacks such as Sam Bradford, Nick Foles and Case Keenum proving to be unsuccessful in recent years because of injuries and the one-dimensional pocket traits each player carried, Wentz's ability to improvise at times in college could be what the doctor ordered.

- As mentioned earlier, Gurley's vision in the backfield, along with Austin's downfield skill set could prove to be the ultimate triple threat and a flashback to the Greatest Show On Turf days of Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce.



Geno's final verdict:


If I were a front office worker in the L.A. Rams draft room, Goff would be my choice, but not for the reasons most fans would think.

For the first time in two decades, professional football in Los Angeles is back and the marketable potential of drafting Goff and keeping him in-state could be the focal point, along with a rising superstar in Gurley.

Add on the scenario of a new stadium being built in three seasons, while playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum could make the Rams a hot destination for the majority of the league's players.

At this point, everything is a fantasy, but why not dream on because that is what makes the NFL Draft one of the marquee events on television each year.



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Monday, April 25, 2016

Five takeaways from the Wisconsin spring game


                                            Photo Credit: Geno Green


On a warm, spring Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers held their annual spring game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI.

Because of injuries affecting depth at certain positions, the game was limited to the two 15-minutes halves between Team Joe Schobert (defense) and Team Jared Abbrederis (offense). 

Here are my five things to take away from the Wisconsin spring game:


1) The quarterback battle:

The biggest storyline coming into the spring game would be how fifth-year senior Bart Houston and redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook stood in the pecking order in the quarterback depth chart.

Hornibrook's arm proved to be lethal with two touchdown passes downfield to George Rushing from 46 and 43 yards.

On the other end, Houston took a more methodical method by mixing in hand-offs to Corey Clement and short passes.

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst liked some of things Hornibrook brought to the table, but knows it will be neck and neck with Houston for the starting job.

"Alex has done great things in practice, but hasn't played a game yet.  I thought he had poise and the one thing he does is he an accurate deep-ball passer," Chryst said after Saturday's spring game. "It is just one out of 15 practices."

"I don't think they're behind schedule. As a team, we have to have a great summer and take advantage of those 29 practices. They are in a good spot, but there is along way to go."


2) Corey Clement:


Despite battling injuries over the previous season, Clement played on the first drive for the Wisconsin offense and impressed with a 9-yard touchdown run, to cap off a drive with 5 carries for 36 yards.

Clement showed some cuts and moves which gave a good indication he could be 100 percent as fall camp approaches in August sans any setbacks.

"I still have to get through summer conditioning and it will be another test for me to see if I can make it through a fall season," Clement said.

"Last spring when the [coaching] staff didn't give me any reps, I was upset. Me and coach [Chryst] sat and worked out a deal if I could make it through 15 practices, then I would get a chance to play in the first drive of the spring game."


3) Rushing's downfield effort:

One of the storylines going into the spring game would be whether or not any of the Wisconsin receivers could emerge as the No. 3 option.

Wide receiver George Rushing looked to answer the question for the time being.

Rushing stood out amongst the pack with a two touchdown receptions (46 and 43) from Hornibrook.

"I showed that I have grown throughout the spring to try to become better and work on something different each day like coach Chryst said," Rushing said.


4) Rock, paper, scissors:


Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and current National Football League Draft prospect Joe Schobert returned as team captains for the offense and defense, respectively.

Abbrederis and Schobert decided to have fun with the opening coin toss, or so we thought. Instead of a coin flip, a game of rock, paper, scissors broke out to decide which side the offense would play on first.


5) Only one practice out of 15:




Chryst kept things even keeled when it came to the spring game being another session and looks toward summer for improvements across the board in every position.

"Summer is a really good time for our kids because they are going to class and don't have the full load," Chryst said.

It is also a chance to focus on the weight room and having time to come together as a team and for leaders to emerge."




Social Media:


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Saturday, April 23, 2016

VIDEO- Wisconsin spring football press conferences






After Saturday's annual spring game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, players highlighted by Corey Clement and Bart Houston addressed the media:



Wisconsin running back Corey Clement:




Outside linebacker T.J. Watt:



Quarterback Bart Houston:






Wisconsin defensive end Olive Sagapolu:




Quarterback Alex Hornibrook:




Wide receiver George Rushing:





Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- Bill Bender


Photo Credit: Andrew Mascharka
 


On this edition of The Geno Green Experience, Bill Bender from The Sporting News comes on to highlight some of the marquee games on the 2016 NFL schedule.

Games highlighted are Carolina/Denver in the Super Bowl 50 rematch in Week 1 and New England/Denver in Week 15.


Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Follow Bill Bender on Twitter @BillBender92.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

DePaul takes 2 of 3 games from Butler as Maize's career-high 14 K's makes the difference


                               Photo Credit: Geno Green


On a flawless spring afternoon outside in Chicago, DePaul's Morgan Maize produced a career-high 14 strikeouts in a 5-1 win over Butler to take two of three games at Cacciatore Stadium.

Even as the strikeouts tallied, Maize was more focused on the task at hand– a DePaul win.

"I thought about it, but I had to focus on the here and now," Maize said. "I really don't think about [strikeouts] in the game, but to go over what pitches could have been better."

On top of Maize's dominant performance on the mound, a solo shot to left centerfield broke a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning.

"Honestly, it felt awesome and even going up by one run, it felt good to have the cushion going into the next inning," Maize said. "It wasn't that big of a deal when [Butler] scored one and then were able to bust it open in the following inning and it was really cool."

Maize's eighth home run on the season would be countered in the top of the sixth inning with Brandyce Sallie's RBI double to even things at one for Butler.

The Blue Demons, who left seven runners on base in the previous five innings, brought the fire in the bottom portion of the sixth inning with pinch hitter Ellie Forkin's single with 1 out setting up Dylan Christensen's 2-run double to go ahead 3-1.

Catcher Naomi Tellez would add a 2-run single to cap a 4-run sixth inning for DePaul as Maize picked up the win (15-12) in a complete game, while Butler's Mikeila Boroff took the loss (7-4).

DePaul coach Eugene Lenti puts Christensen in the top of the batting order for a purpose and Sunday's game was another illustration.

"It was the biggest hit of the day, but she is one the best hitters and she leads off for a reason," Lenti said. "She leads off for a reason because of her ability to get on base. She will draw walk or get on a base and did a great job in this game."






With a 1.5 game lead on Villanova for the top spot in BIG EAST conference play, Maize knows each game is important and will be treated like a tournament contest.

"Eug told us from we are going to play every game from here on out as if it is the conference championship," Maize said. "So obviously, is it nice to win them and build on the stuff we did well this weekend and work on the stuff we didn't do so well in."







Looking Ahead:

DePaul's homestand continues with a three-game series against St. John's on April 23 and 24.

The teams play a doubleheader on the 23rd at Noon and 2 p.m., with the series finale on the 24th at 11 a.m. on the BIG EAST Digital Network.


Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Maize stands out for DePaul in Saturday's doubleheader spilt of Butler


                                 Photo Credit: Geno Green


For the DePaul Blue Demons, the BIG EAST Conference slate has proven to be an essential second chance to gather momentum after a 7-20 start to the season.

Despite winning 9-1 in five innings against the Butler Bulldogs (23-17, 6-4 BIG EAST) in Game 1 on Saturday and flipping course with a 10-1 loss in Game 2 at Cacciatore Stadium, the Blue Demons (19-21, 9-1 BIG EAST) have been riding on the superb play of dual-threat Morgan Maize all season.

Maize's effort was on full display in Game 1 with nine strikeouts, highlighted by punching out the side in the first and fifth innings and a one-hitter to move to 14-12 on the season.

The effort as a batter turned out to be as effective for Maize, going 3-3 on the day, with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the fourth inning to put DePaul ahead of Butler 8-1.

"It is definitely a confidence builder and is something we have been working on all season," Maize said. "[Non-conference] play kind of knocked down my confidence and then coming in and having nine strikeouts is like, yes, I can do this!"






After a 9-1 win in five innings due to the run rule on Butler, DePaul looked to increase its winning streak to 13 in the back end of the doubleheader.

Like the famous Disney movie Freaky Friday, DePaul switched identities with Butler as it could only produce one run on ten hits and the impact of not having Maize on the mound was enormous. Megan Leyva (5-9) went the distance for DePaul in the loss and surrendered 15 hits and 10 runs.

DePaul coach Eugene Lenti knows the defense brought its best effort in the two games, but the offense lacked in the second contest.

"Obviously, Morgan throws like a number one and with nine strikeouts, three walks and one run, it was a much different game in game one," Lenti said.

"We played great defense in both games and didn't take advantage of our opportunities in the second game offensively. In the second game, Megan didn't have it today and that's going to happen every once in a while. We've won 12 in a row, but it was that lucky 13 I guess. 






Looking Ahead:


DePaul will look to increase its two and a half game lead on Creighton in the conference standings with the rubber match of the three-game series against Butler tomorrow at Noon.



Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- Ken Brass and DeArron Easley's WrestleMania fan experiences






On a special edition of The Geno Green Experience, Ken Brass and DeArron Easley chat about their experiences at WrestleMania weekend in Dallas/Arlington.

They talk about meeting talents such as Tully Blanchard, Jim Ross, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Marty Jannetty, and a whole lot more.

Other topics covered: The Dallas food scene, Teddy Hart and his cat at WaleMania 2 and interacting with fans from across the world.

If you are a wrestling fan, than the entire 94-minute show is well worth your time.









Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Follow Ken Brass on Twitter @Brasshole81.

Follow DeArron Easley on Twitter @Dee_Easley.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- Megan Podkowa, Chanise Jenkins and Sean Baligian







On this jam-packed edition of The Geno Green Experience, DePaul seniors Megan Podkowa and Chanise Jenkins reflect on the last four seasons and look ahead towards potential pro basketball careers. 

Also, Sean Baligian from Detroit Sports 105.1 comes on to preview the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four.








Social Media:



Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Michigan spring game photo gallery



Here are some of the photos I captured from Michigan's spring game on Friday night:














Photo Credit:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

VIDEO- Michigan spring football press conferences



After Friday's spring game, Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley and linebacker Jabrill Peppers addressed the media. 


Wormley and Peppers:






Peppers:





Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Triple Threat: Evaluating Michigan's quarterbacks from Friday's spring game




                                      Photo Credit: Geno Green


Michigan quarterbacks John O'Korn, Shane Morris (Blue) and Wilton Speight (Maize) came into Friday night's spring game as the top projected players in the depth chart going into the 2016 season.

Here are the summaries of the quarterbacks and what each brought to the table:



Speight:







Among the group of quarterbacks who stood out, Speight looked like a potential starter showing poise and pocket presence.

Speight finished with 5-of-6 completions for 46 yards and a touchdown pass to an open Jake Butt on the left side for a 13-yard TD to even the game at 7-7 with 5:27 left in the first half. The other score came on a 6-yard run by Speight off a playaction keeper to put the Maize ahead 14-7.

The spring practices have been a boost to Speight's confidence as he believes Friday's game solidified an improved comfort level with the offense as a redshirt sophomore.

"I felt pretty good [tonight] and with it being the second year in the offense, things were comfortable," Speight said.

With the spring game comes teams not exposing all of the cards at hand and for Speight, things lived up to the norm.

"Going into the spring game, obviously you don't want to show all of your cards," Speight said while leaning his hand on a table to keep an upright stance in the locker room. "We had a very restricted gameplay with an emphasis on dinking and dunking. That was the gameplan going in by getting completions and not showing everything we have to offer."




O'Korn:


                                   Photo Credit: Geno Green



O'Korn showed a lot of his scrambling abilities on the game's opening drive with runs of six and seven yards and finished 3-of-5 passing for 36 yards and helped set up the pass to Shane Morris, which led to the latter throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass across the field to Drake Johnson to open the scoring for the Blue team.

Morris started the final two drives of the first half before O'Korn re-appeared under center for the first possession of the second half and  ran in a 6-yard touchdown with eight seconds left in the game to pull the Blue Team to 14-13, but missed on the two-point conversion as the game ended.

Speight knows about O'Korn's time at the University of Houston and embraces more competition.

"I don't really look into the writings and stuff, but anytime you have a transfer come in, that is the mindset that everyone will have," Speight said. 

"John is a good buddy of mine and we knew it was going to be a competition and he knew the job wasn't going to be given to him," Speight said. "[John] had a good spring too, but we will see what happens even though I feel very good."



Morris:


The spring game morphed into a cross between lining up at wide receiver and quarterback for Morris.

The wide receiver position is where the redshirt junior thrived with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with an assist to O'Korn throwing the backwards lateral beforehand in the first quarter.

Morris stalled for the most part under center by going three and out on the second drive, with the third and final drive ending on an interception by safety Dymonte Thomas to cap off the drive and the first half. 

The stats were pedestrian at best, as Morris completed 4-of-9 passes for a touchdown through the air and an interception.

After seeing the skill set Morris brought as a wide receiver, do not be surprised to see coach Jim Harbaugh throw him on select plays this season to keep opposing defenses second guessing.

Another year, another quarterback race which will likely come down to fall camp, but at least there is stability with Harbaugh and a 10-3 mark from 2015 to build on.


Social Media:


Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.