Gang, we're going to move quickly because we're neck deep in football tab stuff. And don't forget about Friday's mailbag.
From the "Talks too much" studio, here we go.
We all know football has started. We're all excited about this — well, except maybe some of those football widows out there that realize it's going to be Thanksgiving or so before things calm down.
So it goes. It's the South and football season. We're in.
Well, the Vols put the pads on today and start hitting. We know this because our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown tells us. He also told us Monday that Vols coach Derek Dooley likes the word "twitch," which we kind of dig, too.
Quick twitch. Good twitch. Slow twitch. Son of a twitch... wait, sorry strike that last one since we're a family-oriented, Interweb-based sports column.
OK, on a scale of 1-5, with five being "supreme twitch" and one being "blah twitch," where do the following rank on the Vols' goals as the hitting starts and practices become physical and demanding.
5 — No injuries. This is mega-twitch-tastic. And yes, we made that word up. No team this side of Alabama has the depth to easily absorb injuries, but the Vols are extremely thin at quarterback, tight end, running back and at all levels of the defense.
2 — Passing game. The chemistry between Tyler Bray and his slew of NFL-bound wide outs is key, sure. But how much do the Vols get out of running scrimmage drills of the seven-figure passing catching firm of Rogers, Hunter and Patterson against a UT secondary that has an answer with Brian Randolph at safety and a slew of question marks? Be very careful boasting the scrimmage passing stats, Johnny Vols Fan.
4 — Pass defense. See above. That said, if the Vols' uncertain secondary can cover their teammates when UT goes 1s on 1s, that's a very good sign.
5 — O-line play. This may be the biggest swing category for the Vols this preseason. UT returns a ton of experience up front, but it was a group that underachieved last year. So will they be better? They have to be. Will they be great? They could be. Will they determine whether this talented offense is scary good or hair-pullingly mediocre? They surely will.
Make the most of it
OK, Terrell Owens has signed a one-year, $1 million deal with Seattle. It sounds rather hum-drum, right?
Well, it's either going to be a steal or a colossal disaster. And there is no in between.
Owens has the second most receiving yards and the second most TDs ever. Numbers-wise, on the NFL all-time team, Jerry Rice is one wide out and T.O. is the other. Ponder that for a second.
OK, now ponder this: Despite crafting a Hall of Fame resume, Owens could not land a gig in the pass-happy NFL because he is that big of a prima donna. Think of the biggest prima donna you know or the biggest prima donna you've ever heard of, and know that T.O. is at least twice as prima donna-esque.
How else could you explain no team, looking at Owens for the last 16 months. Sure he had the knee injury, but name one team that has three wide receivers better than Owens? Other than Green Bay, it's tough, right?
So in the cut-throat, win-at-all-costs NFL, how big of a headache does a player have to be that the entire league puts him in timeout, even though he has the talent to help almost all of them?
We said it Monday, and we think it needs to be said again: Hey, T.O., make the most of this chance; we're not sure how many more you have left.
PGA sets up as major test
OK we're in. Or as StuckinKent said when asked about whether to have a PGA Championship contest — "ALWAYS. DO. A. CONTEST. Just sayin'." Not sure why he needed to yell, but OK, we're in.
Here's what we got: The PGA is a different bird. It's not the tournament you go win like the Masters or the one you survive like the U.S. Open (although the reports from Kiawah sound as if the course is going to be brutal), or the one steeped in tradition like The Open. But it's a major, and maybe the PGA and the Australian Open in tennis are the red-headed stepchildren of the majors in their sports, but they are still in the family picture.
Couple of things you need to know about the tournament this weekend.
— With the way the wind and the rain are predicted, know that par at the end of the day is pretty sound.
— Know that the greens at Kiawah are paspalum grass, which is grass that has a wax-like covering to protect it from the weather elements. It also can be very difficult to read because the grain — the consistent way other grasses grow — has no real rhyme or reason. (So yes, Tiger will miss a putt this weekend and look incredulously at the grass, then turn to his caddie and then cuss. Oh wait, how is this grass different again?)
— The course has decided to not treat the sand on the course as hazards, meaning that players can ground their clubs and remove debris and loose impediments. Somewhere Dustin Johnson just punched a spectator.
OK to the important stuff — our final golf contest of the year. (We may look back at the winners form our previous ones for Wednesday's 5-at-10.)
We have changed the rules since the PGA is a different major. Pick two players. The first name can be any one and can be picked by everyone. The second name must make you twosome unique. And since pace of play is an issue in golf, the quicker the better.
We'll take Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner.
Anyone can pick Kuchar and someone or Dufner and someone, but not the pair. And remember time is of the essence. Questions?
We'll try to update as quickly as we get the e-mails, but the tie goes to those who post below, since we have time stamps.
This and that
— The Titans and Falcons stopped by Coahulla Creek High School on Monday. Apparently a good time was had by all. Here's our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's report http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/aug/07/nfl-teams-delight-fans-with-area-visit/. We think this is a boss thing and hope it becomes an annual boss thing.
— The Braves smoked the Phillies 6-1 on Monday night. Amid the beatdown was the storyline that the Phillies' consecutive streak of sell-outs ended at a shade short of 300. Something screams at us the Phillies, who may move Cliff Lee in the coming days, are about to become as relevant as the Orioles. Only higher paid. Quick name a Phillies outfielder, and no Bake McBride, Shane Victorino or Garry Maddux are no longer there.
— Side note: How good does the addition of Ben Sheets look right now? Wow. Dude has been awesome in his awesomeness, including allowing one run in 7 1/3 last night. Dude has allowed five total earned runs in five starts with the Braves and is 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA. Is he the Braves' ace right now? The guy that was watching on TV two months ago?
— Today is the 5-at-10's and the Mrs. 5-at-10 eighth wedding anniversary. We are a lucky dude, there is no doubt. Side note, we told our 4-year-old son today was our anniversary, and he said, "Good job daddy." How right you are son.
Today is Wayne Knight's 55th birthday. We all know Wayne better as "Newman" from "Seinfeld." (He was also the dude that tried to sabotage "Jurassic Park" and tangled with the spitting dinosaur in the jeep. He lost.)
This got us thinking, which we admit is a dangerous thing. Newman was part of an excellent hodgepodge of characters and cast on one of the best shows ever.
What's your Rushmore of TV show casts? What four shows had the best collection of characters?
We'll take Cheers, Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Friday Night Lights. Discuss.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...