Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Tulane Football MVPs

My picks for this year’s MVPs:

Defense: Anthony Cannon

Cannon is just a unyielding and dependable I-A player, who would be an asset at just about any program in the country. Sometimes you can look at linebackers and get myopic. You know, this ‘backer runs real well, or has great one-on-one cover skills. But Cannon possesses the most significant linebacker skill: flat out tackle people. Anthony gets off blocks- and don’t waste your time coming at him with a fullback Not a big hitter- but he plays big and he plays violent. He gets to you; you go down. I love his violent side. Remember that Navy game- that ferocity the Tulane defense brought to the field?

I am not exactly serious, but is there a I-A defense in the country that would be better served by taking a few personal foul penalties for late hits, improper hits on the qb, etc.? I would love Tulane to bring that to 2005- a real vicious attitude in the front seven. Sometimes we are simply too easy to play against.

Look at his numbers this year. Eleven tackles at MSU and Houston. Eight stops against ECU. Sixteen(!!!) against USM. This is particularly impressive in light of the fact that no one runs a running play versus Tulane without making sure someone is assigned to block him. It is re-assuring to know Cannon will be out there every game, every play and will make the play, brutally, every single time. He’s 3rd team C-USA this year- can’t wait to see him next year. He’s the defensive version of Irvin; he just gets it.

Joey Dawson was a valiant warrior for a long time here. While I cannot imagine how he’s second team all-league (must be a real weak year for safeties), he is a consistent player. I frankly admit there is a bit of a disconnect between me and the rest of the world concerning this young man. I sometimes wonder if his abilities seem magnified by the indifferent crew around him.

Offense: Roydell Williams

This is a much harder exercise on offense. If you ended the season after the first four games, it would have been the tailback Jovon. If you ended the season after the first eight games, it would have been Ricard. But if you look at the whole thing, it has to be our senior wide out.

Despite starting first year quarterbacks, Roydell had the solid numbers we all penciled him for. Sure, they were down form last year, but he did not exactly have a 1st round NFL draft pick chucking back there this year. And they were only down 150 yards- and he played one fewer game.

Without Roydell on the field, does Chris Bush have his true breakout year? I think we all know the supreme quality of #2 corners in our league was a factor in Bush’s sound campaign.

A lot of offense in football is establishing things you can do: run the ball here, throw it there. And every game, get the ball to Roydell was a thing you could do. He was their best big play threat- and he caught touchdowns. Who is a better red-zone receiver in Tulane history?
Our quarterbacks were too uneven and did not play the whole year. Jovon did not sustain excellence. I do have one other guy who I thought had an outstanding season- but I am going to save him for the next spot....

Most Underrated Player: Chris McGee

How this guy is not all-league is absolutely beyond me? There are six tackles better than him in this stupid league?

He might not be the strongest guy, but does he ever miss a block or read?

The Wave played 22 halves this year, and the offensive line got an “A” or “B” or better in sixteen of them. On the whole team, only the wideouts were more consistent. McGee is the best player on the line- a guy you can start week after week and know you’ll compete there. I am not sure he’s a good player in an SEC-style league with its premium on pure physicality. However, in C-USA where you don’t face monster fronts, McGee’s other skills- picking up the endless stunts and blitzes team employ to cover the pitiful secondaries, moving your feet to spots to block the run in the spread offense, etc.- make McGee is a superior player.

You could consider the punter Beckman here too. And my 9-1 picking Tulane ATS record too. That is 9-1 people.