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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe // 04.16.09

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Morning Notes 7
Morning Notes 7

Odds and Ends

Arsenal 3, Villarreal 0

It's been a long time since I've been able to watch an Arsenal match and it just so happened that yesterday I was able to watch the Gunners absolutely whip Villarreal, 3-0. I won't bore those of you who could care less about the other football, but last summer I decided to take on another sport and after much consideration, decided that my team was Arsenal. I've been following the blog Arseblog and this has been, at least for me, the best way to start following a sport, caught a handful of games and last night's game was the first game that I've been able to watch for at least a month. Offensively, Arsenal is a special team to watch and considering how young the team is, it's pretty amazing to see these guys operate on such a high level. Theo Wolcott had a great match, absolutely loved watching him play yesterday. Manchester United is up on Saturday.

I'll stop boring the rest of the class.

Texas Tech Football

It's All About the Defensive Line

There are a number of articles this morning, and they all touch on the McKinner Dixon-less Texas Tech defensive line. Up first, LAJ's Don Williams talk with senior defensive tackle Richard Jones. Defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill says that Jones is certainly improving:

"He’s making a lot of plays," defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. "I like the way he’s stepping up."

Snip

"Richard’s getting better with his technique this spring, and his experience is showing," McNeill said. "I hold him responsible for a lot of things, and I hold him accountable for leading our defense up front."

Jones notes that strength coach Bennie Wylie's been pushing him, and he's now got the big Guy upstairs on his side:

"Actually Bennie, at workouts now, he’ll make sure I’m working out with him," Jones said. "He’s made me way stronger than I was. Like, in the morning, I’ll come in and there won’t be a time that I won’t lift with him. He always makes sure I’m with him, and he’s pushing it heavy."

Snip

"One thing about me this year, I’ve got Christ on my side," he said. "I give it all to him, and he’s giving me the ability to make plays. That’s the difference maker this year. It’s a big change.

"I was always a believer, but I just started walking in the faith. It’s started to pay off for me."

D-Line Stepping Up

DT's Adam Coleman writes about the progress of the defensive line and I thought this was pretty interesting at the beginning of the article:

But there's something about this defensive line that has Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill adding a few more blitz packages, allowing the linemen to play free.

"It's always been on my mind," he said. "It's always been my package. It's always been my thought process, but I feel this group is ready. Everything moves in sequence for me. I'm a sequence guy. Step A, Step B, Step C. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3."

Just thinking out-loud here, but with the loss of Dixon and Brandon Williams, I would have guessed there would be even less blitzing next year, but I hope like hell I'm wrong.

Red Raiders Football Notebook

LAJ's Don Williams' Red Raiders Notebook has a ton of notes (duh.) so let's briefly look at them:

  • Here's your starting defensive line right now: DE's Rajon Henley and Daniel Howard and DT's Colby Whitlock and Richard Jones. The second team was Sandy Riley and Ryan Haliburton at DE with Victor Hunter and Britton Barbee at DT.

    No, Brandon Sharpe? Hmmm. Williams accounts for Sesay, who is studying and mentions that Chris Perry is slowly returning from an injury that had kept him out previously this spring. McNeill may also be counting on incoming recruits Myles Wade and Pearlie Graves to help with the depth. Everyone say a prayer to the diety of your choice that both guys qualify.

  • The offense had the upper-hand yesterday, with Taylor Potts leading two touchdowns and Seth Doege leading the third.
  • Former Mike Leach mentor, Hal Mumme is back coaching at McMurry Sate.

Darcel McBath Ready to Shine in NFL

The FWST sits down with Texas Tech safety Darcel McBath about next weekend's NFL Draft, who talks about how he was a basketball guy until his junior year of high school where he began playing football and talks about his competition in the Big 12:

"Playing defense in the Big 12 is no easy task," says NFL Draft Scout, a Web site devoted to the draft. "Neither is playing against the Raiders’ offense every day in practice. McBath has the versatility and confidence to star in the secondary."

Snip

"I played some of the best receivers in the country, [against teams that] passed on almost every down," McBath said. "I think I’ll be prepared in that aspect. I’ll definitely be ready to defend the pass. I got the best of [Crabtree] most of the time."

Neglected Video, Audio and Photos


Defensive line looks to rebuild from Daily Toreador on Vimeo.


Texas Tech Basketball

David Tairu Signs?

At some point, I'm expecting Pat Knight to announce that guard David Tairu, a 6-3/180 shooting guard who played at South Plains College the past two years, will be signing with the Red Raiders. Tairu verbally committed to Texas Tech back in November of 2008, but has not signed a letter of intent. I believe that April 15th was the day that he would be able to sign that LOI, so I'm assuming (i.e., me praying) that Tairu has signed on the dotted line. David, if you haven't, the Red Raiders welcome you with open arms. If you'd like to know who else is a part of this class, check out the sidebar on the left.

Texas Tech Baseball

Kansas Pitching is Stepping Up

LAJ's George Watson previews the Kansas Jayhawk pitching staff and discusses how Kansas, who lost their top two pitchers, is ranked and one of the top teams in the Big 12 coming into Lubbock.

Brian Cloud Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Congrats to senior pitcher, Brian Cloud, who's been named as a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award:

Senior right-handed pitcher Brian Cloud has become the first Texas Tech Student-Athlete to be named a finalist for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The finalists, ten of NCAA baseball's most outstanding student-athletes, were announced this morning by Lowe's.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the third annual winner, who will receive the award from Lowe's, an Official Corporate Sponsor of the NCAA, during the NCAA Men's College World Series this June in Omaha, Nebraska.

"This honor couldn't go to a more deserving young man," said Texas Tech Head Coach Dan Spencer. "Brian is the model for what we want in all of our players - someone who takes academics seriously, cares about his community and family and is a hard-nosed competitor."

You can go vote at Senior CLASS Award. Go vote!!!!