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May 28, 2010


I was up at the ACU weight room this morning and happened upon a very thickly bearded Graham Harrell.

If you don't know Harrell (or at least know who he is) and saw him walking around Abilene in 90+ degree weather with a full beard, you might think he was a little crazy.

But if you know that he is leaving on Monday (Memorial Day) for Green Bay, Wisconsin, it starts to make a little more sense.

After rewriting the NCAA record books during his time as the QB at Texas Tech, Harrell has yet to find a professional football home.

Some criticize his arm strength. Others his size. Some say he is merely the product of Mike Leach's offensive system and reference the fact that none of the other record-setting/breaking TT QBs of the last ten years have had even a hint of NFL success.

Green Bay called Harrell out of the blue a few weeks ago, invited him up to workout in front of some coaches...and signed him on the spot.

Now it's up to him to go up there and prove he belongs on an NFL roster.

Harrell has been working out at ACU with strength coach David Hess on and off since his time in Lubbock (his brother - recently married - is a QB for the ACU Wildcats). He loves Abilene and loves working out with Hess since "you never know what you're going to get."

I'll try to stay updated on his progress and how things are going in Green Bay. Best case scenario would be for Harrell to claim a roster spot...but we're a long way from teams making final cuts so he has some time to compete and prove himself.

Harrell is a competitor and a winner. He's also put on quite a bit of mass since his college days. And I mean that in a good way...he's "thickened up" nicely.

And if his beard is any indication of how he's going to fit in up north, Harrell may be on his way to being an NFL football player.
  • mark rogers
  • May 28, 2010 9:42 AM

May 20, 2010


It's about time he got his chance.

Former Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell signed with Green Bay this morning. His second professional contract...hopefully it will be the first one that leads him to get some PT.

He'll be the third QB on the team which means he'll get a shot at the #2 spot during training camp. If he doesn't make the 53-man roster, he'll still have a chance to make the practice squad. Kind of the role that Stephen McGee played for Dallas last year.
  • mark rogers
  • May 20, 2010 10:05 PM


Interesting bit of information regarding second year Dallas Cowboys, Jason Williams.

I'm a big advocate for eating wholesome, real food...apparently it's making a big difference for him. Click here.

  • mark rogers
  • May 20, 2010 10:01 PM


I had a pretty remarkable 2009 football season.

I didn't record any tackles. I scored no touchdowns. I hoisted no MVP trophy over my head while my teammates doused me with carbonated beverage.

But I DID do something that I bet no one else in America did...

College Football Live (on ESPN) recently ranked the top 10 games of 2009...and there were some awesome games last year.

But how many people do you think attended the #1 and #2 ranked games AND were at the National Championship in Pasadena.

So what were the games?

#2 will forever be known as "Rocky Block". A 12-10 Alabama victory against visiting Tennessee on a last second FG block. It was absolute mayhem and if it hadn't happened, Bama wouldn't have won (or even played in) the national championship.

#1 was the Big 12 Championship at Cowboys Stadium against Nebraska and Texas. That game was also 12-10 with one second remaining. The only difference was the FG wasn't blocked.

The game featured uncharacteristic play from Colt McCoy...a presumed Nebraska win when it looked like Colt allowed the clock to run out...an absolutely ridiculous individual performance by Ndamukong Suh.

So I was at the best two games IN THE COUNTRY last year...and got tickets to the National Championship which featured two of the four teams involved in the top two games.

I'll probably never have that kind of season ever again...

Looking forward to 2010...back in school with a one year old. I'll be lucky to get 10 games in.

Oh well...some things in life are worth sacrificing for.
  • mark rogers
  • May 20, 2010 9:47 PM

May 13, 2010


Miles Austin has yet to sign his contract. Both parties agree that there's nothing to worry about and the dealings aren't "contentious"...yet.

Things could get contentious in a hurry if a deal isn't figured out here pretty quick. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

I mentioned last week about the Cowboys shopping Bobby Carpenter. They ended up trading him for OT Alex Barron. Barron has been a huge "bust" since being a consensus First-Team All-American his senior year at FSU then being picked by St Louis as the 19th pick in the 2005 NFL draft.

He's one of the most penalized tackles in football...which is exactly what we DON'T need now that we've finally parted ways with Flozell "False Start" Adams.

But you never know about these things. Leonard Davis was a bust in Arizona but came to Dallas and has thrived, turning into an annual Pro Bowl selection.

There have been some questions about first round pick Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State) challenging for Roy Williams' starting job.

I think it's highly doubtful, but it will be good for Roy to get the competition. OTAs (organized team activities) are this weekend.

It's the first time the rookies and veterans will be on the same field together in organized activity. We're getting very close to having some real life football news to talk about!!

Training camp will be here before we know it.

1st game is September 12 at Washington.
  • mark rogers
  • May 13, 2010 11:51 PM

May 6, 2010


I don't know...part of me thinks Colt has the potential to be a great NFL QB, but I think Colt reaching his FULL potential can only be done through very specific circumstances.

Let me explain...

What are Colt's strengths?

1. He's a winner. He won more games as a starting QB than any QB in the history of FBS football.

2. He's smart.

3. He's not a character problem.

4. He's a leader.

5. He has proven that he can overcome "longshot" odds.

6. His dad and Jordan Shipley's dad were roommates at ACU - oh wait...has that already been covered by every major network every five seconds? Oh, sorry...

What are his weaknesses? There are really just two...but they're biggies in the eyes of NFL talent scouts:

1. His size.

2. His arm strength.

The last undersized, "weak"-armed QB to really make it in the league is another Texas boy and just won a Super Bowl - Drew Brees.

He had the same things stacked against him when he came out of Purdue.

But where has Brees played? San Diego and New Orleans.

A great weather place and a place with a dome. So arm strength really hasn't had to play a big role since Brees has not had to deal with much wind, rain, snow, etc...for the most part.

Look at Kurt Warner. Many criticized his weak arm, but he thrived (Super Bowls, MVPs) in St. Louis (dome). What happened when he went to NY? Bad weather, cold temperatures, wind, snow, rain...he flopped.

Back to Arizona where the weather is good? Arm strength not as much of a factor...you see where I'm going.

I'm not saying Colt can't make it or be successful in Cleveland, but I think his chances are much better if he could somehow wind up in a better climate or in a place with a domed stadium.

Just my thoughts...I hope he continues down his road of constantly surprising people and proving doubters wrong. He's been doing it his whole life.

  • mark rogers
  • May 6, 2010 2:36 PM


Early reports have indicated the Cowboys are trying to trade Bobby "the Flop" Carpenter.

He came out of Ohio State touted as the next Brian Urlacher, then grew his hair out and is now slated to take over for Dog the Bounty Hunter in a few seasons.

He had a better season last year but never lived up to the hype. And now that Dallas has Penn State LB Sean Lee on the roster, Carpenter is expendable.

I think Lee has a better chance to become the next great "Insert Great LB name here" and won't end up with a mullet and a bad reputation.

  • mark rogers
  • May 6, 2010 2:28 PM


That's right. June and July...January is honorably discharged from this grouping.

Those not familiar with the game of football incorrectly think that games in the fall are won on Friday, Saturday or Sunday...aka during the game.

That couldn't be more wrong. Any coach, executive or player will tell you that.

Games are won and lost in preparation and the bulk of that preparation takes place in the summer.

In high school I was always told that June should be dedicated to gaining strength and speed. I focused on bulking up and getting faster which meant killing the weights and doing a ton of speed work drills (cones, sprints, plyometrics, etc).

I was also told that skill players (QB, WR, RB, DB - or anyone who handles the ball) were supposed to focus on strength and speed as well. They weren't allowed to touch the ball...

...until July.

That's when QBs and WRs should still lift and run but also start playing toss, running routes and getting the timing down while the rest of us ("unskilled" players - thanks a lot) just needed to keep lifting and running.

That's how Coach Brence did it at Plano in the late 90s and what many high school coaches still teach. It's a little bit different in the college and professional ranks because there's much more at stake and the schemes and game plans are much more complex. Skill players at that level probably touch a football at least once a day even if it's at night when they're sleeping.

But the point is the same: what you do as a football player (and coach) in June and July is the foundation for building a winner in the fall.

I guarantee you the New Orleans Saints, Alabama Crimson Tide and Abilene High Eagles all worked their tails off during the summer of 2009. All three teams won championships last year, too.

Not to say that you can't work really hard and still go 0-10, but you have absolutely NO chance at 10-0, 14-0 or 19-0 without dropping some sweat in the summer.

Get ready boys...we're only a few weeks away from the real preparation. Take the rest of this month to mentally and physically relax because once June 1 hits, there's no break until the last game of the season. And whether or not that game ends in defeat or hoisting a trophy in victory is up to what you do this summer.

Let the games begin...

  • mark rogers
  • May 6, 2010 2:14 PM