Spring Rewind: Quarterbacks struggle, defensive line shows depth

Tag: 上海夜网JS

first_imgA.J. Fenton (left) proved he can make plays all over the field Saturday, recording four tackles and an interception in the spring game.[/media-credit]With spring camp over and done with, the Wisconsin football team is now gearing up for summer conditioning before practice resumes for fall camp.Here’s a look back at how spring camp went for the Badgers with a position-by-position breakdown.Quarterbacks:How the Badgers replace quarterback Scott Tolzien is the single biggest question surrounding the team this offseason. Redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr has a firm handle on the starting job, but that isn’t based solely on his performance this spring.Curt Phillips was participating in passing drills while recovering from ACL surgery, but the redshirt junior has been ruled out for the year after a minor procedure revealed more damage. Redshirt freshman Joe Brennan is still mastering the playbook and working on refining his delivery, while newcomer Joel Stave is still adjusting to college in just his first semester on campus.That leaves Budmayr as the clear choice to start for UW in the fall. He’s shown flashes with his strong arm and accurate deep ball, but the 6-foot Budmayr threw a ton of interceptions this spring, in addition to having numerous balls batted down at the line. The Badger offense is still adjusting to its new signal caller, and Budmayr will have to develop more consistency and better appreciation for ball security if the Badgers want to compete at the top of the conference.Running backs:Montee Ball slimmed down, James White added lower body strength and the entire UW offense is reaping the benefits. Ball and White had productive springs and the two running backs are set for even better seasons in 2011. Zach Brown and Jeff Lewis will also provide running backs coach Thomas Hammock with tremendous depth and versatility.Tight ends:Jake Byrne has emerged as the leader of the group and will work as the primary blocking tight end on the line of scrimmage. Byrne has the ability to make plays over the middle in the passing game, but redshirt sophomore Jacob Pederson will fill the playmaking void left by Lance Kendricks. Pedersen was a reliable target all spring at the H-back position, making tough catches in traffic and stretching the defense as a downfield threat. Brian Wozniak and Sherard Cadogan fought through injuries to see reps this spring, and both have shown promise heading into fall.Wide receivers:When Nick Toon returns from injury, he and Jared Abbrederis will be the clear No. 1 and No. 2 wideouts. However, the Badgers still need to find third and fourth options. Manasseh Garner impressed with his combination of size and athleticism, and he also has the ability to play both wide receiver and tight end. Jeff Duckworth and Isaiah Williams had their ups and downs, and both will continue to battle for playing time.Offensive line:Despite losing left tackle Gabe Carimi and left guard John Moffitt, the O-line found some stability in spring camp. Ricky Wagner and Travis Frederick settled in to those two positions, respectively, and Peter Konz led the group from his center position before suffering a leg injury late in camp. Kevin Zeitler had a solid spring at right guard, so the only real uncertainty lies at right tackle. Redshirt freshman Rob Havenstein showed better mobility and continued to maul defenders with his 343-pound frame, and he overtook Casey Dehn for the first-team spot. But fifth-year senior Josh Oglesby wasn’t able to practice all spring and will make a run at regaining his starting spot when he returns.Defensive line:If spring camp made one thing clear, it’s the D-line has plenty of depth. The Badgers have a steady rotation set for fall camp at both end and tackle, and they’ll have plenty of bodies ready to man the trenches. Pass rushing is the major concern, but ends Louis Nzegwu and David Gilbert continued to progress in that area throughout the spring, and both Patrick Butrym and Jordan Kohout created more pressure from their tackle positions.Linebackers:This position group took a big step forward this spring under new linebackers coach Dave Huxtable. Mike Taylor finally looked to be back to 100 percent, and Kevin Claxton brought tremendous physicality as he looks to crack the starting lineup at the opposite outside linebacker position. Marcus Trotter filled in admirably for the injured Chris Borland at middle linebacker, and both Connor O’Neill and A.J. Fenton showed they could make plays in pass coverage with their athleticism, as well as against the run, thanks to some added weight.Secondary:Free safety Aaron Henry established himself as one of the leaders of the defense this spring with his physical play every practice, while fellow seniors Antonio Fenelus and Devin Smith are set at the starting cornerback positions. Shelton Johnson and Dezmen Southward competed throughout camp to work as the first-team strong safety, and Southward made a strong push late to seemingly gain an edge over Johnson, but that battle should continue well into the fall.Specialists:Kicker Phillip Welch and punter (as well as fellow senior) Brad Nortman have plenty of experience, and they’ll be counted on for productive final seasons this fall. In the return game, true freshman wide receiver Kenzel Doe was given a chance to show off his speed, but head coach Bret Bielema revealed Abbrederis would be his return man if he had to make the decision right now.last_img read more


Tag: 上海夜网JS

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The Dodgers’ season ended when Manny Machado took a knee.To some, it must have seemed appropriate.With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale got ahead of Machado 1-and-2 before unleashing a slider in the dirt, a pitch so low that even one leg was too much to stand on. Machado swung and missed, ending Game 5 of the World Series.Machado walked back to the Dodgers’ dugout for what is likely the final time. He removed his helmet, put both hands on his hips, then watched the Red Sox celebrate on the field with his arms folded against the bench. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Machado was not the Dodgers’ only midseason acquisition to underwhelm in October. Pitcher Ryan Madson acquitted himself quite well in the first two playoff rounds, only to allow all seven runners he inherited in the World Series to score. Pitcher John Axford spent more time on the disabled list than the Dodgers’ active roster, and he did not pitch in the postseason. Dozier batted .182 after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins, and was reduced to a platoon role in the playoffs, when he hit .125.David Freese was the exception to the rule. The former World Series MVP led off Game 5 with a solo home run against David Price, the Dodgers’ only run in their ultimate game of 2018. Only Turner (eight) had more hits in the World Series than Freese (five).Freese’s contract contains a team option at $6 million for 2019. The Dodgers can also pay Freese a $500,000 buyout, making him a free agent.Machado will command more attention than any of his fellow free agents. Perhaps the World Series forced teams to reassess his stock, perhaps not.“Manny’s a great guy,” Turner said. “Love him. He came over here, jumped right on board with the goal to win a World Series. Obviously super talented. Don’t know what’s going to happen, don’t know what’s in his future, but I definitely have a lot of respect for him and wish him all the best in his future – whatever happens.” “We had a chance,” Machado said. “We came back early today. We just didn’t have enough. They played well. They had the momentum going for them. We weren’t able to get past that hump.”Machado will wake up on Monday a free agent for the first time in his life. His market will not be based on the four singles he collected in 19 World Series at-bats – including the one that he believed to be a home run, and should have been a double, in the sixth inning of Game 3.Rather, teams will attempt to assess Machado as the unique player he is.At the relatively young age of 26, Machado is an elite defensive third baseman, a capable shortstop at least, and a workhorse who has averaged 159 games a season the last four seasons. Machado is also an enigmatic offensive force.At Camden Yards, the park he called home for five-plus seasons, Machado batted .296 with a .352 on-base percentage and a .536 slugging percentage. When he was traded to the Dodgers on July 18 for a package of five minor leaguers, Machado’s slash line in every other park was .274/.329/.468. His statistics after the trade were similar: .273, .338 and .487.center_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Strictly based on his ability, Machado’s career has revealed him to be an excellent hitter in Baltimore and a good hitter elsewhere. The postseason was another matter.In 16 games, Machado batted .227 with more strikeouts (18) than hits (15). At least he timed his hits well; Machado led the team in RBIs with 12.The market will soon decide what that’s worth in terms of years and dollars. Thoughts on a potential return to Los Angeles?“We just lost,” Machado said in the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game. “I can’t think about that.”Discussions around Machado’s ability rarely stick to the numbers, however. Game 3 wasn’t the first time he cost his team a base by not hustling. During the National League Championship Series, Machado said in an interview with The Athletic that “being Johnny Hustle” was “not my cup of tea.” That did nothing to alter the perception of Machado as a slacker.It’s a perception that even his teammates could not ignore.Asked about his impression of Machado as a teammate, Dodgers infielder Max Muncy said, “I know you’re trying to stir the pot right now. I’m gonna stay away from that question.”“I liked Manny, and he’s a very talented player, and I hope he gets the contract that he wants,” Muncy continued. “I don’t care what outside sources say. He’s a good guy, he’s a good player, and he was somebody that I was happy I shared the field with.”“I’ve played against Manny for seven years now,” second baseman Brian Dozier said. “You’re always interested to see how they are besides on the field. A good teammate. Obviously an exceptional talent, one of the better players in the past five or six years in our game, but getting to know him in the clubhouse has been pretty fascinating for me.”In any event, the Dodgers are an unlikely suitor for Machado this winter. Setting his underwhelming World Series aside, the Dodgers are already set at third base with Justin Turner and at shortstop with Corey Seager. Those are the only positions Machado has played in his major league career, and he has played both positions well.It was an elbow injury to Seager that necessitated the trade in the first place. Now, Seager is expected to return in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May and an arthroscopic procedure on his hip in August.For his part, Machado said that “every single teammate here has been beyond amazing.”“I was truly grateful to be a part of this, what went on this year,” he said.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more