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Monday Musings: A Look at the Newest ProCanes; Locking Up a Miami Man

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Well, no gift cards given out from last week’s challenge, so that’s a good start to the week. The draft is over, so now we can FINALLY focus on how our ProCane draftees may fit in with their new teams, and which players have the potential to make the biggest impact. No more drivel about “high motors, fluid hips, or quick feet”. Shelf that often-used nonsense for another year, thanks. Now, on with it…..

1. Braxton Berrios, New England slot receiver. Makes perfect sense, and I know many folks projected him there, given Belichick’s propensity and success using smaller, lightning-quick white receivers in the slot. Berrios comes into New England probably more accomplished as a college receiver than all prior slot receivers during the Brady-Belichick era except Wes Welker. Eh, I could be wrong there……but in any event, he’s got a good chance to stick around in New England and learn from the best quarterback to ever play the game. I thought Baltimore would’ve been a good fit as well, given their need to address their horrible passing game, but it’s hard to argue for a more fitting landing spot than Foxboro. Congrats, Braxton!

2. The Cleveland Canes, are a thing, y’all…. One of my good friends is from northern Ohio, so I keep my eye on the Browns during football season…..often for comedic purposes only. But Browns GM John Dorsey added to the recent pool of Canes by adding a few more. Believed by many to be in the Bradley Chubb sweepstakes at #4, Dorsey decided to go with what they feel was the best cornerback available in Denzel Ward. Curious selection (and I laughed out loud at a tweet that mused about the Browns having a height requirement after taking Mayfield and Ward), given Chubb is viewed as a Von-Miller-esque talent. Well, Chubb ended up with Von Miller in Denver, and the Browns turned to Chad Thomas in the third round to address defensive end. With fellow ProCanes Duke Johnson, David Njoku, and Marquez Williams already on the roster, Thomas will find the locker room in the Factory of Sadness to be quite welcoming. May the four of them work on changing the Browns’ fortunes over the coming years. Congrats, Chad!

3. Other ProCane fits….. Sam Darnold got a nice little middle of the field piece in Chris Herndon, didn’t he? Herndon inherited a great situation in New York and will be in a battle with fellow Cane Clive Walford for the starting job. That combo could certainly be a noteworthy 1-2 punch going forward in the AFC East…………. RJ McIntosh’s arrival with the Giants is curious, but given the Giants are switching to a 3-4, if he can pick up the responsibilities of the 5-technique position in the new scheme, he’s got a solid chance of sticking…………Mark Walton gives the Bengals a versatile player they can move around and take advantage of his superior skills in the passing game. With Jeremy Hill off to New England, Walton has a nice chance of earning a roster spot and working into the rotation with Joe Mixon and Giovanni Bernard…….Kendrick Norton will be in for a true battle in Charlotte, working to win a roster spot among a talent-laden Carolina Monday defensive front, but competition usually brings out the best in people, so hopefully he can surprise and make the 53-man roster. Congrats, fellas!

4. Winners and Losers pieces are…….not for winners. These pieces really annoy the hell out of me. Translation: I thought team X addressed perceived need Y well with player Z, who seems to be the right fit for team X. Reality? These pieces should be limited to “hey, let’s look back at 2015 to see who were the winners and losers from the draft.” Otherwise, it’s just clickbait.

5. Miami looking to lock up Mark Richt long-term, and I love it….I will get into this in a soon-to-be-released opinion piece, but it’s been reported by most local news outlets that the university is currently working on an extension with Mark Richt. For the longest time, Miami was a place that coaches came, made their name, and moved on. Miami really hasn’t had a home-grown, long-term head coach. A “Miami Man”, if you will. That’s why locking down Richt – a local, a football alumnus, a man who gave $1 million of his and his wife’s own money to the IPF, and a guy who just flat-out wants to be here – is one of the best things I read in a long time. He’s already taken the program to places we hope and expect to be in less than 2 years. With the facilities, fan support, recruiting base, and winnable division, we can now add “stability at the top” to the list of signs pointing in the right direction for this program. Here’s to that getting done.

6. We all missed the boat on the “Cry Closet”……. Ok, ok, ok….OK!!!! I get it. We shouldn’t get into politics here at State of the U. And I’m actually not. But if the University of Utah now has a “cry closet” filled with stuffed animals in its library to cater to students who need to “let it out” for 10 minutes during finals…………..couldn’t we have had one from 2011-2015 at SunLife Stadium during the Al Golden era????