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84th East-West Shrine Bowl

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by oomp, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. oomp

    oomp Contributing Member

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    JANUARY 17th, 3:00 P.M.
    Robertson Stadium
    TELEVISED ON ESPN2


    Anyone going? I'll be there rooting on the EAST!


    Here's Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly's blog of this week's activities.

    Day 1
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 1
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    Sunday January 11, 2009

    My East-West Shrine game experience officially started last night when I arrived at the Houston airport. I was greeted by a welcoming committee of Shriners and then taken to the J.W. Marriott where pretty much anyone affiliated with the game is staying. The night was spent mostly by taking IQ tests and filling out questionnaires about ourselves. Although it was late at night we actually managed to have a team meeting where we were introduced to coach Stallings. A round of introductions was made by the players and I must say that it was fun to see the looks on some of the players’ faces when I announced I was from Central Washington University. It would be fair to say that CWU was not as easily recognizable as some of the other schools such as Texas, Cal, and Oregon but at this game it is less about where you came from and more about what you’re doing now.

    This morning was early; waking up at 7:00 (which is 5:00 for me, being from the west coast) and we reported for physicals and breakfast. Next up was another team meeting where we began to introduce the offensive playbook. Having played for 3 different coaches in the last 3 years and learning a new playbook for each I find that this is actually the easiest one to learn as the coaches have kept things pretty vanilla. This is done so that the players representing so many different schools and playing styles will be able to gel as quickly as possible.

    After the meeting, we left for what will most likely be considered by myself and others as the most rewarding experience of the trip. I am, of course, talking about the trip to the Shriner’s hospital. As we arrived we were greeted by a high school band playing and a dance team as well as many children and their parents. After a brief introduction we were led inside where the fun began. The 5th and 6th floors were completely shut down and retrofitted into a huge playground. There were dozens of activities and hundreds of kids enjoying themselves.

    Myself and a few other players started by sitting down with some families and enjoying a nice lunch of pizza, hot dogs, and pretzels! Not exactly what the nutritionist suggested, but hey, it’s all for the good of the kids, right? I got to meet many of the kids and hear a few very sad stories. At first you can’t help but feel your heart ripped out for some of these kids and what they have had to experience, but after you really get to know them, you realize how strong they truly are. Despite suffering some of the most intense burns, birth defects, and other health issues, these kids are running around all over the place with more energy than most players have in a game. It was amazing to stand there and watch a few of the kids having a break dance competition with some of the players. Despite the obstacles these kids face, they not only function but they do most things a lot better than many of us would.

    Dancing was just one of the activities but there were many more. Myself and most other players sat around the table to have our faces painted by the volunteers that were working. I left with a nice green and blue snake wrapping around my beard and I even saw one player completely painted like Santa Claus, hat and all. There was also a section for wheelchair basketball, Rock Band (I was a pretty amazing drummer but was no match for the kid that was playing the guitar), a football toss, and a photo booth. We were there for 3 hours but once the time was up, no one was ready to leave. Finally, we got on the buses, having accomplished not only the most important event of the week, but also probably the most fun.

    This game is amazing not only for the chance we, as players, get to show our skills to the NFL, but even more so for the money it pulls in to make sure that the Shriners are able to do what they have for these kids and their families. If you haven’t already, please donate time, talent or both to this cause as it really is incredible.

    The rest of the night has been spent doing interviews with team scouts, eating dinner, and then more interviews. All in all a very rewarding day, but time for me to get some sleep as tomorrow is the big “weigh in” followed by the first practice of the week.

    More on that tomorrow…

    Thanks for following along with me…

    Mike Reilly

    Courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com.
    Day 2
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 2
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    Former Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly is spending the week in Houston preparing for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game. He is writing a daily diary chronicling the experience.

    Monday January 12, 2009

    Today started off with a slight preview of what to expect during the combine. After an early breakfast and a quick team meeting, my teammates and I were taken to a banquet hall inside of the hotel. At that time we were told to strip to our compression shorts and stand in alphabetical order. Then one by one we were led into the room in front of around 200-plus scouts and team personnel where we were measured and put on display. It was a new experience that many of us joked around about saying that it felt like we were being auctioned off.

    After the show we had lunch followed by another team meeting. This meeting was short and sweet and consisted of us going over the plays that would be run later that day at practice. We then loaded the bus and headed off to Reliant Stadium. Once at the stadium we were escorted to the locker room where all of our gear was set up and waiting for us. It is an amazing facility and a great preview to what many of us will have an opportunity to play in next year.

    After a short walk we arrived at a pretty cool scene. The practice field and its sidelines were covered with hundreds of people. Scouts, agents, TV news crews, coaches and players, you name it and they were there. It was an impressive sight at first but once we were on the field and warming up it seemed like any old football practice.

    The layout for practice was the same that I have been used to for years: position warm up, routes on air, routes 1 on 1 versus a defender, pass skeleton, team run, and finally a team period. Things went well for it being the first practice but you could tell that everyone was a little rusty.

    Since none of us have ever played together the timing on the routes and throws was just a little off early, but we definitely improved as the day went along. By the end of the practice things were rolling smoothly and tomorrow we should be able to pick up where we left off.

    After practice we were left with the rest of the evening free for interviews with scouts and in some cases GM’s. Up to this point I have had interviews with about half of the teams and most likely will speak with pretty much all of them by the time that it is over. The interviews are all different, some taking place in the lobby, some in meeting rooms, and others in the scouts actual hotel room.

    The interviews all start the same asking some basic background questions but generally by the end it is very personalized. On average these interviews last about 20-30 minutes. It has been a great experience so far and I am looking forward to turning up the intensity tomorrow at practice. Now that we all know each other and have a practice under our belts I think we are really going to begin to click.

    Courtesy of www.NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com.
    Day 3
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 3
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    Former Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly is spending the week in Houston, preparing for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game. He is writing a daily diary chronicling the experience.

    Tuesday January 13, 2009

    This morning started out much the same as the others; with an early breakfast followed by a morning meeting with the coaches. That was about the only similarity between today and yesterday, however.

    Once the meetings were over we went to Reliant Stadium for most of the day. We started with a meal in the same facility that the Houston Texans uses to feed their players. After that it was time to get some film study in as we watched a recording of yesterday’s practice. It was interesting to hear some of the comments from the coaches as they were taking an NFL approach, telling us how many of the mental mistakes would result in fines being given out rather than other forms of punishment.

    After the meetings we got dressed for our second practice together. This time we were fully padded up, so the intensity seemed to grow. When we took the field the biggest difference was the temperature. A cold wind had blown in and blew pretty consistently for the day.

    The practice setup was much the same as Monday’s with the addition of a few “live” plays at the end where the defense was allowed to tackle the ball carrier. Things were still a little slow for most of us out there today but the feeling-out process should pretty much be over with. Tomorrow looks to be the day that we will put it all together and begin to mesh well.

    After practice came dinner and another round of interviews with scouts. From what I have been told tomorrow will be the big day when all of the final scouts will be arriving so I am really expecting the intensity to raise for the practice.

    Speaking of that I will be needing a little extra sleep tonight to make sure that I am ready to go tomorrow.

    And with that, I’ll say good night.

    Thanks for following along.

    Mike

    Courtesy www.NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com.
    Day 4
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 4
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

    So day 3 of practice week is in the books. As I mentioned last night, Wednesday is supposedly the day that all the scouts are here. I say supposedly simply because there have been a ton of scouts here all week. However, the rumor is that tonight and tomorrow morning most of them leave. So, that being said today was our last chance to give an impression in person until the NFL Combine.

    Practice was similar to Tuesday in the sense that we were once again in full pads. As an offense we mainly worked on third and medium/ long down and distances, so we added a few plays to the offense. In the run department we added a few draw plays and in the passing game we added a few deeper routes across the middle known as “dig” routes.

    Today was a much better day for me personally. Monday and Tuesday we were throwing footballs that felt as if they had been prepared in some strange way. In talking to other quarterbacks, we thought they appeared very slippery and difficult to throw with much zip. But today we actually used brand new, fresh out of the box NFL balls and the difference was huge. I felt that I had much more velocity and accuracy on my passes and was able to connect on a number of these dig route concepts. I was also more accurate during 1 on 1 drills and routes on air, so in all I definitely felt today was my best of the three practices. I am excited to get out to practice tomorrow and continue the improvement.

    Outside of practice there really was not a whole lot going on. I had already interviewed with a majority of the teams so I was left meeting with only one team tonight. During my extra free time I visited what is known as “The Galleria” which is, by far, the biggest mall I’ve been in. It was nice to get out and relax for a couple of hours.

    My family also just arrived in Houston and is driving to meet me, as I type this journal entry. They will be staying at the same hotel as me and it will be great for all of us to enjoy this experience together. My mom, dad, and younger brother and sister all made the trip so I will have at least four fans in the stands!

    On a side note I just finished doing an autograph deal for the first time in my life. I was offered a deal with a card company named SAGE that deals with college players entering the draft and signed 3,000 cards that should be printed some time in March. This was a pretty cool experience for me coming from a smaller school and knowing that in a few months there will be thousands of trading cards with me on them.

    This truly has been an incredible experience that I am excited to be apart of. The first half of the week has been great and I look forward to it getting even better during the second half. Thanks again to everyone who has been reading this, and a special thanks to all of my CWU teammates! I wouldn’t be here without you guys and I wish you could be here to join me, but I will do my best to represent you all in the way that you can be proud… GO ’CATS!

    Courtesy of www.NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com


    Here's 49ers scout Todd Brunner's take.

    January 13, 2009
    San Francisco 49ersBrunner's Blog: East - West print

    January 13, 2009

    Area scout Todd Brunner checks in from Houston, Texas, site of the annual East-West Shrine Bowl.

    I flew to Houston, Texas on Sunday for the start of the East-West Shrine week. I was hoping to get here in time to watch the Eagles-Giants game, but I missed the entire game and didn’t get to the hotel until the start of the Steelers/Chargers game. I underestimated how long it takes to get around Houston as this is my first time ever visiting this city. It is quite spread out, and it takes a while to get around.

    The East-West game draws a pretty nice sized contingency of NFL scouts, although it’s not as well attended as the Senior Bowl since coaches and scouts usually attend the week in Mobile.
    Since both teams are using the Houston Texans facility, their coaching staff has been around some, but otherwise I’ve seen assistant coaches from maybe two other teams and then Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio is down here.

    It’s been crazy since the players arrived. As a staff this year, each all-star game has somebody in charge of coordinating the game. This is my game, so I’m making sure I’m collecting any and all data. If a player gets hurt, I’ve got to get the specifics and then find out who is replacing him on the roster this week. I’ve also passed out information sheets to every single player who is down here. It’s got basic stuff like draft day phone numbers, but we also ask a variety of questions to try to get somewhat of a feel for their personalities. For example, one of the questions asks, “What is your greatest fear?” Some of the answers range from dying to losing someone close to them, to not succeeding. So, the responses you get vary and hopefully tell us a little bit about some of their character traits.

    Guys have been slipping their completed sheets under my door and they are starting to stack up. We also had a list of guys who we had some questions about and wanted to interview, probably about 15 or 20 players. We’ve already completed all of those interviews, and then we are also all trying to touch base with the guys from our area again.

    As typical for most all-star games, the week began with height and weight measurements. We knocked those out on Monday morning, and then had back to back practices in the afternoon. It was in the mid to high 60’s, so everybody was pleased with the “great weather.”

    Today it dropped to about the mid 40’s with a nice wind chill factor kicking in as well. Most of the scouts here were telling me that today was more like what it’s typically like this time of year in Houston, but to a guy from the northeast, 45 degrees is golfing weather.

    The East team worked this morning, with the West team taking the field in the afternoon.

    From our staff, Trent Baalke, Dave McCloughan, Roylin Bradley and myself are down here, so we’ve split up the positions for the week. I’ve got the quarterbacks and tight ends, and then I’ll also try to get a good look at the guys from my area as well. Since we’ve only got part of our scouting staff down here, we’re each trying to cover more ground than we will need to do once we get to the Senior Bowl.

    There have been a few players who have stood out to me on both squads.

    One of my guys, wide receiver Darius Passmore from Marshall University really has great speed. He was a little slow starting off catching the ball, but halfway thru the first practice, his speed really started showing up as he easily got behind defenders.

    The quarterback from Michigan State, Brian Hoyer, all around looks pretty good. He’s got good size, and he’s throwing the ball well. He’s got a good arm, not the best arm here, but he’s accurate and he’s a smart player. He might not be the best guy for every tangible, but overall, he’s probably the best quarterback on the East team.

    However, Chase Daniel is a guy who a lot of people have heard about. He’s undersized, but he’s shown that he has good feet and can move around the pocket well. He can put some zip on the ball too. He’s not your prototypical quarterback, but he’s made a name for himself at Missouri and he’s shown some of that here.

    There’s a also a corner from Iowa ,Bradley Fletcher, who has done a real good job in coverage down here. He’s got real good size, some speed and quickness and he’s helping himself out down here as far as his draft status goes.

    On the West squad, a guy who stood out the first day of practice was the DB from USC, Kevin Ellison. He made some big hits and stirred up a lot of commotion between the offense and defense with his physicality. He did not practice today for unknown reasons, but the kid will be a physical force when he comes into the league next year.

    The quarterback who stood out for the West is the kid from Fresno State, Tom Brandstater. He’s got really good size. He’s got a strong arm, can put zip on the ball, and has looked good in the one on one and seven on seven drills.

    There’s also a DB from Texas who has stood out in Ryan Palmer. He may be undersized but he plays big. He’s shown great coverage skills, makes plays on the ball, and has been draped all over receivers. He’s been a force the last two days of practice and has caused some havoc.

    I’ll be down here until Thursday and I’ll check in once more with my final thoughts from this week of practices.

    © 2007 San Francisco Forty Niners, Ltd.
    January 15, 2009
    San Francisco 49ersBrunner's Blog: Shrine Bowl Summary
    January 15, 2009

    Area scout Todd Brunner checks in again from Houston, Texas, site of the annual East-West Shrine Bowl.

    The best part of Wednesday’s practices was that the weather warmed up some more and got close to 70. It was bright and sunny, and I actually got a sun burnt face. I’m definitely not complaining since it’s about 10 degrees back home.

    Our staff got together Wednesday night and we discussed all of the players down here this week who maybe separated themselves or answered some concerns we had.

    So, in addition to the guys I talked about the other day, I’ll highlight a few guys on each team who had pretty good practices in my opinion.

    First up to mention on the West squad was Gartrell Johnson, a running back from Colorado State. He runs hard and showed some power with the football. He practiced hard every day this week.

    Oregon State wide receiver Sammie Stroughter caught the ball very well this week, showed quickness, and the ability to get open. He might not be the fastest guy, but he’s quick and he’s able to separate himself from coverage. He also finishes as well by making the catch.

    USC linebacker Kaluka Maiava also was impressive. He’s a typical USC linebacker, involved in all of the plays and around the ball a lot. He’s a good sized kid who can run.

    A kid who some Bay Area football fans might already know about is defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert from San Jose State. He had a real nice week. He’s a big kid, has great size, and showed some quickness off the ball and pass rush skills. I only saw a couple days of practices on him but he looked pretty good and from what I hear, he shows up on tape as well. So, I’m interested to watch some tape of him and I expect that he’ll be at our local workout this spring.

    Over on the East squad, I’ll first mention Curtis Taylor, a defensive back from LSU. He’s a big kid with some really good range. He was getting to the ball and blowing people up when he had the opportunity.

    One of the guys I was paying close attention to from my area was defensive back Don Carey from Norfolk State. I was there in the fall and watched him and I saw some of the same things this week. The kid is a real good athlete. He’s smooth and has very good feet. He’s not really technique sound right now, but he’s a kid who has potential. He’s probably a guy most teams will look at on the second day of the draft and he may take awhile to get polished up, but he could contribute early on special teams.

    Wide receiver Taurus Johnson of South Florida had a productive week of practice. He’s got real good hands and has good awareness. Any time he had an opportunity to catch the ball along the sidelines, he did a good job getting his feet down. I really thought he stood out down here.

    Another small school kid from my area who did well was tight end Brian Mandeville from Northeastern. He’s got the NFL body. He caught the ball well down here and runs good routes. My biggest concern with him was his blocking, but he did a good job down here. He needs to fine tune some things, but he showed he can do it. He may surprise someone late in the draft. He’s a little bit like the tight end in New York, Kevin Boss. I’m not saying he’s going to be him, but he’s got some potential.

    So all in all, it was a good week of practice. I think both teams are pretty evenly matched so it should be a pretty good game. I’ll get the tape of it after the fact, and will watch to see how the guys performed when it was game time.

    I got the majority of my questionnaire forms back so that was good, and for the guys who forgot to turn them in, we’ll track them down at the Senior Bowl or the Combine.

    The only bad part about the week was that I tried to get on a standby flight this afternoon and didn’t make it. Instead I had to sit in the airport for a few hours, but it gave me time to do this blog!

    I’ll be checking in next week, along with Ethan Waugh, with daily updates from the Senior Bowl.

    © 2007 San Francisco Forty Niners, Ltd.
     
  2. oomp

    oomp Contributing Member

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    Shrine report: Practice field is land of opportunity
    Jan. 15, 2009
    By Chad Reuter
    NFLDraftScout.com


    HOUSTON -- Mid-tier prospects invited to the Shrine Game did their best to impress NFL scouts with the three days of practice that wrapped up Wednesday. The practices hold more weight than Saturday's game because some NFL personnel have headed home for a few days to write up notes before heading to Mobile for next week's Senior Bowl.

    There are practices Thursday and Friday, but they aren't high-impact.

    The Shrine Game became more important because of the demise of the Hula Bowl this year. Players who might have chosen a trip to Hawaii over Texas now have no choice.

    The Shrine Game typically features about eight top 100 selections, while around 40 of the 100 or so participants will be drafted. This year's group should meet those averages.

    The sideline chatter this week was dominated by talk about underclassmen declaring early for this year's draft. The news that Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline will leave the Buckeyes early left many scouts scratching their heads. Meanwhile, Rice tight end James Casey took advantage of the school's proximity to the Reliant Stadium practice fields to stop by and talk with scouts. NFL personnel not yet familiar with Casey were impressed by his physical build.

    Players who made an impression -- for better or for worse -- during the first three days of practice for the Shrine Game:


    Offense
    WR Jarrett Dillard, Rice: Another guy basically playing in his backyard, Dillard was the class of the receivers here. His routes are so crisp that it looks like he practices using a T-square. Drops were few and far between, even when he was in traffic. Scouts weren't excited by his 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame and small hands, but he played tall and strong on the field, where it counts most. His productivity in college (4,000-plus yards, 60 touchdowns) is not something to take lightly. Honorable mention: Aaron Kelly (Clemson), Mike Thomas (Arizona).

    TE Brian Mandeville, Northeastern: One of the FCS players who shined in his opportunity to play against the big boys (his 6-7, 255-pound frame fits him into that category no matter where he plays). His length and straight-line speed threatened the seam, and he consistently caught passes with his hands outside of his body. His relatively slight build belies his ability to effectively block defensive ends in pass protection, and he even showed the ability to block linebackers at the second level after going in motion.

    QB Stephen McGee, Texas A&M: A highly recruited prospect from Texas (where else?), McGee's career did not go as expected for multiple reasons. Last fall he started just three games with two touchdowns and two interceptions. But this week he proved he belonged on this field with his arm strength, mobility and accuracy. Considering the poor makeup of the senior quarterback class, McGee's performance and his work at the scouting combine in Indianapolis next month could push him into the middle rounds.

    WR Marko Mitchell, Nevada: At 6-3, 204, Mitchell's body seems to be made to play receiver and he did make a couple of nice grabs. But his inability to run correct routes, get his head around to see the ball, secure the catch or even give the effort to adjust to poorly thrown balls made him the most disappointing player on the field.

    OG Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech: When you talk about line play in coach Mike Leach's Texas Tech offense, people think of wide splits and pass protection. But Vasquez is not a finesse player by any stretch of the imagination. He proved to scouts that he can fire off the ball from a three-point stance (which he didn't do much in Tech's pass- and draw-happy offense) and dominate tackles in the power running game. Picking one lineman from this year's group was tough. Guards Ray Feinga (BYU), Seth Olsen (Iowa) and Jaimie Thomas (Maryland), centers Cecil Newton (Tennessee State) and Edwin Williams (Maryland), and tackles Ramon Foster (Tennessee), Jamon Meredith (South Carolina) and Sebastian Vollmer (Houston) all helped themselves this week.

    Defense
    CB Don Carey, Norfolk State: Another small-schooler turning heads against FBS prospects. The 5-11, 186-pound corner played physically, refusing to back down in coverage or run support. He unquestionably showed the best recovery speed of any corner this week; even if the receiver ran a great route that put him off balance, Carey quickly got back into the play. Honorable mention: Cary Harris (Southern California), Ryan Palmer (Texas).

    SS Keith Fitzhugh, Mississippi State: At 5-10, Fitzhugh does not have the size of other safeties in this game such as Kevin Ellison (Southern California) and Curtis Taylor (LSU). He seemed to be all over the field throughout the East team's three practices, whether it was covering running backs out of the flat or sticking his nose in on running plays. His aggressiveness and stout 210-pound frame make it likely he'll spend most of his NFL career in the box.

    DE/DT Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State: It's fair to say Gilbert was the most impressive athlete on the field this week. His measurements were ridiculous (6-5, 287 pounds, 35 5/8-inch arms, 10 1/4-inch hands), but on the field he looked really fluid and played strong. He's not going to be a run-stuffer inside, but his length and size could be a great fit for 3-4 teams looking for a starting defensive end in the third round -- like 2008 East-West participant and current Miami Dolphin Kendall Langford.

    DT Terrence Taylor, Michigan: Like Mitchell, Taylor flashed at times. But overall he was slow to get off blocks from solid, but not dominating, East centers. The defensive line coaches were constantly getting on Taylor to get past his man into the backfield. Occasionally he would use his strength to fill a gap, but most times he was stuck to his block like Velcro.

    LB Jason Williams, Western Illinois: The Leatherneck showed versatility all week, running with tight ends down the seam and stepping into the hole to stop running backs in their tracks. His size and athleticism put him at the top of the linebacker group despite the presence of players from big programs like Southern California, Cal and South Carolina.

    Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. Look for his reports and analysis next week from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
     
  3. oomp

    oomp Contributing Member

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    Game is today.

    Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly's blog continued.

    Day 5
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 5
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    Former Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly is spending the week in Houston, preparing for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game. He is writing a daily diary chronicling the experience.

    Thursday January 15, 2009

    Thursday has come and gone and the atmosphere here has changed considerably from the first three days. I spent the evening with my family at the Galleria mall and as we entered the hotel tonight the lobby was pretty much empty. I almost expected to see a tumbleweed blow across the hallway because it really was that much of a change from the circus that we had all experienced up to this point.

    Today’s schedule was a lot more relaxed. We started the day in the same manner that we had previously, going to Reliant Stadium and eating in the Texans’ cafeteria, followed by film of Wednesday’s practice. The film session went well as you could really tell that we were becoming a team. There were very few mental errors and the timing between us all was very good.

    After film we got dressed for practice. This time it was “shells” — which means shoulder pads and helmets only. Yesterday, we all began to participate in what has been a long-standing tradition, and we finished it up before practice today. I am speaking, of course, of the swapping of team decals that are then put on the player’s helmets.

    It was pretty neat to see Oklahoma players wearing Longhorn stickers and USC guys with a Cal logo on their helmet. I even opted to sport a Washington Husky “W” which felt almost sacrilegious being a Washington State transfer, but this game really brings people together.

    I entered the practice field; helmet covered with close to 10 decals, and was met with the strange sight of very few scouts. Practice was cut down to 90 minutes and was mainly team periods. We worked on polishing up the plays that will be ran on Saturday and then finished the day with some special teams work. This was our last real practice as tomorrow will be the typical Friday walk-through style of practice at the game field.

    It has really been a pleasure to learn from people such as Coach Gene Stallings during this week. This has been an experience that myself and many of my teammates will use to try to further our careers in the months ahead. Thank you for enjoying my experience with me and I look forward to a great game on Saturday!

    Courtesy www.NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com.
    Day 6
    Mike Reilly's Shrine Game Diary: Day 6
    By MIKE REILLY
    special to the Daily Record
    This has been a very interesting experience for me. There have been ups and downs, times of relaxation and times of great stress, being put under a microscope for all to see, and times behind closed doors of locker rooms and meeting rooms when we as players could joke around and have a great time with one another. I think it would be fair to say that I speak for all of the players here when I tell you that none of us have done this alone. We all have people in our lives that helped us get to where we are. In particular I would like to thank my family. My Dad, Mom, two brothers and sister have supported me when others didn’t, stood in the background when I was in the spotlight and enjoyed my success with me, and in general have been absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t be here without you guys. And of course my beautiful fiancé Jess.

    She is the most amazing person I have ever met and has been incredibly strong during a very difficult time. She wasn’t able to make the trip out here but hopefully she can watch me on TV. I love you all so much.

    Thank you again to everyone for following along with me and I hope you will either be able to make it to the game or at least tune in to ESPN2 to watch us play. I look forward to a very exciting day tomorrow. God bless.

    Courtesy of www.NFLDraftScout.com and www.shrinegame.com.


    UT seniors prep for East-West Shrine Game
    1/16/2009 9:12 PM
    By: News 8 Austin Staff

    On a sun-splashed Houston afternoon, under the shadows of
    Reliant Stadium, 104 seniors get set to play their final collegiate game.

    Longhorns Roy Miller, Ryan Palmer and Cedric Dockery are three of those players. And after four years of intense, all-consuming football, playing in an All-Star game is kind of a cool experience.

    Interacting with our teammates on the West Team has been great. We got guys from OU and A&M having a great time together. Guys from all over the country are coming together, putting everything aside. It's pretty awesome to see something like that," said Horns Defensive Lineman Roy Miller.

    You talk with any of the players here this week or watch them interact, it's very easy to see that they're really enjoying their time here in Houston at the East-West Shrine Game.

    But there is some business to attend to as well. Think of any NFL team, and chances are they've got a scout here watching them closely throughout the week. For these seniors, this is their final chance to impress before the draft.

    "You'll certainly have a lot of guys from this game that will be playing next year in our league, so it's important for us to see it, and it's important for these guys to put their best foot forward," said Oakland Raiders scout Calvin Branch.

    "Everybody's out here for one purpose, and that's to make it on Sunday. You can see all the guys out here working hard, and we just came together, and we're trying to put a good team out and put a show on on Sunday," Ryan Palmer, Longhorns Defensive Back, added.

    And if any of the three Horns do that, they might just hear
    their name called in April's NFL Draft -- and find themselves
    playing on Sundays this coming fall.
     
    #3 oomp, Jan 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  4. GlassHalfFull

    GlassHalfFull Member

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    I am getting ready to head over to the game. Last chance to tailgate for me this season.
     

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