Scott Linehan really believes in Ezekiel Elliott’s ability
We’ve heard absolutely nothing but good things from former standout Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott since his arrival in Dallas with the Cowboys. Their OTAs had been reportedly centered around him, and those in the organization have had nothing but good things to say about him. But the words from Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and playcaller Scott Linehan might be the best yet:
Scott Linehan on Ezekiel Elliott: pic.twitter.com/7TkaXq0HWn— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) June 15, 2016
Linehan’s trust in Elliott at this point in his career is astounding. Of course you would expect great things out of Elliott coming out of Ohio State as one of the best backs in school history--as well as being a top pick—but that’s a huge endorsement from the guy you need it from the most. There’s not many good veteran backs in the game that are considered complete and could play on all downs, but Elliott has clearly shown that ability. So much that Linehan mentioned that the Cowboys have other backs who can do certain things, but will still “lean heavily” on Zeke. That’s about as good as it gets for a guy who has yet to step on an NFL gridiron.
Eli Apple vs. Odell Beckham Jr.
The No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple has gotten good reviews so far since joining the New York Giants. On Wednesday during Giants camp, Ralph Vacchiano posted a video of Apple going up against Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best wide receivers the NFL has to offer. Apple came up big in defending the All-Pro:
Eli Apple vs. Odell Beckham. ... pic.twitter.com/Cwgoy46b1v— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) June 15, 2016
Surely there were other instances where Beckham may have gotten Apple, but he looked good there. It’s not a sure thing how much burn Apple will get early on, but he’s definitely getting good practice going up against one of the league’s best in Beckham. He's landed in a good spot with the New York Giants, and his career should be a fun one to watch as the years go along. But then again, when haven't we enjoyed watching former Bucks in the NFL?
“It isn’t just the wide receivers turning heads with their pass-catching ability. In particular, rookie tight end Nick Vannett has impressed in that department"
- John Boyle, Seahawks.com
Former Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett landed in one of the best situations out of all of his former Buckeye teammates. Vannett was selected No. 94 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, going in the third round to the Seattle Seahawks. While it doesn’t have the glamour of being a first round pick, it helps being on a Super Bowl contender. So far, Vannett has been impressing at Seahawks practice, where he has reportedly been impressing with his pass catching ability. Boyle notes that Vannett was largely thought of as being more of a blocking tight end, but his hands have been the talk so far.
Head coach Pete Carroll told Boyle, “He has surprised us. We knew he could catch the ball and all of that, but he’s a very natural catcher. He shows the savvy and the instincts that you hope a guy would have.” That’s pretty high praise from one of the best coaches in the game, who added that he has exceeded the team’s expectations. When the Seahawks are able to put on pads in training camp, the praise for Vannett should only be going up, when they’re able to see the complete product.
Cardale Jones throws a 50-yard beauty
We all know by now that Cardale Jones has a great arm, one so impressive that we’ve seen him time and again during his career at Ohio State throwing bombs off of his back foot for touchdowns. They’re throws that most other quarterbacks simply wouldn’t be able to make. But here, Cardale shows some great accuracy in practicing for the Buffalo Bills, stepping into his throw and landing it right in the net:
Cardale Jones. SPLASH! pic.twitter.com/6DuubmWYEU— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) June 15, 2016
Jones won't be the starter immediately in Buffalo, and that’s fine. He’s been able to stick back and learn from the quarterbacks in front of him, and has able been sure to be prepared when his time comes. He will likely be third in line behind Tyrod Taylor, and E.J. Manuel, but his skill set and youth could really work in his favor, as he improves with gradual experience. The quarterback position has been one that has had much uncertainty for the Bills over the past decade, so don’t be surprised if and when Jones gets his chance.
Your 2016 James J. Corbett Award Winner, Gene Smith #NACDA16 pic.twitter.com/0RanRsUbj4— NACDA (@NACDA) June 15, 2016
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was the winner of the 2016 James J. Corbett Award winner by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The organization was founded in 1965, and has the largest association of collegiate athletic administrators.
The Corbett Award is presented annually “to the athletics administrator who, through the years has most typified Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics and who worked unceasingly for its betterment.” Smith is the second Ohio State athletic director to take home the award, with Dick Larkins being the first to do it, back in 1970, just the fourth time the award had been given out.
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