July 29, 2014

Gordon, Havenstein named Players to Watch

The Big Ten’s preseason football meetings are underway in Chicago today.

Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon


Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is on hand for the next two days with junior tailback Melvin Gordon, senior offensive tackle Rob Havenstein and senior defensive lineman Warren Herring.

The Badgers have already been picked by a panel of Big Ten Conference sportswriters to win the new West Division in 2014, edging out Iowa.

Today, Gordon and Havenstein earned preseason recognition from the Big Ten Conference, both selected to the Players to Watch list for the league’s West Division.

The Badgers are among 10 tabbed to the Players to Watch list, which includes five honorees each from the East and West Divisions.

Gordon enters the season as the nation’s second-leading returning rusher behind fellow West Division Player to Watch Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska.  Abdullah rushed for 1,690 yards last season, while Gordon piled up 1,609 yards.

Havenstein heads into his senior season as the Badgers’ most experienced player with 40 career games to his credit and he has made 27 consecutive starts at right tackle.


Nelson is in the fold, will Cobb be next?

When it came time to deciding which of the receivers to sign first, the Green Bay Packers gave Jordy Nelson a four-year contract extension

Randall Cobb - UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Randall Cobb – UPI/Bill Greenblatt

worth nearly $40 million.

One would assume that Randall Cobb would be next.

But Cobb said he has a lot to prove.

Following Sunday’s practice, Cobb said, “I don’t believe I’ve done enough, and I think that’s on me.”

Cobb missed 10 weeks last season with a leg injury (broken leg).  In 2012, he caught 80 passes for 954 yards and eight touchdowns.

Cobb returned to catch the game-winning touchdown pass at Chicago in Week 17, but one wonders if the Packers want to see more from Cobb before they back up the truck and give him a big contract.

AUDIO: Cobb is asked if last years injury might be a reason for the team to wait :22

There doesn’t appear to be any serious talks between Cobb’s agent and the Packers.

AUDIO: Cobb asked if there’s any contract talks going on now :21

Cobb has seen how the business side of professional football can go with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones.  He said, “I don’t believe any of us are deserving of anything.  So I’m going to continue to be the person I am, do what I’m supposed to do and when that time comes, if it comes, it’ll be a blessing.”

Packers: The pads go on today (Audio)

Sunday was the second day of workouts for the Green Bay Packers during training camp and defensive lineman Mike Daniels chewed out

Mike Daniels (76)

Mike Daniels (76)

some of the offensive guys for getting too physical during a drill that was supposed to not have any contact.  Daniels spent the rest of the workout and rest of the day for that matter, promising payback.

Daniels said, “I like to hit, ever since I was a little kid and that’s real football.  It’s part of the game.  Plus, we get to see what everybody else is made of.  Like Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth, so we’re going to do a lot of mouth punching tomorrow and see how people respond.”

Daniels said he thinks the mentality of the defense has changed and that putting on the pads won’t be seen as a chore.

The Packers have 21 scheduled practices in training camp.  They’re down to 19 and while Mike McCarthy would like to practice in pads everyday, that won’t likely happen. [Read more...]

Brewers blanked by Mets, split series

Jacob deGrom pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball to help blank the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 on Sunday at Miller Park.  The Mets victory earned them a split of the four-game series with the Brewers.

Brewers right-handed rookie starter Jimmy Nelson didn’t have great command, but he made the key pitches when he needed to until the sixth inning.  That’s when he caught too much of the plate on an 0-2 pitch to Lucas Duda and Duda planted it in the right field stands for a two-run home run.  It was Duda’s third home run in the four-game series.

Nelson (1-2, 4.30 ERA) worked seven innings and allowed five hits and two walks while striking out six.

The loss trimmed the Brewers’ lead in the National League Central to two games over the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Brewers finished the home stand with a  5-2 record.

They’ll now open a tough road trip with a 3-game series in Tampa Bay, followed by a trip to St. Louis

Kyle Lohse (11-4, 3.07) pitches the series opener for the Brewers tonight.  Former Brewers prospect Jake Odorizzi (6-8, 3.97) gets the nod for the Brewers.

AUDIO: Ron Roenicke on Jimmy Nelson :13

AUDIO: Jimmy Nelson on his outing :11

Brewers pull away late to beat the Mets

After blowing a late lead the night before, the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back on Saturday night to knock off the New York Mets 5-2 at Miller Park.

Francisco Rodriguez was back on the hill to close out the 9th inning for the Brewers and this time he did, retiring the Mets for his 30th save of the season.  Rodriguez was the last of our relievers that held the Mets to a pair of hits and no runs over the final 3 1/3 innings.

The Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead.  The second of the two runs came on Curtis Granderson’s solo home run to right, his 15th of the season.

The Brewers finally got their offense going in the bottom of the 5th.  Jean Segura scored on a wild pitch and Jonathan Lucroy’s double scored Carlos Gomez to tie the game.  Ryan Braun gave the Brewers the lead when he singled to right to drive in Lucroy.

The Brewers added to the lead when Mark Reynolds clubbed his 17th home run of the season to make it 4-2 in the 6th and Khris Davis drove in a run with an RBI double in the 8th.

Wily Peralta (12-6) earned the win for the Brewers, who close out the 4-game series against the Mets at Miller Park today.