Final 2018 NFL U Update
Feb. 4, 2019
Superbowl LIII: For the first time since DT Vince Wilfork and the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, an active proCane emerged from Atlanta with a championship ring. New England’s 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams was the second consecutive Super Bowl appearance for Pats WR Phillip Dorsett. The speedster out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has evolved into one of QB Tom Brady’s top options along with WR Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski – although Dorsett didn’t have any receptions against the Rams. However, with five receptions for 70 receiving yards and two TDs, Dorsett surpassed his 50 yards receiving from last year’s postseason run. After spending most of the 2018 season on the Arizona Cardinals and New England PS’s, DE Ufomba Kamalu saw action in two games late in the season with the Patriots, but was inactivated for the Superbowl. New England rookies DE Trent Harris (PS) and WR Braxton Berrios (IR) also obviously did not suit up for the game. … Los Angeles Rams CB Sam Shields was one of only four Rams players who brought some prior Super Bowl experience (the Patriots had 36 Superbowl vets) into Sunday’s game against New England. Already owning a Superbowl ring with the Green Bay Packers, Shields’ playing time on defense with the Rams has dwindled since CB Aqib Talib returned to action from the IR, but he has continued to shine on special teams. During the NFL Championship Game, Shields caught a pass from Rams punter Johnny Hekker on a fake punt (for the second time this season!) to pick up an important first down two weeks ago. Shields is up for free agency this off-season.
Other NFL News: N.Y. Giants DE Olivier Vernon, Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller and Jacksonville Jaguars DT Calais Campbell all went to the 2019 Pro Bowl as replacements. Vernon and Miller each made their first Pro Bowl appearance. … Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the Cowboys wildcard playoff game victory over the Seattle Seahawks last month. Hurns underwent surgery and said he’d “be good to go” by the start of the 2019 NFL season. … Reports out of Green Bay indicate that TE Jimmy Graham will remain with the Packers for the 2019 season. … TE Greg Olsen is now the 2nd-oldest active proCane (after RB Frank Gore) and has had a series of foot ailments for the past couple of seasons, but he said late last year that “I still enjoy playing and I still know I can play.” Nevertheless, Olsen’s future as a broadcaster has already taken root with his work at CBS during the network’s Superbowl coverage. … Reserve/future contracts have already been signed by 2018 PS proCanes LB Jermaine Grace (Atlanta Falcons), OL KC McDermott (Jacksonville Jaguars), CB Herb Waters (Pittsburgh Steelers) and CB Dee Delaney (Miami Dolphins). On Jan. 5, 2019, free agent WR Stacy Coley signed a reserve/future contract with the New York Jets. … Serving recently as the assistant director of athletics for Florida International University and then briefly as QB Coach on the staff of Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz for the last six weeks, Ken Dorsey was hired away to be an NFL QB Coach by the Buffalo Bills this week.
AAF: The rosters for the upcoming inaugural Alliance of American Football season are set. DB Ladarius Gunter, DT Anthony Moten and OL Trevor Darling made the Orlando Apollos final roster. LB/DE Tyriq McCord was released by Orlando, but was picked up by the AAF’s Atlanta Legends, where he made their final roster. Other late cuts by the Apollos included QB Stephen Morris, TE Standish Dobard, S Kacy Rodgers and RB Storm Johnson. Former UM/UCLA OL Malcolm Bunche made the Arizona Hotshots final roster; Arizona’s head coach is former UCLA & Colorado HC Rick Neuheisel. Also making a final AAF roster in Utah (where he played after transferring from Miami), LB Gionni Paul joins the Salt Lake Stallions after playing in Russia this past fall. The Stallions head coach is former UM HC Dennis Erickson. The first AAF game is on Feb. 9, between Atlanta and Orlando, and will be televised nationally on CBS. Going forward, there’ll be a game per week on CBSSN, with those streamed on the AAF’s website. TNT will broadcast one regular season and one playoff game per season, and the NFL Network is going to take two games per week and will broadcast a total of 19 games.
Arena Leagues: The Carolina Cobras found the perfect way to end their first National Arena League (NAL) season in 2018 – winning the championship, at home, in a blowout 66-8 win over the Columbus (GA.) Lions last summer at the Greensboro Coliseum in the NAL title game. DT Michael Wyche played for the NAL champion Carolina Cobras last season. DE David Gilbert started the 2018 arena season on the roster of the Columbus Lions, but he had parted ways with the team before the championship game was played. Veteran WR Kendal Thompkins spent time on the IR with the NAL’s Jacksonville Sharks last spring, but is expected back again this spring. After getting a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2013, Thompkins went on to play with three Arena Football League (AFL) teams from 2014-17, before joining the Sharks in 2018. … Trailing at halftime in the American Arena League (AAL) championship game last June, the Atlanta Havoc put up 32 unanswered points, thanks in part to five second-half interceptions that proved costly to the Richmond Roughriders, as the Roughriders fell 58-50. Just like they did in Richmond’s season opener, Roughriders quarterback Robert Kent connected with a leaping WR D’Mauri Jones for a touchdown for Richmond during their loss in the championship game. Onetime UM LB Eddie Johnson was also on that Richmond Roughriders team in 2018. Both former Canes are expected back this spring according to the current roster online, although the franchise will now be named the West Virginia Roughriders in 2019, with the team’s ownership remaining in place during the move. … Former Miami/Valdosta State DT DeQuan Ivery played for the Indoor Football League (IFL) Cedar Rapids Titans in 2018. However, under new ownership and renamed the Cedar Rapids River Dogs for the 2019 IFL season, the Cedar Rapids roster for the upcoming season no longer lists Ivory as part of the team. UM walk-on K Diego Marquez appears to have made the final roster of the IFL’s Tucson Sugar Skulls for the 2019 spring season. Tucson in an expansion franchise in the IFL and will begin play in March of this year.
Feb. 26, 2019 Update: Another arena-league startup, the National Gridiron League (NGL), is set to kickoff on March 21, 2019. The 12-team indoor league currently has a pair of teams that so far list 3 proCanes signed as prospective players: TE Standish Dobard with the Virginia Destroyers (playing in Hampton, VA.) and RB Joe Yearby and DT Courtel Jenkins, both with the St. Louis Stampede.
NFL U Update IV
Dec. 25, 2018
Pair of proCane Vets who Want to Return: Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore bruised his foot in Week 15 and was placed on IR. However, the injury will not need surgery, and he played well in 2018. “The goal is to come back one more year,” Gore told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’ll see who wants me. Hopefully the Dolphins can re-sign me — that would be big. But you know how the business goes.” Interestingly, DT Kendrick Norton was signed by the Dolphins off the Carolina Panthers PS on Dec. 19th to take Gore’s roster spot … Hampered by thumb and knee problems this season, Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham recently told ESPN, “My numbers suck, (but) I’ve always dominated everywhere I’ve went. Obviously, I haven’t done that yet here. So, it would be nice to get an opportunity to do it. Come back and maybe just be kind of more comfortable here, but I’m going to give it my all no matter what’s asked of me anywhere I go, or if I stay here.”
Players Trending Down: Pittsburgh’s Artie Burns lost his starting CB job about mid-season, but briefly got it back after playing only 11 defensive snaps over the previous seven games. As the former Steelers No. 1 CB, Burns was back in his customary role as the starting left corner on Dec. 16th, but his latest stint as a starter lasted just four snaps. On the field for a 63-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan, Burns was benched again in favor of journeyman Coty Sensabaugh, who is playing for his fourth NFL team over a 15-month span … Earlier in the season, Dallas WR Allen Hurns was arguably the Cowboys’ top receiver. Now, with Amari Cooper in the fold and Blake Jarwin developing, Hurns hasn’t cracked double digits in receiving yards since Week 10 … After New England HC Bill Belichick praised WR Phillip Dorsett after Josh Gordon’s recent relapse while Dorsett wasn’t even targeted during the whole month of December, Dorsett played in only 27 out of 75 offensive snaps in the Patriots win over Buffalo on Sunday with no receptions, and his 2 carries for 13 yards didn’t really factor into the game … Although the Chargers are doing very well this year, WR Travis Benjamin has been buried on Los Angeles’ depth chart behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Tyrell Williams. However, he came up big late in the game against the formidable Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 13th with a 31-yard catch. “Working the middle of the field, so it was inevitable that (Benjamin) was going to get hit. Sure enough, he got drilled — so hard that his tooth popped out. He held onto the ball, though — moving the chains and setting up the Chargers’ go-ahead touchdown with four seconds remaining,” – TheSportsDaily.com … Struggling in 2018 after suffering an ankle injury, New York Giants LB Olivier Vernon says he’s not thinking about whether he’ll be a Giant next year. Vernon has not been the player New York was expecting him to be after moving him to LB from DE in their 3-4, and is the 2nd-highest-paid player on the Giants (after QB Eli Manning), with a five-year, $85 million FA contract signed in 2016 … CB Corn Elder replaced Carolina’s star starting CB Donte Jackson after he was hit in the quad by a helmet in the 1st play of the Seattle game in late November. Elder played poorly during the rest of that crucial Panthers loss, and was roundly criticized by the media and fans. As a result, Elder is now considered a project (at best) despite receiving a vote of confidence from Carolina HC Ron Rivera, and the fact that the Panthers remained in the NFL playoff picture up until the final week of play.
Players Trending Up: Ravens rookie running back Gus Edwards topped 100 rushing yards (including one 43-yard carry) on Sunday for the third time in five games … Chicago’s Deon Bush started at safety for Pro Bowl player Eddie Jackson against the 49ers on Sunday, his first start of the season for the Bears … New York Jets TE Chris Herndon has been building chemistry with rookie QB Sam Darnold. During the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Packers, Herndon made a remarkable one-handed catch deep in Green Bay territory that continued a drive for the Jets that resulted in a touchdown … After 7 weeks on New England’s PS, DL Ufomba Kamalu was promoted to the Patriots roster. On his first snap this past weekend, he tackled Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy for a 4-yard loss … Jacksonville DL Calais Campbell, in his 11th year, has been banged up for much of the season. “That he has been so productive despite all those injuries is a testament to his toughness — and the major reason the Jaguars have to bring him back for 2019” – ESPN.
Punters/Kickers: Tweet via @AdamSchefter: “Falcons punter Matt Bosher just made one of the hardest tackles of the season.” The tackle was so impressive, it prompted a random drug test for Bosher on Monday … Chicago Bears punter Pat O’Donnell was averaging an impressive 45.1 yards per punt this season going into Sunday’s game … Los Angeles Chargers Rookie PK Michael Badgley earned the nickname the “Money Badger” after kicking a franchise-record 59-yard field goal in a win where he finished with 14 points and was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Badgley is arguably already the top NFL placekicker ever produced by the U … FA Rookie P/K Austin Barnard (who transferred to Samford after a year at UM) has spent the entire season on the Tennessee Titans IR with a knee injury.
Injury Update: Carolina TE Greg Olsen suffered a ruptured plantar fascia during the Panthers’ 24-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this month and was placed on the IR on Dec. 5th … Arizona DT Olsen Pierre (knee injury) saw his season end as he was also placed on IR on Dec. 4th. LB Thurston Armbrister was signed to the Arizona Cardinals practice squad on Nov. 28th, and promoted to the active roster two days later. However, Armbrister was placed on IR (hamstring) on Dec. 11th without being activated for either of the two games he was with the Cards … Oakland OL Jon Feliciano suffered a calf injury in a 24-21 Raiders win over the Steelers on Dec. 11th, and was placed on season-ending IR as a result … Pro Bowl alternate running back Lamar Miller (ankle) was held out of Houston’s loss to the Eagles on Sunday, but the Texans have clinched a playoff spot anyway, so Miller is expected to return this week or next … Pittsburgh LB Anthony Chickillo suffered an ankle injury earlier this month, but played through it without having to go on the IR. On this past Sunday morning, the Steelers were the No. 4 seed, but they’re now the No. 8 seed after their last-minute loss to the Saints on Dec. 23rd, meaning they now need help to make the playoffs … As expected under NFL IR rules, Houston T Seantrel Henderson, Chargers LB Denzel Perryman, Jacksonville C Brandon Linder, Denver S Jamal Carter, Indianapolis QB Brad Kaaya, New England WR Braxton Berrios and San Francisco S Adrian Colbert have remained on their respective teams IR’s all season since originally being placed on those lists.
Other Transactions: After being activated from the Jags PS (for the 2nd time this season) on Dec. 1st, CB Dee Delaney was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 3rd. Claimed by the Miami Dolphins, Delaney was waived by the Dolphins four days later, but then signed to Miami’s PS, where he joins WR Malcolm Lewis … Failing to sign with the Chicago Bears after a tryout last month, TE Clive Walford was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 28th, but was then waived by them on Dec. 7th. Fellow-Colt TE (and proCane) Erik Swoope was waived a few days later on Dec. 12th. Swoope was immediately claimed by the New Orleans Saints, but failed their physical and was waived again on Dec. 13th. Swoope then had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 18th, but apparently has yet to be signed as the 2018 season winds down … Associate head coach and linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers since 2007, Winston Moss was relieved of his coaching duties on Dec. 4th after twelve seasons with the team (in 2006 he only served as LB Coach) and just two days after Mike McCarthy was fired as Green Bay’s head coach.
CFL: In the 106th Grey Cup (CFL Championship Game), OL Justin Renfrow’s Calgary Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 on Nov. 25th. Renfrow began the season on Calgary’s active roster, but was quickly demoted to their PS. He practiced with the 1st-string in late October because of OL injuries, but was not activated at that time – spending the remainder of the CFL season on Calgary’s PS.
Dec. 28, 2018 Update: After Christmas, TE Erik Swoope was re-signed to the Colts’ PS. Also, TE Clive Walford was re-signed by the New York Jets this week.
NFL U Update III
Nov. 18, 2018
L.A. Rams vs. K.C. Chiefs: Both with a conference-leading 9-1, the NFC’s Los Angeles Rams will play the AFC’s Kansas City Chiefs at home this Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. With five-time Pro Bowler Aqib Talib currently on injured reserve as he rehabs an ankle injury, the Rams have recently been rotating in corners Troy Hill and Sam Shields opposite Marcus Peters, although both Hill and Shields play in nickel coverage. With injuries hitting the Rams’ secondary, Shields has played a lot, including all 74 defensive snaps vs. Minnesota in Week 4. Tied for second in the NFL with 23 interceptions from 2010 through 2015 (including playoffs), Shields had been out of action since opening day of 2016. The Rams brought him in for extensive concussion evaluations that took four days to complete, but after that, a half-day audition on the field was all Sean McVay and Wade Phillips needed to see to sign Shields. Sam has also been a big contributor on Special Teams. He received a game ball for his performance on special teams against his old team the Green Bay Packers recently when the onetime Miami Hurricane wide receiver caught a pass good for 12 yards and a first down on a fake punt, and later pinned the Pack at their own one-yard line when he downed a Rams punt. Check out Shields’ own piece about his concussion ordeal: www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/sam-shields-rams
Entering the final year of his second contract with the team, DE Allen Bailey has put on a clinic this season against several opponents and with five sacks already – a total that matches his career season-high – he still has a half-dozen games left to play. Along with getting his 5th sack last weekend, Bailey single-handedly took down All-Pro running back David Johnson behind the line of scrimmage (one of his two tackles) and had a nice quarterback hit in the red zone that led to an incompletion. The Chiefs’ Chris Jones has seven sacks, including one in six straight games, so Kansas City has been thriving when it comes to pressuring opposing quarterbacks. However, they will also need to be tough against the run when the Rams’ Todd Gurley carries the ball. The Kansas City Chiefs will need another productive game out of Bailey this weekend when the Chiefs attempt to slow down the high-powered Rams offense.
In related news, Bailey paid homage to the Stan Lee character, the Incredible Hulk, “because of his massive size and displays of on-field strength,” on Twitter after Lee’s recent passing, see https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2018/11/14/chiefs-players-pay-homage-to-marvel-comics-visionary-stan-lee/ … Los Angeles Rams senior offensive analyst (and onetime UM OC) Jedd Fisch was under serious consideration for the Kansas University head coaching job that just went to Les Miles. According to CBS Sports, Fisch met with Kansas athletic director Jeff Long about the Jayhawks’ head football coach opening this past week.
Frank Gore Milestones: Signed during the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, Frank Gore leads the Miami Dolphins in rushing, and in the game at Green Bay last Sunday, he became the first running back in NFL history with 14 consecutive seasons with at least 500 rushing yards. In the victory against the New York Jets on Nov. 4th, Gore passed Barry Sanders to move into sixth place on the NFL’s all-time scrimmage yards list. As he continues to make NFL history as currently the oldest RB in the NFL (and oldest proCane), Frank Gore still continues to operate in a first-class manner. The veteran running back was announced Wednesday as the Dolphins’ nominee for the fifth annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. Gore won the award two seasons ago when he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
Coming Around: Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller has had some great games recently, with his two best performances of the year coming in Weeks 7 and 8. In those two games, wins over the Jaguars and Dolphins, Miller totaled 233 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries, crossing the century mark and scoring in both victories. He’s also had his fair share of duds, totaling 70 scrimmage yards or fewer in three games. … Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson averaged only 5.25 touches per game and 38.75 yards per game during the first half of the season under the direction of now-departed offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the former University of Miami varsity golfer. Browns HC Hue Jackson was also axed on the same day. Johnson had earlier expressed his frustration earlier this season when he was not being utilized in the offense to his liking. Finally used effectively in their loss to the Chiefs, Johnson commented on his revival: “Just going out there and showing what I am capable of doing. Basically, just showing the reason why I am here. It was a great showing for myself but not so much for the team, and we are about team here.”
Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey addressed the media Wednesday during the team’s Bye week. Talking about the nine Class of 2018 Cleveland draft picks, Dorsey said, “They have played well, but I think that every draft is measured – to me, I have always said to give yourself three years and let’s measure the draft then. That is how I have always looked at it. … They have a lot more football to be developed and learned and they can be that much better. They are rookies still.” Dorsey’s reasoning for the ‘give it three years’ comment may come more from his belief that promising rookies like Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett and Miami defensive end Chad Thomas will improve. Thomas spent time on the PUP list this year and has only appeared in four games so far this season, but he has yet to register any defensive stats. Thomas was inactive for the Browns last game and also for Cleveland’s visit to Miami in October. Two of Cleveland’s front office personnel who helped make the decision to select and/or keep Miami alums Johnson, Thomas, TE David Njoku, and LB Ray-Ray Armstrong as current members of the Browns are former Hurricanes Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith.
UM Pro Bowl TE Match-up: The Green Bay Packers have now lost 7 straight games on the road (0-5 in 2018) with their loss to the Carolina Panthers last weekend and may be falling out of the race for the playoffs. On top of that, Packers TE Jimmy Graham broke his thumb in the game, and his injury is feared to be serious. Along with running back Christian McCaffrey, Panthers TE Greg Olsen is the Panthers top receiving threat and won’t carry an injury designation (broken foot) on the Panthers’ final injury report for Sunday’s game in Detroit.
Other NFL News: Late signee K Michael Badgely was waived by the L.A. Chargers, but then re-signed to the Chargers’ PS, before being re-signed and added to their active roster after K Caleb Sturgis was cut. In three games, Badgely has been a perfect 5 for 5 in FGs and 9 for 9 in PATs and also has a tackle on kick coverage … Los Angeles Chargers LB Denzel Perryman injured a knee in Week 10 that turned to be an injured LCL that would require surgery on his hamstring. He was placed on the IR on Nov. 13th … Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder also went down for season with a knee injury this week and was placed on the IR … RB Gus Edwards was promoted to the active roster from the PS by the Baltimore Ravens. In four games so far, Edwards has averaged 4.3 yards per carry in rushing for 43 total yards this season along with one reception for 7 yards … WR Malcolm Lewis was re-signed by the Miami Dolphins and placed on their PS roster … LB Jermaine Grace was released by the Seattle Seahawks, but then was signed to the Atlanta Falcons PS three days later … DL Ufomba Kamalu was released from the Arizona Cardinals PS at the end of October, but then signed to the New England Patriots PS earlier this month … FS Adrian Colbert was placed on IR (high ankle sprain) by the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 22nd … WR Stacy Coley and LB Thurston Armbrister were both released from the IR by the N.Y. Giants, as was WR Rashawn Scott from the Miami Dolphins’ IR.
Other Leagues: After the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks beatdown of OL Joel Figueroa and the B.C. Lions at home in the East semifinal by 40 points last weekend, the only proCane left in the four team race to the Grey Cup is OL Justin Renfrow, part of Calgary’s PS … RB Joe Yearby and LS Paul Kelly have been removed from the AAF’s Orlando Apollos online roster, but DBs Kacy Rodgers and LaDarius Gunter have been added to the Apollos’ Spring, 2019 roster. OL Malcolm Bunche, who grad-transferred to UCLA, has been signed by the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots.
NFL U Update II
Oct. 12, 2018
OT Ereck Flowers has officially cleared waivers following his release from the New York Giants on Tuesday. The 2015 first-round draft pick (9th overall) was “a constant and nagging disappointment” in his three-plus years with the team, playing left tackle before moving to right tackle for the first two games of this season. The Giants had declined his fifth-year option this past spring.
“I think it just kind of run its course,’’ Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “We appreciate Ereck’s efforts and we just wish him the best. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for a person. We’re just hopeful he can go on and continue to have a good career.’’
Starting with game three this season, Shurmur put second-year player Chad Wheeler in at right tackle and moved Flowers to the bench. Although blessed with size, strength and quickness, the penalty-prone Flowers was criticized for a lack of body flexibility and his failure to develop better blocking techniques. He couldn’t be traded, and no NFL team claimed him off waivers either — because he’s owed $1.69 million (guaranteed) for the rest of this season! Only 24 years old, Flowers started 48 games in his NFL career and at times played through ankle issues. Flowers was scheduled to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday (Thursday).
Although current Hurricanes CB Coach Mike Rumph is often thought of as UM’s biggest 1st round draft bust, Rumph lasted four full seasons (2002–2005) with the San Francisco 49ers before being traded during the summer of 2006 to the Washington Redskins for wide receiver Taylor Jacobs. Considered to have poor man-to-man coverage skills, CB/S Rumph was also taken 27th overall by the 49ers, compared with Flowers being a top-10 pick. Lastly, Rumpt missed more games with injuries during his last two seasons (2004-05) with San Francisco than Flowers ever missed with the Giants.
No, the only ‘Cane who could possibly qualify as a draft-day bust as big as Ereck Flowers was the late Jack Losch, a 1st rounder taken 8th overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1956. As a rookie HB in ‘56, Losch appeared in all 12 Packer games, starting in five. With 74 yards on 8 punt returns (9.3 avg., including a 58-yard punt return) and 390 yards (5th in NFL and included a 51-yard kick return best) on 15 kickoff returns (26.0 avg., also 5th in league that season), the 6’1” 205-pounder had the size to go with excellent speed and good hands (7 receptions for 85 yards – 12.1 avg. yds./catch). He also recovered three fumbles, good for a 3rd-place NFL tie in 1956. On the other hand, Losch only averaged 2.3 yards rushing (19 carries for 43 yards). However, he would later be hit by a triple whammy that would ruin his pro football career.
First, Losch fulfilled his mandatory military obligation by joining the U.S. Air Force after the 1956 season had ended. However, training as a jet fighter pilot, Losch would spend all of the next two NFL seasons flying jets for the U.S. armed forces. The demanding regimen of being a fighter jock did not really allow for any serious football-type training, and some rust had accumulated by 1959. Next, Losch was slowed by injuries during Green Bay’s training camp during that summer of ‘59. Finally, he returned to a new head coach: first-year HC Vince Lombardi replacing his old coach, Lisle Blackbourn – who’d been replaced himself after the 1957 season by the since-fired Ray McLean, after the Pack’s worst season ever (1-10-1) in 1958.
Later selected as NFL coach-of-the-year after the 1959 season (followed by three straight appearances in the NFL Championship Game from 1960-62), Lombardi parted ways in his first training camp as HC with much of Green Bay’s backfield. Running backs Al Carmichael (USC) and Howie Ferguson (no college; discovered by the L.A. Rams in 1952 while playing for the U.S. Navy) – who had both been with the Packers since 1953, along with rookie HB/WB Alex Hawkins (the 13th overall pick in the 1959 draft, out of South Carolina), and the starting QB for the previous two years, Babe Parilli (Kentucky) were all joined by 2nd-year HB Jack Losch in being let go by Lombardi. Of note, Lombardi’s Packers did keep a 27th-round (313th overall) HB/KR/PR out of Ball State named Tim Brown, who would go on to become a big star with the Philadelphia Eagles and then became a working film and TV actor after retiring from pro football. Landing on his feet, Alex “Captain Who?” Hawkins went on to have a colorful 9-year NFL career with the Colts and Falcons.
Losch’s former UM teammates (and fellow NFL veterans), DBs Jack Johnson and Johnny Bookman, joined Parilli, Ferguson and Carmichael in signing with teams in the newly-formed AFL in 1960, but Losch retired from pro football after 1959. It was reported that another former ‘Cane (and East Boston schoolboy legend) HB John Varone signed for about $8,500 (American) a year to play for the CFL’s 1958 and 1959 Grey Cup Champions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers coached by Bud Grant. Varone’s salary was presumably a little more than the San Francisco 49ers were willing to pay him as one of their 1958 draft choices taken 46th overall. Although the average American salary in 1959 was only $3,856, OF Willie Mays was paid $75,000 in 1959 by the New York (Baseball) Giants as MLB’s top-paid player that year. Therefore, while a NFL paycheck back then wasn’t bad money for only 4 months of labor, walking away from football in the late 1950’s didn’t involve taking as huge a hit upon moving to your next job as with today’s union-protected players. After leaving the USAF, Losch worked for 37 years at General Motors Corporation, retiring in 1996 as Director of Fleet Services. Miami Hurricane All-American Jack Losch died on May 27, 2004 at age 69 in his original hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Other NFL News: Recently claimed by the New York Giants after being waived by Minnesota, Stacy Coley was placed on injured reserve by the Giants on Oct. 6, 2018 with a hamstring injury … Making the Indianapolis Colts initial 53-man roster at the start of the season, TE Erik Swoope was waived, re-signed to the Colts PS, then re-activated to the Colts active roster, waived again on Sept. 28, 2018, but then re-signed again to the practice squad, before being promoted back to the active roster again on Oct. 3, 2018. One day later, Swoope scored two touchdowns against the New England Patriots. … DE Al-Quadin Muhammad was waived by the Colts on Oct. 4, 2018, but was re-signed to Indy’s practice squad on Oct. 8th. … DB Herb Waters was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers PS … After having a tryout with the Cleveland Browns this fall, DT Anthony Moten signed with the AAF Orlando Apollos in late September for the upcoming 2019 spring season. … Rookie K Michael Badgley was signed on Oct. 11th by the Los Angeles Chargers. Viewed as a “security blanket” by the Chargers, Badgley joins current placekicker Caleb Sturgis on the Bolts’ active roster. While Miami is at least 9 players deep in NFL vets all-time at all 22 positions (plus punters) except placekickers, Badgley will join Carlos Huerta, Dan Miller, Bob Masterson, Mike Burke (also P) and Andy Crosland as the only ‘Cane kickers believed to have ever to made it onto a NFL/AFL/AAFC regular-season roster or PS, intending to serve as a placekicker or back-up placekicker.
CFL News: The League fined Toronto Argonauts LB Jeff Knox Jr. an undisclosed amount for punching BC Lions OL Joel Figueroa in their game on Oct. 6, 2018 … Both the Montreal Alouettes and the Toronto Argonauts have been eliminated from CFL playoff contention at the conclusion of last weekend’s games. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ottawa REDBLACKS and Saskatchewan Roughriders are now all guaranteed a post-season appearance, joining the Calgary Stampeders who clinched the week before. Calgary is guaranteed to end up with the league’s best regular-season record and has OL Justin Renfrow on their PS. Only one Grey Cup playoff spot remains undetermined with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, BC Lions, and Edmonton Eskimos competing for the last slot going into week 18.
Oct. 13, 2018 Update: Ereck Flowers signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. … Also, TE Greg Olsen is expected to return to action against the Washington Redskins this weekend. Olsen practiced at full speed this week after breaking his foot earlier this season, so Carolina’s decision not to put him on IR was correct … Today, Indianapolis DE Al-Quadin Muhammad was promoted to the active roster from the Colts PS.
NFL U Update
Sept. 22, 2018
Best NFL Roster News: After playing in only the 2016 season-opener over the past two seasons, CB Sam Shields amazingly stuck with the Rams (who figure to be good this year) …
Biggest Disappointment: Div. II-transfer, feel-good success story FB Marquez Williams failed to report to the Browns’ training camp (for reasons unknown, according to media reports; his own Twitter account merely thanks the Browns organization without ever addressing his reasons for not reporting) and was later waived by Cleveland …
Pick-ups: Waived in 2018 by both the Colts and the Browns, LB Jermaine Grace is now playing with the Seattle Seahawks … Waived by New Orleans, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad was picked up by the Colts … Waived by Minnesota, WR Stacy Coley was claimed by the Giants … Waived by Houston, DE Ufomba Kamalu was signed to Arizona’s practice squad.
Injury news: Houston T Seantrel Henderson (ankle), Dolphins WR Rashawn Scott (ankle), Colts QB Brad Kaaya (back surgery), Giants LB Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), Denver S Jamal Carter (hamstring torn from leg bone), and New England WR Braxton Berrios (undisclosed injury) were all placed on IR; while DE Chad Thomas started the season on Cleveland’s PUP List … DBs Tracy Howard (Dolphins) and Antonio Crawford (Steelers) failed their physicals and were released, while TE Beau Sandland was waived-injured after receiving an injury settlement from Arizona … TE Greg Olsen recently broke his foot again, but is considered “month-to-month” and remains on the Panthers 53-man roster …
More NFL Practice Squad News: TE Eric Swoope initially made the Colts’ 2018 Roster, but was then waived by Indy last week, before being re-signed to their PS a day later … Also re-signed to NFL PS’s were a trio of previously-waived rookies – DT Kendrick Norton (Carolina), DE Trent Harris (Patriots), RB Gus Edwards (Baltimore), and OL KC McDermott & CB Dee Delaney, both with Jacksonville …
Other NFL Camp Cuts: Washington OL Orlando Franklin, Dolphins WR Malcolm Lewis, Green Bay DB Herb Waters, Carolina CB Ladarius Gunter, Jets S Kacy Rodgers II, Indianapolis K Michael Badgley, Dolphins’ DT Anthony Moten, New Orleans OL Trevor Darling, and Giants OL Malcolm Bunch were all cut in camp; additionally, TE Clive Walford was released in 2018 by both Oakland and the Jets, P Justin Vogel was released this summer by both Green Bay and Cleveland, and QB Stephen Morris was released by Washington, Seattle and Houston in 2018 … OT Eric Winston, LB Sean Spence and TE Asante Cleveland were not tendered qualifying offers in 2018 by Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and the Chargers, respectively.
CFL U: Starting last season, proCanes have had a mini-golden age going on up in Canada. Under contract with a CFL team last season and/or in 2018 were CB Bruce Johnson, QB Jacory Harris, CB Brandon Harris, S Kacy Rodgers II, OL Jeremy Lewis, DE Shayon Green, QB Jake Heaps, LB/DE Tyriq McCord, LB Gionni Paul, OL Malcolm Bunche, RB Storm Johnson, DT Courtel Jenkins, OL Brandon Washington, OL Joel Figueroa and OL Justin Renfrow. However, after Brandon Washington was released by Toronto last month after playing in 7 regular-season CFL games this year, only Joel Figueroa (BC Lions) and Justin Renfrow are left receiving a Canadian paycheck (although Renfrow is actually on Calgary’s PS) … After being waived for a second time by the Redskins during the spring (he was also waived by Washington, New Orleans, and the Chargers in 2017), OL Orlando Franklin passed on returning to play in Canada and announced his retirement. Now living in Colorado with his wife and their young son, the Jamaican-born Franklin, who was raised in Toronto, has since landed a sports-talk radio gig in Denver, where he played for the Broncos from 2011-14 …
AAF U: Early regional signings by the Orlando Apollos, the State of Florida’s new Alliance of American Football team (set for its 1st 2019 Spring season starting in February, to be coached by Steve Spurrier) include QB Stephen Morris, RB Joseph Yearby, LB/DE Tyriq McCord, OL Trevor Darling, TE Standish Dobard, RB Storm Johnson and LS Paul Kelly … HC Spurrier offered New York Mets OF Tim Tebow an AAF contract (presumably the AAF standard of 3-yrs., $250K), but the Heisman-winning Gator QB is currently recovering from a broken hamate bone in his right hand which required surgery and prevented the 2018 Eastern League All-Star from enjoying a September call-up from the minors to the Mets. Tebow is not listed on the Apollos’ current online roster …
Other Leagues: WR D’Mauri Jones and LB Eddie Johnson both played spring arena ball in Richmond, Virginia, and OL Malcolm Bunche and DT Michael Wyche were also on the Richmond Roughriders’ roster for a while this spring. Wyche also spent time with two teams in the NAL in 2018 … TE Chase Ford played with the Spring League South Team in 2018 … LB Gionni Paul is now a player-coach for the Russian National American Football Team …
proCane QB’s: The latest version of multiple ‘Cane QBs all in the pros at the same time (think Kelly, Kosar, Testeverde, Walsh, Erickson, and Torretta circa 1993-96) apparently ended after last season with Stephen Morris, Jacory Harris and Jake Heaps now all available as presently unsigned NFL/CFL FA’s. Meanwhile, Brad Kaaya cleared waivers, but was then placed on Indy’s IR List (back injury) by the Colts; so, he’s presumably hoping to come back next year …
Other Pro Sports: OL Sunny Odogwu took part in a WWE tryout in Orlando in July … Court Docket: After a failed comeback attempt in the Spring Tryout League in 2017 (then going unsigned in 2018 as well), TE Kellen Winslow Jr. made headlines with his recent arrest … WR Kayne Farquharson is currently serving a 23-month Federal sentence for passport fraud (he tried to get a U.S. passport using an Omaha teammate’s info) handed down in April of 2017, and which almost certainly has ended his minor-league pro football career. … R.I.P.: RB Tyrone Moss … The widow of the late Detroit Lions’ DB Bill Frohbose (UM Class of 1974) passed away on Nov. 5, 2016. A widow since Sept. 3, 2000 when Bill died of ALS, Jacqueline Victoria Medick Frohbose never remarried and was working as a private consultant (after a long career as a flight attendant with National Airlines out of Miami) prior to her demise. A University of Miami grad, the Providence, Rhode Island native was survived by two sisters and by her son William Frohbose, who is also an UM alum.
MIAMI HURRICANES CURRENTLY IN THE NFL
Updated May 7, 2018. Years lettered at UM in parentheses.
72 Olsen Pierre, 3 (2011-14), DE (Started 8 games, 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF)
5 Matt Bosher, 8 (2007-10), P (Starter, averaged 44.9 yards on 53 punts)
## Gus Edwards, R (2013-2016), RB (Undrafted Free Agent)
88 Greg Olsen, 12 (2004-06), TE (Started 7 games, 17 catches for 191 yards and 1 TD)
23 Ladarius Gunter, 4 (2013-14), CB (signed 9/13/17, played in 4 games on the season)
35 Corn Elder, 2 (2013-16), CB (reserve/injured)
## Kendrick Norton, R (2015-17), DT (Drafted 7th Rd, 242)
29 Duke Johnson, 4 (2012-14), RB (348 yards rushing and 4 TDs on 82 rushes, 74 catches for 693 yards and 3 TDs)
85 David Njoku, 2 (2015-16), TE (32 catches for 386 yards and 4 TDs)
## Chad Thomas, R (2014-17), DE (Drafted 3rd Rd, #67)
42 Marquez Williams, 2 (2016), FB (Free Agent)
8 Justin Vogel, 2 (2014-16), P (71 punts for 3,155 yards, 44.4 Avg)
## Jermaine Grace, 2 (2013-15), LB (Signed 5/2/18)
## Trevor Darling, R (2014-17) OL (Tryout)
## Allen Hurns, 5 (2011-13), WR (started 8 games, 39 rec for 484 yards and 2 TDs)
20 Jamal Carter, 2 (2013-16), S (Played in 16 games, 11 tackles and 1 PD)
94 Ufomba Kamalu, 3 (2013-15), DE (started 2 games, 6 tackles and 2 sacks)
26 Lamar Miller, 7 (2010-11), RB (Started 13 games, 238 rushes for 888 and 3 TDs, 36 catches for 327 yards and 3 TDs)
## Seantrel Henderson, 5 (2010-13), OT (Played in 7 games with one start)
86 Erik Swoope, 4 (basketball 2009-14), TE (Injured Reserve)
9 Brad Kaaya, 2 (2014-16), QB (signed off Lions practice squad 12/27/17)
## Michael Badgley, R (2014-17), K (Undrafted Free Agent)
93 Calais Campbell, 11 (2005-07), DE (Selected to Pro Bowl after finishing season with 14.5 sacks and 67 tackles)
65 Brandon Linder, 5 (2010-13), C/G (Started 13 games)
## KC McDermott, R (2014-17), OL (Undrafted Free Agent)
## Dee Delaney, R (2017), CB (Undrafted Free Agent)
Kansas City Chiefs
97 Allen Bailey, 8 (2007-10), DE (started 13 games, 38 tackles and 2 sacks)
Los Angeles Chargers
12 Travis Benjamin, 7 (2008-11), WR (started 3 games, 34 rec for 567 yds and 4 TDs; 27 PR ofr 257 yds and 1 TD)
45 Asante Cleveland, 5 (2010-13), TE (reserve/injured)
25 Rayshawn Jenkins, 2 (2012-16), S (played in 15 games, 13 tackles and PD))
52 Denzel Perryman, 4 (2011-14), LB (started 6 games, 37 tackles)
Los Angeles Rams
37 Sam Shields, 7 (2006-09) CB (Sat out 2016)
## Frank Gore, 14 (2001, 03-04), RB (Started 16 games, 261 rushes for 961 yards nad 3 TDs, 29 Rec for 245 Yds and 1 TD)
87 Rashawn Scott, 3 (2011-15), WR (reserve/physically unable to perform list)
18 Malcolm Lewis, 2 (2012-16), WR (Dolphins Practice Squad 9/2/17)
## Tracy Howard, 3 (2012-15), CB (Dolphins practice Squad 12/21/17)
## Anthony Moten, R (2014-17), DT (Undrafted Free Agent)
New England Patriots
13 Phillip Dorsett, 4 (2011-14), WR (started 2 games, 12 rec for 194 yards)
## Braxton Barrios, R (2014-17), WR (Drafted 6th Rd, 210)
## Trent Harris, R (2014-17), DE (Undrafted Free Agent)
New Orleans Saints
97 Al-Quadin Muhammad, 2 (2013-15), DE (played in 4 games)
New York Giants
74 Ereck Flowers, 4 (2012-14), OT (Started 15 games)
54 Olivier Vernon, 7 (2009-11), DE (started 12 games, 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks)
55 Ray-Ray Armstrong, 6 (2009-11), LB (started 1 game, 10 tackles, signed 11/27/17 from 49ers)
## Thurston Armbrister, 4 (2011-14), LB (signed futures contract with Giants 1/9/18)
## RJ McIntosh, R (2015-17), DT (Drafted 5th Rd, 139)
76 Jon Feliciano, 4 (2011-14), OG (played in 13 games with 1 start)
25 Artie Burns, 3 (2012-15), CB (Started 16 games, 54 tackles, 13 PD, 1 int)
56 Anthony Chickillo, 4 (2011-14), DE (started 2 games, 13 tackles and 3 sacks)
51 Sean Spence, 7 (2008-11), LB (signed 12/5/17, started 4 games, 19 tackles and 1 sack)
San Francisco 49ers
27 Adrian Colbert, 2 (2016), DB (started 6 games, 37 tackles, 5 PD)
7 Stephen Morris, 5 (2010-13), QB (signed futures contract 1/2/18)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers