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 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.
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