Friday, September 28, 2012

Tar Heels Euroleague Season Preview

Marcus Ginyard: This year Ginyard plans to play for the Anwil Wloclawk, a Polish PLK Club instead of Israel, a Ironi Nahariya who he played for the previous year. Hopefully this season he will continue to put up competitive numbers. Ginyard averaged 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season. He seems hopeful and energetic as he tweets for his last chance for a preseason tune up and opportunity to learn Polish. While this former Tar Heel is in the USA he has been involved with his own training camp, Marcus Ginyard Basketball Camp, for children aged 8-15 in Jacksonville, NC. Ginyard and Anwil Wloclawk begin there season on September 29 against Kotwica.

Sean May: This July, May signed with Paris-Levallois making this season his second in Europe. During the off season May stayed in a basketball state of mind by helping former UNC assistant and new UAB Head Coach Jerod Haase with his youth basketball camp in Alabama in June and then held the sixth installment of his basketball camp in Charlotte. This preseason Paris-Levallois defeated the University of Washington Huskies by twelve points. May had 14 points and 10 rebounds. After the game Washington head coach, Lorenzo Romar, said “Sean May and Jawad Williams – they are former national champs – plus they had some other guys that were really good."
Jawad Williams battling for position
(UW Courtesy Photo)

Jawad Williams: Williams returns for his second season in France. Last year he was an all star for Paris-Levallois. Williams has had offers to return to the NBA, but nothing that he felt was right for him.  In the preseason game against the Huskies Williams led the team with 17 points, nine of those coming in the 4th quarter. Williams, May and the rest of their team will begin regular season play on October 6th against Orleans.

Deon Thompson: After playing in the NBA summer league this off season for the Memphis Grizzlies, Thompson has chosen to play for Alba Berlin in Germany. Thompson spent last season playing for Union Olimpija in Slovenia. Union Olimpija won the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tournament and Thompson earned the honor of Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Thompson and Alba Berlin begin their regular season October 3 against the Artland Dragons.

Rashad McCants: In July McCants was signed by Strasbourg IG in France of the Pro-A league, but failed a physical and was released in late August.

David Noel:  Noel played for Paris-Levallois last season with Jawad Williams. Noel signed with the BCM Gravelines Dunkerque of the France Pro-A League and will have a chance to play against May, Williams and the rest of the Paris-Levallois team. Noel and BCM made the announcement on Twitter this week. Noel  has limited time to get his contract signed, pass a physical, a drug test and find time to practice with his new teammates as BCM starts regular season play October 6 against Strasbourg.

Follow us on Twitter to receive updates on former Tar Heels: @UNCPros

Monday, September 17, 2012

NFL Week 2 Recap

Week 2 of the NFL season had a lot of former Tar Heel receivers find the endzone. On Sunday afternoon Houston Texans backup quarterback tweeted, "S/O to Hakeem, Btate and Greg Little. Three of my UNC receivers all catching TDs today!". We also seen linebackers with a lot of tackles, defensive ends putting pressure on the quarterback and a backup running back out performing the starter.

Julius Peppers (DE- Chicago Bears): Peppers had two of Chicago's five sacks. He was able to put pressure on Rodgers and led a defense that kept Green Bay's offense in check. Unfortunately for the Bears their offense was very stagnate and only put up 10 points.
Packers: 23 Bears: 10

Hakeem Nicks (WR- New York Giants):  Nicks had a huge game with 10 receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown. He hauled in a 50 yard pass from Eli Manning, late in the 4th quarter to help set up the Giants game winning touchdown. Nicks, who has only been practicing once a week will have a very short week as Nicks returns home to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.
Giants: 41 Bucs: 34

Greg Little (WR- Cleveland Browns): Little, like the rest of the Cleveland offense, struggled last week as he did not have a catch. This week he was targeted a team high seven times and had five receptions for 57 yards and a 24 yard touchdown catch from rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Brandon Tate (WR- Cincinnati Bengals): Tate was targeted three times by Andy Dalton and made the most of them by catching all three for 71 yards and a touchdown. Tate was regulated to just kickoff returns this week since Adam "Pacman" Jones is healthy. Tate had three returns for 72 yards. Tate was not able to seperate himself as the clear number two receiver as Armon Binns and Andrew Hawkins both had decent games.
Bengals: 34 Browns: 27

Zach Brown (OLB- Tennessee Titans): Brown made his first NFL start for the Titans this week due to Colin McCarthy being out due to an injury. Brown was able to record 10 tackles and a sack for a Titans' defense that spent a lot of time on the field because of another lackluster performance by the Titans' offense.
Chargers: 38 Titans: 10

Robert Quinn (DE- St. Louis Rams): Quinn had three tackles and one sack Sunday against the Redskins. He now has a sack in each of the Rams first two games.
Rams: 31 Redskins: 28

Bruce Carter (OLB- Dallas Cowboys): Carter and the Cowboys defense struggled getting off the field Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Carter was able to rack up ten tackles, which was tied for second most on the team Sunday. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 122 yards to help Seattle control the time of possession.
Seahawks: 27 Cowboys: 7

Shaun Draughn (RB- Kansas City Chiefs): For the second straight week Draughn appears to be a part of the Kansas City running game. He had five carries for 56 yards and one catch for 23 yards. He out performed Jamaal Charles who struggled Sunday against Buffalo and only had 10 less yards than Peyton Hillis on six less carries. For now it looks like the backfield in Kansas City is very crowded, but Draughn has performed when given the opportunity.
Bills: 35 Chiefs: 17

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NFL Week 1 Quick Hits

Week one of the NFL season is in the books and there was several Tar Heels that had a nice impact for their respective team in the opening week. 
  • Gerald Sensabaugh and Bruce Carter both started for Dallas' defense that played well and kept Eli Manning and the Giants offense in check.
  • Sensabaugh had 3 tackles, helped contain Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and put pressure on Manning on a couple blitzes.
  • Carter had 5 tackles.
  • Shaun Draughns looked good for Kansas City and scored a touchdown. The Chiefs ran the ball 33 times in a blowout so I expect there will be plenty of opportunity for Draughns.
  • Quinton Coples had just one tackle but the Jets defense looked really good against Buffalo
  • Hakeem Nicks looked to be healthy and unlike Victor Cruz he did not drop any passes
  • Robert Quinn had a good day for the Rams defense recording a sack and three tackles, one of those for a loss.
  • Julius Peppers put a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck but failed to record a sack. He did have three tackles
  • Greg Little was targeted four times with no catches as rookie QB Brandon Weeden and the Browns offense still looks like they are in preseason form.
  • Brandon Tate was target two times and had one catch for the Bengals. It appears that Andre Hawkins emerged as a possible number two receiver for Cincinnati, but Tate will still see playing time especially in the return game.
  • With Fred Jackson getting injured the Bills resigned Johnny White, who they cut at the end of preseason, to add running back depth.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Friday, September 7, 2012

Julius Peppers NFL Season Preview

(Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images)

Julius Peppers enters the 11th season of his NFL career and his third year with the Chicago Bears. Peppers is coming off an eleven and half sack season and his seventh season with double digit sacks. Talent has never been the issue with Peppers, who is a seven time Pro Bowler, but critics have questioned his effort at times.

The Bears limited Peppers play this preseason as a precautionary measure. He is one of the most durable defensive lineman in the NFL. In ten full seasons Peppers has only missed six games, four of which came from a drug suspension in his rookie year. He is expected to be the same dominant defensive end he has been his entire career and has shown no signs of slowing down.

If the Bears can stay healthy and get consistent play on the offensive side of the ball, they should compete with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North title and Peppers should have yet another Pro Bowl season.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brandon Tate NFL Preview

(Troy Taormina/ US Presswire)

Brandon Tate looks to convert from a special teamer to a starting NFL wide receiver. Tate had less than stellar stats this preseason but it was enough to win the starting wide receiver job opposite A.J. Green. Tate joined Cincinnati last year and was mainly a return man in his first season with the Bengals. A job he was used to since his days with the New England Patriots.

Gone from the Bengals offense is Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson or any other player that was thought to be the answer at the receiver position for Cincinnati. Tate had a decent season last year as a return man for the Bengals and improved as the year went on. This year he has been given the opportunity to be a starter.

Tate will rely on Andy Dalton to not suffer a sophomore slump. If Dalton can improve upon a Pro Bowl rookie campaign then I think Tate could have a decent year. Tate will be the number three receiving option behind Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham. Tate will remain a very important part of the return game on special teams this year.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Updated List: Tar Heels In the NFL

At the start of the NFL season there is currently 23 former Tar Heels in the NFL. This is the list I have comprised from

Baltimore Ravens: 
Michael McAdoo (OLB)

Buffalo Bills:
Da'Norris Searcy (SS)
Johnny White (RB)

Cincinnati Bengals: 
Brandon Tate (WR)
Richard Quinn (TE)

Cleveland Browns:
Greg Little (WR)

Houston Texans:
T.J. Yates (QB)

Kansas City Chiefs:
Shaun Draughn (RB)

New England Patriots: 
Jesse Holley (WR)

New York Jets:
Quinton Coples (DE)

Pittsburgh Steelers:
Greg Warren (LS)

San Diego Chargers: 
Cam Thomas (DT)

Tennessee Titans: 
Zach Brown (OLB

Arizona Cardinals:
Vonnie Holliday (DE)

Atlanta Falcons:
Garrett Reynolds (OG)

Chicago Bears:
Julius Peppers (DE)

Dallas Cowboys:
Bruce Carter (ILB)
Gerald Sensabaugh (FS)

Green Bay Packers:
Jeff Saturday (C)

New York Giants:
Marvin Austin (DT)
Hakeem Nicks (WR)

St. Louis Rams:
Robert Quinn (DE)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Conner Barth (K)

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros