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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

WitP: Ulbrich, McBriar, Satele, Mouton, LP, Bess

Jeff Ulbrich talks to Matt Maiocco of The Press Democrat about his decision to retire and go into coaching.
“I’m done,” Ulbrich said. “I don’t want to take a chance of doing any damage.”

Ulbrich does not know exactly how many concussions he sustained throughout his career. He sustained countless hits to his head while playing 124 regular- and post-season games with 78 starts.

His high-speed collision in the 49ers’ fifth game of the season was unlike any he previously endured. With symptoms lingering far longer than normal, Ulbrich was placed on injured reserve eight days after playing his final game.

Ulbrich said his condition has improved greatly in eight weeks, but he still has some sleep problems and minor headaches.

“Nothing bad,” he said. “My speech and thoughts are a lot more clear. From the doctors’ perspective, everything will be all right.”
Ulbrich said his short-term goal is to be a defensive coordinator, linebackers or special-teams coach. Eventually, he said he wants to become a college head coach.

“I think the opportunity to work with young, impressionable kids during their first time away from home and acting as a surrogate dad excites me even more than the coaching part of it,” Ulbrich said.

And Ulbrich has plenty of enthusiasm for the coaching side, too.

He already has a blue print of the defense he plans to run as coordinator.

He said he has tailored his defense specifically for the kinds of athletes San Jose State is able to recruit. The university is expecting to hire a head coach next week to replace Dick Tomey, and Ulbrich hopes to be considered for a spot on the new staff.
Best of luck to Ulbrich wherever he ends up! *cough* Manoa *cough*

And ex-NFL kicker defends Mat McBriar over the kicking situation in Dallas.
A former NFL kicker isn't so sure holder Mat McBriar should be blamed for Nick Folk's missed 42-yard field goal attempt in the Dallas Cowboys' 31-24 loss to the New York Giants.

Folk and McBriar, the team's punter, said the hold was poor because it was leaned forward. But a replay shows the ball appears only slightly off center.

The ball sailed knuckleball style wide left, causing Folk and McBriar to display frustration. After they returned to the sideline, Folk yelled at McBriar.

“If the ball is tilted slightly backward or forward, it shouldn't make that much of a difference,” Tony Franklin said Tuesday. “The only time I had kicks that looked like that is when I happened to catch the ball when it was still spinning. ... (The hold) shouldn't have affected it at all, but, hey, different strokes for different folks.”
Samson Satele resumed practice today after suffering a game-ending calf injury against the Steelers.

Ryan Mouton was one of several Titans players to visit patients at a Nashville hospital on Tuesday (lots of pictures).

Rohan Alvares of Gulf News profiles rugby superstar-in-waiting Leonard Peters.
American Football was what kept the 27-year-old busy and the only connection he shared with rugby was through his Samoan father.

Fast forward to December, Peters returns to America with "very good memories" from his debut international rugby outing.

Speaking to XPRESS, he said: "I had no expectations of playing at all coming into it. But I got to play all the games, I scored my first try, so I'm just enjoying every­thing about rugby right now."
And Tim Graham of ESPN.com has a excellent profile of Davone Bess.
"Unless you're really watching football, you probably wouldn't know about Davone," said Colt Brennan, his quarterback at Hawaii.

"When I think about Davone, I think he's the next big receiver you're going to hear about. You haven't heard about him yet, but he's working his way up to somebody who's going to be a big name in your mind for years to come."

Bess had a breakout performance Sunday, helping the Dolphins pull off a ginormous 22-21 comeback victory over the New England Patriots in Land Shark Stadium.

On an afternoon the Dolphins turned quarterback Chad Henne loose, Bess caught 10 passes for 117 yards -- both personal bests -- and his first touchdown of the year.

All the more impressive was the Patriots at times were double-covering Bess, a tactic Dolphins coach Tony Sparano noticed toward the end of their first game against the Patriots in Week 9.

"I think that there was clear emphasis on the Patriots' part to try to take Davone away," Sparano said.

That's right. Bess has gone from undrafted to a double-cover danger.


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