Zies’ Pieces

Kyle Zies

A weekly addition of news and notes across the sports world, all in the humble eye of Kyle Zies.

Johnny Football

I may not be the only one thinking it but, I am going to be the only one saying it. 36 year old quarterback Josh McCown is better than Johnny Manizel. After the Cleveland Browns seemingly invested their future into Maziel, the former Texas A&M Heisman trophy winner, he has disappointed to this point in his career. The Browns have won two games this year, both of which Josh McCown was the quarterback of. The Cleveland brass and Cleveland faithful may not want to admit it but, the Johnny Manziel experiment has failed and it is in the best interest of the team to go with the not-so-sexy pick Josh McCown for now and readdress the never ending revolving door of quarterbacks for the Browns this offseason.


College Football

Looking around college football, plenty of head coaching vacancies are open and for the taking. Attractive jobs such as USC, Miami (FL), and South Carolina, among others give coaches across the country reason to perk up their ears in attempt to land it big. Minnesota, Illinois, and Rutgers are open for business in the Big Ten. Virginia Tech, Hawaii, and North Texas are also in play.

Expect former Ohio State offensive coordinator and current Houston head coach, Tom Herman, to be a front runner for most jobs. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide could lose both offensive and defensive coordinators Lane Kiffin and Kirby Smart to a head coaching job. Longtime Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster appears to be the leading man for the Hokies position. Former Miami head coach Butch Davis has stated that he would welcome another crack at the job for the U. Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski has been linked to the Miami job as well. Former Miami defensive back Ed Reed said he would “entertain an offer” for the head coaching gig. Ed, I would entertain an offer too.

Perhaps the most intriguing and appealing job is that of USC. After upsetting number three Utah, interim head coach Clay Helton may have the upper hand to remove the interim label. Would Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly be interested in returning to the college level? I would think he would at least have to consider this job. Justin Fuente of Memphis is building a case for the job also leading the lowly Memphis Tigers to national attention. As the USC job may not be as attractive as it was say ten years ago, it is still enough for coaches across America to turn their heads to southern California in hopes of staking their claim in college football.


Indoor Lacrosse

Call it a trend, call it a phase, call it what you will but, the latest source of fun activity for Granville athletes is to pack up their gear every Wednesday night and drive to Easton to play in an indoor lacrosse league. Why? Why not? In a league that runs up the score, is taken lightly, and has almost zero fundamentals of the game, it is a way for high school athletes to get out of the house and have some fun once a week. The only way you will be disappointed in this league is if you actually take it seriously.


NFL Notebook

With only three yards needed to break Brett Favre’s all-time passing record, Peyton Manning tossed a pick that sealed Indianapolis’ win over the Broncos. Everyone watching the game almost had to do a double take. “Wait. That’s not supposed to happen.” Manning returned home to Indianapolis where he set the majority of his records in 13 of his 17 year career but fell short to the struggling Indianapolis Colts. Manning and the record books will have to wait until next week to pass for three more yards.

The Green Bay Packers are quietly cooling down. After winning their first six out of the gate, the Pack fell to Denver and Carolina, respectively. Aaron Rodgers and the offense has stalled out and Dom Capers’ defense is being exposed like no other. The Packers should have an easy week as they face the 1-7 Detroit Lions, which is the perfect opportunity for Mike McCarthy’s team to get back on track.

I really, really like what I see from the Oakland Raiders. Derek Carr is magnificent, throwing 10 touchdowns and just one interception in the past three games. Receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper are staking their claim as the best duo in the league. The one thing that the Raiders need to improve is possession of the football. Countless drops by receivers and fumbles by backs are shooting the Raiders in the foot and giving their opponent too many opportunities to strike. With just eight games to go, the Raiders have to start controlling the football better in order to make a postseason push. A wise man once told me, “Ball security, is job security. For you, and me”.


Newark Generals

As Granville does not have a school recognized hockey club, the Newark Generals stand as the Aces’ adopted son of local hockey entertainment at the high school level. Eleven Granville students appear on the Generals roster and sport the puke green jerseys every Thursday night.

The Generals stand at 2-0-1 following a tie to the Westerville Warcats 2-2 on Military Appreciation Night. In honor of Veterans Day, many prominent Licking County Purple Heart medalists and those wounded in the line of duty, were honored before puck drop. “It was a really cool moment and a good way to honor them and start the game,” said Granville sophomore and Generals forward, Patrick Chaykowski. The Gens ditched their puke green sweaters for the all black look, modeled after the NHL’s Ottawa Senators’ alternate jerseys. Much easier on the eyes to the fans and much to the delight of the players. “I like them a lot. Much better than our green’s but, it’s just a jersey,” said senior forward, John Hayes.

The Generals are led by co-head coaches Don Jennings and Kyle Thomas. Thomas, a former member of the United States military, seemingly had a little extra motivation for the game. Generally (no pun intended), it is unusual to see two head coaches on the same squad. Senior forward, Cole Jaquith added “They both have very different coaching styles but, they have been coaching together for a long time and know when to step in and when to step out”. Coach Jennings brings the fire and brutality, and Coach Thomas is as calming as ice and brings a settling tone.

Whatever the idea behind the Generals coaching staff is, it seems to be working. It is still extremely early in the season but through three games, the Gens look to be an intimidating opponent whose speed cannot be outmatched. Each line brings a different component and level of energy, making it hard on opposing coaches to jive their lines in attempt to play catch-up. Newark face-offs again Saturday on the road against the PHA Prowlers in attempt to rebound from the tie on Thursday. The Gens are quick and move north and south but, in order to complete the season in full strength, the Gens will have to be at full strength as they are yet to play a game with a full, healthy lineup. The Gens are good, and dare I say great when healthy.