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Published: Monday, 9/9/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

COMMENTARY

Toledo area has impact on NFL rosters

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

Monday morning, over lightly:

■ Reader Mel DeMars from Lambertville wonders if the metro Toledo area has ever before had this kind of representation on National Football League opening-day rosters. Here’s his list:

Fred Davis, Rogers High, Redskins tight end; Nate Washington, Scott, Titans wide receiver; Dane Sanzenbacher, Central Catholic, Bengals wide receiver; Griff Whalen, Southview, Colts wide receiver; Brandon Fields, St. John’s, Dolphins punter; and Eric Page, Springfield, Bucs receiver-kick returner. Also, safety Jordan Kovacs (Clay, Dolphins) and guard Eric Herman (Central Catholic, Giants) are on practice squad rosters.

Then, there is Rob Chudzinski, the one-time St. John’s tight end who is a rookie head coach with the Browns.

We’d point out that by expanding the metro borders you could add Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Findlay), Packers cornerback Micah Hyde (Fostoria) and ageless Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (Fremont Ross).

Either way, DeMars is correct when he says it is “quite a statement for our little corner of the world.”

■ Bowling Green football coach Dave Clawson was asked a couple weeks ago if he felt this season’s team was his best in five years at the Falcons’ helm, a stretch that includes two previous bowl teams.

“Ask me that question in December,” he said.

We might not have to wait. BG is 2-0 with a pair of dominant second-half performances, and should have a legitimate chance of winning next Saturday on the road against Indiana of the Big Ten.

“We think we’re talented and we expect to be good,” Clawson said. “But every team faces adversity and how good we prove to be will be based on how we handle those challenges.”

The adversity thus far is measured by tightly contested first halves. The Falcons led 6-0 at halftime against Tulsa before winning the opener 34-7. And BG trailed at Kent this past Saturday 22-17 with about 5:00 left in the first half.

From that point to the final gun, the Falcons posted a whopping 341-59 edge in total yards and outscored the Flashes 24-0. They finished with 576 yards and won 41-22.

It would appear they’re dealing with adversity just fine.

■ We’ll see how Toledo handles adversity with an 0-2 mark and one of the best, stat-slinging FCS teams in the nation, Eastern Washington, coming to the Glass Bowl for the Rockets’ home opener.

UT coach Matt Campbell said after Saturday’s 38-23 loss at Missouri that the last things he was worried about were his team’s confidence and its ability to keep fighting in the aftermath of setbacks to the Tigers and at Florida.

His Mizzou counterpart, Gary Pinkel, also one of Campbell’s predecessors at Toledo, agreed that there’s little reason for UT to panic.

“That’s a really, really good football team,” Pinkel said of Toledo while walking off the turf at Faurot Field. “[Campbell] has recruited very well. There are athletes all over the field.”

Mizzou has a bye next Saturday, then visits Indiana. So Pinkel, after dealing with UT, will be watching a lot of Bowling Green film after the Falcons face the Hoosiers.

■ The International Olympic Committee had to reinstate wrestling for the Summer Games in 2020 because its original decision to eliminate one of the most traditional of Olympic sports was absurd. But the threat might have been the best thing to happen to the sport, which reorganized and shelved a convoluted scoring system that only confused and bored the casual fan.

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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