FOUR BITS: Wambach, Harvey, Jackson, Rainey

1 » U.S. Women’s National Team striker Abby Wambach is indeed a “G,” not due to the fact that she is one of the faces of Gatorade but rather because she used her “guile and gamesmanship” to help the United States achieve a 4-3 extra-time victory over Canada in the semifinals of the 2012 London Olympics on Monday. Wambach told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that it was her subtle urging that led the referees to call a rare delay of game penalty on the Canadian goalkeeper, who was holding the ball in the penalty box for up to 15 seconds at times when rules state the ball should be out after six seconds. “I wasn’t yelling. I was just counting,” Wambach told Dan Wetzel of her decision to run next to the referee while heading back down the field. “Probably did it five or seven times.” And of the play in question in which the referee finally blew her whistle? “I got to 10 seconds right next to the referee and at 10 seconds she blew the whistle.”

Canada, of course, believes they were robbed in the match. (The call resulted in an indirect free kick inside the box; a handball was called on the kick and Wambach tied the match 3-3 on a penalty goal.) Though Wambach admits that the call is rare, she notes that it is well within the rules. Her subtle pestering of the referee almost assuredly helped the call be made when it ordinarily might not have been. “Yes it’s uncharacteristic,” she said. “But the rules are the rules. You can say it’s gamesmanship, you can say it’s smart, but I’m a competitor. We needed to get a goal. They’re trying to waste time; I’m trying to speed it up. [...] I think making the referee aware of a situation, there’s nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, the ref made the decision on her own.”

2 » A former No. 8 overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, former Florida Gators defensive end Derrick Harvey was cut from his third team over the course of a year when the Cincinnati Bengals let him go on Sunday. Harvey, who signed with the team just four months ago, was released before participating in a single preseason game. After being released by the Jaguars last July, Harvey was picked up by the Denver Broncos but barely played last season and spent most of it as a healthy scratch on game day. His NFL career may very well be over.

3 » The commitment of three-star offensive lineman Octavius Jackson (Moultrie, GA), who is unranked by Rivals, to the Florida Gators last week came as a surprise to many considering the team has few open slots remaining and a number of highly-rated prospects on its board. The Gators, however, knew exactly what they were doing by brining Jackson on board and it appears as if they were early to what may become a very crowded party. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jackson received “last-minute pleas by Alabama and Florida State” before committing to Florida. He already had a firm scholarship offer from Vanderbilt in his possession. “People have missed on him,” said Rush Propst, Jackson’s high school coach. “His only true offer until a few days ago was Vanderbilt, and they couldn’t believe nobody elsewas on him. Neither could I.”

4 » Running back Chris Rainey is turning heads in Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, a fact that should come as no surprise to Florida fans whose necks were often sore from watching him run in Gainesville, FL. USA Today’s Jim Corbett wrote a few days ago that “Rainey has been the Steelers’ buzz guy since he began flashing during organized team activities, and he’s carried it over to training camp.” Almost everyone from the team’s president on down believes Rainey can make an instant impact with Pittsburgh this season though head coach Mike Tomlin is being a bit more cautious considering how early it is in the process.

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6 Responses to “FOUR BITS: Wambach, Harvey, Jackson, Rainey”

  1. Tractorr says:

    Rainey with the Steelers just goes to show that Weis can’t mold an offense to the talent he has.

  2. Fuller says:

    Weis was a terrible hire but to be fair he didn’t have anything to work with….no OL, QB, lack of receivers and so on.
    Guess you can blame the Ohio Stare coach for that. Hope Rainey can take the pounding at the next level.

  3. Daniel M. says:

    I would say that he. Didn’t stick around long enough to develop those things. Bolted for frozen Kansas. He had plenty of raw material at UF. Head coach or not, the next five years would have been far more enjoyable had he stuck with what he had. The move is a complete head scratcher, which leads me to believe that he and Will didn’t see eye to eye.

  4. Tractorr says:

    I can see perhaps not having a great offense with the players we have and where they are at in their development, but I can’t see how utterly baffled the offense looked almost all the time. It is like there were not even plays. That cannot be put on the players alone. Also, while the talent was probably not to the level we have become accustomed to, their was still a ton of talent on the team. There are other coaches who would have killed for the talent we had on offense last year and they are still able to create something that resembles a functioning offense.

  5. Daniel M. says:

    Great points. I can only conclude that there was major relationship dysfunction on the coaching staff.

  6. Tractorr says:

    I agree with that for the most part. The only thing is Weis’ offense was not that good at Notre Dame until like the 3rd or 4th year when he had pretty much the exact players he wanted. I still kind of think that when he has prototypical NFL players he is great. If the players don’t fit that mold he seems unable to make an adjustment.

    I suppose we will find out this year. If he can immediately turn Kansas’ offense around I will admit that I was completely wrong.

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