Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

By Adam Silverstein
August 20, 2010

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» The University of Florida’s 2010-11 athletic season officially begins Friday as No. 11 Florida Gators soccer takes on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Admission is free, and the match will air live on Sun Sports.

» New England Patriots rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez scored his first career professional touchdown on Thursday, catching a four-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hernandez, who lead the team with four receptions and 46 yards, had to turn around to complete the reception in the back of the end zone. Also shining for the Patriots on Thursday was running back Fred Taylor (team-high 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD). Linebacker Brandon Spikes racked up three solo tackles, while defensive tackle Gerard Warren added one assisted.

Eight more Gator Bites on Tim Tebow, Major Wright, Cornelius Ingram, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden, Chris Leak, Ryan Lochte and Urban Meyer…after the jump!

» The Denver Broncos extended starting QB Kyle Orton‘s deal by one year, signing him through 2011. Some believe this speaks to rookie QB Tim Tebow‘s development when, in fact, the move was a no-brainer for the team regardless of Tebow’s progress. Orton could either start in 2011, be a steady and reliable No. 2 to Tebow (if he was to win the job) or be trade bait for a team in need of a veteran signal caller.

» Bad news for Chicago Bears rookie safety Major Wright, who had a setback after his finger surgery and is now unlikely to be able to participate in the team’s Week 1 game. Wright, who has been pushing hard to earn a starting role and was in the process of doing so, will still see major playing time but must outperform his competition during the season for a starting job.

» Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid spoke to his team’s website about TE Cornelius Ingram’s performance in his first preseason game. “He did a nice job of sustaining his blocks, and that’s about half the battle in some of your zone schemes, and you don’t get dismissed from the block by the defender,” Reid said. “He did some good things there, some of the routes he did, those were good.” Ingram hopes to catch his first NFL pass Friday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

» Though the Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that veteran Justin Hartwig will start at center for their preseason game on Saturday, rookie Maurkice Pouncey will be getting plenty of reps with the first team and has a chance to prove that he is talented enough to win the job outright before the regular season begins.

» After a rocky start, Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden is impressing his teammates and coaches, making a name for himself while keeping his confidence and swagger. “I like a lot of what I’m seeing,” head coach Eric Mangini said, according to The Associated Press. “The real value there is there’s a lot to coach off of. He is playing against a higher level of competition more consistently. His experience last week against Green Bay’s offense was a great way to start because you’re starting fast against one of the best offensives in the NFL.” After seeing some professional action, Haden had this to say about the competition he saw in college. “The NFL is fast, but the SEC might be a little bit faster sometimes,” Haden said. “The speed thing is something that has helped me out a whole lot.”

» Former Gators QB Chris Leak has been biding his time as a back-up with the Montreal Alouettes; he finally got a chance to see some major playing time Thursday after veteran starter Anthony Calvillo left the game with an injury. Leak finished the contest 10-of-15 for 99 yards and one interception, leading his team to victory. He may get the team’s next start if Calvillo’s dislocated rib does not allow him to return sooner.

» OGGOA’s apologies for such an achievement being buried, but former Florida swimmer Ryan Lochte won a gold medal Thursday night in the 400-meter individual medley at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships. Almost setting the world record in the event, Lochte would actually win a second gold on the evening as anchor for the United States’ 800-meter free relay team. Lochte has had a busy week overall, as he also took home the gold in the 200-meter freestyle event just a few days ago.

» Gators head football coach Urban Meyer will be holding an inaugural student town hall meeting on Wed., Aug. 25 that is being held in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The first 500 UF students with a valid Gator1 card will be admitted beginning at 7 p.m.; special gifts and other goodies will be available

2 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    Wish we had NFL Network on Bright House cable here in Orlando; I would have followed the CFL game in a separate window had it been on along with the Pats-Falcons game I watched last night.

    Nice to see Chris Leak holding his own up there; I did get the online live stats on the CFL website but didn’t see any mention of Earl Everett in the defensive stats on the Montreal side, though.

    Was very impressed with the way our GatorPatriots played last night, especially Aaron Hernandez – so much for the pundits who claim that guys who play spread-offense in college can’t cut it in the NFL. Nice to see Fred Taylor still has some gas left in the tank as well!

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Finally! Chris Leak is gonna start a professional football game! Unfortunately, it’s not happening in the league I was hoping that it would happen in.

    But who cares! It’s still pro football!

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