Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Mark Richt on The Huge Show: Matthew Stafford's growth matches that of Detroit Lions
Georgia coach Mark Richt is busy preparing his team for the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl against Michigan State in Tampa, Fla., but that hasn't stopped him from catching glimpses of one of his former players in the NFL.
Former Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford has the Detroit Lions at 8-5 and in contention for their first playoff appearance since 1999. Stafford has 3,754 yards passing and 29 touchdowns while starting all 13 games.
"I'm so thankful for him and what's happening for him. And I'm thankful for Detroit, and thankful the Lions are having success," Richt told Bill Simonson of The Huge Show on Thursday. "We keep up as best we can. We're always sneaking a peek at what's going on."
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Ben Watson, TE, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns TE Ben Watson, on IR after 3 concussions: "I'm looking forward to coming back next year'
Browns tight end Ben Watson was placed on injured reserve today after suffering his third concussion of the season in Pittsburgh, but fully intends to come back in 2012 for his ninth NFL season.
"I'm looking forward to coming back and playing next season,'' Watson told the Plain Dealer in a phone interview. "I'm excited about it. I look forward to being on the field for the opener.'' More here
Damien Wilkins, G, Detroit Pistons
Damien Wilkins starts for Pistons in exhibition vs. Cavaliers
Don’t read too much into the Detroit Pistons' starting lineup tonight, but there is a mild surprise.
Camp invitee Damien Wilkins will get the nod at small forward when the Pistons open their two-game preseason schedule against the Cleveland Cavaliers. More here
Gordon Beckham, Infield, Chicago White Sox
Beckham already improving mentally?
Gordon Beckham admitted he's been distracted by "outside stuff" surrounding his offensive struggles over the last two seasons, but tells MLB.com "I've gotten back to where I was after getting too far away from who I was when I first came up."
That's good news, seeing as Beckham has a ton of talent but hasn't been able to translate it into results in most of 2010 and 2011. His strikeout rate has risen while his walk rate has declined in the last two seasons, a hallmark of poor plate discipline. And if he has all these distractions rattling around in his head, maybe that's why he's looked so overmatched at the plate. More here