Saturday, August 25, 2007
There's always something isn't there? Jamal Cooper was again suspended from the University of Wisconsin football team, for reasons that remain unknown. The previous two times it was academics related, so it may very well be that, again. Excellent timing. It's not like nearly all of the team's defensive ends are either coming off injuries (Kirk DeCremer, Kurt Ware) or are almost totally unproven (Brandon Kelly). Sigh. Jamal is an undersized defensive end. I remember seeing him walk past me, along with the rest of the team, on the way to the locker room at the start of halftime, seeing his number, and thinking "he's a defensive lineman?" But as occasional performances have shown, like the game at North Carolina two years ago (before he tore his ACL), and his play at Purdue three years ago in replacement of Erasmus, he is extremely quick, and that speed gives him the potential to be a legitimately great pass rusher. Without him on the field on passing downs, opposing teams may likely be able to focus their pass protection schemes on Matt Shaughnessy, chipping him with a back or moving a tight end to his side. In short, his absence makes the defense weaker, and his suspension is a blow to the team. I hope he's able to come back at some point and contribute, if he gets his act together. Come on, Jamal. Key-rist.