Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More New Blood Stepping Up

by: Mike Parker

Clare at the PI nailed it again in yesterday's report on the untested talents of Mansfield Wrotto and Kevin Hobbs.

Hobbs, an undrafted free agent who's been with the 'hawks since 2006, has already been touted by the coaching staff for bringing his game to another level. Who knows, maybe this year he'll be a contributor. I wouldn't complain.

Wrotto, meanwhile, is a name nobody's heard much of since last year's draft. And even then, most of the sentiment concerning him included questions such as "Who the hell is Mansfield Wrotto and why does his name sound like a bad Scrabble hand?" To Continue...

But he's now getting reps with the No. 1 line, which is something I once paired the likelihood of happening with M. Night Shyamalan making another movie that didn't suck. But I've been wrong before, and sometimes it's a relief to be wrong when it comes to predictions in sports.

"He didn't jump out last year, partly because we didn't get to see much of him," offensive coordinator Gil Haskell said. "But now that I've watched him, with the coaching from Mike Solari, he has a chance. He's moving well and making the right decisions."

And this quote from Haskell just echoes the theme I keep seeing this year so far - the new, untested talent getting the chance to shine for the first time. It's almost as if Ruskell hit the ultimate buy-low gold mine in last year's draft and now gets to sit back and reap the benefits.

Something tells me that narrowing down a 53-man roster with this bunch is going to be nothing short of a Rubik's Cube. And that, my friends, is a good thing - hard as it may be.