Myles Jack | UCLA Football Commit Stars At Bellevue

Bellevue (Wash.) High School running back/linebacker Myles Jack is made for football. It starts with his name (how can it get any more perfect than that?), carries over to his build (he’s listed as 6’3″ 235 lbs.) and then finishes with his ability. Not only does Myles Jack look different than everyone else on the field; he plays different than everyone else too. That’s why the senior received scholarship offers from all over the country — finally committing to UCLA this summer.

Myles Jack Bellevue High UCLA Football

Myles Jack

I’ve had two chances to watch Myles Jack this year, and the kid has impressed me both times. My first glimpse of Jack came in a game against 4A Bothell (Bellevue is a 3A school) earlier in the season. I’m new to the Seattle area, so I didn’t know much about Myles before the game started. I quickly learned that he was the player to watch. Jack laid one of the biggest hits I’ve seen this year when he drilled Bothell quarterback Ross Bowers. The ball popped out of Bowers’ hands for a fumble, which was then scooped up by Bellevue for a touchdown.

The second time I saw Myles Jack was just last week against Mt. Si. It was a clash between the No. 1 (Bellevue — winners of 33 straight games now — ranked as one of the top teams in the country) and No. 2 (Mt. Si) 3A teams in the state, and Jack dominated from beginning to end. He capped Bellevue’s opening drive with a 19-yard touchdown run and then added what I’m calling the ‘run of the year’ in the second quarter. Jack took the handoff, jolted to his left, but quickly ran into trouble. He was able to stiff-arm his way past a couple of defenders, but then he was wrapped up and taken toward the ground. Jack never touched the turf though, instead he rolled over the defender (who wound up underneath him) and hopped right back on his feet. Jack immediately had to fend off another Mt. Si player before he cut back toward the middle of the field for an amazing 78-yard touchdown. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the most impressive run I’ve ever seen at the high school level.

Myles Jack | Future UCLA Football Star

Myles Jack playing defense

As impressive as he is on offense, Myles Jack is a beast on defense as well. I already talked about his big hit against Bothell, but that’s just the beginning. Jack, who is listed as an outside linebacker, plays as a down lineman most of the time. It’s that new hybrid position — looking more like a defensive end than a linebacker. No matter how he’s lined up, Jack has no trouble getting to the quarterback (unless he’s triple teamed like he often was last week). I don’t think he registered a sack in the game against Mt. Si, but he hurried the quarterback several times. Jack’s most impressive defensive play happened in the second half: the Mt. Si quarterback rolled to his left, Jack caught up with the QB as he threw the ball, and with one arm (yes, just one arm) Jack forcefully tossed the quarterback to the ground (the QB slid across the wet grass like he was pushed over by a bulldozer).

While Myles Jack is a monster on the football field, he seems like a nice kid off it. He called me ‘sir’ probably ten times in our five-minute postgame conversation. I also talked to one of Bellevue’s assistant coaches about Jack and he told me no one can say a bad thing about the guy, saying he’s an all-around good kid.

According to, Myles Jack is ranked as one of the best outside linebackers in the country (rated No. 17), while lists him as the third best prospect in Washington (behind Skyline quarterback Max Browne (committed to USC) and his Bellevue teammate Sean Constantine (committed to Washington)). Jack received scholarship offers from Purdue, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and pretty much everyone from the Pac-12. The assistant coach told me it wasn’t an easy decision for Jack, but he verbally committed to UCLA in June.

A polite kid with a world of talent — it’s hard to not root for Myles Jack. He still has a state championship on his mind this season, but it’s on to national championship dreams at UCLA after that. It’ll be fun to see how his career plays out with the Bruins.

Have you ever seen Myles Jack in action? What do you think of him? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more great sports coverage!

Caught On Tape | Bouquet Toss Trick Play

Football has been around since the late 1800s, so it’s hard to believe coaches are still coming up with creative ways to score a touchdown or two-point conversion. Since video is so prevalent in the game these days, most of the new plays are caught on tape — including the ‘Bouquet Toss’ trick play.

The ‘Bouquet Toss’ trick play happened in last week’s game between Tumwater High School and Capital High School (both are schools I cover in Washington). After mustering -2 yards of total offense in the first half, Tumwater needed to make noise in the second half — and they did. Trailing 21-13 with six minutes left, quarterback Jayden Croft connected with University of Washington commit Jamie Bryant for a touchdown to make it 21-19. Tumwater — the heavy underdog — then went for two and the tie.

This is the play that’s making headlines…

Croft took the snap and faked the hand off to one of two running backs in the backfield. The Capital defense bit on the play action, but Croft still had the ball. With his back turned to the end zone, Croft lofted the ball over his head to Bryant — much like a bride tosses a bouquet into the crowd. It was a jump ball, but the 6’5″ 255 pound Bryant came down with it to tie the game and eventually sending it to overtime.

Take a look at the ‘Bouquet Toss’ trick play!

“If you get (the two-point conversion) wrong, you’re just a dumb coach,” Tumwater head coach Sid Otton told The Olympian after the game. “But if you get it right, it’s such a big momentum changer.”

That’s exactly what the ‘Bouquet Toss’ trick play did. It helped Tumwater rally and eventually upset Capital in double overtime, 35-28.

What do you think of the ‘Bouquet Toss’ trick play? Have you ever seen anything like this before? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim for more great sports coverage!

Bouquet Toss Trick Play

‘Bouquet Toss’ Trick Play

Covering The Craziest Monday Night Football Game Ever

I had the Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers circled on my calendar for a long time. Ever since I started my new job in Seattle, I was excited for September 24th clash. I’m a television sportscaster, but I’m still also a huge sports fan. That’s what makes my job so incredible. I was paid to be on the sidelines for what turned out to be one of the most thrilling and controversial finishes in NFL history.

I’ve covered an NFL game before, but that was back in 2006. It was the NFC Championship between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks beat the Panthers that night, 34-14. I was relatively new to the television business, so that was easily the most fun I’d ever had at a sporting event. The crowd was incredible. Aside from one other moment in my life (after Edgar Martinez hit the go-ahead grand slam against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the 1995 American League Division Series and the fans inside the Kingdome erupted), I didn’t know humans beings could make so much noise. I couldn’t even hear the guy standing right next to me, because it literally sounded like ten fighter jets were flying right by my ears.

Monday Night Football CenturyLink Field

The Packers and Seahawks clash on Monday Night Football

That’s exactly what CenturyLink Field sounded like again last night. The place was rocking for Monday Night Football. The real “this is actually happening” moment for me came when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson trotted onto the field for pregame warm-ups. The stadium was still filling up, but the crowd that was there made plenty of noise. I got chills thinking about the magnitude of the game. A former University of Wisconsin quarterback facing off against Wisconsin’s team — the Green Bay Packers. That was one of several great storylines. I just had a feeling it would be a special night.

Defense was the name of the game in the first half. The Seahawks had eight sacks in the first 30 minutes. It was pure domination. Chris Clemons had four sacks in the first half alone. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Bruce Irvin also had two sacks — both of which were predicted by my photographer Paul Koehnke (pronounced ‘Kinky’ — seriously). Aside from a 41-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate in the second quarter, the game was at a standstill in Seattle. The Seahawks led the Packers 7-0 at the intermission.

Green Bay made the appropriate halftime adjustments and dominated time of possession in the second half. They started running the ball, which opened the passing game for Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks defense was still stout when they needed to be (even though they were tired as hell thanks to the ineptitude of the Seahawks offense), holding Green Bay to just 12 points. Seattle’s impressive defensive effort was completely overshadowed by what happened late in the game.

Trailing 12-7, the Seahawks had one last drive to beat the Packers. They got the ball with :46 to play. After a 22-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Sidney Rice, the Seahawks were on the Packers 24-yard line, and well within striking distance. The next three passes were incomplete, leaving the Seahawks with fourth down and only :08. Russell Wilson took the snap and all the receivers made a beeline to the end zone. Wilson was forced to roll left and eventually fired away. I was standing in the back corner of the end zone, so the play literally unfolded right in front of me. I remember watching the ball fly through the air and seeing it drop into the mess of players. At first it looked like M.D. Jennings picked off the pass, but then I took a closer look when the players were on the ground. I saw that Golden Tate had his arms around the ball as well. The officials rushed in and ruled it a touchdown. If you somehow missed it >> watch the play right here.

Golden Tate | Monday Night Football

Seconds after Golden Tate caught the game-winning touchdown

Chaos — that’s the best word to describe what happened next. The Seahawks players swarmed the end zone to celebrate the touchdown. I was among the cameras that circled around Tate just seconds after his game-winning score. Packers players were lost in the mix, and it almost looked like a fight was about to break out. Reporters were shoving their microphones in Tate’s face and the play wasn’t even reviewed yet. Players, coaches, and — I don’t even know who else — were all over the field. While you were watching replays on television, I saw Packers and Seahawks players barking at each other all over the field. I honestly thought a brawl was going to break out. I even saw Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll grabbing some of his players to keep them out of trouble.

I don’t know how, but order was finally restored as the teams went back to their sidelines. That didn’t last long though. The place went crazy again after the game-winning touchdown was confirmed by the replay officials. The Seahawks extra point unit went on the field to finish the game, but the Packers went to the locker room. Everyone else stormed the field again. Seahawks were doing interviews and cameras were following players around as they were celebrating. Meanwhile, the Seahawks special teams guys knew they still needed to kick the extra point. They were looking around and throwing their hands into the air, basically saying what I was, “What in the world is going on right now?” It was truly pandemonium, which finally ended with the Seahawks heading into the locker room without kicking the extra point.

Fans were making their way to the stands, while I was heading to the locker room to get postgame interviews. All of a sudden the Seahawks were coming through the tunnel back onto the field. In what was already an embarrassing situation for the replacement officials, Seattle still needed to kick the extra point to end the game — like the special teams players had thought earlier. Nearly five minutes (if not longer) after the touchdown was confirmed, with the stadium almost bare, Steven Hauschka made the extra point, finally bringing an end to what was one of the strangest moments I’ll ever experience at a sporting event in my life.

Tim Lewis KOMO | Monday Night Football

That’s me (holding the white notepad) during the final, controversial play of Monday Night Football

It was funny to listen to all the conversations in the media room. Everyone was either debating the call or telling their version of the final eight seconds of the game. Some people were convinced that Tate came down with it, while others thought the ruling a joke. The official call was that it was a “simultaneous catch”. Simply explained — a tie goes to the wide receiver. So, even though M.D. Jennings and Golden Tate both had their hands on the ball, the advantage goes to Tate. The debate/stories didn’t end at CenturyLink Field either. Everyone at my television station was talking about the game, and even folks at the grocery were in debate when I walked in after work. Everywhere you turned — it was the topic of the night.

I was looking forward to covering Monday Night Football and it was everything I hoped it would be — and much more. Like I said in my report from CenturyLink Field last night, people can debate all they want, but in the end it’s a win for the Seahawks, a loss for the Packers, and an even bigger loss for the NFL and the replacement officials. Some are already calling it the “Play of Infamy”. No matter what it’s called – it’s one of the most exciting finishes we’ll ever see on the gridiron and I was on the field for every second of it.

I would love to hear what you saw in the final eight seconds of the game! Was it a touchdown or an interception? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Leave a message below or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more great sports coverage!

Ross Bowers | Bothell Quarterback Is Rising Star

Bothell (Wash.) High School quarterback Ross Bowers is a star on the rise. He’s only a sophomore, so you won’t likely hear about him in recruiting circles for another season or two – but Bowers will be a big recruit when the time comes. It’s early in the season, but I’ve watched Bowers play twice this year, and his skills shine even against the best competition in the state.

Ross Bowers Bothell Quarterback

Ross Bowers

The first time I watched Ross Bowers he was facing off against Max Browne (the top quarterback recruit in the country this season) and No. 1 ranked Skyline (Wash.). Bothell quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind two touchdown passes by Bowers. I didn’t know anything about him, but his skill was apparent. I was so focused on Browne early in the game, that I didn’t even know Bowers’ name until I checked the roster after his first touchdown pass. That’s when I realized Bowers was only a sophomore, and I was watching a future star in the making.

Bowers made some late mistakes in that game (showing he still has room to improve), but he finished 15 of 33 for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble deep in his own territory late in the contest that gave Skyline a safety. Despite his mistakes, the Skyline players were impressed with Bowers’ skills:

“I’ve gone to camps with him, and he’s a heck of a player,” Skyline defensive back Nic Sblendorio told The Seattle Times after the game. “He’s for sure going to be a D-I player. He’s just a heck of a quarterback.”

Ross Bowers Quarterback Bothell

Ross Bowers in action against Bellevue

Bowers’ stat sheet wasn’t quite as impressive last week when he battled Bellevue (Wash.) — the top 3A team in the state. Bowers had no protection, so he had no time to throw the football. Bowers took hit after hit after hit. One hit was so big that it jarred the ball loose, and it was scooped up by Bellevue for a touchdown. Bowers could have pouted or acted defeated, but he didn’t — he kept popping right back up. That’s what I liked most about him. Instead of whining or acting injured, Bowers looked motivated to get up and try again. It was clear he wanted more than anything to just shove it down Bellevue’s throat. That drive, motivation and maturity will help Bowers make it to the next level.

It’s easy to forget Ross Bowers is just 15-years-old when you watch him play. He won’t even be a freshman in college until 2015. Bowers is already listed at 6’2″ 175 pounds, and he has plenty of room/time him to grow. He comes from good genes. Bowers’ dad John was a long-time assistant football coach at the D-I level (he even coached linebackers for two season under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green), while his mom Joanne is the head women’s gymnastics coach at the University of Washington.

Here’s a look at Ross Bowers from a camp/combine this spring:

Listed as a pro-style quarterback by, Bowers has Florida, LSU and Texas listed as some of his college choices. Only time – and tons of recruiting letters, visits, etc. – will tell where Ross Bowers will end up. All I know is that it will be fun to see how his career shakes out. I’ll be one of the many watching closely.

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Max Browne | Future USC Quarterback Shining At Skyline

It’s not hard to see why USC jumped all over Skyline quarterback Max Browne. He’s the top ranked quarterback prospect in the country for a reason. The kid is 6’5″ 215 pounds and he’s just starting his senior year of high school. On top of his prototypical size, Browne is oozing with talent, and it looks like there’s plenty of room for him to get even better before he heads to USC, wrapping up his final year at Skyline.

Max Browne Skyline Heading To USC

Max Browne

I watched Max Browne play in person for the first time last Friday night. It was Skyline’s season opener against Bothell. Browne admitted to me after the game that he started slow, but his efforts were still enough to lead Skyline to a 33-21 win. Browne went 24-of-35 for 291 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. Browne did some damage on the ground as well, running 11 times for 25 yards and a touchdown.

I was most impressed with Browne when I interviewed him after the game. He was a nice, well spoken, and smart kid. When you add intelligence to Browne’s package of size and skill, it’s not hard to see why Browne is the No. 3 overall prospect in the country — and why USC is itching to get him into their program.

Max Browne has a lot to live up to this season, but it’s mostly his own fault after putting up gaudy numbers the last two years at Skyline. Browne went for 4,034 yards, 45 touchdowns and only seven interceptions last year, and that’s after throwing for 4,182 yards, 50 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a sophomore. His resume was more than enough for USC to throw a scholarship at Browne, who committed to the Trojans in April. According to, Browne also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and many other national powers.

The praise for Max Browne comes from everywhere. ESPN says Browne is ”one of the more complete passers in terms of measurables, arm strength and ability to make all the throws,” while says “mechanically, you could do an instruction video on him as his ball placement, release, and drops are college level right now.” Aside from his foot speed (which is about the only knock on Browne), the compliments go on and on.

Here’s a video of Max Browne so you can judge for yourself:

You never know what’s going to happen (take former Skyline/BYU/current Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps for example), but it looks like Max Browne’s future is bright. With Matt Barkley finishing up his senior season at USC, the starting quarterback position is up for grabs next season. Who’s to say Browne can’t step in right away and guide the Trojans in 2013? It will be fun to see what the future holds.

Have you ever seen Max Browne in action? What do you think of the quarterback’s skills? I would love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more sports coverage, including a story on a 14-year-old quarterback who recently committed to the University of Washington.

Letting [Players] Go Is Never Easy

In the movie Bull Durham, the Bulls manager has to tell Crash Davis (played by Kevin Costner) that he’s being cut. The skipper says, “This is the toughest job a manager has…” right before he breaks the news to Davis. It’s an emotional exchange between player and coach. Yes, Bull Durham is only a film, but this same exact situation happens in real life every season in the National Football League.

At the start of camp, the Seattle Seahawks had 90 players on their roster. By the time the regular season comes around in September, the Hawks can only carry 53 guys (a league-wide rule). That means general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have to release 37 players along the way.

John Schneider Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks

John Schneider and Pete Carroll

“I don’t know how it is at other places, but it’s very meaningful when we cut guys here,” Carroll told me. “Knowing how much of their lives are wrapped around this and how much this means to them, I take something like this very seriously.”

Carroll says he is connected to every single player on the roster. He told me that he gets to know all of his guys – who they are and what they’re all about — so he can help them be their best. Something that benefits not only the player, but also the team.

“You invest in that relationship to get that done, so it means something,” Carroll said.

Carroll already had to make 15 cuts to get to the league-mandated 75 earlier this week, and the roster moves aren’t nearly done. The Seahawks only have one more preseason game remaining, and then the team needs to cut 22 more players by the NFL’s Friday deadline. Nothing about the process is easy for Carroll. He calls it “a very emotional time.”

“I take into account as many aspects of it as I can,” Carroll told me. “They love this game and they’re doing everything they can to make it. It’s a part of their life and it’s a big deal when that’s taken away.”

Deon Butler Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver

Deon Butler

Wide receiver Deon Butler is battling ten other wide receivers for what’s believed to be six spots on the Seahawks active roster. Butler isn’t a star, but he isn’t a slouch either. The Penn State University product has reeled in 57 passes for 611 yards and four touchdowns in his first three seasons in the NFL.

“It’s nothing new for me to be the underdog,” Butler said. “I just feel like there’s a place for me in the league. Whether it’s here — hopefully it’s here — but if not, I’m confident I put out good tape.”

Listed at just 5’10″ and 182 pounds, Butler is the smallest receiver on Seattle’s roster right now. You’d think his experience in the pros would outweigh any knock on his size at this point, but that’s not how the NFL works. If Butler makes the team, it’s someone else that has to go. The Seahawks are likely going to cut five wide receivers by the end of the week.

“We know that in the back of our minds,” Butler said. “You can’t worry about it, because the more you start thinking about that is when you’ll start to fall apart. You’ll start messing up. It does you no good.”

There are players like Butler scattered all over the Seahawks roster (and the entire NFL for that matter), sitting on the edge of their seat as the final cuts approach. But, for every player who is released, there’s someone else who makes the squad — officially living their NFL dream.

“We’re ecstatic for the guys who make the team,” Carroll told me. “The exhilaration they feel — they deserve it. They earned it.”

Pete Carroll Seahawks Head Coach

Pete Carroll

In a world where superstars get all the attention, it’s hard to remember that life isn’t always easy for professional athletes. Sure, most of these guys make salaries that we can only dream about, but many of them don’t. If they’re cut, that pay check disappears completely. A football player is let go from his job like any other Joe Blow around the country.

“I know guys around here like this team, and they want to be a part of it,” said Carroll. ”It’s a big deal when it works for them and a big deal when it doesn’t. It’s the same for us.”

The Seahawks open the regular season September 9th against Arizona. They will only have 53 players in uniform that day. Who those players will be is still up in the air — that’s up to Pete Carroll to decide by Friday. Let’s just say I’m happy to not be walking in his shoes this week.

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Training Camp | The Life Of An NFL Rookie

Training camps are underway all over the National Football League. That means roster spots and playing time are up for grabs around the country. While camp is old news for the veterans (some even try to avoid it like the plague), this is a brand new world for the rookies. These guys were just college students a few months ago, and now they’re professional football players. They’re forced to grow up fast — and if they don’t — they get left in the dust.

Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson

There are major differences between college football and the NFL. The adjustments are different for every rookie. Seahawks fifth round pick Korey Toomer (a linebacker out of Idaho) says the mental part of the NFL game is the toughest, especially understanding the playbook and learning from the veterans. Third rounder Russell Wilson (a quarterback from Wisconsin) echoed that sentiment, saying he spends nine hours a day studying the playbook. He also said that he tries to learn at least three new things at practice every single day. So, instead of learning math or history like they were a few months ago — rookies are now students of the game.

“I put my best foot forward every time” Wilson explained to me. “I’m going to compete, because that’s the way I was raised my entire life.”

First round draft pick Bruce Irvin (a linebacker out of West Virginia) isn’t concerned with the mental aspect; he just has a hard time with the six o’clock wake-up call every morning. He says all the rookies are up early, and then they have to spend extra hours (that the veterans don’t) at the training facility every day, so that makes for really long days. Aside from all that, Irvin says the speed of the NFL is the biggest difference for him.

“Everybody is fast,” he said. “Tackles are big, athletic dudes that move like power forwards in the [NBA].”

We often focus on the glitz and glamor of playing in the NFL, but that’s not the lifestyle for most rookies. These guys are constantly fighting for their professional lives — one mistake can mean the end of their football careers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the rookies say, “I have to make the most of my opportunities.” From Bruce Irvin (who’s guaranteed a roster spot), to fourth round running back Robert Turbin, to seventh round defensive end Greg Scruggs — they’re all determined to make an impression at camp.

“Every time you come out to practice, someone is trying to win a spot,” said second round pick Bobby Wagner (a linebacker from Utah State). “If you come here asleep, someone will take your job.”

“I’m just trying to earn a spot on the team,” said Korey Toomer. “Whether it’s special teams or anything else the coach wants me to do, wherever they want to put me, that’s where I’ll play.”

Bruce Irvin Seattle Seahawks Linebacker

Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Bruce Irvin

On top of all the adjustments they have to make and the fierce competition, the rookies also have to deal with some light-hearted hazing. Toomer says he hasn’t faced anything yet, but he knows it’s coming. Irvin also says he hasn’t been “tied to any goalposts” yet, but he does have to carry a veteran’s shoulder pads and helmet out to the practice field every day. Wagner is dealing with the same chore. I saw him lugging around Leroy Hill’s gear after practice. I have a feeling the worst is yet to come for these guys. If the Seahawks are anything like the Seattle Mariners, the rookies will have to carry around ’Hello Kitty’ backpacks — a right of passage for first-year pitchers on the M’s roster.

Don’t get me wrong. This post isn’t meant to expose the plight of an NFL rookie. These guys are loving every second of this. They’ve worked their entire lives to reach this point. When I asked Korey Toomer if he was having fun at training camp he quickly replied yes, and added that “football is always fun.” Russell Wilson agrees. He repeatedly told me that it’s a blessing for him to be competing in an NFL camp. Even if they don’t earn a starting role or even a roster spot, these guys have reached a pinnacle that most of us can only dream about. They’re in the frickin’ NFL — getting paid to play football.

I’m always down to talk football, so I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, and don’t forget you can get more great sports coverage right now on!