Thunder DL Jake McDonough signs with Redskins
Wednesday July 30, 2014
Not this time, nope. If I am being selfish, I mourn the departure of a fantastic defensive lineman to the NFL just at the time the Portland Thunder needed all their high-octane weapons to stop the three-time champion Arizona Rattlers. Instead, I am just happy for a good football player and a good guy.
After watching Jake McDonough play and seeing the heart and soul all of these young men put into this league, I will simply applaud and wish Jake all the luck in the world. The odds may still be stacked against McDonough making the Washington Redskins' final 53-man roster, but if they want to hear about talent, heart, hustle and a good community guy then I can fill their ears full.
Early in the Thunder season, I spent a good amount of time talking music and recording with Jake and just getting to know the young man, and I found him to be a good guy who loved football and enjoyed the AFL. In fact, while decrying one or two of the drawbacks of playing in the arena league, he stopped to emphasize how he enjoyed what he was doing in Portland, “But hey man, I’ll be honest, it's fun football.”
The hit the Thunder take on defense is considerable, but not a game breaker as the rotation, including K.C. Obi, just gets a bit shorter. Obi laid the hit on Aaron Garcia
a few weeks back that put the finishing touches on the game and seemingly Garcia’s interest in it.
Part of the Thunder's success this year has been a result of depth and personnel choices made by front office and coaching staff. In a number of areas, including two or three players from open tryouts, coach Matt Sauk
, Meadow Lemon and their respective staff have hit paydirt where others football organizations had taken a pass or hit on players who were on no one’s radar. Brandon Lockheart has started at three critical positions, two of which came in wins in Florida, and Brandon Tett has been a stalwart most of the season, just to name a few.
McDonough went undrafted out of Iowa State but NFL draft experts said of Jake, “He's extremely active and tough to handle 1-on-1, could fit as a 5-technique end,” which seems to be where the Redskins will try him.
Dave White is a freelance writer covering the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League. He played Quarterback most of his 25 years in the game in various semipro leagues and hung up the cleats in 2012 at age 45. He "moonlights" as a Surgical Technologist in a large Oregon hospital and has preformed hundreds of procedures on athletes ranging from Pop Warner to the NBA. Dave spent 11 years in LA in the rock and roll business and in recent years has decided to take writing, a life long hobby, to the next level. While currently producing two works of fiction he will produce the column you will see here and is looking forward to it greatly. Dave is a die hard Central High School, Western Oregon Wolves, Beavers, Ducks and proud new Portland Thunder fan. He lives in Monmouth Oregon with his fiancée and their combined five kids...yep five.
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