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Dude dropped two 3rd down conversions last week against the Pats, another big drop tonight and one lame effort for a TD pass. Blocking may be great but dude has to start hanging on to the ball. For realz.
[QUOTE=shakin318;4196270]Dude dropped two 3rd down conversions last week against the Pats, another big drop tonight and one lame effort for a TD pass. Blocking may be great but dude has to start hanging on to the ball. For realz.
[QUOTE=Borgoguy;4196745]They don't call the position Wide [I]Blockers[/I] (that should be a nice addition, not his only strength). Plex has been as useful as arterial or dental [I]plaque.[/I] Wrong move signing him, IMO.[/QUOTE]
i'm not defending the signing, as i was against signing Plax even before it happened.
i'm just disputing the notion that he's mailing it in and not providing any value. of course, we'd all be happier if he started catching balls that hit him squarely in the hands.
[QUOTE=Dirtstar;4196766][B]i'm not defending the signing, as i was against signing Plax even before it happened.
i'm just disputing the notion that he's mailing it in and not providing any value. of course, we'd all be happier if he started catching balls that hit him squarely in the hands.[/QUOTE]
Didn't say you did. Just giving my opinion.
My response was that blocking is not enough of a contribution from a receiver we expected to catch more balls (sorry, JT) and TDs.
[QUOTE]Former NY Jets WR Al Toon's concussions haven't kept son Nick from following in his dad's footsteps
BY Gary Myers
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Saturday, October 15th 2011, 5:59 PM
Mike McGinnis, Cal Sport/AP
Former Jet Al Toon (top), with son Nick and wife Jane on UW campus where Nick (above) stars at receiver for the Badgers just like dad did.
Photos courtesy of the Toons.
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MADISON, Wis. - Nick Toon, then just 4 years old, remembers entering his parents' bedroom in the middle of the day and seeing his father lying by himself in the dark, sunglasses covering his eyes.
He remembers jumping onto the bed and cuddling with his dad, too young to be fully aware of the agony Al Toon was experiencing.
The sensitivity to light, irritability, the nausea and the lapses in concentration and memory were all part of a severe case of post-concussion syndrome from which the elder Toon was suffering, and which took three years to subside. The symptoms, along with the fear of what damage the next concussion could bring, forced Toon to walk away from what could have been a Hall of Fame career.
Toon retired from the Jets 19 days after suffering a concussion in Denver on Nov. 8, 1992. It was either the ninth of his career, by his count, or the fifth, by the Jets'.
"I've heard many different numbers," he says in the conference room of Olson Toon Landscaping company in Middleton, about 15 minutes from where he starred for the University of Wisconsin football team. "I had too many."
Just a week before that Denver game, Al was holding Nick in his arms on the sidelines following a victory over the Dolphins. Toon didn't know at the time that it would be the last home game of his fabulous eight-year NFL career, which ended with him catching a pass in 101 consecutive games. In the weeks after the Denver game, Nick saw father suffering, an image that clearly has stuck with him.
"I remember vividly right after he retired and he got his last concussion laying on the bed with him and hanging out, and we couldn't turn the lights on or anything," says Nick, the second-generation star wide receiver at Wisconsin, as he sits on a leather couch outside the No. 4-ranked Badgers' locker room in Camp Randall Stadium. "It seemed like he was in there forever. Obviously, kids are impressionable at that age. I don't know that I was really aware of the severity of the situation. I think my mom and dad did a good job handling the situation because it didn't scar me."
Almost 19 years later, Al, his wife Jane, son Nick and daughters Kirby, Molly and Sydney will be at MetLife Stadium tomorrow night as Al Toon is inducted into the Jets' Ring of Honor. The Jets inducted six members, including Joe Namath and Weeb Ewbank, into the first class last summer. Toon will be honored at halftime tomorrow night along with Freeman McNeil, Larry Grantham and Gerry Philbin.
"I'm probably more excited about this than any athletic honor," Al Toon says. "It runs deeper than just athletics."
The familiar cry of "TOOOON," will reverberate throughout the stadium. Nick has accompanied his father to previous Jets events and has heard the chant.
"My girls haven't heard it," Al Toon says. "It will be cool for my daughters. It will be really cool for me."
Nick actually gets to hear "TOOOON," all the time now. Badgers fans serenade him when he makes a catch. Al Toon is in the stands and roots for his son's success and, of course, for him to stay healthy.
* * *
Al Toon was a track star long before he was a football star and had Olympic aspirations in the triple jump and high hurdles. Nick, 22, the oldest of Al's children, is all about football. All the Toon kids are terrific athletes. His younger sisters play Division I volleyball, Kirby at Wisconsin and Molly at Michigan. Sydney is a high school junior and plays volleyball, too.
After suffering through a turf toe last season, which Badgers coach Bret Bielema says was among the nastiest he's ever seen, and then a thigh injury, Toon is having a terrific senior season, taking advantage of the addition of transfer quarterback Russell Wilson.
Bielema compares Toon's physical style of play to Terrell Owens'. Al Toon, who was the 10th pick in the 1985 draft, six picks higher than Jerry Rice, says his son reminds him of Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald because of the way he catches the ball. Al says Nick is a better player than he was at a similar stage in their careers.
Nick Toon is expected to go in the first round; Bielema believes he's the best receiver in college football.
Despite the physical and mental anguish Al Toon went through with his concussions, he still allowed his son to play football, a decision that didn't come without a lot of thought and just as much fear.
"Oh yeah," he says simply. "Definitely."
It's the same fear all parents have watching their kids play, praying they don't get hurt. The difference is Toon experienced the game himself, and knows the damage football can cause, but he says he didn't want to deprive his son of the chance to pursue the sport he's passionate about.
"Even if my career hadn't ended that way, football is a violent sport," Toon says. "Whether it was football, hockey or lacrosse or rugby, any sport where there is a good opportunity for your kid to get injured, there is that anxiety that goes along with it. That's just something you deal with as a parent.
"It's not my job to steer him away from what he might love."
Nick missed yesterday's 59-7 win over Indiana due to soreness in his left foot, the same foot he had surgery on in the offseason. He's expected to play next week. In five games this season, Toon has 25 catches for 447 yards and six touchdowns.
Al Toon was able to hold Nick off from football until the seventh grade. He wanted him to be sure he wanted to play, and wasn't doing so because people expected him to play as a football star's son. Nick says his father's concussion issues never made him wary about playing, but adds that "It may have prevented my father from allowing me to play at a younger age."
Nick, a redshirt senior who will soon turn 23, is a more physical player than his father was. At 6-3, 220, he is about 1˝ inches shorter and 15 pounds heavier. Al schooled his son on how to catch using his hands, not his body, just as he used to do.
In 1988, two days after Nick was born, Al had a career-high 13 catches in a Jets loss at Indianapolis. Four years later, Al's career was over.
It wasn't until the summer of 1995 that Al Toon started feeling like himself again. He is now a successful businessman, having opened a bank with eight partners whose assets have grown from $5 million to $270 million. He is heavily into real estate.
Toon turned 48 in April and looks to be in great shape - seven years ago he competed in a triathlon. But he's still dealing with the after-effects of so many concussions.
"I still have a problem with strobbing," he says, referring to bursts of light and dark. "It's weird, different situations would set it off. It could be a ceiling fan with a light. It causes a little dizziness sometimes. I think my ability to retrieve information has definitely been compromised. My concentration level is probably not what it was. But clearly I am able to function and take care of my family."
Nick Toon suffered his first and only concussion in spring practice in 2010 when the back of his head hit the Camp Randall turf after he caught a pass.
"I remember specifically talking to the doctors at the time, ‘Let's be overly cautious,'" says Bielema.
The coach sat with Al, Jane and Nick and told them they wouldn't let Nick back on the field "until he was good and ready."
"With what happened with my dad, you don't wish that on any player," says Nick. "It's part of the game. It's going to happen. I think it's something that you realize, accept and go out and play."
Bielema says Al Toon never told him he was pulling his son away from football after he suffered the concussion.
"It wasn't that serious," Al says. "Concussions happen every day in the sport. How did it make me feel? I clearly wanted to make sure the university took the appropriate steps to diagnosis, first of all what it was, secondly the severity, and finally, what methods they were going to use to make sure that he was healthy when he came back on the field. They did a fantastic job."
* * *
Bret Bielema's office window looks out to the 80,321-seat bowl of Camp Randall, an impressive and imposing view for any high school football recruit. Bielema points to a couch and some chairs across his large office.
When he was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach in 2006, Nick Toon was the first player to get scholarship offer from Bielema. "Nick was sitting closest to me and Al was there and Jane was there," Bielema says. "I said, ‘Nick, I'm going to do something because of what I've learned and what I've seen about Nick Toon. Your father obviously accomplished a lot of great things here and has a great reputation. But I am going to give you a scholarship because of what I know about Nick Toon. And Al, I don't mean that as any disrespect to you, but I hope you understand where I'm coming from.'"
Nick smiled. Bielema held his breath, hoping he didn't offend Al, who loved what the coach was saying. A few minutes later, Bielema walked down the hall to introduce the Toons to his assistant coaches and they all gravitated to Al to shake his hand. Moments later, at a staff meeting, Bielema says, ‘Fellas, we're recruiting Nick Toon, we're not recruiting Al Toon.' "
Nick Toon doesn't big-time anybody at Wisconsin even though his father starred for the Badgers and played pro football and is still an icon in Madison. "This is an example of two great people who raised a great kid," Bielema says of Nick's parents. "There is lot of great people that I come across that forget to raise great kids. Al and Jane didn't do that. They raised tremendous kids."
Nick was born in Mineola, L.I., not far from the Jets' old training complex at Hofstra. He's had no issues following in his father's footsteps, although he elected to wear No. 1 (his sisters do, too) rather than the No. 87 his father had at Wisconsin. He occasionally watches old tapes of his dad, but Al leaves the coaching to the coaches and stresses character and academics to his kids.
"I definitely think that I've created my own identity," says Nick. "Following in my father's footsteps is not necessarily a bad thing. He was a great player and he did some great things at this level, did some great things in the NFL. It's never a bad thing to be compared to him."
Al Toon has been serving on the board of directors of the Green Bay Packers the last couple of years and was presented with a Super Bowl ring. "I would rather have a Jets Super Bowl ring," he says.
Maybe the Jets will draft Nick. "That would be very awesome," Nick says. "I would be more than happy and very blessed and fortunate to be on any NFL roster, but to get the opportunity to play for the same team as my dad, and possibly end up in New York, I would be very grateful."
Bielema says people who saw Al Toon play at Wisconsin and now watch his son say he "looks more and more like his father every day. He plays big and has the ability to run away from a guy that is chasing him. He plays well in a big environment. I know (NFL scouts) are excited about the way he's playing."
Nick Toon has done quite well following his father at Wisconsin. It would be "pretty cool," Al says, if another "TOOOON" plays for the Jets.