In better news for Tipp, the forward talisman from Drom Inch, Seamus Callanan has recovered from a broken thumb picked up against Wexford in the league semi final. He has come through the training programme well and, in what’s a big boost for Tipp, is fit for selection.While the Tipp management team had hoped the players would come through their club games unscathed, Speaking to Tipp FM sport John McGrath of Loughmore Castleiney says at the end of the day players want to get games under their belt. Established corner back Michael Cahill is a big doubt for Sunday’s senior hurling championship opener against Cork, as he picked up a hamstring injury at training.The Thurles Sarsfields player is the latest in a list of injury worries for Tipp.It’s a wait and see situation for half forward Patrick Bonner Maher who picked up a hamstring injury as well playing for Lorrha Dorrha in the North championship against Templederry 9 days ago. Burgess’ defender Donagh Maher is also an injury worry with an ongoing hamstring problem as is Nenagh’s Barry Heffernan with a shoulder injury.
In choosing football over baseball for his immediate career path, Kyler Murray claims to be following his heart, saying, “Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB.”Sounds good. And I think Murray is making the right call in taking the easier path to on-field and financial success. But NFL teams will want to hear the 21-year-old, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Oklahoma say it in person when he is interviewed at the NFL Combine. GMs will still have concerns about the money factor, as they know it is part of Murray’s decision considering the opportunity he has as a likely first-round draft pick who could easily jump into the top 10. That equates to a lot more money than the amount he would have received from minor league pay in the Oakland A’s farm system for his first couple seasons, even with the $4.66 million signing bonus, of which he had to return all but $210,000.As a comparison, QB Josh Rosen (No. 10 overall selection by Arizona last year) received a $10.9 million signing bonus and $17.6 million guaranteed over four years under his rookie deal. Like Rosen, Murray will have a chance to earn a $30 million-plus-per-year contract by his fourth season if he proves to be a franchise QB. He also is sure to gain significant endorsement income as a high-profile QB in America’s No. 1 sports league in terms of fan interest.In Major League Baseball, though, it’s rare for a star player to be paid huge money until he’s been around for five or six years (with the free agency level at six years). Mike Trout is the anomaly as a star player who got paid his megadeal after just a couple seasons. The norm is Mookie Betts, who was paid $10.5 million last year as MVP in his seventh pro season (with three years in the minors), and he’s still two years away from free agency. For all these reasons, Murray will be among the most interesting players this draft season in terms of teams wanting to get to know him better. And it will be fun to see him face the questions.I expect him to do it with confidence, knowing he has a bright future ahead in the sport he says he loves.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL. MORE: Best, worst fits for Murray in NFL DraftMurray’s answer to the baseball question will be scrutinized, as each GM and coach will formulate his own opinion on Murray’s commitment to football. His potential to fallback on baseball makes GMs and coaches a little nervous, thinking he could skip an offseason program at some point to scratch his baseball itch. NFL teams do not want divided attention in their players, especially the starting QB.With so much at stake for NFL teams in terms of money, salary cap space and draft capital, that’s the way it works.In my current work with an NFL agent group, I do interview prep with our soon-to-be rookies so they are trained on how to answer tough questions (along with Wonderlic prep). I tell our players they have to stay patient and be personable during the interview grind at the Combine, Pro Day and on pre-draft visits to team facilities.If I were working with Murray, I would emphasize how he needs to be prepared to answer the baseball question for teams who want to be sure there won’t be an about-face a couple years down the line as the physical difference in the two sports becomes more obvious, or the desire to play both sports returns. Above all, I would insist that Murray be honest in his answers to GMs, player personnel directors, scouts and coaches. They all know he is being tutored on how to answer questions, and they can easily spot when a player is not speaking the truth.MOCK DRAFT: Murray not a top-10 pick … yetMurray will go through a grueling couple days at the Combine with physical testing and on-field drills to the extent he participates. I would recommend Murray do all he can to showcase his speed, agility and passing skills. (Although in my NFL team management days, I always relied more on how a player performed in actual games than his Combine measurables.)I also would want Murray to be upfront about the obvious financial incentive to come in the NFL, and that he understands the year-round commitment required to keep learning and improving at his craft. Another subject that will stir questioning for Murray is his lack of height (5-10). Even with the success of Super Bowl-winning QBs Drew Brees (6-0) and Russell Wilson (5-11), most GMs and coaches prefer their QBs to be of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning stature (6-4 or taller) so they can stand tall in the pocket.But smart personnel people understand there is no blueprint for a successful QB’s size, and what a QB like Murray gives up in height can be a gain in mobility and playmaking ability. Astute coaches can design offenses around the skill set of players such as Murray.I watched the barely-six-foot-tall Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton take the Vikings to the Super Bowl in my first year with the team, so I’ve never been overly concerned with a QB’s height. Neither were two Hall of Famers in GM Jim Finks and coach Bud Grant, who acquired Tarkenton from the Giants in a blockbuster trade in 1972. They saw Tarkenton use his quickness, elusiveness and smarts to lead Minnesota to three Super Bowls.Today, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes at 6-3 is not the biggest QB, but he is the reigning MVP and the most exciting player in the game today. Browns QB Baker Mayfield, last year’s top draft pick, looks like the real deal at 6-1.MORE: Can Murray go No. 1 overall in draft?A third subject Murray must be ready to address is his relative lack of experience. He started only one full season in college, but it was spectacular — a 12-2 record in leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoff, 39 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions, plus 12 rushing touchdowns.Other recent high draft picks such as Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2 overall in 2017) have had to fight off the same knock. Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, another player being touted as potentially the first QB selected this year, will have to answer the same questions.Then Murray will be asked about the old argument that no defense is being played in the Big 12 conference. All he has to do is toss Mahomes back as an answer. The former Texas Tech QB is doing just fine against the big boys in the NFL.MORE: Odds on teams taking Murray in draft