Archive for August, 2014
Seahawks trade 6th round pick to Colts
On a day when thousands of Seahawks fans waited impatiently to find out which players would make the teams initial 53 man roster the biggest surprise came when news broke that the Seattle Seahawks had traded their 6th round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for defensive back Marcus Burley.
Many fans were left thinking, “Marcus who?” I must admit, I was left gathering information.
So I decided to do what I do best, sit down and watch the young man play. I watched every snap he played this preseason and, to be honest, I am impressed.
Typically when you think about Seahawks’ defensive backs you think big, long and physical. Marcus Burley is only listed at 5’10” 189 pounds. Once in a while they will make an exception (Walter Thurmond, Earl Thomas.) Now I’m not saying Marcus is at either players’ level, but it looks promising that he could be a contributor on this team.
He may lack size but he plays bigger than he is. Marcus is fast and physical. What I saw on film was him sticking running backs in the hole, stopping them dead in their tracks, as well as being a sure tackler out on the perimeter. I didn’t notice him shying away from contact at any point, unless it was to avoid an illegal block in the back penalty when he was on the punt return unit.
In coverage he does a nice job staying with his receiver. He is able to run down the field with them stride for stride. Even though he in’t tall he is quick enough to reach around receivers and swat the ball away.
At times his focus is on the receiver a bit too much which can hurt his recognition of draw plays.
I’ve seen a lot throw around about him being a nickel back, which he can certainly do, but don’t let his size fool you, Burley can play on the outside as well.
Marcus can play press and off man coverage. His speed allows his to stay in the receivers hip pocket while in press coverage and his sure tackling comes in handy during short completions if he’s playing off man. Yards after catch were virtually non existent against him.
The biggest question with him is why the Colts let him go? He was their backup at the nickel as well as outside. He looked like an important part of their depth and all they got was a 6th round pick from the Seahawks. The only thing I can figure out is that maybe they want a player with more experience or he didn’t fit the team chemistry.
So, who is Marcus Burley?
A poor man’s version of Walter Thurmond, in short. With some coaching who knows how high his ceiling is.
Volume 4 Over the last few days I have watcher every preseason game, in its entirety, looking for players who stand out one way or another. Some shine in a positive light while others, not so much. Preseason roundups are a brief, 2-3 paragraph, summary of what stood out.
Previous week 1 volumes
Packers 16 (0-1-0) @ Titans 20 (1-0-0)
Tennessee Titans’ running back Jackie Battle nearly let the game slip through his hands when
he let a ball bounce off his shoulder pads deep in Titans territory. Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Korey Jones came up with the interception, setting the offense up inside the red zone. Green Bay couldn’t capitalize and had to settle for a field goal taking the lead with 7:02 remaining. After two big throws by Zach Mettenberger, who had a rough game prior to the final drive, Battle ran in the 7 yard game winning touchdown. The play of the drive, and game, was a 38 yard reception by Brian Robiskie. The player of the game was hands down rookie running back Bishop Sankey (University of Washington). Packers’ rookie running back Rajion Neal (Tennessee) looked good running the ball. Unfortunately he suffered a knee injury returning a kick in the 4th quarter and will likely miss the remainder of the preseason.
Cowboys 7 (0-1-0) @ Chargers 27 (1-0-0)
The San Diego Chargers had no trouble sending the Dallas Cowboys back to Texas with a sour taste in their mouths. The game should have been 34-7 but Chargers’ running back Ryan Matthews fumbled a ball at the goal line that was revered by the Cowboys.
Chargers‘ rookie running back Branden Oliver (Buffalo) looked outstanding in his first action. Even though San Diego has a crowded backfield, I’d say that this undrafted free agent is looking good to make the team. Receiver Dontrelle Inman made a positive impression, especially with his 70 yard touchdown reception from Kellen Clemens. Inman was simply too fast for the Cowboys’ secondary. He ran right past a cornerback and a safety who were double covering him. It was a long day for the Cowboys, but no one had it worse than undrafted free agent tackle Josh Aladenoye (Illinois State) who struggle mightily while pass blocking. Even when things were going well for Dallas, bad seemed to follow. Rookie Ahmad Dixon, 7th round pick out of Baylor, punished ball carriers and was active on special teams. Unfortunately, during one of those tackles his head collided with a crouching receivers helmet and he left the field. Former Seahawks’ defensive Kenneth Boatright spent several of his snaps in the opposing backfield as he tries to make Dallas his new home.
Texans 0 (0-1-0) @ Cardinals (1-0-0)
The Houston Texans never even made it a game. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked so bad that Texans’ fans were asking if they could trade to get Matt Schuab back. I guess you never realize what you have until its gone.
The Arizona Cardinals have a big problem. It appears they have too many talented receivers to keep them all. John Brown, Jaron Brown, Walt Powell and Brittan Golden all looked good against the Texans. Especially John Brown, 3rd round pick out of Pittsburg State, who looked ever bit the part of an NFL player. Inside linebacker Kenny Demens looked very good on special teams, a spot where he will need to shine if he hopes to make the roster.
After watching every snap of the preseason so far, I can tell one thing, the officials need to ice their arms from throwing so many flags. I understand they are trying to emphasis a few things but this cannot carry over to the regular season.
Over the last few days I have been watching every preseason game in its entirety looking for players who stand out one way or another. Some stand out in a positive way and others not so much. Preseason roundups are a brief, 2-3 paragraph, summary of what stood out.
Previous week 1 volumes
Buccaneers 10 (0-1-0) @ Jaguars 16 (1-0-0)
The Jacksonville Jaguars looked strong in their preseason opener against in state rival Tampa
Bay. Former Seattle Seahawks Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Winston Guy took control of the game early. Bryant stuffed the run while Clemons picked up a sack and Guy took an interception to the house.
Head coach Gus Bradley, former defensive coordinator of the Seahawks, has to be happy with what he is seeing from his team. Especially rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. Blake was cool, calm and collected in his Jaguars debut. Despite stating that they were not going to start Bortles, they will have little choice if he keeps playing like he did against the Buccaneers.
On the other side of the field, second year quarterback Mike Glennon had a solid game.
Dolphins 10 (0-1-0) @ Falcons 16 (1-0-0)
Miami Dolphins’ undrafted free agent quarterback Seth Lobato squandered away opportunities to beat the Atlanta Falcons. All around Lobato had a tough game but a miss-handling of a 4th quarter snap, deep in the red zone, was recovered by Atlanta and it ended the threat of the go-ahead touchdown. He had one more chance to lead his team to victory but a 4th down pass thrown behind an open receiver sealed the Dolphins’ fate.
It wasn’t all bad for the Dolphins, Jarvis Landry looked good returning punts, including a 48 yard return that he almost took to all the way. Unfortunately, Damien Williams had to be carted off the field late in the game.
1st round pick Jake Matthews had an unimpressive debut. He looked outstanding in the teams first drive but a couple big mistakes killed the teams second. The biggest was a holding call on what would have been a 76 yard touchdown run by Antone Smith. Falcons’ running back Devante Freeman, a 4th round pick, was exciting to watch and showed big play potential. Fellow rookie Kimario McFadden made of couple big special teams plays before laving the field with an apparent shoulder injury.
Eagles 28 (0-1-0) @ Bears 34 (1-0-0)
The Chicago Bears fought back from a 1st half deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles. Former Panther Jimmy Clausen threw two touchdowns to take a 3rd quarter lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The most impressive a 73 yard touchdown to Chris Williams who pulled his hamstring on the play.
Tight end Zach Miller had a strong day for the Bears. He ended the game with two touchdown, one of which he used his strength to pull away from the defender. 6th round quarterback David Fales looked sharp on his first pass hitting Josh Bellamy down the sidelines for 41 yards. The very next throw he miss read and it was nearly intercepted. Luckily the cornerback couldn’t hold on. Unfortunately few plays later Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins was able to hold on to an interception.
Mark Sanchez looked impressive in his Eagles debut. He appeared to have complete command of Chip Kelly’s offense, leading Philly on three 2nd quarter scoring drives. Not only did Sanchez have a good outing, helping his case in the backup quarterback battle, but Matt Barkley had a forgettable night. Last years starter, and projected 2014 starting quarterback, Nick Foles had a rough night. Foles was intercepted on his first drive and then again later by Chicago’s second unit defense. Nick only threw two interceptions all last season.
Steelers 16 (0-1-0) @ Giants 20 (2-0-0)
The New York Giants score a late touchdown to defeat the Pittsburg Steelers. If I’m being
honest it was one of the most boring football games I have ever watched. Neither team played very well, and I cannot blame them. The referee’s made threw so many flags that the game had no flow to it. A couple players managed to stood. Steelers’ running back Dri Archer showed his explosiveness in space and Giants’ running back Rashad Jennings took a handoff up the middle for a 73 yard touchdown run. Giants defensive back Charles James II hurt his chances of making the roster with a muffed punt.
Week 1 NFL preseason roundup volume 4 click here.
Yesterday I published Volume 1 covering the 49ers @ Ravens, Seahawks @ Broncos, Bengals @ Chiefs, Colts @ Jets and Patriots at Redskins.
Saints 26 (1-0-0) @ Rams 24 (0-1-0)
The New Orleans Saints marched into the Edward Jones Dome and beat the St. Louis Rams. All game long the Saints were able to pick up big chunks of yardage through the air and on the ground.
Rams defensive end Michael Sam had a rough game. He was generally the last lineman off the snap and got eaten up by blockers, especially in the running game. The weight room will need to be his friend if he hopes to compete at this level. There were a few moments when he was able to get into the backfield but those came in overload blitz situations.
Towards the end of the game we saw a little trickery from the Rams as they used a fake punt on 4th and three in their own territory.
The Saints had a couple standout players on the offensive side of the ball. Second year quarterback Ryan Griffin looked sharp, as did rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks was selected 20th overall in the 2014 NFL draft out of Oregon State.
Raiders 6 (0-1-0) @ Vikings 10 (1-0-0)
The Minnesota Vikings scored 10 points during 1st quarter which was all they needed to beat the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings defense held the Raiders scoreless until the 4th quarter clock was under 2 minutes.
Vikings fans should be excited about how sharp Cordarrelle Patterson looked in the preseason opener. Last year, as a rookie, he started the season slow but finished strong. Fellow receiver Adam Thielen made a positive impression both as a receiver and on special teams. For a player who is trying to earn one of the final roster spots special teams play will likely make or break his place in the organization. Another player who stood out on special teams was Gerald Hodges who had a blocked field goal in the 4th quarter.
Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder both struggled at quarterback for the Vikings. Poor pass protection didn’t help other.
The Raiders pass protection wasn’t much better than the Viking, their quarterbacks were worse. Rookie Derek Carr had a tendency to miss high, not something any NFL quarterback wants to make a habit of.
Browns 12 (0-1-0) @ Lions 13 (1-0-0)
Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore threw the games only touchdown as the Detroit Lions ruined Johnny Manziel’s Cleveland Browns debut. Moore outplayed Dan Orlovsky, so it will be interesting to see if the coaches move him to the second unit next week.
As stated above, it was Johnny Manziel’s much anticipated debut. He excited with his legs and showed that he can make throws. Mentally he didn’t look like a quarterback who is ready to play in the NFL. That said, he might just be the best option the Browns have.
Both teams had trouble holding on to the ball. The Browns put it on the ground twice (Dion Lewis, Ben Tate) and the Lions fumbled three times (George Winn, Kellen Moore, Steven Miller).
Bills 20 (1-1-0) @ Panthers 18 (0-1-0)
The Carolina Panthers had a chance to win the game after an onside kick was muffed by Bills‘ wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt. Roosevelt, a long shot to make the team, definitely didn’t help his case. Fortunately for the Buffalo Bills, safety Jonathan Meeks plucked a ball out of the air after Panthers rookie receiver Marcus Lucas let a slant pass slip through his arms, sealing the victory for Buffalo.
The play of the game was a 29 yards touchdown pass from Derek Anderson to Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin tripped on the play, yet managed to keep his composure, catching the ball as he fell into the end zone. During an interview on the sidelines during the game, he stated that had he not tripped he intended to jump up and catch the ball over the cornerback. Then he added that it didn’t matter how the play was made, as long as it was made.
For football fans, players and coaches it has seemed like eternity since the Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos on February 2, in New Jersey.
The wait for football is now over.
49ers 3 (0-1-0) @ Ravens 23 (1-0-0)
The Baltimore Ravens had no trouble soaring over the 49ers on Thursday. Colin Kaepernick played just one series, the only points San Francisco scored. When Kaepernick left the game it became very apparent how thin the 49ers are at the quarterback position.
Gary Kubiak’s offense had no trouble moving the ball against the 49ers, particularly on the ground.
Seahawks 16 (0-1-0) @ Broncos 21 (1-0-0)
In a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII the Denver Broncos were able to finish the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Both teams were heavily penalized throughout the game. Seahawks
2nd year cornerback Tharold Simon was ejected after striking Broncos TE Gerell Robinson in the head after a touchdown.
The Seahawks offensive line depth, or lack-there-of, was apparent during the game.
The Broncos finished scoring drives in the end zone while the Seahawks settled for field goals. Ultimately Denver’s defense finished the game when linebacker Steven Johnson interception a Terrelle Pryor pass in the end zone.
Broncos CJ Anderson suffered a concussion during the game.
Bengals 39 (0-1-0) @ Chiefs 41 (1-0-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs returned to action with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Kansas City’s three return touchdowns helped them get the better of the Bengals. Two pick 6’s (DB Malcolm Bronson and CB Sean Smith) and a punt return by rookie RB De’Anthony Thomas. Not to be outdone, Cincinnati’s Dre Kirkpatrick had an interception return of his own.
Cincinnati’s quarterback Jason Campbell had a rough night against the Chiefs while Kansas Cities backups Chase Daniels and Tyler Bray had decent outings.
Colts 10 (0-1-0) @ Jets 13 (1-0-0)
In a game that featured NFL rookie referee Craig Wrolstad, the New York Jets soared to victory
over the Indianapolis Colts on the leg of rookie kicker Andrew Furney. Head coach Rex Ryan gave Andrew, a rookie free agent out of Washington State University, a chance to prove that he could handle pressure, he didn’t let Ryan down. Furney likely won’t be able to unseat veteran kicker Nick Folk but there are other teams that could use an upgrade at the position.
The loss in the game was less disheartening than the injuries suffered for the Colts. Starting center Khaled Holmes injured his ankle during the first drive of the game and did not return. Rookie right tackle Ulrick John was injured during the second quarter. A rough break for a team looking to solidify a line that has more sacks than any other unit over the last two seasons.
Neither team was able to move the ball on the ground very well at any point during the game.
Patriots 6 (0-1-0) @ Redskins 23 (1-0-0)
The Washington Redskins gave rookie head coach Jay Gruden an enjoyable debut by beating up on the New England Patriots in all phases of the game. When the Redskins weren’t dominating the Patriots the Pats were shooting themselves in the foot with penalties.
From the opening drive the Redskins offense line controlled the line of scrimmage. By the time the game was over they had amassed nearly 200 yards on the ground, 63 of those came from 6th round pick Lache Seastrunk in the 4th quarter to close out the game.
The Patriots trailed 0-13 at the half and things didn’t get much better during the second. They finally managed to score a garbage time touchdown pass by Jimmy Garoppolo to Brian Tyms who had 119 yards in the game.