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Old 01-20-2010, 04:27 AM   #1
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Default Receivers, 'backers stand out on All-Rookie team

Receivers, 'backers stand out on All-Rookie team


Posted Jan. 20, 2010 @ 3:48 a.m.
By Michael Blunda



After the rookie RB class of 2008 stole the show a year ago, '09 was all about receivers and linebackers, as more than a few players emerged as stars at each position. With that, here is the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America All-Rookie team.



OFFENSE

Numbers don't always tell the whole story. While Jets QB Mark Sanchez tossed 20 interceptions compared to just 12 touchdowns in his 15 starts, he played steadily enough down the stretch to lead New York to an unexpected playoff berth. He also displayed composure and leadership skills well beyond his years.

Although not as productive as their '08 predecessors, the '09 All-Rookie backs are a formidable duo. Denver's Knowshon Moreno led all rookies with 947 rushing yards, adding 213 yards receiving and scoring nine times despite sharing the workload. Similarly, the Cardinals' Beanie Wells was also part of a split backfield, but he emerged as the go-to guy late and wound up running for 793 yards and seven TDs.

Offensively, wide receivers ruled the roost among '09 rookies, with Percy Harvin and Austin Collie standing out most. Harvin made an impact for Minnesota right away, as the athletic phenom finished with 60 catches for 790 yards and six TDs. Collie, meanwhile, wasn't expected to be a major contributor for the Colts but got an opportunity after an injury to Anthony Gonzalez. He became a favorite target for Peyton Manning and had 60-676-7 receiving.

In a weak TE class, the Lions' Brandon Pettigrew showed more than his positional mates. Although a torn ACL limited him to 11 games, Pettigrew showed flashes of being an outstanding blocker and adequate pass catcher.

Up front, C Alex Mack started all 16 games for the Browns and brought stoutness to the position, not making mistakes and living up to his lofty billing.

On either side of Mack are the Bills' Andy Levitre and San Diego's Louis Vasquez. Playing mostly at left guard, Levitre played well and proved to be durable, starting every game for a very banged-up unit. With Vasquez, the Chargers found an effective player who was up and down but did what was asked of him. He started 14 games and helped keep Pro Bowl QB Philip Rivers upright.

Anchoring the outside of the line are Baltimore's Michael Oher and the Vikings' Phil Loadholt. Although much was made of his ability to protect the blind side, Oher mostly manned the right side for the Ravens and was a 16-game starter. He was solid as both a pass protector and run blocker, clearing the way for a huge year from RB Ray Rice. Also starting at right tackle, Loadholt turned out to be the big, nasty lineman Minnesota needed. He was able to stay low despite his 6-foot-8 frame and kept Brett Favre clean.



DEFENSE

An athletic player with some question marks coming out of Temple, Jaguars DT Terrance Knighton exceeded just about all expectations. He was tops among all rookie linemen with 45 tackles and started every game. Next to him inside is B.J. Raji, a top-10 draft selection who played the nose in Green Bay's 3-4 scheme. Although he was plagued by an ankle injury all year, Raji made his presence felt when Ryan Pickett went down.

Lining up at the ends are AFC West foes Matt Shaughnessy of Oakland and Tyson Jackson* of kansas city. An injury to Greg Ellis opened the door for Shaughnessy to make an impact as a rotational player, as the third-rounder piled up four sacks. *Jackson, meanwhile, did not live up to the hype after being the third overall pick last April, but he was a full-time starter and finished with 38 tackles, a fair number for a 3-4 end.

Defensively, linebacker is clearly the spot at which this class shined. Nobody was better than the Texans' Brian Cushing, who set a physical tone for the Houston "D." He proved to be an all-around star, piling up 133 tackles, four sacks and four INTs on his way to a Pro Bowl nod. Not far behind Cushing is former USC teammate Clay Matthews, who improved the Packers' defense greatly once he entered the starting lineup. He was a big-play machine, recording 10 sacks and three fumble recoveries, and he was named to the Pro Bowl team as a replacement. Lastly, the Redskins' Brian Orakpo stood out while rotating between linebacker and D-end, an impressive feat for a rookie. His 11 sacks helped land him on the Pro Bowl roster.

Manning the corners for the All-Rookie club are the Dolphins' Vontae Davis and the Colts' Jacob Lacey. Although he gave up some big plays, Davis frequently put his top-notch physical skills on display, finishing with four interceptions and 52 tackles. Not even drafted in April, Lacey turned out to be a godsend for an Indy secondary that was decimated by injuries. Despite making just nine starts, he had a terrific 85 tackles, 13 passes defended and three picks.

Rounding out the defense are safeties Jairus Byrd of the Bills and Louis Delmas of Detroit. Byrd proved to be quite a ballhawk in Year One, tying for the league lead with nine interceptions and helping Buffalo rank No. 2 against the pass; he's headed to the Pro Bowl. Delmas, meanwhile, was the lone bright spot in a dismal secondary. A tough player and hard hitter, he had 94 tackles and two picks, one of which he returned for a 101-yard TD.



SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Ryan Succop, "Mr. Irrelevant," proved quite relevant for the chefs, drilling 25-of-29 field-goal attempts. For the Colts, Pat McAfee did more than just punt, also emerging as the best kickoff guy the team has had in years.

In addition to being an All-Rookie receiver, Percy Harvin also made the squad as a kick returner, averaging 27.5 yards and taking two kicks back for scores. The Bengals' Quan Cosby was also a very effective return man in Year One. Despite going undrafted, he made explosive plays and gained 11.9 yards per punt return.

Arizona's LaRod Stephens-Howling, a seventh-rounder, stepped up as an exceptional special-teams gunner. In Week 12 alone, he downed three punts inside the opponents' five-yard line.



2009 All-Rookie team

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Mark Sanchez / Jets

Running backs
Knowshon Moreno / Broncos
Beanie Wells / Cardinals

Wide receivers
Percy Harvin / Vikings
Austin Collie / Colts

Tight end
Brandon Pettigrew / Lions

Center
Alex Mack / Browns

Offensive guards
Andy Levitre / Bills
Louis Vasquez / Chargers

Offensive tackles
Michael Oher / Ravens
Phil Loadholt / Vikings



DEFENSE

Defensive linemen
Terrance Knighton / Jaguars
B.J. Raji / Packers
Matt Shaughnessy / Raiders
Tyson Jackson* / chefs

Linebackers
Brian Cushing / Texans
Clay Matthews / Packers
Brian Orakpo / Redskins

Cornerbacks
Vontae Davis / Dolphins
Jacob Lacey / Colts

Safeties
Jairus Byrd / Bills
Louis Delmas / Lions



SPECIALISTS

Placekicker
Ryan Succop / chefs

Punter
Pat McAfee / Colts

Punt returner
Quan Cosby / Bengals

Kickoff returner
Percy Harvin / Vikings

Special-teamer
LaRod Stephens-Howling / Cardinals



http://www.profootballweekly.com/201...ll-rookie-team
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:40 AM   #2
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Moreno made the All Rookie team? Not bad for a supposed slow, bust of a draft pick.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:51 AM   #3
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We had 5 picks out of the first 65... One all rookie performer. Sad! There are a lot of guys on this list that were hyped by the OM prior to the draft!
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:54 AM   #4
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Shoulda whipped together a package for Raji AND (not on the list) Brace.

They would've been much more impactful than Moreno+Ayers+Smith.

I guess that's what happens when you only spend a month scouting for the draft.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:42 AM   #5
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Moreno is going to be just fine. The Smith situation though was terrible in hindsight, but that's just what it is...hindsight. I think Ayers will be much improved next year too. We have a lot of holes to fill, and this next draft might make or break McD...He's gonna need some rookies to make an immediate impact.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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We had 5 picks out of the first 65... One all rookie performer. Sad! There are a lot of guys on this list that were hyped by the OM prior to the draft!
Very underwhelming 1st year performance... Lets hope for a big jump next season.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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No Alphonso Smith or Richard Quinn? What a rip off!!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:29 AM   #8
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Damn! We must be the only team ever to not get instant results out of rookies!

Damn you McDaniels! I remember when Shanahan hit on every draft pick, and they all made the all rookie team every year.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #9
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Damn! We must be the only team ever to not get instant results out of rookies!

Damn you McDaniels! I remember when Shanahan hit on every draft pick, and they all made the all rookie team every year.
Ah, the good old days.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:21 AM   #10
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. *Jackson, meanwhile, did not live up to the hype after being the third overall pick last April

LMAO you do realize T-Jack is playing one of if not the hardest position in the NFL to learn right? DL always take time to develop
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:22 AM   #11
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. *Jackson, meanwhile, did not live up to the hype after being the third overall pick last April

LMAO you do realize T-Jack is playing one of if not the hardest position in the NFL to learn right? DL always take time to develop

Uh....yeah......

Most Sacks, Rookie, Season

14.5 Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999
13.0 Dwight Freeny, Indianapolis, 2002
12.5 Leslie O'Neal, San Diego, 1986
12.5 Simeon Rice, Arizona, 1996


son ya don't know much......do ya....


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Old 01-21-2010, 03:36 AM   #12
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I hope to god Knowshon can summon the career of LT here in Denver.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #13
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I hope to god Knowshon can summon the career of LT here in Denver.
More like Tiki Barber, except he loves playing football not talking about it on TV.

I'm actually quite happy with our draft class.

Despite a weak and under performing interior OL, losing our very good RT for a 2nd year UDFA guy in week 6, splitting carries, and coming back quickly from an MCL injury Moreno was a generally effective back who showed his all around versatility. He should make significant strides (if he avoid injury) going into his second year, and the offensive game plan will likely be adjusted accordingly.

Robert Ayers was drafted with "PROJECT" stamped all over him. Even Mike Mayock (the king of draft gurus) who outright loves the guy said he's a three year developmental type. But we had him playing in heavy rotation as a rookie and he directly lead to several of Dumervil's league leading 17 sacks. I really look forward to seeing how he develops with a full off-season in the system.

Alphonso Smith didn't impress much, though he did also suffer an injury. I still think that if he was graduating in this class he's the #2 CB behind Joe Haden though, and we got him a year early. I'm not willing to give up on him after an uninspiring rookie season.

Darcel McBath looks like a future starter and was pushing for playing time this year behind two very good veteran safeties. You can't ask for more than that from a 2nd round pick.

Quinn was the #3 TE this season, how often does that guy get involved in any offense? His big shot at making an impression will come next year when Scheffler is gone. He looked like a quality run blocker in limited action this year though, so he should have a home at least doing that.

I personally think its a joke that David Bruton didn't get the ST gunner nod over some guy who just had a few nice touchbacks in a single game. Bruton was hands down the best ST coverage guy on our team last year and one of the best in the NFL. He's worth his pick just for his STs contributions, and its very possible he develops into a quality safety. Lord knows the athleticism is there.

Olsen and all the rest of the draftees haven't had a chance yet, so they can't be judged. But to have gotten a legit starter from day one in Moreno, a solid rotational type with tons of future potential in Ayers, a likely future starter in McBath, and a stud STer in Bruton from a single draft is what I'd generally consider a win.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco Rob View Post
Uh....yeah......

Most Sacks, Rookie, Season

14.5 Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999
13.0 Dwight Freeny, Indianapolis, 2002
12.5 Leslie O'Neal, San Diego, 1986
12.5 Simeon Rice, Arizona, 1996


son ya don't know much......do ya....


Lol get destroyed.

DL, I'd definitely say LB and Secondary positions are way harder to get used to in the pros also. Derrelle Revis' don't come around often.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco Rob View Post
Uh....yeah......

Most Sacks, Rookie, Season

14.5 Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999
13.0 Dwight Freeny, Indianapolis, 2002
12.5 Leslie O'Neal, San Diego, 1986
12.5 Simeon Rice, Arizona, 1996


son ya don't know much......do ya....


Those ARE all 4-3 DE's though... it's a completely different position.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
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More like Tiki Barber, except he loves playing football not talking about it on TV.

I'm actually quite happy with our draft class.

Despite a weak and under performing interior OL, losing our very good RT for a 2nd year UDFA guy in week 6, splitting carries, and coming back quickly from an MCL injury Moreno was a generally effective back who showed his all around versatility. He should make significant strides (if he avoid injury) going into his second year, and the offensive game plan will likely be adjusted accordingly.

Robert Ayers was drafted with "PROJECT" stamped all over him. Even Mike Mayock (the king of draft gurus) who outright loves the guy said he's a three year developmental type. But we had him playing in heavy rotation as a rookie and he directly lead to several of Dumervil's league leading 17 sacks. I really look forward to seeing how he develops with a full off-season in the system.

Alphonso Smith didn't impress much, though he did also suffer an injury. I still think that if he was graduating in this class he's the #2 CB behind Joe Haden though, and we got him a year early. I'm not willing to give up on him after an uninspiring rookie season.

Darcel McBath looks like a future starter and was pushing for playing time this year behind two very good veteran safeties. You can't ask for more than that from a 2nd round pick.

Quinn was the #3 TE this season, how often does that guy get involved in any offense? His big shot at making an impression will come next year when Scheffler is gone. He looked like a quality run blocker in limited action this year though, so he should have a home at least doing that.

I personally think its a joke that David Bruton didn't get the ST gunner nod over some guy who just had a few nice touchbacks in a single game. Bruton was hands down the best ST coverage guy on our team last year and one of the best in the NFL. He's worth his pick just for his STs contributions, and its very possible he develops into a quality safety. Lord knows the athleticism is there.

Olsen and all the rest of the draftees haven't had a chance yet, so they can't be judged. But to have gotten a legit starter from day one in Moreno, a solid rotational type with tons of future potential in Ayers, a likely future starter in McBath, and a stud STer in Bruton from a single draft is what I'd generally consider a win.
Pretty much agree with everything.

I was defending the fonzie, but I don't think he's going to come around. That will be the one pick where everyone flips the **** out over too.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:13 AM   #17
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More like Tiki Barber, except he loves playing football not talking about it on TV.

I'm actually quite happy with our draft class.

Despite a weak and under performing interior OL, losing our very good RT for a 2nd year UDFA guy in week 6, splitting carries, and coming back quickly from an MCL injury Moreno was a generally effective back who showed his all around versatility. He should make significant strides (if he avoid injury) going into his second year, and the offensive game plan will likely be adjusted accordingly.

Robert Ayers was drafted with "PROJECT" stamped all over him. Even Mike Mayock (the king of draft gurus) who outright loves the guy said he's a three year developmental type. But we had him playing in heavy rotation as a rookie and he directly lead to several of Dumervil's league leading 17 sacks. I really look forward to seeing how he develops with a full off-season in the system.

Alphonso Smith didn't impress much, though he did also suffer an injury. I still think that if he was graduating in this class he's the #2 CB behind Joe Haden though, and we got him a year early. I'm not willing to give up on him after an uninspiring rookie season.

Darcel McBath looks like a future starter and was pushing for playing time this year behind two very good veteran safeties. You can't ask for more than that from a 2nd round pick.

Quinn was the #3 TE this season, how often does that guy get involved in any offense? His big shot at making an impression will come next year when Scheffler is gone. He looked like a quality run blocker in limited action this year though, so he should have a home at least doing that.

I personally think its a joke that David Bruton didn't get the ST gunner nod over some guy who just had a few nice touchbacks in a single game. Bruton was hands down the best ST coverage guy on our team last year and one of the best in the NFL. He's worth his pick just for his STs contributions, and its very possible he develops into a quality safety. Lord knows the athleticism is there.

Olsen and all the rest of the draftees haven't had a chance yet, so they can't be judged. But to have gotten a legit starter from day one in Moreno, a solid rotational type with tons of future potential in Ayers, a likely future starter in McBath, and a stud STer in Bruton from a single draft is what I'd generally consider a win.
Great post. This pretty much sums up how you build for the future in my opinion.

I don't know if it's the popularity of mock drafts or what... but there seems to be an expectation that draft picks have to come in and put up very good stats immediately or the draft was bad.

Drafting is all about finding kids who can come in and hopefully contribute while they learn to play in the system. Every year some teams get lucky with a Cushing or Matthews or Chris Johnson (or Clady), and everyone starts thinking their team should have gotten that player.

Getting solid contributions from some of your rookies, and future growth prospects in others is doing a great job drafting...and I would take that every time over trying to hit a home run on every pick.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco Rob View Post
Uh....yeah......

Most Sacks, Rookie, Season

14.5 Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999
13.0 Dwight Freeny, Indianapolis, 2002
12.5 Leslie O'Neal, San Diego, 1986
12.5 Simeon Rice, Arizona, 1996


son ya don't know much......do ya....


You do realize that all of those players are 4-3 DE's right? There is a huge difference between the role of a 4-3 to a 3-4 DE.

Apparently you don't know much about football...
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:53 AM   #19
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drek View Post
More like Tiki Barber, except he loves playing football not talking about it on TV.

I'm actually quite happy with our draft class.

Despite a weak and under performing interior OL, losing our very good RT for a 2nd year UDFA guy in week 6, splitting carries, and coming back quickly from an MCL injury Moreno was a generally effective back who showed his all around versatility. He should make significant strides (if he avoid injury) going into his second year, and the offensive game plan will likely be adjusted accordingly.

Robert Ayers was drafted with "PROJECT" stamped all over him. Even Mike Mayock (the king of draft gurus) who outright loves the guy said he's a three year developmental type. But we had him playing in heavy rotation as a rookie and he directly lead to several of Dumervil's league leading 17 sacks. I really look forward to seeing how he develops with a full off-season in the system.

Alphonso Smith didn't impress much, though he did also suffer an injury. I still think that if he was graduating in this class he's the #2 CB behind Joe Haden though, and we got him a year early. I'm not willing to give up on him after an uninspiring rookie season.

Darcel McBath looks like a future starter and was pushing for playing time this year behind two very good veteran safeties. You can't ask for more than that from a 2nd round pick.

Quinn was the #3 TE this season, how often does that guy get involved in any offense? His big shot at making an impression will come next year when Scheffler is gone. He looked like a quality run blocker in limited action this year though, so he should have a home at least doing that.

I personally think its a joke that David Bruton didn't get the ST gunner nod over some guy who just had a few nice touchbacks in a single game. Bruton was hands down the best ST coverage guy on our team last year and one of the best in the NFL. He's worth his pick just for his STs contributions, and its very possible he develops into a quality safety. Lord knows the athleticism is there.

Olsen and all the rest of the draftees haven't had a chance yet, so they can't be judged. But to have gotten a legit starter from day one in Moreno, a solid rotational type with tons of future potential in Ayers, a likely future starter in McBath, and a stud STer in Bruton from a single draft is what I'd generally consider a win.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:13 PM   #21
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We had 5 picks out of the first 65... One all rookie performer. Sad! There are a lot of guys on this list that were hyped by the OM prior to the draft!
This.

But I will give Ayers a pass as he plays in a variety of different positions in different situations. Smith is a CB, it will take him a while, but it does not look good. Quinn saw the field so seldom that it's hard to tell where he will go. I think we will know once Sheff and/or Graham are gone over the next few seasons. McBath played well in the time he had behind Hill and Dawkins.

I hold out hope.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:28 PM   #22
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This.

But I will give Ayers a pass as he plays in a variety of different positions in different situations. Smith is a CB, it will take him a while, but it does not look good. Quinn saw the field so seldom that it's hard to tell where he will go. I think we will know once Sheff and/or Graham are gone over the next few seasons. McBath played well in the time he had behind Hill and Dawkins.

I hold out hope.
You're right, way too early to give up on Smith. Especially because we have no idea how hurt he was. I'm as concerned as the next person at his lack of playing time, and struggles when he is on the field.

The following is a timeline of what I do about his season, please everybody with better memories and more opportunities to watch the games fill in the blanks:

Training camp: -positive reports, sounded like ball skills were excellent
Preseason games: -I don't remember anything, please contribute
Week 1: -broke up a pass on a crossing route (to Chris Henry or Lavernaues Coles IIRC), tackled Cedric Benson awesomely in the backfield for a loss
Week 3: -"limping badly" after game
Week 4: -inactive
Week 9: -Ty Law takes over nickel spot
.
.
.
.
Week 15: -gives up game winning touchdown to Chaz Shilens

So...in my brain, it looks like he was promising, got hurt, and then struggled with the rest of his rookie season. If anyone can remember any other highlights or lowlights please fill in the blanks. I just dont' see how people are so ready to write him off as bust already.

(I'm talking about his play as a DB, not his play as a returner, I think they should probably give up on using him there.)

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:16 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Doggcow View Post
Lol get destroyed.

DL, I'd definitely say LB and Secondary positions are way harder to get used to in the pros also. Derrelle Revis' don't come around often.



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