By: Barry Barnes, Founder
The lights were on in Week One of the NFL preseason as months of preparation went into effect for the players, especially for the undrafted free agents who ventured through the league’s Regional Combine. While many starters and projected backups were looking to execute their new system and schemes, while getting their feet wet, the unknown wanted to stay calm and run as fast as they could.
“Ah man, I was kind of nervous (laughter), I was real nervous man,” said San Francisco 49ers tight end Kevin Greene Sunday after having a joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens. “There’s nothing like…first of all, your first college game, you are extremely nervous. But your first NFL game, it’s just a different level.
“I told myself, go out there, run the right route, run as fast as you possibly can and if the ball comes your way, it comes your way.If not, clear it out for somebody else,” he added.
Greene took the field in the fourth quarter for the 49ers when they competed against the Ravens last Thursday. The 6-4, 255-pound tight end from USC was not targeted during his series. However, Greene ran his routes hard with determination as he created for others.
In Detroit, Lions linebacker Justin Jackson played the entire fourth quarter and was on the field to help defend the team’s late lead to eventually seal the deal against the Cleveland Browns, 13-12.
Jackson earned his first two NFL tackles in the process.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Logan Kilgore won several challenges among his colleagues during training camp. Under the lights in St. Louis, Kilgore faced the challenge of the Rams defense as he went 4 out of 7 for 24 yards and an interception. Teammate defensive end Lawrence Virgil was able to bang around and earned his first NFL tackle during the contest.
Green Bay Packers rookie signal caller Chase Rettig touch the ball three times and he completed a pass for 10 yards.
Despite dropping a potential touchdown pass, Seattle Seahawks running back Demetrius Bronson looked impressive with his five carries for 22 yards against the Denver Broncos. In addition, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Nnamdi Obukwelu was all over the field as he assisted on three tackles.
All of the free agent rookies from the Regional Combine played late in their games as they witness the starters, projected backups, draftees and the other undrafted counterparts, who did not participate in the workouts, perform first.
The undrafted free agents from NFL Regional Combine had to wait for their opportunity and when their chance presented itself, they debut well.
With the jitters now out their system, the RC players will perform better within the next three weeks – in hopes to make their respective coaching staffs job very difficult.
Note: Rakim Cox (Minnesota Viking) and Ben Johnson (Kansas City Chiefs) were cut.
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