The Combine Report – Preseason Week 2: Several RC Players Are Quietly Making An Impact

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Two of the NFL preseason is in the books and some players from the NFL Regional Combine process are being highlighted in the chapters. There were several notables in Week Two as many players got their names in the stat books.

For many football fans and media members, they may have a ‘so what’ approach to the unfamiliar players. However, for the coaches and players, particularly the athletes from the RC, Week Two was a big deal.

For starters, let’s give some love to a kicker, Jacksonville Jaguars Kasey Redfern.

Redfern ventured through the Houston workouts in February and booted himself onto the Jags roster to challenge three-year kicker Bryan Anger. In Week One against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Redfern saw the field two times as a punter, averaging 43.5 yards with one landing inside the 20. One of Redfern’s punts went for 59 yards and he nailed a 26-yard field goal.

Kasey Redfern/Google Images

Kasey Redfern/Google Images

Week Two against the Chicago Bears, Redfern was on double duty again as he kicked a 29-yard field goal and had four punts, averaging 41 yards with landing another attempt inside the 20. His longest was for 51 yards.

Could Redfern be the next John Hekker? Hekker is a member of the 2012 NFL Regional Combine class who successfully made it to the NFL and became a Pro Bowler last season for the St. Louis Rams.

Let’s wait and see.

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Against the Jaguars, where Redfern was kicking his way to success, Bears defensive back Al Louis-Jean was very aggressive and was getting into the backfield. As soon as he came onto the field late in the second quarter, the Boston College product made a tackle.

In Dallas, Cowboys defensive back Ryan Smith got into the mix with a tackle, and played the run well against the Baltimore Ravens. Cowboys defensive end Davon Coleman played both side of the D-line and, on two occasions, he got close in sacking Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Alejandro Villanueva got two tackles, including his first NFL sack against the New England Patriots.

Alejandro Villanueva/Google Images

Alejandro Villanueva/Google Images

Tennessee Titans defensive back Winston Wright took someone down in the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. On the other side of the ball, Saints quarterback Logan Kilgore completed two out of three attempts for 28 yards. Kilgore is dueling it out with veteran quarterback Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin. Griffin went undrafted last season, and made the team.  

Oakland Raiders tight end Scott Simonson had a chance to be the team’s hero in their contest against the Detroit Lions. Simonson caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback Matt McGloin, but fumbled the ball on the Lions’ 2-yard line with 4:29 left in regulation. The play was reviewed and upheld.

The Raiders’ defense eventually forced a three-and-out and McGloin connected with wide receiver Brice Butler on 19 yard touchdown pass with :12 seconds remaining in the game.  

The Green Bay Packers have two RC players on their roster and the New York Giants have one, defensive ends Charles Clay and R
yan White for the Pack and Jordan Stanton for the G-men.

All three players got a tackle, White made two tackles.

The Indianapolis Colts are working with two offensive linemen in center FN Lutz III and Ulrick John. John was drafted in the seventh round by the Colts. Both men are getting work done on the field. Colts fullback/tight end Cameron White got into the mix with a 7-yard catch.

The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers was interesting late, and Bills wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt was about to get things rolling for his club. Tied 16-16 with :43 seconds left in the contest, Roosevelt caught a 9-yard pass from quarterback Jeff Tuel to get to their 38-yard line. However, a sack-fumble later, after being sacked on the previous play, the Steelers recovered the loose ball on the Bills’ 20. 

Naaman Roosevelt/Google Images

Naaman Roosevelt/Google Images

Two plays later, Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham booted a 20-yard field goal to win the game in the closing seconds, 19-16.

Bills defensive end Bryan Johnson from West Texas A&M and defensive back Kamaal McIlwain from Newberry had tackles.

In the competitive showdown between the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings, Cards running back Dominique Williams and receiver Kevin Ozier got into the flow of things. Williams carried the ball three times for seven yards and Ozier caught a three yard pass.

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Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers opened their new home for the world to see, Levi’s Stadium. Unfortunately, it was a forgettable moment for the 49ers as they were shut out by the Denver Broncos, 34-0. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the 49ers nearly had a savior, in terms of putting points on the board, but he felt seven yards short.

That was tight end Kevin Greene.

Kevin Greene/Google Images

Kevin Greene/Google Images

49ers quarterback McLeod Bethel Thompson under threw a pass that was nearly picked off by Broncos defensive back John Boyett with 1:06 remaining the game. Boyett bobbled the pass and the ball dropped in Greene’s hand on the run. Greene focused on the ball for the catch and turned a nearly disaster play into a 48-yard gain to get tripped up on the Broncos’ 7-yard line. 

After four attempts, the 49ers fell short to punch the ball across the goal line.

In addition to his 48-yard catch, Greene went back to his roots as a defensive lineman and made three tackles.

Week 3 of the NFL preseason will be a showcase for the starters as all the squads will look for a final tuneup for the regular season. Many undrafted players, including the NFL Regional Combine athletes, probably will not get much burn.

Nevertheless, if these players see limited action in Week 3, it may be a good indication that they may make the team, especially knowing that teams can carry ten players on their practice squad as oppose to eight. 

As the weeks progress, the NFL Regional Combine players are starting to realize that the NFL is truly in their future. Expect to see these players gain more confidence within the final w
eeks of the preseason. 

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