By: Barry Barnes, Founder
As expected in the final dress rehearsal of the NFL preseason for Week 3, the starters and expected backups took the field for a majority of the contests to iron out some wrinkles and to get their bones activated for the long season. Within the windows of opportunity in the third and fourth quarters, undrafted players had a crack at a chance to make a statement.
And among those, some of the NFL Regional Combine players took advantage of their limited time.
New England Patriots wide receiver Derrick Johnson came close to being the first player from the RC to score a touchdown this preseason, no thanks to his left foot.
While facing the Carolina Panthers late in the game, Johnson had to tango with cornerback James Dockery, who stands 6-2. Mid-way through the fourth quarter during an eventual scoring drive, the 5-11 Johnson used his speed to get by Dockery while jabbing and pushing. Rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Johnson for a 31-yard pick up as he eventually blew by Dockery to slightly step out of bounds inside the 30.
Johnson had two receptions for the contest totaling 39 yards. Unfortunately, Johnson did not survive the mandatory 75-man cut Tuesday. However, don’t be surprise if the Pats bring Johnson back as a member of the practice squad. He signed with the team on May 19 and was released on June 9. Shortly after his release, Johnson re-signed with the club on July 18.
This dance may not be over, so stay tuned.
Linebacker Anthony Morales had one tackle for the Panthers in the team’s defeat against the Patriots, 30-7. Morales had a good showing this preseason. The Panthers released him this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Kasey Redfern is still alive and kicking for the club as he saw the field three times in the team’s lost to the Detroit Lions, 13-12. Redfern had a punt and two field goal attempts. Redfern nailed a 34-yard field goal to close out the first half, but had his 45-yard try was blocked by Lions defensive tackle Xavier Proctor early in the third quarter.
Linebacker Lawrence Virgil and defensive back Pierre Warren continues to impress the New Orleans Saints staff. Both players are extremely active. Virgil registered a tackle in the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17.
Speaking of the Colts, tackle Ulrick John and center FN Lutz have paved their way to remain on the team’s roster after solid efforts during the entire preseason.
After a huge fumble in Week 2 against the Lions, Oakland Raiders tight end Scott Simonson took a solid step forward as he came through with a 21-yard catch deep over the middle with 3:55 remaining in the contest against Green Bay Packers. The play help set up a 19-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brice Butler from quarterback Matt McGloin.
Despite the loss of 31-21, Simonson contributed to the Raiders success in the fourth quarter as the Raiders out scored the Packers, 14-6.
St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Demetrius Rhaney is placed on injured reserve and remains on the squad as their seventh-round selection. Defensive back Jarrid Bryant continues to show good tackling technique as he got another tackle last week.
Tackle Abasi Salimu looks good for the Cleveland Browns.
In Cowboys land, there is not much to say about their performance thus far. Nevertheless, defensive tackle Davon Coleman and defensive back Ryan Smith are making things happen for themselves in their attempt to make the club’s roster. Coleman picked up two tackles, while Smith had a collision against the Miami Dolphins. Coleman plays the run well and Smith is very aggressive. Both players survived the first mandatory cut Tuesday.
Unlike Week 3 of the NFL preseason, Week 4 will be the final dress rehearsal for the many undrafted players. For the players who participated in the NFL Regional Combine, who appeared to have a long shot of making a NFL roster, have shown that the league is not too big for them like San Francisco 49ers tight end Kevin Greene, Chicago Bears cornerback Al Louis-Jean and Broncos defensive Jordan Sullen, to name a few.
Expect to see some big time performances from the Regional Combine players Thursday night when all 32 teams will be in action to determine who will officially make the active roster Saturday after 3 P.
M. when the 53-man rosters will be announce.
Several good players did not survive the first cuts like running back Demetrius Bronson, who carried the ball for the Seattle Seahawks, and wide receiver Brelan Chancellor, who caught passes for the San Diego Chargers.
Broncon carried the rock five times for 19 yards against the Bears, while Chancellor led the Chargers in receiving yards with 29 against the 49ers.
Don’t be surprise when these guys, and several others, get called up again.
“Like” us on Facebook now