Heading in to the second week of the NFL Preseason, there are former Mountaineers that are banged up going into this week, others that will play more this week, and others looking to solidify their spots on the roster. I'm previewing tonight's two games for you and what to expect from former Mountaineers. Tomorrow, I'll bring you a preview of the rest of the weekend's games.
I told you in the the Preseason Week 1 column that Noel Devine was on the verge of signing with a UFL team. As WVIllustrated first reported, Devine did sign with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL on Wednesday. He'll join the same backfield as former Ohio St. Buckeye, Maurice Clarett. Players are expected to report for training camp on Aug. 22. Devine will actually face a former teammate in the season opener on Thursday August 15, Pat White of the Virginia Destroyers.
Now for tonight's action.
Thursday, August 18
Player preview: The Mountaineers are represented on both teams. For the Eagles, Owen Schmitt will start at fullback as he is competing for the starting FB spot with rookie Stanley Havili. Ryan Mundy and Mortty Ivy led the Steelers last week in tackles against the Washington Redskins. Ivy had another good week in practice, and is making a push to make the Steelers' final 52-man roster. Wes Lyons has been praised in training camp for his ability to catch everything thrown his way, but may not play because of a concussion he suffered last week during the Redskins game.
Player Preview: Jock Sanders had a couple nice punt returns last week for the Bucs and saw time at WR. Sanders will be playing in front of friends and family as he competes with Michael Spurlock and Preston Parker for the punt return job. Buccaneers.com previewed tonight's game, and listed Sanders as one of their 'Players to Watch' noting that of the punt returners from last week's game, Sanders was the most impressive having 2 returns for 34 yards, while on the second return he was one broken tackle away from taking it all the way. They say that Sanders will get a long look tonight on special teams.