BOURBONNAIS, IL - JULY 30: J.T. Thomas #52 of the Chicago Bears works out during a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on July 30, 2011 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The NFL's Preseason Week 2 wrapped up last night with Darius Reynaud's N.Y. Giants obliterating J.T. Thomas' Chicago Bears squad on Monday Night Football. There were some former Mountaineers that returned from injury, some that sat out with new injuries, and another who was out for a second consecutive game. J.T. Thomas made his debut with the Chicago Bears. Scooter Berry did his best Nate Newton impersonation.
Check back later in the week for the NFL Preseason Week 3 Warmup.
Thursday, August 18
The Steelers had a trio of former Mountaineers make contributions, while the Eagles had one. With all of the attention that has been paid to the Eagles after their aggressiveness in free agency, the Steelers played like they had something to prove. Wes Lyons suffered a concussion in last weeks game, but was able to play during the second half. He showed off why the Steelers love his height when he snagged a TD pass over a defender, but was called back due to a penalty. He did record one catch for 15 yards. On the defensive side of the ball for the Steelers, last week Ryan Mundy and Mortty Ivy led the Steelers in tackles. Mundy played most of that game because of Steelers injury woes. He played less this week, but still made a key stop on a 4th down and recorded 4 tackles. Mortty Ivy's great week of practice rolled over into this game as he recorded 3 tackles. Owen Schmitt of the Eagles did not break into the stat column, but it was noted that the supposed "battle" that he was in with rookie, Stanly Havili, for the starting FB spot never really materialized as Schmitt seems to have a strangle hold on it.
The Patriots looked like they were in mid-season form as they rolled over the Bucs with a final score that is not indicative of the gap between the first-stringers. Jock Sanders played in front of many friends and family as he played in his hometown of Tampa Bay for the first time. Last week, Jock had a great debut returning punts for the Bucs. He kept the momentum going against the Pats with one kick return for 25 yards and two punt returns for 10 yards. He's also been making some nice catches at WR in practice.
Friday, August 19
Chris Neild received a nice surprise after not playing much in the preseason opener for the Redskins, he was inserted into the lineup with the second-string defense. The Skins said that they wanted to see more from Neild, and he was able to make 2 solo tackles. Pat McAfee had four punts for an average of 57.3 yards and a long of 60. He currently leads the NFL in punting thus far in the preseason.
Saturday, August 20
Texans rookie LB, Brooks Reed, shined during the 2nd half, sacking the quarterback twice, forcing fumbles on both occasions. On the first forced fumble by Reed early in the 3rd quarter, Scooter Berry was there to pick up the football. The 285 lb. Berry ran with the ball for 23 yards to the Saints 27 yard-line before WR Joe Morgan took him down.
Sunday, August 21
Robert Sands recorded 3 tackles for the Bengals in his second game with the Bengals. Sands was noted for reading one play wrong, where he was playing for a run, and Jets' TE, Dustin Keller, sprinted past Rico Murray and then Sands for a long reception and RAC. It was noted after the game that Sands is having trouble making the transition to the NFL, as far as reads and understanding of the game, and may be more of a project at this point than a key contributor. Ergo, the Bengals traded for S Taylor Mays from the 49er's yesterday to gain more experience at that position. On a positive note, Adam Jones may come off the PUP list soon, and could play in the last preseason game for the Bengals.
Monday, August 22
Chicago Bears 13
N.Y. Giants 41
After sitting out last week's game with an injury, J.T. Thomas made his debut this week for the Bears. Thomas recorded 2 tackles in his debut. It was noted by the Chicago Tribune that Thomas played solidly during the 2nd quarter for the Bears. Darius Reynaud did not play for the Giants. He sat out with an hamstring injury that kept him out of practice for most of the week.
Former Mountaineer Player of the Week
Scooter Berry, Houston Texans- While not recording a tackle during his game last week, the 23 yard fumble recovery and run by the 285-lb. DT was the highlight of the week for former Mountaineers in the NFL.