With the third week of the preseason behind us, the first round of roster cuts will happen today. Teams will trim their rosters down to 80 players today, and then down to 53 next week after week four is complete. As of this writing, some teams had already began to make roster moves, including Tampa Bay who cut Jock Sanders after he had several nice kick returns in the first two preseason games. The rap on Sanders was that he looked small on a college field and even smaller on an NFL field. He was in competition with two others for the kick return job.
After a tough first two weeks of the Preseason, Browns' QB, Jarrett Brown, bounced back with a nice game against the Eagles. The trio of former Mountaineers that play for the Steelers showed well in action. Steve Slaton still has not played during the preseason. I will tell you about his status with the Texans. At the end, I'll award someone the my Former Mountaineer Player of the Week award.
Thursday, August 25
The first team offense for the Cleveland Browns wasn't sharp against the first team Eagles offense. The Eagles held the Browns scoreless until late in the 2nd half. Jarrett Brown entered late into the game, and threw a 4-yard TD to Chris Matthews with just under two minutes remaining in the game on a drive that saw Brown go 4-4 passing for 35 yards and one run for 16 yards. Pat Carucci, Senior Editor on NFL.com, had thisto say about Brown's performance:
"Jarrett Brown did a solid job of moving the Browns to their second touchdown of the game. He continues to show excellent mobility and a strong, accurate arm. He shows a high level of accountability in the late stages of a game, when it's easier for players to adopt a garbage-time mentality. Brown is an intriguing guy who, in the right circumstances, just might have a future somewhere in this league."
Two rookie Bengals shined in this game, but neither one was Robert Sands. Andy Dalton did his best Payton Manning impression against a porous Panther secondary that is still without the services of Brandon Hogan (right now, it's not known when he will be cleared to play) connecting to fellow rookie, A.J. Green several times. Robert Sands had 1 tackle in limited playing time as the Bengals new safety acquisition, Taylor Mays, saw extended playing time. Pacman Jones will begin the season for the Bengals on the PUP list as he continues to recover from neck surgery.
"Neild played with the second string and acquitted himself well, although the Ravens did end up coming back to win at the end thanks to some heroics from Tyrod Taylor. Neild was in the backfield on a couple of plays, nearly assisting on a sack at one point and being right there to help force a fumble at another point."
Following the game, the Redskins cut Thomas Weaver. Weaver and Neild were battling at the same position. Country Roads also told us that he didn't see Selvish Capers on the field. Capers has not performed well in camp, and the lack of playing time in this preseason game doesn't bode well for him.
Friday, August 26
Pat McAfee continued to excel in the punting game for the Colts. He led the league during the preseason in punting average going into this game. His average yards per punt declined a little this week, but that was due to having 2 of his 8 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He finished with a 50.7 yard average on his punts and had a long of 60.
Saturday, August 27
As a FB in the Buffalo Bills system, Corey McIntyre is not going to carry the ball often and be relied upon for his blocking talents and special teams play. He did have one catch for 6 yards. Sidney Glover did not break into the stat column or game notes.
Ryan Mundy did not play much with the starters in the first half, but played extensively during the second. His stat line shows only two tackles, but was key on a couple passing plays that led to incompletions and applying pressure to the quarterback. Mortty Ivy continued his strong preseason play with a couple tackles and a forced fumble. During his play during the second half, Ivy was responsible for the defensive signals as has been the pattern in the preseason. Wes Lyons caught one pass for 13 yards setting up a Steeler FG. If Ivy and Lyons do not make the 53-man roster, they are both strong candidates for the Steelers' practice squad.
Miami Dolphins 13
Tampa Bay Bucs 17
Before the release of Jock Sanders, he had two punt returns for 30 yards with a long of 19.
J.T. Thomas did not make the stat sheet or liner notes for the game.
Steve Slaton did not play for the third consecutive game, and could be the odd man out in Houston as I've been telling you since March. Texans' head coach, Gary Kubiak, hoped that Slaton would be able to practice this week so he could play in the preseason finale, but Slaton sat out Monday's practice. Scooter Berry did not break into the stat sheet.
Monday, August 29
This game was moved from Saturday's planned kickoff due to Hurricane Irene. Neither Darius Reynaud for the Giants nor Ellis Lankster for the Jets made the stat sheet or game notes. For Reynaud, it appears that Devin Thomas has won the kick return job which could make Reynaud's roster spot in jeopardy.
Former Mountaineer Player of the Week
Jarrett Brown- QB, Cleveland Browns: Browns 4/4 passing performance and scramble for 16 yards makes this an easy choice in a week where there weren't many highlights for former Mountaineers.
As roster cuts come down, and news on former Mountaineers breaks, follow me on Twitter, @WVUPros, for all of the details.