With the NFL Lockout over and training camps now in full swing, I'm going to give you a snapshot of how former Mountaineers are faring during the first week of camp. You can find a list of Mountaineers on teams here. Who has turned heads? Who is injured? Who quit? Who retired? I have answers to all of these and more.
There were two big stories about former Mountaineers in NFL training camps. One of them is Noel Devine. After it was reported that he was to sign with the Atlanta Falcons, Devine signed with the Philadelphia Eagles instead. It was an interesting move as the Eagles already had a stable of running backs behind Lesean McCoy. On Saturday, the Eagles announced that Devine had been waived. The move came as a surprise, especially after it came out the reason for Devine getting waived. He apparently asked to be released after he didn't receive the number of touches in practice that he thought he would get. Now he has been placed on waivers with a rookie minimum contract. For a team that might need Devine's talents, signing him with the rookie minimum would not come with much risk. Stay tuned.
The other story was that Marc Bulger, after weighing his options decided to retire.
Brandon Hogan CB- The rookie for the Panthers was supposed to provide some much needed depth at corner and play some safety. On Friday, Hogan failed his physical and now his status for this season is uncertain. One factor, besides behavioral issues, that caused Hogan to fall into the 4th round of the Draft was that he was recovering from a torn ACL. The Panthers say that the knee hasn't healed fast enough for him to play. He may start the season on the PUP list.
Darius Reynaud WR- Reynaud looks to see more action as a WR this season for the Giants. Thus far in practices, he has spent most of his time fielding punts.
Owen Schmitt FB- On Friday, the Eagles released FB Leonard Weaver. Last season, Schmitt was brought in to fill the hole Weaver left when he was injured for the season. Schmitt played well for the Eagles, but they went ahead and drafted USC FB, Stanley Havili, late in the NFL Draft. Now, Schmitt and Havili will compete for the starting FB spot.
Selvish Capers OT- Capers picked up a couple holding penalties in practice Monday while trying to keep Brian Orakpo from getting to the quarterback. John Keim of the Washington Examiner says that Capers' performance is due to the lack of time in offseason practices. Those were sessions in which the second year tackle could have picked up better on how to block rushers like Orakpo. He's learning now what he would have learned in May. He is also getting some work in at Left Guard where he has been able to hold his own.
Chris Neild DT- Neild showed off his strength during one play during Monday's practice when he tied up two linemen during a run play. He was driven back by the blockers, but he anchored himself, and tied them up instead. During the beginning stages of the practice, he was slow on plays where he had to move laterally. He improved upon that later on in the practice.
J.T. Thomas LB- Because of new rules in the CBA stating that newly signed free-agents cannot start practicing until later this week, Thomas has benefited by getting work in as a starting OLB for the Bears since Nick Roach cannot practice yet. He was singled out by head coach Lovie Smith on Tuesday for his play in practice.
Tampa Bay Bucs
Jock Sanders WR- Sanders has been returning punts and kickoffs.
Ryan Mundy DB- Mundy recently resigned with the Steelers, and as mentioned above, can't practice yet due to conditions in the new CBA.
Wes Lyons WR- Lyons is said to have performed well in practices thus far with a few standout moments. Reports say that he catches almost everything thrown his way, and he could make a push for Limas Sweed's spot on the depth chart. Much of the talk is how impressed the reporters are with Lyons' size as he stands 6'8".
Sidney Glover CB- Glover signed with the Bills as an undrafted free-agent last week.
Corey McIntyre FB- McIntyre is looking to expand his role as a hard-hitting fullback and special teams player for the Bills.
Steve Slaton RB- Slaton is a member of a very crowded depth chart for the Texans. Slaton fell out of favor with Houston coaches after fumble and injury problems. Ben Tate looks healthy, look for Slaton to be traded by the end of the month.
Scooter Berry DT- Berry signed with the Texans last week as an undrafted free-agent.
Adam Jones CB- Jones is still recovering from neck surgery and may start the season on the PUP list.
Jarrett Brown QB- Brown has impressed Cleveland coaches thus far with his big arm and mobility, leading Pat Shurmur to say that Brown was the"perfect 3rd quarterback."