After the first full week of NFL practices, players are getting settled in to new teams, new roles, or back where they belong. A couple players that signed contracts with new teams are impressing coaches in their first camp with their new teams. Some of the rookies (namely Robert Sands) are making their presence felt.
I brought you a video on Saturday showing Robert Sands blowing up Jerome Simpson. So, we already know he's making a splash. Let's see who else is making waves.
Mortty Ivy LB- The Steelers scrimmaged on Saturday, and spent time practicing for certain situations. One of those situations was goal-line drills. On one play, rookie running back Baron Batch juked one way, went another, and went by Ivy untouched into the endzone. Ivy knew he made a mistake on the play. One which he learned from quickly. A few plays later, Batch tried the same tactic. This time, Ivy was prepared. He hit Batch with such force that his own helmet flew off. The hit allowed the defense to claim a victory over the offense. Ivy was also one of the stars of Friday's practice. Ivy has been part of the Carolina Panthers for the past few years as a member on the active roster and practice roster.
Wes Lyons WR- The Steelers currently have 11 WR's in camp. 5 of those players are almost locks to make the final roster. After not making it out of camp with the N.Y. Jets last season, Lyons is doing his best to stick this time. Reports say that, while Lyons isn't a speedster, he has caught almost everything thrown his way. Standing 6-8 doesn't hurt either.
I'm just trying to do whatever they ask," Lyons said. "It's pretty much meetings and lots of film work trying to catch up."
Scooter Berry DL- Berry has been singled out for his intensity in practices by Texans DL coach, Bill Kollar.
Steve Slaton RB- Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has said that Slaton his having a great camp. He plays in a crowded backfield that features the NFL's leading rusher from last season, Arian Foster. There have been rumors that Slaton could be on his way out of Houston by the end of the month, possibly headed to Baltimore where they lost Willis McGahee to the Broncos. Foster suffered a hamstring injury in practice last week, and it's likely that Houston will feature Slaton during the preseason to try to increase his trade value.
Ellis Lankster DB- Lankster had a pick-six in 7-on-7 drills on Friday night.
Darius Reynaud WR- Reynaud had the highlight of Giants practice on Friday. It actually came on the last play of practice. The Giants were practicing the two-minute drill, and QB Eli Manning dropped back to pass and threw to Reynaud who was running deep post getting past two defenders, Antrel Rolle and Aaron Ross. Reynaud then had to jump and spin to make the TD grab that ended practice. The Giants have been impressed thus far with Reynaud who came to the Giants in a trade early last season from the Minnesota Vikings. He was primarily used as a kick returner and seldom lined up at WR because he never had time to learn the playbook and get into a rhythm with Manning. He spent some of the offseason during the Lockout to practice with Manning and now it looks like it's paying dividends.