New York Giants 1st-round pick David Wilson received first-team reps at practice on Monday according to the Star Ledger. Tom Coughlin reportedly said this was a planned move for Monday’s practice, but Mike Garafolo notes the move came on the heels of a poor performance by D.J. Ware in the Giants preseason game over the weekend.
The Giants have been easing Wilson into a larger role, but this recent move could mean they’re planning to use Wilson and Ahmad Bradshaw as their two workhorse running backs.
Miami Dolphins 4th-round draft pick Lamar Miller is fighting just to make the final 53-man roster. He’s currently listed as the 4th-string running back, behind Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Steve Slaton.
At this point, Miller’s best chance to make the active roster may be by winning the kick returner competition. He’s battling Marcus Thigpen, who joined the team from the CFL, for the job.
The Buffalo Bills have named 2nd-round pick Cordy Glenn their starting left tackle, beating out Chris Hairston, a move which comes as a mild surprise.
This will be Glenn’s second year at the position after he transitioned from guard to tackle as a senior at Georgia. While he held his own at Georgia, many scouts believed his feet were too slow to handle left tackle in the pros.
Head coach Chan Gailey had this to say about Glenn’s performance: “Ability’s not the issue. It’s just playing time. He needs as much playing time as he can get. I think if he gets playing time he’s got a chance to be a really good football player.”
Cincinnati Bengals 1st-round pick Kevin Zeitler has impressed coaches during the preseason and is expected to start at right guard in the season opener.
Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander told the Cincinnati Enquirer: “you always hold back a little bit (in terms of expecations), but I think he is pretty good right now… There were plays where he looked like a 10-year vet.”
Seattle Seahawks 3rd-round pick Russell Wilson has been named the starter of their third preseason game. Typically this game is reserved for the starting quarterback to see significant playing time, but the Seahawks will be giving it to Wilson to make his first start. Matt Flynn started Seattle’s first two games.
So does this make Wilson the favorite to start the regular season?
Not necessarily. Pete Carroll hasn’t handled this quarterback competition by the books, so it’s possible he just wants to give Wilson a shot with the first-team offense. Through the first two weeks Carrall had been giving one day of first-team reps to Tarvaris Jackson and the rest to Flynn. However, Jackson has yet to appear in a preseason game.
Everything about this competition has been strange, so it’s tough to assume anything at this point. Despite Wilson getting the call this weekend, it could very well still be Flynn’s job to lose.
Dallas Cowboys 5th-round pick Danny Coale has been recovering from a broken foot which he suffered earlier this year in OTAs. But he’s finally back to full speed and received a significant amount of reps with the first-team offense according to the Dallas Star-Telegram.
Coale is expected to make his preseason debut on Saturday against the Rams, and his performance will have significant implications for the Cowboys offense. The third-receiver job is still up for grabs and the increased reps for Coale with the first-team offense seem to indicate the coaching staff is interested in seeing if he could handle that role.
Coale was a personal favorite of mine during the pre-draft process. Given his limited practice time I’d still have to say he’s a long shot to win the third-receiver job, but I do expect him to make the final 53-man roster, and an increased role as the season wears on is a definite possibility.
Arizona Cardinals 6th-round pick Justin Bethel, out of Presbyterian College, has already made his presence felt. While he’s listed as the third-string free safety, he is seeing significant time on special teams and making an immediate impact.
Bethel has already blocked a punt and an extra point, and likely has a spot on the 53-man roster due to his performance. As a 6th-round pick, nothing is guaranteed. So any little thing you can do to catch the coaching staff’s attention is needed, and Bethel has clearly done his part.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt had this to say about Bethel’s performance: ”He’s got a long ways to go defensively, but he’s working at it. That’s what you like to see. When we talk about guys that can contribute on special teams while they’re learning that, it’s a pretty good situation.”
Chicago Bears 2nd-round Alshon Jeffery was ejected from his final collegiate game for fighting with Nebraska conerback Alfonzo Dennard. On Saturday, in just his second preseason game, he was again mixed up in an altercation with Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Jeffery was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play.
Penalties are part of the game, but Jeffery has shown a tendency to lose his cool far too often on the field. The Bears have undoubtedly spoken with him about this issue – likely before they even drafted him. If it continues to be an issue it could affect his playing time.
Cincinnati Bengals 1st-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick took the field for the first time on Monday afternoon. He had been recovering from a left knee injury suffered during June minicamps.
The Bengals are fairly deep at cornerback, so there’s no need for them to rush Kirkpatrick into action. As a result, he will sit out Thursday’s preseason game against the Packers but is expected to appear in the final preseason game on Friday, August 31.
Cleveland Browns 4th-round pick Travis Benjamin has reportedly been getting some first-team reps in three-receivers sets.
Benjamin is vastly undersized (5’10″, 175 pounds) but may be the faster receiver on the Browns roster. So while he probably won’t be taking many balls away from Greg Little or Mohamed Massaquoi, he could be used as a deep threat (and as a decoy). The Browns were lacking any sort of downfield passing attack in 2011, so the addition of Benjamin could add a new dimension to the offense.