Tag:Tampa Bay Bucs
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:28 pm

Bucs' Williams, Eagles' Chaney top rookies

Stellar play from No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford for much of this season is likely to earn him the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, but in terms of consistency and dynamic play, no rookie -- offensive or defensive -- has been better this season than Tampa Bay wideout Mike Williams .

Williams, who leads all rookies in receptions (58), receiving yards (880) and receiving touchdowns (eight) was again a standout last week in the Bucs' stunning loss to Detroit. Though the Bucs lost the game, Williams was once the team's go-to player, catching six passes for 96 yards and a first quarter touchdown.

Williams' touchdown reception, (video here ) shows why he's done so well this season as Josh Freeman's go-to target. Quick off the line, he's able to avoid the Lions' defender initially and keep him guessing throughout the route with a series of fakes before catching the pass for an "easy" touchdown.

This is Williams' second time earning my Offensive Rookie of the Week award. He was also recognized in Week Four .

By now, you've seen most of the highlights from the Philadelphia-New York game. Most centered around the Giants' early scores and playmaking ability ot Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin and, of course, DeSean Jackson. You likely didn't see highlights of rookie inside linebacker Jamar Chaney , though his performance in this game played a key role in the Eagles' victory.
Chaney, starting his first game as a replacement for the injured Stewart Bradley, had a game-high 16 tackles in the Eagles' jaw-dropping comeback.

A 7th round choice in April, Chaney was a surprise to even make the Eagles' talented roster. Prior to Bradley's injury, most of his playing time had come on special teams. Since Bradley's injury, however, he's led the Eagles in tackles in both games.

Chaney, 6-0 and 242 pounds, is an ideal middle linebacker against teams like the Giants who feature a tough downhill rushing attack. Stout at the point and possessing good speed to get to the sideline, Chaney was able to help limit the Giants to only 100 combined rushing yards -- nearly a third less than their 144.9 yard per game average.

Remember that for complete draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com or simply click here. 
Posted on: December 16, 2010 1:05 pm

Tampa WR Benn, Arizona LB Washington top rookies

This week's two Rookies of the Week entered the game overshadowed by other first year players. Strong performances, however, certainly caught my attention and helped their clubs gain victories.

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has relied on rookie wide receiver Mike Williams all year long, but it was the "other" rookie wideout who was the big playmaker for the Bucs this past weekend.

Arrelious Benn , a second round pick out of Illinois, enjoyed the best game of his career, catching four passes for 122 yards and also contributing an end-around run for another 17 yards. Benn was held out of the end zone, but just barely as he was tackled at the one yard line by Washington safety Kareem Moore after a 43-yard reception in the 4th quarter put the Bucs in position to take the lead.

Benn made an even bigger play in the second quarter, when he beat Washington's best corner, DeAngelo Hall, deep for 64 yards, putting the Bucs in position to score their first points (a Connor Barth field goal) of the game.

The Bucs beat the Redskins 17-16 in large part due to Benn, whose 122 receiving yards led all receivers.

The Arizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington was selected only eight spots later on draft day and, like Benn, he played a key role in his team's victory Sunday.

While the loss of quarterback Kurt Warner and wide receiver Anquan Boldin has appropriately received plenty of attention, many league insiders felt that Arizona might have a tougher time replacing versatile linebacker Karlos Dansby who signed with Miami as a free agent.

The athletic Washington has a ways to go before one can say he's "replaced" Dansby, but his versatility was on display in the Cardinals surprisingly easy 43-13 victory over Denver.

Washington's speed and agility were on display throughout this game. He helped contain Knowshon Moreno, one of the NFL's hottest backs in recent weeks and was just as effective in coverage. His interception and return 40 yards for a touchdown of Kyle Orton in the closing minutes of the game, in fact, put an emphatic stamp on the game.

For all of the talk about Arizona's new find at quarterback (rookie John Skelton), Washington was the rookie whose play was most instrumental in the Cardinals getting their 4th victory of the season.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:07 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 5:18 pm

USC Trojans lose OT Smith, DT Casey to NFL

I argued prior to the beginning of the season that USC was less talented than we'd grown accustomed. Now, it seems that Lane Kiffin will have an even tougher time of turning this Trojan team back into a perennial BCS contender as USC's two most talented linemen are heading early to the NFL.

Offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey , each First Team All Pac-10 picks this season, are heading to the NFL, according to a report last night from Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.

Smith, 6-5 and 285 pounds, is the higher rated prospect of the two. Scouts love his upside, as he possesses the prototype athleticism to man the blindside position in the NFL. Of concern, however, is the fact that Smith has struggled to add weight during his career and will likely be asked to make the transition from right tackle (where he's started each game of his career with the Trojans) to the left side in the pros. That fact could push Smith into the middle to late portion of the first round despite the fact that he boasts as much upside as any of the senior offensive tackles.

Listed at 6-1, 305 pounds, Casey doesn't have the frame to fit inside or out for the 3-4, but possesses good strength and quickness to collapse the pocket as a 4-3 under-tackle. He registered 67 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks this season and was recognized Sunday as the Trojans' Most Valuable Player. Casey also earned USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year award, the second consecutive year in which he's won the award.

The two-year starter is highly active and could earn a similar grade as former cross-town rival (and similarly built) Brian Price had last year coming out of UCLA. Price, 6-1 and 303 pounds, was the third pick of the second round, going No. 35 overall to the Bucs.

As always, remember that for complete draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com or simply click here.

Posted on: April 22, 2010 7:52 pm

Suh to Detroit, McCoy to Tampa easiest picks

It is rare to say this, but I was more worried about the Rams taking someone different with the first pick of the draft than the Lions with the second.

I've been emphatic and unrelenting in my support of Ndamukong Suh as the best player in this draft. He fills an immediate need for the Lions up front, though I can see why some would make the argument that protecting Matt Stafford was the even greater concern. Still, comparing a very good Russell Okung or Trent Williams to a simply dominant player like Suh is what made this pick so easy.

Similarly, Tampa needed an infusion of talent along the defensive line if they are to make gains in the NFC South. McCoy fits their scheme beautifully and is as much a lock to go No. 3 (considering that Suh is off the board) as the big Nebraska DT was to go to Detroit a pick earlier.

Where things could get interesting is with the Washington Redskins and the 4th pick. I believe they'll pick Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams.
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