Week in Review: Spice’s Stuff, Ohrnberger Signed, Latimore Cut
It was a busy week for Nittany Lions in the NFL. Players were signed, released, moved up and down depth charts, became internet sensations. With the first NFL preseason game set to kick off tonight, it’s safe to say the offseason is finally over and we can start talking football again.
So without further ado, here’s what happened with your Penn Staters in the NFL this week:
Anthony Adams’ “Stuff” Goes Viral
Having spent the past 9 years of his life securely on an NFL roster, 32-year-old free agent defensive tackle Anthony Adams is finally starting to experience the uncertainty of being an “elder” free agent. With this new experience came a new opportunity for Adams, and he embraced the situation and his sense of humor to make a Sh** [nouns] Say video called “Stuff NFL Free Agents Say.”
I promised you it’s hilarious, so take a few minutes to watch it if you haven’t already. It’s posted at the top of this WiR, so you don’t even have to click away from this page!
The video was picked up by Yahoo!, Deadspin, among many others and as of posting, has just short of 84,000 views.
• One interesting thing to note is that in the comments on the Youtube video, Adams responds to a comment asking about his current FA status and Adams responded by saying:
Im on some teams “short lists” I just gotta hurry up and wait
Hopefully that’s a sign that he’ll at least be given a chance by a team at some point during the preseason.
In the meantime, he’s gonna start that diet next week.
Rich Ohrnberger Joins the Cardinals
Speaking of free agents, one Nittany Lion finally received a call after nearly 6 months of waiting. Super Bowl XLVI runner up Rich Ohrnberger was signed by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday with the hopes of impressing during the preseason and earning a spot on the 53-man roster.
Ohrnberger had spent the first 3 seasons of his career with the New England Patriots after being drafted by them in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He missed all of last season with a head injury that he sustained after seemingly winning a starting job for the Pats after a strong preseason.
He will be joined by former Nittany Lion linemate Levi Brown in Arizona, who signed an extension with the Cards earlier in the offseason. The Cardinals’s first preseason game is going on right now (unless you’re reading this after ~11pm on Sunday), so hopefully we’ll get to see the two side by side at some point.
Vikings Waive DE Eric Latimore
Regardless of where Eric Latimore‘s football career goes from here, at least he can always say he was a member of an NFL team. The undrafted rookie was placed on waivers by the Vikings on Friday, just a week before Latimore would have been able to play in the Vikings’s first preseason game.
Latimore was a bit of an afterthought when it came to the 2011 Penn State football class in terms of playing in the pros, but he did end up earning a look from the Vikings immediately after the draft. He was a long shot to make the team from the beginning, but getting that initial look in the first place is more than most college football players can say. Don’t rule out a look at Latimore from CFL, AFL, or UFL teams in the near future.
Royster, King, Paxson All Practicing with First Team
Heading into this year’s training camp, I think it’s safe to say no one predicted any of the trio of Justin King, Evan Royster, or Scott Paxson would be starters for their team on the eve of the NFL preseason. Due to different circumstances for each player, that un-prediction has become reality.
In Paxson‘s case, he has been able to work his way up the depth chart due to the pectoral injury to fellow Penn Stater Phil Taylor. Even with Taylor’s injury, Paxson was far from a shoo-in to replace Taylor, as the Browns drafted defensive tackles in the 3rd and 6th round of this year’s draft. So far, Paxson has taken all of the snaps with the first team in practice and appears to be the man to beat for the job, despite the advantage of upside that rookies John Hughes and Billy Winn have.
As for Royster, his case is the (relatively) least surprising of the 3, although the news is still quite unexpected. Throughout last season, Royster was behind fellow 2011 Redskins draftee Roy Helu on the depth chart. Royster was finally given a chance to start for the final two games of the 2011 season due to injuries to both Helu and Tim Hightower. With the enormous opportunity thrust upon him, Royster shined, tallying 110+ yards in both starts causing a bit of a RB controversy heading into camp. As of Thursday, Royster has been taking the snaps with the first team offense. While Hightower remains out of practice as he recovers from a torn ACL, Helu is still healthy, so it appears that Royster has surpassed him on performance alone. Keep an eye on this battle throughout the preseason.
Last, probably least, and most head-turning of the 3 is the emergence of newly-signed Colts cornerback Justin King. As much fun as I have picking on the former Penn State WR-turned-DB, stats have shown that King is one of the worst cornerbacks in the league, as if his 1 career interception (on a deflection) wasn’t enough of an indicator. That being said, King has been practicing as the second CB on the first team for the Colts and could actually be a starter come September.
When talking to the press, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky expressed his utmost confidence in the King saying:
That’s the one thing that he understands. He understands the scheming a little bit better and we’re putting him with the ones right now and he’s doing a good job.
One thing is better than no things, I suppose.
Also, in an interesting note that I just discovered, King is only 6 months older than Evan Royster. King, aged 24 years, left Penn State after his junior season and was drafted by the Rams in the 4th round.
Jack Crawford “Stars” for Raiders in Practice
It seems that all of the news coming out regarding Raiders’ 5th-round draft pick Jack Crawford has been positive thus far. After sifting through the plethora of English-basketball-star-turned-NFL-draftee stories, I found the latest bit of praise from SFGate.com — the website of the San Francisco Chronicle.
In Raiders practice Tuesday, Crawford recorded 2 sacks (without actually being able to tackle the QB) in the team’s first practice in pads this season. After practice, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Crawford that,
Some guys are willing to go that extra to really be good and some guys are looking for some shortcuts to take … He’s one of those that’s willing to pay the price to be good.
Strong words from the right guy to impress for Crawford.
This Week in Bitter Buffalo Media:
Tim Graham, writer for The Buffalo News, writes a piece basically criticising Aaron Maybin for being mature.