Posted: 2:36 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
With all that's been going on, we've neglected our Hoos brethren in the NFL. Well that ends now. Here's an update on all of the UVA players currently plying their trade (or attempting to ply their trade) in the NFL.
Danny Aiken, New England Patriots - Aiken has made every long-snap for the Pats this year. The Pats have missed just 1 FGA all year and haven't had a kick of any type blocked. Aiken has also recorded 3 tackles.
Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs - Albert has started every game at LT for the undefeated Chiefs. The Chiefs offense isn't great, ranked 25th in the league in total yards, but 14th in points. But it's been good enough.
Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco 49ers - There is a belief that the 49ers defense hasn't been as good as it was last year, despite the fact they are 4th in the league. (They finished 4th last season as well.) Brooks has, once again, been a big part of the defense. He leads the team in sacks and is 4th in tackles with 40 stops on the year. This, despite the loss of Aldon Smith at the opposite OLB spot.
Chris Canty, Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens defense has been better than expected this year, their first without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Canty has been solid in his role in this hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense. Most of the time Canty's job is to maintain his position and occupy blockers. He has 17 tackles and 2 sacks, in 8 games (7 starts). He missed one game earlier this season with a groin injury. His play has allowed guys like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil to rack up sacks.
Nate Collins, Chicago Bears - Collins finally got a chance to start and was beginning to make an impact on the bears defense. He started two games, and had just recorded his first full career sack. And then he tore his ACL and is missing the remainder of the season. Collins was signed to a one year deal, so he'll e a free agent this offseason. If he can prove he's healthy, he should get a decent contract from somebody.
Matt Conrath, St. Louis Rams - Matt has seen action in 5 games this year, largely on special teams. He's picked up 4 tackles. He would likely need a couple of injuries on the Rams' DL in order to see action.
Chris Cook, Minnesota Vikings - Cook started the first 3 games for the Vikings and then missed a game, and then started the next 3. He's missed the last two. He's got an ongoing hip problem which is what's kept him out of the games. On the season, he has 20 tackles and 2 passes defended. The Vikings pass defense is horrible, whether Cook plays or not. His injuries have been the biggest roadblock for him over his career.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets - Brick has started every game for the 5-4 Jets. The Jets, despite starting a rookie QB, have a top 10 ground game and are middle of the pack overall on offense. Brick is a big part of that.
Cam Johnson, Indianapolis Colts - Cam has seen action in 7 games this year, mostly on special teams. He's backing up Robert Mathis, currently the league leader in sacks. He has 4 tackles on the season. His playing time will likely not increase much unless Mathis were to miss extended time.
Chris Long, St. Louis Rams - Chris started slow this year, but has picked up his play of late. The Rams defense has been middle of the pack all season long. Long has 26 tackles and 6.5 sacks to go along with one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries. The 2nd fumble recovery, he returned for a TD last week in the Rams' upset over the Colts. He also has 1 pass defended.
Rodney McLeod, St. Louis Rams - A surprise from day one, McLeod has exceeded expectations. Rodney is 3rd on the Rams in tackles with 47. He also has 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception and 4 passes defended. McLeod figures to be a fixture in the Rams secondary for the foreseeable future.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers - After missing the first two games of the season, Heath has returned and is playing as well as ever. He's 4th on the team in receiving with 25 catches for 274 yards and a TD. The Steelers offense has improved since his return, but remains middle of the pack in the NFL.
Eugene Monroe, Baltimore Ravens - A year after winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens offense has been terrible. A midseason trade for Monroe hasn't helped much, as the Ravens have scored a maximum of 20 points with Monroe in the lineup.
Kevin Ogletree, Detroit Lions - Ogletree was waived by Tampa Bay after the first 4 games of the season. He had 8 receptions for just 70 yards and a TD. The Lions picked him up, and though he has just 5 catches in 5 games since, he has 75 yards receiving. The Lions have a lot more depth at WR than the Bucs did, so his lack of production is not surprising. While the Lions have the 3rd ranked passing offense in the NFL, the Bucs have the third worst. Clearly, Ogletree was the problem.
Austin Pasztor, Jacksonville Jaguars - With the trade of Monroe to the Ravens (and the injury to Luke Joeckel), Pasztor moved into the starting lineup for the Jaguars. The Jags finally got their first win of the season, beating the Titans 29-27 this week. That said, they won the game largely defensively and the offense had just 214 total yards. The Jags offense is the worst in the NFL.
LaRoy Reynolds, Jacksonville Jaguars - Reynolds has been a standout on the Jags special teams, and had a big play in this week's win. He downed a punt at the 1 yard, which led to a Jaguars safety. Reynolds was expected to get the start this week, with Paul Posluzny injured, but Reynolds was suspended for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. No word on what Reynolds was taking.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans - It has been a disaster of a season for Schaub and the Texans. Schaub took the blame for the team's early season struggles and has been benched for Case Keenum. There is a good chance Schaub is released by the Texans this offseason.
Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons - With Steven Jackson out for 4 games, Snelling saw a bigger role than expected. While he didn't start at all, he played a fair amount and is 3rd on the team in rushing attempts and yards with 36 carries for 132 yards and a TD. He is also 5th in receiving with 19 receptions for 159 yards and 2 TDs.