March 20, 2018

Old Faces in New Places

Like every franchise there are players who have been let go and have latched on with other NFL teams, and this year it seems like players the Texans release end up getting picked up quicker than usual.

Everyone knew that the Texans were headed down a different road that usual and the players would be changing, and made some early decisions on some “fan-favorite” players.

We will follow the Texans season cuts and see where they landed and how they are doing at their new home.


 Kevin Bentley (LB) from John Gennero from Bolts from the Blue

Bentley hasn’t been with the Chargers long, and was signed quickly after Stephen Cooper tore his bicep. Now it’s a race to see if Kevin can pick up the defense fast enough to justify losing Cooper, who is playing through his injury but is obviously hampered. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bentley is cut, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the team….so he’s pretty much on the Chargers roster bubble. At least for the next 24 hours

Bentley was released by the Chargers today.

Amobi Okoye (DL) from Sam at Windy City Gridiron

Okoye has looked really good this preseason, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has raved about him and Okoye has shown good burst and speed in getting off the snap and getting to the QB. He had two sacks against the Bills and added a couple others (can’t be sure how many in total). It’s safe to say he will make the roster and be in our defensive rotation this season.

David Anderson (WR) from Jeremey Bolander of Mile High Report

Early in the preseason he was doing a good job of presenting his numbers as a slot receiver, and he continued the trend of catching tough balls in traffic, and taking the hard hits.  He started out returning kicks but has apparently been demoted from that duty going forward. Projected to not to make the final 53.

Anderson has been released from the Broncos today.

Zac Diles (LB) from Will of RamsHerd

Zac Diles is an intriguing guy for coach Spagnuolo and the Rams, but a guy who faces a lot of competition at the outside linebacker spot and may be on the bubble as the Rams cut down to 53. It’s an unsettled position, with the Preseason week 1 starter, Na’il Diggs, already looking for employment elsewhere, and a combination of veterans (Brady Poppinga, Ben Leber), special teamers (Chris Chamberlain, Bryan Kehl), and intriguing rookies (Jabara Williams) also fighting for spots.

Of the bunch, Diles and Poppinga are by far the hardest hitters. I attended six or seven open practices, and Diles delivered the hardest and loudest hit that I saw, on backup running back Keith Toston, during a red zone drill. Unfortunately, he didn’t wrap up on the play and Toston was able to recover and fall forward for a “score.”

Spags loves hard-nosed, physical players at the linebacker position, but he also demands a lot of discipline and gap integrity, and that may be the reason that Diles – a bulldog of a player – has struggled to move up the depth chart. The lockout-shortened offseason is working against him, but I could see him make the team on ferocity alone, building up reps in practice, with Poppinga a short-term and injury-prone solution in front of him.

As of this morning Diles was released.

Vonta Leach and Bernard Pollard from Bruce of Baltimore Beatdown

Vonta Leach has been one of the better pickups by the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. Leach is considered one of, if not the best blocking FB in the NFL and was a huge reason why Arian Foster had such a great 2010 season. s a Fantasy Football player, I would be concerned that Foster’s production might not be as good w/o Leach in front of him, and at the same time, believe that the Ravens’ Ray Rice’s production should increase with Vonta opening huge holes in front of him. After having to endure former Ravens FB LeRon McClain’s campaigning for more carries, it’s a breath of fresh air to have heard Leach state in his first press conference here that “all I’ve ever wanted to do is punch linebackers in the mouth.” The sound his blocks make seem to be a bit louder and harder than what most other’s blocks sound like. He’s already help spring Rice for long runs in preseason and there is no doubt that the Ravens are a better team with him than they were without him. I am not afraid to say that Houston’s loss has been Baltimore’s gain.

I wasn’t overly aware of Bernard Pollard until I watched some tape on him and saw that he was rated by one site as the league’s 10th hardest hitter, being mentioned in some pretty exclusive company. The knock was that he was a better run stopping safety than a cover man. The term I heard used was that he was better moving forward than backpedaling. However, he is such a physical presence in the defensive backfield that the thought of his skills complementing All-Pro Ed Reed fits in perfectly in the Ravens already formidable and hard-hitting defense. While Pollard’s weakness might be his pass coverage skills, having a ball-hawking Ed Reed alongside of him will allow him to focus on his forte, which is separating ball carriers from the ball, much less their heads from their shoulders.

Antwuan Molden from Derek at Patriots Haven

After Antwuan Molden was waived by the Houston Texans on Tuesday, the Patriots claimed him the very next day. Initially, I was under the impression he would be released when the Pats would cut their roster down, however, an impressive showing on Thursday against the Giants seems to have won over the coaching staff. The 26-year-old entered the NFL in 2008 and was drafted by the Texans in the third-round out of Eastern Kentucky. Even though he has appeared in 32 games, he has not started over the past three seasons. Molden is a good size, 6-1 200, and runs a 4.39 40-yard dash. Molden seems to possess all the physical tools but cannot apply them to the field. In any case, Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff saw something that interests them. I believe the Pats will keep Molden on the roster and he will be in the mix for defensive sub packages.  Maybe a system change and a fresh start is what he needs. For that, only time will tell.




One Response to “Old Faces in New Places”
  1. taco joe says:

    DA was released by the broncs hope he comes back to the bayou and plays I love the short white guy!

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