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The Combine Report: Week Six - Dunbar Filled Large Shoes, Hall Scored His First TD

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Filling in for a Pro Bowl caliber player in the NFL is a blessing… and a curse.

The blessing is that a player gets the opportunity to perform, but the curse involves the high expectations to excel. If the player succeeds, all parties involved are rewarded.

 

 

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Quinton Dunbar/Redskins.com

The Combine Report: Week Six Preview: Rams WR Mike Thomas Returns, RC Pioneers Will Clash

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

After being suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, wide receiver Mike Thomas returns to the field with his spirited Los Angeles Rams teammates and looks to add to the explosiveness the receiving corps already has offensively.

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Mike Thomas/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Five - NFL Regional Combine Veterans Played Their Roles Valiently

All NFL Regional Combine pioneers play a role. And no matter their role…large or small…these players execute their duties well enough to make their teams competitive. Week Five of the NFL was no exception.

 

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Five Preview - A Combine Series Tandem Brewing In Jacksonville

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Four of the NFL was totally owe by the kicking specialists from the NFL Regional Combine. Kicker Greg Zuerlein kept the Los Angeles Rams up right after nailing seen field goal attempts through the uprights, while Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus help to keep the game out of reach for the Oakland Raiders.

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The Combine Report: Week Four - Rams' RC Veteran Kicking Specialists Are Special

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Kickers are like life preservers. Life preservers can’t run the ship, but they can save the people on the ship. Punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams kicking specialists and NFL Regional Combine …

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Rams Kicking Specialist/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Four Preview - Browns Rookie LB B.J. Bello Earning More Time

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Unfortunately, it has been the same old song for the Cleveland Browns, especially when it comes to defense. They play hard to keep contests close, but fizzle at the end. Evidently, there is talent in “the Land” on the defense side of the ball from the likes of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., cornerback Jamar Taylor and safety and return specialist Jabrill Peppers to name a few.

Rookie linebacker B.J. Bello could be in the mix too.

Bello is a hybrid linebacker with a combination of athleticism, speed, aggression and patience. After his under the radar collegiate career at Illinois State, following a transfer from Illinois, he burst onto the NFL Regional Combine scene at the Minnesota-held trials in February.

The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker never lacked confidence, just opportunity. When the Browns signed him as an undrafted rookie, Bello excelled during camps and his progress showed in the preseason as he registered four tackles and a sack.

The Browns recognized Bello’s efforts and made him part of the 53-man roster. He was primarily on special teams and earned three tackles. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Bello made it onto the field with the defense and was close to bringing down ball carriers twice.

“Since the age of six, playing in the yard, I wanted to play in the NFL,” said Bello via conversation. “To actually be here now is a dream come true.”

In Week Four, assuming he will fill some spots defensively, Bello could register more numbers.

“This is a great opportunity, man. To be with this organization, the only thing I can do is get better,” voiced Bello.

CHICAGO BEARS (1-2) VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1)

The Bears gave up nearly double-digit yards in punt returns. Packers return specialist Trevor Davis returned a punt for a touchdown in Week One of the preseason and had a return for 33 yards in Week Three.

Davis is getting close.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Combine Report: Week Three – RC Talents Were Radical In Protest And Played Ball

 

Will Thursday be the night that the second year-man from California and the 2016 RC session in New Orleans take it to the house?

One thing for sure, Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is looking to get his hands on some Packers, as he has two tackles and a pass defense this season.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-1) VS. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1)

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing havoc to opposing quarterbacks with his furious pass rush. Fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa is causing problems as well.

Mayowa is nearly on every play when the Cowboys defensive front bears down on quarterbacks. With five tackles already this season, Mayowa should bring his total to double digits against the Rams.

Field positioning will be the key for the Rams.  They have one of the best punters in the NFL in Johnny Hekker to assist and kicker Greg Zuerlein to help keep things interesting.

Hekker is fourth in the league in net average yards with 44.6 per attempt, while Zuerlein is tied at the top of the NFL with 12 field goals and remains perfect.

Rams defensive back Cody Davis is quietly becoming known for his hard hitting. Against America’s team, in front of a national audience, Davis will have another stage to show that trait.

THE RC RUN-THROUGH

 

  • After a controversial week of standing for the national anthem against the team’s plan, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is looking to steam roll over some Baltimore Ravens, create lanes for the backfield and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the time he needs to lead the club. Punter Jordan Berry will keep the Ravens deep in their territory, and the Steelers will need him to.

 

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to earn his first 1,000 yard season. The Detroit Lions’ defense will key on wide receiver Stefan Diggs, and Thielen will burn them.

 

  • As rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole continues to prove his worth, the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to make him a target, as they will fullback Tommy Bohanon who is exploiting his catching skills this season. Against the New York Jets, they will continue their growth. Nevertheless, either player may meet linebacker Julian Stanford, another RC brother.

 

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts has been quiet for the past two weeks. He should make some noise against division rival Denver Broncos.

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The Combine Report: Week Three - RC Talents Were Radical In Protest, And Played Ball

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Three of the NFL was…well…interesting, to say the least.

While many more players knelt during the National Anthem, one player in particular, although sensitive to the issues, proudly stood because his heart would not allow him to bow to controversy.

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Alejandro Villaneuva/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Three Preview - Offensive RC Pioneers Look To Get Back On Track

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Two of the NFL was exciting as defensive players from the NFL Regional Combine stole the show with huge hits and many stops. This week, the athletes on the other side of the ball will be expecting to be let loose.

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Seth Roberts/Raiders.com

The Combine Report: Week Two - Defensive RC Talents Aggressively Attacked

The NFL Regional Combine talents were sharp on the defense in Week Two. Several squads wanted to make amends for Week One. Many put their “best foot forward” via their shoulder pads as hitting was the name of the game for the RC defensive standouts.

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Two Preview - Will RB Penny Elijhaa Get To Face Regular Season Action?

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

The Week Two of the NFL is shaping up to feature some solid intrigue among the NFL Regional Combine pioneers. Several players turned out and had strong performances in Week One. And Week Two should be no different.

 

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Elijhaa Penny/Google Images

2016 NFL Regional Combine Baltimore Review (Defense)

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By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Owings Mills, MD – Who said great things don’t come from Baltimore? Despite self-inflicting issues of crime and questionable politics that clouds the news, there are countless achievements surfacing throughout the communities of Charm City, which garners no praise through the media. The NFL Regional Combine agonizes the same lack of appreciation as Baltimore. Still, Baltimore and the RC will continue to move forward and don’t be surprise when the next big thing is produced by both settings to astonish their worlds.

Locker-Report.com

Locker-Report.com

Baltimore and the NFL Regional Combine shared the spotlight Saturday as a portion of the football world was focus on the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mill, MD.

The defensive players kicked the door in with 80 NFL hopefuls. And for some, getting to the NFL is no longer a hope, just a matter of when.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

When it comes to discipline, Eddie Davis III of Rowan would be a great example. The 6-0, 190-pound New Jersey native was sounded in all his movement and footwork. After transferring from Wagner to be with his family, Davis III never lost sight of his NFL dreams.

“I paid attention to my coaches, trusting their words,” said Davis III. “In the offseason, I trained with a player from the Philadelphia Soul, James Romain. He’s been helping me all the time, working on my footwork.”

When asked what would Romain say if he was at the Combine viewing his performance, Davis stated, “He would congratulate me.”

Ardy Holmes of Charlotte is a great definition of explosiveness. The 5-9, 199-pound defensive back displayed great balance and ball skills. But his ability to turn his hips out and explode towards to ball was amazing.

However, the pioneer program builder for Charlotte admittedly recognizes he needs to develop more speed.

“It (Charlotte) was a new program and I wanted to be one of first to help build it,” said Holmes when asked why he attended the program. ‘I trained with D-1 for my explosiveness, but I was born with ball skills. In little league, they would throw the ball up and I would go and get it over everybody no matter how big they were.”

Since speed kills in the NFL, Douglas Moss of New Hampshire should be on the league’s most wanted list. His ability to move, establishing solid footwork and balance, without losing his speed, help set him a part. It’s a good chance that he plays faster during games.

In regards to his running ability, Moss credited his account to an usual, but sensible solution.

“Playground speed, playing with my boys in Alabama,” said Moss about his greatest skill set. “You play with speed, you get faster. But I credit my training at Tech Football Academy and I got faster…God gave me this speed and got to use it.”

When asked what NFL teams will say after scouting his video, Moss humbly replied, “Boy, he’s fast (laughter).”

Lamar Edmonds/Locker-Report.com

Lamar Edmonds/Locker-Report.com

NFL scouts probably would have an Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants wide receiver) sighting after witnessing New Hamphire Lamar Edmonds’ blonde mohawk hair style.

“I had the blonde hair a few years now. I let it grow out, I cut it down, then I grew it back out again a couple of months ago and everybody was saying ‘Odell, Odell.’ I said it’s not Odell, It’s Lamar (laughter),” said Edmonds.

What NFL clubs will say is the versatile defensive back has great closing and tracking speed. Edmonds showcased good hands, but he couldn’t forecast his mastery of tackling, which is his self-proclaim strongest suit.

“In college, I played corner and free (safety),” said Edmonds. One of my strongest suits is my physicality. I was born to tackle.”

Mike Williams of Lock Haven was aggressive in all his drills. Combined with power, speed and balance, Williams was determined as he finished hard in each output.

Michael Williams/Locker-Report.com

Michael Williams/Locker-Report.com

“I wanted to give a hundred percent, I gave it my all,” said Williams. “I came this far. After playing football for 15 years, I can’t stop now. I know I can’t make all the plays, but I got to try to make every play. I’ve been working hard everyday with my roommate, Tony Ballon. He’s one of my best friends back home. We have the same mission, the same dream, grinding everyday to get to the next level…I still have plenty of work to do. I got to get back to the lab and fine tone my craft.”

DEFENSIVE FRONTS

Morgan State linebacker Joel Scott exploded off the charts with a 4.6o 40 time and a 37.5 vertical, topping all linebackers. Scott demonstrated he can be the complete package.

Mounting out to be just as solid were Gregory Hilliard of Wagner and Michael Savage of West Virginia Wesleyan.

Gregory Hilliard/Locker-Report.com

Gregory Hilliard/Locker-Report.com

Hilliard is a physical athlete with all the traits of being a hybrid linebacker, with good hands to follow. Hilliard moves on his toes extremely well and has great closing speed. Now, Hilliard is focusing on his back pedaling skills. When he defines that area of need, the 6-2, 235-pound linebacker could help provide depth for any squad due to his above and beyond character.

“We (Wagner) have a lot of good players,” said Hilliard. “I tried my best to do a little bit extra to help my team, but I definitely focused on my back pedaling because that doesn’t come natural for me.”

Savage is a traditional linebacker who pays attention to details. The calculated linebacker has solid footwork, very balanced and his motor only ends when the whistle is blown. Savage is driven to not only to get to the NFL, but to be the best.

Michael Savage/Locker-Report.com

Michael Savage/Locker-Report.com

“This was an interview and I took it that way,” said Savage. “I was very serious, very focus, very goal driven. That’s how I’ve been especially these last upcoming days coming up to this combine. I just wanted to feel like I was ready to go…I was here to do what to was suppose to do. And I came to do business.”

Defensive end Braden Bennett of Wesley is pretty light for the position. Nevertheless, he is crazy strong. The explosive lineman is quick off the edges, uses his hands well and possesses the speed a pass rusher needs in today’s NFL. Registering a 4,86, towering all defensive linemen, was a testament to his skills.

But he needs a better spin move to complete his technique.

“Every Sunday, I watch a lot of techniques. Hands in the dirt, people standing up, I just watch and watch,” said Bennett. “I seen in 2011 or 12, Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers) came off the corner, pumped up and came back with a spin. Best move I ever seen. I tried to do that, but I have to do a better spin (laughter).”

Johnson C. Smith’s Austin Jacques isn’t fancy, just practical. Jacques kept everything simple Saturday, and attack. Jacques blitzed the drills with power and fundamentals. Basically, Jacques viewed the combine as everyday football preparedness, and he was definitely prepared.

Austin Jacques/Locker-Report.com

Austin Jacques/Locker-Report.com

“Bag drills are bag drills, broad jumps are broad jumps, 40’s are 40’s, especially when it comes to position drills,” said Jacques, with confidence. “It’s what you do over and over throughout the season so as long as we’re been playing football. So, I came in with the mentality of knowing what to do.”

Wide receiver Avius Capers represented Johnson C. Smith as a Carolina Panther for a brief time last season. Jacques hopes to be the next player from the pride program to get to the NFL.

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