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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

Abner Logan: Needed A Fresh Start For His NFL Journey

Abner Logan (left)/Bills.com
5 (100%) 1 vote

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Having the talent to play football on a high level was never Abner Logan’s affair. Even his ability to play in the NFL was never the question. Following a serious injury and a major decision, inquiring minds wondered how the highly touted four-star recruit from Massachusetts was going to entertain for a career playing on Sunday afternoons. All Logan needed was a fresh start.

And the Buffalo Bills may be the biggest beneficiaries of Logan’s worth.

“Before I got an invite from the Bills, I did the (New England) Patriots’ rookie mini-camp,” said Logan via conversation. “(I) did not get signed. I was a bit discouraged, but after leaving New England, I knew for certain that I belong in the NFL.”

Based off a stellar high school career in Brookline, Massachusetts, Logan took his aggressive talents as a linebacker to Maryland. After displaying promise in his sophomore season, his career appeared to be bright. Nevertheless, Logan’s junior campaign was lost due to a torn ACL injury, along with the opportunity of being a guaranteed starter.

Abner Logan/Google Images

Abner Logan/Google Images

As new talents emerged for the Terrapins, Logan’s opportunities appeared to have lessened after his injury and being disciplined. With 42 registered tackles in 19 games, including four starts, and a fumble recovery for his collegiate career at Maryland, the self-encouraging linebacker needed a fresh start.

Logan journeyed north to Albany, NY as a senior and joined University of Albany’s program – and dominated.

The 6-1, 235-pound linebacker quickly made headlines in his first contest as a Great Dane when racked up 11 tackles in the team’s upset victory over the University of Buffalo. For the year, the explosive Logan finished with 96 tackles, two sacks and a pass defensed.

The change of scenery and surroundings helped Logan immensely. Apparently, Logan needed to change the atmosphere of the clouded opinions of NFL scouts regarding his skill set after not fulfilling the expectations of the hopefuls at College Park.

Knowing NFL scouts would not knock down Albany’s doors to get to him, Logan took his skill set the Washington-held NFL Regional Combine, where he not only kicked the door in, but the hinges off as well.

Feb. 25, 2017 – (Ashland, VA) Albany, NY linebacker Abner Logan execute drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: John Moore – Locker-Report.com)

Logan is physical, powerful, has decent hands and moves well. Clearly, the taking the initiative to attend the NFL Regional Combine was huge for Logan’s journey to the NFL.

“I feel that the Regional Combine helped me a lot in getting exposure to scouts with my measurable, as well as a prep for my pro day,” said Logan.

Logan’s new beginning came in full circle when he was allotted the opportunity to have his Pro day at Maryland, which sealed the deal for many NFL scouts.

Logan has a simple approach to football as he humbly stated at the RC, “Just get me on the field because football is football.”

Other than being “amazed at the facilities and (the) food” of the Bills, Logan has kept his journey in perspective, spanning from getting to a NFL camp to responding to numerous irritating questions about performing on two different levels of football.

“I kept a steady routine that my trainer and I compiled of both running and strength training,” said Logan.  “When I got invited to the camps, it was just football.

“That’s another thing that I think people have to realize,” he added. “The only difference with levels of football is people get a little bigger and the game is faster.  At the end of the day, football is football. Don’t make it too complicated, and just have fun with it.”

Feb. 25, 2017 – (Ashland, VA) Albany, NY linebacker Abner Logan execute drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: John Moore – Locker-Report.com)

At this stage in Logan’s football life, he is locked in. There is no more second guessing, hoping to get notice and trying to live up to other individuals’ expectations. For Logan, it is all about himself, the man across from him and ball, which will dictate his destiny in the trenches.

“While in camp, my mind set is the same as it is now. Leave it all out there,” said Logan. “I’m not really focusing on “making the squad” but rather just being the best that I can be. If I’m the best within myself, everything else will happen the way it’s meant to.

“Do as much as I can and leave no regrets,” he continued. “If it’s meant to be, it will. All I can control is my attitude and effort. I’m a strong believer in Christ.  I’ll let God handle the rest.”

And there is no fresher start better than that.

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