Cats in the NFL
The first week of NFL action is finally here and several former Kentucky Wildcats were on the field contributing for their respective teams. Not too many things I would rather do with my weekend than watch the Cats win on Saturday, then watch the NFL Cats in action all day Sunday.
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
Entering his seventh season with the Packers, Cobb looked to be Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target today against the Seattle Seahawks. Cobb was targeted 13 times resulting in 9 receptions for 85 yards, all of which were game highs. Green Bay was able to pick up a win in a low-scoring defensive battle, 17-9.
Here’s Cobb’s 29 yard reception, his longest of the day:
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) September 10, 2017
Wesley Woodyard, LB, Tennessee Titans
Veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard saw a big drop in production last season for the Tennessee Titans, only accumulating 57 tackles, his lowest season total since 2010. Today was a great start at getting back on track this year for the defensive captain. He tied for the most total tackles on the team with 8 today, including 5 solo tackles, a sack, and another QB hit.
Looks like a lot of Lebeau's blitzes are designed to free up #59 Wesley Woodyard. Good quickness and closing speed. OL has to be aware. pic.twitter.com/zKt1AUwgLz
— Ted Nguyen (@RaidersAnalysis) September 9, 2017
Avery Williamson, LB, Tennessee Titans
Fourth year linebacker Avery Williamson is poised to have a really solid year alongside Woodyard in the Titans’ linebacking corps. Williamson finished today with 6 total tackles, including 4 solo. Unfortunately, the effort from the two Wildcat linebackers was not enough, as the Titans fell to the Oakland Raiders by the score of 26-16.
Here is what Titans’ head coach Mike Mularkey had to say about Williamson before the season started:
— Mickey Ryan (@MickeyRyan1045) August 10, 2017
Za’Darius Smith, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Former Kentucky lineman Za’Darius Smith has moved into more of a pass-rushing linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens this season. Unfortunately for Smith, his season opener didn’t last too long. After quickly getting three tackles and a sack, Smith went down with a knee sprain and had to be carted off the field. He didn’t return to the game, so we’re hoping for a speedy recovery for big Z. The Ravens embarrassed the Bengals in Cincinnati, shutting them out 20-0.
Danny Trevathan, LB, Chicago Bears
After missing seven games due to injury last season, Danny Trevathan is hoping to get back into the swing of things with a bounce-back season this year. It was incredible that Danny was even on the field today, recovering extremely fast from his knee injury in the second half of last year. Trevathan had two solo tackles today, along with one QB hit. The Bears fell to the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 23-17.
Check out the story on his recovery just before the season:
— CSN Chicago (@CSNChicago) August 25, 2017
Corey Peters, DT, Arizona Cardinals
While Corey Peters may not be an every-down player for the Cardinals, but they do rely on his efforts as a substitute on their defensive line. Peters had two tackles today and one QB knockdown. Peters only had four games last season where he had more than 2 tackles, so this is a solid start for him.The Cardinals lost to the Detroit Lions, 35-23.
Some rough news to report, former Wildcat and current Baltimore Raven, Za’Darius Smith was carted off the field with an apparent knee injury today.
The Ravens report that Smith has knee sprain and his return to the game is doubtful. Our thoughts are with Za’Darius that this injury is not too serious and that he will be back next week.
Stay tuned to KSR for updates regarding the former Cat.
After being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, former Kentucky running back Boom Williams already has a new home…for now.
According to Nate Bouda at NFLTradeRumors.com, the Denver Broncos claimed Boom off the waiver wire from the Bengals today. Back in May, Boom signed a three-year $1.66 million contract with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent, and stands to make base salaries of $465,000 and $555,000 over his first two years if the Broncos keep him. Given the Broncos’ deep backfield, that’s probably a long shot, but hey, it’s a shot.
During Boom’s three-year career at Kentucky, he rushed for 2,513 yards on 367 carries and had 38 receptions for 292 yards receiving for 20 total touchdowns. Last season, he had 1,170 rushing yards, making him the ninth player in Kentucky football history to surpass 1,000 yards in a single season.
Go get ’em, Boom.
By Jay Winkler on ©August 20th, 2017 @ 2:00pm
Former Madison Central and UK lineman Larry Warford signed a fat, 4 year, $34 million contract with the New Orleans Saints earlier this year. After cutting his teeth in Detroit during his first four years in the NFL, Warford cashed in, and according to the Canal St. Chronicles’ John Hendrix, he has the tools to be a valuable player in NOLA for years to come.
What I see is an agile, technically sound guard who is excellent on screens and in space, who doesn’t make many mistakes, and who has become much more consistent over the past year or so. The closest thing to a knock is that he isn’t the type of player who’ll dominate his opponent completely out of the play, but I wouldn’t consider that much of a negative. Given his age and familiarity with the system, he should have the right guard spot locked down for at least the length of his contract and hopefully longer.
It’s fun to bring out-of-state guys through Lexington on their way to the league, but it’s even more special to see a homegrown talent become a valued asset to an NFL team.
The full piece from Hendrix can be found here.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 4:00pm
EA Sports’ Madden NFL 18 is due out next week (plan accordingly) and someone has already leaked each rating for the however-many-thousand players on the game.
Tom Brady, this year’s cover boy, is a 99 overall, as is Aaron Donald and Von Miller, making them the only three players with a perfect rating.
As for the former Kentucky Wildcats, Randall Cobb leads the pack with an 87 overall rating at wide receiver for Green Bay. He is the Packers’ fifth high-rated player behind Aaron Rogers (98), David Bakhtiari (91), Jordy Nelson (91) and Martellus Bennett (89).
Danny Trevathan (84), Wesley Woodyard (82) and Larry Warford (81) are the only others Wildcats to earn 80+ ratings on this year’s game.
See the full list of former Cats below:
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers, WR: 87 OVR
Danny Trevathan, Chicago Bears, LB: 84 OVR
Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee Titans, LB: 82 OVR
Larry Warford, New Orleans Saints, G: 81 OVR
Avery Williamson, Tennessee Titans, LB: 79 OVR
Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB: 75 OVR
Za’Darius Smith, Baltimore Ravens, LB: 71 OVR
Chris Matthews, Baltimore Ravens, WR: 68 OVR
Josh Forrest, Los Angeles Rams, LB: 63 OVR
And on that note…
Today’s scrimmage at Kroger Field is arguably the biggest day of training camp. The first scrimmage of the year, the coaches get to see how players react “when the bullets are flying” for the first time.
Freddie calls it “Separation Saturday,” where the men set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. I like to refer to it as a “Moving Day,” because it’s an opportunity for players to prove themselves and move up the depth chart.
We’ll hear the initial prognostication from Coach Stoops around 1:30, but be warned, usually coaches are hesitant to provide specifics on who outplayed the competition until after watching film. Still, we’ll get a good idea of where the 2017 team currently stands after today’s scrimmage.
Views from Practice 10
– Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 11, 2017
Boom’s First Preseason Action
Last night Boom Williams (once again referred to now as “Stanley Williams”) hit the NFL field for the first time with the Cincinnati Bengals. He received 2 carries for 5 yards in the Bengals 23-12 win over the Bucs.
McWilson’s Debut is Tonight
The former UK safety should see significant action tonight at 10:00 for the Oakland Raiders. Prior to tonight’s game against the Cardinals, McWilson shared with KSTV how UK prepared him to make the jump to the NFL.
In other preseason action, the Cowboys play the Rams at 9:00 and the Jets host Wesley Woodyard, Avery Williamson and the Tennessee Titans at 7:30.
Go to Reece’s Make-A-Wish Yard Sale
Right now in the Louisville suburb of Anchorage, there is a yard sale at Anchorage Presbyterian Church to benefit Reece’s Make-A-Wish Foundation. By attending and donating, you can help make Reece’s Wish come to true: to raise $1 million to support those battling pediatric cancer. You can also get the chance to meet Jon Toth from noon-2:00.
Freddie Maggard’s favorite football player, the former UK center surprised him on The Depth Chart Podcast. The spontaneous reaction is one of the best podcast moments in KSR history. If you haven’t listened to it yet, listen here.
New UK Kicks Coming Soon
The shoes given to the UK Football team by Nike can be yours this Monday. Here’s a little tease of what you will find at Nike.com Monday morning.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 12, 2017
Get Your Alumni Game Tickets NOW
We are less than two weeks away from the annual UK alumni game at Rupp Arena. If you’ve been before, this year’s twist brings something completely different to the table, with guys like Kevin Grevey and Kyle Macy teaming up against Rex Chapman and Jamaal Magloire as the undercard to the game that will feature current NBA Cats. Tickets start at just $5. It’s an opportunity you can’t pass up. Make the right decision and click here to get your tickets.
FC Cincinnati vs. Lou City FC
Louisville Slugger Field is almost sold out for tonight’s rivalry match with FC Cincinnati. With ideal weather in the forecast, tonight is the perfect night to experience the atmosphere at a Louisville City soccer match. Even if you’re not a soccer person, I promise you’ll love it. Get your discounted tickets through KSR here before they’re all gone.
More UofL News
I thought the well would have run dry by now, but that university can’t stop producing high quality content for the BBN to laugh at. There’s so much that came from yesterday’s appeal, I’ll let Drew Franklin explain how they’re trying to keep their Final Four banners.
Stay AWAY From UK’s Campus
This is the first move-in weekend of the fall semester, bringing thousands of new students into town. The blissful, traffic-less days of a summer are over. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from UK’s campus as possible.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 01st, 2017 @ 12:00pm
Dominique Hawkins is still in search of a professional contract, and he hasn’t limited his options to just basketball.
Lachlan McLean brought Hawkins on to his Louisville radio show this morning to discuss Hawkins’ prospects in basketball, only to find that Hawkins had an NFL tryout last week. Hawkins told McLean that he worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Breaking News! Dominique Hawkins (@Dhawk_25) just told us on The Midday Rush that he had a workout with the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
— Lachlan McLean (@LachTalk) August 1, 2017
Philadelphia isn’t the first NFL team to inquire about Hawkins’ football potential; the Dallas Cowboys attended one of Hawkins’ pre-draft workouts with Lakers back in May.
There are cliches in every sport, but like most things, football reigns supreme. The reason why the coach-speaky cliches remain is that there’s truth to every one of them.
“One of the two most important abilities for any player in this league is durability and availability.”
It’s a reality all NFL players face, but one Randall Cobb has learned all too well over the last two years. Cobb told ESPN his primary goal this season is to change his injury luck from bad to good. The easiest way to control the seemingly uncontrollable: know when you can’t go.
“I’ve had a little bit of an issue with that the last couple years being banged up and missing a few games, trying to play through games I probably shouldn’t have been in. That’s something I have to try to do. I have to try to stay healthy and do everything that I can.”
Despite his recent rash of injuries, the Packers are willing to make Cobb a punt returner this season to get more touches. He has three return touchdowns in his career, but none since 2012.
Another Wildcat needs to prove he can take returns to the house, or he might not make the roster. Cincinnati Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons said prior to training camp, “It has to be one of his unique skill-sets,” in order for Boom to make the 53-man roster. To show off those skills, Boom has to be healthy, which has not been the case. Yesterday Williams left practice early with cramps, something that plagued him throughout his time at Kentucky.
To end on a positive note, Super Bowl Champion Danny Trevathan returned to the field for the first time in a limited capacity. After inking a $25 million deal with the Bears prior to the 2016 season, Trevathan ruptured his patellar tendon in late November. They didn’t believe he’d be back in time for training camp, but yesterday Trevathan was able to participate in individual, non-contract drills with the linebackers.
“It felt so good to be back out there, man,” Trevathan told the Chicago-Tribune after practice. “I felt like I was back to my normal self. But (everyone) did a good job telling me to keep calm and just slow it down.”
It will be good to see Trevathan and all of the NFL Cats back on the field when the season kicks off September 10.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 17th, 2017 @ 10:20am
If you’re listening to KSR, you just heard DeWayne Peevy announce some big news. John Wall and Randall Cobb headline the 2017 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class, which also includes Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track), and Sarah Rumely (volleyball). The group will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Florida.
Check out bios of each member below, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Sherry Hoover Bordner, Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track, 1986-89
A seven-time All-America honoree … Won SEC championships in the mile and on a pair of relay teams during her career … Set 10 school records during her career, including outdoor records in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs, 4×800 meter relay and the distance medley relay, and indoor records in the 1,500 meter run and 4×800 meter relay … Broke outdoor freshman record in the 800 meters and indoor freshman records in the 1000-yard run, 1,500-meter run and the mile … Member of the 1988 national champion cross country squad, which remains the only women’s national championship team at UK.
Randall Cobb, Football, 2008-10
Arguably the most versatile, dynamic playmaker in UK football history as a wide receiver, quarterback, punt returner and kickoff returner … First-team All-America as a junior … Two-year first-team All-SEC … Set SEC single-season record for all-purpose yardage (2,396 yards in 2010) … Set UK career record for touchdowns (37), although he played only three seasons … Clutch player who scored five game-winning fourth-quarter touchdowns in his career, vs. Arkansas, Louisville and South Carolina at home, also at Auburn and Georgia … Left UK after his junior season and was a second-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers … Has been a star wide receiver during his six-year career with the Packers, making the 2011 NFL All-Rookie Team and being selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season … Returned to UK and finished his degree.
Collin Cowgill, Baseball, 2005-08
One of the top players in Kentucky baseball history, paced UK from a last-place finish in 2005 to its first-ever SEC Championship in 2006 … First-team All-America in 2008 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, leading UK to a then-record 44 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament … Also first-team All-SEC by the league coaches … A two-time Academic All-America selection … Ranks among the UK career leaders in runs, homers, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, sac bunts, sac flies, hit by pitches and steals … Fifth-round pick by Arizona in the 2008 MLB Draft … Reached the majors in 2011 and has played for the Diamondbacks, the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians.
Ralph Hacker, Broadcaster, 1966-2000
Spent 34 years on the UK Radio Network … Served as the men’s basketball analyst for many years with legendary broadcaster Cawood Ledford … Following Ledford’s retirement, he took over play-by-play duties for eight years, including UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championship seasons … The play-by-play voice of the Wildcat football team for five seasons … Was president of HMH Broadcasting, building a prominent network that featured then-UK flagship station WVLK … Also hosted head coaches’ pregame and postgame shows, as well as the weekly “Big Blue Line” call-in shows … All totaled, he was on the radio call for three men’s basketball national championships, seven Final Fours and four football bowl games.
Sarah Rumely, Volleyball, 2006-09
Only player in program history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year (2006) and SEC Player of the Year (2008) … Two-time AVCA All-American … Four-time All-SEC … Academic All-American third team … Led team to NCAA Tournament four times, including the Sweet 16 in 2009 … Finished career owning UK records in career assists (5,703) and aces (165) … 5,703 career assists also ranked fifth all-time in SEC history … Capped career ranking in the top 10 in sets played (3rd), block assists (9th), digs and attack percentage (10th) … Only player to record a triple-double in a match in program history (10 kills, 56 assists, 18 digs vs. Ole Miss) … Led team to No. 7 national ranking in ‘09 … Played professionally overseas … Currently an assistant coach at LSU.
John Wall, Men’s Basketball, 2010
First national player of the year in program history as winner of the Adolph Rupp Trophy … Named 2010 USBWA National Freshman of the Year … Consensus first-team All-American … 2010 SEC Player of the Year by Associated Press and SEC Coaches … SEC Freshman of the Year by the AP … First-team All-SEC … Named SEC Tournament MVP … Led UK to a No. 1 national ranking, SEC regular-season championship and the SEC Tournament championship … Set single-season assists record with 241 assists (broken 2016 by Tyler Ulis) … Averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists … First No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick in UK history … Four-time NBA All-Star through first seven seasons, averaging double-figure scoring every season … Tabbed third-team All-NBA in 2017 … Washington franchise career leader in assists and steals.
I think this calls for a little T-Rev, don’t you?
Former Cats continue to take over the NBA Summer League, three of them taking the court last night.
Skal Labissiere continues to make waves with the Sacramento Kings, helping lead them to a 93-87 win over the Phoenix Suns. Labissiere went for 12 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes last night, earning a starting position.
Of course, De’Aaron Fox did not play in last night’s game as he’s out for the rest of the summer league with a minor ankle injury.
For Philadelphia, Isaiah Briscoe earned a start while Aaron Harrison came off the bench in the 76ers 99-82 loss to Chicago. In 21 minutes, Briscoe was able to get six points, four assists and two rebounds. Harrison, on the other hand, gathered five points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.
Also on the 76ers roster was Alex Poythress who did not play.
These guys help make the Summer months without college basketball a little more bearable just for a while.