Shield Ball kicked off this weekend, and a few Aggies were in action. First, there has been some bad news as the Giants have waived everyone’s favorite oversized kicker, Randy Bullock. Randy missed an extra point and didn’t show enough in Josh Brown’s one game absence due to suspension. Seattle’s first round pick Germain Ifedi was inactive and did not play in the opening game. Also Rookie and fan favorite Drew Kaser had a not so stellar 28.6 yards per punt average on five punts.
Ok, enough with the bad news, here are the highlights of the biggest A&M-related NFL stories to come out of the weekend.
5) The Chavis Effect
Texas A&M Defensive Coordinator John Chavis is known throughout the league to produce quality defensive backs in the NFL. After one year at Texas A&M, Chavis has two former A&M DBs, De’Vante Harris (UFA) and Brandon Williams (3rd Round), playing on NFL teams. Both rookies played significant snaps for their respective teams on Sunday, and both players recorded a few tackles, but ended up on the losing end of two very close games. Although Brandon Williams was picked on by the New England Patriots and gave up a touchdown, he appears to be one of the Cardinals’ starters moving forward. De’Vante Harris plays on a less-than-stellar defense, but one that desperately needs a playmaker. Congrats to both on their first games as rookies.
Brandon Williams has played all 62 snaps for the Cardinals defense so far this game— Vinnie Ronca (@PFF_Vinnie) September 12, 2016
De'Vante Harris out there for 60 snaps tonight with the #Saints Already dramatically outplayed most expectations.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) September 11, 2016
4) Von Miller
Von has had a whirlwind of an offseason since dominating the Super Bowl and winning the Super Bowl MVP. He has become a star, appearing in multiple commercials, competing on Dancing With the Stars, and landing a huge contract. He is expected to lead a stout defense in 2016, and the Broncos will need him to step up with Trevor Siemian replacing Peyton Manning as starting QB. Von had an altogether quiet night as stats are concerned, but found Cam Newton for a crucial sack on 3rd and 15 with 2:15 remaining in the 4th quarter up by 1. It does not look like Von will miss a beat this season.
3) Christine Michael
Christine Michael (CMike) has been given a second chance in Seattle and has proven to teammates and coaches that he can handle his responsibilities as a professional. He was given the starting role and did ok. He had 15 runs for 66 yards (4.4 YPC average) but his longest run was only 12 yards. Seattle’s offensive line definitely limited CMike from RUNNING HARD AND FAST THROUGH MANY HOLES. CMike’s best carry came on Seattle’s game winning drive where he converted on 4th and inches with an 8 yard run to extend the drive. (Click the link for video of Seattle’s last drive) Seattle would eventually score the winning touchdown on that drive. Seattle is going to continue to split carries between CMike and Thomas Rawls, but when you compare their work in game one, CMike looks like the better back.
2) Mike Evans
Mike Evans took some heat last year for a lack of touchdowns and being known to drop the ball. After his performance against the Atlanta Falcons, Evans appears to be flipping the script back to his sensational rookie season. Evans had 5 catches for 99 yards and 1 touchdown. The touchdown grab was a thing of beauty. He and teammate Jameis Winston appear to be on the same page and should make football fun in Tampa, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Tampa Bay is 1-0 for the first time in a long time.
In my 25 years on this Earth, I have never seen a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team play offense like this. This is fun https://t.co/Kr8HrupAYa— Trevor Sikkema (@TrevorSikkema) September 11, 2016
1) Shane Lechler
Shane Lechler has found the fountain of youth. Yes that Shane Lechler who played for the Aggies during their ‘98 Big XII Championship run (played from ‘96-’99). The man is 40 years old and is still a better punter than every punter in the world, ever. Late in the game, Shane had a 58 yard punt (NFL.com says 60) that pinned the Chicago Bears inside their own 20 yard line. He affected the game by punting the hell out of the ball and helped his team secure a victory. Shane Lechler is a national treasure.
20 years ago I started covering a punter named Shane Lechler @ A&M. Ag asst Shawn Slocum liked to say Lechler kicked 'em out of lights in HS— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) September 11, 2016
Shane Lechler saving the day. James and Pleasant with big play to flip the field. 58 yard punt. #Texans— PDS (@PatDStat) September 11, 2016
Shane Lechler will not be talked about enough but was a key factor today. Had a net punting avg. of 40.3. Big punt late to flip the field.— PDS (@PatDStat) September 12, 2016
I know that there were other Aggies in action this week like Ryan Tannehill, Josh Lambo and Martellus Bennett, but just went with the top 5 performers in my mind. If you saw something that stood out to you involving any Aggie in the NFL this past weekend, please post it in the comments.