Remember at the beginning of the year when there may have been some grumbling (mostly from me, a little from 17) about lack of playing time?
17 quite frankly displayed a lot of maturity accepting his role – as he reminded me when I would lament on the situation – he had not really played very much in over two years therefore a) the high school coaches really don’t know him that well and b) he hasn’t worked within the schemes enough to learn the system as thoroughly as a starter should know everything and c) he was really NOT in football game SHAPE – after all, he was not just not playing – he was HURT and not even really running full speed until May.
Flash forward to week 5 and after a few injuries have depleted the starting lineup, and suddenly he was all over the damn place! Offense as expected, but then he also had to pull the load on all the special teams plays AND on defense! I think the whole first half he might have rested for 5 plays?
Thankfully they won 21-0 and even though he was GASSED at half-time (his words) he said he felt charged back up after some Gatorade 🙂 Coach saw pity on him though and put in the third string defender for the 2nd half so he only had to play offense and special teams. He was put back in at safety for a goal line stand which is a nice show of confidence from the coach (something that 17 pointed out to me rather proudly). So the boys get to go into a BYE week and hopefully heal up those injuries. the big return for the week was our ridiculously talented wide receiver #5 who came in for about 5 plays, was a huge decoy on one and then caught 3 LONG passes, 2 for touchdowns. That was NICE to see. And while it might mean 17 wont play as much again when the starters are healed, I think he will also keep rotating in more than he did those early weeks. he’s earned it!
On defense he will admit that he had two “misses” when receivers got downfield on him. Both times, #11 saved his behind with outstanding coverage on his man and, good hands. He made two interceptions right there in front of 17:
On special teams there was another “redirected” punt play resulting in a fumble that was recovered by the Falcons and involved #18.