BGA – The Expendables: Update #2

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Every year, teams have to let some players go. Even though the Jets brought back Sione Po’uha, Bryan Thomas and Nick Folk, they chose not to bring everyone back. During preseason, I kept track of the progress on the guys who left so we could at least start to form some views on whether letting any of these guys loose was a mistake or a smart move. Now we’re into the regular season, let’s see how those guys are getting on.

This is the second update of the year and also acts as a primer in case you want to check on the progress of some of these guys yourselves with the Jets not playing today. If you missed the first update, go here.

After the jump, all of the details from the season so far for each of the ex-Jets contributing elsewhere.

In no particular order…

Jim Leonhard – Safety, Broncos

Leonhard’s playing time has increased since the first month of the season and he has played 60 snaps over the last two games. He hasn’t made much of a statistical impact with seven tackles and one QB hit, but did intercept a pass against the Chargers. He has given up two catches for 15 yards and a score on the season.

Robert Turner, Center, St. Louis

Turner has continued to be consistent, especially as a pass blocker, where he currently ranks as the third best center in the NFL per PFF. He’s had a couple of sub-par games in a row as a run blocker and has been slightly below average in that area, but certainly looks to be performing at a starter level. He’s also been penalty free for four games in a row and is yet to miss a snap this year.

Wayne Hunter, Offensive Tackle, St. Louis

As detailed last month, Hunter had been doing a decent job as the starting left tackle with the Rams, but since then he has only played one game because he’s been dealing with a back issue. In that game, he struggled moreso than he had in his previous five appearances this year, giving up three sacks and two hits while primarily matched up with Olivier Vernon and Koa Misi. With Scott Wells and Roger Saffold due back soon for the Rams it will be interesting to see if Hunter and Turner continue to get any playing time.

Brian Schottenheimer, Offensive Co-ordinator, St. Louis

Schottenheimer’s offense continues to struggle statistically, basically in the bottom ten in every statistical category apart from turnover differential (20th with -2). However, one interesting statistic is that Sam Bradford is enjoying a career year in terms of completion percentage, yards per attempt and QB rating.

Matt Mulligan, Tight End, St. Louis

After a solid start to the year, Mulligan has been slightly less productive over the past few games. However, he still ranks in PFF’s top ten for NFL tight ends in terms of run blocking. He only has one penalty at the halfway point of the year, which is surprising. Since our last update, he has caught three passes for 33 yards too.

Braylon Edwards, Wide Receiver, Seattle

After falling to the back of the rotation during the first month, Edwards has been contributing again over the last few weeks, catching three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. He’s still only played a total of 46 snaps since week one, though. He was targeted three other times, one of which was intercepted. For the year, he has eight catches for 74 yards.

Marquice Cole, DB, New England

Cole still hadn’t had much of a role on defense with the Pats. Entering last week’s game in London, he’d seen action on just 21 snaps. The blowout win enabled him to match that total and he gave up just one catch for four yards on three targets. However, he did suffer a hamstring injury and the addition of Aqib Talib only reduces the chances he’ll get any meaningful playing time. His special team play has been drawing rave reviews, including on Devin McCourty’s touchdown return against the Jets, where he threw a key block.

Ropati Pitoitua, DE, Kansas City

During our last update, I reported how Potty had been given a chance to start due to injury and picked up two sacks. Since then, he’s played in three games, starting two. In the middle one of the three, he played well with three stops, a QB hit and a batted pass at the line (remarkably for the near-seven footer, the first of his career). However, in the other two, he really struggled against the run and had just two tackles and three missed tackles. I wonder if he’ll become more consistent when returning to his more-familiar rotational role.

Terrance Ganaway, RB, St. Louis

Ganaway saw his first NFL action on offense in last week’s game in London. However, he didn’t get to touch the ball. He has been active a few times and played on special teams, but right now it seems like the Rams are stashing him on their roster for his potential alone.

Jamaal Westerman, DE, Arizona

Having been picked up off waivers, Westerman still hasn’t found a role with the Cardinals and has been on the field for just two defensive snaps. He did record a special teams tackle in week six, but that’s about it.

Unless I’m missing someone obvious, I think that’s it. Guys like Donald Strickland and Plaxico Burress are still free agents and Jonathan Grimes was just picked back up by the Texans. We’ll be back at Thanksgiving to check on the progress of these guys. BGA will also be back tomorrow with a bumper BGA Extra to catch up on all your requests and questions from the past few games.