Nate Allen was a role player at the beginning of the 2011 season as the team tried to take it easy on his knee. He didn’t actually start until the 10/2 game vs SF.
Kurt Coleman did start the 2011 season, but was benched for a few games due to … how can I put this… less than Hall of Fame level play. Kurt regained his starting job on the 10/16 game vs WAS.
Kurt and Nate were the starting Safety tandem for 9 games. The team went 6-3.
at WAS … 20-13, W
DAL …… 34-7, W
CHI …… 30-24, L
@ NYG …. 17-10, W
NE ……. 38-20, L
@ SEA …. 31-14, L
@ MIA …. 26-10, W
NYJ …… 45-19, W
@ DAL …. 20-7, W
A quick note about the CHI game…Nate suffered a concussion and missed a good portion of the game.
In games where Nate or Kurt wasn’t starting…the team went just 2-5. Does that mean these guys are great? Of course not. We all know each player has some issues. That said, Safety is an odd position. You need the 2 guys to have chemistry. They need to see the same things and make the right reads.
I’m excited to see if the two guys can stay on the field together and form a good Safety tandem. Stability at Safety is a highly underrated aspect of good defenses.
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Keenan Clayton did have a pretty good excuse for missing the start of OTAs. He was having surgery. Clayton had surgery to repair a sports hernia. Clayton was at practice on Wednesday as an observer. He stood and watched, even wearing his jersey.
This injury is a serious blow to Clayton’s chances of making the team. The LB field was crowded already. Clayton has shown flashes, but certainly not enough to come close to guaranteeing anything. Now he’s got to get healthy so that when he does come back he’s ready to impress.
What’s the likelihood of that? I’m not sure. Celek played with a hernia last year and was good. McNabb dealt with one back in 2005 and it affected him. Clayton’s will be healed, but will that slow him down? Hard to say. And this is critical for Clayton since his game is predicated on speed. He can’t grind his way through an injury. He must be able to run and make plays on the move or he becomes somewhat useless.
I wish Keenan the best, but this is bad timing and a tough situation for him.
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Geoff Mosher posted some practice notes earlier today. Make sure to check them out.
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Cullen Jenkins is absent because his wife recently had surgery.
Jason Babin is absent because of a hunting trip to Alaska.
Neither of these things concerns me at all. It gives reps to the younger players who are trying to learn and fight for jobs.
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Everyone continues to be impressed by Brandon Boykin. He is talented and athletic. He can do it all (cover, tackle, hit, and make plays). We need to see how he does at Lehigh and in the preseason games, but Boykin could turn out to be our most important 4th round pick in a while…maybe since Jason Avant in 2006 or Todd Herremans in 2005.