The first week of NFL preseason has come to an end. The bad news is that these games didn't mean anything; the good news is that real, honest-to-goodness football is another week closer.
In order to make the best out of the preseason that we can, we decided to put together a list of all the former Cougar players on preseason rosters and examine what they did during preseason week one. Plus a bonus CFL update at the end.
- Deone Bucannon - Arizona Cardinals - Bucannon, the highest Cougar to go in the draft since Marcus Trufant in 2003, made his debut with the Cards on Saturday. He recorded 3 tackles, 2 solo and 1 assisted and is projected to be the back up safety when the season starts on Monday Night Football on 9/8 against San Diego. Arizona's coach, Bruce Arians has vowed to give Deone "opportunities to knock the crap out of people." Deone's next opportunity to "knock the crap out of people" comes in Arizona's next preseason game this Saturday against Minnesota.
- Andrew Furney - New York Jets - The glamorous one only got one opportunity to kick a field goal in New York's game against Indianapolis last Thursday, and he made it count. Jeff Nusser broke down his kick and recapped the American hero's career at WSU in this post last week. Furney is currently the second kicker on the Jets depth chart behind Nick Folk. He gets another opportunity to kick his way into the hearts of Jets fans on Saturday when his Jets take on the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Travis Long - Philadelphia Eagles - A favorite of every Coug fan, Travis Long recorded 2 solo tackles, had one pass defended and even recovered a fumble in the Eagles loss to Chicago last week. Long, who signed with the Eagles late in training camp last year after coming off of an ACL tear and made the practice squad, is listed as the 3rd OLB on the newest Eagles depth chart. He'll get another shot to prove himself as the Eagles take on the Pats tomorrow night.
- Jed Collins - Detroit Lions - Collins, a Saint since 2010, signed a 1-year free agent contract with Detroit this spring. Mainly a tight end at WSU, Collins has found his niche as a fullback in the NFL. While he didn't record any stats in the Lions preseason opener against the Cleveland Fighting Back-up Quarterbacks, he did play. In fact, Collins' struggle to succeed as a fullback in today's NFL made him the perfect cover-boy for this terrific SI.com article. Jed-Zilla will get another shot to block his way into the hearts of Lions faithful on Friday when Detroit takes on Oakland.
- John Fullington - Green Bay Packers - Fullington signed as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay this spring. Listed as the third string right guard on the newest depth chart, Fullington is a long shot to make, what Mike McCarthy is calling, one of the Packers' best O-lines ever. He'll have another shot to long hair his way into the hearts of Packer fans on Saturday afternoon when Green Bay takes on St. Louis on NBC.
- Marquess Wilson - Chicago Bears - Just when he was about to compete for the third receiver spot in Chicago, Wilson fractured his clavicle last week and is likely out for a good majority of the season. Looks like Wilson will have to wait until next season to tall and skinny his way into the hearts of Bears fans.
- Jeff Tuel - Buffalo Bills - Tuel got a chance to start in Buffalo last season; unfortunately, it wasn't because of his performance. Injuries forced Tuel to make his only start of his rookie season for Buffalo on 11/3 against Kansas City and he did fairly well, completing 18 passes for 229 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. This season, Tuel hopes to earn his way to the top. In his first opportunity on Friday he took over half way through the 3rd quarter and completed 4 of his 5 passes for 24 yards, 1 TD and an INT. Once again, Tuel looks to be the third string QB on the roster, behind EJ Manuel and Thad Lewis (but in front of Dennis Dixon probably!). Jeff will have another chance to work his way up the depth chart and Tuel his way into the hearts of Bills fans everywhere when Buffalo takes on Pittsburgh on Saturday.
- Brandon Gibson - Miami Dolphins - The pride of Jeff Nusser's Rogers High School in my former home town of Puyallup, WA, Gibson is still going strong in the NFL. After 3 seasons with the St. Louis Rams from 2009-2012, Gibson signed with Miami last season, playing in 7 games and recording 326 yards receiving and 3 TDs before being sidelined with a torn patellar tendon. This season Gibson appears to be poised to make a major impact in Miami. He's listed on the most recent depth chart as one of the starting wide receivers and started the team's first preseason game against Atlanta. He only played the opening possession and caught both passes thrown to him, including one in the endzone which, according to the rules, results in a touchdown. Gibson is, by all accounts, healthy and has another opportunity to win the hearts of Dolphins fans, just like he won Apple Cups for Cougar fans, this Saturday in Tampa.
- Rotpati Pitoitua - Tennessee Titans - Pitoitua signed with the Titans last year and they liked each other so much they signed a new 3-year deal this spring. Last season he played all 16 games and was a premiere run-stuffer for Tennessee and he looks to do more of the same this season. He didn't record any stats in the Titans' first game last week, but he'll have an opportunity to stuff runs right into the hearts of Titans fans on Friday in New Orleans.
- Husain Abdullah - Kansas City Chiefs - Abdullah and his brother have one of the best stories you will ever find in football. While Hamza is out of the league, Husain appears to ready to fight for a starting spot in Kansas City and is listed as the starting free safety. Abdullah didn't record any stats in KC's preseason opener against the Bengals. He'll try to backpedal and swat passes into the hearts of Chiefs fans when Kansas City takes on Carolina this Sunday.
- BONUS! Alex Brink - Montreal Alouettes - It's not the NFL, but I'll take a regular season CFL game over an NFL preseason (or any Jaguars) game any day. After playing a few snaps last week, Brink will take over the reigns from Troy Smith and start at quarterback this week, according to TSN and their website design right out of the early 2000's. The decision comes shortly after the Alouettes shuffle their coaching staff in a move that makes Jeff Garcia the team's quarterback coach. Brink has previously started 7 games in the league, all with Winnipeg between 2010 and 2012. Brink will try to 3 down, red flag, 110 yard field and weird 1 point dropkicking play his way into the hearts of Alouette fans this Saturday when Montreal takes on Saskatchewan at 4 PM on ESPN3.
Steve Gleason being awesome again
A trend has been passing around social media, especially in the realm of football. People are soaking themselves in ice water in order to raise awareness for ALS. Steve Sarkesian did one, Roger Goodell did one, and Pete Carroll did one just yesterday. Taking a page from the people before him, and taking it up a notch, one of the foremost leaders in ALS awareness, Steve Gleason did his own. In a video posted to his Vimeo channel, Gleason asked people not to forget the real reason this is done, for ALS awareness, challenged some of his friends to take the plunge and took the ice bucket challenge himself... Naked.
Bucannon passed DB torch to Brown - Spokesman.com - Aug. 12, 2014
PULLMAN – Sometime during the night before last year’s New Mexico Bowl, before the Cardinals made Deone Bucannon a first-round NFL draft pick, the Washington State safety planned his succession. Bucannon played an integral role in leading the Cougars to their first bowl game in a decade, as did senior cornerbacks Damante Horton and Nolan Washington. Before Bucannon could take the field against Colorado State he had to make sure that the gains those seniors fought for would be protected after they left.
Cougars depending on offense | Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Washington State rode the arm of quarterback Connor Halliday to its first bowl game in a decade last year, and Cougar fans can expect more of the same this season.