Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rookie rundown | by Pat

As NFL camps open up, plenty of news on former Irish stars in the pros. Really, it's impressive looking at NFL team websites as they really have worked hard to make them fan friendly. No doubt their web budgets far surpass that of college programs, but they still have whipped up some quality sites full of team news and multimedia.

Brady Quinn
Quinn and the Browns still haven't agreed upon a contract. Meanwhile, Quinn is out in the desert holding his own two-a-days. He recently interviewed with the Cleveland Plain Dealer about life as a holdout, his chats with Matt Leinart, and his recent infamous mall autograph session.

Victor Abiamiri
Victor signed a four year deal with the Philly Eagles and is camp now looking to crack the somewhat deep defensive end depth chart.

Ryan Harris
With his contract signed, Harris has started camp as the second-string left tackle for the Denver Broncos

Derek Landri
Landri has had some trouble early on with the size of the Jacksonville linemen, but that hasn't stopped him from already getting in a training camp scuffle.

Dan Santucci - Signed a four year deal with the Bengals and for the time being is listed at center on the team depth chart. His bio is another example of how in-depth these NFL sites are. Check out the per-game breakdown of his senior year performance (and wonder if we're going to miss #50 more than some might think).

Georgia Tech...Leveled defensive tackle Joe Anoai on QB Brady Quinn's 5-yard scoring march that ended an 80-yard, 14-play drive in the second quarter.

Penn State...Posted six knockdowns, including one that took down linebacker Dan Connor on tailback Travis Thomas' 1-yard scoring burst that finished an 8-play, 55-yard drive in the third quarter as the offense generated 397 yards.

Michigan State...Flipped defensive tackle Clifton Ryan to the ground on QB Brady Quinn's third quarter 62-yard scoring strike to tight end John Carlson.

UCLA...Santucci posted seven knockdowns and made a key block on defensive tackle Brigham Harrell to give QB Brady Quinn time to lob a 2-yard scoring toss to Jeff Samardzija as the team gained 304 aerial yards.

Navy...Took down linebacker Tyler Tidwell to spring tailback Travis Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown jaunt in the second quarter, posting eight knockdowns as the Irish generated 471 yards.

North Carolina...Cleared a rush lane for Darius Walker's fourth quarter 1-yard scoring run as Notre Dame totaled 452 yards.

Army...Had six knockdowns and led the way on a 10-yard scoring scamper by Darius Walker that capped a second quarter drive that totaled 65 yards on six plays.
Chinedum Ndukwe - Already battling for a backup safety spot, Ndukwe is turning heads.
Ndukwe might be another of those seventh-round steals, similar to wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2001. Ndukwe is making calls in the secondary and alerted cornerback Leon Hall to a change in the down and distance on one play.
Mike Richardson
Richardson has been given a few shots at corner on the injury-plagued Pats defense.
In the one-on-one drill in which receivers and cornerbacks went toe to toe on routes into the corner of the end zone, rookie corner Mike Richardson broke up a pass intended for Jabar Gaffney at the last moment. He was quickly congratulated by Harrison, who was coaching up the corners in the drill. Richardson, a sixth-round draft choice out of Notre Dame, hasn’t taken many snaps in team drills but with plays like that he could get an opportunity.
Darius Walker
After signing and then cutting him, the Texans re-signed him and have noticed a difference already.
"Whatever he did from the time we let him go before training camp opened till the time we brought him back, some light went on," Kubiak said. "I think he understands what he's got to do and the small window there is to become a pro football player. And I see a kid that's back ready to do it the right way and take advantage of the situation."
Rhema McKnight
Rhema is fighting for a starting spot and listed as one of the nine receivers battling for the #2 WR spot on the Saints.

And in other former ND player news...

Maurice Stovall
Mo continues to impress and earn high praise from Coach Gruden as he battles for a starting role with the Bucs.
"From a work-ethic standpoint, this guy's insane," Gruden said. "He is a great worker. He's faster, he's much more in shape than he's ever been, and he can move for a big guy. It's a credit to him. He's going to make things real interesting."
If you spot any other training camp news on ND players, drop a link in the comment section and I'll add it to the post.