Joe Reedy of Cincinnati.com has a story on the play of former UMass standout Jeromy Miles and his transition from a special teams player to a regular in the defensive secondary as he has played 70 of 129 possible plays this year.
Geoff Hobson, editor of Bengals.com, has a story on Cincinnati's stock of undrafted free agents and other players from small college programs who are now making an impact on the club. Included in the story is former UMass standout Jeremy Miles who is making a serious bid for a starting safety spot after being a special team standout.
Kevin Kelly of Cincinnati.com has a feature story on Jeromy Miles and his impact with the Bengals this preseason. Last week against the Falcons, Miles had 6 solo tackles on defense and two on special teams. He also forced a fumble and had an interception in the end zone to prevent an Atlanta scoring drive.
Andrea Hangst of Bleacher Report has a breakdown of the CIncinnati Bengals position battle at strong safety. Jeromy Miles has been getting numerous reps with the first team defense after an injury to Taylor Mays. Miles has primarily been one of the top special teams players for the Bengals.
Jeromy Miles is one of the best special teams players on the Bengals. I don't think he has much of a shot at being the future at safety, but he is certainly a contributor to this team. He is a restricted free agent this year, and will probably be back in 2013 for another year of dominance on coverage teams.
Former University of Massachusetts and Amherst Regional standout James Ihedigbo made the New England Patriots final roster as the Patriots cut two-time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather to trim their roster to the limit of 53 on Saturday.
Ihedigbo was one of five Minutemen to survive cutdown day. Victor Cruz, who is expected to see regular playing time in the New York Giants wide receiver rotation after missing most of last year with an injury, made the roster out of camp for the second straight season. Jeromy Miles, who started last year on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad before being elevated during the season, made the 53-man roster out of camp this year.
Jeremy Cain starts his sixth NFL season and his third with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's primarily a long snapper.
Vlad Ducasse begins his second season as a reserve guard for the Jets.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the UMass wide receiving corps today with a focus on Julian Talley's experience being crucial. The preseason All-CAA pick is the lone returning wideout with significant career receiving numbers. Jesse Julmiste and Tom Gilson are expected to push for starting roles as well.
Vautour also rounds up several other key positions on the offense including the running back spot to back up Jonathan Hernandez.
According to the Jets Insider, Vladimir Ducasse will be switched to tackle this year after getting most of his reps at guard last season. That is reflected in a preseason depth chart on New York Sports Today which lists Ducasse as the No. 2 left tackle.
Dale Grdnic of FootballNewsNow.com has a piece on the impact of undrafted free agents on the Cincinnati Bengals. He makes mention of former UMass standout Jeromy Miles who moved into the game-day lineup last season for the final six games.
This coming season, the Bengals are expected to have a handful of
former undrafted free agents in starting spots. Nate Livings (2006) from
LSU has started 31 games at left guard the past three seasons, while
Cosby (2009) is the top punt returner and backup wideout.
Dan Skuta (2009) from Grand Valley State should start on the strong
side after leading the Bengals in special teams tackles last year.
Second-year safety Jeromy Miles from Massachusetts came off the practice
squad for final six games last season with five special teams tackles
as a gunner on the punt-coverage unit that led the NFL last season.
With the final day of the NFL regular-season here, UMass alum Vladimir Ducasse is expected to see the most playing time of his young career with the New York Jets as they take on the Buffalo Bills with a playoff spot secured. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Fellow Jet and UMass alum James Iheidgbo is out with an injury. Here are a few stories mentioning Ducasse and his additional time on the offensive line.
Other UMass alums in action including Jeromy Miles with the Cincinnati Bengals in their final game against the Baltimore Ravens. Miles could see more time in the secondary in addition to his duties on special teams.
Also, Jeremy Cain will snap for the Jaguars against Houston in their finale at 4:15 pm. The Jags could clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Colts loss to the Texans earlier in the day.
Here's a look at UMass' alums in action in the NFL over the holiday weekend.
With the New York Jets, James Ihedigbo suffered an ankle injury in a 38-34 loss to the Chicago Bears and is expected to miss next week's game vs. the Buffalo Bills. Ihedigbo did not make a tackle in his limited action before the injury. Vladimir Ducasse dressed as a back-up lineman, but didn't play. The Jets clinched a playoff berth despite the loss as the Jaguars lost putting Gang Green into the postseason.
In the Bengals' 34-20 win over the Chargers, to end their playoff hopes, Jeromy Miles played on special teams for the Bengals, and downed a punt.
UMass' other NFL products didn't play: Victor Cruz on injured reserve with the Giants, Matt Lawrence on physically unable to perform list with the Ravens and Jeremy Horne on the practice squad with the Chiefs.
Check out UMass' alums in action in the NFL on Sunday.
• James Ihedigbo returned to action in the Jets' 22-17 huge win at the Steelers, after missing a game with a leg injury. Ihedigbo had a tackle on defense and played his usual impact role on special teams. Vladimir Ducasse dressed for the game for the Jets, but didn't play.
• In the Bengals' 19-17 win over the Browns, Jeromy Miles was in on a tackle that resulted in a forced fumble on kickoff.
• With Jaguars, in a 34-24 loss to the Colts, Jeremy Cain snapped seven times for the Jags on punts and kicks.
• UMass' other alums are not active at this time, with Matt Lawrence on the PUP list with the Ravens, Victor Cruz on the Giants' Injured Reserve. Jeremy Horne is on the Chiefs practice squad.
On Bengals.com, Jeromy Miles' play on special teams is cited, as he has made an impact in his two games with the squad.
More remarkable is that the punt coverage team that has gone through a lot more changes with the injuries to the cornerbacks. They are ranked first in the NFL and have gotten a lift from rookie free agent safety Jeromy Miles when he came off the practice squad to be a gunner against the Jets to replace the injured Rico Murray and made two tackles and drew two penalties.
If you were watching the Jets-Bengals game on Thanksgiving night, you saw a pair of UMass grads play with James Ihedigbo making several key plays in the Jets' 26-10 win on the NFL Network. Ihedigbo recovered a muffed punt that led to the winning touchdown. He also had a big block on an 89-yard kickoff return by Brad Smith. Ihedigbo also had a pressure on Carson Palmer.
With the Bengals in his NFL debut, Jeromy Miles made two tackles in the third quarter on special teams.
"Thank God I had the opportunity to make a big play and kind of contribute," Ihedigbo said after the Jets' 26-10 win over the Bengals last night at New Meadowlands Stadium. "Then we get another touchdown out of it. Everything happens for a reason."
Here's your weekly look at UMass' pros in football:
In the NFL
• The Jets won their third game in a row in dramatic last-second fashion, beating the Texans 30-27. James Ihedigbo had four tackles for the Jets on defense and special teams. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive again.
With the Jaguars, Jeremy Cain snapped six times in a 24-20 win over Cleveland.
Matt Lawrence continues to be on the physically unable to perform list with the Ravens. Victor Cruz is on injured reserve with the Giants. Jeremy Horne is on the practice squad with the Chiefs as is Jeromy Miles with the Bengals.
In the CFL
Brandon London will have a chance to win the Grey Cup next weekend with the Montreal Alouettes, as they beat the Toronto Argos 48-17 in the Eastern Final on Sunday. London didn't play in the win, as he's injured.
In The UFL
Marcel Shipp will have a chance to win the UFL title next weekend, on Saturday at 11 a.m. He played close to his college home in Hartford with the Las Vegas Locos, in a 27-14.
Shipp had just 12 yards on 11 carries for the Locos.
Matt Lawrence remains on PUP with the Ravens, who lost to the Falcons, 26-21. Victor Cruz' Giants lost to Cowboys, 33-20 in Jason Garrett's debut as Cowboys head coach.
Jeremy Horne remains on the practice squad with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jeromy Miles on the PS with the Cincinnati Bengals.
IN THE CFL:
In the CFL Western Semifinals, the BC Lions dropped a 41-38 OT game to Saskatchewan. UMass' Keron Williams had a huge game with three sacks and four tackles for BC and Anton McKenzie also made four tackles but BC's season ended.
In the CFL Eastern Semifinals, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with Shannon James lost to the Toronto Argos 16-13. James didn't make a play and finishes with the season with 11 solo tackles.
UMass' other CFL player Brandon London, plays for Montreal, which had a bye into the Eastern Final as the Alouettes will play Toronto next weekend.
Here's our weekly look at UMass products in pro football.
In the Jaguars' 35-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Jeremy Cain snapped 10 times on kicks and punts.
In the New York Jets 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, James Ihedigbo made the game's opening tackle on a the Jets kickoff. He also played in some secondary packages. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive, but was visible on the sidelines.
UMass also has alums on practice squads: WR Jeremy Horne with the Kansas City Chiefs and DB Jeromy Miles with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Additionally WR Victor Cruz is on the injured reserve list with the New York Giants while RB Matt Lawrence is on the physically unable to perform list with the Baltimore Ravens.
The BC Lions picked up a 23-17 win over Saskatchewan as both UMass alums Anton McKenzie and Keron Williams each had three tackles. The Lions are making a push for the postseason.
With the Cincinnati Bengals secondary dealing with a lot of injuries, UMass alum and practice squad member Jeromy Miles could be activated by the NFL team.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer :
Marvin Lewis mentioned during this pre-practice press conference that the Bengals were a little banged up as they began preparations against the Dolphins. We didn't know how bad until we got out on the practice field.
During the first 30 minutes that were open, cornerbacks Leon Hall, Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and Morgan Trent, safety Chinedum Ndukwe, safety Roy Williams (knee) and linebacker Brandon Johnson were not practicing. For those scoring at home, that left Brandon Ghee as the only active corner practicing along with safeties Chris Crocker, Reggie Nelson and Tom Nelson. Safeties Jeromy Miles and Rico Murray are on the practice squad.
Said Lewis about the open roster spot: "We will make another move here, obviously. We'll see as we go today and tomorrow and Friday. We have some guys on the mend and some guys that are a little slow from Sunday's ballgame. We'll go from there."
The Bengals will see how the week develops before they opt to fill Adam Jones' spot. Head coach Marvin Lewis indicated they would do it via the practice squad, where first-year safety Rico Murray and rookie safety Jeromy Miles are the only DBs on the practice squad. Murray, from Kent State via Cincinnati's Moeller High School who played in five games last season that included the postseason, has played all three spots: Corner, safety, nickel corner.
A day after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals, Jeromy Miles was re-signed to the team's practice squad. He will have a chance to join UMass' six other players on NFL rosters to start the 2010 season.
In the CAA, Maine hosts Albany at 7 p.m.; Delaware hosts West Chester at 7 p.m.; Rhode Island plays at Buffalo at 7:30 p.m. and Towson plays at Indiana at 7:30 p.m.
We will have updates here on JTAM throughout the night.
Victor Cruz continues to be the story of the New York Giants preseason. He scored his fourth touchdown of the season, with an 11-yard grab in the fourth quarter of the Giants 24-10 loss to the Ravens. Of the Giants seven TDs in the preseason, Cruz has four, more than half! Cruz had four catches for 86 yards and that TD in the game.
Also on Saturday night, Jeromy Miles had three tackles for the Cincinnati Bengals in a 35-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Miles is working hard to earn a spot with the Bengals.
Check out Jeff Thomas' story on UMass' connections with the NFL in the Springfield Republican. It includes the eight UMass alums on NFL rosters in preseason along with a mention of some current assistant coaches that played at UMass. Jeremy Cain is joined in Jacksonville by a pair of former UMass captains in Joe Cullen and Ben Albert. Cullen is the defensive line coach and Albert his assistant.
Here are some stories on Jeromy Miles' big hit on Tim Tebow from last night's Bengals-Broncos preseason game. The play originally called a sack and fumble by Tebow was overturned by instant replay. But it is still getting attention with a constant roll on ESPN over the last 24 hours. Watch the play here on Bengals.com.
"It felt great," Miles told ESPN of hitting Tebow. "I think he was just locked into his receivers. He probably saw something out there and just never really looked or seen me coming, and I just ran through him."
If you were watching NFL Network on Sunday night, UMass product Jeromy Miles made a huge play late in the Bengals' 33-24 win over the Denver Broncos. With 3:50 left in the fourth quarter on a safety blitz Miles rushed Tim Tebow, sacked him and forced a fumble which resulting in a Bengals' TD ... but instant replay overturned the play. It was ruled that Tebow was throwing the ball forward and it was called an incompletion.
The first NFL preseason game takes place tonight as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The game kicks off at 8 p.m, on NBC. Of course there will be many reasons to watch including Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Tony Romo. But, from the UMass perspective, look for 2009 All-American Jeromy Miles on defense for the Bengals, wearing No. 45. He has been getting a nice look in Cincinnati as a safety.
Check out a great new Photo Gallery of former UMass football players in the NFL. The gallery includes all eight UMass players in NFL camps this summer: Jeremy Cain (Jaguars), Victor Cruz (Giants), Vladimir Ducasse (Jets), Jeremy Horne (Chiefs), James Ihedigbo (Jets), Matt Lawrence (Ravens), Brandon London (Steelers) and Jeromy Miles (Bengals).