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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: Tavon Austin

Nyheim Hines goes ‘fan girl’ over Tavon Austin in awesome video

Nyheim Hines talks to Tavon Austin

Tavon Austin has made a lot of fans since his days of torching defenders at West Virginia, but Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines may be his biggest admirer.

Prior to the Colts’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Hines spotted Austin and spent a while working up the courage to approach him. Hines was apparently unaware that Austin plays for the Jaguars, so he made sure to confirm it was him. He admitted he was going to “try not to fan girl” when introducing himself.

You can see the hilarious video below:

Hines, who is five years younger than Austin, said he watched Austin’s West Virginia highlight video every day in college. He was likely referring to the one you see below, which has over 20 million views:

That level of respect is awesome to see between NFL players.

Jason Garrett takes responsibility for bizarre Tavon Austin fair catch

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is taking responsibility for a strange decision in the final 30 seconds of Sunday’s game that may have cost his team.

Down 28-24 to the Minnesota Vikings with under 30 seconds left, punt returner Tavon Austin bizarrely called for a fair catch at his own 46. Austin did this in spite of the fact that there were no Vikings players within 15 yards of him, and he could likely have gotten past midfield, if not further, had he tried to return the punt. That would have set up an easier drive for quarterback Dak Prescott.

After the game, Austin essentially threw the coaching staff under the bus.

On Monday, Garrett took the blame, saying they’d poorly communicated to Austin what he was supposed to do on the punt.

In fairness to Garrett, Austin called fair catch early, so it’s entirely possible the Vikings would have closed him down more quickly if they thought there was a chance of a return. Still, it’s an awful look, and a clear sign of confusion in the ranks. And it’s probably not going to make owner Jerry Jones happy, since he already had some grave concerns about what the defeat could mean in the long-term.

10 NFL players with most to prove in training camp

Josh Rosen Dolphins

Before long, all 32 NFL teams will officially report to training camp in preparation for the 2019 regular season. It will be the beginning of a quest for Super Bowl LIV, and everyone should legitimately feel like they have a chance.

That extends to the players — both rookies and veterans — who will be trying to earn a job or secure a starting position.

It’s easy to point out highly-drafted rookies or fringe players who need to perform well in training camp, but what about players of prominence? Whether they’re coming off injury, switching positions, or just looking to rebound from a poor 2018 season, here are 10 players with the most to prove in training camp.

10. Joe Flacco, QB, Denver Broncos

The Broncos and John Elway are head-over-heels in love with Drew Lock if you listen to them tell the story, so what does that mean for veteran Joe Flacco, who came over from Baltimore after being put on the back burner in favor of a rookie quarterback last season? It must feel like the Twilight Zone for the former Super Bowl MVP. Needless to say, his starting job is anything but a given and a battle will ultimately rage in training camp. Flacco will need to prove he can still sling it at a top-end level, and he’ll have to do that with Lock breathing down his neck. Maybe the Broncos think the competition will bring out the best in Flacco. He seems to think it will.

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15 players to watch during NFL training camp

Andrew Luck

Training camp may not be the most exciting time of the NFL season, but it’s home to a lot of storylines and things to watch. There are players looking to prove themselves and others who want to push for opportunities during the regular season, as well as the annual camp battles at several positions for a number of teams.

So who should you be watching as training camp gets underway? Here’s a list of 15 players worth paying attention to.

1) Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

All eyes will be on Luck’s health as training camp gets underway. The hope is that his shoulder problems are finally behind him, though the Colts have made clear that they’re going to watch him closely and not push him too far too soon. He’ll be worth watching in camp not just for his health, but for the quality of his passing. It’s been a long time since Luck pushed himself. How sharp will the former No. 1 pick be?

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Cowboys planning big role for Tavon Austin

Tavon Austin

The Dallas Cowboys are planning to get the ball to Tavon Austin and utilize his skills much more than his previous team did.

After spending the first five seasons of his NFL career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Austin was traded to the Cowboys last month for a sixth-round draft pick.

Austin has the ability to function in several roles. He’s primarily a wide receiver, but can also return punts and kicksoffs as well as carry the ball out of the backfield. It sounds like Dallas is fully committed to giving Austin more than enough opportunities to be an impact player for the Cowboys. Team exec Stephen Jones says they want him to touch the ball a dozen times per game, at a minimum, as pointed out by Rotoworld’s Josh Norris.

With Dez Bryant having been released last month, there will be plenty of targets to go around in the Cowboys’ offense next season. In his best season in 2015, Austin had 52 receptions for 473 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 52 rushes for 434 yards and four more touchdowns. Austin returned 34 punts as well. Austin was nonexistent at times in the Rams’ offense last season and struggled on special teams. It doesn’t sound like that will be the case with the Cowboys.

Tavon Austin traded to Cowboys for 6th-round pick

Tavon Austin

The Dallas Cowboys continue to shore up their receiving corps after the release of Dez Bryant.

Dallas acquired Tavon Austin in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. The Cowboys gave up a 6th-round pick to get Austin.

Austin received a huge contract from the Rams before the 2016 season and was viewed as extremely overpaid. His role on the team diminished after Sean McVay took over, and he struggled on special teams. Perhaps the Cowboys will find a use for his talents.

In addition to signing Allen Hurns, the Cowboys drafted Michael Gallup out of Colorado State and have now traded for Austin.

15 NFL players who could be cut before free agency

Dez Bryant

The official start to the new league year is less than a month away, which means all 32 NFL teams are gearing up for their annual free agency frenzy.

In preparation for said frenzy, each team is currently deep in evaluation mode, looking not just at the crop of impending free agents, but also their own impending free agents and what remains of their roster. Teams must decide whom they’d like to bring back, sign, perhaps equally important, who they can part ways with in an effort to trim their salary cap.

Already this month we’ve seen the New York Giants release Bobby Hart, the Kansas City Chiefs terminate the contract of Darrelle Revis, and the Bucs release Chris Baker and Doug Martin. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; a plethora of releases will be coming in relatively short order.

Who is poised to join the list of available players? Here’s a look at 15 players who could be released prior to the start of free agency.

15. Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Although it’s not yet official, it’s widely believed that the Cardinals are poised to part ways with future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson despite a few successful weeks with the team. He was acquired from the New Orleans Saints in a trade that sent a sixth-round pick in the other direction. Entering 2018, Peterson is on the books for a $1.05 million base salary and a cap hit of $2,881,250 including bonuses. There would be no dead cap hit to release the long-time veteran, so Arizona essentially rented Peterson for a portion of the year. At 32 years old and a displaying clear inability to stay healthy — Peterson has appeared in a full 16 games just once since 2012 — it makes sense that the Cardinals plan to go in a different direction. Peterson, however, insists he’s not done playing just yet.

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Rams WRs Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin evaluated for concussions

Sammy Watkins

Two Los Angeles Rams wide receivers were evaluated for concussions towards the end of the team’s Thursday night victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Both Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin were evaluated for a concussion during the fourth quarter. Watkins first left the game to be evaluated. That seemed to come after he was hit in the head while fighting for a touchdown that put the Rams up 41-26.

Austin appeared to get hurt a little later in the fourth quarter and was evaluated.

Watkins had a true breakout game for the Rams. He had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns — his first scores since joining the Rams. Austin had three rushes for 14 yards. He also fumbled away a punt return for the second time this season.

15 Biggest disappointments of NFL Week 1

Andy Dalton thumb

Some teams and players entered the 2017 NFL season with big expectations. These include players who were drafted highly, signed for a lot of money, or simply have shown us in the past that they’re capable of playing well. But they’re not the only ones who had high expectations they failed to live to in Week 1. Many coaches, teams, and position groups also failed to perform. Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments of Week 1 in the NFL.

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals

Few athletes were more disappointing in Week 1 than Andy Dalton. Bengals fans have to be wondering how they waited all season for that performance from the QB. Dalton went 16 of 31 for 170 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions in a 20-0 loss to the Ravens. Dalton also was sacked five times, and his 28.4 passer rating was the second-worst of his career. The outing was reminiscent of Dalton’s stinker against the Browns in 2014 when he was intercepted three times and threw for just 86 yards. Cincinnati ended up shut out in their home opener for the first time since 1979.

New England Patriots’ defense

Who saw this one coming? The Patriots raised their fifth championship banner prior to hosting their opener on Thursday night against the Chiefs, and they seemed well on their way to another strong season early on. And then the wheels came off. The Patriots allowed a 75-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill, who had 133 receiving yards. They gave up a 58-yard run to Kareem Hunt, who finished with 148 rushing yards and a score. They also gave up a 78-yard pass to Hunt, who scored twice in the air. When it was all said and done, the Patriots’ defense had allowed 42 points and 537 yards — both the most of the Bill Belichick era.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

Le’Veon Bell looked a little rusty in his first game since returning from his holdout. The Pittsburgh Steelers back rushed for just 32 yards on 10 carries. He only had three catches on six targets for 15 yards. The game marked one of the lowest rushing totals he’s posted since 2015 (he also rushed for 32 yards last year against the Ravens). The 47 total yards was his fewest since the fourth game of his rookie season.

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Each NFL team’s worst contract

Ndamukong Suh

NFL contracts are often a hot-button issue. People love to debate who’s making too much, too little, who deserves more and who is overpaid. Some athletes outplay their deals, while others cash in and fail to deliver. Teams obviously try hard to avoid the latter situation, but sometimes things don’t work out as hoped.

With all of that in mind, here’s a look at the worst contract on every NFL team.

Arizona Cardinals – Jermaine Gresham, tight end

The Cardinals put an emphasis on re-signing tight end Jermaine Gresham and as a result, may have drastically over-paid for him. He hasn’t had over 460 yards receiving since 2012, has seen his catch rate hover around 60% in each of the previous two seasons and hasn’t scored more than two touchdowns since 2014. Those are mediocre numbers at best for a player signed to a four-year, $28 million contract with $16.5 million guaranteed.

Atlanta Falcons – Brooks Reed, defensive end

Brooks Reed is not exactly a bad player — he’s a high-motor guy who plays a very defined role. Of course, when the Falcons signed him to a five-year, $22 million deal in 2015 they expected much more. Instead, what they’ve gotten for $9 million guaranteed is 42 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in 28 games.

Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco, quarterback

When the Ravens signed Joe Flacco to a monstrous $120.6 million deal in 2013, many foresaw potential issues looming. However, at the time, Flacco was coming off of a magical postseason run that culminated with a Super Bowl XLVII victory. He had earned his money. But in 2016, facing a massive cap number, Baltimore was forced to extend Flacco with a three-year, $66.4 million deal. Now under contract through 2021, Flacco has cap hits above $24 million beginning next year and throughout the remainder of his deal, large dead cap numbers that render him uncuttable and guarantees that make him untradeable. Arguably, it’s the worst contract in the NFL.

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