Full Scale Sports

Rookie Showcase: Tyrann Mathieu, Kyle Long, and EJ Manuel impress in Week One

As Week One of the NFL pre-season is in the books and football is officially back, it’s time to talk about impressions. Among the games this past weekend, there were three rookies in particular who impressed with their welcome to the league moments. Among two of the three rookies won their games, and one plays defense.

Any guesses?

1) Tyrann Mathieu-Arizona Cardinals DB

Stats: 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass defended, and 1 quarterback hit; 2 punt returns for 24 yards

The “Honey Badger” certainly made the Cardinals’ front office feeling a little relieved after they took a chance on the former LSU Tiger. As Patrick Peterson became a mentor in college to Mathieu they now work together as members of the Cardinals secondary and Mathieu finally seems to have put the past behind him. Before the game against the Green Bay Packers, he had interesting tweet to say the least, and made sure to back up his words.


If he keeps this up, Mathieu may be the next great safety in the league, and the Cardinals may begin listening to Patrick Peterson about everything.

2) Kyle Long-Chicago Bears OL

The offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears who many questioned when first drafted, looked nasty. Not nasty in a way of disgustingly dirty, but nasty in a sense of mean, fierce, and powerful. Coming from the Long family blood, Kyle is a natural athlete who is incredibly gifted. Playing nearly the entire game, Long did not give up much to defenders and looked like a first day starter in the regular season. If the veterans can play follow the rookie, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler may find himself behind a much improved offensive line, and that will make him much happier.

3) EJ Manuel-Buffalo Bills QB

Stats: 16-21, 107 yards, 1 touchdown, QB rating: 102.7. 3 rushes for 27 yards.

If Kevin Kolb wanted any chance at starting for the Bills this season, being out with injury was the worst possible thing to happen to him. Due to Kolb’s injury Manuel was able to play the entire first half for Buffalo and after a slow start, put it together and did nothing but impress. The defining moment in Manuel’s first game would be his poise during the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. If Manuel keeps this up in the pre-season, the Bills will have found their starting quarterback of the 2013 season.

Follow Mike Pendleton on Twitter @MP2310

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