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UK in the NFL Week 9 Recap
by Ben Tompkins,posted Nov 4 2013 12:00AM
Given that three teams that are called home for five former University of Kentucky football players, production for the list of Ex-Cats that we’ve been following throughout the year saw a major dip in action in the ninth week of National Football League play.
While Steve Johnson and Corey Peters both lost in their games on Sunday, the rest of the players that UK has sent into the league were either on the bye week or, in the case of Tim Masthay and the Green Bay Packers, played on Monday night.
From Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, wide receiver Steve Johnson caught five passes for 36 yards in the Bills’ 23-13 loss to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson, who hasn’t recorded any yards on the ground this season, rushed once for a 10-yard gain. The former UK standout has reclaimed the top spot amongst all other Bills receivers in receptions and yards, with 38 and 423, respectively, adding three touchdowns to his resume.
Demontrell Smith, a freshman and avid fan of UK’s football team, discussed watching Johnson as his career transitioned from collegiate to professional football.
“Steve Johnson is a fast receiver,” said Smith. “I loved watching him play at UK and especially when he beat Louisville. He runs crisp routes and his hands have improved; you can tell he’s a hard worker. The Bills aren’t televised too much, but when they are, I’ve got my eyes on 13.”
Although defensive tackle Corey Peters made two solo tackles in an attempt to stop Cam Newton and the Panthers, Atlanta’s 22nd ranked defense ultimately fell short as the Carolina flew past the Falcons, 34-10. On the year in addition to three sacks, Peters has combined for 26 tackles, 17 of which being solo.
As for the rest of the former Kentucky products, bye weeks for Denver, Detroit and Arizona sidelined linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan, tight end Jacob Tamme, offensive guard Larry Warford and running back Alfonso Smith.
Woodyard and Trevathan are leading a Broncos defense that ranks 25th in the league in terms of yards allowed per game. Through eight games, Woodyard has combined for 40 tackles, while Trevathan leads the Broncos depth chart with 59, in addition to his career-high three interceptions.
Trevathan, a first year starter, has stepped up and into a role with Denver that has resulted in a successful outcome this season. In an article with Richard Smith of the Denver Post, Broncos linebackers coach Richard Smith attributed Trevathan’s keen instinct for the game to his defensive feats.
"You can coach technique and scheme, but it's hard to coach instincts, and he’s [Trevathan] got a lot of that, that you can't really coach," Smith said.
Moving to the upper mid-west where a fractured fibula has sidelined Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb for the foreseeable future, Tim Masthay is still alive and kicking, literally. Due to deadline constraints for the sake of this recap, the Packers’ Monday Night Football game could not be included. Masthay is booting on average 45.3 yards per punt through his 24 on the year.
In other news, defensive end DeQuin Evans has been waived by the Cincinnati Bengals, meaning he is no longer with the organization. Evans was waived a day after his return from a league-mandated eight-game suspension after he had been caught for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Ben Tompkins is an intern and contributing writer for WLXG ESPN Sports Radio 1300. Follow him on Twitter @bennytomp18 and like his page on Facebook, Benny & The Jets.
Given the four, who is your favorite former UK player in the NFL?