Sunday, August 24, 2014

Good night in NFL for UConn products

Ryan Griffin and Nick Williams were teammates and classmates at UConn as well as underutilized offensive options with the Huskies. They have something else in common, they both had touchdown catches and led their teams in catches in yesterday's preseason games highlighting a day when 11 former UConn products were not only in action by many of them played starring roles.

Griffin had five catches (on five targets) for 71 yards and a 31-yard touchdown reception with 59 seconds remaining in the Houston Texans' 18-17 win over Denver. Griffin's TD pulled the Texans within a point and Tom Savage connected with Travis Laphart for the go-ahead two-point conversion.

Williams caught three passes (on four targets) for 17 yards highlighted by a 7-yard touchdown with 5:03 left to play in Washington's 23-17 loss to Baltimore. It was the second straight game with a TD catch for Williams who is making a late bid for a roster spot among a very crowded group of receivers in Washington.

On the other side of the ball, Danny Lansanah and Shamar Stephen earned starts to help Tampa Bay and Minnesota post victories.

Lansanah had five tackles, one shy of the team lead, and a tackle for a loss in the 27-14 win over Buffalo. I've been a Buccaneers fan since living in Florida in the mid-1980s and I cover UConn so perhaps I'm paying more attention to this than most people but I think Lansanah is one of the better stories to emerge out of the preseason as he has been bouncing around trying to land a spot in the NFL and it certainly looks like he will be there when the Buccaneers select their 53-man roster.

Stephen, a seventh-round pick by the Vikings, has been opening eyes in Minnesota's camp. He drew the start in place of an injured Linval Joseph and had three solo tackles in the 30-12 win over Kansas City.

Lawrence Wilson had three tackles in the St. Louis Rams' 33-14 win over Cleveland 

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