Buckeyes in the NFL, Week 14: Hartline's Delicate Feet Dominate

By Mike Young on December 9, 2013 at 11:15a
9 Comments

We could rehash the same convenience store jokes about Brian Hartline from his standout performance last week. Being as close as he was to the sidelines and considering Ryan Tannehill's delivery, that catch was anything but convenient. 

Terrelle Pryor has delivered his own electric highlights, but he's the clear second string quarterback in Oakland. However, he did see a few snaps, Sunday. 

Former backfield mate "Boom" Herron is now out for the year and Cam Heyward continues his breakout season. 

Plus, Eleven Warriors has stats from all former Ohio State players in the NFL.

Raiders use Pryor as change of pace

Pryor suffered an MCL sprain in a week 10 loss to the Giants. Matt McGloin took over as starter and – despite three-straight losses coming into Sunday – hasn't had to worry about Pryor re-taking his job. 

Up until Sunday, Terrelle Pryor hadn't seen a single snap since the game against New York. He threw eight interceptions in his last four starts, got hurt and has now been reduced to a novelty within the Raiders offense.

On Oakland's third possession of Sunday's game against the Jets, Pryor came in to execute a series of pre-packaged, read-option plays. He promptly marched them down the field and within range of a Sebastian Janikowski field goal make. 

That's all head coach Dennis Allen needed to see. Pryor never saw the field again. 

"We knew we wanted to give him a series and then evaluate it and see how it went after that," head coach Dennis Allen said, via CSN Bay Area. "He was able to move the ball downfield for us and get us a field goal, which was a positive."

One Pryor-led drive might've had a negative impact on McGloin ... accoridng to McGloin. 

"Anytime you have quarterbacks coming in and out, especially in cold weather, it gets difficult sometimes," he said. "But it’s not an excuse or anything like that for the way we played."

McGloin will remain the starter, but Allen didn't count out an opportunity to go back to Pryor. 

Injury puts an end to Herron's season

After season-ending injuries to running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard, the Colts were in desperate need of depth at the position (Trent Richardson barely counts). Back in October, they plucked Daniel "Boom" Herron off the Bengals' practice squad. For the most part, he played special teams, although he did get four carries in a blowout loss to the Cardinals. 

During last week's game against the Titans, Herron suffered a pectoral injury and left the game. MRI results revealed it was a torn pectoral muscle, and Herron suffers the same fate as the two backs he replaced. 

heyward coming into his own 

Contrary to the narrative, the Steelers defense – up front, in particular – has succumbed to old age, injuries and ineffective play.

With the opportunity to make an impact on the line, former first round pick Cameron Heyward has made the most of it. Since the Oct. 27 game against Oakland, Heyward has combined for 41 tackles and recorded four sacks. In Sunday's game against Miami, he led Pittsburgh in tackles with nine.  

"He's becoming a veteran player and his playing time is starting to reflect that, his playing level is starting to reflect that," said Steelers defensive coordinator and Buckeye Dick LeBeau, via the Associated Press. "I think the future is definitely up for Cam, I'm glad that we got him."

With injuries to Brett Keisel and Steve McLendon, plus Ziggy Hood's struggles, Heyward's rise came at the right time for Pittsburgh. 

Long live Kirk FoggThey're not Hartline fans. He's just a fan of the Purple Parrots.

"I've just been trying to grow as a player as much as possible," Heyward said. "That's been my mantra: Work hard to try to get better every day. There are a lot of guys who have helped me along the way, and I just want to be a quality starter in this league."

Highlight of the week

Now he's just being selfish. Last week against the Jets, Hartline broke off a quick slant and took it all the way for six. He also brought in eight other passes for a total of 127 yards.

He didn't put up the same kind of numbers in Pittsburgh, but he still had five catches for 51 yards. That includes a filthy, toe-tapping touchdown grab.  

How ex-Buckeyes Fared During Week 14

Player team position stats/Notes
Mike Adams Pittsburgh Steelers OT Steeler fans were shocked by how well he played at LT
Will Allen Pittsburgh Steelers S 4 tackles, one of those was a big hit on Daniel Thomas
Jake Ballard Arizona Cardinals TE Jake Ballard y u so sexy
Alex Boone San Francisco 49ers OG Super-sub LT Boone has suitors, as well
Michael Brewster Jacksonville Jaguars OL Jags tied for longest win streak in AFC
Chimdi Chekwa Oakland Raiders CB 1 tackle, named team captain for the game 
Kurt Coleman Philadelphia Eagles DB Eagles gave up 2 TDs on special teams so all his fault
Jim Cordle New York Giants C On injured reserve
Nate Ebner New England Patriots DB Part of unit that recovered onside kick against Browns
Reid Fragel Cleveland Browns OT Inactive while his team choked away another win 
Ted Ginn Jr. Carolina Panthers WR 2 rec, 5 yds and a rough night at the Superdome
Johnathan Hankins New York Giants DT 2 tackles in loss to Chargers
Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins WR 5 rec, 51 yds and a beautiful TD grab
Ben Hartsock Carolina Panthers TE Continues to get love from the national media 
A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers LB 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Falcons
Boom Herron  Indianapolis Colts RB Tore pectoral last week vs Titans, had surgery, Tues.
Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers DE Led team with 10 tackles, added 1 sack
Santonio Holmes New York Jets WR 3 rec, 55 yds in win over Bills 
Malcolm Jenkins New Orleans Saints S 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Panthers
James Laurinaitis St. Louis Rams LB 5 tackles in loss to Cardinals 
Nick Mangold New York Jets C Named gameday captain in win over Raiders
Jake McQuaide St. Louis Rams LS Snapped 1 FGs, 1 XP in loss 
Mike Nugent Cincinnati Bengals K 6 XPs in win over Colts
Ryan Pickett Green Bay Packers DT 2 tackles, both perfect form in win over Falcons
DeVier Posey Houston Texans WR 1 rec, 9 yds in loss to Jaguars
Terrelle Pryor Oakland Raiders QB 2/5, 20 yds, 3 rushes, 4 yds in loss to Jets
Dane Sanzenbacher Cincinnati Bengals WR Inactive in win over Colts
John Simon Baltimore Ravens LB Finally active due to injuries at LB
Rob Sims Detroit Lions OG Lions offense struggled, but frolicked in the snow
Austin Spitler Miami Dolphins LB 1 tackle on special teams
Jake Stoneburner Green Bay Packers TE Big Game of Thrones fan
Donte Whitner San Francisco 49ers S 4 tackles, team won close game over Seahawks

[GIF via @cjzero​ and photo via Hartline's Instagram]

9 Comments

Comments

ScarletGray43157's picture

Brian Hartline has shown himself to be a consistent performer in the NFL over the years.  
Not a bad way to make a living if you can get the work.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

InvertMyVeer's picture

My love of Ace Ventura as a kid translated (unfortunately) into me becoming a Dolphins fan. These past few (mostly miserable-to-mediocre) seasons my lone bright spot has been how good Brian Hartline has translated into the NFL. As Gruden would say "THIS GUY, HE'S A FOOTBALL PLAYER!!!" Doesn't have breakaway speed, but he's a good route-runner and has some of the best hands in the NFL. He's been a joy to watch on an otherwise mediocre team.

Football is complicated...

ScarletGray43157's picture

Cam Heyward and Malcolm Jenkins both racked up some impressive tackle numbers this week.
 Project those out over the season and you get Pro Bowl numbers.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

OSUStu's picture

Cam Heyward also had at least one pass blocked.
Also, saw Austin Spitler make a special teams tackle for the Dolphins.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

AndyVance's picture

The Houndie is dead. Long live the Houndie!
Sounds like Heyward's performance earned the coveted 11W Player of the Week award, though Hartline may be the fan favorite with his eye-popping snags of late.

GoBucks713's picture

The Houndie is Dead. Long Live the Houndie!!

-The Aristocrats!

NoVA Buckeye's picture

If the Raiders love Moxie so much, can the Browns just trade for Pryor?

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

matt96's picture

That was a very nice catch for a touchdown!!!

MATT PETERSEN