Buckeyes in the NFL, Week 15: Ebner Plays Supporting Role in Best GIF of Season

By Mike Young on December 16, 2013 at 11:15a

Brandon Fields' facemask is the undoubted star of this Dolphins derp-fest, but Nate Ebner is there to make sure his name ends up in the boxscore. It's his second fumble recovery of the year, reminding us he is the sole opportunist of your silly mistakes, NFL. 

Special teams gaffes were expected when Mike Nugent took over as the Bengals punter, but he was serviceable. Strange happenings on special teams continued to be a theme for Buckeyes in the NFL, as Chimdi Chekwa took part in a trick play on Oakland's punting unit. 

In less zany news, Mike Brewster suffered a severe ankle injury and had to be helped off the field. Santonio Holmes also ate his overblown words, in a sense.

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

OUT OF NECESSITY, Nugent displays versatility

Hot licking kicker/punter actionFourth down and five. Mike Nugent on for the ... punt?

As a former SportsCenter anchor, the NFL Network's Rich Eisen is an expert in creating a catchphrase and, summarily, running it into the ground. One of his more recent inventions is "punters are people too" (complete with t-shirts!). 

Unfortunately, Terence Garvin did not treat Bengals punter Kevin Huber like a fellow human being. Instead, the Steelers' linebacker turned Huber into a personal rag doll. That vicious, un-flagged hit resulted in a fractured jaw for Huber.

Most NFL teams lack the ingenuity to keep two punters on their active rosters, so the kicker normally takes over the punting duties. For the Bengals, that meant Nugent became the interim punter. 

He might be the second-coming of Ray Guy, but it's a work in progress. His two punts averaged 40 yards, which would put him dead last in the NFL if applied to a whole season's work. 

The Bengals went on to lose to the Steelers, 30-20. That was largely a result of Cincinnati's early, special teams gaffes, although no blame should be applied to Nugent. 

Brewster fractures ankle

In Brewster's two seasons with the Jaguars, his playing time has been somewhat spotty. Last year, he started seven games and entered Sunday with two starts in 2013.

Veteran center Brad Meester has spent 14 seasons in Jacksonville and isn't stepping aside for anyone. So, Brewster has been plugged in at other spots on the line. Sunday, with Will Rackley out with a concussion, Brewster started at left guard. 

Unfortunately, it was a short stint. After Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams rolled on his ankle in the first half, Brewster went down. Apparently, Chad Henne might have fell on it, too. Either way, Brewster had to be helped off the field and couldn't put pressure on his left ankle. The Jaguars trainers also had to bring out the cart.  

After the game, head coach Gus Bradley told the media Brewster suffered a fractured left ankle. It's a tough blow for him, as he tries to impress a new coaching staff and for the team, down to their third-string guard. 

Holmes' comments provide motivation for panthers

These days, anything Holmes says is likely to be blown out of proportion.

He's not living up to his huge contract and he's a target in the haughty New York media. To be fair, injuries have taken away a large percentage of his last two seasons. Even if he was healthy, is he really expected to catch anything thrown by Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith? 

So, when Holmes paid the Panthers defense a, somewhat, back-handed compliment, it was unlikely that he would be casted in the most favorable light. 

"Not to call these guys out, but their secondary is probably the weakest link on their defense," Holmes said, Thursday. "Their front seven are guys that are really going to get after the ball. They have really great pass rushers. We know how physical these guys are."

The Panthers defensive backfield was not flattered by those comments, and used them as motivation to shut down Holmes. Carolina coach Ron Rivera even brought it up in the lead-up to Sunday's game. 

"We're the weakest link? I took that real personal," Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said, after the game. "Santonio Holmes lit a fire in our secondary, and we showed up today."

Holmes finished the game with 2 receptions and 14 yards. Munnerlyn had a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. 

"I'm an eight-year veteran. I wouldn't regret anything," Holmes said, after the game. ""I said it and I still feel that way."

Highlight of the week

Chekwa's impact on the Raiders has been felt on special teams, almost exclusively. Oakland selected him the fourth-round of the 2011 draft as a cornerback, but he showcased his wide pass catching skills on a fake punt, Sunday. 

It was an obvious trick play situation in CBS analyst Dan Fouts' mind, meaning it was even more obvious to everyone watching. Running back Marcel Reece made the 22-yard toss to Chekwa, making it one of the few Raiders passes that didn't end up in the hands of the Kansas City defense. 

How ex-Buckeyes Fared During Week 15

Player team position stats/Notes
Mike Adams Pittsburgh Steelers OT Briefly filled in at LT for Kelvin Beachum
Will Allen Pittsburgh Steelers S 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Bengals
Jake Ballard Arizona Cardinals TE 3 rec, 13 yds, 1 touchdown catch 
Alex Boone San Francisco 49ers OG 49ers rush for 187 yards in win over Bucs
Michael Brewster Jacksonville Jaguars OL Started at guard, left after fracturing his left ankle
Chimdi Chekwa Oakland Raiders CB Showcasing wide receiver skills on fake punt 
Kurt Coleman Philadelphia Eagles DB 2 tackles, one injured hamstring, one ecstatic fanbase 
Jim Cordle New York Giants C On injured reserve
Nate Ebner New England Patriots DB Recovered fumble after Brandon Field's head butt
Reid Fragel Cleveland Browns OT Inactive while his team continues perpetual tanking  
Ted Ginn Jr. Carolina Panthers WR 1 rec, 10 yds, 1 carry, 14 yds
Johnathan Hankins New York Giants DT 3 tackles in loss to Seahawks
Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins WR 5 rec, 70 yds, inspiration to young, white males
Ben Hartsock Carolina Panthers TE Continues to carve out niche as a great blocking TE
A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers LB 3 tackles, still working on a loose chinstrap issue
Boom Herron  Indianapolis Colts RB On injured reserve
Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers DE Continues strong season with 3 tackles in win
Santonio Holmes New York Jets WR 2 rec, 14 yds "weak link" secondary shuts him down
Malcolm Jenkins New Orleans Saints S 4 tackles and missed a few more in loss to Rams
James Laurinaitis St. Louis Rams LB 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Saints  
Nick Mangold New York Jets C Jets ran for 157 yds vs tough Panthers D, still lost
Jake McQuaide St. Louis Rams LS Snapped 2 FGs, 3 XPs in win 
Mike Nugent Cincinnati Bengals K Stepped in at punter after hit on Kevin Huber
Ryan Pickett Green Bay Packers DT 2 tackles in comeback win against Cowbys
DeVier Posey Houston Texans WR Injured ankle in team's 12th loss 
Terrelle Pryor Oakland Raiders QB 1/4, 12 yds, 1 INT, 3 rushes, 19 yds in loss to Chiefs
Dane Sanzenbacher Cincinnati Bengals WR Inactive in loss to Steelers
John Simon Baltimore Ravens LB Plays tonight at Lions 
Rob Sims Detroit Lions OG Plays tonight vs Ravens
Austin Spitler Miami Dolphins LB Dolphins counted out "Touchdown Tom" and won?
Jake Stoneburner Green Bay Packers TE Inactive in win over Cowboys
Donte Whitner San Francisco 49ers S 1 tackle, 2 pass deflections in win over Bucs

[GIF via @CorkGaines]


Comments Show All Comments

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Brandon Fields is from Toledo St Johns! Though he went Sparty for college, he is a Toledo native.

AndyVance's picture

Nuge's punts looked ugly, but his second kick was a solid 43-yarder, earning some praise from the erstwhile Cris Collinsworth. The man with the golden toe did pretty well, considering the circumstances.
Watching the Huber hit, my immediate and probably too-loud reaction was "Garvin just killed a man... with a trident." The Stunning Mrs. Vance said she can't wait for Anchorman 2 to get her and done with fast enough.

AndyVance's picture

Oh, and The Houndie is dead - long live The Houndie!

BuckeyeOfTheTiger's picture

The tweet in Austin Spitler's line of the table,  https://twitter.com/jon_bois/status/412318835136417792, has Jim Thome as Paul Bunyan with Babe the blue ox as the background image.  Awesome!


CCatanzaro's picture

The hit on Huber was dirty.  I wish Ohio State fans weren't allowed to be fans of the Steelers, too.  It just doesn't seem fair to get to claim other states teams as one's own just because they are historically good.  See: Buckeye/Cowboy fans, Buckeye/Yankee fans, Buckeye/Heat fans.
Makes my skin crawl.

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


AndyVance's picture

Just curious why you would say the hit was dirty... Looked like a pretty legit block, hit the guy square in the shoulders, parallel to the line of scrimmage. There looked to be some helmet-to-helmet, but it appeared to be pretty much incidental contact, not bad form on Garvin's part as a blocker.

CCatanzaro's picture

I watched it several times, and maybe dirty wasn't the right word.  Illegal would have been a better choice, via the Hines Ward rule.  That rule makes a block illegal if it comes from the blocker's helmet, forearm or shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of the defender.  Just one guys opinion, expected the down votes from how things have been on this site as of late.  Can't have a different viewpoint.  Meant no disrespect to you as a Steelers fan, Andy, you're always nice on here.  I do find it interesting that you're a Reds fan too as opposed to the Pirates, but we'll save that for another discussion :)

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


AndyVance's picture

That's why I wanted to be careful how I worded my question - didn't want to sound like I was trying to pick a fight :) I have a hard time keeping straight all the rules about when/where/how you can actually hit a guy these days... I agree it was a nasty hit, and I feel bad for the punter getting his jaw broken - that has to suck.
I hope no one downvotes you for putting up an opinion, especially one that you took the time to articulate fully, and I too have been disappointed with the negativity as of late - it's Christmas, after all!
Re: the Steelers, I married in. Grew up in Southern Ohio during the Boomer years, but we never went to any Bengals games. Did got to a few Reds games, but I'm definitely a football>baseball guy. When I met The Stunning Mrs. Vance, I learned quickly that she was a HUGE fan of the Steelers, and given that I'm a huge fan of The Venerable Dick LeBeau and Cameron Heyward, it was easy enough to claim her team for my own, since my favorite team growing up wasn't the Bengals, but the Buckeyes :)

CCatanzaro's picture

Amazing how quickly they begin to call the shots, isn't it?  My dad made me into the sports fan that I am today, as he was born and raised in Cinci (St. X, UC for undergrad, then on to tOSU for law school). It's so hard for me to root against Cam Heyward, so I just don't do it.  He's really turning some heads, and it makes me very happy.

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


AndyVance's picture

Yeah, Cam had a pretty darn good game last night, and Collinsworth was singing his praises. My one and only Steelers jersey is his - got it at training camp last summer, which was a pretty great experience, fwiw. Will Allen is having a pretty darn good season, too.

OSUStu's picture

I will preface this with saying I am a Steelers fan.  But I have to agree with AV here, that hit was brutal but I don't think it was dirty at all.  The punter was actively trying to make a play on the ball and was in fairly good position to do so.  Garvin did his job and took the punter out of the play.  Just because someone got hurt doesn't mean it was a dirty play.  
Also, southeastern Ohio has been a Pittsburgh market for sports for decades.  Most people in that area are fans of all the Pittsburgh teams (not just the ones that have been historically good) and Ohio State.  And a lot of those people migrate to Columbus.  I'm sorry you don't like it.

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

CCatanzaro's picture

Most of the Steelers fans I encounter aren't fans of the Pirates or Pitt.  My point wasn't that they are bad people, it's that they seem to be rooting for winning teams.  I didn't mean to offend you, and I hope this conversation can be civil.  I have too great a respect for this website to get into anything other than friendly debate. 

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


dumpus's picture

even people who go to pitt/went to pitt aren't fans of pitt.  at least in terms of football. basketball has a pretty solid following though.  winter sports fans here are split between hockey and college hoops.  fall is ALL pro football though.

CCatanzaro's picture

I would imagine being a Pitt football fan would be extremely, horrifyingly depressing.

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


OSUStu's picture

I certainly did intend to keep my comments civil although I disagree with your previous comments.  Effectively communicating tone when disagreeing with someone on the internet is often a lost cause.
I personally don't care for "front-runners" either when it comes to sports fans or much of anything really.  I just was trying to make the point that there are quite a lot of Pittsburgh/Ohio State fans that have other legitimate reasons for that fandom rather just the teams' historical success.  I, for instance, grew up in eastern Ohio but was considerably closer to Pittsburgh than either Cincinnati or Cleveland.  When I was a kid, my area got KDKA and other Pittsburgh affiliates on TV.  More people are fans of the Pittsburgh teams in that area then either Cleveland or Cincy.  And like any good Ohioan, we love Ohio State.

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

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I also thought the hit on Huber, whom I went to high school with, was a cheap shot.  1.  He is the punter and all you have to do is get in his way/ put your hands on him and he is blocked.  2.  The second or two prior to the hit, you can see that the Steelers player is "loading up" to hit Huber high. 
On a side note, as a former high school wide receiver, Huber should have caught the snap that went a few feet to the left.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

dumpus's picture

lol.  i'm a buckeye fan because, well, i'm an ohio state alum.  i'm a pittsburgh fan because i was born here, spent the first 18 years if my life here, and overall spent approximately 20 of my 34 years on this planet here.  its pretty easy - fair or not. 
as for Huber?  poor cat.  if he's gonna be a player on the field, he'a gotta play like one. if any player on the PR unit thinks he can just stare down the returner as he cuts right up the middle and not expect to get his body mowed, he shouldnt be in the league.  this  wasnt some dirtly crackback block with a returner and his blockers trying to make the edge.  this was just a straight up the middle "you know i'm coming, do something about it" play.
(waiting for the downvotes by bungholes fans who know they got outplayed badly by the shittiest team pitt has put on the field in 20 years.  and by browns fans who are just doing what browns fans do on a monday after getting what's left of their heart torn out on national tv.  again.)

CCatanzaro's picture

I'm a Bengals fan, but I'm not going to downvote you.  My post wasn't meant towards people who have genuine ties to the state, city, or university that they are rooting for, as you obviously do.

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


GoBucks713's picture

The Houndie is Dead. Long Live the Houndie!

-The Aristocrats!

Rjpfish2's picture

How was that hit on the punter not "dirty"? The Steelers player's helmet strikes Huber first. It is far too close to the neck/throat/chin area. Guys don't suffer fractured jaws from clean hits, no matter how bone-jarring they are. The crown of the helmet struck his chin, that is pretty plain to see... I'm with Buckeye_in_Illinois, Garvin could've set a basketball pick and effectively taken the punter out of the play.

Seattle Linga's picture

All I can say is DOINK