In yesterday's game, most observers were probably aware of the great individual effort Neblett made, in blasting up the middle, and getting an early sack on Josh Freeman.
And most saw the vicious helmet-to-helmet collision that knocked him woozy, late in the game, when he and Charles Johnson butted heads, making a tackle, like two mountain stags. (Let's hope it isn't a concussion, keeping him out of the last game of the year.)But here's another play I want to talk about:
It's in the 3rd quarter, 7:16 remaining, our lead 27-10. TB has the ball 1 and 10 on their 48. They pull their own trickeration play, with 2 passes (Freeman to Spurlock) leading to a completion downfield to Kellen Winslow, who tries to hurtle a tackler, leading to the ball coming loose, thanks to hard hits, as he's in the air, by Dan Connor and Sherrod Martin.
Who saw the Panther that dove in the pile, and recovered the fumble, at our 22 yard line?
It was Andre Neblett, trailing the play from his DT position - how many times has anybody seen that kind of hustle from a DT, being in on a key play, 30 yards from the LOS?
I'll tell you how many. Two. His DT partner, Frank Kearse, was right beside him, as the play ended.
This kind of team hustle sometimes gets overlooked, but shows the amount of effort these guys put in, and speaks to the coaching staff we've got. (As a comparison, remember back to the infamous video of Albert Haynesworth, lying on the ground at his LOS, with the play swirling around him.)
Andre Neblett, you're a keeper.