2 BITS: Gilbert’s struggles, McDonald’s support

1 » Former Florida Gators right tackle Marcus Gilbert signed a $30 million contract extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers just one month ago, linking him to the franchise through 2019 if it keeps him for the duration of his contact. Gilbert, however, has not been giving Pittsburgh much bang for its buck through two games. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, Gilbert has played all 132 of the Steelers’ offensive snaps and given up four sacks in that time. However, head coach Mike Tomlin chalked part of Gilbert’s struggles up to his opponents and is planning to stick with him going forward. “When I coached college football, I used to say, ‘They have scholarships, too.’ I think the same applies in the NFL. You’re talking about guys like Marcus and having to rebound and, obviously, he needs to do that. But you also have to acknowledge that they face some pretty stiff challenges week in and week out,” said Tomlin, referring to Gilbert going head-to-head with Elvis Dumervil last week.

Continue Reading » 2 BITS: Gilbert’s struggles, McDonald’s support

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 2

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (16 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the second week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S JOSH EVANS, Jacksonville Jaguars: Started | 14 tackles (eight solo) [team-highs], pass defense
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 14 tackles (nine solo, one for loss) [team-highs]

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Rainey joins Cardinals, reflects on Colts exit

Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey hopes to take advantage of his third chance to stick with an NFL franchise after the Arizona Cardinals signed the much-maligned rusher and returner to their practice squad on Tuesday.

Rainey arrived in Arizona on Saturday, believing he had an opportunity to get signed to the roster after the Cardinals’ first game. Instead, the team was forced to replace their starting punter, who suffered a groin injury, and signed Drew Butler one day before its season-opener on Monday night.

After the game, Rainey learned that Arizona still wanted to bring him in to an open position on their practice squad. He was just happy for the opportunity.

“I really didn’t care. I didn’t care if they put me on the active roster or the practice squad. ‘As long as I’m here,’ that’s what I told them. I just wanted to be here,” he said in a phone conversation with OnlyGators.com on Tuesday night. “They wanted me, so I came back, and now I’m here.”

Continue Reading » Rainey joins Cardinals, reflects on Colts exit

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 1

The 2014 NFL regular season began this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 31 players (14 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the first week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR PERCY HARVIN, Seattle Seahawks: Started | seven receptions for 59 yards (long: 33) [team-highs]; four carries for 41 yards (long: 16), fumble (recovered); three kickoff returns for 60 yards (long: 31)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 4 + Cuts

The 2014 NFL preseason continued on Thursday with 44 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fourteen teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 24 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the fourth week of the preseason.

NFL teams were forced to make final cuts on Saturday as they pared down their rosters to 53 players. Six former Florida players were cut on Saturday, and one more on Sunday, leaving 37 on rosters heading into Week 1 of the regular season.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

TE TREY BURTON*, Philadelphia Eagles: Six receptions [team-high] for 45 yards (targets: 6, long: 21), touchdown
» An undrafted free agent, Burton made Philadelphia’s 53-man roster.
WR SOLOMON PATTON*, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Two receptions for 34 yards [team-high] (targets: 6, long: 25), touchdown; two kickoff returns for 39 yards (long: 20); punt return for nine yards
» Patton, an undrafted free agent, was cut by the Bucs on Saturday.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 3

The 2014 NFL preseason continued with 46 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 36 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the third week of the preseason.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

DE JAYE HOWARD, Kansas City Chiefs: Started | solo tackle, sack, forced fumble (safety)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
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Steelers extend Gilbert thru 2019 with big contract

The Pittsburgh Steelers spent a total of $74 million on contract extensions for former Florida Gators offensive linemen this summer after signing offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert to a five-year extension on Tuesday.

Gilbert’s extension is worth $30 million, according to ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio, making his new six-year deal worth a maximum of $31 million as he will be paid $1.03 million during the final year of his rookie contract in 2014. The portion of his contract that is fully guaranteed is information that was not available as of press time.

“It means I am locked in hopefully as a Steeler for the rest of my career,” said Gilbert in a team press release. “It’s a blessing to work for a great organization, the Rooney family, Kevin Colbert and Coach [Mike] Tomlin. Just to be around in Pittsburgh, where they show you so much love, I couldn’t be happier and in a better place.”

Just over two months ago on June 12, the Steelers locked up center Maurkice Pouncey with a similar five-year, $44 million extension, including $13 million in fully-guaranteed money. The extension, which put his new contract at six years and up to $48 million, made him the highest-paid center in the NFL.

Continue Reading » Steelers extend Gilbert thru 2019 with big contract

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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 2

The 2014 NFL preseason continued with 46 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 35 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the second week of the preseason.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR Deonte Thompson: Target; three kickoff returns for 188 yards, touchdown (108-yard return)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
Continue Reading » Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 2

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