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Pack in the Pros

Did Jaylen Samuels solidify his roster spot with performance vs. Titans?



Former Wolfpacker, Jaylen Samuels, had a big day on Saturday for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Samuels tallied 77 yards on 15 touches and had a 20 yd touchdown reception called back for holding.

It was more of what Pack fans witnessed during Samuels’ career in Raleigh. Now he’s showing his versatility, high in-game IQ, vision and elusiveness at the game’s highest level.

With all that said, Samuels is still just a rookie and he’s still fighting for a roster spot. So, did this performance finally earn it?

Part of what makes the rookie special is his ability to understand multiple positions and high-level offensive concepts. There is a reason he’s always in the right place at the right time, and a reason the ball tends to find him.

Just take a look at the excerpts from the PennLive article about Samuels’ growing his role by learning WR concepts for the Steelers.

“If you’re in the offense I feel like you should learn every position unless you’re an O-lineman or something,” Samuels said. “That’s just how I feel.”

That ‘feeling’ has helped him stay open-minded about being used just about anywhere on the field. The Steelers are starting to understand that and have started finding new ways to increase his role.

“Yeah I mean they’ve still been using me kind of the same way, still split out a little bit, using me as a receiver but also still giving me the ball in the backfield,” Samuels said. “So my role has kind of increased a little bit as I got more comfortable with the stuff I was already doing.”

And it’s not just the coaches who are excited about what he’s doing. Jaylen’s teammates are starting tonotice how valuable he could be to their offense. Here is what Ben Roethlisberger told 247 after Saturday’s game.

“There were some plays called specifically for him. And then there were just times where he was open, whether it was a check down or just finding him. I like that he gets out quick. When he doesn’t have a blitz to pick up, he’s getting out to where he needs to be, and I’m really encouraged by it. [Running routes] is something we ask our halfbacks to do, and when he lines up out there, he runs routes hard, and he got rewarded for it.”

Despite all the success he’s seen this preseason, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t quite ready to crown him. However, if you read between the lines here, there is the feeling that the Steelers staff likes what they see from the rookie and are going to push him as far he can go.

Here is what Tomlin told 247 sports about Samuels.

“I think he’s increasingly getting more consistent in terms of what we expect from him. He’s got a skill set that is good in some areas and that is very varsity and consistently varsity. Some areas in his game that he has to continue to grow. He’s finding more consistency in those areas that he needs to grow as he should and we’ll continue to take him through the process as we will all the others. I like his overall attitude in terms of the challenges that we are presenting to him in terms of areas that he needs to work. He caught a lot of balls, and he was a third down type back at N.C. State. We’ll challenge him in some other ways that might be somewhat new to him.”

From the way Tomlin ended that statement, it seems as if Samuels’ roster spot should be pretty secure at this point, but don’t count on him to throttle down after a few good performances. It seems as if Jay Sam is just getting started.

Pack in the Pros

Russell Wilson Named Week 2 NFC Offensive Player of the Week



Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2 against the Steelers. This marks the 8th time that Wilson has earned the weekly honor, which is a Seahawks record.


In Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh, Wilson completed 29 of 35 attempts for 300 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a passer rating of 131.0. It was the 22nd game of Wilson’s career with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions, and he has thrown two or more without an interception 45 times, the most in NFL history for a quarterback in his first eight years—and Wilson has 14 more games to add to that total in Year 8. A week earlier, Wilson was an efficient 14 of 20 for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. (Seahawks)

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Pack in the Pros

NC State in the NFL: Week 2 Report



18 of the 23 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.

Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) was spectacular once again, going 29 of 35 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns for a QB Rating of 131.0 in Seattle’s 28-26 win over Pittsburgh. Wilson became the 5th fastest player in NFL history to throw for 200 career touchdowns.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) was 17 of 28 for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns (1 interception) with a QB Rating of 95.2 in the Colts’ 19-17 victory over the Titans.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb (starter) had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 QB Hits in the Broncos’ 16-14 loss to the Bears.

Chubb was called for a ridiculous roughing the passer penalty on the final drive of the game that ultimately kept the drive alive, which ended in a 53-yard field goal that cost Denver the game.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) had an off day, completing 21 of his 36 passes for 293 yards and 0 touchdowns (1 interception) for a QB Rating of 73.0 in LA’s 13-10 loss to Detroit.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels ran the ball 3 times for 18 yards in the Steelers 28-26 loss to the Seahawks. He also had 1 reception for 13 yards. Samuels played 39% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive End B.J. Hill (starter) had 3 tackles in the Giants’ 28-14 loss to Buffalo. Hill played 58 snaps on defense (78%), which led all defensive players.

Running Back Nyheim Hines ran the ball twice for 9 yards in Indianapolis’ 19-17 win over Tennessee. He also had 1 reception for 5 yards. Hines played 19% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in the Chargers’ 13-10 loss to the Lions. His 41 plays were the most of any defensive player on LA.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon (starter) technically started his first career NFL games on Sunday, but it was more of a formality. Harmon only played 6 snaps on offense, and didn’t record any stats.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka didn’t attempt any field goals on Sunday, but did connect on all 4 of his extra point attempts in the Bills’ 28-14 victory over the Giants.

Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Vikings’ 21-16 loss to the Packers. Bradbury had a tough assignment again in Week 2, with Grady Jarrett on the other side of the line of scrimmage. He was better than Week 1, but still struggled, posting the 2nd lowest PFF grade on the offensive side of the ball for the Packers.

Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball 6 times for an average of 44 yards in the Raiders’ 28-10 loss to the Chiefs. He pinned two of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt strictly played on Special Teams in the Bengals 41-17 loss to the 49ers.

Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Cardinals 23-17 loss to the Ravens.

Offensive Tackle Will Richardson (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Jags’ 13-12 loss to the Texans.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played in 92% of the offensive snaps in the Patriots’ 43-0 blowout victory over the Dolphins.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson played 5 special teams snaps in the Charger’s 13-10 loss to the Lions.

Offensive Guard Ted Larsen saw 2 offensive snaps, and 4 special teams snaps in the Bears’ 16-14 victory over the Broncos.


Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)

Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill (Redskins)


Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots). The addition of Antonio Brown hurt Meyers’ chance of seeing the field in a big way.

Defensive Back Juston Burris (Raiders)

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Pack in the Pros

Russell Wilson 5th Fastest to 200 Touchdown Passes



Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his 200th career touchdown pass today, becoming the 5th fastest player to do so, bumping Tom Brady out of the Top-5.


Wilson, who is 5’11”, is only the 2nd player in NFL history under 6’0″ to throw for 200 touchdowns.

Wilson finished today 29/35 for 300 yards with 3 touchdowns (QB Rating – 131.0).

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Pack in the Pros

Raiders Sign Former NC State DB Juston Burris



Former NC State cornerback Juston Burris has been signed by the Oakland Raiders after Safety Johnathan Abram was moved to the IR.

Burris was drafted by the Jets in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played his first two seasons in New York. After the first 4 games of the 2018 season, the Jets cut Burris (he played in all 4 games), and was picked up by the Browns. Burris only played 4 games at Defensive Back for Cleveland after being picked up.

He saw a lot of action in New York his first two seasons, and was even the projected started heading into his second season.

Burris joins to other former NC State players in Oakland, with punter AJ Cole and quarterback Mike Glennon already wearing the Silver and Black.

While at NC State, Burris had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions and 18 pass deflections.

NC State now has 23 former players on active NFL rosters.

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