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Former NC State DB Juston Burris Earns Browns’ Ed Block Courage Award

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Former NC State Defensive End has earned the Cleveland Browns’ 2019 Ed Block Courage Award, awarded annually to the player on the team based on courage, compassion, commitment and community.

After joining the Browns for the final seven games of 2018, Burris re-signed with Cleveland during the 2019 offseason when he ultimately underwent shoulder surgery and started his rehabilitation process. Burris spent all of training camp and preseason with the Browns before being waived during final roster cuts. He was then claimed by the Oakland Raiders, where he was on the active roster for two weeks prior to coming back to Cleveland.

In addition to showing his resiliency after offseason shoulder surgery, Burris has been a reliable presence on defense since returning to Cleveland on Sept. 20, two days before he would ultimately start at safety against the L.A. Rams on Sunday Night Football.

This season, Burris has started eight of his 11 games with the Browns, registering 22 tackles (18 solo), his first career sack (vs. Pit., 11/14), two interceptions, four passes defensed and one forced fumble. He is one of only two Browns with multiple interceptions this year, and his four passes defensed tie for fourth on the team and second among Cleveland DBs. Additionally, he has played every defensive snap in three of those contests.

Burris has also been active in Browns Give Back’s efforts in the Northeast Ohio community and the team’s commitment to education, youth football and the First and Ten volunteering movement. Last week, he advocated for mental health awareness efforts through his commitment to Dream the Impossible, a foundation launched by his former NY Jets teammate and current Jaguars S Doug Middleton. Dream the Impossible was founded to help fix the lack of awareness surrounding mental health in the African American community. (NFL)

Burris is a local talent, playing high school ball at Broughton High School here in Raleigh. He led the Wolfpack in pass breakups in 3 of his 4 years at NC State, and was drafted by the New York Jets in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

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Torry Holt is a Finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Torry Holt has been named a Modern Era Finalist for the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame Class for the first time. Holt has been a Semi-Finalist the first 5 years he’s been eligible, but this is the first time he made it to the Final 15.

Five of the Fifteen players will make the final cut, who receive at least 80% of the votes.

Holt played 11 seasons, and was a Pro Bowler in 7 of them (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007). He also earned 1st Team All-Pro honors in 2003, and 2nd Team All-Pro honors in 2006.

He led the NFL in receiving yards twice (2000 & 2003) and receptions once (2003)

In 11 seasons, Holt ranked in the Top-10 in receiving yards 8 times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007), receptions 5 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006), and touchdown receptions 4 times (2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006).

He was also a part of “The Greatest Show on Turf” with Kurt Warner throwing the ball to him and Isaac Bruce. They went to 2 Super Bowls, and took home the trophy in 2001.

The only reason Holt hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame already is because his body didn’t hold on for a couple more seasons. What he did in a shortened career is remarkable, and shouldn’t be denied simply because his career numbers aren’t as high as others.

He was the youngest player to accumulate 10,000 receiving yards, as well as 11,000. Holt’s the only player in NFL history to have over 1,300 receiving yards in 6 straight seasons.

He averaged 77.4 receiving yards per game for his career, which ranks 7th all-time in NFL history.

You could make an argument that for a decade, there was no better receiver in the NFL than Torry Holt. If you are in the conversation for being the best at your position throughout the length of your career, you should be in the Hall of Fame.

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Philip Rivers’ Status for Next Season is Up in the Air

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Former NC State Quarterback Philip Rivers just wrapped up his 16th season in the NFL, which have all been played for the Chargers.

Rivers just wrapped up the final year of a 4-year $83.25 million contract, and it wasn’t the shining moment of his career to say the least. His QB Rating of 88.5 for the year marked his second lowest single season rating of his career. His 23 passing touchdowns were the third lowest of his career, with the other two seasons being his first two. Rivers threw 20 interceptions for the 3rd time in his career.

It wasn’t all bad for the former ACC Player of the Year, throwing for 4,615 yards, which ranked 4th in the NFL at a 66.0% clip, which ranked 10th.

Rivers has no plan to retire, but he doesn’t know for sure that he will be back with the Bolts in 2020.

“Yeah, I plan to play football, so yeah,” Rivers said. “Again, where that’s going to be, I think that’s going get sorted out over the next three months, I guess. I’ve never been in this position. I usually don’t even know when the league year starts and when all those things are. We’ll just kind of see. Again, I’m very thankful for 16 years, and if there’s another, I’ll be thankful for that one. But I think just with the uncertainty just comes that unknown.” (NBC)

Chargers GM Tom Telesco hasn’t ruled out the return of Rivers in 2020.

“In a perfect world, No. 17 is your quarterback forever,” Telesco says. “I hope that I’m not offending Dan Fouts when I say that. [Rivers] has meant everything to this organization. You work with different players differently. He has been here for a long time. When I talk with him, he’s a joy to work with. Nobody has a better perspective on what goes on — not only just with him, but with the football team — than he does.”

“I think Philip would say the same thing, there are some plays that he probably definitely wants back, but there are also some throws that he makes still that a lot of quarterbacks in this league can’t make,” Telesco says. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. I think he can still compete at a top-starter level.”

“We need to get removed from the season a little bit,” Telesco says. “Even, right now it’s just way too early. I’ve been out at a couple of games. We just finished the season. We need to take a step back for a little bit of time. We have time. The first day of the league year is March 18. Our players come in April 20. Camp starts in July. We’ll know before July, obviously, but you need some time to kind of let things decompress a little bit.” (SI)

Some NFL Executives speculate that Rivers could end up in Indianapolis, taking the job of another former Wolfpack Quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

NFL executives, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, believe that the Colts would explore the option of bringing in Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers if he and the Chargers part ways this offseason. The reasoning is based on Rivers’ past history with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach during the 2013 season. (CBS)

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Wilson and Thuney make PFF’s 2019 All-Pro Teams

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ProFootballFocus has released their 2019 All-Pro Teams, and 2 former NC State football players were honored.

Despite the fact that Lamar Jackson’s destined to win the 2019 NFL MVP Award, PFF put QB Russell Wilson on their 1st Team instead of Jackson.

Lamar Jackson is the presumptive league MVP, and his development this year has been phenomenal, but what Russell Wilson has been able to do while dragging a sub-par offense has been remarkable. Wilson’s grade and PFF WAR has been incredible all season long, and even when the offense cooled down the stretch, he was still making big plays only to be let down by his supporting cast. Wilson finished the year with six more big-time throws than any other quarterback, and he had just 11 turnover-worthy plays to balance those high-end plays. (PFF)

New England Patriots’ Offensive Guard Joe Thuney made the 2nd Team, after being snubbed of the Pro Bowl.

Joe Thuney has played his role in making sure that doesn’t happen. His pressure rate allowed of 2.5% trails only Marshal Yanda and Richie Incognito among all guards with 250 or more pass-blocking snaps this season. (PFF)

https://twitter.com/Tucker_TnL/status/1211701893103312896?s=20

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NC State in the NFL: Week 17 Report

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19 of the 22 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 17 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) was 31 of 46 for 289 yards with 2 touchdowns (2 interceptions) in the Chargers’ 31-21 loss to the Chiefs, in what was likely his final game with the Bolts. His QB Rating was 80.1.

Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) was 25 of 40 for 233 yards and a touchdown, for a QB Rating of 95.1 in Seattle’s 26-21 loss to San Francisco.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt (starter) had 5 tackles (1 for loss) in the Bengals’ 33-23 victory over the Browns, playing in 67% of the defensive snaps.

Running Back Nyheim Hines had 7 rushes for 34 yards, 3 receptions for 22 yards, 2 punt returns for an average of 20 yards (18 long) and 1 kickoff return for 24 yards in the Colts’ 38-20 loss to the Jags. He played in 55% of the offensive snaps.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon (starter) had 3 receptions for 33 yards in the Redskins’ 47-16 loss to the Cowboys, paying in 90% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive Back Juston Burris had 2 tackles and 2 pass deflections in Cleveland’s 33-23 loss to Cincinnati, playing in 33% of the defensive snaps.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in New England’s 27-24 loss to Miami.

Offensive Guard Ted Larsen (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in Chicago’s 21-19 victory over Minnesota.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) struggled in the Colts’ season finale, completing 12 of 15 for 162 yards for a QB Rating of 69.1 in the 38-20 loss.

Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles and 1 QB Hit in the Giants’ 34-17 loss to the Eagles, playing in 18% of the defensive snaps.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka (starter) made both field goal attempts (28 & 29) in the Bills’ 13-6 loss to the Jets.

Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played in 87% of the offensive snaps in Arizona’s 31-24 loss to Los Angeles.

Offensive Tackle Will Richardson played 55% of the offensive snaps in Jacksonville’s 38-20 victory over Indy.

Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) started for the Vikings in their 21-19 loss to the Bears, but only played 37% of the snaps, because he was taken out of the game to rest because Minnesota entered the game with the #6 spot in the playoffs locked up.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in Los Angeles’ 31-21 loss to Kansas City, playing 76% of the defensive snaps.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels had 1 reception for 16 yards in the Steelers’ 28-10 loss to the Ravens, playing in 40% of the offensive snaps.

Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball 3 times for an average of 41.3 yards in Oakland’s 16-15 loss to the Broncos.

Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers didn’t record any stats in the Pats’ 27-24 loss to the Dolphins, playing in 11% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive End Kentavius Street didn’t record any stats in the Niners’ 26-21 victory over the Seahawks, playing in 11% of the defensive snaps.

Inactive

Cornerback Dontae Johnson

DNP

Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)
Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)

IR

Linebacker Bradley Chubb (Broncos) – knee

 

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