5 Bubble Players Who Stepped Up

Jason Phillips, Cary Williams, David Reed, Ken Hamlin and Tony Moll made noise Saturday.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 at 11:54 am | Categories: Preseason 2 at Redskins, Ryan Mink

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh saw Saturday night’s second preseason game as a big one for some of the teams’ bubble players.

That’s because the main focus of the third preseason game is to get the starters in regular-season game shape. By the fourth game, there’s already been a round of cuts and some positions may already be decided.

The second game is the time to shine, as several bubble players did versus the Redskins. Here are five such standouts:

Jason Phillips, ILB
Phillips did exactly what was needed if he’s going to have a chance at a very deep inside linebacker position. He stood out on special teams, making a nice tackle in kickoff duty and often being one of the first down the field. He made an even bigger impact on defense, notching a sack/strip/fumble recovery on a blitz up the middle and later adding a second fumble recovery.
Quote: “I was just excited to make a play. It’s been a while since I was able to play a lot of football, sitting out last year. Just to get back in there, make a couple plays, get the blood flowing again, it was a lot of fun.” – Phillips

Cary Williams, CB
If Williams keeps this up he won’t be considered a bubble player much longer. The rangy cornerback notched his second interception in as many games. This time he deftly slipped under a route on an underthrown ball to Santana Moss and returned it 37 yards. Williams didn’t get burnt once on the night. His biggest issue right now is that he’s suspended for the first two regular season games.
Quote: “The ball was a little underthrown – I guess Donovan was trying to give the guy an advantage on the ball because of my position on top of his outside shoulder – but I just came down and saw it and tried to run as fast as I could.” – Williams

David Reed, WR
Reed shined in Organized Team Activities then disappeared for most of training camp. He was plagued by drops, but his sticky hands showed up once again Saturday. Reed made four catches for 38 yards on a third quarter touchdown drive, including a leaping 21-yard snag while getting hit. He made an open-field tackle on the ensuing kickoff.
Quote: “The talent was there. What he does well we saw tonight in the game. I think we all felt like we were going to see that.” – Harbaugh

Ken Hamlin, S
With the stellar play the Ravens are getting at safety, Hamlin’s spot doesn’t appear set in stone. But the veteran free agent addition helped his case with a nifty fourth-quarter interception. Hamlin dove to cut off an out route in making the play. It’s a good sign for a player that didn’t notch an interception all of last regular season.
Quote: “There were some moments were [the secondary] could have been better, but all and all I thought it was pretty solid.” – Harbaugh

Tony Moll, T
The veteran tackle was forced into the starting lineup after Jared Gaither and Oniel Cousins were sidelined Saturday. He didn’t surrender a single sack and kept Joe Flacco and his backups clean for the most part. Moll missed a chunk of training camp with a mild concussion, but he’s rebounding nicely.
Quote: “I think hopefully I put myself in with the ones. The five of us really worked well together as starters.” – Moll

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