The most surprising player so far is Dane Sanzenbacher. He’s able to catch on the run, add up yards after catch, and find the end zone. He’s tied for the team lead in touchdowns this preseason. He’s averaging over 20 yards per reception and over 30 yards per punt return. Plus, he’s got three years of NFL experience, which is actually more than most of the other receivers on the roster.
The player that has impressed me the most in camp has been Brandon Tate, because before camp started, I figured he likely won’t make the team. Yes, he does contribute to special teams alot and has been in the system for a while but sometimes makes costly, dumb decisions on punt returns and kick returns.
The good news is, he has played outstanding this training camp and pre season. Tate caught a touchdown pass in Cincinnati’s beat down on Atlanta and has impressed coaches with his receiving play this year more than anything. I’m very intrigued to see how he plays this upcoming season.
I can’t believe how much Brandon Tate has stepped up after I and so many others wrote him off as nothing more than an incumbent return-man who would be lucky to make the roster. But up to this point, he’s looked like the second or third-best receiver on a roster loaded with young, talented WR prospects. Perhaps, we are witnessing Tate finally live up to his God-given potential as a return-man and WR.
Coming out of North Carolina, he looked like a potentially great NFL receiver before tearing his ACL and MCL his senior year. Then, he could never seem to grasp the system in New England, leading to his eventual release. That was the same fate that plagued Chad Johnson, and we all know how great he used to be.
After two less-than-stellar years in Cincinnati, Tate is entering just his fifth season in the NFL, so it’s possibly that he’s a late-bloomer who is finally becoming a true NFL receiver, and not just a return-man with the position label of WR.
The player that has surprised me the most is honestly Giovanni Bernard. We always hear about hype, and as the media create hype; however what we have seen out of him has been very impressive. Not only has he shown that he can catch out of the backfield and run in space,but he has also done well on Goal-line situations.
On two separate occasions we have had 1 yard to go and both times has Gio punched it in a short yardage, power situations. BenJarvus Green-Ellis better watch his back.