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In the NFL, Everybody is NOT Special

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December 30, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back

Bernard Pierce

(30) tries to get around Cincinnati Bengals cornerback

Chris Lewis-Harris

(37) at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won the game 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, at cornerback, second year Shaun Prater and third year Chris Lewis-Harris may be working toward mutually exclusive objectives. On the depth chart Prater is listed at third and Lewis-Harris behind that. Through the third preseason game, Prater has just four tackles and Lewis-Harris just three. On special teams, Simmons remembers that Lewis-Harris “dominated” the coverage on Tate’s TD return.

Typically, preseason week four includes very little input from the starters while coaches look for developments that make final cut decisions less difficult. These battles for these last roster spots will motivate the coaches to get these guys in the game, to get them some snaps, to let them make it or break it. Special teams are very often the focus of the last preseason game and promises to be so at Paul Brown Stadium Thursday night.

Viewers will see guys who have spent their whole life in pads making one last effort to make the play of their life, the play that will make the difference between a roster spot and a waiver. They’re called special teams for a reason; Bengals fans will be rooting for the truly special players to shine while others will be turning in their stripes on Friday simply because they weren’t special enough.

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