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The old cliche is that 3-4 linemen don’t register the big stats, but instead tie up blockers for the linebackers to make plays.
Chris Neild personified that tonight, seeing playing time in the second half but without registering any numbers on the official stat sheet. But don’t think that that deterred the seventh round rookie–on the contrary.
“It’s always a challenge at first, but you gotta adjust,” he said. “That’s the name of this game, it’s just straight from the start, you gotta be ready for anything. I think I did an okay job today, and all that matters is the ‘W’ at the end.”
Neild felt that practicing against his defense helped him adjust to the speed, but not necessarily the scheme.
“We had practiced getting the tempo of the offense, and then coming here and facing more of the power run game, it was definitely different,” he admitted. “They like to pound the ball, I’ll tell you that. Luckily we came out on top today.”
When the team trots down onto the practice fields on Sunday, Neild knows that he’ll have to refocus his efforts to see more playing time. One of the things that he knows he can work on in practice is getting his endurance up to speed for the pro game.
“There’s a lot for me to work on, y’know what I mean?” he said. I didn’t really know, but I nodded my head anyway.
“I’m feeling better with just keeping up with the tempo of the offense, and luckily our offense runs a really fast, zone-blocking scheme,” he explained. “So it’s something that’ll help me out playing with a team that likes to run the ball.”
Neild has a tremendous work ethic and should be given a chance to develop as a player. He’ll put in the time this week, and I expect to see his name on the stat sheet in Indianapolis.
Tags: chris neild, preseason, rookie, washington redskins
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