One of the joys of the bye week is getting a chance to catch up on some article idea that I have had, but haven't been able to write about. Now that we're two weeks into the NFL season I can definitely write about the topic of Purdue players still kicking around the league. The NFL Draft has been rather thin of late for Purdue players, but that doesn't mean no one is still active in the league. Through two weeks here is what our alums have done:
Ryan Baker - Miami Dolphins - Baker has been in and out of the Dolphins lineup for four seasons now, but he is currently on the active roster as a reserve defensive tackle. He's been credited with seven tackles in 17 career games and played last week against Oakland briefly.
Niko Koutouvides - New England Patriots - I am very pleased to see one of my favorite former Boilers still kicking around the league. In his ninth year, Niko earned his way onto the Patriots last season and even got his first start since 2004. He had a fumble recovery late in the season as well. So far he has not played this season, but he is on the roster.
Rob Ninkovich - New England Patriots - Rob has become a starter for the Patriots, starting in 28 of their last 34 games. So far this season he has four tackles and a sack, all of which came this last week against Arizona. Last year he had his first career touchdown when he pick-sixed Mark Sanchez last season.
Dustin Keller - New York Jets - I really wish DK would sign with another team because I despise the Jets. The former first round pick is taking a backseat to Tebow-mania as he has only one catch for seven yards so far this year. This is after a career high 65-815-5 season last year. Then again, he needs an actual competent quarterback to throw him the ball.
Bernard Pollard - Baltimore Ravens - Pollard and Ed Reed are forming one of the most fearsome safety tandems in the league right now. Pollard has eight tackles, a sack, and an interception so far in two starts. His pick came last week. Against Philly this last week he had four tackles to go with that sack and interception.
Uche Nwaneri - Jacksonville Jaguars - Uche is a starting guard for the Jags at the moment and has started 63 of 75 games in his career. He'll be in town this weekend when Jacksonville faces the Colts.
Mike Otto - Tennessee Titans - The pride of Maconaquah High School continues to kick around as a key reserve tackle for the titans. He has only started twice in his career, but has seen action in 41 games.
Greg Orton - Denver Broncos - Orton has yet to play in a regular season game in his career, but he is on the Denver practice squad and could be catching passes from Peyton Manning in the near future.
Jacques Reeves - Kansas City Chiefs - Reeves was picked up by the Chiefs in the offseason and has started one game this year. He only has four tackles, but he had not played in the NFL since 2009 before making a stunning comeback.
Nick Hardwick - San Diego Chargers - Hardwick re-upped this year on a three year contract that keeps him as the starting center for the Whale's Vagina Chargers. He's a former Pro bowler that has started every game of the past two seasons and both games this year.
Shaun Phillips - San Diego Chargers - Yawn. Another starting linebacker/defensive end from Purdue in the NFL. Shaun had two sacks for San Diego in the season opening win over Oakland.
Kyle Orton - Dallas Cowboys - Orton has officially entered the "competent backup" phase of his career as he is currently holding Tony Romo's clipboard in Dallas. I guess if Dallas ever wants to actually win games they might want to try him.
Anthony Spencer - Dallas Cowboys - The former first-round pick had a big game in Seattle this last week with two sacks and four tackles. This is his fourth straight year as a full-time starter.
Dennis Kelly - Philadelphia Eagles - Kelly made the Eagles roster as a rookie but has yet to play. He is listed as a reserve tackle.
Ryan Kerrigan - Washington Redskins - A member of last year's All-rookie team for the Pro Football Writer's Association, Superman has already earned a starting job and has started each game of his career to date. He has four tackles and a sack this year.
Cliff Avril - Detroit Lions - Cliff Got Paid in the offseason, getting a $10.6 million Franchise Tag contract after the best season of his career. He already has a sack on two total tackles, but is coming off of an 11 sack year in which he also had a four-yard interception return for a touchdown. He also forced six fumbles and recovered three last season. More notably, he was part of a playoff run for the once moribund Lions.
Kyle Adams - Chicago Bears - Against the Colts in week one Adams got his first career reception, going for 17 yards. Unfortunately, he is also a tight end on a line that refuses to block for Jay Cutler.
Mike Neal - Green Bay Packers - Mike is serving a four-game suspension after testing positive for Adderall. Injuries have severely his career, as he has only played in nine of 34 possible games since he was drafted.
Ray Edwards - Atlanta Falcons - Ray has yet to start a game for Atlanta, but he recorded two tackles in the week 1 win over Kansas City. Last year he started all 16 games in his first season as a Falcon.
Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints - If Drew can turn the Saints around he'll get the MVP award that was denied him last year. He already has 664 yards passing, but four interceptions to go with four touchdowns. In the first game he moved into 10th place all-time past Kerry Collins on the NFL passing yardage list. Dan Fouts and Drew Beldsoe are likely to get passed by the end of this year, with and outside shot at 5th place and 50,000 career yards by next season. Only Manning, Marino, Elway, and Favre have reached 50,000, and they are either in the Hall of Fame or will be.
BONUS! Boilers in the CFL
Joey Elliott - Wennipeg Blue Bombers - Elliott is back from an ACL tear and is starting again in Wennipeg. He is 97 of 163 for 1,183 yards and two touchdowns against four interceptions so far. Winniepeg is only 2-9 on the season, however.
Kory Sheets - Saskatchewan Roughriders - Purdue's all-time leader in touchdowns is making the most of his first season north of the border. He is starting and has rushed for 761 yards and 10 touchdowns while catching 34 passes for 431 more yards and 2 TDs. He leads the team by far in rushing, but Saskatchewan is 5-6 on the season trailing British Columbia and Calgary.