Former Alabama OLB signed to Steelers practice squad

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson to their practice squad on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, former Alabama outside linebacker Ryan Anderson was signed to the Steelers practice squad. It was first reported by Ben Standig of The Athletic. It will be the third team that Anderson has played for since entering the league in 2017.

Anderson spent four seasons at Alabama. During his senior season, he received first-team All-SEC honors by the Associated Press. He was also listed as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which recognizes the nation’s best linebacker.

Altogether, he tallied 98 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in his time in Tuscaloosa. Following the 2016 season, he would enter the 2017 NFL draft. He was subsequently drafted by the Washington Commanders with the No. 49 overall pick.

Anderson has recorded 86 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and six sacks since being drafted. He has played for Washington, the New York Giants, and now the Pittsburgh Steelers. With star edge rusher T.J. Watt expected to miss up to six weeks due to injury, Anderson could definitely find himself on the active roster in the near future.

Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow Anderson’s professional career as well as other former Alabama players in the NFL.

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Several former Alabama players attended big-time AL high school football game on Friday

Several former Alabama players returned to their hometown to watch a big-time high school matchup between Daphne and Saraland.

On Friday, several former Alabama players: Wallace Gilberry, Ryan Anderson, and T.J. Yeldon made their way to the Mobile area to watch the Daphne Trojans take on the Saraland Spartans. Simone Eli of WKRG reported on the Crimson Tide stars’ presence. The Spartans wound up winning the game by a score of 43-23.

Both Yeldon and Anderson played for Daphne High School. On the other hand, Gilberry played for Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette, Alabama. All three are well-known for their play at both the high school and college levels.

Gilberry played for the Crimson Tide from 2004 through 2007. He recorded 188 tackles and 21.5 sacks in his time in Tuscaloosa. He was named to the All-SEC Coaches’ First-Team in 2007. He went to the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Gilberry would then spend nine seasons in the NFL playing for five teams: Bengals, Lions, Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Giants.

Anderson was a dominant outside linebacker for the Crimson Tide from 2013-2016. The last two seasons that Anderson spent at Alabama were perhaps his best. He played in 31 games for the Crimson Tide and recorded 98 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks. After his senior season concluded, he was drafted by the Washington Commanders in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. He spent four seasons with the team before spending this past season with the New York Giants. Anderson is currently a free agent.

Many Alabama fans will remember Yeldon for his late-game touchdown in 2012 that helped Alabama defeat the LSU Tigers. He was known for that particular play but was also a very good running back, to say the least. He played for Alabama from 2012-2014. He rushed for over 3,000 yards in that time while having 37 rushing touchdowns. Yeldon was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft.

He went on to spend four seasons with the Jaguars before spending two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Yeldon hasn’t played since 2020. He is also a free agent.

It is always interesting to see former Alabama players returning to their former high schools and communities.

Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow former Alabama football players as well as other former Alabama football players in the NFL.

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Washington’s recent history of 2nd-round picks is not very encouraging

Washington has struggled with 2nd-round selections in the last decade. Hopefully, Sam Cosmi was the start of a more successful trend.

We are all certainly hoping tonight that with the 47th overall selection in the 2022 NFL draft, Washington will get it right by finding a productive contributor.

It can’t be ignored, that Washington has experienced many a nightmare when it comes to second-round selections in the last decade. Hopefully last year’s pick, Sam Cosmi, was the start of a more successful trend.

Who are the last 10 players Washington has selected in the second round?

Samuel Cosmi (2021), Derrius Guice (2018), Ryan Anderson (2017), Su’a Cravens (2016), Preston Smith (2015), Trent Murphy (2014), David Amerson (2013), Jarvis Jenkins (2011), Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcom Kelly (2008).

Ok, that was 11, not 10. But how can I talk about Washington’s second-round picks while excluding the horrible memory of the 2008 draft? All three players were receivers (Davis a USC tight end), and endured very disappointing careers. Thomas never flashed, was just a guy. Davis started well, but character issues resulted in a crash and burn sadly for him.

Kelly? Why was he ever drafted in Round 2 when at the time, there were injury concerns? Even worse was when it leaked out some of the football staff actually voiced they wanted to draft Jamaal Charles but were overruled. For younger readers, Charles (Texas) was a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, rushed for 7,563 yards, 44 rushing touchdowns and averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry.

Jenkins (Clemson DE) was largely ineffective his entire three years in Washington, even getting suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Amerson (NC State CB) played on three teams in his six NFL seasons, even later admitting that while with Washington, he had spent many nights playing video games instead of studying opponents and getting enough sleep.

Murphy (Stanford DE) was drafted when Washington traded back with Dallas, who drafted DeMarcus Lawrence. Murphy had some moments but faded, and he too was suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Cravens (USC LB) very early revealed himself to have emotional issues and was traded after only one season, only lasting one season in Denver as well.

Anderson (Alabama LB) didn’t start a game his first two seasons, forced five fumbles in season three, but struggled in his fourth and final season.

Guice (LSU RB) was such a train wreck, he was arrested on domestic violence charges, tore an ACL, only played in five games and even LSU erased his stats from their record books because of inappropriate behavior.

Only Preston Smith and Samuel Cosmi look to have been good second-round selections for Washington. Smith in four seasons accumulated 59 QB hits and 24.5 sacks, but he was not resigned and Green Bay wasted no time signing him. Cosmi (Texas OT) only played in nine games in 2021 (started all nine), but performed quite well, and looks to have a promising future as a Commander in the NFL.

Cooper Kupp was available for Washington

Cooper Kupp’s grandfather once played in Washington. Imagine if Washington had selected him in 2017? Washington is one of 31 NFL which regrets passing on Kupp.

The fastest corners in the NFL simply can’t cover him.

He gets open several times every game and makes big catch after big catch.

Cooper Kupp was drafted in the 2017 NFL draft in the third round —No. 69  overall. This past season, Kupp caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards. That is not a typo: 145 receptions, 1,947 yards.

Washington had finished 2016 at 8-7-1 and was picked No. 17 overall in the NFL draft. Washington made a good, solid selection in round 1 with Jonathan Allen.

In round two and selecting at No. 49 overall, Washington took DE Ryan Anderson (Alabama).  Cooper Kupp was available and Washington was not the only team who had no idea what Kupp would become.

However, former Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay was involved in his first NFL draft as a head coach with the Los Angeles Rams. McVay said when he interviewed Kupp, he stood out as mature and like a coach. Hey, what were other coaches and scouts listening to when they interviewed Kupp?

I wonder, seeing Kupp played at Eastern Washington, how many of the other 31 teams even considered him worthy enough to interview him?

Were they not impressed that Kupp used to train by making single-handed catches of tennis balls flying at high speeds out of a ball machine? Did it occur to coaches that if a guy can catch a much smaller tennis ball at high speed, he is not going to have much trouble with a larger and slower football?

Did teams bother to find out that Kupp’s dad Craig Kupp had actually made it to the NFL? Craig was a quarterback. My, I wonder how much that influenced his son to sound like a coach as early as age 22? Craig had been drafted in the 5th round — No. 135 — in 1990 by the N.Y. Giants, and made the Cardinals roster in 1991.

If that’s not enough, Cooper Kupp’s grandfather (Jake) also played in the NFL (1964-75). What’s more, Jake actually was a Washington Redskin in the 1966 season, a tight end who caught four passes. He played guard the rest of his career but had a long enough career that he was obviously aware of much of the business and a very good athlete.

So back to Cooper Kupp who was passed over by Washington and many other NFL experts in that 2017 draft. Kupp is accustomed to being passed over by other “experts.” He was not even offered a college scholarship until after the completion of his high school senior season. No major conference colleges were interested.

When he ran a 4.62 40 at the NFL Combine did most coaches and scouts judge him too slow? Interestingly enough his times in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle were outstanding.

McVay was only age 31 during his initial draft. Yet he knew enough to know that a wide receiver that is lightning quick in changing directions and running 20 yards is going to be able to run great pass routes.

Did I mention that Kupp caught 145 passes this season?

 

Giants LB Ryan Anderson suspended 6 games for PED violation

Giants LB Ryan Anderson has been suspended for the first six games of the 2021 season.

The New York Giants will have one less roster decision to make come next Tuesday, when they cut their roster down from 80 to 53 players.

Linebacker Ryan Anderson was suspended by the NFL on Saturday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

From an NFL spokesperson:

Ryan Anderson of the New York Giants has been suspended without pay for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Performance Enhancing Substances. He will be able to participate in Sunday’s final preseason game.

Anderson will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 18, following the team’s Week 6 game vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

Anderson’s agent has since released a statement:

Anderson, 27, was signed by the Giants as a free agent on March 25 to a one-year, $1.13 million contract. He will still be able to compete in the Giants’ preseason finale on Sunday.

Anderson played his college ball at Alabama and was a second-round pick of the Washington Football Team in the 2017 NFL draft. He was primarily a backup defender and special teamer during his four seasons there.

Anderson’s suspension opens up a roster spot for one of the players on the bubble this weekend, and not necessarily at linebacker. He was not challenging for a starting role this summer.

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Giants activate TE Rysen John, waive TE Tommy Stevens

The New York Giants have activated TE Rysen John from the COVID-19 list and LB Ryan Anderson (back) from NFI, and waived TE Tommy Stevens.

The New York Giants made a series of in-house moves prior to practice on Tuesday, announcing that tight end Rysen John had been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

John signed with the Giants last year after going undrafted out of Simon Fraser. He was also a third-round pick in the CFL draft but opted to play NFL football instead.

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John was waived/injured last September and ultimately reverted to injured reserve after going unclaimed. He was later waived with an injury settlement before being re-signed in late October.

In early January, John signed a reserve/futures deal with the Giants.

In addition to activating John, the Giants also announced that linebacker Ryan Anderson (back) had been activated from the non-football injury (NFI) list.

Anderson was waived on Monday and re-signed on Tuesday as procedural move related to his contract, reports Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Finally, in order to clear room for the returning John and Anderson, the Giants have also waived tight end Tommy Stevens, who had signed with the team last week.

With Tuesday’s moves, only rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson and tight end Kyle Rudolph remain inactive. Both players are currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

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Giants release, re-sign LB Ryan Anderson

The New York Giants released LB Ryan Anderson on Monday only to re-sign him on Tuesday in a strange series of events.

The New York Giants waived veteran linebacker Ryan Anderson, who signed with the team back in March, on Monday.

Anderson opened training camp on the non-football injury (NFI) list after suffering a back injury and has been unable to get back on the field.

But that will now change as the result of an interesting turn of events…

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports that Anderson’s release was the result of a contractual issue and that he’s now been re-signed and removed from the NFI list.

Anderson, 26, was a second-round pick of the Washington Football Team out of Alabama in the 2017 NFL draft. He spent his entire career in D.C., appearing in 52 games (four starts) while recording 86 tackles (seven for a loss), five forced fumbles, 15 QB hits, six sacks and one pass defensed.

In 2020, Anderson earned an overall grade of 49.6 from Pro Football Focus, including a run defense grade of 59.6 and a pass rush grade of 45.6. His best season came in 2018 when he earned an overall grade of 86.8.

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Ryan Anderson says his contract became a mental burden in Houston

“I felt like every time I was in Houston, I was letting down the fans, or something like that,” Ryan Anderson said on a recent podcast.

On a newly released episode of The Long Shot podcast, former Rockets forward Ryan Anderson opened up on his underwhelming stint in Houston during the NBA’s 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Anderson spoke to Miami Heat swingman Duncan Robinson, who hosts the show.

A 6-foot-10 forward, Anderson signed a four-year, $80-million contract with Houston in July 2016 — which was the offseason when the league’s salary cap went through a historic one-time spike. The influx of teams with significant cap space and unprecedented competition for free agents led to many players around the league, including Anderson, being paid much more than their production would normally suggest.

While Anderson’s production never lived up to the salary, he fared reasonably well in his first season in Houston — scoring 13.6 points in 29.4 minutes per game on 40.3% shooting from 3-point range. That type of long-range shooting from a big man was very useful in spacing the floor for superstar guard James Harden. But in year two, Anderson faced new competition for playing time in the form of recently signed forward PJ Tucker, and Anderson’s defensive limitations gradually led to him falling out of the rotation used by head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Another factor was Anderson’s inconsistency as a shooter. Many fans nicknamed him “Road Ryno,” in reference to the fact that he shot significantly better away from Toyota Center. In 2016-17, he shot 46.5% on 3-pointers on the road and 33.2% at home. The same trend held in 2017-18, with a 42.2% clip on the road and 34.4% at home.

On the podcast, Anderson said the burden of fan expectations in Houston after signing such a large contract played a role. He explains:

It was a new thing for me, because I had sort of always been the underdog, overachieving and now I was sort of the overpaid guy who was underachieving from what they wanted even though I was doing everything that they paid me for and we were the most successful team in the NBA.

It was hard for me to be the guy that was like, ‘You need to do more and we’re paying you a lot for this,’ rather than before it was like, ‘Wow, we got a steal for this guy.’ It really affected me at home. I felt like every time I was in Houston, I was letting down the fans, or something like that.

Houston’s one of those sports cities where just the pressure is always on you, and that’s all people want to talk about with you.

Though he was mostly in a positive mood on the podcast, Anderson suggested that he was unhappy in his role with the Rockets, where he largely operated as a stationary shooter around Harden. He also made a joke at his own expense, alluding to his clear limitations in the switch-heavy defense favored by D’Antoni and lead assistant Jeff Bzdelik.

It was a challenge for me, especially not being put in a position to thrive. In New Orleans … I was put in a position to thrive. I was not put in a position to show every ability I could in Houston.

It is a tough thing when you’re getting zero credit, especially when you’re making a lot of money and you’re getting two shots with like two seconds left on the shot clock and you miss them and you’re 0-for-2 from 3 and everyone says that I suck. This is the greatest part about not being in the NBA right now because I can just unload on how much that pisses me off. People don’t want to hear it. I made a lot of money, I’ve lived a great life. I’m so blessed, I love it, but the game’s not fun when you have to just stand there and you’re not involved at all. You want to be involved, you want to be a part of the offense. …

And, I’m not a good defender either, so I’d always have to switch on Steph Curry, and he’d make buckets on me, and then I’m the idiot.

Anderson was eventually traded away from Houston in August 2018, largely for the purpose of shedding his salary and the associated luxury tax implications. Just over a year later, he signed a minimum deal with Houston before the 2019-20 season — but he played sparingly in just two games before being released. Now 33 years old, he hasn’t played in the NBA since, and it seems possible that his career could be over.

Anderson suffered a series of significant injuries between 2013 and 2016, including a neck injury that required surgery. That seemed to take away some of the impressive athleticism shown earlier in his career, and in turn, that limited his value to the Rockets and other NBA teams.

In all, during a 12-year NBA career, Anderson averaged 12.3 points (38.0% on 3-pointers) in 25.8 minutes per game. He was selected No. 21 overall by the Nets in the first round of the 2008 draft.

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Giants add 3 assistants to coaching staff

Giants make additions to the coaching staff.

The New York Giants added three more assistants to Joe Judge’s coaching staff, the team announced Thursday.

The three new assistants include Russ Callaway, Ryan Anderson and Carter Blount.

It was reported last week that the Giants would be bringing on Callaway to the coaching staff but in what capacity was unknown. Callaway will be working as the offensive quality control coach after he spent the 2020 season as LSU’s senior offensive analyst.

Both Anderson and Blount will be brought on as defensive quality control coaches. Anderson most recently worked as the safeties coach for Elon College in 2019-2020. Before that, he worked as Hampton University’s defensive coordinator in 2018, was the inside linebackers coach at East Carolina in 2016-17 and was a defensive assistant at Vanderbilt from 2013-15.

Blount was most recently the special teams quality control analyst at the University of Tennessee. He has a history with Judge, both of which worked for Alabama in 2009.

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Report: Giants signing former Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson to one-year deal

Former Alabama outside linebacker Ryan Anderson is signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants after several seasons in Washington.

This story originally appeared on Giants Wire.

The New York Giants have been remarkably busy over the past week, signing multiple players to help fill out their roster, including several big-money additions.

On Tuesday, New York continued adding names, but this time they did so with a focus on providing the defense more depth.

USA TODAY’s Art Stapleton reports the Giants have agreed to terms with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the deal is for one year and worth $1.127 million.

Anderson was a second-round pick of the Washington Football Team out of Alabama in the 2017 NFL draft. He spent his entire career in D.C., appearing in 52 games (four starts) while recording 86 tackles (seven for a loss), five forced fumbles, 15 QB hits, six sacks and one pass defensed.

During his time in Washington, debate raged over Anderson’s position. Some believed he was better suited as an outside linebacker, while others believed he was a defensive end.

With the Giants, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Anderson could see action at both positions in Patrick Graham’s “multiple” defense. He will also play a significant role on special teams.

In 2020, Anderson earned an overall grade of 49.6 from Pro Football Focus, including a run defense grade of 59.6 and a pass rush grade of 45.6. His best season came in 2018 when he earned an overall grade of 86.8.