Vinny Curry had a huge opening night with the Eagles in a win over the Steelers (photo on main page is courtesy Philadelphia Eagles/nfl.com)
HUNTINGTON - The Marshall football program has 15 former participants, including 14 former players and a former athletic trainer, active in the National Football League as the exhibition season roared into high gear on Thursday night.
Viewers in the Huntington area were treated for three former members of the Thundering Herd competing when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted in-state rival the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Second round draft choice Vinny Curry (MU 2008-11) took up right where he left off in college, leading the Eagles to a comeback 24-23 win over the Steelers, who have both quarterback Byron Leftwich (MU 1998-2002) and guard/center/fullback Doug Legursky (MU 2004-07).
Curry, the 2011 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American, came into the game and recorded a team leading five solo tackles, tied for the total tackles lead with five and led the team with three tackles-for-loss.
Leftwich came off the bench to lead the Steelers to a 13-0 halftime lead, tossing the only touchdown of the first half. He hit 3-of-5 passes for 14 yards and the score in second quarter action.
Legursky played guard in the second half of the contest.
Curry's teammate and fellow captain with the 2011 Herd, safety Omar Brown (MU 2008-11), also had an outstanding first game, while linebacker Albert McClellan (MU 2005-09) started for the Baltimore Ravens in the exhibition win over the Atlanta Falcons, 31-17.
Brown, an All-C-USA selection last year, led the Ravens with two fumbles recovered for 32 yards in returns, and added an interception to two solo tackles.
In the start at outside linebacker, McClellan had two solos and 3 assisted tackle for a total of five tackles, while having one tackle-for-loss (-2) and a quarterback sack (-4).
Omar Brown recovered two fumbles and had an interception in his first game as the Ravens beat the Falcons (courtesy Baltimore Ravens)
Also participating in preseason games were New England Patriots receivers coach Chad O'Shea (MU 1991-92) and patriots.com analyst Troy Brown (MU 1991-92), in the Pats 7-6 win over the New Orleans Saints, and tight end Lee Smith (MU 2008-11), who played in the 7-6 loss to the Washington Redskins.
For the Redskins, defensive tackle Delvin Johnson (MU 2008-11) dressed but did not play in the contest.
The rest of the former Herd players will open the exhibition season Sun, Aug. 12.
Randy Moss returnsed after one year with no football, and joins former Herd safety C.J. Spillman, and San Francisco beat Moss' original NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings, on Friday night at Candlestick Park, 17-6. (courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
Jacksonville offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge (MU 2006-09) and the Super Bowl two-time champion Ahmad Bradshaw (MU 2003-05) will be on opposite sides when the Jaguars host the New York Giants on Aug. 10 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
Baldridge played on the offensive line in the Jacksonville 32-31 win over the Giants. Bradshaw rushed four times for 12 yards and caught one pass for seven yards in the game, and watched former Giant teammate Brandon Jacobs run the ball for the Jags.
Wide receiver Randy Moss (MU 1996-97) played but had no catches, while former Herd safety C.J. Spillman (MU 2005-08) had three solo tackles in the San Francisco 49ers win over the Minnesota Vikings, 17-6, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Linebacker Mario Harvey (MU 2007-10) and his new-look Indianapolis Colts hosted the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and rolled behind new quarterback Andrew Luck's two touchdowns in the first and second quarter, 38-3.
Harvey had two assists on tackles at linebacker, and defended a pass, and assisted on a tackle on special teams. He was signed by the Steelers in 2011, but released
Former Marshall Players in the National Football League - Week One Exhibition Results:
#76 Daniel Baldridge Jacksonville Jaguars OT
Open exhibition season on Aug. 10 hosting New York Giants, played on offensive line in 32-31 win.
#44 Ahmad Bradshaw New York Giants RB
Open exhibition season with 4 carries for 12 yards and caught 1 pass for 7 yards in loss at Jacksonville Jaguars.
#45 Omar Brown Baltimore Ravens S
2 solo tackles, 2 fumbles recovered (+32 yards), interception (-2) and pass broken up in Baltimore win over Atlanta Falcons, 31-17.
— Troy Brown New England Patriots Analyst, patriots.com
Patriots win exhibition opener, 7-6, over New Orleans Saints.
#75 Vinny Curry Philadelphia Eagles DE
Led Eagles in three categories — 5 solo tackles, 5 total tackled (tied) and 3 tackles for loss in Philadelphia win over Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-23.
#54 Mario Harvey Indianapolis Colts OLB
Opened exhibition season Aug. 12 with a 38-3 win over the St. Louis Rams. Harvey had two assists on defense, a pass defended and assisted on a tackle on special teams.
#79 Delvin Johnson Washington Redskins NG
Did not play in Redskins 7-6 win over Buffalo Bills.
#4 Byron Leftwich Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Passed for 3-of-5, 14 yards and one touchdown pass, sacked twice for −20 yards (2-of-7 sacks allowed) and one fumble (recovered by Steelers) in Pittsburgh’s loss at the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-23.
#64 Doug Legursky Pittsburgh Steelers C/G/FB
Played guard in Pittsburgh’s loss at the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-23.
#50 Albert McClellan Baltimore Ravens LB
Starting outside linebacker, 2 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, tackle for loss (-2) and sack (-4) in Baltimore win over Atlanta Falcons, 31-17.
#84 Randy Moss San Francisco 49ers WR
Open exhibition season Aug. 10, hosting Minnesota Vikings, played but had no catches.
— Joe Recknagel* Detroit Lions Assistant Athletic Trainer
Opens the exhibition season at Ford Field Aug. 10, falling to the Cleveland Browns, 19-17.
— Chad O’Shea** New England Patriots Assistant Coach-WR
Patriots win exhibition opener, 7-6, over New Orleans Saints.
#85 Lee Smith Buffalo Bills TE
Played, no receptions in 7-6 loss to Washington Redskins.
#27 C.J. Spillman San Francisco 49ers FS
Open exhibition season Aug. 10, hosting Minnesota Vikings, and had three solo tackles.
*Recknagel, an Ohio U. graduate, was the assistant athletic trainer at Marshall University (1978-80) under head athletic trainer Vic Winburn, working with football coaches Frank Ellwood and Sonny Randle, and has been with Detroit since 1980
**O’Shea was a back-up quarterback to Michael Payton and Todd Donnan at Marshall (1991-92), then started at Houston (1994-95), where his father, Mike, was the head athletic trainer