Tom Nelson

Discussion in 'Cincinnati Bengals' started by celticdb15, May 6, 2009.

  1. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Tom Nelson a versatile free safety from Illinois State is trying to catch on with the "thug life" Bengals. He has good speed 4.47 and is 5'11 200 or so pounds.





    As he attempts to make the transition from Illinois State to the NFL, Tom Nelson encountered another former Redbird last week at Cincinnati Bengals rookie camp.

    "We didn't get to talk much about ISU, but he made it clear he held me to higher standards since I'm from his alma mater," Nelson said of Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

    According to bengals.com, it was the first time in 16 years in the NFL that Zimmer has coached another ex-Redbird. Zimmer was a quarterback and linebacker at ISU in the mid 1970s.

    "I don't think he (Nelson) liked it too much. Every time he made a mistake, I told him he was a disgrace to my alma mater," Zimmer joked. "But he's a good kid. He moves well, he can return punts and he's got a decent concept of where to be."

    A free safety, Nelson was happy to take any ribbing from Zimmer.

    "I don't think it will come to anything as far as making the team, but it's cool to have that connection," said Nelson. "I'm glad he has high expectations for me. I have high expectations for myself."

    Nelson was mentioned as a free agent standout by Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis after the rookie camp.

    "We put in six different coverages," Nelson said. "Basically, we jumped right in. When we weren't practicing, we were meeting or eating. It was basically football 24-7. It was good."

    Nelson will return on May 19 for the beginning of OTAs (organized team activities).

    "I'm not planning on being a starting safety, but maybe I can earn a backup position," said Nelson. "The coaches at ISU did a good job preparing me. I feel pretty confident in myself."

    Running back Walter Mendenhall, Nelson's teammate last season at ISU, attended a Philadelphia Eagles team camp as an undrafted free agent.

    "It was a good learning experience. They threw a lot at us," Mendenhall said. "The whole team was there. The first day I was kind of nervous. Guys I grew up watching, Donovan McNabb, guys like that (were there). It was a surreal experience. The second day was a lot easier."

    Mendenhall will report back for a rookie camp on May 17.

    "I've got to make the team through special teams. That's what I plan to do," said Mendenhall. "I plan on working hard, getting the plays down and showcasing what I can do."
     
  2. backrow

    backrow Hall of Famer

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    unfortunately Bengals don't have a good track record of being fair to white DBs (Ethan Kilmer, Corey Lynch, John Busing) but at least they keep them on roster, for the most part.
    Nelson might have a shot at ST demon.
     
  3. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Lynch was playing a lot last year until he got hurt!
     
  4. Jimmy Chitwood

    Jimmy Chitwood Hall of Famer

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    Tom Nelson has been looking good so far in camp, according to reports. this is no surprise to any of us, i'm guessing. but there was a surprise to me in a recent blog:
     
  5. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Great news JC! To be honest i kind of forgot about this player, even though i started the thread on him.
     
  6. Jimmy Chitwood

    Jimmy Chitwood Hall of Famer

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    i think it was backrow who mentioned Nelson having a solid outing in the pre-season thread, so i recorded the Bengals-Pats game and am watching it now.

    in the first half, Nelson was getting work as the punt returner.

    in the 4th Quarter, he finally got some reps in the secondary ... and he started out at cornerback! [​IMG]

    he was tested on his first play, and he closed quickly and leapt high to break up the pass. then, he moved around covering NE's slot receivers.

    he came offcovering the sloton a blitz, and it resulted in a BIG hit for the sack. [​IMG]

    afterwards, he moved back to working at cornerback on the outside, and looked very comfortable as he didn't allow a completion until Ray Ventrone caught a short pass underneath with only a few seconds left and the Bengals playing prevent.

    finally, he forced a fumble when he came up in run support.

    all in all, a BIG day by Nelson. 3 solo tackles, an assist, a pass break-up, a sack, and a forced fumble. [​IMG]Edited by: Jimmy Chitwood
     
  7. WHITE NOISE

    WHITE NOISE Mentor

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    I can't have hope here, every time one of our own stands out in camp/pre-season, they are inevitably cut or placed on the practice squad.
     
  8. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

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    I was thinking the same thing when I read Jimmy's recap of Nelson's game. A game like that would move a black rookie up the depth chart, Nelson will be lucky if it earns him a spot on the practice roster.
    F'in NFL!
     
  9. backrow

    backrow Hall of Famer

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    well, if he is that versatile, can play safety and corner, plus can return kicks, he has more of a shot.
     
  10. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Glad he is making the most of his opportunity, especially since he is coming from a 1aa school(mhmmhmhm)
     
  11. Jimmy Chitwood

    Jimmy Chitwood Hall of Famer

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    Nelson once again played most of the second half, and he was lined up exclusively at cornerback.

    and once again, he didn't give up a single completion.

    also, he looked explosive on his long punt return. he saw daylight, and he was gone!
     
  12. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    It's because of attrition, but a start is a start:

    <H1>First Peko, now Crocker out for Bengals-Chargers game Sunday</H1>


    Throughout the season, the safety position has gone from one with some depth to extremely thin. Strong safety Roy Williams (forearm) was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 13 and Kyries Hebert missed the Minnesota game with a knee injury. That leaves Chinedum Ndukwe and Tom Nelson as the only two healthy safeties.


    Nelson, who has played in Crocker's spot the last two games, will get his first NFL start at San Diego.
    full article: http://tinyurl.com/http-tinyurl-com-ydrvumm
     
  13. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Thats great too bad his first start is going to be against a great qb and the red hot Chargers. to be honest when I first posted that article about him I figured he would have a tough time sticking with the team. I never thought he would make a start his rookie year. But if I remember correctly Corey Lynch got the chance to play because of injury, did quite well, and has now been cast aside. Make an impression TOM!
     
  14. TwentyTwo

    TwentyTwo Master

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    Just maybeNelson will not relinquish the starting role....I can see him as a perennial starter in the future for years to come! He just needs the chance; he's a special athlete and gifted football player...
    Still curious to see what Nelson &amp; Weddle could do at corner-black.
     
  15. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    Weddle should be playing corner and not safety. He has the speed and shut many good receivers down in college. His lack of pigment forces him to the racially acceptable position of safety.
     

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