Watching Roy Roundtree in an NFL Practice

Submitted by borninAnnArbor on August 10th, 2013 at 11:02 PM


Meeting Roy Roundtree in the NFL


I am not a huge fan of the NFL.  There is nothing really wrong with it, but my hometown teams growing up were the Lions and the Bengals.  Not much to root for.  In order to enjoy professional football, I switched from cheering for teams to rooting for former Michigan players on those teams.  I want the Patriots to win because of Tom Brady.  I want the Steelers defense to do well because of Woodley, and so on. 


            We live about forty-five minutes north of Cincinnati, so my brother and I piled our kids into my van and drove to watch the Bengals practice.  More specifically, we went to see Leon Hall and Roy Roundtree.  With the understanding that my most of my knowledge of football comes from watching games, this blog, and EA sports, I had a few observations.  Roundtree ran crisp routs, and caught the ball well away from his body.  While I do not have the roster memorized, he seemed to do was well as the starters in this regard.  I did not see him drop a pass. 


            After some special team drills which neither seems to be a part of, they moved on to seven on seven.  All of the players rotated every few snaps and they went out with different players each time.  There did not appear to be a first team and second team.  What surprised me during these drills was how much communication there was between defenders before the snap.  I know Hoke has talked in the past about defenders talking to each other, and I now understand what he means.  Hall and others were discussing who was taking the man in motion, and changing duties or coverage before anyone moved.  None of the players Hall was guarding was open enough to be thrown to. 


One of the things I noticed about Roundtree during this was his struggle with getting pushed around.  While I think this occurred beyond the allowable distance, it did cause disruptions with this route running.  This may be a skill he will be working on in the pros and he continues to add strength.  When he was able to release he was able to create separation.  My favorite was when starter Andy Dalton threw what appeared to be an out and up.  Dalton focused on Roundtree the whole way and lofted the ball.  The defender broke up the pass, but like the Northwestern game, Roundtree caught it off the deflection and took it in for the score.  He got some dap from his teammates after returning to the group waiting for their turn again, and I shouted my kudos.  The HBO Hard Knocks crew seemed impressed.


The best part of the day occurred after practice.  Some of the players were out signing footballs, posters, signs, and t-shirts.  Unfortunately, many of the players took their jerseys off and I did not recognize them.  We walked past the players and my kids marveled that people could be that big.  A couple of 6’ 6” or 6’ 7’’ guys well over three hundred pounds is an impressive site when you see them up close.  Just as we were about to exit I look up, and there is #86 walking away after taking some extra passes.  Not sure if we should say anything, I look at my brother for confirmation, or at least encouragement.  I decided to yell anyway.  “ROY,” I shout.  He turns and looks to see who called his name.  He sees my Michigan hat and my brother’s Michigan shirt and smiles, then comes trotting over.  I get him to sign my hat, and he posses for a picture each for my brother and myself holding our kids.  He is polite and engaging, just as I imagined a Michigan man to be. 


As we leave I am probably a little giddier than a grown man should be.  That is when I notice he signed my hat with his name and #21, Go Blue.  I know I just talked to him for a few minutes, but I liked him, and I wish him success in the NFL.



August 10th, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

The image not showing up is apparently related to some Flash software issue that crops up when you try to copy images from your machine to the web. You need to upload it somewhere else on the internet and then embed it using that url.


August 10th, 2013 at 11:17 PM ^

I basically had the same kind of interaction with Will Campbell at Jets camp last week. He actually signed both his numbers.. His UM and Jets number with a "Go Blue".

It's awesome to see they care so much about the Michigan Family.


August 11th, 2013 at 8:08 AM ^

Will Campbell is a fantastic person. He lived across the street from me during last season with Kenny Demens. Had them over for dinner a few times and attended their graduation party. Will even stopped by to see my son when he was sick and signed a picture for him.


August 11th, 2013 at 12:09 AM ^

Thanks for this update on Roy. I watched Hard Knocks yesterday but didnt see Roy mentioned.

Coincidentally and hopefully not too off topic, i just googled another WR from Michigan who wore 21 and is fighting to make it in the NFL.., Junior Hemingway missed the Chiefs first pre season game with a sprained thumb.


August 11th, 2013 at 12:58 AM ^

If the Bengals run a play where Dalton takes a snap from the gun, fakes a qb draw, and steps back ... I guarantee Roy will be wide open down the seam. That was the bread & butter play of the Rich Rod offense. As soon as I saw Denard fake the draw, I'd just scream ROOOYYY. That play worked every damn time.

Swang on These

August 11th, 2013 at 1:25 AM ^

Braylon did the same thing for me way back during a Browns open practice. He had just gone #3 overall so obviously everyone and their mom was lined up to get autographs/pictures after practice. The staff eventually said "that's all we can do, we're done for today" and they started to pack up. I was way in the back of the crowd waving a Michigan hat and it must of caught his eye because he turned back over and said "I think we have time for one more" and called me to the front. Signed my hat Braylon Edwards #1 and posed for a picture with me. I thought it was pretty badass that all went down in Cleveland, Ohio in front of what I am sure were 99.9% OSU fans.


August 11th, 2013 at 7:21 AM ^

One of the best parts of how we, as a fanbase, tend to track our Wolverines after they leave Ann Arbor is that we get to hear stories like this, stories which show us that you do indeed take Michigan with you everywhere you may go. 

Thanks for sharing this, OP!


August 11th, 2013 at 8:06 AM ^

We'll start seeing more UM receivers in the league after a few years since Hoke has been recruiting some pretty large guys.


August 11th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

Thanks for sharing this story. Roy Roundtree is awesome and exactly the kind of player the bengals need to be successful (yes, I mean someone with good character and work ethic). I hope he can make it in the NFL.


August 11th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

what I've always experienced and encountered with Michigan athletes, that they are immensely willing to share their time and themselves for a fellow Michigan fan. And I know that this attitude is part of the value system that Michingan seeks in its athletes