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Golden Bears in the Pros: DeCoud Shines, More Forsett, Natalie Eliminated

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(Video link here, hat-tip to ieeebear!)

Thomas Decoud, Atlanta Falcons

Decoud earns NFC defensive player of the week honors.

First-year starter Thomas DeCoud had the game of his short professional career at safety Sunday night for the Atlanta Falcons.

DeCoud's five tackles were fifth best on the team and he added two passes defensed, but his two interceptions helped change the game for Atlanta and won him the award.

The interceptions were the first two of his career and marked the first time a Falcons player had a multiple-interception game since DeAngelo Hall's two pick game against Tampa Bay on September 17, 2006.

More on the headlines above, plus news on one pro Bear who will be at the Wazzu game, and find out where some of your favorite Golden Bear hoopsters are now playing overseas after the jump. Also, two Golden Bears got signed to two NFL 53 man squads, find out who by checking out the rest of the post!

Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks

ESPN's Mike Sando reports that Forsett could be seeing more action, mainly because his pass blocking abilities might be the best of the three in the corps! Good job Coach Gould and Coach M!

Justin Forsett is earning -- and will get -- more touches in the regular offense. My take three weeks ago was that Forsett, primarily a third-down back to this point, had done enough to start getting touches on earlier downs. Seattle left Forsett alone in the backfield six times in the first quarter against the Jaguars, more than he had in the first quarters of the previous four games. Forsett is challenging to become the best pass-blocking back on the team even though Julius Jones and Edgerrin James are strong in that area. He lacks top-end speed, but he's quick and appears trustworthy in key situations. He did a nice job chipping on his way out of the backfield, helping the left tackle substantially on one play.

Tony Gonzalez,  Atlanta Falcons

Lots of stuff here about the matchup between Gonzalez and Dallas's returning strong safety , who is returning with a cast on one hand due to a broken thumb. He's also expected to see lots of double coverage.

"My whole career I've always tried to look at when they played against maybe Kellen Winslow, and see what they did to him, because I know he's such a threat in the receiving game," Gonzalez said during a conference call Wednesday. "But even sometimes teams will switch it up. Earlier this year we played against New England and I didn't really anticipate getting bracket coverage as much as I was that game, and because of that I only had one catch."

The Cowboys held Winslow to four catches for 30 yards and one score in the season-opener. Gonzalez has had plenty of practice adapting to varied schemes over the years.

"It's always something," Gonzalez said of the different looks he gets. "That's something I've been used to my whole career and whatever they want to do hopefully we can adjust and move the ball down the field."

Tony G was also on Pardon the Interruption for Five Good Minutes on Wednesday--check out his interview starting at about 9:55


Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders

Asomugha was surprised at what happened on Sunday--in terms of Oakland's defense actually following through on what they run in practice.

On Sunday, the Raiders brought a different look to the Eagles game on defense. They blitzed and played zone -- a departure from the defensive scheme Davis prefers. It was something of a revolution, according to cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha said he lobbies every week for a more aggressive attack and less predictable coverage, but usually to no avail.

"We were shocked," Asomugha said, "because coaches say we're going to run it in practice, but we come to a game and that never happens."

Asomugha said defensive coordinator John Marshall finally agreed to make changes. "He said that he might get yelled at for it, but he'll keep going," Asomugha said.

When asked about Asomugha's claims, Cable evaded the issue.

"I think we'll do what we can, and what we think it takes to win every Sunday," Cable said.


Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Football Outsiders thinks they know why Aaron is struggling to develop a good rapport with one of his primary targets (HT Acme Packing Company):

Aaron Rodgers didn't pad his stats; after a third-quarter sack and fumble, he threw only one pass in the fourth quarter, an interception. A more important question: What's up with Greg Jennings? We thought the star wideout would have a big game against the Lions, but Jennings only ended up with 38 yards on six catches in eight attempts. Our theory: Rodgers is struggling to get the protection he needs to allow Jennings to run double moves and get open downfield.


Zack Follett, LB, Detroit Lions

At least one more time, Follett will be patrolling the California sidelines on his bye week.

Rookie linebacker Zack Follett is heading back to California. He grew up in Clovis and played college football at Cal. He said he's planning to go back to Berkeley to see Saturday's game against Washington State.

"We've got three days off. I'm going to fly home and go back to the Bay," Follett said. "Catch a Cal football game and kind of refresh the mind a little bit and get ready to get back to work.

"I've already been here three months. To stay another two, it would be a tough stretch, especially with this cold weather getting up on me. I'm getting my mind ready for these winters."

Other notes

NBA preseason


Week 3 - Natalie Coughlin - Dancing With The Stars (via ABCNetwork)

"Unfortunately for Natalie, I think that people didn’t know who she was," said the cheorographer, actress and dancer [Carrie Ann Inaba]. "Maybe the fan base of her sport isn’t watching our show or maybe it isn’t as big as someone like Michael Irvin’s fanbase, which is basketball."