Preseason NFL Football is underway and with it a number of Virginia Cavaliers are putting themselves on display as both veterans and young guns approach the fall with various goals in mind. In particular, former Wahoos Bryce Perkins, Joe Reed, Rodney McLeod, and Jelani Woods made a number of big plays yesterday that got fans of their respective fan bases talking.
For starters, Perkins played the full 60 minutes of the Los Angeles Rams’ 29-22 victory over Reed’s Los Angeles Chargers. On the game, Perkins threw for 133 yards on 10-17 passing and two touchdowns and added 39 yards on the ground on eight carries to go with another score via his legs.
While his former QB would shine as the game progressed, Joe Reed got things going early with a 41-yard touchdown reception on the very first drive of the game. He’d finish with four catches for 61-yards for the game.
Perkins’ play garnered a steady stream of highlights that circulated social media. First up, this crazy scramble for a first down is class Perkins and brings back memories of his time in Charlottesville. On that play alone he avoided four different tacklers while also getting caught up amongst his offensive linemen.
In the second quarter, the Arizona native displayed his arm strength with a 60-yard bomb of a touchdown to Lance McCutcheon. It’s good to see Perkins be able to throw a guy open like he did for McCutcheon as that throw into tight coverage displayed his potential as a passer to complement his elusiveness as a playmaker.
Early in the second quarter, he added his second score of the night with a quarterback keeper from the one yard line, showing off his deceptiveness in play action and his A to B speed in a sprint to the pylon.
Later, in the fourth quarter, Perkins led the game-winning, 11 play 75-yard drive. Culminating in a second TD pass to McCutcheon, the drive put the Rams up 29-22 with 6:11 remaining in regulation as that would prove to be the difference. Such a performance from Perkins has fans and media alike praising his play.
Bryce Perkins is a dude— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) August 14, 2022
Bryce Perkins is really a problem when he tucks and runs. Great body control and is really tough to bring down. Him & McCutcheon then convert on the 2pt conversion and are the obvious storyline thus far.— Rams Brothers (@RamsBrothers) August 14, 2022
Cannot express how much I love Bryce Perkins. pic.twitter.com/StzFbVGhpI— RAMS REPORT (@RamsNFLReport) August 14, 2022
It’s great to see both Reed and Perkins getting opportunities to prove their worth on NFL rosters. Each could be considered to be on the bubble of each of their rosters. But, with one preseason contest under their belts, the two Wahoos are likely feeling more comfortable with where they stand. Perkins in particular could even make a run at the reigning Super Bowl champs’ backup quarterback position as former Wake Forest Demon Deacon John Wolford doesn’t boast the same upside that he does.
Meanwhile, Rodney McLeod got his time in Indianapolis off to a good start with an interception on his 11th play as a Colt. At the ripe age of 32, the safety is slowing down a bit but clearly still provides valuable experience and IQ to the Indianapolis defense.
Rodney McLeod with the pick ‼️— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 13, 2022
: FOX pic.twitter.com/whW7qq2ORy
After spending four years with the Rams and the following six with the Philadelphia Eagles, McLeod is currently on a one year deal so will be hoping to prove his worth this year in order to bump his stock up for 2023 free agency.
A player on the other end of the career spectrum, McLeod’s teammate Woods also impressed in his first appearance as a Colt. Catching two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown, the tight end looks to be making a push for the Indianapolis 53-man roster. This contested catch off a broken play should do him wonders.