BC's Momah working to stand out for NFL scouts


BC's Momah working to stand out for NFL scouts

Ifeanyi Momah is a striking specimen.

There weren't many people at Boston College Pro Day who didn't have a craned neck when speaking with the 6-6 Eagles receiver.

Momah should be pleased with the distinction; there was little else on Wednesday to remember him for.

A torn ACL in BC's 2011 opener left him sidelined for the season. The Eagles were playing Northwestern and Momah was having a field day: eight catches for a career-best 157 yards. The injury grounded him violently.

Momah, a fifth-year senior, had also sat out the 2009 season because of a bad knee. BC's application to the NCAA last year for another waiver and a sixth year of eligibility was denied. There simply wasn't enough medical documentation supporting his junior year redshirt.

Suddenly, it was NFL or nothing.

"I think early on it was kind of a mind-game because I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the worst," Momah said Wednesday. "I had a lot of good support groups -- my family, my friends, teammates -- and they all prepared me for this outcome.

"Throughout the whole process I was telling myself, if I don't get it, I just want to make sure I'm prepared and rehab as hard as I can, so when the time comes to go into the NFL I can show them what I can do."

Pro Day provided only a chance to weigh in and showcase his doorway-ducking height. No 40-yard dash, no receiver drills. Momah, as he has too often in his football career, was forced to watch and wait.

The longing reads plainly on his face.

"Right now I still have a little swelling in my left knee, so I'm going to do a little PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to try and get the swelling out of there," he explained. "Dr. Andrews said a month from now would be probably the latest he sees me being able to try out for a team. I'm kind of excited about that, I'm just ready to get out there. Especially just sitting here watching -- it's kind of hard."

Dr. Andrews, of course, is James Andrews -- top orthopedic and sports medicine provider for athletes like Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning. A positive prognosis from Dr. Andrews' inspires confidence; Momah has a workout scheduled in April.

If teams show up, they show up, the receiver says.

His combination of hope and reality is a charming. Though he's only been able to offer his personality to the pros, you feel when talking to Momah that he at least has that working in his favor.

Like his candor about being a "medical case."

"I tell scouts the truth. I let them know the truth because I don't want to tell them a lie and have to go out there not 100-percent. I let them know every appointment that I have. I keep them updated on all this stuff."

And his attitude toward the NCAA's refusal to buy him more time.

"They gave me a reason and it's fair. I'm not bitter at all. I'm just trying to move on to the next chapter."

Momah just wants to get back to football. He wants to restore function to his impressive form.

"I know I haven't been able to show too much what I can do, but I have good speed. I have good height, can stretch the field and create mismatches. And that's what I'm going to build on to separate myself from the rest."

He knows it'll take much more than height to stand out in the NFL.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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