NFC South: Mohamed Sanu

Three things to watch in Thursday night’s preseason game between the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals:

1. Lamar Holmes. With starting right tackle Mike Johnson going down with a season-ending injury earlier this week, the Falcons will take a long look at Holmes. The second-year pro wasn’t ready to contribute as a rookie, and there are no guarantees he’s ready to start now. But the Falcons will use this game as a gauge to see if they think Holmes has a shot or if they need to go outside and find a new right tackle.

2. Dominique Davis. Starting quarterback Matt Ryan is expected to play only briefly because the Falcons already know what he can do. But Davis is going to get a bunch of playing time. The Falcons have held off on bringing in a veteran backup because they think Davis has great potential. A solid showing by Davis could cement his role as the backup.

3. Rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford against Cincinnati receivers A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu. Trufant and Alford have been taking their lumps from Roddy White and Julio Jones in practices, so it might be refreshing to go against some other receivers. Green and Sanu will provide a good test on how quickly Trufant and Alford are progressing.

Rutgers reunion in Tampa Bay?

February, 14, 2012
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The NFL world doesn’t yet know a lot about Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, so let’s turn to someone who does.

Let’s turn to Mohamed Sanu, who spent the past three seasons playing wide receiver for Schiano at Rutgers, for a scouting report.

[+] EnlargeGreg Schiano and Mohamed Sanu
Paul Abell/US PRESSWIRE"He helped my career tremendously," Mohamed Sanu said of Greg Schiano. "He always got the best out of me every day."
“They’re going to get a real resilient coach that never lets up on an opponent,’’ Sanu said Tuesday. “He’s just a tough coach. He’s going to want the best out of you every single day in practice and out on the field on Sundays. He’s very energetic. He’ll get up in your face. He’ll crack a joke here and there. But he’ll get on you if he needs to.’’

Sanu had 115 catches for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior last season. After consulting with advisers about where he might land if he entered the 2012 NFL draft, Sanu decided to skip his final year of eligibility. Sanu wouldn’t say exactly what the advisers told him, but most draft gurus and publications are projecting him to go in the first two rounds.

Sanu has been working out at IMG Football Academy since January and will go to the scouting combine in Indianapolis next week. Sanu, who made his decision to pass up his senior year before Schiano left Rutgers said it’s ironic his college coach will be one of the NFL coaches watching him next week.

“He helped my career tremendously,’’ Sanu said. “He always got the best out of me every day. We had a very tight relationship, so he didn’t have to demand it out of me because he knew that I was going to give it all every day.’’

Schiano knows plenty about Sanu, which leads to an obvious question: Could the coach and player be reunited in the NFL? Anything is possible. Sanu could be available when Tampa Bay picks early in the second round and it’s not like the Bucs had stellar play at wide receiver last season.

“That would be awesome to be able to play for him again,’’ Sanu said. “He’s just a great coach and I just love being around him. But I can’t really control that. I just want the opportunity to get the chance just to go prove myself and play the game I love. We’ll see what happens.’’