Longhorns in the NFL

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy goes back to pass against the Green Bay Packers in his first preseason game of the year.

As the University prepares for its first chance to step onto the field after the 5-7 debacle, many of its alumni are already making plays at the next level. Possibly the most notable of which is second year quarterback Colt McCoy for the Cleveland Browns. Through the first two preseason games, McCoy has the highest quarterback rating in the NFL, and is nearing his college numbers with a 67.9 completion percentage. He tossed three touchdowns in last week’s loss to the Lions and has quickly adapted to the West Coast office under the offseason tutelage of Brett Favre. He did have a poor showing Thursday against the Eagles, completing just half his passes and an interception.

Cleveland will begin the season at home against the woeful Cincinnati Bengals, then head to Indianapolis to square-off against a possibly Manning-less Colts team. They then play at home against a Miami Dolphins team trying to find an identity. It is not out of the question that McCoy could lead a rising Cleveland team to a surprise 3-0 start.

Injury plagued cornerback gets giant second chance

In only the second preseason game, the New York Giants already find themselves with an injury problem. Starting Cornerback Terrell Thomas went down with a torn ACL, and will miss the entire season. The injury bug has forced Aaron Ross into a much more prominent position in the Giants defensive backfield. He has 140 career tackles and six interceptions, and the former Thorpe Award winner should see those numbers increase as he enters his fifth year in the NFL, and will again be a starter at cornerback for the Giants. Ross has been fighting injuries himself for the last couple of seasons, which slid him out of the starting lineup, and into the nickel package with Thomas going inside. Ross saw extended play against the Chicago Bears on Monday night, where he often went against fellow Texas alum Roy Williams.

Jermichael Finley recovered, ready for comeback

In Green Bay, Tight End Jermichael Finley was on his way to a career season before an injury shortened his season. Finley was the Packers leading receiver through the first four games of last season, and had already posted two 100 yard receiving games. But he injured his knee early in the fifth game of the season against Washington trying to make a tackle. He was forced to the sideline and had to watch as his team marched to a Super Bowl victory. Finley, though says that he is in shape and “a little slimmer, faster and stronger.” While he hasn’t been able to work out while rehabbing his knee, he has been studying film of other tight ends like the Chargers Antonio Gates, and the Falcons Tony Gonzalez in order to help his game as he prepares for upcoming season which is sure to cement his position as an elite tight end in the NFL. For Green Bay, he will be one of many players coming off injury that will have to reincorporated into a championship team.