Cougars in the Pros -- Week 10

Rob Morris started and racked up eight tackles, including six solo takedowns, in the Indianapolis Colts' 17-16 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Former BYU Cougars Rob Morris, Colby Bockwoldt, Brady Poppinga, Brett Keisel, and Aaron Francisco dominated from their respective defensive positions, Reno Mahe dominated on special teams, and John Tait continued to dominate from his offensive position in week ten of the NFL season.

Morris started and racked up eight tackles, including six solo takedowns, in the Indianapolis Colts' 17-16 win over the Buffalo Bills. Morris' six solo tackles ranked him tied for second on the Colts, while his eight total tackles ranked him third. The Colts remained unbeaten and improved their record to 9-0 on the season. Defensive end Ryan Denney registered two solo tackles for Buffalo in the loss. Denney's two solo tackles tied him for the most among Bills' defensive linemen.

Tennessee linebacker Colby Bockwoldt also started in the Titans' 27-26 loss to Baltimore. Bockwoldt registered three tackles, including two solo tackles, and recovered a fumble in the Titans' narrow loss. Tennessee offensive coordinator Norm Chow saw the Titans' offense rack up 367 total yards in the defeat. Meanwhile, Baltimore head coach Brian Billick, who coached and played at BYU, saw his Ravens improve to 7-2 and remain in first place in the AFC North.

Green Bay linebacker Brady Poppinga also started in the Packers' 23-17 victory over NFC North rival Minnesota. Poppinga, in only his second season, was all over the field and stat sheet in the Packers' victory. For the game, Poppinga registered three tackles, including two solo takedowns, one sack for a loss of six yards, and one forced fumble. "It is always fun to make big plays that impact the outcome of the game," said Poppinga. "I am a competitor. Whatever it takes to win, I will do it."

Poppinga credited BYU and its coaches with making the difficult adjustment from BYU to the NFL, and then from part-time player to full-time starter in only his second season. "The adjustment has been fun. Fortunately for me I was pretty well schooled at BYU for what is demanded at the pro level by Coach Mendenhall and the other coaches," Poppinga said.

The adjustment from college to the NFL is not the only "fun" thing Poppinga has been involved with lately. Poppinga, a Wyoming native, had fun watching his alma mater and younger brother Kelly beat conference rival Wyoming 55-7 on Thursday. "It was a fun game to watch BYU roll over the cow pokes." Poppinga's only regret, however, is that if BYU receives an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl, he will be unable to attend. The Packers rematch with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, December 21 -- the night of the Las Vegas Bowl. "I will be playing in my own game at that same time," Poppinga said referring to a possible Las Vegas Bowl bid.

Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel also started in week ten and may have had the most impressive game of any defensive player in the entire NFL. Keisel racked up eight tackles, including five solo tackles, one sack for a loss of five yards, one quarterback hurry, one pass deflection, and one fumble recovery in the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers' 38-31 victory over New Orleans. Fellow former Cougar Chris Hoke added one solo tackle from his nose tackle position. Shaun Nua, yet another Pittsburgh defensive lineman from BYU, is on the Steelers' practice squad. New Orleans offensive lineman Ben Archibald is on the Saints' practice squad.

Arizona safety Aaron Francisco also got into the act in week ten. Francisco tallied a career high six tackles, including five solo takedowns, in the Cardinals' 27-10 loss to Dallas. Arizona teammate and fellow former Cougar Todd Watkins is on the Cardinals' practice squad.

Philadelphia all-purpose back and special teams extraordinaire Reno Mahe returned two kickoffs for 66 total yards, including a long of 33 yards, and two punts for 18 yards in the Eagles' 27-3 victory over NFC East rival Washington. Offensive lineman Scott Young also saw action in the victory. Head coach Andy Reid's Eagles improved to 5-4 and now occupy second place in the NFC East.

Chicago offensive lineman John Tait helped the Bears dominate the first place New York Giants 38-20 in week ten. Tait, in his eighth pro season, has started all nine games for the first place Bears. Chicago teammate and fellow former Cougar Gabe Reid saw action at tight end in the Bears' victory. Tait and Reid helped the Bears offense gain 352 total yards of offense and improve to 8-1 on the season.

Not to be outdone by former Cougar players, all three head coaches with BYU roots were victorious in week ten. In addition to Billick and Reid, head coach Mike Holmgren saw his Seattle Seahawks defeat division rival St. Louis 24-22. The Seahawks improved to 6-3 with the victory and occupy first place in the NFC West. Tight end Itula Mili saw action in the Seahawks' victory. Seattle tight ends coach Jim Lind coached at BYU with Holmgren.

Tampa Bay tight end Doug Jolley played in the Bucs' 24-10 loss to Carolina on Monday Night Football. John Denney's Miami Dolphins defeated Kansas City 13-10 to win their second consecutive game. Denney serves as Miami's first-team long snapper on special teams. Offensive lineman Scott Jackson's Houston Texans edged Jacksonville 13-10 in week ten. Jackson was inactive for the game. Rookie full back Fahu Tahi's Cincinnati Bengals lost a 49-41 shootout to San Diego in week ten. Tahi is on the Bengals' practice squad.

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