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Thread: Rey of hope for Undrafteds

  1. #1

    Rey of hope for Undrafteds

    Rey of hope for Undrafteds

    Posted May 10, 2018

    Vincent Rey, who has played more Bengals games than Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton, is the perfect guy to give advice to the undrafted rookies. Here it is:

    Vincent Rey went from undrafted free agent to inspiring team leader.

    Vincent Rey, who has played more Bengals games than Carson Palmer and T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Rudi Johnson and Andy Dalton and A.J.
    , is the perfect guy to ask.

    Vinny Rey, whose 112 Bengals games at linebacker are more than Bill Bergey and Takeo Spikes and one fewer than Vontaze Burfict and Keith Rivers
    combined and two fewer than Rey Maualuga, is exhibit A of why undrafted rookies matter.

    Here is Rey’s advice to this year’s class of the Undrafteds that begin to gather at Thursday night’s introductory meetings for this weekend’s rookie

    Listen to the coaches.

    “Whatever is important to the coaches is important to you,” Rey says. “No matter what it is. If it’s important to him, make it important to you. That’s the
    way to be a pro, in my opinion.”

    Rey, 30, oozes professionalism. Since coming out of Duke in 2010 he’s started 48 games at two different spots while also serving as the club’s de
    facto special teams captain ranging from the yesteryear days of Brandon Tate to today’s Alex Erickson. The more you can do.

    “Be alert. Be on time. Take notes. Listen to the veterans,” he says. “Wisdom. Follow that.

    “Just buy in. Believe in the coaches. They know what they’re talking about. Some of the coaches have been coaching longer than you’ve been alive
    so just trust they know what they’re talking about. If you trust that, do what they say, it will eventually work in your favor.”

    Don’t take attendance. Worry about yourself.

    You don’t get drafted for a reason and at 6-0 Rey doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter dimensions of an NFL linebacker. Yet the Bengals’ East Coast scout at
    the time, current Browns tight ends coach Greg Seamon, became drawn to the respect Rey had on campus as a two-time captain and his experience
    and durability in Durham compiled in 48 games and 330 tackles. When Rey had an off-the-charts pro day, he was on the coach’s radar, too.

    But when Rey arrived for rookie minicamp, he could have been psyched out from the get-go. The first two picks, Oklahoma tight end Jermaine
    Gresham and Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, came sculpted out of a How to Build an NFL Player catalogue. They’ve been to multiple Pro
    Bowls and are still playing. One of their fourth-round picks, Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins, is going to the Hall of Fame. The other fourth-
    rounder played Rey’s position at one of the nation’s blueblood football schools, Texas’ Roddrick Muckelroy.

    Vontaze Burfict went from undrafted to the Pro Bowl.

    “Coming from Duke at that time, we didn’t have guys who looked like a Gresham. I didn’t see a guy like Dunlap or Geno Atkins. You see those guys
    and say, ‘Oh, this is big-time football.’ It was a little intimidating. They turned out to be great players, but I’m still here.

    “At the end of the day you’re competing against each other, but it really comes down to taking care of yourself and being mentally focused on what
    you have to do.”

    He’s still here probably because he kept his head down and didn’t look around.

    “In this league, not everyone has the same opportunity. Life isn’t fair,” Rey said. “You have to be thankful for what you have. No one deserves an
    opportunity. It’s a privilege, not a right, to be in this league.”

    Postscript: Injuries helped limit Muckelroy to 19 games with the Bengals and two in Washington during three years in the league. Before Rey got
    nicked last season and missed two games he played in 108 straight games.

    How many times will you hear Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis say it this weekend?

    “It’s not how you get here.”

    Come in with a steel-belted camp mindset of pound and grind.

    It’s not like the old days of Rey’s rookie minicamp when they practiced twice each on Friday and Saturday before ending it with a single session on
    Sunday. Now it’s just one a day, but Rey says it’s going to have the same feel.

    “I’ll never forget my rookie minicamp camp. It’s the second most tired I’ve ever been next to my rookie training camp with the two-a-days (practices),”
    Rey says. “It’s still going to be a lot of reps. You do 20 right and one wrong, it’s not good enough. It’s going to be a long rookie camp. It’s going to be a
    long OTA camp. It’s going to be a long training camp.”

    No one symbolized the NFL grind more than Rey in last year’s finale. The Bengals may have been out of it, but they couldn’t get him off the field. He
    kept limping off but knowing they were down to their last linebackers he kept coming back. And he knew he had to make that last tackle because he
    couldn’t have played in an overtime and there was nobody left.

    “You run until you can’t run anymore. It will be similar,” Rey says of what awaits the rookies this weekend even though it is just one practice. “The big
    thing is the mental toughness. The physical part, everyone is going to have. If you didn’t, they wouldn’t bring you into this locker room. You have to
    have the mental toughness day in and day out.”

    Rey came up with his fifth career interception last season with this one against the Lions.

    Don’t count the reps. Make the reps count. And believe.

    Knowing Rey, he’s taking his own advice when everyone takes the field for voluntary practice in two weeks. There’s another drafted Texas linebacker,
    this time Malik Jefferson in the third round. The Bengals won’t announce the list of their undrafted signings until Friday morning and one of them is
    reportedly Ohio State’s Chris Worley, another linebacker from a blueblood football school coveting one of those six Opening Day backer spots.

    So Rey has been there, done that.

    “It’s what Coach Lewis always says,” says Rey, who’ll do to Jefferson and Worley what Dhani Jones did for him and take them under his wing. “It
    sounds so simple, but it’s true. If you don’t do your job, who will? No one else is going to do your job.

    “Don’t count the reps. Make every rep count. Coaches really want someone they can trust. They’re not going to play someone they can’t trust

    Just like today, though, Rey believed when he left rookie minicamp.

    “I thought I had a shot,” Rey says. “It was a long shot. But compared to the other rookies, I felt like I was one of the players that was doing my job
    most consistently.”

    It’s such good advice, Rey is going to take it himself.

    “Just come in,” he says, “and try to get to nine seasons.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    San Antoino, TX
    I have had years of hope that they'd finally let this dude walk. I don't see what they see in his performance on the field. He may be a leader in the locker room but on the field he's so bad.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Cincity View Post
    I have had years of hope that they'd finally let this dude walk. I don't see what they see in his performance on the field. He may be a leader in the locker room but on the field he's so bad.
    Until a few years ago, I thought he was still a useful player - but I feel that he’s gotten exposed a lot recently... like Shaw has in the defensive back corps.

    I’m hopeful that Preston Brown takes over Vinny’s spot in the LB rotation while Tez is out, and that Evans, Jefferson, and Vigil - and even guys like Nickerson and Bell - show enough growth as to make Rey expendable. The LB spot had been one of the least athletic positions on the team and Rey’s presence doesn’t help in that phase any more.

    As you said, his leadership and example do count for something, and he’s still a good ST player... but injuries notwithstanding, I could definitely see the Turk visiting Vinny on final cutdown day.

  4. #4
    How about an alternative punny or die Hobsonian headline?

    Who Rey think gonna be dem Bengals?

    Bengal fans may not like it but Vinny Rey is exactly the type of player the Bengals are talking about when they talk about availability being the best ability. The guy is a warrior who not only plays hurt, but more importantly he mostly plays when others are hurt. Sadly, despite the claims made in the article it's impossible for a backup LB to be a true team leader. At best he's an example for bottom of the roster types to point to as an example of how you can have a long NFL career without ever doing anything worthy of headlines.

    Longevity is all well and good but comparisons to past greats like Bill Bergey or Takeo Spikes is way off base and serves no useful purpose beyond being filler in an article about undrafted players. Far better to limit the Vinny Rey comps to the likes of Dhani Jones.
    Last edited by HOF; 05-13-2018 at 12:43 PM.

  5. #5
    I thought Vinny had a couple pretty good seasons. But I think it's time to move on.

    They'd save almost $3M cutting him. Not a crazy amount of money but in today's LB market where Preston Brown is only making $4M, it's way too much for a guy who will probably be the 5th LB if Malik Jefferson is any good at all.


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