HEISER: Eventful Week 3 for York County products in NFL
- John Kuhn scored a touchdown Monday night for the New Orleans Saints.
- Bruce Arians' Arizona Cardinals have struggled to a 1-2 start in 2016.
- Will Beatty got his first playing time with the New York Giants on Sunday.
John Kuhn hits paydirt, Bruce Arians hits a rough patch, and Will Beatty finally hits the field.
It was an eventful Week 3 for a trio of York County products who make their living in the NFL.
Here's the breakdown.
Kuhn: Kuhn, a Dover High School graduate, enjoyed the most positive outing of the three, scoring his first touchdown with his new team.
The bulldozing 250-pound fullback made the most of his one-and-only touch in the New Orleans Saints' 45-32 loss to Atlanta on Monday night in front of a national television audience on ESPN.
Kuhn plowed into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
In the Big Easy, the 34-year-old veteran has settled into a role very similar to the one he occupied so well with the Green Bay Packers for most of the last decade.
Kuhn's most important duties are protecting Saints quarterback Drew Brees, opening holes for the running game and contributing on special teams. He typically gets about 18-30 snaps per game.
He touches the ball infrequently. So far in 2016, he has four rushes for 9 yards and has caught two passes for 8 yards.
Unfortunately for Kuhn, the Saints have experienced zero success on the field. They dropped to 0-3 with Monday's loss and sit in last place in the NFC South.
That has to be a tough pill to swallow for Kuhn, who is used to winning. During his nine-year stay in Green Bay, the Packers were almost always either a playoff team or a playoff contender. In addition, Kuhn's blue-collar style made him a cult hero to the cheesehead fans, who chanted “Kuuuuuhn” whenever he got a rare touch.
The Packers opted not to re-sign Kuhn in the offseason, going with the younger and cheaper Aaron Ripkowski. Kuhn was able to latch on with the Saints in early August, signing a one-year deal for $985,000.
Arians: Like Kuhn's Saints, Arians' team is struggling.
Like Kuhn, Arians is not used to losing.
The York High graduate has been an unqualified success since finally becoming a head coach in the NFL.
He went 9-3 as the Indianapolis Colts' interim head coach in 2012 and was 34-14 in his first three years as the head man with the long-suffering Arizona Cardinals. He has teamed with Red Land High graduate Steve Keim to finally bring winning football to the desert. Keim, the Cardinals' general manager, is the man who hired Arians, who is reported to be making $6 million per year.
This season, however, Arians and Keim have seen the Cards stumble to 1-2 start, including a lifeless 33-18 loss at Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills entered that game at 0-2. It's Arians first real adversity since arriving in Arizona, where he's become something of a coaching rock star.
The Cards, who were considered to be a Super Bowl contender before the season, are tied for last place in the NFC West.
It's early, of course, and Arizona is just one game out of first place, but the plain-speaking Arians is clearly not happy with his team.
“This one, it was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking, and we took it,” Arians said about the loss to the Bills.
Look for Arians and the Cards to bounce back in a big way this Sunday at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
Beatty: Beatty, also a York High graduate, is trying to work his way back into game shape after re-signing with the New York Giants in late August.
The 6-foot, 6-inch, 319-pound Beatty had become a staple at left tackle for Big Blue, assuming the starting role from 2011 through 2014.
Beatty, however, tore a pectoral muscle during offseason workouts before the 2015 season. He ended up missing the entire year when, during rehab, he suffered a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery.
Beatty became a salary-cap casualty when he was waived in February. He had been scheduled to make $6.625 million in 2016.
After the Giants' line struggled in the preseason, however, the team re-signed the 31-year-old Beatty to a reported $1.1 million deal with incentives that could earn him another $750,000.
Beatty is still getting into shape and was inactive for the Giants' first two games. He finally got back on the field during Sunday's 29-27 loss to Washington. He received just one special-teams snap.
Look for Beatty to see more action as he fully recovers from his 2015 injuries. If he's healthy, his experience should prove invaluable for a 2-1 Giants team with playoff aspirations.
Future: The 2016 NFL season is still in its infancy, but it should be fascinating to watch how the York County products progress in the coming weeks and months.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Steve Heiser is sports editor for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.