Mike Teel, Courtney Greene: A New Brunswick (Rutgers) Perspective

In the later rounds of last month’s draft, the Seahawks selected quarterback Mike Teel (sixth round) and safety Courtney Greene (seventh round), both from Rutgers University.

Keith Sargeant, a staff writer for the Home News Tribune, has served as the Scarlet Knights’ football beat writer since 2006. He also contributes to Scarlet Scuttlebutt, a blog dedicated to Rutgers athletics.

Mr. Sargeant was kind enough to offer his perspective of the two new Seahawks:

I truly think both Mike Teel and Courtney Greene have legitimate shots at making the team out of camp. It’s funny because Rutgers players tend to stick once they get into NFL camps. The last three Super Bowl champs — Indianapolis (LB Gary Bracket), the New York Giants (C Shaun O’Hara) and Pittsburgh (RG Darnell Stapleton) — have all featured a starter who went undrafted out of Rutgers. There are some theories as to why that is, but it’s probably a credit to Rutgers coach Greg Schiano more than anything else. He recruits players to a certain mindset, and I think Courtney Greene and especially Mike Teel share that mentality which is big.

Teel’s not going to ‘wow’ anybody with his physical attributes but he has above-average arm strength and fits the mold of an NFL pocket QB. His statistics speak for themselves, but what I found interesting about his career is how much he cut down on his interceptions after struggling with his accuracy through his first two seasons. He ran a Pro-style offense for three years at Rutgers, and I don’t think the NFL lifeline passes (15-yard outs) will be a problem with Teel.

More than anything, I believe he possesses the mental makeup to win a No. 3 job in camp. The Rutgers coaches — Schiano and former offensive coordinator John McNulty — both consider him a film junkie who grasps the playbook better than any signal caller they’ve been around. Even this spring, with Teel gone and a couple of unproven QBs trying to succeed him, Schiano told me following a scrimmage that Teel was a master at all the pre-snap checks. To quote Schiano directly, “It’s so hard to effectively quarterback, there’s so much to it. It’s more than when you see the guy throw the pass. He’s gotta do everything, he’s gotta get it in the right play. That’s why when we used to talk about Mike all the time, he’d go like 27 of 28 in checks (at the line of scrimmage). If he missed one, it was odd. Those are things that nobody knows happens.”

Bottom line is I think Mike Teel certainly can hold a clipboard as a third-string QB in the NFL. Is he the heir apparent to Matt Hasselbeck? That I’m not sure yet, but I do think he’ll have a career in the NFL.

Had Courtney Greene come out after his junior year several scouts told me at the time he probably would’ve been taken in the first three rounds. That is to say he probably cost himself quite a bit with a senior campaign that was uneven at best. After struggling mightily in deep coverage in some early games — losses to Fresno State and North Carolina, to name two — he picked it up late and actually resembled the Courtney Greene who consistently was among the Big East’s tackler leaders his first three seasons during Rutgers’ 7-game winning streak to close the season.

Certainly there weren’t many college free safeties who hit harder than Courtney Greene, so he’ll probably turn some heads with his hitting ability in camp. Bottom line is I think talent-wise, it’s probably a steal getting Greene where Seattle did and it wouldn’t shock me if he made the team based on that potential. But there is a reason why he almost went undrafted; his overall body of work this past season was below the standards he set through his first three years. Seventh-round safeties also need to shine on special teams and he doesn’t have a ton on return coverage experience on his resume either.

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Tags: Courtney Greene Home News Tribune Keith Sargeant Mike Teel New Brunswick New Jersey NFL Draft Quarterback Rutgers Rutgers University Safety Scarlet Knights Scarlet Scuttlebutt Seattle Seahawks Seventh Round Sixth Round Tim Ruskell

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