The first player is inside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong. Armstrong is competing for the inside linebacker position next to Navarro Bowman and he made a strong case for himself in the opener. Armstrong is quick and he isn’t afraid to throw his body around either. The lightest player of the bunch, with Armstrong weighing in at 220, Michael Wilhoite coming in at 240 and Gerald Hodges coming in at 236, Armstrong played tougher than either Hodges or Wilhoite against the Texans. In the first clip below, you’ll see Armstrong not only take on 6-7, 307 pound guard Xavier Su’a-filo, but he knocks him to the ground and then makes the tackle on the running back for a less than 2 yard gain. The second clip shows Armstrong’s pure athleticism as he gets tripped by an offensive lineman but still is able to make the tackle.
Another player who stood out against the Texans was cornerback Chris Davis. Davis came out of nowhere this offseason to grab a strong hold of the nickel cornerback position, with Jimmy Ward‘s move to the outside. Davis proved worthy of the starting role on Sunday, playing strong coverage by knocking down a 4th and 3 pass and holding his receiver to only 4 yards on a 3rd and 9. If he keeps up this type of coverage, the 3rd year corner, who has only amassed 15 tackles, might be the starter on opening night.