DeMarcus Van Dyke

Chiefs’ cornerback cousins DeMarcus and David Van Dyke compete for same job

DemarcusVanDyke
Chiefs newcomers DeMarcus and David Van Dyke have waited a lifetime for this opportunity.

For as long as they can remember, the first cousins always wanted to wear the same uniform. It didn’t matter … high school, college or the NFL.

They finally got their opportunity when the Chiefs signed DeMarcus as a veteran free agent in the off-season and David as an undrafted rookie free agent in May.

One problem.

Both are cornerbacks. It’s going to be difficult for one of them to crack a roster that includes 10 corners heading into training camp, much less both.

So while the cousins may be close companions, they’re also keen competitors.

“May the best man win,” said DeMarcus Van Dyke, 25, a veteran of one NFL season with Oakland and two with Pittsburgh. “I’ll be proud of him if he does make it, because I want him to win an opportunity in the NFL. He’s worked hard since little league to get here, so anything I can do to help him win a job, I’m down for it.”

David Van Dyke, 23, put his personal feelings aside when it comes to battling his cousin on the field.

“You have to compete for a job,” he said, “no matter what team you go to.”

While the Pro Football Hall of Fame lists 348 sets of siblings who have played in the NFL — most famously the Manning brothers — few were teammates. Though there are no records kept of first cousins, it’s rare for a team not only to have first cousins on the roster, but two who play the same position.

David Van Dyke, who played free safety at Tennessee State, is embracing the opportunity.

“I knew it would be a nice fit because all my life I’ve been learning from him, following in his footsteps,” she said. “He’s the reason I’m here. He pushed me (to sign with the Chiefs).”

The Van Dykes played at different high schools in Miami, and DeMarcus, 25, went on to the University of Miami where he used his blazing speed as a football and track athlete for the Hurricanes.

The cousins could have played together one year at Miami, but David Van Dyke went to Tennessee State, where he was a second-team all-Ohio Valley Conference selection. He recorded four interceptions last season, including a 46-yard touchdown return.

“I pushed Miami to offer him a scholarship,” DeMarcus said, “but there was a coaching change. The third time is a charm ... we got it right.”

Though DeMarcus Van Dyke never was a fulltime starter at Miami (21 starts in 50 games) his stock rose after he ran a 4.28 in the 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. That time, which is still the fifth-fastest at the Combine since electronic timing began in 1999, endeared him to the speed-loving Oakland Raiders, who selected him in the third round as the 81st overall pick in the draft.

Van Dyke lasted just one season with the Raiders. He appeared in 14 games in 2011, starting four, including a game at Oakland against the Chiefs in which he intercepted a Matt Cassel pass, his only career pick. He was released in the final roster cut down before the 2012 season and was signed by Pittsburgh.

On his first snap on opening day at Denver, he downed a punt at Broncos 1, but Van Dyke missed the last seven games of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury and appeared in just two games last season because of hamstring issues.

“If I stay healthy, I’ll be okay,” said Van Dyke, who lined up mostly at left cornerback during last week’s Organized Team Activities. “I can bring a lot of things to this team … on special teams, covering guys, whatever the coaches need me to do, I can do.

“I love this defense, playing with guys like Sean Smith and Eric Berry …”

Van Dyke’s 6-foot-1, 187-pound size and his outstanding speed made him attractive to the Chiefs, who play a lot of man-press coverage.

“He was a good player in college,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. “He’s had some ups and downs in the NFL. We brought him in for competition. We’ll give him an opportunity to see how it works in the scheme. We do a little bit more bump and run than maybe he’s done before. We think that’s one of his strengths.”

David Van Dyke, 6-0, 185 will have a tougher road to making the team, though he could have the opportunity to work on making the conversion from safety to cornerback on the practice squad.

“He’s a tough kid,” Reid said. “It looks like he’s made the transition from safety pretty good. He needs as many reps as he can possibly get to make that transition. It’s good competition when (the cousins) work against each other.”

DeMarcus Van Dyke felt a connection to the Chiefs long before he came to Kansas City.

“I always rooted for Kansas City growing up because of Derrick Thomas came from Miami,” he said. “I got my first interception against Kansas City …

“And when I was hurt last year, I watched Kansas City because (defensive lineman) Allen Bailey was my roommate at Miami. So it’s kind of crazy. I rooted for
them every game.”


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(kansas.com)
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Chiefs sign cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke to reserve-futures contract

DemarcusVanDyke
The Chiefs signed former Oakland and Pittsburgh cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke to a reserve-futures contract Friday, according to a source.

Van Dyke, who also confirmed the signing on Twitter, is listed at 6 feet 1 and 187 pounds. He was taken in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Raiders — despite starting in only three of his 13 appearances his senior year at the University of Miami — after he ran a 4.28 in the 40-yard dash at the year’s combine.

He was released after one season and two training camps in Oakland, where he had 10 tackles and one interception as a rookie and logged a negative-3.5 rating in 329 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Van Dyke was signed by Pittsburgh and appeared in nine games in 2012, logging three tackles on special teams, primarily as a gunner. He was waived in August and reached an injury settlement with the team, but was re-signed in November and ended up appearing in two games, making a special-teams tackle.


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(kansascity.com)
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Steelers Sign Former CB DeMarcus Van Dyke

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed former cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke after working him out on Tuesday.

Van Dyke who suffered a serious hamstring injury early on in training camp, failed to play during the preseason and as a result he was waived injured prior to the start of the regular season. Once he reverted back to the Steelers injured reserve list Van Dyke was waived from in late August with an injury settlement.

Van Dyke was on the Steelers 53 man roster last season but only played on special teams. He ended the season on the injured reserve list after suffering a shoulder injury early in the game against the Dallas Cowboys.

We have yet to learn what the corresponding move is, but it might include Curtis Brown.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Works Out For Lions

DemarcusVanDyke
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions have worked out defensive backs DeMarcus Van Dyke, Curtis Marsh, Kip Edwards and DeQuan Menzie, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The club could be in the market for a DB, but more likely is doing advance work should someone be needed later.

The most interesting prospect of the bunch is Van Dyke, a corner who blazed a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the 2011 combine. The Miami star was selected in the third round by the Raiders and played in 14 games that year, starting four, but was released before the 2012 season.

Pittsburgh picked up the 6-1, 187-pounder, but Van Dyke was slowed by a shoulder injury in 2012, then was waived/injured this August after suffering a severe hamstring injury during training camp.

Menzie already was with the Lions once, after being claimed off waivers in May, but the former fifth-round pick was released during training camp. At 5-11, 202 pounds, he can play corner or safety.

Marsh, a former third-rounder out of Utah State, has played in 24 games the past three seasons for the Eagles and Bengals. The 6-1, 197-pound corner played two games this season for Cincinnati but was cut earlier this month.

Edwards is a 6-1, 193-pound cornerback who went undrafted out of Missouri this year. He was picked up by the Buffalo Bills, but cut during training camp.


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(mlive.com)
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Dolphins try out DeMarcus Van Dyke

DemarcusVanDyke
The Miami Dolphins auditioned six defensive backs, including former St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions cornerback Ronald Bartell and former Buffalo Bills cornerback Terrence McGee, according to a league source.

The Dolphins also worked out former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey.

The workout included cornerbacks Jalil Brown, Ryan Mouton and DeMarcus Van Dyke.

Van Dyke played collegiately at the University of Miami.


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(nationalfootballpost.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Works Out For Bucs

DemarcusVanDyke
The Bucs worked out free agent cornerbacks Crezdon Butler and DeMarcus Van Dyke on Tuesday.

Butler was waived by the Bills during final cuts and would be a depth signing behind rookie RCB Jonathan Banks and slot corner Leonard Johnson. The Bucs also visited with free agent safeties Tyrell Johnson and Tyler Sash. Van Dyke was waived by the Steelers, then put on IR, but then reached an injury settlement with Pittsburgh.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Steelers Waive CB DeMarcus Van Dyke From Injured Reserve With A Settlement

DemarcusVanDyke
The Pittsburgh Steelers made several transactions on Saturday as they trimmed their roster down to 53 players, but one insignificant move went unreported.

According to the official NFL transaction release from Friday, the Steelers waived cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke from injured reserve with an injury settlement.

Van Dyke, who the Steelers signed last year at about this time, was waived injured last week with a hamstring injury that he suffered during training camp.

Depending on the terms of the settlement, the former third-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders, can now begin looking for work once he is fully healthy, so there is a chance Van Dyke might find a home on a roster over the course of the season

Van Dyke is no longer eligible for a practice squad, so a team that signs him must keep him on their 53 man roster.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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More proCanes Cut, But Some Getting Signed

AntonioDixonEagles
NFL teams are cutting their rosters down to the final 53 but also adding to their rosters.

OL Tyler Horn was released by the Texans.

TE Chase Ford who was cut by the Minnesota Vikings was SIGNED to the Vikings practice squad. WR Tommy Streeter who was cut by the Ravens has been signed to the Buffalo Bills practice squad. DL Marcus Forston was signed to the Patriots practice squad. DE Adewale Ojomo who was previously cut by the NY Giants was signed to the Giants’ practice squad.

LB Rocky McIntosh was released by the Lions. LB/DE Baraka Atkins was cut by the New Orleans Saints. DB DeMarcus Van Dyke who was cut by the Steelers and then placed on IR, was waived off of IR with a Settlement. TE Richard Gordon was cut by the Raiders. DL Antonio Dixon was cut by the Eagles. DL Micanor Regis was cut by the Falcons.

Previously, after the third NFL Pre Season game, four proCanes were cut. Ravens WR and RB Tommy Streeter and Damien Berry were waived respectively. Eagles Safety Kenny Phillips was waived. Raiders DB Cory Nelms was also waived.


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DeMarcus Van Dyke Placed on IR

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers waived cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke and guard Justin Cheadle injured on Sunday, and now both have cleared waivers Tuesday and reverted back to the injured reserve list.

Strangely enough, both players suffered serious hamstring injuries that led to them being waived injured.

Van Dyke never got a chance to show what he could do on defense after being signed just prior to the start of the 2012 season following his release from the Oakland Raiders. In addition, he didn’t do himself any favors last year when he was flagged fives times on special teams in a matter of four games.

Just when it looked like he might actually see some playing time on defense late last year in the game against the Dallas Cowboys, Van Dyke injured his shoulder early in the game on special teams and was lost for the remainder of the year.


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5 proCanes Waived After 3rd Pre Season Game

DamienBerryRavens
After the third NFL Pre Season game, five proCanes have been waived. Ravens WR and RB Tommy Streeter and Damien Berry were waived respectively. Eagles Safety Kenny Phillips was waived as was Steelers DB DeMarcus Van Dyke. Raiders DB Cory Nelms was also waived.




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DeMarcus Van Dyke Has A Short Amount Of Time To Show Big-Time Upside

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
I was really looking forward to seeing Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke play this preseason, but a hamstring injury has prevented that from happening thus far. Although he wasn’t officially ruled Saturday morning by head coach Mike Tomlin for the Monday night game against the Washington Redskins, it’s not looking like Miami product will be in uniform for the second preseason game.

It’s been 19 days since Van Dyke suffered his injury during practice, and it makes you wonder why he is still on the roster at this point. It would be one thing if the Steelers had a healthy group of cornerbacks during that span of time, but they didn’t. When they added a few cornerbacks to roster to fill the injury void at the position, they chose to waive players from other positions instead of cutting loose Van Dyke.

Prior to last season getting underway, the Steelers claimed Van Dyke off of waivers from the Oakland Raiders and Tomlin talked about the reason for the move.
“We were interested in this young man when he came out in the draft in 2011,” said Tomlin. ” Obviously, we ended up with Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, but he was within that group and in that range from a grading standpoint. I was at his pro day. He’s got big-time upside, he’s an extremely fast guy. It was an opportunity for us to put a young cornerback in the mix and continue to work with him and develop his skill and see if maybe he can help us at some point.”

So does Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers coaching still believe that “some point” is still possible with Van Dyke? Is there a possibility that he is kept as either the fifth or even a sixth cornerback this year? Remember, Van Dyke is no longer eligible for the practice squad due to the amount of games he played for the Raiders as a rookie.

Van Dyke has two qualities that are coveted in NFL cornerbacks and that’s size and speed. However, neither of those qualities help the Steelers if he can’t get on the field to use them.

Last season Van Dyke made Tomlin look smart in the first two regular season games as the Raiders former third-round draft pick contributed on special teams as a gunner. Unfortunately, Van Dyke wasn’t smart himself over the course of the next four games, and he found himself on the game-day inactive list for several weeks after registering five special teams penalties during that span of four games.

Should Van Dyke be able to get back on the practice field early next week he will have a good shot at playing in the final two preseason games. However, should he wind up missing the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs; he will only have a short amount of time left to display that big-time upside that Tomlin talked about nearly a full year ago.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Remains Sidelined Monday

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed back rookie cornerback Terry Hawthorne to the practice field on Monday, but the three other injured cornerbacks remain sidelined as Curtis Brown (ankle), Cortez Allen (knee) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) are not practicing, according to a few media reports on Twitter.

Allen, who had minor knee surgery over a week ago, is not expected to practice for at least a few more weeks as the primary focus is to have him back healthy for the season opener. Van Dyke and Brown are likely day-to-day at this point.


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Frank Gore and DeMarcus Van Dyke put in extra work

FrankGore2
Erica A. Hernandez- Sun Sentinel

Frank Gore, at 5 feet 9, isn’t the tallest player in the NFL, but he had a few feet on the people he was surrounded by at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center.

The former Miami Hurricane walked in the front door Tuesday decked out in his black and red San Francisco 49ers gear and made his way through the summer campers to the back of the center, where Bommarito Performance Systems (BPS) is housed.

On the artificial turf, Gore was more at home amongst his own. The 30-year-old running back joined a group of about 10 other running backs and 30 other NFL players for the start of training.

“This is a good sports complex that has everything that we need,” said owner Pete Bommarito. “But we really like the community they’ve built within this Jewish community center.”

Bommarito started his company in 2004 after working at the IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton. The center has two locations, one in Davie and the main location in North Miami Beach within the Jewish Community Center. Bommarito says most players attend training at the Miami Beach location because it’s bigger and centrally located.

With about 75 employees at both locations, BPS helps athletes with training in footwork, strength endurance, power, agility, movement, position work and aquatics. The center also offers nutritional guidance from a private chef, physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractics and Pilates and yoga classes.

The company also has programs for youths, high school and college athletes. Most recently, BPS hosted and trained Plantation’s Sloane Stephens before her Wimbledon outing.

It’s the center’s NFL draft prep that Bommarito credits with drawing NFL players back for year-round training. It’s what drew Gore to Bommarito after graduating from Miami. Gore went through Bommarito’s draft prep before being drafted by San Francisco in 2005.

“I look like I’m in shape, right?” Gore asked with a chuckle. “I feel great, I feel good … and I’m the oldest one out here now.”

Gore is part of a large group of running backs who turn to BPS in addition to their training regimen. Running backs Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars), Jonathan Dwyer and Le’Veon Bell (Steelers), Rashad Jennings (Raiders), Andre Brown (Giants), Isaiah Pead (Rams), Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts), Ben Tate (Texans), Giovanni Bernard (Bengals), Jonathan Stewart (Panthers), Mikel Leshoure (Lions) and Lamar Miller (Dolphins) are all a part of this summer’s crew.

“Seeing all the guys I compete against, a young batch, I can compare my speed and my quickness against their quickness. It lets me know that I’ve got a lot more left in my tank,” Gore said.

“Pete is a good guy, he’s helped me out a lot,” Gore said. “I like coming out here to compete and see other top guys who have been successful in the league. I can compare my talent to their talent to get me ready for the season.”

Besides the running backs, BPS sees its fair share of former Hurricane players.

Along with Gore and Miller, former Hurricane and current Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke was one of the first players out on the turf Tuesday. He was joined by his cousin, David Van Dyke, a Tennessee State University defensive back and Booker T. Washington graduate.

“It’s legit, it’s always high intensity with Pete,” DeMarcus Van Dyke said. “It’s the best of both worlds training down here: I’ve got my family, the great weather and the beaches.”

Like Gore, it was Bommarito’s draft prep that brought Van Dyke to the center in 2011.

Bommarito Performance has trained more than 200 NFL players.

In the weeks before NFL training camps officially start, Bommarito had almost the entire Baltimore Ravens team out on the turf and in the weight rooms of the community center. The team departed from Miami at the beginning of the second week in July to attend longtime Bommarito trainee Torrey Smith’s wedding on July 11.


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(sun-sentinel.com)
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Can DeMarcus Van Dyke Make The Best Of His Speed?

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
Last year, DeMarcus Van Dyke joined the Pittsburgh Steelers after being cut by the Oakland Raiders. Van Dyke was drafted by the Raiders in 2011, mostly as a result of his phenomenal forty yard dash time, which clocked in at 4.28, a time that was tops in his draft class. In his brief time with the Raiders, he earned playing time in 14 games and started four, recording one interception and one fumble recovery on special teams, but the downtrodden organization felt that his play contributed to an awful pass defense that surrendered 251 passing yards per game. Surprisingly, the team believed that Van Dyke didn’t have the ability to improve his game and become a better player in their system, and hastily, they cut him.

And for the Steelers, they are hoping that what was the Raiders trash is their treasure.

Last season, when asked about the signing of Van Dyke, Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers had their eye on him in the player evaluation process and that “he’s got big time upside, he’s an extremely fast guy.” He continued by saying that Van Dyke would be a project that the Steelers would develop to see “if maybe he can help us at some point.”

It would be fortuitous if Van Dyke could help this year.

Upon joining the Steelers last season, Van Dyke dressed for nine games, primarily getting work on special teams, and early on, after his downing of a punt on the one yard line in the season opener against the Denver Broncos, there was optimism that he could be a solid contributor. However, as the season progressed, Van Dyke became a repeat offender for penalties, especially holding on return units, drawing the ire of Tomlin who threatened to bench him if his error-prone play continued. Unfortunately it did.

Despite his gaffes, Van Dyke potential cannot be ignored.

The Steelers are hoping that he can become more consistent in 2013 and be a reliable contributor on special teams, and possibly, provide for quality depth at the cornerback position in the event of an injury. And there is no reason why that isn’t a realistic possibility, being that Van Dyke did not have the opportunity to work through the offseason program with the team.

Heading into the new season, Van Dyke, who was reported to begin working with Ike Taylor and training-guru, Tom Shaw, will have the opportunity to fully adapt to the terminology and schemes of the defense and special teams. If his speed can be harnessed productively and effectively by the coaching staff, he could make a case for himself in 2013.

But Van Dyke will not be without competition, and if he is to make the roster, he will have to have an outstanding training camp. As Dave Bryan pointed out back in May, Van Dyke is facing a “make-or-break” training camp and that “with the Steelers brining back William Gay during the offseason, and the drafting of Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne… [these moves may] hamper his chances at making the 53 man roster this year out of training camp.”

Van Dyke’s progress will be a mini-story line worth following in Latrobe in a couple of weeks.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke and Isaiah Green set to compete in training camp

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
Steelers cornerbacks are typically prototypically built; long, muscular, strong and athletic. They're not blazers in terms of speed, but they run well, and they aren't afraid to hit.

While neither Isaiah Greene nor Demarcus Van Dyke fit that mold, their freakish speed make them two of the more intriguing cornerback prospects the Steelers have had in camp recently.

Van Dyke, a roster acquisition after his release from the Raiders last season, showed that sprinter's speed in covering punts last season before a string of penalties landed him in the doghouse. Speed for the dollar is a great weapon to have, if a player's main goal is to get an invite to training camp.

How much will it help boost Van Dyke's chances of making the roster this year? The Steelers brought in at least one other sprinter-turned-cornerback, Green, who spent time with the Bills and Colts last season before ending up on the Steelers' offseason roster.

Neither look at all like prototypical Steelers cornerbacks. But punt gunners? It's tempting.

That long speed, coupled with the technique of breaking off a block or two at the line and get down the field fast enough to force a fair catch is valuable to any team. And every team is looking for that kind of a player. Their main question is going to be position flexibility. Can either one of them defend anyone on defense?

The Steelers may not keep both of them, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the Steelers keep one at the expense of the other for the sake of special teams.


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(behindthesteelcurtain.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Has Make-Or-Break Training Camp Ahead Of Him

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
On Monday, we took a look at cornerback Josh Victorian, who will be battling to make the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster out of training camp this year and today we will look at cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who figures to be competing against Victorian for that same roster spot.

Van Dyke, who was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Oakland Raiders, did not arrive in Pittsburgh until right before the 2012 season started as he was waived by the team that drafted him during their final roster cut down. Right after the Steelers signed him, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about his newest player prior to the season opener against the Denver Broncos.

"We were interested in this young man when he came out in the draft in 2011," said Tomlin about Van Dyke. "Obviously, we ended up with Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, but he was within that group and in that range from a grading standpoint. I was at his pro day. He’s got big-time upside, he’s an extremely fast guy. It was an opportunity for us to put a young cornerback in the mix and continue to work with him and develop his skill and see if maybe he can help us at some point."

Despite being new to the team, Van Dyke dressed for the Steelers season opener against the Broncos and played on special teams. He managed to get himself noticed on the Steelers second punt of that game, however, when he downed a Drew Butler punt at the Broncos one yard-line.

The following week against the New York Jets, Van Dyke again made his presence felt on special teams when he used his speed in the third quarter to race downfield on a punt that resulted in Jets return man Jeremy Kerley muffing the catch with him in his face and Steelers safety Ryan Mundy recovering the loose football. Little did we know it that time, that that would be pretty much it for Van Dyke's positive contributions for the remainder of the season.

Over the course of the next four games, Van Dyke became a liability on special teams as he racked up five penalties during that span. On four occasions he was flagged for holding and one other time he was flagged for running out of bounds while covering a punt. As a result of the penalties, Tomlin made an example out of Van Dyke as he chose to dress him only once over the course of the next six games.

If not for the late season injuries in the Steelers secondary, Van Dyke more than likely wouldn't have dressed for the remainder of the season. However, when starting cornerback Ike Taylor fractured his ankle in the Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Van Dyke found himself back in uniform playing on special teams the following week against the San Diego Chargers.

With both Taylor and Cortez Allen out injured the following week against the Dallas Cowboys, it looked as if Van Dyke might actually be in line for his first defensive snaps of the season, but a separated shoulder suffered covering the game's first punt resulted in him being out of the game and the remainder of the season as a result.

Van Dyke has long since had his injured shoulder surgically repaired and he will presumably will be ready for the upcoming OTA sessions. However, the incompetence that he showed last season on special teams combined with the Steelers bringing back William Gay during the offseason, and the drafting Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne just last month, will severely hamper his chances at making the 53 man roster this year out of training camp.

Should Van Dyke fail to make the final cut, his time in Pittsburgh will be up as he no longer has practice squad eligibly.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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Steelers CB DeMarcus Van Dyke Signs Exclusive Rights Tender

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
In a not-so-surprising move, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke has signed his one-year exclusive tender of $555,000.

Exclusive rights free agents have no choice but to sign their tenders as they can't negotiate with other teams.

Van Dyke was signed last year by the Steelers after clearing waivers just prior to the start of the regular season after being waived by the Oakland Raiders.
The fastest man at the 2011 NFL combine was originally drafted by the Raiders in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Van Dyke only saw time on special teams last year for the Steelers and became a liability in that area as he was penalized five times in total. Those penalties led to him being benched temporarily by head coach Mike Tomlin as a result.

Van Dyke ended the season on injured reserve after he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in the Week 15 game against the Dallas Cowboys.He figures to compete for a spot on the 53 man roster during training camp.


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proCanes Support Men's Basketball Team vs GT

proCanesGTMBball3.6.13

Thank you to Harry Rothwell @mrallcanes for sending us this photo of proCanes: Lamar Miller Dolphins, DeMarcus Van Dyke Steelers, Allen Bailey Chiefs, Sean Spence Steelers, Travis Benjamin Browns, Brandon Harris Texans.


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Demarcus Van Dyke had major shoulder surgery

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
Steelers CB Demarcus Van Dyke required reconstructive surgery on his shoulder after his Week 14 injury.
Signed just after the start of the season after being waived by Oakland, Van Dyke appeared in nine games with Pittsburgh as primarily a special teamer and deep-reserve corner. He's scheduled for exclusive rights free agency and will compete for a roster spot in 2013 training camp if tendered by the club.


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(rotoworld.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Injured

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their seventh game of the season Sunday to the Dallas Cowboys and are now in a must-win situation as they head into their final two games of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns.

The loss included more injuries to the Steelers secondary in addition as head coach Mike Tomlin said in his post game press conference that starting cornerback Keenan Lewis (groin) suffered a groin injury in the second half and reserve cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (shoulder) suffered a separated shoulder early in the game while attempting to make a tackle on special teams.

The Steelers came into the game already thin in the secondary as cornerback Ike Taylor (ankle) sat out his second consecutive game Sunday with a fractured ankle as did his replacement Cortez Allen (groin), who missed the game due to a groin injury suffered last Sunday in the loss to the San Diego Chargers.


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DeMarcus Van Dyke Likely To See Time At Corner For Steelers

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
Ike Taylor will miss his second consecutive game due to a broken right ankle, and Tomlin revealed Tuesday that Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen have hip flexor ailments. Although both will be limited in practice, Tomlin indicated he was more optimistic about Lewis' potential availability to play Sunday.

Lewis started in Taylor's place against San Diego, with Curtis Brown filling in as the slot. The result was 12 third-down conversions from San Diego—the majority targeted at Allen or Brown.

Brown was benched in the second half in favor of the undrafted Josh Victorian. The first-year pro was on the practice squad just last week—but he could be in line for a significant role in Dallas if either Allen or Lewis can't play. Victorian was beat for a touchdown by Danario Alexander in the fourth quarter Sunday.

Another cornerback who had yet to see many reps on defense but who might be pressed into action is DeMarcus Van Dyke. Van Dyke was cut by Oakland at the end of training camp a year after being drafted in the third round by the Raiders.

"Obviously, we are running short at cornerback," Tomlin said. "Those guys that had the opportunity to step up and log a bunch of snaps over the last week and a half, it looks like that is going to continue."

Van Dyke started four of the 14 games he played for Oakland as a rookie last season. He was active for Pittsburgh's first six games this season. After being flagged five times for fouls on special teams over a three-game span, though, he was benched. He was a Sunday inactive five times in a six-game span before playing vs. the Chargers.

"We will continue to work with those guys and build a plan around what they are capable of executing and executing at a high level," Tomlin said. "More than anything, it's not about what we call; it's about what those guys are capable of executing."


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(ydr.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Likely To Be Active In The Coming Weeks

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
It was reported late Sunday that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor may have suffered fibula injury in the Sunday win over the Baltimore Ravens that could keep him out for 2-6 weeks. Should that indeed be the case the Steelers cornerback situation will obviously change.

Second-year cornerback Cortez Allen replaced Taylor in the base defense and that will be the plan moving forward. Allen had three passes defensed in relief of Taylor, but his pass interference penalty and failed coverage on Anquan Boldin that resulted in a touchdown made his play uneven on the night.

When the Steelers went to their nickel package second-year cornerback Curtis Brown entered the game and played outside on most of his snaps with Allen continuing to play his nickel slot role that he has played all season long. This too is expected to be the plan moving forward.

With Taylor likely to be sidelined indefinitely we will likely see cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke now dress in his place as the fourth cornerback on gamedays. Van Dyke is regarded generally as an outside corner, so we have likely seen the last of the seldom used dime package at least initially. In the event that they do play dime, Brown very well might be the one to move inside with Van Dyke playing the outside spot in those situations.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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proCanes' Reactions to UM's Self Imposed Bowl Ban on Twitter

NFLU2009
Tyler Horn @Tyler63Horn
I understand the decision and not for one second blame the coaches or the Admin. I just think the process needs to be expedited by the NCAA.

Tyler Horn @Tyler63Horn
The NCAA needs to change. Making 2 classes w/ an overwhelming majority of innocent players miss out on what they earned is just plain wrong

DeMarcus Van Dyke @D_VanDyke8
Let the seniors enjoy what they worked for! We don't know what the NCAA is going to do so don't tell me that BS

DeMarcus Van Dyke @D_VanDyke8
This is like we are punishing them kids for a bad report card their big brother receive

Ottis OJ Anderson @OJAnderson24
Say what?! “@hurricanesports: Miami Hurricanes Make Unprecedented Decision to Forego Bowl Opportunity in 2012http://bit.ly/T6AnYR ”

Alonzo Highsmith @alonzohighsmith
I am done with Miami!!! God bless them and wish them well? Will worry about Packers? Run right from the top!!!

Alonzo Highsmith @alonzohighsmith
Will not commit anymore on the Miami situation anymore? What's done is done? Did Donna give up her pay check?

Sean Goldstein @Sgoldie_daU53
As a UM fan and former player today couldn't be much worse. We self-impose another bowl ban and nd is ranked 1 #yikes

Sean Goldstein @Sgoldie_daU53
I couldn't feel any worse for those guys on the team who have to deal with another bowl ban. Too much work gets put in for this to happen

Jacory Harris @12JHarris12
Wow, those guys worked to hard to get where they are this year!

Kyle Bellamy @KyleBellamy_U
I wonder if the NCAA will care that UM has self imposed bowl ban passed 2 years. They never really liked us in first place

BonecrusherDan Sileo @DanSileoShow
What are the Canes waiting for...Ohio State REGRETS not giving last years bowl up..so does USC...HUGE mistake if we DONT

Brian Monroe @TrainerRoe
Smh! #staystrong #ufamily

Brandon Harris @HarrisNOFLYZONE
"I'm pissed why punish yourself twice the NCAA could care less about self imposed they still bringing the hammer,” he posted.

Olivier Vernon told the sun-sentinel: "Sometimes I guess you feel like the school doesn’t have your back," said Miami Dolphin Olivier Vernon, a member of the 2011 Hurricane team that also sat out a bowl ban. "You work so hard in the season to get to a bowl game, get to ACC championship, and to know that your school gave up a bowl bid kinda hurts a little bit but I’m not there so I ain’t worrying about it right now." Vernon also recalled how the 2011 team responded a week after being told a bowl was out.

"A lot of guys were down," he said. "It’s not a good feeling. But you’ve got to wish the best for things to come next year and the following (years)."


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Mike Tomlin Puts DeMarcus Van Dyke & Stevenson Sylvester On Notice

DeMarcusVanDykeSteelers
The special teams co-coach has seen enough. He can't take it anymore.

As soon as he has some healthy bodies, Steelerscoach Mike Tomlin plans to remove the "repeat, egregious offenders" on special teams who erased 85 yards in returns Sunday. It was another in a continuing parade of holding and block-in-the-back penalties.

So, beware DeMarcus Van Dyke and others. Your time is coming ... sometime.

"With all the injuries, we have minimal options," Tomlin said at his Tuesday news conference, categorizing the penchant for special-teams penalties as "disturbing."

When more players return to health, Tomlin said "the repeat, egregious offenders will be watching. You can take a helmet off and make them watch. We feel like we can be explosive in that area, provided we don't shoot ourselves in the foot."

The limping Steelers (3-3) were called for five penalties on special teams Sunday in a 24-17 victory over Cincinnati, where they nearly lost more yards (85 negated and 40 in penalties) than they officially gained (132) in the return game. They were flagged for one penalty on offense and defense, allowing the third-most penalized NFL team to drop to sixth-most this week.

Tomlin fired special teams coach Al Everest before the final preseason game and split his coaching duties between himself and assistant Amos Jones.


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(cbssports.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Contract Details

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
Since the Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke a few weeks ago, several have asked me how long his contract was for and the total amount of the deal. A source has informed me today that it was one-year deal worth $465,000 and that it did not include a signing bonus.

Assuming that Van Dyke last the entire season on the 53 man roster, he should be an exclusive free agent after the end of the year and thus easily retained with an exclusive rights free agent tender offer of $555,000 that he must accept if he wants to play in the NFL next season.

The Oakland Raiders former third round pick has a been a big contributor on special teams through the first two games of the season and is considered a project cornerback moving forward by the coaching staff. With Keenan Lewis scheduled to an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season, the Steelers would still have three young cornerbacks under contract next season, along with veteran Ike Taylor, should Lewis wind up signing elsewhere.


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(steelersdepot.com)
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Tomlin very pleased with DeMarcus Van Dyke

DemarcusVanDyke
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said former Raiders cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke “has been an awesome surprise for us.”

“He has done a nice job for us, man,” Tomlin said. “He’s added some quality plays for us, just in two ballgames. He downed a punt in Denver on the 1-yard line. He prevented a ball from getting downed at the 1-yard line for us last week. He blew up a punt return and that created a turnover. He’s really just beginning the process of acclimating himself to the defense and hopefully he can be an asset there as well.”

Tomlin said “we don’t care what happened with (Van Dyke)” in Oakland. “He has done a nice job working, and is diligent and detailed.”


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(sfgate.com)
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PHOTO: DeMarcus Van Dyke Forces Fumble

demarcus-van-dyke_originalPressure9.16.12

DeMarcus Van Dyke (30) pressures Jets punt returner Jeremy Kerley into a fumble in the third quarter Sunday at Heinz Field.


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Mike Tomlin Says New CB DeMarcus Van Dyke Has Big-time Upside

DemarcusVanDyke
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Oakland Raiders cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke last week and head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to talk about the newest Steelers Sunday prior to the Sunday night opener against the Denver Broncos.

"We were interested in this young man when he came out in the draft in 2011, said Tomlin. " Obviously, we ended up with Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, but he was within that group and in that range from a grading standpoint. I was at his pro day. He’s got big-time upside, he’s an extremely fast guy. It was an opportunity for us to put a young cornerback in the mix and continue to work with him and develop his skill and see if maybe he can help us at some point."

So now the mystery is solved as it appears that Van Dyke will indeed likely be around for at least a little while. While the coaching staff starts the task of developing the University of Miami product, he figures to dress every week going forward as a fifth cornerback, with his primary role being a gunner on special teams.

While Van Dyke did not record a specials team tackle in the Sunday night game, he was able to down a punt of Drew Butler in the game that Curtis Brown was able to prevent going into the endzone for touchback.


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Steelers will sign DeMarcus Van Dyke

DemarcusVanDyke
The fastest man at the 2011 combine is going to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

PFT has learned that the Steelers will sign cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. Van Dyke was waived by the Raiders on Monday when they signed veteran corner Joselio Hanson.

Van Dyke, who passed through waivers unclaimed, ran a 4.28 40 at last year’s Scouting Combine. That helped him become a third-round pick of the Raiders, who were never shy about picking up players who could run like the wind.

As they say, you can’t teach speed. Van Dyke’s problem is that he sometimes made it look like he couldn’t be taught cornerback either. He was part of a Raiders cornerback corps that allowed opponents 251 yards per game through the air. None of the five cornerbacks who saw extensive time for the Raiders last season are still with the team, with Van Dyke helping to author his own pink slip with a rough night in a preseason game against Arizona.

Still, he’s got that speed and he’s 6’1″, which is a combination that makes football people try to make it all work out. Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis are set as the starters in Pittsburgh, with Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown in reserve. Van Dyke will try to work his way into the rotation while working with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and other Steelers coaches try to put his impressive physical tools to better use on the field.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Raiders Waive DeMarcus Van Dyke

DemarcusVanDyke
The Oakland Raiders’ change at cornerback was a strong message from their new brass: No one is on scholarship and none of Al Davis’ decisions will be given special consideration moving forward.

The Raiders drastically changed the look of the cornerback position when they signed veteran Joselio Hanson. The 31-year-old was cut by the Eagles on Friday. To make room for Hanson, the Raiders surprisingly cut second-year cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. He was a third-round pick in 2011.

Van Dyke was a classic Davis draft pick. He was the fastest runner at the combine in 2011 and the Raiders used a high pick on him because of his speed despite the fact that he wasn’t overly productive in college. Van Dyke struggled last year. He came back and had a nice training camp this season, but he wasn’t overly impressive in preseason games.

Still, because of the team’s investment in him, his youth and speed, he wasn’t considered to be in danger of being cut. No one expected Oakland to keep newly signed Coye Francies over a third-round pick like Van Dyke. This decision has to show the rest of the roster that few players are safe.

The Van Dyke cut comes on the heels of the team cutting 2011 fourth-round pick Chimdi Chekwa. He was put on the practice squad.

Both Van Dyke and Chekwa were expected to push free-agent signing Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer. Yet, the youngsters couldn’t push either player.

Hanson is a fairly respected nickel cornerback and he will give Oakland solid experience. Still, the Raiders are still in flux at the position for the long run. Bartell, Spencer and Hanson are not high-level players. They are all over 30 and all are signed to one-year deals.

So, while Oakland’s cornerback position -- which was very solid in 2010 with Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt as the starters -- is drastically different for the short term and it will likely look much different next year. It’s early, but you’d have to think a cornerback will be very high on Oakland’s draft wish list next year. The picks of Van Dyke and Chekwa were designed to fill the cornerback needs for years to come.


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(espn.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke to get shot at returning punts

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
ALAMEDA -- It's no mystery the Raiders' punt return game has struggled mightily in the preseason, with the trio of Jacoby Ford, Bryan McCann and DeAundre Muhammad combining to average a mere 4.4 yards per return.

So it was no surprise, then, to see speedy cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke fielding punts following practice Monday. The Raiders have to mix it up, right? Especially with Ford still out with a sore left foot and Muhammad cut earlier in the day.

"Potentially, (we'll) see how he looks in practice this week," said coach Dennis Allen, when asked if Van Dyke could return punts against Seattle in both teams' exhibition finale Thursday.

"Obviously we're looking to see who's going to fulfill that role for us. We'll explore whatever's out there."

Van Dyke said he last returned punts as a freshman at Miami and, before that, in high school.

Doing it in the NFL, albeit in an exhibition game, represents a quantum leap of a difference. And sitting there, waiting for the ball to drop from the sky while an entire team barrels down on you, is completely different from the loneliness of being a cornerback out on the edge with just one receiver to worry about.

"Imagine 11 angry men, all running down at full speed, trying to take you head off," Van Dyke said with a nervous smile.

That is where Van Dyke's speed -- he was the fastest man at the Combine in 2011 -- would come into play, so long as he fields the ball cleanly. And it might even help with his confidence as a cornerback.

"Having the ball in my hands could help me get going, give me that swagger," he said.

"It's going to interesting, so I"m pretty excited about Thursday."


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(csnbayarea.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke struggling to find consistency

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
NAPA -- DeMarcus Van Dyke has gone from phenom to flame out in the course of 18 practice sessions.

As the Raiders concluded their training camp Thursday, the realization is that the true worth of the second-year cornerback out of Miami lies somewhere in between.

Van Dyke's recent struggles suggest he isn't yet the playmaker who wowed teammates and coaches by breaking up numerous passes while subbing for injured starter Ron Bartell during the early days of training camp.

"I've just got to go out there and play ball,"Van Dyke said. "I'm doing too much thinking, I think. Coach (Jason) Tarver gave me a lot of advice, telling me to go out and play ball. Don't worry about making mistakes, just play like I was the first two weeks of camp.''

As July turned to August, Van Dyke looked to be pushing for a starting job, perhaps at Shawntae Spencer's spot, once Bartell returned.

Van Dyke had put on weight -- he was up to 187 pounds after playing at a spindly 175 as a rookie -- and was playing with confidence.

But Van Dyke is prone to being too hard on himself, sometimes lacking the short-term memory necessary to the position.

"I'm doing too much thinking about trying to make a play, just pressing too much,"Van Dyke said.

Tarver, the Raiders defensive coordinator, is hoping Van Dyke rises to the occasion against the Detroit Lions Saturday at 4 p.m. The opposition includes wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the freakishly gifted wide receiver.

"I would really like to see him play like he plays out here and just play with what we know he can do," Tarver said. "He's heard that from me this week. Play like he plays at practice. Because he plays pretty good at practice.''

Spencer said he thought the change in Van Dyke came when Bartell returned and Van Dyke rejoined the second team.

"He was playing so well, and then Ron came back and everything changed,"Spencer said. "He wasn't as aggressive. He was like, 'All right, Ron's the starter.' I told him, 'No matter where you are on the depth chart, always look at yourself as a starter. Practice like a starter, prepare like a starter.''


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(mercurynews.com)
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South Miami LB Korey Moss following in his family’s footsteps

SantanaMoss
Santana Moss, Sinorice Moss and DeMarcus Van Dyke all used their speed to make it to the NFL.

Korey Moss is hoping his strength will be the ticket to follow in his family’s footsteps.

Moss, a 5-9, 220-pound senior linebacker at South Miami, is the nephew of the Moss brothers — stars at Carol City and the University of Miami — and a cousin of Van Dyke, a former Miami Monsignor Pace star who plays with the Oakland Raiders.

“I’m one of the biggest ones in the family,” Moss said. “My uncles and my cousin were fast and played wide receiver in high school. But I’m the powerful one. I’m the one that likes to kill the guy running with the ball.”

Moss showed his strength and skill as a linebacker to record more than 100 tackles and 10 sacks last season in a breakout year for him and the Cobras.

Moss led Miami-Dade County in tackles for the first seven weeks of last season before being hobbled by an ankle injury. His efforts were key during a turnaround season in which South Miami won its first playoff game since 1987.

Moss keeps in contact with Santana when his schedule with the Washington Redskins permits, and with Sinorice, who currently plays for Saskatchewan in the Canadian Football League.

GOOD EXAMPLES
Although Korey said he doesn’t have a college picked out yet, the University of Miami, where his three famous relatives played, is a school he grew up watching.

“Even though I’m not the same type of player they are, I learned a lot from watching them growing up,” said Moss, who would like to study veterinary medicine in college. “They’ve taught me how to stay focused when I’m on the field and what to do off it so I can make it big in life.”

Moss has yet to attract offers from major colleges but is hoping a big senior season to follow up last year’s performance will draw more attention from college recruiters.

Moss will still be a key cog for South Miami, which changed coaches in the offseason, hiring David Gray following the departure of Lamont Green to Southridge. Gray inherits a defense (led by Moss and senior linebacker Matt Delavega) that returns several starters.

The Cobras will have to account for the loss of some major weapons on offense because quarterback and all-around athlete A.J. Leggett graduated and leading running back Johnny Hankins transferred.

If a new quarterback emerges, he will have a solid receiving core led by junior Keyshaun Taylor.

TOUGH DISTRICT
Moss believes there is still enough talent to keep the Cobras in contention for another playoff run in District 14-8A.

Columbus is the heavy favorite to win the district again, coming off a state semifinal appearance in what was its best season since 1982.

But the Cobras (9-3 in 2011) appear to have as good a chance as last year to vie for the runner-up spot with Coral Gables, Miami High and Coral Park.

“We lost our coach from last year, but we’ve been doing well with Coach Gray, and we pretty much have the same team,” Moss said. “We expect another great season if we keep showing our dedication and heart.”


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(mimaiherald.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Having Best Training Camp of All DBs

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
We’re told second-year veteran DeMarcus Van Dyke is having the best training camp of all the Raiders’ cornerbacks thus far. We hear Van Dyke is playing more physical than he did as a rookie and is doing a better job of using his hands in press coverage.




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(profootballweekly.com)
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PHOTO: proCanes Richard Gordon DeMarcus Van Dyke sign autographs for the fans

RichardGordonDVDSigningAutographs


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DeMarcus Van Dyke clears waivers

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
Sixteen months ago, the Raiders liked DeMarcus Van Dyke enough that they took him in the third round of the NFL draft. Now the Raiders don’t want Van Dyke at all — and neither do any of the NFL’s other 31 teams.

Van Dyke, who was waived yesterday, has cleared waivers today, a league source told PFT.

It’s surprising how quickly Van Dyke’s stock has fallen: He’s a supremely talented athlete who’s 4.28-second 40-yard dash was the fastest at last year’s Scouting Combine, and he played reasonably well as a rookie, getting into 14 games and making four starts.

But Van Dyke struggled this year in the preseason, and Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie decided to cut ties with the former Al Davis pick. Now every team in the league has passed on a chance to acquire him.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke taking more physical approach

DemarcusVanDyke
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer lofted a tight spiral deep down the right sideline and appeared to have an easy completion to Darrius Heyward-Bey before cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke came in to break up the pass and knock the receiver to the ground.

A day earlier, Van Dyke spent much of the morning jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage.

It's all part of Van Dyke's plan to become a more physical defender with the Raiders after he struggled at times as a part-time starter during his rookie season.
"He still makes some young player mistakes that we've got to get coached out of him, but he continues to make a little bit of progress every day," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday. "He's not where he needs to be yet, but he's got to continue to work, continue to keep getting better and learn the little nuances of the game."

One of two third-round draft picks a year ago, Van Dyke has been getting plenty of work with Oakland's first-team defense while projected starter Ron Bartell rests his sore hamstring.

Bartell and veteran Shawntae Spencer were signed in the offseason to replace released starting corners Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson after Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie targeted the secondary for a makeover.

Both are expected to start when the Raiders open the season at home Sept. 10 against San Diego, but Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver are keeping their options open.

That includes Van Dyke, a 6-foot-1, 183-pound cornerback who played in 14 games with four starts as a rookie. He didn't put up big numbers (13 tackles, one interception) and often allowed himself to get pushed out of plays by bigger receivers.

But Oakland's entire pass defense took a beating in 2011. The Raiders were 29th in total defense a year ago, and 27th against the pass.

This year Van Dyke worked out with receivers such as Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh, Chad Johnson from Miami and Cleveland's Greg Little in an attempt to refine his techniques.

He also got a little scolding from his mother when he went home in the offseason.

"I went home and my momma told me, `DeMarcus, I'm your No. 1 fan, but you dropped too many interceptions last year,'" Van Dyke said. "I'm trying to work on catching the ball and turning my head when the ball is in the air. I did one-on-one workouts with guys. I tried to go up against big receivers, small receivers and the shifty ones."

Though the Raiders have been in training camp less than a week, Van Dyke has managed to stand out.

In addition to the play he made on Heyward-Bey during Oakland's first practice in full pads, Van Dyke broke up a pair of passes during a team scrimmage drill on Monday and followed it up with another solid workout on Tuesday.

"I'm taking everything (the coaches) tell me and putting it on the field," Van Dyke said. "I'm just going out there and trying to get better at my craft and trying to make plays."

About the only goal Van Dyke failed to reach this offseason was gaining more weight.

"I tried to aim for 190 (pounds) but I came in at 185," he said. "So I’m pretty cool with that."


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(csnbayarea.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke shows he's learned from trying 2011 rookie season

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
NAPA -- No matter how many passes DeMarcus Van Dyke breaks up during training camp, he realizes that every time the ball hits the ground, there's someone in Florida looking for him to do just a little bit more.

"I went home and my mama told me, 'DeMarcus, I'm your No. 1 fan, but you dropped way too many interceptions last year,' " Van Dyke said.

Following a rookie season where he learned about life as an NFL cornerback the hard way, Van Dyke has been one of the Raiders' most impressive defenders through three days in training camp.

During Wednesday's first padded practice, Van Dyke went stride-for-stride with wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey some 40 yards downfield and broke up a Carson Palmer pass at the top of his leap.

It's one of at least a half-dozen pass breakups Van Dyke has had through three practices during drill work and team sessions. He's slapped away long sideline passes, sideline routes and slants.

Working with the first unit as free agent signee Ron Bartell rests a tender hamstring, Van Dyke looks like a budding football player rather than another combine flash taken by the late Al Davis.

Although he didn't start much of his senior year at Miami, Van Dyke torched the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine with a time of 4.28. The Raiders took him in the third round with the 81st overall pick.

Van Dyke appeared to have little going for him other than all that speed and an affable manner. Reed-thin at 6-foot-1 and 177 pounds, he was thrown into the mix in the exhibition season and promptly gave up a 43-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the 2011 exhibition opener.

He worked his way onto the field because of injuries to Chris Johnson and fellow rookie Chimdi Chekwa, but then struggled. Van Dyke took a shot to the ribs on Nov. 6 against Denver, surrendering his starting spot to veteran Lito Sheppard, who was signed only a week earlier. He rarely saw the field the rest of the season.

Free safety Michael Huff thinks Van Dyke's confidence may have taken an early hit last season. Van Dyke conceded losing playing time the second half of the season was discouraging, but said, "I tried to stay positive, because positive thoughts create positive outcomes."

Cornerback Shawntae Spencer, signed as a free agent and in line ´╗┐to be the other starting cornerback, has been impressed.

"He's made some very, very good plays," Spencer said. "He's a very quick corner, a very fast corner, and a very long corner as well. He has great instincts. I'm very impressed with the young man's game."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen likes what he's seen, but wants more.

"He's been consistent. He still makes some young-player mistakes that we've got to get coached out of him, but he makes a little bit of progress every day," Allen said. "He's not where he needs to be yet, but he's got to continue to work and continue to keep getting better and learn the little nuances of the game."

For Van Dyke, the next step is satisfying his mother.

"Pass breakups are nice, interceptions are better," Van Dyke said.


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(insidebayarea.com)
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Big opportunity for DeMarcus Van Dyke

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
NAPA, Calif. -- A player who has a great chance to ascend in the Oakland Raiders’ training camp is cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke.

He has a chance to show he belongs in the starting mix.

Van Dyke, a third-round pick in 2011, took an important step in establishing himself Monday when he was working with the first-team defense with projected starter Ronald Bartell out with a hamstring injury. Bartell should be back at some point, but this will give Van Dyke time to impress the new coaching staff.

So far, so good.

New Oakland coach Dennis Allen lauded Van Dyke for his effort Monday. If he continues to make strides, I think Van Dyke could push Bartell or, more likely, Shawntae Spencer, in the coming weeks.


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(espn.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Has Advantage in Camp Battle?

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
CB -- Shawntae Spencer vs. DeMarcus Van Dyke vs. Chimdi Chekwa: The Raiders added free agents Spencer (49ers) and Ron Bartell (Rams), a pair of experienced corners, and they worked with the first team throughout the offseason. Bartell looks like a lock on the left side, but Spencer could face a challenge at right cornerback after a rough 2011 season. Spencer started every game in 2009 and 2010 for the 49ers but made zero starts last year and appeared in only one game. He was limited by a hamstring injury in camp, which hurt his chances to impress new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. But that doesn't fully explain why he played so few snaps and why the 49ers released him after the season. Last year the Raiders drafted Van Dyke in the third round out of Miami and Chekwa in the fourth out of Ohio State. Both are still raw, but Van Dyke appeared in 14 games and made four starts last year, while Chekwa played in only four games with one start. Of the two, Van Dyke has more speed but Chekwa is more physical. At cornerback in the NFL, speed trumps brawn. Advantage: Van Dyke.


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(cbssports.com)
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Raiders Camp Battle: DeMarcus Van Dyke vs. Spencer

DemarcusVanDyke
Cornerback
DeMarcus Van Dyke vs. Shawntae Spencer
Tale of the tape:
Spencer: 9th season, 6-1, 190, Pittsburgh
Van Dyke: 2nd season, 6-1, 180, Miami

With seven years experience on Van Dyke, Spencer would seem to have the upper hand here...by a long shot. But no less an authority than general manager Reggie McKenzie said at the end of the Raiders' three-day mandatory minicamp in June that "nobody got it locked down." Spencer endured an injury-filled 2011 in San Francisco and lost his job after having a "burn rate" of 44.4 percent, giving up four receptions on nine targets. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done," Spencer said. "They want everyone to embrace the team concept and playing together and playing within each scheme." Van Dyke, meanwhile, is intriguing with his blazing speed -- he ran a 4.25-seconds 40-yard dash at the Combine -- and potential as a cover corner. He had a Raiders CB-best burn rate of 43.8 last season, giving up 14 receptions on 32 targets for 167 yards and a touchdown while being credited with four passes defensed. "It’s vision defense," he said. "You see a lot of stuff and we’re going to make a lot of plays next year." Indeed, we will see.


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(csncalifornia.com)
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Is DeMarcus Van Dyke ready to step up?

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
He had his baptism by fire the first time he stepped on an NFL field.

"At the start of the preseason," DeMarcus Van Dyke mused during last month's OTA's, "I played against Larry Fitzgerald and I had a bad experience. But after that, I tried to make more plays, and it helped my confidence a lot."

And as such, Van Dyke is the most intriguing defensive back on the Raiders roster as the team prepares to report to Napa for training camp on July 28. The second-year cornerback was the quintessential Al Davis draft pick -- speed to burn, somewhat overvalued as a third-round draft pick.

But the new regime sees something in the lithe Van Dyke, and Van Dyke, who is starting to fill out physically, sees something in himself. Yes, the guy who blazed to a 4.25-second 40-time at the Combine will push veteran signees Shawntae Spencer and Ronald Bartell for playing time and maybe even for a starting job.

Intrigued yet?

"Next year, I just need to make more plays on the ball," Van Dyke said. "I had a bunch of chances to make interceptions that I dropped. And sometimes I kept my head on the receiver and didn’t look for the ball. That’s why at these OTAs I am trying to find the ball and make plays and hopefully help out next year."

Rookie coach Dennis Allen, who cut his teeth coaching up defensive backs, agreed.

"You've got to practice to get better," Allen said.

As a rookie last season, Van Dyke had a Raiders cornerback-best burn rate of 43.8, per Stats Inc., giving up 14 receptions on 32 targets for 167 yards and a touchdown while being credited with four passes defensed. By comparison, the departed Stanford Routt had a burn rate of 47.4 while Matt Giordano's was 42.5 and Mike Mitchell's was 34.6.

Both Spencer and Bartell had injury-shorted seasons in 2011 and their burn rates were 44.4 (four of nine) and 66.7 (two of three), respectively.
Van Dyke, now listed at 180 pounds, has found guidance from the two thus far.

"It’s the small things, like looking at the splits of the receivers and watching a lot of tendencies on film," he said. "I really appreciate those two guys helping me out as leaders this year.

Especially with a new regime and a new scheme.

"I am loving it," Van Dyke said. "It’s vision defense -- you see a lot of stuff and we’re going to make a lot of plays next year."

A year ago, the lockout wiped out any offseason activities, putting Van Dyke and his fellow rookies further behind an eight ball that the likes of Fitzgerald enjoyed shooting at the newbies.

"Without the OTAs and the minicamps, it really set a lot of the guys back," Van Dyke said. "But this year, it’s helped and I can’t wait to see how I play."

He's not the only one.


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(csnbayarea.com)
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DeMarcus Van Dyke Happy To Have An Off-Season Program

DeMarcusVanDykeRaiders
Second-year CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, who is participating in his first off-season program in the NFL, is soaking up as much information as possible from the coaches and the veterans. “This has helped me out a lot,” said Van Dyke. “We have the installs every day, getting a feel for the game, and we’ve got two great corners in front of me, Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell, who are helping me out a lot.”

Van Dyke feels good about the way the defense is shaping up. “I’m loving it,” said Van Dyke. “It’s a vision defense. We see a lot of stuff so I’m going to make a lot of plays this year coming up.”


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(raiders.com)
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