September has marked the start of an action-packed NFL regular season. The 2021-22 season is historic, as it is the longest in league history, featuring 17 games. As Week 4 comes to an end, let’s check in on how Penn alumni are faring.
Brandon Copeland 一 Linebacker, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons haven’t had the smoothest start to the year. After their disappointing loss to the Washington Football Team, they have fallen to 1-3. Copeland, the captain for the Ivy League title team back in 2012, has not been able to hit his stride this season. He has appeared in three games this season and has recorded a total of three tackles.
Copeland is a proven veteran who once recorded five sacks for the Jets back in the 2018-2019 season. It will be interesting to see if he can improve to strengthen a struggling Atlanta defense over the course of the season.
Greg Van Roten 一 Guard, New York Jets
The Jets might have had their greatest game in a while with a major upset win over the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Zach Wilson had his first solid game with two touchdowns and nearly 300 passing yards. Still, he has struggled this season, but a lot of that struggle has to do with his offensive line who has allowed a brutal 16 sacks.
Van Roten has been a solid guard throughout his seven NFL seasons, but will have to use all his experience to not only bolster the Jets offensive line, but also help his rookie quarterback succeed.
Justin Watson 一 Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Watson unfortunately had knee surgery in July with an expected recovery time being four months. The former star Quaker has struggled to get reps in the past due to injuries and the Buccaneers' deep wide receiver rotation. In 2020, he had seven catches for 94 yards the entire season.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were able to scratch out a win against Brady’s former team — the New England Patriots — to improve to 3-1 on the year. Hopefully, Watson can make an impact when he returns to help the defending champions go for another deep postseason run.
Kevin Stefanski 一 Head Coach, Cleveland Browns
Stefanski’s Browns were able to pull off a Week 4 win against the Minnesota Vikings in what can be described as a slugfest. Both defenses were impressive, but it was the Browns that were able to put up 14 points to take the victory and improve to a respectable 3-1 record.
Stefanski coached for the Vikings from 2006-19, working his way to offensive coordinator in Minnesota before leaving that job to become the head coach of the Browns. Stefanski has now put a “one” in the win column against his former team.