3 Dragons players to watch in Week 4
SEATTLE – The Dragons have a tough matchup ahead of them as they travel to St. Louis to take on the Battlehawks on Saturday (2 p.m. PT, FOX), and they know it will take a more disciplined effort than they showed against Dallas to come away with a win this week.
“I think our changes come in being able to overcome a penalty or a bad play," coach Jim Zorn said after last week’s loss to the Renegades. “That’s what we didn’t do on offense. We can overcome these penalties. I’ve got to be better and I think our team will be better as they execute as well”.
Here are some players to watch this weekend as the Dragons look to get back in the win column:
1. S Godwin Igwebuike
The 6-foot, 213-pound safety attended Northwestern, where he had 78 tackles, two interceptions and nine pass breakups on his way to earning second team, All-Big Ten honors his senior season. He was then signed by the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in April of 2018 and had brief stops with the 49ers, Eagles and Jets.
Now, he is making his presence felt on the Dragons defense, compiling 15 tackles and an interception through the first three games.
“That’s just always been the way I’ve wanted to play. Fast, instinctual and physical," Igwebuike said, when asked about his physical nature on the field. “I think a lot of guys on our defense play that same way. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it fast. I’ve always been kind of hard-nosed. I’m Nigerian, that’s how Nigerians get down, we come and lay the wood. We can do it all, we’re versatile. So, that’s one aspect of my game I definitely wanted to bring in this season.”
2. P Brock Miller
The left-footed punter attended Southern Utah, where he averaged 43.3 yards per punt his senior season. He went undrafted in 2013 before spending time with the 49ers, Giants and Rams. He ultimately ended up with the Dragons and is off to a great start this season.
Zorn cited Miller as one of the reasons he chose not to go for it on a fourth down in the second half of the loss to Dallas Saturday. “I just thought our punter, he averaged 48.5 yards per punt or something like that. That was outstanding, He had an outstanding day.”
Miller was happy to hear those comments from his coach, as he also thought this was his best week so far.
“I’m starting to kind of settle in a little bit” he said at Wednesday’s practice. “I know I’ve got good protection in front of me so that helps me get good punts off. I think it was effective this week because I was able to hit some better hang time where the ball is hanging up there more and flip the field a little bit more.”
Miller’s contributions went beyond punting last week, as he laid a pretty good hit on Dallas returner Flynn Nagle in the third quarter.
“I was surprisingly sore the next day, Miller said. “My neck’s a little sore. I’ve got to do some neck-strengthening exercise in the gym this week in case I’ve got to do it again but I’ll be ready if we get another one.”
No. 3 WR Reuben Mwehla
This speedy wide receiver is a Washington native. He attended Bellevue High School, where he was coached by Butch Goncharoff, the Dragons' running backs coach. Mwehla chose to head to Idaho for college, where he excelled as a receiver and a return specialist.
The Dragons are happy to have Mwehla available for the first time this season, as he has just been activated from IR after dealing with a hamstring injury. When asked what Mwehla brings to the table, Zorn said, “He was having a great training camp when he went down. What he brings is full-speed effort. He does have a lot of speed and he’s a really good route runner. He’s got good hands. He’ll be in that mix and it will allow us to expand.”
As far as Mwehla is concerned, he’s just excited to be playing football again.
“When you’re injured, it’s a tough thing, because I’ve never really been injured like that and had to be out for seven, eight weeks,” he said. “I just love playing football, so I’m happy to be out here with everybody."
Maura Dooley is the Dragons Insider and sideline reporter for 710 ESPN Seattle and she contributes to a weekly Dragons podcast.