Allen Gone, Heath "Ready to Step Up" - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Allen Gone, Heath "Ready to Step Up"

Rookie safety Jeff Heath has been limited in defensive work this year



    With veteran safety Will Allen gone, undrafted rookie Jeff Heath might finally get his chance to contribute more to the defense.

    Allen was cut on Tuesday after just five games with the team, due in good part to his lackluster efforts on special teams. Heath, meanwhile, has four special teams tackles on the season--good enough for second on the team in that category -- and another three on defense (two and an assist) from the game against the Rams.

    “It’s unfortunate that one of our guys had to get let go for that to happen, but I learned from Will while he was here, and I wish him the best,” Heath said this week, per ESPN Dallas. “If this means a bigger role for me and more opportunity for me, I’m ready to step up.”

    A Saginaw Valley State product, Heath impressed coaches in the preseason with 14 tackles and a forced fumble. Against the Redskins on Sunday night, there seems a pretty good chance he’ll finally see some playing time at the safety position, behind starter J.J. Wilcox.

    “I’m just going to handle it like I would any other game,” Heath said. “I feel like I’ve prepared every week to where if my number was called, I’d be ready to go. I’m just going to continue to do that. Not get too anxious or worked up, because at the end of the day, it’s just another day. I just have to go perform.”

    Editor's Note: In the original version of this article, we reported that Jeff Heath hadn't yet received any playing time with the defense.  He played on the defense in the game against the St. Louis Rams, where he was credited with three tackles.  We regret the error.

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