Woodson, Reed voted into College Football Hall of Fame

Ed Reed

If you were to put together an all-time dream team of a secondary for any level of football, no one would call you crazy for including Charles Woodson and Ed Reed.

Two of the greatest defensive backs the game has seen never did share a secondary outside of the NFL’s Pro Bowl, but they will share the stage when both are inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class. Continue reading

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NFC defensive backs to watch in the NFL playoffs

Ronald Darby

The NFL playoff field is set — an eclectic mix of high-powered offenses (the Rams score a league-best 29.9 points per game) and stingy defenses (the Vikings allow a league-low 15.8 points per game), hotshot rookies (league rushing leader Kareem Hunt) and Hall of Fame locks who have been playing forever (Tom Brady), postseason regulars (Steelers) and teams that haven’t been to the playoff party in a long time (Bills).

Since they say defense wins championships, that means there are some defensive backs whose play will mean a lot in determining how the road to the Super Bowl is paved. Continue reading

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Four DBs among finalists for 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

Everson Walls

Terrell Owens and Randy Moss will be at the center of the two most heated debates when it comes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

The statistics and impact of both wide receivers are undeniably Hall-worthy. But T.O. and Moss were also controversial figures who didn’t have great relationships with the media or great reputations with a lot of fans. And it’s no secret that politics and goodwill with the voting media play a role in one’s Hall of Fame chances.

This isn’t the first year on the ballot for Owens, who should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Moss is on the ballot for the first time. On Tuesday, they were announced as two of the 15 finalists for induction in the Hall’s 2018 class. Continue reading

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AFC defensive backs to watch in the NFL playoffs

Malcolm Butler

The NFL playoff field is set — an eclectic mix of high-powered offenses (the Rams score a league-best 29.9 points per game) and stingy defenses (the Vikings allow a league-low 15.8 points per game), hotshot rookies (league rushing leader Kareem Hunt) and Hall of Fame locks who have been playing forever (Tom Brady), postseason regulars (Steelers) and teams that haven’t been to the playoff party in a long time (Bills).

Since they say defense wins championships, that means there are some defensive backs whose play will mean a lot in determining how the road to the Super Bowl is paved. Continue reading

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Defensive backs to watch in the College Football Playoff

Clemson’s Ryan Carter

Defense hasn’t necessarily been the name of the game ahead of the 2018 College Football Playoff, even though three of the four teams involved field three of the nation’s best defenses.

Alabama allows the fewest points (11.5 per game) of any team in Division 1-A. Clemson ranks second, giving up 12.8 points per game, and Georgia is tied for third (with Wisconsin) at 13.2 points allowed. The fourth team in the playoff, Oklahoma, didn’t crack the nation’s top 50 defensively (25.0 points allowed), but the Sooners make up for it by leading the nation in offensive yards (583 per game) and ranking fourth in scoring with 44.9 points per game. Continue reading

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Fitzpatrick leads college football’s award-winning DBs

Minkah Fitzpatrick

As a collective unit, Alabama has had the best defensive backfield in college football for at least the last three seasons — which coincides with the rise junior Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Crimson Tide’s do-everything DB who has lined up at safety, cornerback, and any other uniquely-named hybrid position that coach Nick Saban wants to use that particular week.

Fitzpatrick has been one of college football’s best defensive players during his time in Tuscaloosa, and earlier this month he earned two of the highest honors that a Division-1 defensive back can receive — short of the Heisman Trophy — when he won both the 2017 Chuck Bednarik Award and the Jim Thorpe Award. Continue reading

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Jaguars cornerback tandem tabbed to start in Pro Bowl

A.J. Bouye, Jalen Ramsey

When free agent cornerback A.J. Bouye signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March, penciled in to start opposite 2016 rookie sensation Jalen Ramsey, it gave the Jaguars arguably the NFL’s best pair of corners — on paper.

This week, that status was all but confirmed, as Bouye and Ramsey were selected as the starting cornerbacks for the AFC in the 2018 Pro Bowl. The NFL’s annual all-star game is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Orlando.

Bouye had six interceptions this season to go with 17 pass breakups and 49 tackles. Ramsey registered four interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 53 tackles. Continue reading

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MSU’s Tyson Smith Gets Pick-Six in Return From Stroke

The first couple of weeks of the college football season are typically full of blowout games resulting from lopsided matchups.

One of last Saturday’s most inspiring highlights happened in a game that wasn’t close between a big-name Big Ten team and one from the bottom half of the MAC.

Michigan State was beating Bowling Green 28-3 in the third quarter when Spartans junior cornerback Tyson Smith intercepted a pass by Falcons quarterback James Morgan and ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown. It was the knockout blow in State’s 35-10 victory. Continue reading

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Top 5 NFL defensive backs on new teams in 2017

Morris Claiborne

Originally published by HERO Sports:

Similar to Colin Kaepernick at the quarterback position, the most well-known defensive back in the 2017 NFL free-agency class is still unsigned as the preseason gets underway.

That DB would be Darrelle Revis, the future Hall of Fame cornerback whose swift drop-off from shutdown to sit-down last season compelled the New York Jets to release him following another failed attempt to make the playoffs. Although Revis is only 32 years old, the Super Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowler has reportedly received little interest on the free-agent market. And if he does find a team, he might be asked to move to safety to mask whatever loss of speed and cover skills he’s had. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Devin McCourty

Devin McCourty

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Devin McCourty, FS, Patriots (NFL) — Not one of New England’s defensive backs had a standout game statistically. Nobody made a very memorable big play or forced a takeaway. So, McCourty gets this spot under the Kawhi Leonard/Andre Iguodala NBA Finals MVP criteria: It’s not so much what he did, it’s more about what he prevented someone else from doing.

Just like Leonard and Iguodala were rewarded primarily for not allowing LeBron James to completely dominate the 2014 and 2015 Finals, respectively, McCourty’s biggest accomplishment in the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI is that he didn’t allow Atlanta WR Julio Jones to dominate the game. Continue reading

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