Malcolm Jenkins is apparently too good to get blackballed.
The two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro safety for the Philadelphia Eagles was right there on the front lines with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid in 2016 when those two former San Francisco 49er teammates began kneeling during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, a move that sparked a movement of NFL players publicly protesting police brutality and racism in the United States.
Jenkins, who is widely recognized as the heart and soul of the Eagles, chose to protest by raising his fist during the anthem — similar to track and field icons John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics. His version of silent, yet powerful protest drew its share of headlines and support and criticism.
But while Kaepernick’s stand against injustice appears to have cost him his NFL career, and Reid has inexplicably (and blatantly) gone unsigned on this year’s free agent market — both players have filed grievances against the NFL, accusing team owners of collusion — Jenkins hasn’t gone anywhere. Continue reading
Malcolm Butler (21), Patrick Chung (23)
Flip the number 52 around and you’ll get 25. Which I found interesting for the purpose of this piece, because there are a lot of similarities between this year’s Super Bowl 52 pitting the New England Patriots against Philadelphia Eagles, and Super Bowl 25, when the Buffalo Bills faced the New York Giants in 1991.
Back then, the Bills were heavily favored to beat the Giants. Buffalo had the NFL’s most prolific offense, led by quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas, and receivers Andre Reed and James Lofton. (All of them are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.) The defense was solid — led by Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith — but it was Buffalo’s offense that was its biggest strength.
The Giants made it to the Super Bowl thanks primarily to its defense, headlined by Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor (arguably the greatest defensive player in NFL history), Pro Bowl DE Leonard Marshall and LB Carl Banks, and cornerback Everson Walls, who is a finalist for the 2018 Hall of Fame class. Continue reading
Tags: Devin McCourty, Jalen Mills, Malcolm Butler, Malcolm Jenkins, New England Patriots, Patrick Chung, Patrick Robinson, Philadelphia Eagles, Rodney McLeod, Ronald Darby, Stephon Gilmore, Super Bowl LII
Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
1. Jamar Taylor, CB, Browns (NFL) — I have an unofficial rule that you have to win to get on the Pick Six list, and so all season long I hadn’t even been able to consider putting a defensive back from my Cleveland Browns in this space. But then on Saturday, the Browns beat the Chargers 20-17, “improving” to 1-14 and avoiding the possibility of making history for all the wrong reasons.
Taylor, in his first season as a regular starter after three years as a backup with the Dolphins, has shined enough through all the losing that Cleveland signed him to a three-year contract extension earlier this month.
In Saturday’s emotional victory, Taylor had five tackles, including one tackle for a loss, two pass breakups and an interception. Continue reading
As expected, the two-hour TV special unveiling the top 10 players in the NFL Network’s ranking of the top 100 for 2016 didn’t feature any defensive backs. And at the same time, it kind of did.
After All-Pro and Pro Bowl and all-everything-else breakout star cornerback Josh Norman made the list at No. 11 in the previous episode, it was safe to assume there would be no DBs in the top 10. But this episode did include a segment on the next 10 who just missed the top-100 cut, otherwise known as Nos. 101 through 110. And that group included three defensive backs: Continue reading
If you were to gather a group of NFL fans to talk about the Pro Bowl — difficult a task as that may be — you’ll find quite a few who believe the league should simply announce the rosters and scrap the idea of actually playing what has become the worst all-star game among the major American sports.
As football-mad as this country is, nobody seems to be going crazy over the Pro Bowl. And with good reason.
A salary bonus and recognition among peers are the biggest perks a player gets out of being voted to the Pro Bowl. As for the game itself, beyond the free trip to Hawaii, it means nothing. Continue reading
Tags: Adam Jones, Brent Grimes, Charles Woodson, Desmond Trufant, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eric Berry, Harrison Smith, Jason Verrett, Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Peters, Mike Adams, Reshad Jones, Richard Sherman, Vontae Davis
Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Demetrious Cox, S, Michigan State (NCAA): Following its 39-38 loss to Nebraska on Nov. 7, the Michigan State defense allowed an average of 12.5 points in its last four games to secure a spot in college football’s national championship playoff. In Saturday’ 16-13 victory over previously-undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten title game, Cox made his defensive contribution with seven tackles and an interception in the end zone off a deflected pass that he literally snatched off a teammate’s back.
Rontez Miles, FS, Jets (NFL): So much was made about star CB Darrelle Revis having to miss Sunday’s Jets-Giants game and whether the Jets’ secondary could handle Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. They didn’t, as OBJ caught six balls for 149 yards and a touchdown, but did good enough against QB Eli Manning and the Giants’ other receivers to help the Jets to a 23-20 overtime victory. Miles’ interception on a fourth down in the fourth quarter in the red zone kept the Giants from scoring a potentially backbreaking TD and set up a key field goal for the Jets. Continue reading
One vintage Richard Sherman performance on a national TV stage was apparently not enough to land the man widely considered the best cornerback in football a starting spot on NFL.com’s midseason All-Pro team.
Sherman attached himself to Dez Bryant last Sunday and held the Cowboys’ star wide receiver to just two catches for 12 yards, recording four pass breakups and helping Seattle to a much-needed 13-12 victory. But as good as Sherman was in that game against one of the best pass-catches in the league, he has not been one of the NFL’s two best cornerbacks this season — at least not according to writer Chris Wesseling. Continue reading