By sharing some of the football cards from my collection, my goal is to put a spotlight on defensive backs who may have become underrated or have been forgotten by history.
Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Philadelphia Eagles (Topps 2012)
Nnamdi Asomugha’s NFL legacy is complicated.
At one point in his career, the Cal-Berkeley alum was widely considered the best cornerback in football, even though he played for teams that were not good.
When Asomugha finally did land on a team that was supposed to be good — with a massive contract in tow — he didn’t perform up to expectations and the team became worse during his time with them.
And then, it was like his career suddenly ended sooner than it should have. Continue reading
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
Little league coaches, high school players, ambitious parents … they are just three of the many groups of people who will always be interested in the answer to one question: How do the pros practice?
This video clip gives a brief glimpse into a Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs drill during this year’s training camp. Eagles DBs coach John Lovett has been in the game for over four decades, starting as a college linebacker at C.W. Post and moving up the coaching ranks from high school to the pros. Most of his career has been spent as a defensive coordinator on the major college level. Philadelphia’s assistant DBs coach is Todd Lyght, a 12-year NFL veteran cornerback with the Rams and Lions who won a Super Bowl and was named to one Pro Bowl with the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams in 1999. Continue reading