Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Greatest Arizona Cardinals of all Time

The Arizona Cardinals have a glorious history, with two NFL championships and a number of playoff appearances. The Cardinal faithful have always followed the team through its ups and downs. Let’s look at two of the greatest players to ever wear the Cardinals jersey.

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Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald was the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, and he is worth every penny. He has reached a super status that very few have achieved. His knack for catching passes and scoring touchdowns is awe-inspiring, and his athleticism leaves so many fans bewildered. He has made himself a part of history by ranking 5th in NFL all-time for receiving yards, has the most touchdowns and receiving yards in a postseason, most receptions in a postseason, and the youngest NFL player to reach 700 passes.

Kurt Warner
Warner is a signal caller who had a very rough start in Arizona. He had scores of injuries in his first season, which led him to lose his starting position in his second year with the team. But he bounced back, and did so in big way. He helped the Cardinals get better and better. So much so that he contributed greatly in an unbelievable playoff run the following year, which culminated in the first appearance of the Cardinals in Super Bowl history. Although he didn’t wear the jersey as long as others did, his impact on the team in a short period of time prompted many football experts to consider him as the greatest QB to ever wear the Cardinals’ colors.

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Duval Love is a former American football tackle, who played for a few NFL teams, including the Arizona Cardinals. Learn more about Love by subscribing to this Twitter account.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Understanding Troy Polamalu’s Heartbreak

There’s a bit of buzz going around that former Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu has been nursing a chip on his shoulder for some time now, which is why he has been avoiding any contact with the Pittsburgh organization. Of course, this has everything to do with his rather unceremonious exit from the game, and the team he loved most.

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There’s a story behind it all. According to reports, Polamalu was forced to retire early, “otherwise he would have been had to let go of.”

Being drafted in 2003, he retired in 2014, covering a total of 11 seasons. By NFL standards, the average number of active years for a football player is six years. So with Polamalu’s tenure, he’s had a relatively full career.

However, with Polamalu’s athletic pedigree, this might be a tad too thin. He used to be hailed as Pittsburgh’s top defensive ace, and he had awards to back the label. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to understand how a player like him, who still had a lot of juice in him at the time, would easily accept Pittsburgh’s decision. On his part, he really wanted to play for the Steelers, and he was ready for another season in 2015. The fact is, it didn’t happen, and up to now, the guy is nursing a broken heart over it.

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Troy Polamalu’s heartbreak is that of every athlete who made it big once upon a time, became probably the only one in the game who could do what he did, but as fate would have it, had to slow down to a full stop. There’s a lesson here that no matter how glorious the moment is, it is all but fleeting.

Duval Love played in the NFL as an offensive lineback in a full career that spannned 12 seasons. For updates on the NFL, visit this blog.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Rod is God: Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh Steeler

Not too many football players in the NFL can boast 71 career interceptions off 42 quarterbacks. In his heyday, Rod Woodson simply amazed everyone: fans, teammates, and adversaries alike, with his uncanny ability to do virtually everything possible on the football field.

The question as to whether or not he is the greatest cornerback ever has sparked a huge debate in football circles, and still, the debate goes on. Perhaps this is simply what his supporters feel, and people shouldn’t look any further than that.

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Long-time Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has attested to what Woodson can do, describing the athlete as an all-around player he ever worked with. Whether it was about being a cornerback, a defensive tackle, a quarterback, or any other role given to him, Woodson seemed to have the stuff to do it all.

Looking at the time when he entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though, only a mere 20 defensive backs were a part of it, and only 11 of those, Woodson included, were naturally seasoned cornerbacks for most of their careers.

He wasn’t only physically skilled, but he was mentally gifted, too. He was the type of player who wanted to be at the point of the attack. He wanted to be the player who was in the eye of the fire all the time, and he genuinely embraced that role.

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His peers very often leaned on Woodson as a natural leader, whose voice simply couldn’t be helped but be listened to whenever he wanted something to happen. He was the coach on the field, and he understood how offenses wanted to attack.

So, when the scribes always exclaim “Rod is God!” when they celebrate his memory, they are right to do so.

Duval Love is a former football tackle who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. Later in his career, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For more on American football, follow this Twitter account.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Look At The Life Of Bob Waterfield, Football Hall Of Famer

In taking a good, fair look at NFL history, one must appreciate its early proponents. They are responsible for creating that golden standard, a perpetually rising bar of how things are done to revolutionize the sport. One such individual that the entirety of football has to thank is Bob Waterfield.

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He was a quarterback who immediately made waves. Aptly so, he was named 1946 Rookie of the Year. He ended that season with a championship game where he threw 37 touchdown passes and 44 yards, giving the Cleveland Rams an emphatic win against the Washington Redskins. He was hands down Most Valuable Player, making him the first ever rookie to achieve such a feat.

Easily, he signed a fresh three-year contract after such an enormous achievement, which earned him $20,000 a year, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. As the Rams eventually moved to Los Angeles, California, Waterfield was the instant star of the team which was now the West Coast’s first professional franchise.

Even as Norm Van Brocklin proved to be another very notable quarterback with whom he had to share his playing time, they formed a powerful duo that saw them vie for the league championship thrice. Unsuccessful in the first two attempts, they capped their run with a poetic win in 1951 over the Cleveland Browns.

He was also a tough defender, with a total of 20 intercepts in his first four seasons. He led the NFL in passing in the 1946 and 1951. His eight-year career played to the tune of 814 completions, 11,849 yards and 97 touchdowns.

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He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

Duval Love formerly served as offensive linesman for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals. All in all, he played in the NFL professionally for 12 seasons. To know more about football, visit this Facebook page.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pittsburgh's Big Ben: The Underappreciated Quarterback

In the discussion of the best current NFL quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers surely dominate the talks. Had Peyton Manning not retired this year, his inclusion would have been a no-brainer. Even 27-year-old Cam Newton receives little consideration, understandably because of his potential and success early in his career.

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Sometimes relegated to the next tier is underrated Steelers superstar and two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.

The vaunted defense of Pittsburgh has been deemed the reason for the franchise’s stellar success the past decade. But as Big Ben’s game continuously evolves, people have no choice but to take notice and appreciate his offensive acumen.

For the longest time, Roethlisberger has had to rely on his physical gifts to throw accurate passes, shed would-be sackers, and extend plays when things break down. But through the years, he has learned how to recognize and read defenses, and then use subtle motions to control defenders.

As Roethlisberger learned how to complement his physique with intellect and discipline, the offensive production of the Steelers has also seen a boost. Big Ben led all starting quarterbacks in passing yards per game at 328 last season, and the past 21 contests in which he started and finished, Pittsburgh averaged 30.1 points per game.

Probably the only accomplishment remaining for Roethlisberger is a league MVP award. While he has gone on record to say that he plays for Super Bowls and not personal accolades, an MVP trophy would be amazing next to the Super Bowl trophies.

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Duval Love
is a former NFL offensive linesman who played for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals. Visit this LinkedIn page to learn more about Mr. Love.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Two Greatest Steelers In NFL History

Since 1933, the Pittsburg Steelers have won an unbelievable number of championships. The franchise has six Super Bowl titles to its name, which is an NFL record. They also set another record, 11 conference championships. They, of course, could not have done it without fantastic players. Here are two of the greatest Steelers in NFL history. 

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Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw is the winningest quarterback in the Steelers franchise history, having won four Super Bowl titles in six years. He holds the distinction of being the first quarterback in the NFL to win three Super Bowls, and subsequently, four Super Bowls. Bradshaw also led the Steelers to an incredible eight AFC Central championships. He became a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer right after he became eligible. He was both strong and powerful. Bradshaw was intimidating for a quarterback. He called his own plays and set his own legacy. 

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Joe Greene
Mean Joe Greene as people called him was the cornerstone of the best defense in NFL history – the Steel Curtain. Many football experts credit Pittsburg’s turnaround and success in the ‘70s to Greene. He was a catalyst for the great transformation and because of this, has been heralded as arguably the greatest Steeler of all-time. 

Duval Love is a retired pro-football player. Love played in the NFL for 12 years, with the Pittsburg Steelers being among the teams he was part of. For more discussion on Love and football, subscribe to this website.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Draft Steals: Nfl's Best Late Round Draft Picks Of All-Time

The 2016 NFL draft took place last April 28 to 30, and for many aspiring professional football players, it was a dream come true, especially for the top quarterback prospects, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. But many in the auditorium probably had their hopes dashed when they heard their names chosen only in the later rounds, with some not having been selected at all.
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Being selected in the early rounds though is never guarantee that the player would have a solid or remarkable career in the pros. Some players became successful in the NFL after being overlooked or underestimated during the draft process.

Bart Starr: The overall 199th pick in the 17th round of the 1956 draft, all-time great quarterback Starr teamed up with legendary coach Vince Lombardi to win five NFL Super Bowls.
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Deacon Jones: A pioneer of the sack and the 15th best NFL player ever, Jones was drafted in the 14th round and 186th overall in 1961. His defense dominated the league, and he was selected to pro bowl teams and all-pro teams eight times.

Richard Dent: Drafted 203rd overall in 1983, he is one of the best defensive linemen to ever play. He won the MVP of Super Bowl XX.

Tom Brady: He is one of the best, if not, the best quarterback to ever hold the pigskin, with multiple Super Bowl wins and appearances, MVP awards, and a multitude of records. No one would have thought that he would have such a stellar career after being chosen last 2000 in the 6th round and 199th overall.

Duval Love is a former NFL player, drafted in 1985 by the Los Angeles Ram 274th overall in the 10th round. He went on to have a solid career capped by a pro bowl appearance in 1995. Read more about Love here.