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First, we have the next to worst defensive line in the league and now this. Check out this article and then tell me where the misinformation lies:

Bishop, Webb hoping for last chance

By Ryan Early

NFL Insider

Monday, July 21

Updated: July 22

11:51 AM ET

Every year as the start of training camps approach, there are dozens of players still classified as free agents sitting by the phone, praying for it to ring. For most of them, no NFL team will ever call them again asking for their services on the playing field. While that knowledge is painful for all of them, it is even more galling to the veterans who have not only made a career on the gridiron, but also thought at one point in their careers that they were better than the majority of guys out there.

Not much is heard about these players ever again. There are no final press conferences, retirement ceremonies, or Hall of Fame inductions. They just fade away from the public eye. Before they go, let's take a look at some of these veteran players even as they are still sweating in their home gyms, hoping for one more season through the meat grinder.

Blaine Bishop, Safety

An unheralded eighth-round draft pick when he first went to the Houston Oilers training camp in 1993, Bishop was terribly undersized linebacker out of Ball State. The team converted him to safety, where he was still undersized at 5-9 and 190 pounds, but he still played with a linebacker's mentality. He not only made the team, but got into the starting lineup by the end of the season, a spot he didn't give up through 10 years with the team. He became the one player on the Oilers/Titans defense that offenses had to game plan for. He could cover a receiver man to man as well as fly through the offensive line on a blitz. But it was the fearlessness in throwing his diminutive body at ball carriers that awed opponents and teammates alike, earning four Pro Bowl appearances along the way. He came so close to winning a Super Bowl in 1999 and almost achieved his ultimate goal with a one year stint last year with the Eagles.


Larry Centers, Fullback

It wasn't until his third season with the Cardinals that Centers emerged as one of the league's best receiving running backs. He became a fullback because no one could figure out a better position for him. He didn't have the moves to be a runner, the speed to be a wide receiver or the size to be a tight end. He didn't really have the size to be a fullback either, but he learned to lead block so that he could stay out on the field. But what he did better than any other running back in the league was catch the ball. He currently has both the all-time and single-season league records for receptions by a running back, including an amazing 101-catch season in 1995.

Jeff Christy, Offensive Center

This former Viking and Buc is considered one of the best centers of the '90s and made three straight Pro Bowls, but looking at his 11-year career in retrospect it looks like Christy may have been overrated. He was mobile for an offensive lineman and spent just one season on the bench before moving into the lineup for good. But it wasn't until he was playing next to a couple of Pro Bowl linemen and the Vikings' offense became an explosive point factory that Christy was considered one of the better players at his position. He certainly was good at making the correct line calls for what the defense was showing and rarely got beat on the pass rush, but he also never blew anyone off the line. He did avoid mistakes and stayed consistent and durable, starting all but five games over 10 years.


Eric Davis, Cornerback

When the expansion Carolina Panthers decided to go shopping in free agency, they went after their division rivals (at the time), the San Francisco 49ers. Davis had already built a reputation as one of the best cover corners in the league and had won a championship and gone to a Pro Bowl in San Francisco. When he came to the Panthers, he became a big part of taking the team to the NFC Championship Game in just their second season. While most of the other team's veteran free agent signings got old in a hurry, Davis continued to play at a high level, making an amazing five interceptions each season for five consecutive years. He finishes his 13-year career with 38 interceptions, five touchdowns,and a reputation as a classy professional and locker room leader.

Jeff George, Quarterback

In the movie Bull Durham, pitcher Nuke LaLoosh is aptly described as having "a million dollar arm and a five cent head." They could have based the character on George. He had a cannon for an arm that could throw the ball on a rope 50 yards downfield, and his release was so quick his arm looked like a blur. His potential made him the No. 1 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1990 draft, but those physical skills and draft status created a monster ego as well. George was told he was the savior of the franchise and he believed it. His attitude alienated teammates and poisoned locker rooms. It led to his playing for six different teams during his 13-year career. Most of those teams picked him up thinking that they could harness those physical skills and turn George into a Pro Bowl quarterback. All too frequently his behavior required not only his demotion, but outright release before the season was over. A perfect example came in 1996 when a sideline yelling match with Falcons head coach June Jones was caught by the Monday Night Football cameras. The images made it very obvious George thought his decisions were more important that the coach's. He didn't play another down for the Falcons. His last game as a starter came with the Redskins in 2001, when owner Dan Snyder had forced George on then head coach Marty Schottenheimer. On one play, a bad shotgun snap got away from George and the ball skidded off onto the ground. As George had done on numerous similar plays throughout his career, he didn't fall on the ball to prevent the turnover but instead skipped out of the way to avoid a potential injury from being tackled. The fans booed while Schottenheimer stewed. He was released before the next game. Whenever a quarterback goes down to injury, coaches think about the possibility of signing George and that million dollar arm. Then they remember it's a package deal with the five cent head.


Sean Gilbert, Defensive Tackle

The Carolina Panthers' signing of Gilbert will be forever known as the worst free-agency move in the history of the NFL. No team will ever top it. Which is a shame since once upon a time Gilbert was an elite player. In 1998, the Panthers gave up two first-round draft picks to the Redskins in the NFL's version of a hostile takeover, signing away franchise player Sean Gilbert, who had sat out the previous season in a contract dispute. It was the first and last time a team has ever signed away a player tagged with the "franchise" designation. The Panthers gave Gilbert a then unheard of $45 million over seven years, and spent the next five years regretting it. The only way any player would be worth that amount of compensation in combined salary and draft picks is if they leapt tall buildings in a single bound. The No. 3 overall draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 1992, Gilbert became the Pro Bowl's youngest ever starter the following year after recording double-digit sacks, a feet Gilbert was never able to reproduce.

Desmond Howard, Kick Returner

In 37 Super Bowls, Howard is the only special teams player to win the game's Most Valuable Player award for his 244 return yard day, including a 99-yard punt return for a touchdown, for the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. It capped off a year in which he led the league with a 15.1 yard punt return average, returning three for touchdowns. Howard won the Heisman Trophy as a wide receiver at the University of Michigan and was drafted in the first round in 1992 by the Washington Redskins. But he never was able to achieve his potential at the position. He finally found his niche in the league with the Packers as a kick return specialist and had several more productive years with the Raiders and Lions.

Levon Kirkland, Linebacker

Football fans not familiar with the Steelers tuning in to one of their games were frequently astounded by the defensive lineman in the black jersey making an interception 30 yards down the field. Their assumption that Kirkland was a lineman was understandable considering he weighed closer to 300 pounds than the normal 240 that most linebackers played at. As such, Kirkland had to be considered a freak of nature with his combination of size and speed. For eight straight years, Kirkland destroyed running backs and covered receivers on the Steelers perennial top defense and was known as the best inside linebacker in the league until the emergence of Ray Lewis. His bulk finally started to weigh him down and he spent his last two seasons with the Seahawks and Eagles playing only on running downs.

Todd Lyght, Cornerback

A first-round draft pick of the Rams in 1991, Lyght immediately played up to his potential by earning the starting job halfway through his rookie season then playing near a Pro Bowl level for the next five seasons. He started to lose his speed a bit and got by with his experience and ability to jump on routes for a couple seasons before having his best year statistically in 1999 when the Rams won the Super Bowl. Because opponents were constantly passing in a desperate attempt to keep pace with the Rams' offense, Lyght was able to take more risks and made six interceptions that year, along with making 2.5 sacks on corner blitzes and even scoring a touchdown. He ran into some contract problems after the year and the Rams kept him for a year as their franchise player before letting him go to the Lions in free agency to wrap up the final two years of his career. Lyght finishes with six career sacks, 37 interceptions, returning six of them for touchdowns.


Jamir Miller, Linebacker

He entered the league as the 10th overall draft pick for the Cardinals in 1994, looking destined to be one of the league's all-time best sack artists. But his path went awry by him first being forced to concentrate on playing run support and pass coverage, then having to play through debilitating injuries. In '98, he led the Cardinals in tackles while playing with a broken wrist. The following year with the expansion Browns, he started the season on a torrid pace but then separated his shoulder and gutted his way through the final 10 games. In 2000, the Browns played a very strict defensive scheme that prevented Miller from rushing the passer, much like his early years with the Cardinals. Finally, in 2001 he was given the green light to blitz and ended the season with 13 sacks, a Pro Bowl invitation, and a fat, new contract. But this story ends as a tragedy, for Miller's taste of football glory was fleeting as he tore his Achilles' tendon in a preseason game the next year that eventually forced his retirement. We can only look at his 36 career sacks over 8 seasons and ponder what might have been.

Herman Moore, Wide Receiver

It may seem like Moore has been out of football for years, but he actually was with the Giants for a brief stint last year when injuries hit the position, and he started one game for the Lions the year before that. In his first few seasons with the Lions, the young, physically gifted and tall receiver who could jump through the roof had poor vision but didn't realize it. It wasn't bad enough that he couldn't function in every day life, but it was bad enough to make it difficult for him to find the ball with the Silverdome roof in the background and look it into his hands. When the problem was discovered, Moore became an overnight star, instantly turning into one of the league's best possession receivers. He twice led the league in receptions, including setting a then new single season record with 123 catches in 1995. He only had a five year stretch free of injuries but was one of the league's most dominating receivers through that span, averaging 97 receptions, 1,286 yards, and 9.6 touchdowns. But then he suffered knee injuries late in his career that he could never seem to come back from.


Hardy Nickerson, Linebacker

Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers all the way back in 1987 but the team was never very high on him, even when he led them in tackles in 1992. He was one of the first players to take advantage of free agency in jumping ship to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in '93 and had an immediate impact, becoming only the second Buc player ever to achieve All-Pro recognition. That year he also was voted to the first of five Pro Bowl appearances. During his career, Nickerson epitomized the characteristics dedication, professionalism, and most importantly selflessness. A leader in the locker room and mentor to younger players, Nickerson's numerous off-field charities and work netted him the NFLPA's Byron "Whizzer" White award in 1997. In the final years of his career, Nickerson became a hired gun, signing short-term deals with the Jaguars and Packers, but kept his play at a high standard despite losing some of his speed and durability. In his 16 seasons, Nickerson compiled 1,586 tackles, going over the astounding single season 200 tackle mark twice.

Marcus Robertson, Safety

For nine years, Robertson manned the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans free safety spot, teaming with Blaine Bishop for seven of them. He was the quarterback of the defense, responsible for making the correct call and getting everyone lined up correctly. That took on extra responsibility when Jeff Fisher was hired as head coach and installed the very aggressive "46" defense where one bad call could give up a big play. Though he was known as one of the better safeties in the league, he never was selected for the Pro Bowl. Instead he had to take pride in being the on-field brains of a defense that ranked in the top 10 five times during his career, including #1 in 2000. Robertson had a hard time staying healthy, always seeming to miss a game or two each season. He suffered a torn ACL just two games into the 1995 season while trying to stay in bounds after making an interception, and started all 16 games just twice during his career. He spent the last two years in Seattle to wrap up his career

Victor Green, Safety

Green was a physical run stuffing strong safety who lacked the speed of the league's top defensive backs but always seemed to be around the ball anyway. Green didn't become a starter with the Jets until his third season, but from 1995 through 2001 he ranked among the league leaders in tackles. Even though it is an unofficial stat, Green's tackle numbers are eye popping -- including 186 in 1995 even though he didn't become the full-time starter until week 6; and a league leading 207 in '96. Even though he was known as a fearsome and hard hitting safety, it was the cerebral side of his game that allowed him to succeed. Tackling is a dying art in today's NFL, but Green practiced perfect technique every time. The Jets ran one of the most complicated defense's when Bill Belichick was their coordinator, but Green took it all in and was able to make his reads and get to where the ball was about to be. It was that ability that made Belichick pick up Green for the 2002 season with the Patriots after the Jets decided to replace Green with a younger, speedier safety. In New England, Belichick devised a three safety formation to make sure Green got onto the field.


Wesley Walls, Tight End

No other player symbolized the early years of the Carolina Panthers. He went to the Pro Bowl each of his first four years with the team and was their best receiver in their conservative no-mistake offense. In 1999, Walls tied Mike Ditka's record for most touchdowns in a season by a tight end with 12. Walls came into the league with a lot of promise, being the Super Bowl champion 49ers second round pick. That rookie year, Walls rarely saw the field but did catch a touchdown pass with one of his four season grabs. The 49ers went back to the Super Bowl and the game was such a blowout that Walls was allowed onto the field to make a catch in sports' biggest game. Four years later he was thinking that would probably wind up being the highlight of his career. His game was too similar to the team's Pro Bowl tight end Brent Jones, and after three years on the bench Walls was out of football for all of 1992 and was asked to come back and ride the pine for 6 games in '93. But the Saints pro scouts were working overtime and convinced their team to invite Walls to training camp to see if that unrealized potential was still there. Two years, 95 receptions, 1100 yards, and eight touchdowns later, Walls was one of the hottest free agents on the market. With the Panthers he became the best tight end in the league, always breaking open for the first down or the touchdown. He was on his way to another fantastic year in 2000 when he tore his ACL at the year's midpoint. For two more years, he started for the Panthers because of his great hands, but he had lost his speed. The Bucs coaches are pushing their front office to sign Walls this year, but it doesn't look like it is going to happen. If not, Walls ends his career as the Panthers all-time touchdown leader with 44, and scored 53 total along with 5,069 career receiving yards.

Richmond Webb, Offensive Tackle

The single most important player to the Dolphins was their quarterback, Dan Marino. So with the ninth pick overall in the 1990 draft, Miami took the best pass blocking left tackle they could find. Webb was a starter, protecting Marino's blind side, for the team's next game and he remained in that spot for the next 11 years, including one streak of 118 consecutive starts. The only significant time Webb missed was a seven game stretch in 1998 with a torn triceps muscle. He was sometimes criticized for not being a good enough run blocker, not having a nasty enough attitude, or even coasting on his reputation. But the fact of the matter is that Marino was rarely sacked and Webb was the major reason. He was voted to eight Pro Bowls during his stint in Miami, including his first seven years in the league. Halfway through his career, Jimmy Johnson became the head coach of the Dolphins and wanted to go to a power rushing attack. Webb responded to the challenge and improved his run blocking significantly, becoming a much better all-around lineman. In 2001, Miami finally decided to go in another direction and the Cincinnati Bengals rushed to pick Webb up to fill their huge void at left tackle. That year, the Bengals allowed the second fewest sacks in team history.

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Zuskin got one I missed. But I had this in mind:

His (George) last game as a starter came with the Redskins in 2001, when owner Dan Snyder had forced George on then head coach Marty Schottenheimer.

If I recall correctly, Marty had final say over personnel and chose George over Johnson.

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