The All-User Team: DBs

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 06, 2005



By Cold, Hard Football Facts senior writer John Dudley
 
 
CB Shawn Springs 
The Seahawks landed a coveted shutdown corner when they chose Springs third overall in 1997 – one pick after Darrell Russell went to the Raiders. Overflowing with talent, Springs made a big splash in his second season, getting named to the Pro Bowl after recording seven interceptions and returning two of them for touchdowns. Although he quickly earned a reputation for being able to effectively cover the game's best receivers, he evidently had trouble covering his own tracks.
 
Late in the 2001 season, with Seattle fighting for a playoff spot in its final year in the AFC West, Springs received a four-game suspension for violating the policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. It must have been something in his Starbucks coffee. The team went 2-2 in his absence, finished 9-7 and missed the postseason. As a free agent last year, Springs elected to sign with his hometown Redskins. Playing a prominent role in Joe Gibbs' aggressive schemes, he registered six sacks in 2004, two better than any other defensive back in the league. Springs is entering his second season with Washington and ninth in the NFL.
 
DEFENSIVE STATS 
 
Year
 
Team
 
Games
 
Tackles
 
Sacks
 
INTs
Fumb.
Forced
Fumb.
Rec.
Passes
Def.
1997
Seattle
10
38
0
1
1
0
5
1998
Seattle
16
76
0
7
1
2
14
1999
Seattle
16
76
0
5
0
1
10
2000
Seattle
16
87
0
2
1
0
12
2001
Seattle
8
20
0
1
0
1
3
2002
Seattle
15
59
0
3
0
1
9
2003
Seattle
12
43
1.5
1
0
0
10
2004
Washington
15
64
6
5
1
0
7
TOTALS
 
108
463
7.5
25
4
5
70
 
CB Eric Warfield
Cornerbacks are often "on an island," and Warfield has been left alone in Kansas City's secondary for most of his seven years in the NFL. A model of toughness and consistency, he has made four interceptions in each of the past four seasons and started in all but one of his team's 64 games over that span. The opening month of the 2005 campaign will be true isolation for him, however. Suspended by the league, Warfield will be posting four DNPs as a result of three DUIs in as many years.
 
On Sept. 20, 2004, a day after the Chiefs were beaten by Carolina to start the season 0-2, Warfield apparently needed to drown his sorrows. What he didn't need to do was get behind the wheel. Yet he did...and was arrested for drunk driving in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. His blood alcohol level was .189 percent, well more than twice the legal limit of .08. For his third offense, Warfield was charged with a felony DUI and eventually found guilty. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, 80 days of house arrest, 100 hours of community service and a year's probation. At what point do you finally wave the white flag? To stay on the field after he returns from suspension, Warfield clearly must make peace with the bottle.
 
DEFENSIVE STATS 
 
Year
 
Team
 
Games
 
Tackles
 
Sacks
 
INTs
Fumb.
Forced
Fumb.
Rec.
Passes
Def.
1998
Kansas City
12
7
0
0
0
0
0
1999
Kansas City
16
37
0
3
0
0
10
2000
Kansas City
13
26
0
0
0
0
1
2001
Kansas City
16
74
0
4
3
0
11
2002
Kansas City
16
64
0
4
0
1
11
2003
Kansas City
15
66
1
4
1
0
9
2004
Kansas City
16
57
0
4
1
0
8
TOTALS
 
104
331
1
19
5
1
50
 
S Ray Buchanan
Buchanan began his career as a safety with the Colts before converting to cornerback during his second season. That year, he registered 103 tackles and returned three of his eight interceptions for touchdowns – but was unjustly denied a trip to Honolulu. He went on to become a Pro Bowler after the 1998 season, when he helped lead the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII. Prior to the title game, a 34-19 Broncos victory, Buchanan talked plenty of smack and humorously compared Denver's Shannon Sharpe to Mr. Ed, saying the mouthy tight end "looks like a horse."
 
In 2002, it was Buchanan who bore an equine resemblance – his positive test for steroids made him look like an ass. Not surprisingly, he claimed it had been an "inadvertent mistake." He vaguely stated, "Evidently, I took a supplement of some sort that had a steroid derivative in it." Buchanan was definitively suspended for Games 2-5 of that season, ending his streak of 81 straight since joining the Falcons. After one more year in Atlanta, he inked a deal with Oakland last season and resumed playing safety. It was his 12th year in the league and possibly his last, as he is not currently on an NFL roster.
 
DEFENSIVE STATS 
 
Year
 
Team
 
Games
 
Tackles
 
Sacks
 
INTs
Fumb.
Forced
Fumb.
Rec.
Passes
Def.
1993
Indianapolis
16
59
0
4
0
0
3
1994
Indianapolis
16
103
1
8
0
1
15
1995
Indianapolis
16
84
1
2
1
2
15
1996
Indianapolis
13
61
0.5
2
0
0
6
1997
Atlanta
16
52
0
5
0
0
13
1998
Atlanta
16
60
0
7
1
0
15
1999
Atlanta
16
63
1
4
0
0
13
2000
Atlanta
16
80
0
6
0
2
13
2001
Atlanta
16
70
0
5
1
1
14
2002
Atlanta
12
46
0
2
1
0
10
2003
Atlanta
15
38
0
1
0
0
7
2004
Oakland
16
91
0
1
1
0
6
TOTALS
 
184
807
3.5
47
5
6
130
 
S Dale Carter
Possessing the All-User Team's greatest combination of on-field success and off-field troubles, Carter will call our defensive signals from the other safety spot. He was All-America at the position while playing for the University of Tennessee, but he became the NFL's preeminent cornerback during the mid 80s. He was named Rookie of the Year for the Chiefs in 1992 and was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls between '94 and '97. After seven seasons with Kansas City, where he was known as both a hitter and a partier, Carter signed a lucrative contract with Denver. He hasn't been able to keep his nose clean since.
 
Carter's tenure with the Broncos came to an end when he was suspended for the entire 2000 season after missing at least two drug tests. Following his yearlong suspension, he played nine games with Minnesota and then landed in New Orleans. When he was twice found to have low amounts of alcohol in his system, Carter was suspended indefinitely under the league's no-tolerance policy for past violators. He was subsequently reinstated after eight games and played parts of two seasons with the Saints.
 
Now a five-time violator of the league's substance-abuse policy, Carter was signed by Baltimore in 2004 but spent the year on the non-football injury list with a life-threatening blood clot in his lung. Having fully recovered, he will primarily be used as an extra defensive back in the dime package...provided that he steers clear of dimebags and package stores. This fall marks Carter's 12th year in the league, and he will see his first game action with the Ravens when they face the high-powered Colts on Sunday night.
 
DEFENSIVE STATS 
 
Year
 
Team
 
Games
 
Tackles
 
Sacks
 
INTs
Fumb.
Forced
Fumb.
Rec.
Passes
Def.
1992
Kansas City
16
63
0
7
1
2
8
1993
Kansas City
15
54
0
1
1
2
10
1994
Kansas City
16
80
0
2
2
1
9
1995
Kansas City
16
57
0
4
0
2
13
1996
Kansas City
14
51
0
3
1
2
15
1997
Kansas City
16
58
0
2
0
0
5
1998
Kansas City
11
38
0
2
1
0
3
1999
Denver
14
72
0
2
0
0
10
2000
Denver
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2001
Minnesota
9
33
0
0
0
0
5
2002
New Orleans
7
30
0
1
0
0
7
2003
New Orleans
8
24
1
0
0
0
1
2004
Baltimore
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
TOTALS
 
142
560
1
24
6
9
86
 
With the summer fading like our memories, the Cold, Hard Football Facts provide a radiant reminder of the NFL's pervasive problem with substance abuse. Just in the last week, several more suspensions have been announced: Bengals DE Duane Clemons, Browns S Michael Jameson, Chiefs T John Welbourn, Colts LB Kendyll Pope. Although none of them could crack our All-User Team, they each deserve their own shameful spot in the sun.
 
As a new NFL season dawns, we pay our disrespect to all "men of substance."

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