Top 10 NFL Players Coached by Bobby Bowden at Florida State

Simply put, Bobby Bowden is a legend and will go down as one of the greatest head coaches in college football history. He has the fourth most wins (388) of any college coach, has won 12 ACC Championships and two national titles. He also has the second best all-time record in bowl games at 21-10-1 and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Now that he has decided to retire, we felt it would be appropriate to honor one of college football’s best coaches by compiling a list of the 10 best NFL players that played under Bowden at Florida State. Enjoy.

1. Deion Sanders, CB (Year Drafted: 1989)
Whether you liked his brash attitude or not, nobody can deny how good “Neon Deion” was as a player. He brought true meaning to the phrase “shutdown corner” while instilling excitement and thrill into the pro game. Nobody has ever blanketed one side of the field like Sanders could and perhaps nobody ever will. He was so good that quarterbacks avoided throwing to his side of the field not only in fear of being picked off by Sanders, but also in concern that he would return the gift for six points. And not only was he one of the greatest cover corners to ever don a pair of cleats, but he was also a phenomenal punt returner as well. When his career finally wrapped up, Deion had accumulated 53 interceptions, eight Pro Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl victories, a 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He was also an incredibly rare two-sport athlete and to this day, young corners still try to emulate the way he played the game. (Uh, outside of his shoddy tackling that is.)

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Housh: ‘Chad Johnson crying to get out of Cincinnati’

As Peter King writes in his latest addition of “Monday Morning Quarterback”, Chad Johnson desperately wants out of Cincinnati and recently cried on the phone to former teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh about it.

“Chad Johnson called me today. Crying. He wonders why everyone can get traded but him.”

— Former Johnson teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh, now with Seattle, on NFL Network Friday night.

Ocho Cinco wasn’t crying when the Bengals signed him to a six-year, $35.5 million contract in 2006 was he?

I know Cincinnati is one of the black holes in the NFL, but just once I would like to hear a player that is stuck on a bad team say that he’s going to do everything in his power to get his club to win. I have no idea what Johnson is going through, so maybe I should just shut my mouth, but why can’t he say, “Hey, with Carson Palmer back to full health and Laveranues Coles next to me, we’re really going to do things next year”? And then go out and prove it by showing up to all the offseason workouts and training his ass off.

But no, instead, players like Johnson cries (literarily) and throws a hissy fit until their team finally gives in and trades them for less than they’re ultimately worth. It’s ridiculous.

Bengals sign wide receiver Laveranues Coles

After losing T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Seahawks on Monday, the Bengals addressed their need at wide receiver with the signing free agent Laveranues Coles to a four-year, $28 million contract.

Considering Housh got $8 mil per year over the next five years, it would appear that the Bengals overpaid for Coles. But keep in mind that once Houshmandzadeh was signed, Coles became the best wideout on the market and therefore was able to cash in.

At 31, Coles is no spring chicken but he can still play. He’s a solid overall athlete, an excellent route runner and he isn’t afraid to block. Despite missing six games last year due to injury, Coles is strong and durable. He doesn’t have elite speed and he won’t run away from defenders in the open field, but that doesn’t mean he can’t create separation.

Despite paying what I estimate to be about a mil more per year than he is worth, this was a nice signing by the Bengals. The addition of Coles will allow Cincy to concentrate on their other needs in the draft and now they won’t be tempted to select a wideout early when those picks could better be used to address the offensive line and defense.

Bengals interested in Laveranues Coles

After losing T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Seahawks on Monday, the Bengals have emerged as a possible candidate for free agent Laveranues Coles, who was released by the Jets last week.

Cincinnati has bigger needs than wide receiver, including finding a new center, adding a quality pass-rusher and finding overall depth at running back and along the offensive line. But with plenty of cap space available (the Bungles started with $26 million at the start of free agency), Coles could be a solid addition to a team that lost a lot of production at receiver when Housh signed with Seattle.

Of course, the Bengals could wait until draft day to address the wide receiver position; in fact, now that the Seahawks signed Housh there’s little chance they would draft Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree in April. That means Crabtree could fall to No. 6 and if Cincy pulls the trigger, they could get significantly younger at the receiver position while also filling the hole vacated by Houshmandzadeh.

There are obvious risks involved with waiting until the draft to address the receiver position. One, Crabtree might not fall to No. 6 and two, he is scheduled to have foot surgery soon and might miss some time this summer recovering. There’s obviously no guarantee that he’ll develop into a productive pro, either.

The Bengals could probably afford to offer Coles a four-year deal in the $6 mil per year range. If they do, they know they would be signing a consummate pro that has produced throughout his entire career. Therefore, signing him (if he’s even interested) seems like a better choice and then Cincy could look to addressing one of their other needs ni the first round.

Jets cut Coles, Rams part with Drew Bennett, Trent Green

National cut day in the NFL continues. The Jets released Laveranues Coles, while the Rams cut quarterback Trent Green and Drew Bennett.

The Jets released veteran wide receiver Laveranues Coles this afternoon — but both sides left open the possibility of his return to the team.

Coles, who was scheduled to earn a guaranteed $6 million salary for the 2009-10 season, wanted a long-term deal with the team. But when the two sides could not reach an agreement, they reached a compromise, giving Coles the right to find his own deal on the open market on the eve of free agency.

Considering the market for wide receivers, which is pretty much T.J. Houshmandzadeh at this point, Coles could still get a decent contract from another team. If he doesn’t get the long-term deal he covets, a reunion with the Jets seems more than likely.

The Rams will have a new backup quarterback in 2009. The team released Trent Green, who was one year into his second tour of duty with the team on Wednesday in a move that saves the team $1.3 million of salary cap space.

The departure of Green, a two-time Pro Bowler who was with the Rams previously in 1999 and 2000, means the Rams will have a new No. 2 quarterback in 2009. One possibility is Tampa Bay free agent Jeff Garcia, who played for Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in Philadelphia in 2006.

The team also released wide receiver Drew Bennett, who had been a major disappointment since signing a $30 million free-agent contract two years ago. Bennett’s relieve is a wash, saving the team only $50,000 in cap space.

The Rams didn’t save much cap space by cutting Bennett, but there was no reason to hang onto him either. He was a gigantic bust since he arrived in St. Louis and could wind up back with Tennessee under coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.

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