View Full Version : How bout some love for Donnie?

09-21-2007, 09:57 AM
From kcchiefs.com:


GRETZ: The NFL's Most Under-rated Player
Sep 21, 2007, 2:25:57 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

In some 30 years of banging around the National Football League I’ve learned that using words like best, most and greatest is a waste of time. For instance, just when you think you’ve seen the greatest running back of all time, somebody else comes along and changes your mind.

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and make this claim:

Donnie Edwards is the most under-rated defensive player to perform in the NFL in recent history.

There, I said it. Now, let me tell you why.

If you watched last Sunday’s game against the Bears, you saw Edwards in the thick of things with the Chiefs defense. I’d forgotten after his five-year stay in San Diego how many plays Edwards gets involved in during the average game. Stopping the run, rushing the passer, dropping in coverage, finding loose balls, picking off passes …the guy is everywhere on the field.

In two games Edwards has 14 total tackles, two for minus yardage, a sack, a fumble recovery and an interception.

But that’s just normal for him. Over his career, he has 1,522 total tackles, 23 sacks, 28 interceptions and 11 fumbles recovered. His takeaway total of 39 leads all linebackers over the last 11 years. He’s four ahead of Ray Lewis, 11 ahead of Derrick Brooks, 13 in front of Takeo Spikes and 15 more than Zach Thomas.

Why is Edwards under-rated? Lewis has been nominated to the Pro Bowl seven times. Brooks has 10 nominations. Spikes has gone to the all-star game twice and Thomas has seven Pro Bowls.

In 11 seasons, Edwards has gone to one Pro Bowl, that as a player of need, picked for the game in 2002 by Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who happened to have a linebackers coach named Gunther Cunningham who provided a little bit of input on that selection.

“Spending that week at the Pro Bowl with Donnie and Kathryn will go down as one of the highlights of my coaching career,” said Cunningham. “I can’t understand why he was never there before, or why he’s never been back.”

Why is Edwards under-rated? Let’s just look at one facet of his career: the interceptions. Here’s where Edwards ranks on the league’s all-time list of linebackers picking off passes after his interception in Chicago:


Again, understand what this chart is about. This is all-time NFL-AFL linebackers and their career interceptions. What about Willie Lanier? He had 27. Bobby Bell? 26. How about Jim Lynch? He had 17.

There are 17 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who carry the title linebacker in some fashion. Buoniconti and Ham lead the group with 32 interceptions. Huff has his 30 and Lambert grabbed 28 interceptions.

Edwards is right there with them. After he’s retired for five years, he should receive serious Hall of Fame consideration.

So why has he only gone to one Pro Bowl? Voting for the all-star game is a popularity contest even among the players themselves, so sometimes opportunity depends on visibility. Had Edwards played in New York or Chicago, he would have numerous visits to Hawaii for the game.

He also is a quiet man, prone to thoughtful answers to questions rather than chest beating and head thumping. That doesn’t draw attention.

It doesn’t help that Edwards has played 11 seasons and been in the playoffs only three times; he’s yet to taste victory in the post-season.

But that still doesn’t explain why a guy whose name ranks among linebackers like Huff, Ham and Lambert does not get that type of attention.

“That’s a pretty impressive list,” Edwards said when shown where he ranks among the game’s best linebackers at taking the ball away.

Yeah, not bad for a guy who has made only one Pro Bowl.

Donnie Edwards smiled.

“Guess I’ve just got to keep going out and turning the ball over,” he said.

He is very much the NFL’s most under-rated play

I like Donnie Edwards a lot, who wouldn't? I'm not sure if he's hall of fame material, there is much more to consider besides interceptions, but I do believe he's always been underrated. What say you?

09-21-2007, 10:02 AM
I wonder what GM genious drafted him

Hammock Parties
09-21-2007, 10:03 AM
He's no Kendrell Bell.

Dr. Johnny Fever
09-21-2007, 10:07 AM
Donnie Most rocks.

09-21-2007, 10:09 AM
he's underrated, no doubt, gets his only bad rap for not laying RB's out and appears to be "dragged" for a few extra yards because he's smaller than the Merriman's and Lewis'.

He should be better rated. Playing for KC hurts that, I guess.

09-21-2007, 10:45 AM
Personally, I think Gretz is on to something about Donnie's quiet personality. He's just not much of a me guy, but when you look at his numbers there is no denying his performance.

09-21-2007, 10:51 AM
He's no Kendrell Bell.

Thank God.

09-21-2007, 10:51 AM
I agree, Donnie is waaaayyyy overlooked for pro-bowl appearences. He puts up the most tackle for his team and still doesn't make it. I hope this year this D will give him a shot.