ACC: Warren Sapp
- Colleague Ryan McGee looks at why the ACC is poised to rise to an elite level .
- Scouts Inc. says Aaron Donald's and Morgan Moses' draft stocks are rising, while the ACC's quarterbacks' stocks are falling . The gang is also keeping a close eye on Russell Bodine.
- Sammy Watkins, Timmy Jernigan, Eric Ebron are the ACC players featured on the draft boards of both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. (McShay's 32-man board -- as opposed to Kiper's 25-man board -- also includes Lamarcus Joyner, Donald and Moses.)
- As our guy Brett Edgerton reminds us, Thursday was the two-year anniversary of the greatest tweet ever, courtesy of Mark Herzlich.
- Our Kevin Van Valkenburg and Kate Fagan each pen good stories on Russell Wilson in advance of Super Sunday.
- Former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen will likely find himself facing his old team next year in the Big Ten, as he is expected to be named Rutgers' new offensive coordinator, our Brett McMurphy writes.
- AthlonSports' Braden Gall ranks the top 10 ACC defensive linemen of the BCS era.
- Warren Sapp is not exactly pleased with the coaching staff at Miami.
- The State looks at former Wolfpack players in this weekend's Super Bowl.
- Paul Chryst reflects on his year with Russell Wilson, Sam Werner writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."
- The (Syracuse) Post-Standard's Nate Mink talks about the Orange's latest recruiting efforts.
- Virginia completed its staff by hiring former LSU head coach Mike Archer as a defensive assistant, making him the fourth Cavaliers assistant who has head-coaching experience, Mark Giannotto writes in the Washington Post.
- Whit Babock is ready to take charge at Virginia Tech, Mike Barber writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Cincinnati Elder tight end Devin Pike has flipped his commitment from Louisville to Wake Forest.
So I asked for some of your input -- who is the best defensive player out of those four guys? My vote went to Sapp. Now here is what you guys had to say:
Miami-wt12 in Buffalo, N.Y., writes: There is no doubt that Warren Sapp was a beast and that Ray Lewis may be the best defensive captain of all time, but I have to give the nod to Ed Reed for both his special teams and defensive play. Sacks will be able to stop a drive, but turnovers can change the game. Turnovers with over 1500 yards attached to them DO change games. The only player in the NFL to run touchdowns off of an Interception, a fumble, a punt block and a punt. The man has been a turnover machine; regular season and in the playoffs.
Rusty Payne in Coconut Creek, Fla., writes: Miami Hall of Famers: Sean Taylor. What could have been.
Robert Jason in Brentwood, Tenn., writes: Andrea, this UM grad appreciates your kind words for our Cane greats. Personally, I believe Ed Reed did more with less hype. By today's measure, having an all-word DB with his long time productivity is rare. Just my .02.
IknowdaU in Miami writes: I'm a Raiders fan, and normally I'd be biased because Sapp was one of my favorites, but there is just no question that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are better. Lewis may be the best MLB in history, a position that is much more important then DL.
Canes_Fan86 writes: Such an amazing career all of this players have had. I honestly think the most dynamic player though was/is Ed Reed. He makes even the best quarterbacks question themselves. I don't know how many times I've seen him start out on one side of the field and break up a pass on the complete opposite side in a matter of seconds.
This is a small sample size, but Reed appears to be your hands-down choice. I completely understand why, seeing as how I have him right behind Sapp. I covered Reed at Miami, and never had any doubt at all that he would be an incredible player on the next level.
Not only does the man know exactly where he has to be on the field at all times, he is extremely underrated as a leader. People want to talk about what Lewis brings to the table in that area, but Miami fans surely remember Reed's "I'm hurt, dawg!" speech at halftime against Florida State his senior year. Bottom line -- he now becomes the unquestioned leader of that team with Lewis' departure. Now we'll see how much longer Reed decides to play.
Thanks to all who submitted comments!
Two more no-brainer Miami selections won Super Bowl rings with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday -- linebacker Ray Lewis, playing in his final game, and safety Ed Reed, who seemed to indicate after the win over San Francisco he would stick around for one more season. Both should be first-ballot Hall of Famers when they become eligible. Lewis would be first up in 2017.
Consider that defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy was enshrined in 2012. Sapp follows this year. Lewis and Reed would be next among defensive players. Miami could end up with four straight defensive players in the Hall; four of five if James gets in before Lewis and Reed.
That, in turn, raises yet another interesting question. Of these four defensive players, who had the best NFL career? Hard to really lose an argument here, considering the achievements of all four. My argument would begin with Sapp, revolutionary because of the way he thrived in the Tampa 2 defense -- a defense that became the envy of the NFL. A defense that earned copycat status, and other teams desperate to draft a talent at tackle who could be as disruptive as Sapp.
Of course, you need the right players to make a scheme successful, and there would be nobody as good as Sapp in the Tampa 2. Sapp ended his career with a whopping 96.5 sacks. Most defensive ends have a hard enough time getting that many. A total that high is practically unheard of for an interior defensive lineman. Kennedy, also a defensive tackle, had 58 sacks in 11 seasons.
None of this is to take away from the accomplishments of the others. Reed has been dynamic at safety. In fact, he would be my next choice because of his ability to change the complexion of a game in a snap. Lewis has been an unbelievable leader and stalwart linebacker. Kennedy was remarkably consistent and terrific against the run.
Now what say you? Time for you guys to weigh in. Drop a note to my mailbag with your choice and I will publish the best answers in a separate post. Let the debate begin!
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Spring practices were postponed at both Maryland and Georgia Tech because of the rain, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to write -- or read -- about ACC football. Here's your daily dose of links:
- Might former Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey have worked his way into the first round of this year's NFL draft? If character counts as much as his 40 time he will.
- A few tasks still remain for Clemson football, even though the Tigers have wrapped up spring ball. Of course, they got a few answers, too.
- Florida State announced its spring football awards, which are chosen by the coaches. And the winner is ...
- Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo has had offers from schools like Notre Dame and Tennessee, but he's chosen to stay in Chestnut Hill, and the school has chosen to keep him until at least 2014.
One more, a leftover ...
- Even Warren Sapp can't believe the streak is over.