Terry Bradshaw talks Pepsi Halftime, the Super Bowl and the “Immaculate Reception”

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40 years ago this month, fifth-year NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw came of age. The former #1 overall draft pick in 1970 had struggled in his first five regular seasons, averaging just 1,504 passing yards per season, while throwing 48 touchdowns and 81 interceptions.

But in the 1974 playoffs, something clicked. In wins over the Buffalo Bills, the Oakland Raiders, and finally, in the Super Bowl IX against the Minnesota Vikings, Bradshaw played the best football of his career, steadying himself long enough to let a powerful running game and legendary “Steel Curtain” defense dictate the tempo of games and slowly bleed out opponents.

In 1975, Bradshaw set a career high in passing yards, posted a 2-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio, was named to the Pro Bowl and guided the Steelers to a victory in Super Bowl X. Over the next four years, the Steelers won two more Super Bowls (XIII and XIV) because of Bradshaw and a ferocious defense, not in spite of him.

The evolution of Bradshaw as a quarterback can be neatly surmised via a casual glance at his statistics in each of the four Super Bowls which he participated in and won. From throwing just 14 passes for 96 yards and one touchdown in his first Super Bowl, to throwing 21 for 309 and two touchdowns and winning the MVP Award in his fourth, Bradshaw rebuilt himself and completely changed the trajectory of his career.

After a brutal first five years as a professional quarterback, Bradshaw was named NFL MVP in 1978 and was the first quarterback to win three, and then four Super Bowls, collecting two Super Bowl MVP awards in the process on his way to Canton, Ohio and a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame.

We spoke to Terry about his progression as a quarterback, the Super Bowl and the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s.

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A chat with Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, the NFL’s first deaf offensive player

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One of the most famous episodes of the legendary sitcom “Seinfeld” was called “The Lip Reader.” In it, George borrows Jerry’s deaf girlfriend at a party to spy from across the room and lip-read his former girlfriend’s interactions with a presumed prospective beau. As with any typical Costanza situation, the plan ended in failure. But for Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman and partner Duracell, the 2013 NFL season has been anything but.

Duracell hopes to inspire people, especially children, to trust the power within to achieve their dreams. And Coleman is a living example. Check out this fantastic video from Duracell detailing his road to the NFL:

Coleman, who is legally deaf  and has mastered the art of lip reading, entered the preseason as an undrafted running back a year removed from UCLA and was just hoping to be included on the Seahawks’ 53-man roster. After contributing on special teams and offensively (including a 6-yard TD catch) in the preseason, the Seahawks kept Coleman and converted him to fullback.

Coleman is the first deaf athlete to play offense in the NFL, which inspired Duracell to feature and promote his story of success.

“Duracell saw that I had an inspiring story to tell and they want to inspire people, especially children, to achieve the dreams they have like I did,” Coleman said. “That’s how we linked up based on the similarities.”

The 6-foot, 233-pound former Bruin scored his first career regular season touchdown on Monday Night Football in a 34-7 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints.

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Russell Wison rebounds in second start


Image source: Seahawks Facebook page

Going into the season, the hype machine fueled by ESPN and other major sports outlets was in overdrive over Russell Wilson. In a way you had to feel sorry for the guy, as the odds are stacked against him in many ways as a 5′ 11″ mobile quarterback trying to make it in the NFL and start as a rookie. With the start of the NFL season, everyone was super-anxious for more sports betting, but all of that excitement led the hypesters and even the betters to make irrational statements and decisions.

For example, Bill Simmons named Russell Wilson was the quarterback who would have the biggest impact this NFL season as he would lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Yes, this was absurd, but many NFL “experts” said similar things, even though Wilson had only played in the preseason. Again, anyone making grand proclamations based upon the NFL preseason is either stupid or is just getting caught up in silly hysteria. Things were even more crazy when you consider that the Seahawks went from being a road dog by three points in their opener at Arizona to a three-point favorite on the road after Wilson, a rookie, was named the starter.

Of course reality set in in game one, as Wilson struggled and fools like Simmons who put the Seahawks in all their parlay bets got killed in week one.

Fortunately for Wilson and the Seahawks, he played much better in game two, a home win against the Cowboys. Hopefully, all of the analysts have sobered up a bit and we can evaluate Wilson over time as he plays in real games. He faces Clay Matthews and the Green Bay pass rush on Monday night with Seattle as a three-point underdog at home, so we’ll see how he does with another test.

  

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