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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Sharper's move to safety golden

    [size=18px]Sharper's move to safety golden[/size]

    Published June 28 2006
    dailypress.com


    WILLIAMSBURG -- Of all the quality quarterbacks to parade through William and Mary during the Jimmye Laycock era, none has prospered in the NFL.

    Check that. One has. One that Laycock moved to safety.

    For that decision Darren Sharper is forever grateful.

    Sharper returned to his alma mater this week for a football reunion and Laycock's annual youth camp. He played golf, counseled campers and, like most guys reliving their college days, embellished his campus exploits.

    There is no need, however, to embellish Sharper's professional career. Preparing for his 10th season, he is a three-time Pro Bowl starter and one-time alternate. His 45 NFL interceptions rate with older, more acclaimed peers - Deion Sanders has 53, Troy Vincent 47 and Ty Law 46.

    Most important to Sharper: His latest season was arguably his best. He led the NFC with nine interceptions, matching his career high. He returned two picks for touchdowns, 88 and 92 yards, and earned a trip to Honolulu for the Pro Bowl.

    This Sharper did with a new team, the Minnesota Vikings. He spent his first eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, only to be cut in March 2005.

    "It kind of rejuvenated my career," said Sharper, a second-round draft choice after a first-team All-America senior season in 1996. "When you get let go, you've got people questioning your ability. I used that as motivation."

    Sharper couldn't have picked a more unstable franchise with which to sign. The Vikings were transitioning to new owners and faced daily questions about their decaying stadium and embattled head coach.

    Then came the infamous "Love Boat" cruise. During the team's bye week, 17 of Sharper's teammates boarded two charter boats for a night of carousing that also included public nudity and sex acts.

    By season's end, Minnesota was 9-7, out of the playoffs and a league-wide punchline. New owner Zygi Wilf fired coach Mike Tice and replaced him with Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

    "Things have changed up there," Sharper said. "We're becoming a first-class organization."

    Among the changes: defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, previously Tampa Bay's secondary coach. Tomlin and Sharper played together at William and Mary.

    Fresh off a recent minicamp, Sharper said having a contemporary preside over meetings "was a little awkward at first." He found himself flashing back to practice sessions in which Sharper the defensive back shadowed Tomlin the receiver.

    Tomlin's substance soon won Sharper over. He brings a more aggressive approach from Tampa, where he learned from respected defensive minds such as Monte Kiffin and Tony Dungy.

    "He's been groomed very well," Sharper said of Tomlin, a Denbigh High graduate. "I expect he'll be a head coach in two to three years."

    Sharper, 30, hopes to play at least that long. His contract extends through the 2008 season, after which he's likely to be the most decorated NFL player from William and Mary in nearly 50 years - if he's not already.

    Lou Creekmur remains the program's gold standard. In 10 years with the Detroit Lions (1950-59), he made eight Pro Bowls as an offensive lineman and won three championship rings. He is enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Steve Christie was a superb NFL kicker from 1990-2004, Jim Ryan a linchpin of the Denver Broncos' offensive line from 1979-88. Sharper, a graduate of Hermitage High near Richmond, is in that league. "All-Pro and all that stuff? Who knows?" Laycock said. "But I really thought he could be a good NFL safety. He had all the tools. Intelligence, athleticism, speed."

    Sharper needled Laycock about moving him from quarterback and boasted that he was the Vikings' emergency quarterback last season.

    Laycock rolled his eyes, and the two shared a laugh.

    "This is," Sharper said, "truly one of my homes."

    David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at [email protected] «

    Sharper's move to safety golden

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    Well for our sake from now on, I am also glad he switched him from QB to S.. Sharper is one hell of a S..

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    "VikesfaninWis" wrote:
    Well for our sake from now on, I am also glad he switched him from QB to S.. Sharper is one hell of a S..
    :scratch:

    Sharper a QB? I don't think so! :grin:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    Sharper makes a hell of a safety

  5. #5
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    I didn't know that Sharper was the emergency QB...COOL! What's next...is Brett Favre the Packers' emergency free safety??? :lol:
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  6. #6
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    I didn't know that Sharper was the emergency QB...COOL! What's next...is Brett Favre the Packers' emergency free safety??? :lol:
    no favre would wine too much :lol:
    The Trenches are where Games are Decided


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  7. #7
    Bdubya is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    What's next...is Brett Favre the Packers' emergency free safety??? :lol:
    I thought he was their emergency QB!!! :lol:
    MC's run away when I kick it
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  8. #8
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    interesting.. lol


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  9. #9
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    "Bdubya" wrote:
    "cajunvike" wrote:
    What's next...is Brett Favre the Packers' emergency free safety??? :lol:
    I thought he was their emergency QB!!! :lol:
    lol, they only bring him in when their down/up by 50 (the up time never really comes)



    Thank you Josdin for the sig

  10. #10
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    Re: Sharper's move to safety golden

    its cus hes a bad a$$ you know. its true this guy is great. to bad he got hear so late in his career
    woo out
    just two corn cobs shy of a bushel

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