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Making the Case for Adrian Wilson’s Hall of Fame Induction

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Three former NC State players were among the 102 Modern-Era Nominees for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class released Friday.

Wide Receiver Torry Holt
Safety Adrian Wilson
Head Coach Bill Cowher

In this piece, I will make the case that former NC State Safety Adrian Wilson deserves to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is the first year that Wilson was eligible to be nominated (has to be 5 years after retirement).

(Technically the last season Wilson played was 2012, but he missed the 2013 season on the Injured Reserve with the Patriots, and was signed by the Bears in 2014, but was cut before the beginning of the season.)

I already made the case that former NC State All-American Wide Receiver Torry Holt should finally be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

Adrian Wilson finished his NFL career (12 seasons) with 886 tackles, 27 interceptions, 25.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries and 4 defensive touchdowns.

If you look at the 12 years he played in the NFL, and dissect the stats of all of the Strong Safeties that played during that time, you could make a strong case for Wilson being one of the best, if not the best, to play the position while he was suiting up.

During those 12 seasons (all with the Arizona Cardinals), he ranked 1st among Strong Safeties in tackles and interceptions, 2nd in interceptions, 2nd in defensive touchdowns, 4th in forced fumbles, and 5th in fumble recoveries.

Accolades

Pro Bowl 5x (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

1st Team All-Pro in 2009 & 2nd Team All-Pro in 2006 & 2008

Super Bowl

Wilson helped lead the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII, where they lost to the Steelers 24-27. The 2008 Super Bowl appearance is the only one in the history of the Cardinals history while being in Arizona.

25/25 Club Member

Wilson is one of only 6 players in NFL history, regardless of position, to finish their NFL Career with 25 sacks and 25 interceptions

Ray Lewis – 31 interceptions and 41.5 sacks
Ronde Barber – 47 interceptions and 28 sacks
Rodney Harrison – 34 interceptions and 30.5 sacks
William Thomas – 27 interceptions and 37 sacks
Brian Dawkins – 37 interceptions and 26 sacks
Adrian Wilson – 27 interceptions and 25.5 sacks

When it comes to NFL history, that is an elite club to be a part of.

Conclusion

Wilson won’t be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. This is Holt’s 5th year being nominated, and he has been a semi-finalist each of the 4 times prior. It’s not easy for a Safety to make it into the Hall, and if he ever makes it in, it will likely be numerous years before it happens. With that being said, Wilson’s numbers speak for themselves. He was one of the best to play the position during his era.

Pack in the Pros

NC State NFL Preseason Week 2 Report: Thursday & Friday

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Week 2 of the 2019 NFL Preseason kicked off on Thursday night, and quite a few former NC State players shined over the past two nights.

Quarterback Ryan Finley was exceptional on Thursday night, completing 20 of his 26 pass attempts for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Bengals 23-13 victory over the Redskins. His QB Rating on the night was an impressive 115.9.

At this point, it looks like Finley has established himself as Andy Dalton’s backup.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 3 tackles, 1 Pass Deflection, and 1 QB Hit in Cincinnati’s 23-13 victory over Washington.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon was targeted twice in the Redskins 23-13 loss to the Bengals, and insanely called for offensive pass interference on both plays.

And YES, this insane catch by Harmon was challenged by the Bengals, and flipped to offensive pass interference.

Harmon reminded the Twitterverse that there are no 50/50 balls thrown his direction. They are 90/10 balls.

Harmon’s coach Jay Gruden doesn’t want him to change a thing.

Quarterback Jalan McClendon was 2-2 for 12 yards in Washington’s 23-13 loss to Cincinnati.

It was cool to see 4 former Wolfpack players chatting it up on Thursday.

Quarterback Mike Glennon was dang near perfect on Thursday night, completing 11 of 14 for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Raiders 33-26 victory over the Cardinals.

Glennon is solidifying himself as Derek Carr’s backup.

Punter AJ Cole had a boot on Thursday, averaging 49.4 yards per punt (5 punts) in Oakland’s 33-26 win over Arizona. Cole dropped 3 of his 5 punts inside the 20.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka made 1 of his 2 field goal attempts in the Bills 27-14 victory over the Panthers on Friday night, and was 3-3 on extra points. He made a 30-yard field goal, and missed a 48-yarder.

Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles in the Giants 32-13 victory over the Bears last night.

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AJ Cole is the Last Punter Standing in Oakland

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Former NC State punter AJ Cole went to Rookie Minicamp with hardly any expectations of being signed. Honestly, the percentage of players there that get a contract are miniscule.

But in the end, Cole was one of the few from that were invited to Training Camp, still with no guarantee of a roster spot.

But uncertainty became certainty for Cole yesterday, when the Raiders waived Johnny Townsend, their punter from 2018, leaving the former Wolfpacker as the final punter still in the Oakland Raiders camp.

“To sign some players, you have to let some players go,” (Jon) Gruden (head coach) said Tuesday. “Hate to see Johnny [Townsend] go. We still think he’s a really good punter. A.J. Cole deserves to be our guy at this point.”

“Well, he has a tremendous leg,” (Rich) Bisaccia (Special Teams Coordinator) said. “He has a natural hang to him, kind of even on his bad ball he can kind of get away with it. He’s a high-hit guy on his contact on the ball and he’s really improved his holding as he’s come along. And he can kickoff, so it gives us a little bit of an advantage that way with having the ability to have two guys that can kickoff through preseason.” (Raiders)

Cole’s 220 punts rank 3rd in NC State history, his 9,288 punting yards ranks 2nd, and his 42.2 yard average ranks 3rd.

 

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Trea Turner Extends On-Base Streak to 20 Games

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner extended his on-base streak to 20 games last night, going 2-4, with a home run accompanied by 4 RBI’s.

Turner is in a league of his own over the past 4 years.

For a little of perspective of where Turner’s on-base streak stands in MLB history, check out the all-time list below.

Longest on-base streaks in Phillies history

Player Year(s) Games BA during
1. Mike Schmidt 1981-82 56 .330
2. Chuck Klein 1930 49 .409
3. Bobby Abreau 2000-01 48 .330
4. Odubel Herrera 2017-18 45 .355
5. Chuck Klein 1931 44 .412
6. Pete Rose 1982 41 .317
Don Hurst 1929 41 .342
8. Willie Montanez 1974 40 .377
9. Jimmy Rollins 2005-06 38 .379
Scott Rolen 1998-99 38 .286

On the year, Turner is hitting .290 with 11 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

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Pack in the Pros

NC State NFL Preseason Week 1 Report: 8/11/19

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The 1st Week of the 2019 NFL Preseason has wrapped up, and quite a few former NC State players were in action on Friday and Saturday.

If you missed our report from Thursday night, check it out here.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels looked like the ghost of Le’Veon Bell on Friday night in the Steelers 30-28 victory over the Bucs.

Samuels finished with 2 carries for 22 yards, and 1 reception for 9 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Finley was 13-18 for 109 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception (QB Rating: 82.9) in the Bengals 38-17 loss to the Chiefs. On his scoring drive, he was 12 of 13 for 100 yards. Finley is fighting to be Andy Dalton’s backup. After a rough go of it when he arrived in Cincinnati, this was a good step in that direction. He’s been primarily leading the 2nd team offense as of late.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 2 tackles in the Bengals 38-17 loss to the Chiefs.

Quarterback Mike Glennon was 17 of 25 for 200 yards with 2 interceptions (0 touchdowns/QB Rating: 58.8) in the Raiders 14-3 victory over the Rams.

Punter A.J. Cole had 4 punts that went for an average of 43 yards, pinning 2 of them down inside the 20-yard line (Long: 49 yards) in the Raiders 14-3 victory over the Rams

Defensive End Kentavius Street had 4 tackles and 2 tackles for loss in the 49ers 17-9 victory over the Cowboys.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson had one pass deflection in the 49ers 17-9 victory over the Cowboys.

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