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Making the Case for Bill Cowher’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

I’ve already made a case for the Holt and Wilson belonging in the Hall of Fame, and in this piece I will make the case for Bill Cowher landing in Canton, Ohio with the rest of the greats.

The former NC State linebacker was the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 seasons, compiling a record 161-91-1. His 161 career wins ranks 19th in NFL history. Cowher led the Steelers to a 149-90 record in regular season play, and his 149 wins are the 10th most regular season wins by a head coach in NFL history.

His career winning percentage of 61.9% ranks 18th all-time.

Cowher is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to lead teams to more than one Super Bowl. In 1996, Cowher, at the age of 38, became the youngest coach to lead their team to a Super Bowl. The Steelers lost to the Cowboys 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. Ten years later, Cowher once again made it to the Super Bowl, and this time he walked away with the Lombardi trophy. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL. The fact that the Steelers were the #6 seed makes Cowher’s Super Bowl victory that much more impressive. Only two #6 seeds in this history of the NFL have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

In 15 seasons as the head coach of the Steelers, Cowher led them to 8 divisional titles (1 of only 6 coaches to claim 7+ divisional titles) and 10 playoff appearances.

Conclusion

This marks the 5th time that Cowher has been nominated, but he has yet to be a semi-finalist. Cowher’s detractor’s point to his 2-4 record in the AFC Championship game, and point to what could have been. I understand that, but he is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to win 2 Conference Championships. I expect Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin to make it in before Cowher. They both have have more career wins, and won 2 Super Bowls (Coughlin won’t be eligible until 2020). I could also see Mike Holmgren going in before Cowher. He also won one Super bowl, but went to 3, and has more career wins. It’s worth noting that Cowher’s career winning percentage is better than all three of the above mentioned coaches. It might not be this year, but I believe Cowher deserves to be in the Hall of Fame one day.

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Russell Wilson Named Week 2 NFC Offensive Player of the Week

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Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2 against the Steelers. This marks the 8th time that Wilson has earned the weekly honor, which is a Seahawks record.

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In Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh, Wilson completed 29 of 35 attempts for 300 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a passer rating of 131.0. It was the 22nd game of Wilson’s career with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions, and he has thrown two or more without an interception 45 times, the most in NFL history for a quarterback in his first eight years—and Wilson has 14 more games to add to that total in Year 8. A week earlier, Wilson was an efficient 14 of 20 for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. (Seahawks)

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NC State in the NFL: Week 2 Report

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18 of the 23 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.

Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) was spectacular once again, going 29 of 35 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns for a QB Rating of 131.0 in Seattle’s 28-26 win over Pittsburgh. Wilson became the 5th fastest player in NFL history to throw for 200 career touchdowns.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) was 17 of 28 for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns (1 interception) with a QB Rating of 95.2 in the Colts’ 19-17 victory over the Titans.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb (starter) had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 QB Hits in the Broncos’ 16-14 loss to the Bears.

Chubb was called for a ridiculous roughing the passer penalty on the final drive of the game that ultimately kept the drive alive, which ended in a 53-yard field goal that cost Denver the game.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) had an off day, completing 21 of his 36 passes for 293 yards and 0 touchdowns (1 interception) for a QB Rating of 73.0 in LA’s 13-10 loss to Detroit.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels ran the ball 3 times for 18 yards in the Steelers 28-26 loss to the Seahawks. He also had 1 reception for 13 yards. Samuels played 39% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive End B.J. Hill (starter) had 3 tackles in the Giants’ 28-14 loss to Buffalo. Hill played 58 snaps on defense (78%), which led all defensive players.

Running Back Nyheim Hines ran the ball twice for 9 yards in Indianapolis’ 19-17 win over Tennessee. He also had 1 reception for 5 yards. Hines played 19% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in the Chargers’ 13-10 loss to the Lions. His 41 plays were the most of any defensive player on LA.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon (starter) technically started his first career NFL games on Sunday, but it was more of a formality. Harmon only played 6 snaps on offense, and didn’t record any stats.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka didn’t attempt any field goals on Sunday, but did connect on all 4 of his extra point attempts in the Bills’ 28-14 victory over the Giants.

Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Vikings’ 21-16 loss to the Packers. Bradbury had a tough assignment again in Week 2, with Grady Jarrett on the other side of the line of scrimmage. He was better than Week 1, but still struggled, posting the 2nd lowest PFF grade on the offensive side of the ball for the Packers.

Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball 6 times for an average of 44 yards in the Raiders’ 28-10 loss to the Chiefs. He pinned two of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt strictly played on Special Teams in the Bengals 41-17 loss to the 49ers.

Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Cardinals 23-17 loss to the Ravens.

Offensive Tackle Will Richardson (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Jags’ 13-12 loss to the Texans.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played in 92% of the offensive snaps in the Patriots’ 43-0 blowout victory over the Dolphins.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson played 5 special teams snaps in the Charger’s 13-10 loss to the Lions.

Offensive Guard Ted Larsen saw 2 offensive snaps, and 4 special teams snaps in the Bears’ 16-14 victory over the Broncos.

DNP

Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)

Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill (Redskins)

INACTIVE

Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots). The addition of Antonio Brown hurt Meyers’ chance of seeing the field in a big way.

Defensive Back Juston Burris (Raiders)

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Russell Wilson 5th Fastest to 200 Touchdown Passes

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Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his 200th career touchdown pass today, becoming the 5th fastest player to do so, bumping Tom Brady out of the Top-5.

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Wilson, who is 5’11”, is only the 2nd player in NFL history under 6’0″ to throw for 200 touchdowns.

Wilson finished today 29/35 for 300 yards with 3 touchdowns (QB Rating – 131.0).

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Raiders Sign Former NC State DB Juston Burris

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Former NC State cornerback Juston Burris has been signed by the Oakland Raiders after Safety Johnathan Abram was moved to the IR.

Burris was drafted by the Jets in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played his first two seasons in New York. After the first 4 games of the 2018 season, the Jets cut Burris (he played in all 4 games), and was picked up by the Browns. Burris only played 4 games at Defensive Back for Cleveland after being picked up.

He saw a lot of action in New York his first two seasons, and was even the projected started heading into his second season.

Burris joins to other former NC State players in Oakland, with punter AJ Cole and quarterback Mike Glennon already wearing the Silver and Black.

While at NC State, Burris had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions and 18 pass deflections.

NC State now has 23 former players on active NFL rosters.

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