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|Welcome to TSLMail #240 - Friday, August 18, 2006||
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Last week in TSLMail we took a look at the Virginia Tech All-NFL offensive team (and yes, we missed George Preas as an offensive lineman), and this week we’ll take a look at the defensive side of the ball. Like the offense, there were some easy picks, and a lot of players to choose from. But at other positions, such as defensive tackle, it was much harder to find candidates.
Robert Brown is the other starting defensive end. Brown had an 11 year career with the Green Bay Packers. He played in 164 games for the Pack. Always more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, he accumulated 25.5 career sacks and recovered 14 fumbles. Brown and Smith make a very nasty defensive end combination for the NFL Hokie squad.
The first defensive tackle is Tom Beasley. Beasley played in the NFL for nine years with the Steelers and Redskins. He was capable of playing every position on the defensive line. He played in 104 games during his career and finished with 11.5 career sacks. He is the father of former Tech defensive tackle Chad Beasley, who currently plays on the offensive line for the Carolina Panthers.
The other defensive tackle is Waddey Harvey, who played two seasons with the Buffalo Bills in 1969 and 1970. He was a teammate of Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, and Beamer has always spoken very highly of him.
At linebacker, Mike Johnson tops the list. He played in the NFL from 1984 through 1995. The former All-Pro played for the Houston Oilers in his first season and the Detroit Lions during his last two seasons, but he played the bulk of his career, 1987-1993, with the Cleveland Browns. Johnson is without a doubt the best linebacker the Hokies have ever put into the NFL.
Ben Taylor should also be included on the list of linebackers. He spent his first four years with the Cleveland Browns, and he made 113 tackles for them during the 2005 season. In the offseason he signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he is expected to start at strong side linebacker in 2006.
The other linebacker on the VT All-NFL defensive team is Victor Jones. Jones played in the NFL from 1988 through 1994. Jones played 93 career games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.
Virginia Tech is mostly known for putting defensive backs in the NFL, and there are four very good ones that made the list for the Tech All-NFL team.
The first is DeAngelo Hall, cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons. After being picked in the first round in 2004, Hall missed most of his rookie season with a hip injury. He came back at the end of the year and was very impressive, and he went on to earn a starting job last season and was voted into the Pro Bowl. He has eight career interceptions, despite having only played in 17 games.
The other starting cornerback would be Tyronne Drakeford. Drakeford played in the NFL from 1994 through 2001. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. Drakeford played in 98 career games and recorded 16 career interceptions, all of which came in the first five seasons of his career.
At safety, Keion Carpenter is the obvious selection. Carpenter was an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, but he was a starter by his second season with the Buffalo Bills. He played in the NFL from 1999 through 2005, where he played in 83 games and had 14 career interceptions. He spent his career with the Bills and the Atlanta Falcons. Injuries have recently ended Carpenter’s career, but he was a very solid player when healthy.
The final member of the team is Pierson Prioleau, who is currently a member of the Washington Redskins. A very durable and dependable player, Prioleau has played in 97 career games, many of them as a starter. He has 5.5 career sacks, but interestingly enough, only one interception.
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