Kerry Collins: A Hidden Legend
In the 1995 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers, with the fifth overall pick, selected quarterback Kerry Collins from Penn State University. From that day on, the NFL would never be the same...
During his college career, Collins was able to grab two of college football's major awards. He was presented with the Maxwell Award, the nation's most outstanding player, as well as the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's top quarterback.
During the 1994 campaign, Collins lead his team to an undefeated season under coach Joe Paterno. To finish the season, the Nittany Lions were victorious in defeating Oregon in the Rose Bowl. They were the NCAA Division I-A National Champions.
The Carolina Panthers were a brand new team and were looking for someone who could guide them to greatness. Luckily for them, a quarterback named Kerry Collins was in this draft. With their first pick as an organization they selected the Penn State all-star because they knew how talented he really was.
Alright, so maybe his first season wasn't too good, considering that he threw 14 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions, but you can't blame the guy. It was a new team, and it takes time to get the ball rolling. Except it didn't take as long as expected.
In his second season with the Panthers, he was able to not only knock his interceptions down to nine, but he lead his team to the NFC Championship game. I would say that's impressive for a second-year guy. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1996 season.
Before the 1997 season began, Collins' private battle with alcoholism started to surface. He would have his worse statistical season as a pro, leading his team to a 7-9 record. This would be enough for the Panthers to move in a different direction. (The drunk driving, offensive racial slurs towards Muhsin Muhammad, and other stuff were also a factor, I guess.)
Let's think about this though. A drunk, crappy player who looks to be hurting the team more than helping. Sounds like the almighty Brett Favre.
But anyways, Collins then went on to sign with the Saints where he would last only half of a season.
He soon signed with the New York Giants as a free agent in 1999. He realized he was a drunk and he found the help that he needed. His play would follow suit, as he took the starting job and lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, where they would get their asses kicked.
After about five years with the Giants, it was time for him to move on and he found his way to Oakland. He would have a decent first season, and a decent second season, statistically, with the Raiders, but his 7-21 record would be enough to send him packing.
In 2006, he signed with the Titans to help teach and guide Vince Young as he made his debut into the NFL. Collins extreme bench-sitting has helped turn around the Titans and lead them to the playoffs last year. And if you think Collins didn't do anything to help the Titans, think again.
Kerry Collins lead the Titans to a victory over the Texans while Vince Young was injured. I mean, sure it helped that Bironas was eight for eight that day, but who lead him into field-goal range? And you can say that game didn't matter, but the difference between the Titans making the playoffs and the Browns not making the playoffs was one game.
Not only should Kerry Collins be voted into the Hall of Fame, but he should be only said in the same sentences as names like Joe Montana, John Elway, and Dan Marino.
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