Mighty Mite MJD (Getty Images)
John Madden has his All-Madden Team, and Phil Simms has his All-Iron Team. I figured hey, why can’t I have my own All-Bernstein team? The All-Bernstein team includes players at various positions who are vertically challenged, much like the guy that selected the team. This team spits in the face of the people that do the measuring at the combine.
We’re going to begin with our All-Bernstein offense, not including offensive lineman, because there really aren’t any smaller or undersized guys at those positions.
QB- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints -6’0”, 209 lbs.
Drew Brees may be the best quarterback in the NFL despite his lack of prototypical height and weight. Brees may or may not be able to dunk a basketball, but he has a strong arm, always makes the right reads, and simply gets the job done. Brees threw for an NFL high 5,069 yards (second most all-time), completed 65% of his passes, and found the end zone 34 times.
RB- Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars- 5’7”, 210 lbs.
Maurice Jones-Drew is the face of the Jacksonville Jaguars rather anonymous franchise. He is not just a fast, shifty third-down back, as Jones-Drew may be even more effective running between the tackles than scampering outside. Jones-Drew is a punishing pass protector, and if you don’t believe me just ask Shawne Merriman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5K1g4SDO2k. In just three NFL seasons, starting just four games, Jones-Drew has 38 touchdowns scored.
RB- Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers- 5’6”, 181 lbs.
Darren Sproles is the west coast version of Maurice Jones-Drew, as he is the change of pace back behind the great LaDainian Tomlinson. Sproles is a fantastic kickoff and punt return man, and he is capable of carrying the rock with consistency, as he showed last Saturday as he almost single-handedly took down the favored Indianapolis Colts with a record-setting performance which included a game-winning overtime touchdown run.
WR- Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers- 5’9”, 185 lbs.
Are you tired of the giant, 6’6”, heavy-legged receivers that were drafted with the sole purpose of winning jump balls in the end zone, but can’t run routes to save their lives? I know most Jaguars fans are. Like most of the guys on this team, Steve Smith was told that he was too short to play professional football. Still, all Smith does is routinely win jump balls over much taller defenders as he has a will to get the football that will likely end up landing him in Canton. Steve Smith had another average season for him in 2008 as he caught 78 passes for 1421 yards, and six touchdowns. It was the fourth consecutive season that Smith was over 1000 yards.
WR- Wes Welker, New England Patriots- 5’9”, 185 lbs.
Wes Welker is another one of those too short, too small effort guys that just out-work everyone on the football field. Since being traded to New England, Welker has averaged 111.5 receptions per year for 1170 yards with 11 receiving touchdowns. Welker is not afraid to go over the middle and make tough catches, but he can also make big plays down field. He runs perfect routes, and the finest testament to Welker’s production is that he nearly equaled his numbers of 2007 without the record-setting Tom Brady at quarterback.
TE- Owen Daniels, Houston Texans- 6’3”, 247 lbs.
Houston tight end Owen Daniels is a key cog to the Texans offense which finished with the number three overall ranking in 2008. At 6’3”, 247 lbs., Daniels is not a “midget” like many other members of our team, but he is one of the smallest starting tight ends in football. Daniels is a solid blocker, and he caught 70 passes for 862 yards in 2008, both career highs, and also was more productive than big names such as Antonio Gates, Jeremy Shockey, and Heath Miller.