In only his rookie season on the team, Redskins nose tackle Chris Neild developed a reputation as a quality defender. He earned his snaps as the season went on, and proved to be many things on the field: a reliable run-stuffer, a vicious blocker in the return game, and an able-bodied pass-rusher when the pocket collapsed.
Off the field, he endeared himself to fans with his facial hair and amusing interviews, becoming a locker room character and always answering my stupidest questions.
But one thing he will most likely not be known for in his pro football career is a great offensive threat. That part of Neild’s game is a thing of the past, with only an awesome Twitter picture remaining:
This was the newest graphic to grace Neild’s Twitter handle (@TruckNeild), and is a throwback to his days at Stroudsburg High School. Back in those days, Neild was a clean-shaven, two-way player, at linebacker and tight end/running back.
And despite carrying the ball like a loaf of bread, he had some success.
“Natural ball skills,” he said sarcastically. “I actually trucked my way into the end zone on that play.”
And what high schooler was going to stop him? Even adolescent Chris Neild was a big boy, lettering in football, basketball and powerlifting in high school. His Scout.com profile lists him at 6-3, 275 pounds, with a 40 time of 4.8.
In a goal line situation, head coach Fred Ross was smart to call on No. 31, as he frequently did:
“Probably, when I look back on the 35 kids that have gone on to play Division I since I was the coach, none of them had the combination of big size, the physicality of a big kid, and the ability to run as Chris.”
His Scout.com profile also notes that as a senior, he had 15 receptions for 275 yards and five touchdowns. That’s a whopping average of 18.3 yards per catch, and probably a ton of yards after the catch.
Somebody put that man in the slot.
Tags: chris neild, nose tackle, washington redskins
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