O'Neal corners cornerback ability

Angel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
O'Neal corners cornerback ability
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer



Ko Olina, Hawaii - The irony of the NFL makes Deltha O'Neal laugh.

When he was watching the Pittsburgh Steelers hoist the AFC championship trophy in Denver on Jan. 22, O'Neal realized who his coaches would be for his return to the Pro Bowl.

"I almost didn't come," O'Neal said about the prospect of being coached by the Broncos staff in Sunday's Pro Bowl because of Denver's runner-up status in the AFC. "No, I'm just joking. Everything is fine. Everything is over. I'm happy to be here and I'm happy to see everyone from Denver."

O'Neal's journey to the Pro Bowl is remarkable. Nearly two years ago, he was traded from Denver to Cincinnati after Broncos coach Mike Shanahan attempted to convert him to a receiver.

The deal helped the Broncos move up in the first round and take talented linebacker D.J. Williams.

While the trade was good for Denver, it was good for O'Neal, too. It gave him a new lease on his career and at his chosen spot of cornerback. He led the NFL with 10 interceptions this past season.

"It showed that I can play cornerback and that this is where I belong," O'Neal said.

He said he harbors no hard feelings toward the Broncos or Shanahan. O'Neal said the two are on friendly terms. O'Neal called his final days in Denver a misunderstanding.

Shanahan said he was pleased to see O'Neal flourish in Cincinnati, showing his natural ball- hawking ability.

"He's got great hands, and it was a great honor for him to lead the league in interceptions and go to the Pro Bowl," Shanahan said.

O'Neal's sixth NFL season ended the same way his second season in Denver did: in Hawaii. The 15th pick in the 2000 draft, O'Neal had success early with the Broncos.

However, as his career continued, his play stalled and several mistakes led to a loss of confidence. In a last-ditch effort to use O'Neal's good hands and athleticism, Shanahan tried to make him receiver.

"I could be a good receiver, but I knew my time as a cornerback wasn't over," O'Neal said.

Former teammates and coaches said they knew he was capable of a turnaround.

"I'm so proud of Deltha, to see him here in the Pro Bowl," Denver linebacker Al Wilson said. "I knew he had it in him to get back here. The guy worked hard to turn it around."

Broncos assistant secondary coach Jimmy Spencer said because of the Broncos' schemes, O'Neal had to play in man-to- man coverages instead of playing off the opponent more.

"This has been a good move for Deltha," Spencer said. "We knew he could find a spot because of his great hands. He could have been a great receiver because of those hands. I think those 10 interceptions this year shows that. That's why he's here."

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_3493477
 
He can be glad that he's gone -- I know 95% of Broncos fans are very happy about that "loss"...Sure, he's turned himself around, but it was more than just a lack of play, it was about the way he was off the field as well.

I still blame our last loss to the patriots on him...
 
Off the field antics can sometimes make you more than happy to see a player go elsewhere to wreak havoc!! :)
 
Him and Brian Griese...I'm glad that they're doing okay in their new "homes", and don't care that they're doing better where they have gone to -- The didn't belong here and didn't fit in here...

Some people might rub it in that "Well now Deltha had the most ints this year" and you could have had him on your team...but, honestly, had he stayed here, he'd have been cut when Walls was, if not sooner, even if he had been playing at the same level as he is in Cincinatti, just because of the attitude he took with the coaches and other team members.

I'm rambling because I'm tired...just tell me to shut up. LOL
 
BlueDamsel said:
Him and Brian Griese...I'm glad that they're doing okay in their new "homes", and don't care that they're doing better where they have gone to -- The didn't belong here and didn't fit in here...

Some people might rub it in that "Well now Deltha had the most ints this year" and you could have had him on your team...but, honestly, had he stayed here, he'd have been cut when Walls was, if not sooner, even if he had been playing at the same level as he is in Cincinatti, just because of the attitude he took with the coaches and other team members.

I'm rambling because I'm tired...just tell me to shut up. LOL
Ok....shut up BD!! :p
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.
Back
Top