Muhsin Muhammad

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Muhsin Muhammad
No. 87
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1973-05-05) May 5, 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth: Lansing, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 1996 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43
Debuted in 1996 for the Carolina Panthers
Last played in 2009 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 860
Receiving yards 11,438
Receiving TDs 62
Stats at NFL.com

Muhsin Muhammad II (/mˈsɪn/; born Melvin Darnell Campbell Jr. May 5, 1973) is a former American football wide receiver who played for the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). Muhammad played college football for Michigan State. He was drafted by the Panthers in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Muhammad was a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Panthers in 1999 and 2004, and also made the 2004 All-Pro Team. He was known for his nickname, “Moose”, and for his signature touchdown dance, which was featured in one of the opening cameos of Madden NFL 2006.

Early life[edit]

Muhammad was born in Lansing, Michigan. His birth name was Melvin Campbell, but it was changed after his father converted to Islam when Muhammad was four years old.[1] He was mainly a soccer player in elementary school, but eventually started to play football due to peer pressure.[2] He attended Waverly High School in Lansing, Michigan. While there, he excelled in athletics, earning three letters in football, and an additional two in basketball and track. Furthermore, he not only defined himself as a threat as receiver, but also as an all-state linebacker and running back.[3]

After graduating from high school, Muhammad enrolled into Michigan State University. He would break out in 1995 under Nick Saban with 50 catches for 867 yards and 3 TD while playing with QB Tony Banks and alongside WR Derrick Mason.

Professional career[edit]

Carolina Panthers (1996–2004)[edit]

Muhammad was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. After two mediocre seasons, Muhammad earned his full-time starting spot in 1998 by leading the Panthers with 68 receptions, 6 TDs, and almost 1000 yards. Muhammad exploded onto the NFL scene in 1999 under new coach George Seifert, earning his first Pro Bowl bid with 96 receptions, 8 TD, and 1253 yards, and followed it by co-leading the NFL in receptions in 2000 with 102. Muhammad averaged nearly 1000 yards each season from the 1998 to 2000 NFL season. During the 2001 NFL season, Muhammad was plagued by injuries, but he managed to recover his form the following season. He would later play a leading role in the Carolina Panthers' run to Super Bowl XXXVIII during 2003 NFL season. The Panthers lost to the AFC Champion New England Patriots 29-32, while Muhammad recorded the longest touchdown reception (85 yards) in Super Bowl history.[3]

Muhammad would go on to have an excellent 2004 season, leading the NFL with a career high 1,405 receiving yards, and 16 receiving touchdowns. To complement this he would earn his 2nd Pro Bowl invitation. By the end of the 2004 season, Muhammad held all of the Panthers' receiving records, including catches (578), receiving yards (7,751), 100-yard games (26), the top three single-game yardage totals (192, 189, 179) and was tied with Wesley Walls at 44 touchdown receptions.[3]

Following the 2004 season, Muhammad, who was due a $10 million roster bonus, could not come to contract terms with Panthers, and was released in February 2005. Hours after his release, Muhammad received a call from the Chicago Bears, who offered the 32-year old veteran a six-year contract. Muhammad agreed, and left Charlotte for Chicago.[4]

Muhammad's first stint with the Panthers was plagued with several negative experiences. During his time there, he was the target of a racial slur from his quarterback, Kerry Collins, testified at murder hearings for Rae Carruth and Deidra Lane (wife of Fred Lane), and was arrested in 2003 on misdemeanor drug and weapon offenses.[5][6][7]

Chicago Bears (2005–2007)[edit]

Muhammad established himself as one of the main receiving threat for the Bears during his first year with the Bears. He has been credited for encouraging a stronger work ethic within the Bears receiving corps. Also, Muhammad shared his sagacious advice to young wide receivers Bernard Berrian, Mark Bradley, and Rashied Davis. Despite failing to catch several poorly thrown passes from the rookie quarterback, Kyle Orton, Muhammad held himself accountable for the mistakes, and promised reporters he would work to improve his game. However, Muhammad would later be seen complaining to Orton during a Sunday night match up against the Atlanta Falcons. Following Muhammad's criticism, coach Lovie Smith benched Orton in favor of a fully recovered Rex Grossman.[8]

Muhammad’s statistics improved with Rex Grossman at quarterback in the 2006 season. He had his first one hundred-yard day with the Bears in their season opener against the Green Bay Packers, and later another against the Minnesota Vikings during week three. However, he began to see less action as Grossman began to play inconsistently after the season’s midway point. Muhammad defended Grossman from criticism, and often publicly voiced his support for Grossman at press conferences.[9] Muhammad’s finished the regular season as the team’s leading wide receiver for the second consecutive time.[10] His lone post-season touchdown came at Super Bowl XLI, en route to a 29-17 loss.

Muhammad had a down year in 2007, as did the entire Bears offense. However, he has stated that he was not worried by this recent lack of productivity.[11]

On February 18, 2008 the Bears released him.[12]

Muhammad’s age has seemingly played an effect on his endurance. Although he played all sixteen games, Muhammad was often listed as probable or questionable days prior to many games.[13] Before the start of the 2006 season, he revealed that he had played through the 2005 season with a broken hand.[14]

Months after leaving the Bears, Muhammad told Sports Illustrated that Chicago is "where wide receivers go to die." The remark caught the attention of Darryl Drake, the team's wide receiver coach. While Drake stated he was unfazed by Muhammad's remark, he argued that former Bears wide receivers Bernard Berrian, Justin Gage, and Bobby Wade were able to develop in Chicago, and later lead successful careers after leaving.[15]

Return to Carolina (2008–2009)[edit]

Just nine days after being released by the Bears, Muhammad re-signed with his former team, the Carolina Panthers, in the form of a two-year deal.[16] On September 14, playing against the Bears, he became the 29th player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards. He finished the year with 65 receptions for 923 yards and 5 touchdowns.

In 2009, Muhammad caught 53 passes for 581 yards and a touchdown. After 14 seasons in the NFL, he retired after the season ended.

Professional statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

 Postseason Receiving
Year Team GP GS Rec Yards TD
1996 Carolina Panthers 9 5 25 407 1
1997 Carolina Panthers 13 5 27 317 0
1998 Carolina Panthers 16 16 68 941 6
1999 Carolina Panthers 15 15 96 1,253 8
2000 Carolina Panthers 16 16 102 1,183 6
2001 Carolina Panthers 11 11 50 585 1
2002 Carolina Panthers 14 14 63 823 3
2003 Carolina Panthers 15 15 54 837 3
2004 Carolina Panthers 16 16 93 1,405 16
2005 Chicago Bears 15 15 64 750 4
2006 Chicago Bears 16 16 60 863 5
2007 Chicago Bears 16 16 40 570 3
2008 Carolina Panthers 16 15 65 923 5
2009 Carolina Panthers 14 13 53 581 1
Career totals 202 188 860 11,438 62

Post-season[edit]

 Regular Season Receiving
Year Team GP GS Rec Yards TD
1996 Carolina Panthers 2 0 0 0 0
2003 Carolina Panthers 3 3 15 352 2
2005 Chicago Bears 1 1 3 58 0
2006 Chicago Bears 3 3 7 93 1
2008 Carolina Panthers 1 1 5 55 0
Career totals 10 8 30 558 3

Broadcasting career[edit]

During the 2002 and 2003 off-season, Muhammad became a color commentator for NFL Europe on behalf of Fox television. Furthermore, he was a post-season correspondent for NFL Network in 2004. He also has worked as a color commentator for the Big Ten Network [17]

Muhammad won a Chicago Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs for his segment, Hanging with the Moose, which aired on Comcast SportsNet 's "SportsNite" in 2005.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Despite his father's conversion to Islam, Muhammad himself is a Christian.[19][20] He is currently married to Christa Muhammad. They have four daughters and two sons: (oldest to youngest) Jordan, Chase, Journey, Muhsin III, Maddon and Kennedy. Maddon and Journey were adopted from Ethiopia in 2007.[21]

Philanthropy[edit]

Muhammad has created his own charity foundation called, “The M2 Foundation for Kids”, which is dedicated to enhancing the mental and physical development of children. He is also a supporter of the "Back to Nature" program, a special camping trip which encouraged children to spend more time with nature by taking them on various hikes throughout the Great Smokey Mountains and numerous nature preserves in Tennessee;[3] the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked with several of his teammates to raise funds and awareness for the group by organizing Christmas toy drives and a special football camp; furthermore, Muhammad serves as a spokesperson for the Men For Change organization, a group which helps generate money for impoverished women’s shelters.[3] On February 28, 2007, Muhammad’s high school alma mater gave him a special award for donating $50,000 worth of equipment to school’s fitness center, which was also renamed in his honor.[22]

The Carolina Panthers presented Muhammad with the organization's “Man of the Year” award in 1999 for his charity and volunteer work.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chicago Suntimes, Moose on the Loose Retrieved on October 13, 2006
  2. ^ NFLrush.com, NFL Rush: Player of the Day Retrieved on January 22, 2007
  3. ^ a b c d e ChicagoBears.com, Roster - 87 Muhsin Muhammad Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  4. ^ ESPN, Muhammad's deal can be worth as much as $30M Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  5. ^ New York Times, Panthers Say Collins Contrite Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  6. ^ CBC Sports, Muhammad defends Carruth Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  7. ^ Chicagoist.com, Dangerous Retrieved on, January 19, 2007
  8. ^ RealFootball365.com, Don't write off Muhammad just yet Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  9. ^ ChicagoBears.com, Grossman displays poise and confidence in win Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  10. ^ Pro Football Reference, 2006 Chicago Bears Statistics Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  11. ^ Veteran wide receiver feels that his time will come - Chicago Bears
  12. ^ NFL.com,Bears release Muhammad Retrieved on February 18, 2008
  13. ^ Chicago Bears.com, Injury Report - Chicago Bears Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  14. ^ USA Today, Muhsin Muhammad Bio from USAToday Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  15. ^ "Bears Team Report - Inside Slant". Yahoo! Sports. 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  16. ^ The Buzz - HeraldOnline.com blogs and community journalism - Carr gone, Moose official
  17. ^ Illinois-Northern Illinois Game Notes
  18. ^ Chicago Tribune, Mrs. McNabb moves forward Retrieved on March 2, 2007
  19. ^ Brad Biggs (May 20, 2005). "Muhammad all about giving as well as receiving". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 148. 
  20. ^ Moose87.com, Chicago Bears Wide REceiver Muhsin Muhammad's Bio Retrieved on February 6, 2007
  21. ^ Muhammad named a finalist for prestigious award - Chicago Bears
  22. ^ Waverly Community Schools, Muhsin Muhammad II honored for his generous donation Retrieved on February 28, 2007.

External links[edit]