George Teague

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George Teague
No. 31, 30, 23
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1971-02-18) February 18, 1971 (age 47)
Oscoda, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 204 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Montgomery (AL) Davis
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1993 / Round: 1 / Pick: 29
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 133
Interceptions: 15
Interception yards: 354
Touchdowns: 2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

George Theo Teague (born February 18, 1971) is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at the University of Alabama.

Early years[edit]

An Air Force brat, Teague grew up at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas and Sembach Air Base, before moving to Alabama and attending Jefferson Davis High School. As a senior cornerback, he was named first-team class 6A All-state and Academic All-state. He also practiced track.

He accepted a football scholarship from the University of Alabama. He was a reserve cornerback as a true freshman. He was named a starter at cornerback as a sophomore, tallying one interception.

As a junior, he was moved to free safety, where he led the conference with 6 interceptions and recorded career-highs for tackles (54) and passes defensed (11).

As a senior, he tied for the conference's lead with 6 interceptions. His 14 career interceptions were two short of the school record at the time. Teague came to be known nationally as a playmaker in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. This game marked his first interception returned for a touchdown in his college career. Five plays later, he raced downfield and caught up with sprinting wide receiver Lamar Thomas and stripped the ball from him in full stride, while maintaining possession and returning the ball upfield. Although the play was called back on an offsides penalty against Alabama, it was still successful in preventing a Hurricane touchdown, as Miami would have simply declined the penalty had the strip not taken place.[1] It also negated Miami's effort to regain their offensive momentum: Miami was forced to punt soon afterward, and never mounted another substantial offensive threat in the Crimson Tide's 34–13 victory.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Teague was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round (29th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft.[3] He started the last 12 games at free safety, making 36 tackles, 6 passes defensed, one forced fumble, one intereception, 2 fumble recoveries and 5 special teams tackles. In the playoffs against the Detroit Lions, he recorded the longest interception return for a touchdown in post-season history (101 yards), and along with his 4 tackles, earned him the NFL's Defensive Player of the Week award.[4]

In 1994, he practiced on a limited basis early in training camp due to thyroid condition, which caused a pronounced weight loss initially and later affected his conditioning. He began practicing on a full-time basis until August 4. He started 16 games, collecting 53 tackles, 3 interceptions (tied for second on the team), 13 passes defensed (third on the team) and one forced fumble.

In 1995, he started 15 games, making 72 tackles (tied for sixth on the team), 2 interceptions, 13 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He missed one game with a broken big toe.

On July 16, 1996, he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a conditional 7th round draft choice (not exercised), after being seen as was a poor tackler with a bad attitude and acquiring safety Eugene Robinson to replace him.[5][6]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On August 17, 1996, the Atlanta Falcons waived Teague after only a month.

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)[edit]

On August 23, 1996, Teague was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys.[7] He played as a nickel defensive back, before starting 8 games after Brock Marion suffered broken a shoulder blade.[8] He finished the year with 70 tackles, 7 passes defensed, 6 special teams tackles and a career-high 4 interceptions.

His career signature game came against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC wild-card playoff game, where he was dominant in helping the Cowboys produce a 40–15 rout. He forced turnovers on three consecutive Vikings possessions. He first denied Amp Lee of a 43-yard touchdown reception, by stripping the ball which went out of the end zone for a touchback. On the next Vikings possession he caused a Leroy Hoard fumble. He then proceeded to return an interception 29 yards for a touchdown.[9] He received NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The Cowboys couldn't re-sign him at the end of the season, because of the salary cap problems they had at the time.

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On March 19, 1997, he was signed away by the Miami Dolphins as a free agent after jump-starting his career with the Cowboys.[10] He began the season as a backup to Corey Harris. He was named the starter at free safety in the seventh game and remained there until the twelfth contest, after Calvin Jackson was moved from cornerback to safety to make room for rookie Sam Madison.[11] He started 6 games, tallying 43 tackles, 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 3 special teams tackles. On March 10, 1998, the Dolphins ended up waiving him at the end of the year to make room for safety Brock Marion.[12]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)[edit]

On May 6, 1998, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent, to replace Brock Marion, who in turn had signed with the Dolphins to replace Teague. He played as a nickel defensive back, before passing Omar Stoutmire on the depth chart and being named the starter at free safety in the tenth game against the Arizona Cardinals. He registered 52 tackles (tenth on the team), 2 sacks, 6 passes defensed and 9 special teams tackles.

In 1999, he started 14 games at free safety, making 102 tackles (fourth on the team), 2 tackles for loss, 9 passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 8 special teams tackles and 3 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He missed 2 games with a strained neck injury.

In 2000, he started 9 games, missing the final 7 contests with a fractured right foot. He recorded 71 tackles and was on a pace to register a career-high 127 stops before he suffered his injury. He also had 5 special teams tackles. Teague is probably best remembered for a notable incident during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 24, In that game, 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens caught his second touchdown pass of the game and ran to the Cowboys' iconic star logo at midfield to celebrate as he had on the previous touchdown earlier. Teague violently shoved Owens from behind during the celebration and was ejected from the game. In 2008, the moment was named one of the ten most memorable in the history of Texas Stadium by ESPN.[13]

In 2001, he started 16 games. On September 23, just two weeks after the September 11 attacks, as the Cowboys were taking the field to play the San Diego Chargers at Texas Stadium, Teague carried the American flag, displayed above his head. He was released in a salary cap move on February 28, 2002.[14]

NFL statistics[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Return Longest Interception Return Interceptions Returned for Touchdown Passes Defended
1993 GB 16 35 31 4 0.0 0 2 0 1 22 22 22 0 7
1994 GB 16 52 40 12 0.0 0 0 0 3 33 11 16 0 13
1995 GB 15 56 42 14 0.0 0 1 0 2 100 50 74 0 12
1996 DAL 16 57 47 10 0.0 0 0 0 4 47 12 22 0 6
1997 MIA 15 38 19 19 0.0 1 0 0 2 25 13 23 0 3
1998 DAL 16 42 34 8 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
1999 DAL 14 67 48 19 0.0 1 1 0 3 127 42 95 2 9
2000 DAL 9 42 37 5 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2001 DAL 16 58 43 15 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Career 133 447 341 106 2.0 5 4 0 15 354 24 95 2 63

[15]

Personal life[edit]

On December 9, 2016, he accepted a position as the head football coach at John Paul II High School in Plano, Texas. He previously served as the Athletic Director and football coach for The June Shelton School, Harvest Christian Academy and Carrollton Christian Academy.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Picture Of A Beaten Bunch: Thomas, Minus Swagger". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Alabama ultimate moment: The Strip was ultimately a result of George Teague being tired in '93 Sugar Bowl". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Packers Sign 1st-round Pick". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Teague Lionized Again After 101-yard Return". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Falcons Can't Give Away Draft Choice". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Teague Is Mr. Big Among the Big Names". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  7. ^ "Butler Has Stats, But Not Bear's Job". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Teague Hasn't Forgotten Packers". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  9. ^ "Cowboys Look Like Champs, Send Vikings Sailing". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Dolphins Get Bargain In Teague". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Madison Joins Rookie Starters". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  12. ^ "George Teague Waived". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  14. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  15. ^ "George Teague Stats". ESPN. Retrieved May 27, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Remember George Teague? Alabama legend now coaches HS football in Texas". Retrieved January 3, 2018.