Chris Neild: Player profile
When it comes to under appreciated players on the 2011 Washington Redskins, the very first name that comes out is London Fletcher. While he has never missed a game since his rookie season of 1998 and was a Pro Bowler this past season, it always seems that Fletcher does not get his due respect and it has been something that he has always been searching for. Another player that certainly was under appreciated and underrated was the backup nose tackle, Chris Neild.
A lot of Skins fans will come out and say who is Chris Neild? I have never heard of him. Rewind if you will to the first game of last season when the Skins were able to top the eventual NFC Champion New York Giants at home on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Neild was just as impressive as Ryan Kerrigan that day who ran back an interception for a touchdown. Neild had two sacks in his first NFL game and did superbly in backing up Barry Cofield. Just think about it: Neild had two sacks in his first career game; Albert Haynesworth had seven in two years and was given a $100 million dollar contract. Duh!
Chris Neild is certainly not that hard to spot on the Redskins sideline and on the playing field. He wears jersey No. 95 and at six feet, two inches and weighing in at about 320 pounds along with a bohemian/lumberjack beard, Chris Neild is certainly a very recognizable character for the Redskins and after his rookie season has gotten the respect of his fellow teammates. Neild was the seventh round pick for Dan Snyder and Co. in 2011 and right from the start of team activities after the lockout was showing the coaches that he was hell-bent on making the team and better yet sustaining a career in the National Football League. Mike Shannahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett were always quick to give positive feedback about Neild. He was a four-year starter for the West Virginia Mountaineers and was All-Big East and came to the Redskins to prove that those stats were not just the figment of someone’s imagination.
Neild played a very important role backing up Cofield but was also instrumental on goal line and short yardage packages and was certainly not scared to get his big body in the mix of the trenches. The great thing is that he played a lot better than the stigma that comes with being a late round draft pick. Simply put, Chris Neild was underappreciated and underrated and was certainly a key part of the highly respected Redskins defensive line. Chris Neild should certainly get more playing time in 2012 and should certainly put forth the effort that will get his style of play more recognized by his peers and the league.
Chad Morgan is an NFL writer for The Penalty Flag. He can be contacted at CMorgan@thepenaltyflagblog.com.
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