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Small players coming up big in the NFL this season
Question of the Day
Now, he’s tackling players who are the biggest, fastest and strongest in the world.
“What do I have to lose? Everybody’s expecting me to not do it anyway, so when I make the plays it’s that much better for me,” Adams said.
The lightest player in the NFL is Washington Redskins kick returner Brandon Banks, an undrafted rookie from Kansas State who stands 5-7 and weighs 155 pounds.
Banks returned a punt 53 yards the first time he touched the ball in an NFL game and he has a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
No small feat for a man with such small feet.
“To be his size, you’ve got to be a hard-nosed football player, because he’s not the biggest person on the planet,” said teammate Mike Sellers, a 6-3, 272-pound fullback. “But his speed does everything for him. He’s probably the fastest person I’ve been around.
“When I first saw him, I said he looked a little fragile. But he’s hard-core. He doesn’t let that size thing affect him. You’re not going to get a clean hit on him. He’s phenomenal.”
Every NFL team has players who are undersized. The very fact they made the roster shows they have a multitude of skills that make up for their lack of height.
“They’re much quicker,” Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. “If you’re a small guy then you have something that’s very unique. There’s something special about a smaller guy. A smaller guy has to have something different because this is a big guys’ league.
“For one thing, they’ve got to be tough. For another, they’ve got to be quick. Slow little guys aren’t going to make it in this league.”
Some of the smallest players are the game’s biggest hitters.
Tennessee’s leading tackler, Stephen Tulloch, stands 5-11, pretty short for a middle linebacker.
Like many of the league’s smaller players, Tulloch spends his Sundays getting lost on the sideline but not on the field, then he can leave the stadium unrecognized.
“I can walk around anywhere in the street, and people won’t think I play professional football,” Tulloch said. “When people doubt me, it makes me play harder. I appreciate people doubting me. If they didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at.”
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