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Terrell Buckley was Criminally Underrated

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Another Saturday evening, another evening where I started thinking about a past Miami Dolphin player that really did it for me. I realize that the overwhelming reason, for most, that Terrell Buckley is being discussed is that Xavien Howard is one INT away from becoming the Dolphin’s leader for most consecutive games with an INT. But honestly, I think about Terrell Buckley pretty often.

But, I started thinking about the Dolphins and how they’re taking on the LA Rams with Tua starting in his first game. Not sure if you heard about that happening, but it’s true. I wrote a preview blog about Sunday’s contest vs. the Rams, which you need to read right here. I did this a few weeks ago when I was reminiscing about Jorviskie Lane and like that evening, I had some assistance from some brew masters. Tonight’s brewery that is, unwillingly, sponsoring my brain is Susquehanna Brewery out of North East PA. I live in that area and have gone to that brewery a few times. If you ever find yourself in NEPA, do check it out. Tell them Llyod sent you. My name isn’t Llyod but still tell them Llyod sent you. Now, about Terrell Buckley.

Terrell Buckley, or T-Buck as we was affectionally called and what he’ll be referred to for the rest of this blog, was drafted by the Packers in 1992 fifth overall. He played a few years for Green Bay before signing with Miami in 1995. I was nine in 1995 and my fandom for the Dolphins was pretty strong. But, when you’re a nine year old watching football, watching defense was the equivalent of staring at one of those Magic Eye books. You look at it but you don’t really know what you’re looking at until something just pops out at you. That was T-Buck for me. Here’s his career highlights. Get ready to be jazzed for the old NFL Primetime music.

What I loved about T-Buck was that he was an all or nothing player. He either was making a wonderful decision by stepping in front of a pass and picking it off or he was biting on an out and getting beat deep. I’m sure there were a ton of plays where he was cautious as well, but it felt like he was a major risk taker. Like Berman said towards the end of the highlight tape after T-Buck picked off a pass; feast or famine. A real no pressure no diamonds approach to playing cornerback. I feel that kind of approach is something that wouldn’t last in today’s NFL. Once a guy like T-Buck gets beat on two consecutive gambles, that’s it. He’s getting benched until he embraces the governor that’s being anchored to him.

Another aspect of T-Buck’s game was his flare. He was definitely a showman out on the field and when he had the ball in his hand he was one of the greatest showmen. Perhaps it was because he felt he had to fill the shoes of Deion Sanders at Florida State. I don’t know. What I do know is that when he picked off a ball, held it out with one hand and started dancing 25 yards out from the end zone that it was awesome.

T-Buck finished his career, surprisingly, in 2005. I bet many of you didn’t know that he played that long. He played for a few teams but he’ll be remembered, mostly, as a Dolphin and a Packer. My friend Mark, shout out to your new child who already is cooler than you, who is a Packer fan and I debate whether T-Buck is more of a Dolphin or a Packer. I think he’s best known as a Miami Dolphin. The stats say he’s a Dolphin.

Though drafted by the Packers, T-Buck had 24 INTs in Miami compared to 10 with Green Bay. Also, T-Buck did a second tour of duty with the Dolphins in 2003. He just couldn’t resist another go-around for that outfit. I rest my case on that issue on whether he’s more of a Dolphin or a Packer.

It’s crazy looking at those stats that T-Buck only has three less INTs than Deion Sanders, two less than Champ Bailey, and more than DeAngelo Hall, Troy Vincent, James Hasty, and Ronde Barber. Is there a case for T-Buck in the hall? Probably not. But if that hall of very good existed he’d be in it.

T-Buck has been coaching since 2007 for a few teams. He currently coaches at Ole Miss.

T-Buck is a guy that often gets forgotten about as one of the great cornerbacks of all time. I get it because there’s guys with better numbers. But it can’t be said enough’ T-Buck was an outstanding player who did it his way. A way you just don’t see anymore. A way that was all to himself who only wanted to be free.

To quote the great wordsmith Stephen King:

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

Enjoy the Dolphins playing the Rams in football tomorrow. Fingers crossed that Tua goes out and has the greatest game ever played by a quarterback.

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