BY: PRATIK SINHA
DHC (W&M ‘16) has found a home with the Chicago Bears, who brought him back for a 7th season with the franchise on a one-year, $1.77 million contract. Though he has played mostly on special teams and sparingly as a backup safety, his Bears career has had its share of impressive highlights, including a game-sealing interception of Tom Brady to beat the Buccaneers. Coming off a career-high 51 tackles in 13 games last season (prior to going on injured reserve in December with a forearm injury), DHC has recorded just 6 tackles in 8 games so far in the 2022 season. The Bears have a middling 3-5 record with the season’s halfway point approaching, and we would love to see DHC get more opportunities on the field. The team certainly is cognizant of his impact on and off the field, naming him honorary captain for their Monday Night Football victory over the New England Patriots earlier this year.
Luke Rhodes (W&M ‘16) has had a terrific career as a long snapper with the Indianapolis Colts. In 2019, he became the highest-paid long snapper in the NFL with a four-year, $4.85 million extension. Last season, he became the first Indianapolis long snapper since 2013 to be named to the Pro Bowl, as well as garnering 1st team All-Pro honors. The former Tribe standout is a fan favorite with the Colts, and has established himself as one of the best long snappers in the league.
If you have followed the NFL at all over the past few seasons, you will know that Sean McDermott (W&M ‘97) is the man behind the meteoric rise of the Buffalo Bills after nearly two decades of mediocrity, guiding them to the playoffs each season since 2019 with quarterback Josh Allen and a stout defense. This season, the Bills are currently 6-1 and one of the favorites to win the AFC after bowing out last season to the Kansas City Chiefs in an epic 42-36 divisional round shootout. They will have their work cut out for them, with the AFC East having an unexpectedly strong season (the 4-4 New England Patriots currently sit in last place, while the Dolphins and Jets look to be on the upswing as well), but with McDermott at the helm, expectations are sky-high in Buffalo this year. Can he become the second member of the Tribe to win a Super Bowl as head coach?
The first Tribe alum to win a Super Bowl as head coach is having a rough go of it this year, as the Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 2-6 amid uncertainty at the quarterback position following the retirement of longtime stalwart Ben Roethlisberger. Still, Tomlin has been extremely successful with the Steelers, having continued the storied franchise’s winning culture ever since taking the reins in 2007, and we have no doubt that he can right the ship in the long term and develop rookie QB Kenny Pickett into a viable NFL starter.
There is little doubt that Joe Brady (W&M ‘12) is an NFL head coach in the making. Currently in his first year serving as the quarterbacks coach for the AFC-leading Buffalo Bills, Brady has been the architect behind multiple prolific offenses on the national stage, most notably the undefeated 2019 LSU national championship team led by Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Josh Allen was already an elite quarterback prior to Brady’s arrival in Buffalo, and now he is a front-runner for the league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards. We are confident that sooner rather than later, Brady will be receiving calls for head coaching vacancies throughout the NFL, but in the meantime, let’s enjoy the fireworks that the Bills offense is producing this year!