MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17: Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys catches a pass for a touchdown as Lito Sheppard #29 of the Minnesota Vikings misses the tackle during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field on October 17 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 24-21. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Raiders brought in some much needed veteran corner help today as they inked former Eagle, Jet and Viking, Lito Sheppard. LiveAdam linked us the news earlier, and I am pretty much echoing his thoughts. Sheppard struggled last year. He is slowing down, but his veteran presence is a great sight to a young, thin and currently injured, CB corp.
Sheppard was a fantastic corner in his early/mid 20's. He made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2006. He has 19 career interceptions. But those days are clearly behind him.
On Wednesday, the Giants brought in for corners—including Sheppard. They recently lost two corners for the season and are absolutely desperate for corner help. Sheppard apparently still didn't impress them enough to earn a contract. And this is despite the fact that Sheppard's agent (according to nj.com) e-mailed all 32 NFL teams to let them know his client was willing to play for the veterans minimum.
I ventured over to the The Daily Norseman to see what they had to say about Shep. It's not pretty. Here is a reveling quote as they were discussing their hopes for this year's 53-man roster:
Lito Sheppard--I really hope Sheppard doesn't come back.
Frank Walker--He was better than Sheppard, but that's like saying the flu is better than the plague. You still don't want either one.
Still, Sheppard has some skill and savvy to bring to the table. Hopefully the young guys progress to a point where Sheppard doesn't even make the roster, but if they don't at least we have a security blanket with experience.
Here's the scouting report from ESPN:
Lito Sheppard - 5'10" - 194 pounds - Age: 30
Sheppard was used primarily in a backup role and as a nickelback in sub packages. He has a good combination of power and athleticism with good ball skills. He has good route awareness. Sheppard can plant and realign and has the ability to close on underneath routes. He lacks great height to match up well with larger big receivers on jump balls.
Check out Ghost Raider's post for some highlights.