This Atlanta Falcons defensive back has graced us with his athletic ability since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2006. I think it is fitting to write about him because he embodies the fight it takes to make it in this league. I can remember when I first went to preseason camp years ago and saw #20 climb the ladder for a ridiculous interception.
I had no idea who that little corner was, but I thought his athleticism was off the charts. I know most people don’t think of current players being able to be an All-Time Falcons Great, but I like to look into the crystal ball. I believe that Brent Grimes has the makings of becoming one of the greatest Falcons we have had at corner in a very long time...
The Atlanta Falcons have a history of greats…I chose to write about a player who took the long road and succeeded. Brent Grimes is undoubtedly the best player the Falcons have in their secondary. I think everyone saw that notion when he underwent a minor knee operation this season leaving our secondary extremely vulnerable. His ability to be a ball hawking cover corner in the league is unrivaled. Grimes is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, many hardcore fans fear that he will not resign. I am not one of those fans, I believe that he will make a very nice payday and return with a nice extended contract. The Falcons have found and developed one of the leagues rising stars at corner and it is their duty to hold on to him regardless of cost. If Grimes signs elsewhere it will hurt, but he has earned the right to be paid top dollar.
As an undrafted free agent, Grimes played his college ball at Shippensburg. At Shippensburg, he set school and conference records in the secondary and on special teams. He was originally signed to the practice squad in 06’ where he was placed on a NFL Europa team. Brent Grimes would eventually resign with Atlanta where finally debuted on the field late in 07’ and began making his presence known by becoming Atlanta’s most acrobatic play maker. Brent Grimes began his climb into the main rotation over the next two seasons.In 2010,Grimes was the most targeted corner in the NFL. This means that QBs thought their best chance at making plays was to throw at #20. He took on that challenge andraised to the occasion every game. He led the league with 23 pass deflections; Grimes only allowed 3 touchdowns on 124 targets according to STATS Inc. and was selected to his first Pro Bowl and finally gained league wide recognition.
This past season Grimes continued to make big plays for the Falcons on their road to the playoffs. Team Grimey was established on Twitter this past year and really caught steam with fans of all ages. I remember going to the Saints game and seeing at least two dozen #TeamGrimey shirts around tailgating. His play has inspired me to write him in as one of my favorite Falcons ever, but his story is truly inspiring. Remember that whatever happens with his contract situation to always be looking at the talent on the field during training camp because you never know when a star will emerge. He is one of my favorite players in the NFL period because I respect his drive and determination.
Follow Mike on Twitter @ColossalChicken
Editor Note: Over the next several weeks we will be bringing you a couple of features that will help you get to know our writers. Last week we introduced you to "Our Favorite Falcons Memories". In our first "Our Favorite Falcons", Eric told us why Jessie Tuggle is his favorite. Each week come back to the blog and we will introduce you to another one of our favorite Falcons and tell you why that player has found a spot in one of our writers hearts.
Get more great Atlanta Falcons news and analysis over at The Grits Blitz.