Darren Sproles quietly has had a special career

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The video of Darren Sproles running rings around opponents on a youth football field confirms he’s been performing at a high level for a very long time. It’s nevertheless easy to overlook the very high level at which Sproles has performed through his lengthy NFL career, in part because he’s the classic jack-of-all-football-trades.

How lengthy of a career has it been? Sproles entered the NFL in 2005, a year before Reggie Bush. And Sproles has been far closer to the all-around performer that Bush was supposed to be.

Consider this: Sproles currently ranks No. 8 on the all-time list of all-purpose yards, with 19,011. With only 572 this year, he’ll be in the top five, behind only Jerry Rice (23,546), Brian Mitchell (23,330), Walter Payton (21,803), and Emmitt Smith (21,564).

While it’s a lot easier to pile up yardage returning punts and kickoffs than it is to accumulate statistics from scrimmage, Sproles nevertheless has put his name above and among some of the all-time greats. That may never be enough to get him to Canton, but he’s got plenty of current and future Hall of Famers in his wake.

23 responses to “Darren Sproles quietly has had a special career

  1. Always enjoyed watching this guy play. He’s not Hall of Fame-worthy, but for a fourth-round pick that hasn’t started a lot of games at his position, he does what he has to do and does it very well. Like a more explosive Kevin Faulk.

  2. Thanks for those years in San Diego man. If he was a jerk, maybe he could of been a HOF!

  3. If Morton Anderson is a hall of famer, and Jason Taylor is a first ballot hall of famer, I don’t see why Sproles would be dismissed out of hand. He’s had more of an impact on the league than both of those guys

  4. Well done, Florio. Thank you for noticing one of the most underrated players in the last decade.

    I remember watching Sproles when he played at Kansas State. Thinking this guy is small, but special. One could see he was gonna be a impact pro player even back then.

    An excellent heads up to Darren Sproles. One of the best and most exciting players in his time.

  5. Sproles is one of my favorite players to watch. If he was 5’10 and 210 lbs he would be a first ballot HOF player. Everybody agrees he can run, stop on a dime, catch the ball, be explosive ect. What his best feature is what everybody forgets. His blocking and knowing what the defense is goibg to do. I’ve seen his pancake DEs weighibg 300 lbs. I think he is a HOF player but the odds dont favor him getting there

  6. Those were some pretty sick moves in Pop Warner, even throwing in a little shimmy head fakes. Sproles has had fantastic career and it’s good he’s getting the recognition he deserves.

  7. He is in the Hall of Fame, but wasn’t inducted like the others. He is in there for most all purpose yards in a season when he was a New Orleans Saint.

  8. quietly? I was aware of how special he was in SD, but since being in Philly I don’t think any NFCEast opponent fans think he has done his damage quietly.

    Sproles is a stud that I have always wished was a Cowboy. He plays hard, plays well, and seems like an upstanding dude off the field too. Hate that he’s an Eagle.

  9. I remember watching him in SD and thinking, “man, that guy accelerates faster than LT!” I also thought, “they should enjoy that speed now because once it’s gone, his career is over.” I thought he’d be done by 28 years old.

    He’s proved me wrong. He may not be quite the speedster he was, but he’s still very effective.

  10. This is why the Chargers and Saints had a hard time figuring out a long term contract to keep him.

    What’s the market value on a guy who is unlike any other guy?

  11. Well for those of you arguing that he is a hall of famer what about the #2 guy on that list? Brian Mitchell is not in and without him being in there is no way to legitimately argue that Sproles should be in.

  12. He actually is all that Eric Metcalf tried to be. Sproles has been anything but quiet. He has been very good and extremely dangerous since he came into the league.

  13. 2003 K-State triple option with Sproles & Ell Roberson under the watch of Bill Snyder was a thing of beauty, especially against the Sooners. Always thought he would be a punt returner with a trick play thrown in here & there like Hester & Cribbs ended up being. Boy was I wrong. Versatility tends not to get you in the HOF, but it sure as heck makes you an extremely dangerous & valuable weapon for usually a good long time.

  14. Why are we discussing Sproles.?He was dumped by Spanos like Rodney Harrington, Vincent Jackson, Eric Weddle and others. Spanos/Frabriani said “get rid of ’em. They cost too much!” This is a very bad management proven over and over again. The relocation will unravel.

  15. During the 2003 college season, OU was being talked about as one of the best teams ever. Then they met Darren Sproles and today that OU team is totally forgotten.

  16. Charger season tickets for 3o years, no one did more with less than Sproles. He was the best third down RB with picking up the blitz despite only weighing 170. If he had not been behind LT he would of been a HOF. Only the Chargers can have two HOF QB’s Brees and Rivers Three HOF RB’s LT Sproles Michael Turner HOF TE Gates the best defensive players in the Merriman not they could not win a playoff game. LOSERS.

  17. “Charger season tickets for 3o years, no one did more with less than Sproles. He was the best third down RB with picking up the blitz despite only weighing 170. If he had not been behind LT he would of been a HOF. Only the Chargers can have two HOF QB’s Brees and Rivers Three HOF RB’s LT Sproles Michael Turner HOF TE Gates the best defensive players in the Merriman not they could not win a playoff game. LOSERS.”

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    Um, they had 3 playoff wins 2007-2008

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