Steve Breaston hasn’t played defense since high school. He’d rather not now, although he twice was turned into tackler Sunday in St. Louis after the Cardinals lost fumbles. Of course, one of the plays was the ginormous strip of Rams defensive lineman Clifton Ryan, who would have scored a touchdown I believe would have crushed the Cards’ spirits the way the game was going (maybe not – I’d expect coach Ken Whisenhunt would argue the point).
But in light of the effort and the result, I asked nickel cornerback Michael Adams – one of Breaston’s best friends on the team – if Breaston had earned a chance to be an honorary defensive back. Money Mike just shook his head. “He’s just a Backpack Boy.”
Which, of course, made me say, uh, what?
Turns out it was a nickname bestowed by Adrian Wilson on players like Breaston, Adams and Early Doucet when they were younger, because they wore backpacks on a daily basis – sometimes, Adams admitted, for no apparent (or some mysterious) reason. “They called us Backpack Boys,” Adams said. “So we started our own little fraternity.”
And Breaston was already a part of it, even before Sunday. “That’s something Backpack Boys do,” Adams said. “They make big plays in big moments.”
Breaston has been getting props from national writers (Sando gave him an award) and he’s up for a the “Never Say Never” award that fans vote upon not because of his 132 yards receiving but because of his effort on the strip (Vote early. Vote often). It’s funny how a Backpack Boy also is being used as the example by Whisenhunt for children.
“When you talk about kids watching this game and how it should be played,” Whisenhunt said, “if you want to point to one thing, that play is what you point to.”
Tags: Clifton Ryan, Ken Whisenhunt, Michael Adams, Steve Breaston
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