Neal Anderson

Last updated

Neal Anderson
No. 35
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1964-08-14) August 14, 1964 (age 54)
Dothan, Alabama
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Graceville (FL)
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1986  / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:1,515
Rushing yards:6,166
Rushing TDs:51
Receptions:302
Receiving yards:2,763
TD receptions:20
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Charles Neal Anderson (born August 14, 1964) is an American former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Anderson played college football for the University of Florida. He was a first-round pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Chicago Bears of the NFL.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Running back position in American and Canadian football

A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Contents

Early years

Anderson was born in Graceville, Florida in 1964. [1] He attended Graceville High School, [2] and played for the Graceville Tigers high school football team.

Graceville, Florida City in Florida, United States

The City of Graceville is in Jackson County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,278 at the 2010 census. A large portion of Graceville's rural acreage is located in Holmes County, Florida, United States.

College career

Anderson accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for Charley Pell and Galen Hall's Florida Gators football teams from 1982 to 1985, [3] and shared the Gators' backfield with fullback John L. Williams for four years. Memorably, Anderson ran for a 197 yards versus the Kentucky Wildcats as a freshman in 1982, a seventy-six-yard touchdown against the LSU Tigers in 1983, and 178 yards and an eighty-yard touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers in 1984. [3] He was a team captain in 1985, a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1985, an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 1984 and 1985, and the recipient of the Gators' Fergie Ferguson Award in 1985. [3] In his four years as a Gator, Anderson had fourteen games with 100 yards or more rushing, 639 carries for 3,234 yards rushing and thirty touchdowns, forty-nine receptions for 525 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and ninety-seven yards passing. [3] In terms of career rushing yardage, he remains the Gators' third all-time running back behind Errict Rhett and Emmitt Smith. [3]

University of Florida Public research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States

The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. The university traces its origins to 1853 and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906.

Charley Pell American college football player, college football coach

Charles Byron Pell was an American college football player and coach. Pell was an Alabama native and an alumnus of the University of Alabama, where he played college football. He is most notably remembered as the head coach of the Clemson University and the University of Florida football teams. Pell was credited with laying the foundation for the later success of both programs, but his coaching career was tainted by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules violations.

Galen Hall American college football player, college football coach, professional football coach

Galen Samuel Hall is a retired American college and professional football coach and player. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and an alumnus of Penn State University, where he played college football. Hall was previously the offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Florida, and the head coach of the University of Florida, the Orlando Thunder, the Rhein Fire, and the XFL's Orlando Rage. He most recently served as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Penn State.

Behind the rushing of Anderson, the rushing and receiving of John L. Williams, the receiving of wide receiver Ricky Nattiel and the passing of quarterback Kerwin Bell, the Gators finished with identical best-in-the-SEC records of 9–1–1 in 1984 and 1985. [4] Anderson graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in public relations in 1986, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1995. [5] [6] The sportswriters of The Gainesville Sun selected him as No. 13 among the top 100 all-time greatest Gators from the first 100 years of Florida football in 2006. [7]

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

Ricky Rennard Nattiel, nicknamed "Ricky the Rocket," is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for six seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Nattiel played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Denver Broncos of the NFL.

Quarterback position in gridiron football

A quarterback, colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is usually considered the leader of the offensive team, and is often responsible for calling the play in the huddle. The quarterback also touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and is the offensive player that almost always throws forward passes.

Professional career

The Chicago Bears selected Anderson in the first round (27th pick overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft, [8] and he played for the Bears for eight seasons from 1986 to 1993. [9] He joined the franchise as a rookie immediately following the Bears' 1985 championship season. The Bears picked Anderson to back up, and eventually succeed, Walter Payton, who became the Bears and NFL's all-time rushing leader during his lengthy career. After Payton's retirement in 1987, Anderson became the team's starting running back.

The 1986 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 29–30, 1986, at the Marriot Marquis in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

The 1986 NFL season was the 67th regular season of the National Football League. Defending Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears shared the league’s best record with the Giants at 14–2, with the Giants claiming the spot in the NFC by tiebreakers. In the AFC, the Cleveland Browns earned home-field advantage with a record of 12–4, and they hosted the New York Jets in round one of the AFC playoffs. The Jets had started the season at 10–1 before losing their final five contests. The game went to double OT, with the Browns finally prevailing 23–20. The following Sunday, John Elway and the Denver Broncos defeated the Browns by an identical score in a game known for The Drive, where Elway drove his team 98 yards to send the game to overtime to win. The Giants would defeat their rival Washington Redskins in the NFC title game, blanking them 17–0 to advance to their first Super Bowl. The season ended with Super Bowl XXI when the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39–20 at the Rose Bowl to win their first league title in 30 years.

The 1993 NFL season was the 74th regular season of the National Football League. It was the only season in league history where all NFL teams were scheduled to play their 16-game schedule over a span of 18 weeks. After the success of expanding the regular season to a period of 17 weeks in 1990, the league hoped this new schedule would generate even more revenue. This was also done to avoid scheduling playoff games on January 1 and competing with college football bowl games. However, teams felt that having two weeks off during the regular season was too disruptive for their weekly routines, and thus it reverted to 17 weeks immediately after the season ended.

Anderson's best years came during the late 1980s, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. [9] In all three seasons, Anderson scored over ten touchdowns and averaged over four yards per carry. Ultimately, his best season came in 1989, when he rushed for 1,275 yards, received 434 yards, and scored 15 touchdowns. He was invited to the Pro Bowl in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. [1]

The 1989 NFL season was the 70th regular season of the National Football League. Before the season, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announced his retirement. Paul Tagliabue was eventually chosen to succeed him, taking over on November 5.

Pro Bowl all-star game of the National Football League (NFL)

The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). From the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC). From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains, instead of selecting players from each conference. The players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game.

1988 NFL season

The 1988 NFL season was the 69th regular season of the National Football League. The Cardinals relocated from St. Louis, Missouri to the Phoenix, Arizona area becoming the Phoenix Cardinals but remained in the NFC East division. The playoff races came down to the regular season’s final week, with the Seattle Seahawks winning the AFC West by one game, and the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers winning their respective divisions in a five-way tie, with the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants losing the NFC Wild Card berth to the Los Angeles Rams on tiebreakers.

Over his eight-year career, Anderson appeared in 116 regular season games, and started 91 of them; he amassed 6,166 yards and scored 51 touchdowns rushing, and 2,763 yards and 20 touchdowns receiving—a career total of 71 touchdowns. [1] Anderson's career was shortened by injuries and the Bears' fall-out during the early 1990s. He is currently the Bears' third all-time franchise rusher, behind Payton and Matt Forté. [10] [11]

Statistics

Note: G = Games played; Att = Rushing attempts; Yds = Rushing yards; Avg = Average yards per carry; Long = Longest rush; Rush TD = Rushing touchdowns; Rec = Receptions; Yds = Receiving yards; Avg = Average yards per reception; Long = Longest reception; Rec TD = Receiving touchdowns

YearTeamGPAttYdsAvgLongRush TDRecYdsAvgLongRec TD
1986 Chicago Bears 14351464.223048020.0581
1987 Chicago Bears 111295864.5383474679.9593
1988 Chicago Bears 162491,1064.48012393719.5360
1989 Chicago Bears 162741,2754.77311504348.7494
1990 Chicago Bears 152601,0784.152104248411.5503
1991 Chicago Bears 132107473.6426473687.8263
1992 Chicago Bears 161565823.7495423999.5306
1993 Chicago Bears 152026463.2454311605.2350
Career Totals1161,5156,1664.180513022,7639.15920

Life after football

Anderson now lives with his wife and their three children in the Gainesville area, where he helped found a bank and owns a 2,000-acre (810 ha) peanut farm. [12] He is active in the community.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Neal Anderson. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  2. databaseFootball.com, Players, Neal Anderson Archived August 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 2012 Florida Football Media Guide Archived May 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine , University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 76, 87, 90, 94, 95, 97, 98, 101, 104, 116, 121, 141–142, 146–148, 151, 152, 154, 156, 176 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  4. College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Yearly Results 1980–1984 Archived November 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine and Florida Yearly Results 1985–1989. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  5. F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  6. Antonya English, "Anderson: Big honor, young age," The Gainesville Sun, Sports Weekend section, p. 4 (April 8, 1995). Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  7. Robbie Andreu & Pat Dooley, "No. 13 Neal Anderson," The Gainesville Sun (August 21, 2006). Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  8. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1986 National Football League Draft. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  9. 1 2 National Football League, Historical Players, Neal Anderson. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  10. Pro-Football-Reference.com, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bears Rushing Career Register. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  11. Jeremy Stoltz, "Forte No. 2 rusher in Bears annals Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine ," Scout.com (November 24, 2013). Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  12. Pat Forde, "Pressure, pigeons and playoff," ESPN.com (November 2, 2010). Retrieved November 3, 2010.

Bibliography