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Made for Seattle

Over the last few days we've taken a look at Aaron Curry, Nick Reed, and Mike Teel. Because I can hear everyone clamoring to find out a little about Deon Butler, I suppose I'll allow it.

One day during the fall of his freshman year at Hylton High School, Deon Butler came home and told his father he was done with football.

He'd show up for practice, receive good feedback and then, come game time, watch from the sidelines. He was tired of not playing and he was tired of hearing he was too small.

You see, children, the problem was that Deon Butler was short. Because Virginians are notoriously bigoted towards the vertically challenged, Butler found himself an outsider, peering in with aid from a milk crate. Despite his superior speed, quickness, and willingness to learn, little Deon Butler was an afterthought. During games of Keep Away, Butler always found himself in the middle, endlessly flailing at balls out of his reach. The bullies called him Deon the Peon, as height is the determinant in the Virgina feudal system. Rather than move to an agility-based state like South Dakota where Deon would have easily been aristocracy, Deon's father verbally inspired his son.

"I told him, 'My kids are not quitters.' That's not the answer," Vernon Butler said. "If you start it, you finish it."

The rest is straight out of  Tim Ruskell's Bedtime Stories: Little Timmy Teaches Hustle and Determination.

He applied that life lesson in college, when, after receiving just one Division I offer that was later rescinded, he walked on to Penn State, earned a scholarship and finished his career as the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in receptions.

...and all was right in the world. Butler had a nice college career at a very successful school. His stats were deflated by the combination of a run-based offense and Michael Robinson. 5'10" is not outrageously short. Steve Smith, Wes Welker,  and Deion Branch are 5'9". Santana Moss, Eddie Royal, and Lee Evans are 5'10". Greg Jennings is  5'11" (he would have been the King of Virginia).

Butler was drafted to the perfect team: everyone is undersized, the receivers have significant injury histories, and the name Bobby Engram has cachet. Now go forth and run perfect routes.