With the NFL season more than one quarter of the way done, former Thunderbird players are contributing to their teams in a variety of ways.
Miles Killebrew – Detroit Lions Defensive Back
Killebrew continues to serve as a backup safety for the Lions, but shows versatility in being able to play both free and strong safety spots as well as switch over to linebacker. So far in the year he has recorded four total tackles in the four games this season. All of his tackles have come on special teams as he continues to serve as a specialist for the Lions in kick and punt coverage.
Killebrew is in the last year of his rookie contract with the Lions. Head coach Matt Patricia has given praise of Killebrew in the past, despite not playing on defense.
“I think he is doing a good job of understanding the concepts of what we’re doing,” said coach Patricia. “We moved him into a couple different spots based off need that we had. He played on the line, he played off the ball, he played in some of those different packages. He handled it really well from an overall understanding of what we were trying to do.”
Killebrew was also the focus of an uncalled penalty against the Philadelphia Eagles and was fined for the missed call as well.
LeShaun Sims – Tennessee Titans Cornerback
Sims continues to back up a deep defensive backfield for the Titans that includes Logan Ryan, Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler. Being a viable backup the Titans have found reasons to keep around, he has seen playing time in all five games this year so far, but only managing five defensive snaps.
Most of Sims’ playing time comes from special teams, where he has managed to play on 55 percent of snaps. In that small playing time, Sims has managed two total tackles. Sims is also in the last year of his rookie contract with the Titans and will look for either an extension or a new deal with a different NFL team.
There are also former Thunderbirds as NFL Free Agents, including James Cowser, Brock Miller and Marquez Tucker.
Story by: Kurt Meacham
Photo courtesy of Pride of Detroit SB Nation