SB XXXI MVP Desmond Howard
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Desmond Howard

Position:Wide Receiver/Kick Returner
Height:5' 10"
Weight:180 lbs.
Birthdate:May 15, 1970
Birthplace:Cleveland, OH
Team/Year:Washington; 1992-1994
Jacksonville; 1995
Green Bay; 1996, 1999
Oakland; 1997-1998
Detroit; 1999-2002
MVP:Super Bowl XXXI

Until he joined the Packers in 1996, Desmond Howard was considered one of the biggest draft flops of the 1990s. Taken by the Washington Redskins with the fourth overall pick in the 1992 draft after winning the Heisman Trophy at Michigan, Howard caught 66 passes for just 5 touchdowns in three seasons with Washington. The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired him out of the league expansion draft, but he faired little better.

With a deep and talented receiver corps, Green Bay didn't need Howard to catch passes but rather to return kicks. Howard made the most of his opportunity, however, averaging a sparkling 15.1 yards per punt return (his 875 return yards were an NFL record) and returning 3 punts for touchdowns during the regular season. But Howard was just warming up.

In the Packers' playoff opener against San Francisco, he gave Green Bay a quick 7-0 lead with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown, and he later added a 46-yard return to set up another score. Three weeks later, Howard wrote his name in NFL history books with a record-setting performance in Super Bowl XXXI, totaling 244 return yards and clinching Green Bay's first title in 29 years with a 99-yard third-quarter kickoff return for a touchdown. He became the first special-teams player to be named most valuable player of a Super Bowl.

Soon after, Howard signed a lucrative contract with the Oakland Raiders, who promised him a chance to reestablish himself as a receiver. He returned an NFL-high 61 kickoffs and he caught 4 passes in 1997 for the last-place Raiders.

In 1999, Howard returned to the Green Bay Packers. He was later waived and picked up by the Detroit Lions.

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