S. Jersey maintains NFL presence

Ravens QB Joe Flacco is the best-known South Jersey product playing in the NFL. AJ MAST / Associated Press
Ravens QB Joe Flacco is the best-known South Jersey product playing in the NFL. AJ MAST / Associated Press
Posted: September 08, 2012

Players from the seven-county South Jersey area have a long history in the NFL, and the tradition is continuing this season.

Thirteen local players were on opening-day, 53-man NFL rosters. An additional five players were on injured reserve, the practice squad, or the reserve/non-football injury list.

The most recognizable name is Audubon grad Joe Flacco, the fifth-year starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, who guided his team to the AFC championship game last season. In that game, against the New England Patriots, the Ravens were one dropped pass from reaching the Super Bowl.

Flacco is teamed in Baltimore with another former Colonial Conference player, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie of Woodbury.

In 2008, Flacco was a first-round draft choice of the Ravens, the 18th overall selection, from the University of Delaware. He is the last South Jersey player to be selected in the first round.

Flacco is the only starting quarterback since the 1970 merger to reach the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. He is among 16 area players since 1963 who have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

Another in that category is South Jersey's most successful player, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, from Rancocas Valley. Harris starred on four Super Bowl-winning teams for the Steelers.

In addition to the players, there will be one head coach this season with area ties, but an asterisk has to be put next to his name. After serving a six-week suspension given for the New Orleans Saints' bounty system, Joe Vitt will serve as interim head coach the rest of the season. Vitt is a graduate of Highland.

South Jersey Players in the NFL

These players from the seven-county South Jersey area were on 53-man rosters, injured reserve, or practice squads to begin the NFL season.

Player   Team   Pos.   School   

Phil Costa   Dallas   C   Holy Cross   

Jack Crawford   Oakland   DE   St. Augustine   

Mike Daniels   Green Bay   DE   Highland   

Joe Flacco   Baltimore   QB   Audubon   

Shonn Greene   N.Y. Jets   RB   Winslow Twp.   

*-Jonathan Grimes   Houston   RB   Paul VI

**-Ben Ijalana   Indianapolis   OT   Rancocas Valley   

George Johnson   Tampa Bay   DE   Glassboro   

Dennis Landolt   N.Y. Jets   OT   Holy Cross   

Turk McBride   New Orleans   DE   Woodrow Wilson   

Bryant McKinnie   Baltimore   OT   Woodbury   

Jeromy Miles   Cincinnati   DB   Winslow Twp.   

*-Kashif Moore   Indianapolis   WR   Burlington Twp.   

Shaun Phillips   San Diego   LB   Willingboro   

Chris Pressley   Cincinnati   FB   Woodbury   

Isaac Redman   Pittsburgh   RB   Paulsboro   

*-Alex Silvestro   New England   TE   Paulsboro   

***-Johnnie Troutman   San Diego   OG   Pemberton   

*- practice squad

**- on injured reserve

*** - reserve/non-football injury list

- Marc Narducci

Send additions to mnarducci@phillynews.com.

Contact Marc Narducci

at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com

or @sjnard on Twitter.

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