“The Neck”. No it’s not a new Batman villain or a member of Tony Soprano’s mob crew. It’s the nickname bestowed upon New Orleans Saints Safety Roman Harper because of the huge trap muscles in his neck. Harper has also become known for other things in his tenure as a Saint.
Harper was selected in the second Round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the forty-third pick out of the University of Alabama. While at there, Harper tallied over 300 tackles, 5 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 3.5 sacks. After being drafted, Harper grabbed the starting Strong Safety position. His 2006 rookie season came to an abrupt end in Week 5 with a knee injury.
However, Harper bounced back the following season in 2007 starting all 16 games. He recorded 90 total tackles and two forced fumbles. That year he also had a career best 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, and an interception touchdown return.
During the Saints Super Bowl season, he had another career best with102 tackles and garnered his first Pro Bowl selection. Of course, Harper didn’t get to play since the Pro Bowl was played before the Super Bowl that season. A situation I’m sure he didn’t mind since the Saints would be victorious in the latter.
Harper would have another strong season in 2010 with 98 tackles, 3 sacks, and another career best 6 forced fumbles. Harper would register his first interception in two years in Week 2 against San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith. His season was impeccable until the NFC Wild Card Playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks.