The New England Patriots have had the word GOAT thrown around them a lot these past few years. No, not the animal. The acronym: which stands for greatest of all-time.
It’s a reference to the dynasty they’ve built. Seven Super Bowl appearances in the 21st century and five titles. Oh, and they’re the Super Bowl favorite this upcoming season and probably will be again the year after. Tom Brady is considered the GOAT. Bill Belichick is considered the GOAT. And while he might not be a GOAT yet, one can not discount Nate Ebner was the best special teams tackler in the NFL last year.
Some people might not care about special teams but those who don’t just don’t realize how important it is over the course of a game. If no one on kickoff makes the tackle, then it’d result in a touchdown, but Ebner did a nice job last year of making sure that sort of thing didn’t happen.
He led the league in tackles on special teams and didn't miss a single one. pic.twitter.com/dmZv1iz3zK
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 25, 2017
That’s right. He went 14-for-14 on his special teams tackle attempts. If you’re coming for Ebner, he will knock you down. Plain and simple.
If you’re not convinced how productive Ebner was this past season, then consider this: Matthew Slater was picked to the Pro Bowl for special teams because he’s the Patriots captain and he too had a very productive year, but he said Ebner deserved the honor. That’s high praise from one of the special teams greats. Plus, the Patriots are willing to carry two guys on their roster (Ebner and Slater) as special teams tacklers, so they must be doing something right.
Oh yeah, and Ebner was in the Olympics last year for rugby 7’s. Here’s his college highlights.
Not bad for a guy whose pick was booed in one of the most classless New York sports showings in recent memory.