Any takers on an NFL team from the 'U'?

Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson suggests a team of Miami Hurricanes in the NFL in their prime could win Super Bowl.

Andre Johnson is obviously proud of his Miami Hurricanes heritage, so much so that he suggests a team of former “U” players in their prime could win a Super Bowl.

The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver was asked that question during a recent radio appearance in Miami on the Marc Hochman Show with Zach Krantz.

“Yeah, I really think you can (win a Super Bowl),” Johnson said. “If you put a team together and all of the guys are in their prime, yes, I think you could get it done.”

Perhaps the caveat would be “in their prime,” which probably means bringing back retired stars such as middle linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has yet to sign with a team after he wasn’t retained in the offseason.

If compiling that list from active players, start with the Colts, who have four former Hurricanes on the roster in addition to associate head coach Rob Chudzinski, a former Miami player and coach, as well as head coach Chuck Pagano, once a Miami assistant.

Johnson was reunited on the Colts with former Hurricanes running back Frank Gore in what has been described as a package free-agent deal — both flew into Indianapolis together on owner Jim Irsay’s jet and then finalized their contracts. The Colts drafted former Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round on April 30th and have tight end Eric Swoope, who signed as an undrafted free agent before 2014 and spent the season on the practice squad.

“The transition has been very comfortable for me,” Johnson said. “It’s great to have guys that you’re familiar with in the locker room so it’s a lot of fun.

“Having coach Pagano and coach Chud there, Frank and Phillip, I mean it’s been a lot of fun. Me and Frank’s locker are directly next to each other, so me and him are sitting there talking every day.”

Looking around the league at “U” players, joining Gore at running back could be the Miami DolphinsLamar Miller and Cleveland Browns rookie Duke Johnson. The obvious tight ends are the Seattle SeahawksJimmy Graham and Carolina PanthersGreg Olsen, who have both been to the Pro Bowl.

Up front on the O-line, there’s several players to choose from with two-time Pro Bowl center Chris Myers, Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Eric Winston, San Diego Chargers offensive guard Orlando Franklin, New York Giants rookie tackle Ereck Flowers (the ninth overall pick in April), Miami offensive tackle Jason Fox, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Brandon Linder and Oakland Raiders offensive guard Jon Feliciano, among others.

Now switch to defense. At defensive end, Arizona Cardinals Calais Campbell has been to a Pro Bowl and there’s the Kansas City ChiefsAllen Bailey and Miami’s Olivier Vernon. At defensive tackle, Houston Texans defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork is an obvious choice. But the pickings are a bit slim after him. Maybe Chicago Bears undrafted rookie Olsen Pierre gets a spot by default.

At linebacker, there’s Panthers three-time Pro Bowl selection Jon Beason. The Chargers used a second-round pick on rookie Denzel Perryman. D.J. Williams is a free agent but could play inside or out. The Pittsburgh SteelersSean Spence, a former third-round pick, started nine games last season. The Cardinals’ Darryl Sharpton is an option, although he’s with his fourth team since 2010.

The secondary considerations include three-time Pro Bowl safety/cornerback Antrel Rolle of the Bears, Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields, New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Phillips, free-agent safety Brandon Meriweather and St. Louis Rams cornerback Brandon McGee.

If considering specialists, there’s always Atlanta Falcons returner Devin Hester, who can also play some wide receiver. There isn’t a kicker in the league, so one of two punters would have to suffice in the Falcons’ Matt Bosher or the Bears’ Pat O’Donnell.

Problem is, who would play quarterback? There isn’t an established former Hurricanes passer in the NFL now. The three who are in the league were undrafted the past two years.

Maybe the prideful Johnson would have to call an audible on his prediction.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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