Howard set a Super Bowl record with 90 punt return yards and 154 kickoff return yards with one score, as well as 244 all-purpose yards. His performance earned him the Super Bowl MVP title, becoming Howard the first player to ever win the award entirely on the strength of his special teams prowess. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Buffalo Bills, 27-7.
Desmond Howard was born on January 4th, 1974 in Brooklyn, New York. He was a student at Christopher Columbus High School before being drafted by the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 1997. Howard played only three seasons for the Bills before moving on to the Detroit Lions where he ended his career in 2001. After ending his football career, Howard turned his attention back to school and earned a degree in criminal justice from James Madison University in 2004.
Since then, Howard has had a successful career as a sports analyst for ESPN and now appears on their Monday Night Football broadcast team. In 2015, Howard was selected to play in his first Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. However, the Broncos were defeated by the Carolina Panthers, 34-32.
Besides playing football, Howard also dabbled in boxing during his youth years. He went undefeated in his amateur career and had a record of 7-0-1 before turning professional in 1995. Under the management of Eddie Futch, Howard won his first seven fights before being knocked out by Maurice Smith in 1999.
Desmond Howard made Super Bowl history on January 26, 1997, when he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score (still a Super Bowl record). It was an exhilarating play that deflated the Patriots to the point where they couldn't summon another rally.
Howard set a Super Bowl record with 90 punt return yards and 154 kickoff return yards with one score, as well as 244 all-purpose yards. His performance earned him the Super Bowl MVP title, becoming Howard the first player to ever win the award entirely on the strength of his special teams prowess.
Throughout his 11-year career, Howard's prowess as a receiver was overshadowed by his abilities as a punt and kickoff returner. Despite having only 92 catches in his first four seasons, he was a standout punt and kickoff returner throughout his career. In addition to being one of the best at his position, Howard also holds the NFL record for most combined yards by a player returning both kicks and punts in a season (2312 yards in 1996). He's only been surpassed by Eric Dickerson this decade.
Howard started out as a rookie when he played only five games because of injuries but still managed to catch 42 passes for 762 yards and seven touchdowns. As time went on, his production decreased but he still ended up with over 10,000 career receiving yards. At the end of his career, Howard had 952 receptions for 14,173 yards and 56 touchdowns.
Desmond Howard was born on January 4th, 1975 in Richmond, Virginia. He was a freshman at Virginia Tech when the Hokies played Michigan in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Howard caught three passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns in that game as Virginia Tech defeated Michigan 34-33. After graduating from Tech, he went on to play eleven seasons in the NFL for the Detroit Lions, Orlando Magic, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins.
His Super Bowl kickoff return touchdown ended up being his only one of his career. After the season, Howard became a free agent and signed with the Oakland Raiders. He has the most kickoff returns (61) and kickoff return yards (61) in the NFL (1,381). Howard played with the Raiders in 1998 before returning to the Packers in 1999. He finished his NFL career with the Titans in 2000.
Howard was born on January 4, 1964 in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from James Madison University in 1986 with a degree in communications.
He is the older brother of former NFL player Andre Howard. Desmond Howard started at cornerback for the Packers in 1997 and 1998 before moving to wide receiver where he won a Super Bowl ring with Green Bay in 1996. In 1999, he returned to the Raiders as their primary kick returner until he was released after the season.
During his NFL career, Howard received several awards including two All-Pro selections, two NFC Special Teams Player of the Year Awards, and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
After retiring from football, Howard moved back to Wisconsin where he worked as an analyst for ESPN and ABC during football seasons and as a radio host for 105.1 The Hawk in Milwaukee.