This Day in Football History: March 2 to March 8, 2020

From the anniversary of Peyton Manning’s retirement to Hall of Famer Gil Brandt’s 87th birthday, check out some of this week’s historic NFL moments. Think you know your football trivia? NFL Research looks back at some of the great games, stunning accomplishments and historic events to make sure you’re in the loop on this day in history.

March 2

On this day in 2019, Ole Miss wide receiver DK Metcalf ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, the fastest time by any player weighing at least 225 pounds since 2003.

Happy birthday to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger! Roethlisberger, who is a two-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII), turns 38 on March 2. He has been the Steelers quarterback since he was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2004, when he was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Roethlisberger has been selected to six Pro Bowls and ranks in the top 10 all-time in both pass yards (eighth) and passing touchdowns (ninth).

March 3

On this day in 1950, the National and American Conferences were created, replacing the Eastern and Western Divisions.

Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin put up 20 bench press reps using a prosthetic hand at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. According to Next Gen Stats, Griffin had an edge pass rush get-off of 0.78 seconds in 2019, tied for the eighth-fastest in the NFL (minimum 50 edge pass rushes).

Happy 58th birthday to Herschel Walker! Walker was a running back for the Cowboys (1986-1989 and 1996-1997), Vikings (1989-1991), Eagles (1992-1994), and Giants (1995) and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

March 4

Happy 87th birthday to Hall of Famer and senior analyst Gil Brandt. Brandt was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 after serving as the Cowboys vice president of player personnel for 29 seasons (1960-1988). Under Brandt, the Cowboys saw 20 consecutive winning seasons (1966-1985), five Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl victories (Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII). Brandt drafted nine future Hall of Famers and began working at NFL Media in 1995 –’s first season.

On this day in 2017, Washington wide receiver John Ross set the combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash since at least 2003 when he ran a 4.22 at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. According to Next Gen Stats, Ross reached at least 20 MPH on 1.6% of his snaps in 2019, the 11th-highest rate in the NFL (minimum 300 snaps).

March 5

On this day in 2015, NFL Network analyst Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement after nine seasons in the NFL. Jones-Drew was a running back for the Jaguars (2006-2013) and Raiders (2014) and his career accolades include three Pro Bowl selections and being named first-team All-Pro in 2011 when he led the league with 1,606 rushing yards. His 68 rushing touchdowns are the most in Jaguars history and he is one of two players in NFL history (Shaun Alexander) with at least 8,000 rush yards and at least 65 rushing touchdowns on fewer than 2,000 carries prior to their age-30 season.

Happy birthday to Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin! Irvin, who is a three-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XXVII, Super Bowl XXVIII and Super Bowl XXX), turns 54 on March 5. As a wide receiver for the Cowboys (1988-1999), Irvin was selected to five Pro Bowl, named first-team All-Pro in 1991, and racked up 11,904 receiving yards and 750 receptions (both second-most in Cowboys history).

Happy 60th birthday to Hall of Famer Mike Munchak! Munchak played for the Houston Oilers from 1982-1993 and was selected to nine Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro twice. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his last seven seasons in the league and moved to coaching after retiring as a player. Munchak was the Titans head coach from 2011-2013 and has been the Broncos offensive line coach since 2019.

March 6

On this day in 2005, Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Warner was the Cardinals quarterback from 2005 to 2009 and his Arizona career included a Pro Bowl selection, a Super Bowl appearance, a 91.9 passer rating (the highest in Cardinals history, minimum 50 attempts), and being named the 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year. Before joining the Cardinals in 2005, Warner played six seasons with the Rams (1998-2003) and a season with the Giants (2004). In his entire career, Warner was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, named first-team All-Pro twice, a two-time MVP, and a Super Bowl champion in Super Bowl XXXIV.

March 7

On this day in 2016, Peyton Manning announced his retirement. In his storied career, Manning was a two-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XLI and Super Bowl 50), a five-time MVP (the most in NFL history), selected to 14 Pro Bowls, and named first-team All-Pro seven times. At the time of his retirement, Manning was the all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539).

Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Franco Harris! The four-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV) turns 70 on March 7. He was named the 1972 AP Offensive Player of the Year and his 11,950 rushing yards and 91 rushing touchdowns both rank first in Steelers history.

March 8

Happy 44th birthday to Hines Ward! Ward was selected to four Pro Bowls, was a two-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII), and Super Bowl XL MVP. He was a wide receiver for the Steelers from 1998 to 2011 and his 1,000 receptions, 12,083 receiving yards, and 85 receiving touchdowns all rank first in Steelers history. Ward is one of 14 players all-time with at least 1,000 receptions.

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