Monday, September 21, 2015

Madden '04 Monday - Patrick Chukwurah

Name: Patrick Chukwurah

Real Life Image: 

Game Image: 
(Chukwurah is actually a Texan in the game)

Example of Chukwurah on Cardboard:
Patrick Chukwurah has 5 cards to his name, all variations of his 2001 Bowman card.  Here's his rarest card, the Bowman Gold /99 from

Here's a kind of strange short video of Chukwurah promoting for some doctor:

Team and Position on Depth Chart in Madden '04: Chukwurah has a 61 rating and is 24 years old in Madden '04.  He's 2nd on the Texans depth chart at ROLB, which is fairly impressive considering the team has four ROLBs on their roster.  Their starting ROLB is Charlie Clemons, who spent his 7th and final season in Houston, and has an 81 rating in the game.  Third on the depth chart is Erik Flowers, who has a 54 rating.  The other ROLB who isn't listed on the depth chart (there are only three spots) is rookie ROLB #99, who is a 63.  I believe this is Antwan Peek, who was a 3rd round draft pick by the Texans in 2003.

Some Notable Ratings: Chukwurah has some terrible ratings - his 75 speed is about average for a ROLB, but his 68 strength is weak and his 54 awareness is atrocious (like bottom 10% of the league).  He also only has a 71 tackle rating - anything under 85 for a linebacker is just asking for missed tackles.

Professional Career: Born in Nigeria, Chukwurah eventually matriculated to Texas, where a decent High School career led to an opportunity at Wyoming, where he thrived.  The Vikings grabbed him as a 5th rounder in the 2001 draft, and in two years with the team he started five games, with 2.5 sacks and 3 fumbles forced.  But it wasn't enough, and they cut him at the end of 2002.

In 2003, Chukwurah was signed in the offseason by the Texans, but actually cut before the season started - so he never spent a true season with the Texans.  They opted instead to go with youth like Peek and GSNHOF favorite Shantee Orr, as Erik Flowers was also cut during the season and Charlie Clemons lost playing time as the year went on.

That could've been it for Chukwurah, and probably would've been for most players, but the Broncos gave him a brief shot at the end of 2003 and at that point "Predator" was born.  Nicknamed for his similar appearance to the movie character and his role of a QB hunter at DE/OLB, Chukwurah worked his way into the Broncos rotations for the next three years, accumulating a career high 4.5 sacks in 2006.  After 2006 he was a free agent, and the Buccaneers took a chance on him with a five year, $5.1 million dollar contract, but Chukwurah has just one sack in nine games and was cut as season's end.  Chukwurah moved to the Florida Tuskers of the ufl the next year, and led the league in sacks for a few seasons before seemingly retiring from football.

But then the amazing happened.  The Seahawks needed pass rush help in the 2013 playoffs, and after trying out a bunch of guys they signed Patrick Chukwurah, who hadn't played in the ufl since 2010.  He didn't garner a single stat, but the Seahawks won the Super Bowl that year and Chukwurah, presumably, earned a Super Bowl ring for his efforts.  The really need thing about his signing?  He was signed to replace an injured guy named Clemons - Chris this time - meaning that he got an opportunity to replace one Clemons 10 years after he wasn't able to beat one out on the Madden depth charts.

Why do I remember him? This was long before getting signed after a 3 year layoff or the Predator nickname, so I just saw Chukwurah as a good backup OLB option for special teams, as I loved my special teamers to be fairly fast.  Plus he had awesome hair.  At first that's all he was, but since we used him on so many teams, inevitably starters got hurt, and every time Chukwurah came into play he dominated.  He'd make interceptions even though he has a poor catch rating for an LB.  He'd force fumbles on sacks even though he had poor strength and tackle.  So now he's a regular starter every time I play Madden, establishing himself as Predator virtually just like he did in real life.

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