Former Miami Hurricanes CB Tracy Howard blames injury, not Al Golden on NFL Career ending

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Tracy Howard #3 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates a turnover during a game at Sunlife Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Tracy Howard #3 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates a turnover during a game at Sunlife Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Former Miami Hurricanes CB Tracy Howard was one of the highest ranked recruits during the Al Golden era. Despite a defensive scheme that didn’t use Howard’s or his teammates’ skill sets correctly the former Cleveland Brown doesn’t blame Golden for a short NFL Career.

Tracy Howard spoke about his experiences as a member of the Miami Hurricanes football team and in the NFL. His college teammate Anthony Chickillo was extremely critical of their college head coach Al Golden. Howard was much more diplomatic in his assessment of his collegiate career and having to retire early.

Howard started 27 games in his Miami career. Twenty-five of those came in his sophomore and senior seasons in 2013 and 2015. Howard finished his Hurricanes career with 104 tackles, one tackle for loss, five interceptions and 11 pass breakups. A five-star recruit coming out of high school Howard never reached that standard.

Howard went undrafted out of college and signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns a couple of weeks after the NFL Draft. He spent one season in Cleveland. Howard totaled 16 tackles and a pass breakup in 15 games with three starts. He also returned seven kickoffs for 111 yards. Cleveland did not retain Howard after 2016.

Howard spent part of the 2017 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the final two games of that season with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins waived him nearly a year ago on May 10. A pelvis injury while with the Dolphins ended Howard’s career according to Manny Navarro of The Athletic.

Navarro spoke extensively with Chickillo about their Miami Hurricanes careers and the impact that Golden had one them. Howard did not want to get into a battle of words with the former Hurricanes head coach. Chickillo said that Golden and former Miami defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofiro ruined his college experience.

Howard told Navarro he still speaks to Golden and D’Onofrio occasionally. He was genial about his relationship with his former Hurricanes coaches.

"“I’m not sure how much it would have affected me had I gone to another school, but I’ve got nothing bad to say about them…He ran what he wanted to run, and he believed in what he wanted to believe in. It was what it was.I’ll never want to get in the paper and bash nobody. You never know what’s going to happen down the road in life. Me, personally, I feel like they should have let us play free when we were out there. I felt like we played with aggressiveness sometimes. Third down we always had pressure. I don’t think it was the scheme.I think it was how we played it. There are 10 different ways to skin a cat. We did it one way.”"

Howard told Navarro his life has turned out great. He doesn’t blame Golden for his failure to have a lengthy NFL career. Navarro reported that Howard runs an “automotive detailing service and window tinting business.” Howard realizes his injury was the major factor why he had to retire.

"“I think it turned out great…I ended up making it to the league. Unfortunately, I had an injury that caused me not to play anymore, that I’m still going through. But, I mean, it was cool. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Even the first day I went to UM, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It’s not easy.”"

Next. Anthony Chickillo highly critical of Al Golden. dark

It’s impossible to know how Howard’s career could have turned out anywhere else. He had his chance in the NFL and unfortunately, the injury to his pelvis ended his career. The only thing that can potentially be said about Golden and D’Onofrio is that had Howard been used correctly he might have been drafted higher.