Townsend (left) with the Steelers in 2007
|Born:||September 8, 1975|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||183 lb (83 kg)|
|High school:||South Panola|
|NFL Draft:||1998 / Round: 4 / Pick: 117|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Trevor Deshea Townsend (born September 8, 1975) is a former cornerback in the National Football League (NFL), and is currently the secondary coach for the Chicago Bears. Formerly he served as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants. He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide and was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (117th overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft, and also played a season with the Indianapolis Colts.
A native of Batesville, Mississippi, Townsend played high school football for the South Panola Tigers, where he was the teammate of fellow future Alabama Crimson Tide star Dwayne Rudd. Townsend played quarterback at South Panola and led the team to the 1993 Mississippi State 5A championship and an undefeated 15–0 record.
Along with Rudd, Townsend continued his career in college at the University of Alabama where both became members of the Theta Delta Chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, in 1995. He majored in business management.
Townsend grew from a special teams player and nickel back (and initially known in Pittsburgh as the first player to wear Rod Woodson's number 26 after he left the Steelers), into a solid starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers at cornerback. Townsend was known for his outside speed as a pass rusher. Townsend has recorded 322 tackles, 15.5 quarterback sacks and 18 interceptions during his twelve years as a Steeler. He also had a key sack on Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck during the final minutes of Super Bowl XL, which helped secure the Steelers eventual victory. He was re-signed by the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent in March 2006.
During the 2008 season, Townsend accepted the reduced role from starting cornerback to the nickel package.
In August 2010, Townsend joined the Indianapolis Colts. On November 9, 2010, he was waived by the Colts. For the season, Townsend played in eight Colts games with no starts, and totaled 10 tackles and no interceptions or sacks.
In February 2011, Townsend was hired as assistant defensive backs coach of the Arizona Cardinals, joining former coach Ray Horton.
In January 2013, Townsend was hired as cornerbacks coach at Mississippi State University.
On January 26, 2016, Townsend was named the defensive backs coach of the Tennessee Titans, joining his former defensive coordinator when he was a player, Dick LeBeau from the Steelers during 2004-09. In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Titans took safety Kevin Byard in the third round (64th pick). In 2016, the Titans went 9-7 but missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season.
In 2017, the Titans went 9-7 but made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They would beat the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 in the Wild Card round, winning their first playoff game since 2003. They would lose to the New England Patriots 14-35 in the Divisional Round. Under his coaching, safety Kevin Byard would lead the NFL in interceptions, make the 2018 Pro Bowl, and was named first-team All-Pro.
New York Giants
On February 6, 2018, Townsend was named the assistant defensive backs coach for the New York Giants. During 2018, the Giants went 5-11 for the first time since 1995 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Under his coaching, safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl.
- Mike Mularkey (HC 2016-17) current tight ends coach of the Atlanta Falcons, previously coached the Titans (TE/HC 2014-17), Jaguars (HC 2012), Falcons (OC 2008-11, TE 2019-present), Dolphins (OC/TE 2006-07), Bills (HC 2004-05), Steelers (TE/OC 1996-03), and Buccaneers (TE 1994-95)
- Dick LeBeau (DC 2016-17) former defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans, previously coached the Steelers (DB/DC 1992-96, DC 2004-14), Bills (2003), Bengals (DB/DC 1980-91, DC/HC 1997-2002), Packers (DB 1976-79), and Eagles (1973-1975)
- Pat Shurmur (HC 2018) current head coach of the New York Giants, previously coached the Vikings (TE/OC 2016-17), Eagles (TE/OL/QB (1999-2008, OC 2013-15), Browns (HC 2011-12), and Rams (OC 2009-10)
- James Bettcher (DC 2018) current defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, previously coached the Cardinals (OLB/DC 2013-17) and the Colts (OLB 2012)
- Matt Nagy (HC 2019-present) current head coach of the Chicago Bears, previously coached the Chiefs (QB/OC 2013-17) and Eagles (2008-12)
- Chuck Pagano (DC 2019-present) current defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, previously coached the Colts (HC 2012-17), Ravens (DB/DC 2008-11), Raiders (DB 2005-06), and Browns (DB 2001-04)
- Kevin Byard (2016-17) 2017 First-team All-Pro, 2017 Pro Bowler, and 2017 NFL Interception co-leader
- Landon Collins (2018) 2016 First-team All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowler, and 2015 PFWA All-Rookie Team
- Hayes, Reggie (August 8, 2010). "Townsend saddles up with Colts". The News-Sentinel.
- "Cardinals hire former Steeler Townsend as coach". February 10, 2011. Archived from the original on February 13, 2011.
- Herndon, Mike (March 30, 2013). "Former Alabama star Deshea Townsend brings NFL experience to new job as Mississippi State assistant". al.
- Kuharsky, Paul (January 26, 2016). "Mularkey's Titans staff will feature seven newcomers, eight holdovers". ESPN.com.
- McCormick, Terry (April 30, 2016). "Titans go local, draft MTSU safety Kevin Byard in third". Titan Insider.
- Stites, Adam (December 31, 2017). "How the Titans earned a spot in the NFL playoffs". SBNation.com.
- Benne, Jon (January 6, 2018). "All the highlights from Titans' shocking win over Chiefs". SBNation.com.
- "Patriots beat Titans 35-14 to head back to AFC title game". ESPN.com. January 13, 2018.
- Boclair, David (January 22, 2018). "Two more Titans headed to Pro Bowl". Nashville Post.
- Wolfe, Cameron (January 5, 2018). "Kevin Byard receives due respect, named first-team All-Pro". ESPN.com.
- Marvez, Alex (February 6, 2018). "Giants add two more to revamped coaching staff". www.sportingnews.com.
- D'Andrea, Christian (December 7, 2018). "A 'simple' 19-step guide to the Giants' since-dashed playoff hopes". SBNation.com.
- Eisen, Michael (December 19, 2018). "Saquon Barkley, Landon Collins, and Aldrick Rosas make 2018 Pro Bowl". www.giants.com.
- Finley, Patrick (January 18, 2019). "Bears name former NFL CB Deshea Townsend new defensive backs coach". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Finley, Patrick (February 8, 2019). "Bears' Matt Nagy promotes two coaches to round out defensive staff". Chicago Sun-Times.