Donald André Bly (born May 22, 1977) is a former American football cornerback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He played college football for the University of North Carolina (UNC), and earned All-American honors twice. Bly was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft, and spent four seasons with the Rams, earning a Super Bowl ring with them in Super Bowl XXXIV over the Tennessee Titans. He was selected to two Pro Bowls during his four-year tenure with the Detroit Lions, and also played for the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.
Bly with the Denver Broncos in 2007
|North Carolina Tar Heels|
|Born:||May 22, 1977|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school:||Chesapeake (VA) Western Branch|
|NFL Draft:||1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Bly was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. He graduated from Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, where he was an all-state high school football player as well as a decorated baseball player for Western Branch Bruins.
Bly attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played for the North Carolina Tar Heels football team. In his redshirt freshman season at UNC, he led the nation with 11 interceptions. He received all-American honors, and is only one of five players in NCAA history to achieve this honor as a freshman (Tony Dorsett, Herschel Walker, Bjorn Merten, and Marshall Faulk being the others). Bly was the only football player in UNC and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history to receive consensus first-team All-America honors twice in his college career. In his sophomore year, he was one of three finalists for the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Year Award. Bly set the ACC record for career interceptions (20), which was later broken by Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest (21). He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|5 ft 9 7⁄8 in
|4.51 s||1.58 s||2.63 s||4.09 s||7.10 s||35 1⁄2 in
|9 ft 8 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
St. Louis RamsEdit
The St. Louis Rams selected Bly in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft. Bly started his career in St. Louis, playing there for four years. While with the Rams, Bly won a Super Bowl ring for Super Bowl XXXIV. Two years later in Super Bowl XXXVI, the Rams lost to the New England Patriots, marking Bly's second Super Bowl with St. Louis.
First stint with LionsEdit
In 2003, Bly left the St. Louis Rams and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions. He made the Pro Bowl in two of his seasons with the team. Bly was the 2003 recipient of the Detroit Lions/Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association/Pro Football Writers Association's Media-Friendly "Good Guy" Award. The Good Guy Award is given yearly to the Detroit Lions player who shows consideration to, and cooperation with the media at all times during the course of the season.
On November 29, 2005, the day after Lions head coach Steve Mariucci was fired, Bly told the NFL Network that if their back-up quarterback, Jeff Garcia, had been healthy the entire season, the Lions would be in a better situation, and Mariucci would still be coaching the team. He has since apologized, albeit not to Joey Harrington, the Lions starting quarterback that season.
On March 1, 2007, Bly was traded by the Detroit Lions to the Denver Broncos for running back Tatum Bell, offensive tackle George Foster, and a 5th round draft pick. On March 28, 2007, the Denver Broncos and Bly agreed to a 5-year, $33 million contract. The contract included $18 million in bonus money and $16 million guaranteed.
Bly finished the 2007 season as the Broncos leader in interceptions with five.
The Broncos restructured Bly's contract on February 18, 2008 to free up salary cap space and keep Bly on the team. As of December 1, 2008, Bly had a total of 98 Tackles and 7 Interceptions with the Broncos.
The Broncos released Bly on February 17, 2009.
San Francisco 49ersEdit
On May 21, 2009, Bly signed a one-year, $845,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Second stint with LionsEdit
On July 2, 2010, Bly re-signed with the Detroit Lions. Bly was released on September 4, 2010.
|Year||Team||Games||Combined Tackles||Tackles||Assisted Tackles||Sacks||Forced Fumbles||Fumble Recoveries||Fumble Return Yards||Interceptions||Interception Return Yards||Yards per Interception Return||Longest Interception Return||Interceptions Returned for Touchdown||Passes Defended|
In October 2018, Bly was named the defensive backs coach for the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football. However, in December, he joined the North Carolina Tar Heels coaching staff as their cornerbacks coach.
Bly and his wife Kristyn, have four sons: Trey, Jordan, AJ, and Emanuel and a daughter, Peyton. Bly also has an older sister Donna Mitchell, who is a high school teacher. Bly was voted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in January 2017.
- LaCanfora, Jason (November 21, 2011). "Jason LaCanfora's Twitter account". Twitter.com. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
Former Pro Bowl CB Dre' Bly is retiring, according to his agent, Kennard McGuire. Former Super Bowl winner was most recently with Detroit
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved April 20, 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "University of North Carolina Athletics - Official Athletics Website". Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "Wake Forest Closes Season with 23-10 win over Vanderbilt". Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- National Football Foundation (May 22, 2014). "NFF Proudly Announces Impressive 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class". FootballFoundation.org. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- NFL Draftscout.com
- ESPN - Broncos sign Bly to five-year, $33M contract - NFL
- Williamson, Bill. "Elam remains unsigned priority - The Denver Post". Denver Post.
- Broncos release Bly after two seasons. Retrieved on February 17, 2009.
- "Dre' Bly Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Krasovic, Tom (October 11, 2018). "San Diego Fleet hires former SDSU and Rams star". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- Alexander, Jonathan (December 11, 2018). "New coach Dré Bly, a former star cornerback, remembers his UNC 'rude boy' days (it's a mindset)". The News & Observer. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- .Denver Broncos Bio