NFL

What Happened to Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Cornerback Lito Sheppard?

The Philadelphia Eagles had one of the top cornerbacks in the league during the 2000s. Lito Sheppard played for the Eagles from 2002 to 2008, and he made his impact known on the field. Sheppard was a skilled cornerback, and he made it difficult for receivers to get open and catch passes.

He spent 10 seasons in the NFL and played for four different teams. Sheppard had most of his success came when he played for the Eagles. The former All-Pro cornerback recently got into coaching not long ago.

Lito Sheppard had an impressive career in college before entering the NFL

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Sheppard is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and played college football at Florida. He came into Florida as one of the top recruits in the nation. Sheppard spent three seasons at Florida and developed into one of the top defensive players in the country. During his sophomore year in 2000, he finished with six interceptions and was named a first-team All-American. 

Sheppard finished his career at Florida with eight interceptions and 87 tackles on defense. He also returned 27 kickoffs for 472 yards. In addition to being named a first-team All-American, he was also a two-time first-team All-SEC selection and was an SEC champion in 2000. Sheppard declared for the NFL draft after his junior year.

Going into the draft, Sheppard was a top prospect. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. In his first year, Sheppard appeared in 12 games coming off the bench and finished with 13 combined tackles.

Lito Sheppard became a top player for the Eagles during his career

After his rookie season, Sheppard transcended into a starter for the Eagles. He put together an impressive season in 2004. Sheppard finished with five interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. During the month of November, he was named Defensive Player of the Month. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl that season and was named a first-team All-Pro for the first and only time.

During the 2006 season, he was selected to his second Pro Bowl after finishing with a career-high six interceptions. In October of 2006, he became the first player in NFL history to have two interception returns of more than 100 yards. The first one came in 2004 and the second one came during the 2006 season. Both interceptions happened against the Dallas Cowboys. Sheppard spent his first seven seasons with the Eagles, and in 2009, he was traded to the New York Jets.

He finished his career spending one season with the Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Oakland Raiders. At the end of his career, Sheppard finished with 345 tackles, 85 pass deflections, and 19 interceptions. 

Lito Sheppard finding a new career as a coach

After having an impressive NFL career, Sheppard wanted to stay involved in football. According to ESPN, he returned to the Eagles in 2014 and served as a coaching intern. Sheppard wanted to learn more about the game from a different perspective and was excited about getting into coaching. 

“It’s more than just coaching the Xs and Os,” Sheppard told the Delaware County Daily Times. “Nowadays if you can relate to guys and get them to understand you’ve been where they’re at, you can get your points you’re trying to stress across a lot easier. As a player who’s been there and done that, the highest of the highs, I want to see some of these guys make it to the same level. It starts with fundamentals and technique.”

After interning with the Eagles, Sheppard joined the Alliance of American Football league in 2019 and served as the Orlando Apollos’ safeties coach. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April of 2019. Before the league filed for bankruptcy, the Apollos finished the inaugural season with a 7-1 record and was the league’s top team. Sheppard had a memorable career playing with the Eagles, and now he wants to give back as a coach.