Sometimes, life just throws you a curveball. How you adjust to the curveball, however, will affect how things progress going forward.
For former Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland, he was right where he wanted to be. After playing four years for a Washington team that was going nowhere, he signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers. It was supposed to be a big pay day for the Allendale, South Carolina native, and he was going to be playing a little closer to home and Clemson.
However, Breeland cut his foot during a trip to the Dominican Republic. The cut caused him to fail his physical with Carolina, voiding his contract.
It was a big setback, but Breeland pushed ahead, using the windshield mentality he was taught at Clemson, while playing for head coach Dabo Swinney.
Breeland ultimately signed with the Green Bay Packers halfway through the 2018 season, and last off-season signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent. Though the cornerback is making far less money than he would have made if he was with the Panthers, it has paid off for him in the end.
After always dreaming about playing in a Super Bowl as a kid and refusing to go to one until he actually played in one first, Breeland will start Sunday night for the Kansas City Chiefs when they take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super LIV in Miami.
“It’s still unbelievable,” Breeland said at Super Bowl LIV’s Media Night earlier this week. “I can’t even find the words to fathom how I feel about this opportunity.”
Breeland will be a free agent again following the Super Bowl, and he is hopeful his Super Bowl experience, along with his two interceptions and two fumble recoveries this past season will give a chance to resign with the Chiefs or maybe make more money somewhere else.
Breeland played at Clemson from 2011-’13, helping the Tigers win an ACC Championship in 2011 and then posting back-to-back 11-2 seasons in 2012 and ’13. He played a big role in the early stages of the Swinney program, a program—starting in 2011—that has won at least 10 games every year for nine consecutive seasons.
Now, he sees that same level of commitment and togetherness in Kansas City, which has made this past season so enjoyable to be a part of.
“Throughout crunch time, everybody pulls together,” Breeland said. “I’ve been on different sidelines when things go bad, a lot of people start bickering and pull apart from each other. Those were the times that [this team] got closer and pulled together the most.”
The Chiefs started the year 6-4 but ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak. They have now added to more victories and will be riding an 8-game streak when the game kicks off Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
The Super Bowl will be televised on Fox.
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