New Jersey Generals Sign Veteran NFL DB Blake Countess
Leagues like the USFL are loaded with young pro football players recently out of college who have varying degrees of NFL experience. Players who are looking for an extended playing opportunity after falling victim to the numbers game. The USFL is a natural fit for those types of burgeoning pro athletes. A playing home that has produced the overwhelming success story of NFL Pro Bowl returner KaVontae Turpin.
The acquisition of veteran DB Blake Countess by the New Jersey Generals is a sign that the USFL is growing in respect and stature on the football landscape, proving that the league is for more than just neophyte players with limited NFL experience.
Countess, 29, brings a wealth of playing and starting experience in the NFL to the Generals. The Maryland native and four-star recruit, who played for Michigan and Auburn during his collegiate career, was drafted in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016.
Since then, Countess has played on four different NFL teams in seven separate stints. Three times with the Eagles and twice with the Rams. The Super Bowl champion with LA in 2021 has started 37 career games in the National Football League. He’s also been one of the league’s best special teams players, netting player of the week honors as both a returner and in kick and punt coverage. Countess has two blocked punts for touchdowns in his pro career. On defense, he has 57 career tackles, two interceptions, and one sack on his ledger.
The Generals have been very active in the off-season adding new players to their secondary. Recent signees Iman Marshall, Marcus Lewis, Meiko Dotson, and now Blake Countees join returning standouts from 2022 in Dravon Askew-Henry and Shalom Luani. The new blood at the defensive back position will help replace starters DeJuan Neal and DeVaunte Bausby, who both departed for the NFL before signing on with XFL teams.
Although not yet official, the expectation is that New Jersey defensive assistant and former UConn head coach Bob Diaco will assume play-calling duties as defensive coordinator in 2023, replacing the departed Cris Dishman.
No matter who calls the plays defensively for New Jersey, when the Generals set up shop in their new playing home in Canton, the addition of a veteran like Blake Countess will be an asset for their defense and special teams in the 2023 season.