July 03, 2013

SHAKING OFF 8-8 AND 4-12.

AFTER going 8-8 and 4-12 respectively over the last two years, we didn't exactly cast the image of a team on the rise. That fact will prevent a team from attracting the big name Free Agents. Also, due to errors in the recent past, there was too little money to sign big names who could make the picture "appear" rosier. I happen to LOVE that, because it means everyone who came here WANTS to be here, and they aren't just looking for a paycheck.

The picture isn't pretty, but it IS wide open. Almost every player we added is a guy looking to make a mark after having been a back-up or a rotation player. That means hungry players with something to prove. Pride is powerful motivator. We STACKED the roster with players who have a lot to prove

Let's look at those players.

Up front we have Pat Sims a rotational NT from a Cincy team that finished in the top 13 in run defense every year after his rookie season; Vance Walker a productive starting DT from Atlanta (3 of their 29 sacks); and even back-up DE/OLB Jason Hunter for schematic versatility.  

There's Kaluka Maiava a starting OLB from Cleveland (for whatever that's worth); as well as Nick Roach a LB who filled in for Brian Urlacher.  

On the back end we added former Dallas starting CB Mike Jenkins who likely isn't as awful as the system he played in. At Safety we added a true deep-half defender in Usama Young who can flat out fly; and Charles Woodson who at the very least can be an mentor on the field if he can't play at or near his customary Pro Bowl level.

Toss in Josh Cribbs one of the best KR's in NFL history, and a Punter in Chris Kluwe who may not stick, but if he doesn't will only sharpen young gun Marquette King already on the roster.

EVERY one of these is a CLEAR, head and shoulders improvement over last years roster. (It's true. Look at last year's roster AND it's production.) Better than that, EVERYBODY here wants to be here and has bought in to what Coach is selling. A true cultural change has taken place here.

I like what I'm seeing and hearing about this team, mostly because that's what it seems like. A team

No boasting. No arrests. No carping with each other or the staff. Just a football team. 

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