- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Mike Merriweather, Steelers—Surprises people with great closing burst to the ball. Has two-gear speed and causes big trouble when he goes into high. More effective as finesse than power blitzer. Will clamp on WR, but still green on coverage techniques.
Rickey Jackson, Saints—Eye-catching athlete who causes major problems for offenses. Sometimes flies out of control but can turn a game.
Lance Mehl, Jets—Exceptionally smart, technically sound, reads the QB better than anyone. Off year in '84 because of ankle injury and unsettled nature of personnel around him. Non-blitzer in Jets' scheme, hence no Pro Bowls in past, but that might change under new defensive coach Bud Carson.
Otis Wilson, Bears—On the fringes for years. Finally tuned in to Buddy Ryan's defenses and had success. One of the best when under control. When out of control will make the big play, the big mistake.
LONG AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE
Matt Blair, Vikings—Exceptional LB for years, finally showed some mileage in '84. Injury problems, system, slight loss of speed, etc. Bud Grant will bring him back to life.
Brad Van Pelt, Raiders—Smart and effective strongside LB whose speed failed him in '84. Height (6'5") still makes him effective.
Bob Brazile, Oilers—An enigma through the years. Godzilla one series, invisible the next. Smart player. Always had speed. Can still cover. Not quite as aggressive as he once was.
Reggie Williams, Bengals—Speed, explosion, brains. Undersized at six feet, 228, he tends to wear down during the course of a season.
Woodrow Lowe, Chargers—Opponents always graded him higher than his own team did. Underrated career. Still quick and sound and a sure tackler.