If defense wins championships, then several players are looking to help their teams back to the promised land after a sub-par year in 2013.
NFL Around the League writer Marc Sessler recently called out seven different defensive players who are primed and ready for a bounce-back campaign in 2014.
The first player on Sessler’s list was Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. Miller badly needs a mulligan after a 2013 season that saw him suspended and injured.
“Last year was a messy affair for Miller,” wrote Sessler. “After serving a six-game suspension to open the campaign, the Broncos pass rusher blew out his knee three days before Christmas. What he accomplished in between is why he tops our list: Despite missing those six starts, Miller led all players at his position with 27 quarterback hurries before his season was cut short. An underrated run-stopper and outstanding cover man, Miller also topped all starting outside ‘backers with just 23 yards allowed after the catch. He’s shed 20 pounds and told reporters this week that he’s “100 percent positive” he’ll be ready for camp. Miller is primed for a monster year.”
Other defensive players on the bounce-back list include:
DE DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos
DT Henry Melton, Dallas Cowboys
ILB Brian Cushing, Houston Texans
OLB Paul Kruger, Cleveland Browns
OLB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
It is no coincidence that all of these players live in the defensive trenches, where games are often won or lost.