I uncovered an interesting pattern that turned out to be instrumental to our last 3 Superbowl victories . This may sound far-fetched but this felt like an awakening . It occurred to me that prior to winning the last 3 Superbowls we signed a key veteran free agent that had the following attributes: 1. They played defensive back. 2. They were formerly a 1st or 2nd round draft pick . 3. They never made it to the SB with their former teams. 4. They possess Intangible leadership qualities/confidence. These players are:
Everson Walls, Former first round pick of Dallas Cowboys. Superbowl XXV. Remember the game saving open field tackle of Thurman Thomas ? It was the biggest play in the game and helped prevent a possible TD that could have changed the outcome. I thought it was amazing that will all the star players on the 86' Giants, it was Walls on the Sports Illustrated cover photo as he was captured with his arms raised in the air after the game.
Sam Madison, Former 2nd round pick of the Miami Dolphins and R W McQuarters, Former 1st round pick of the Chicago Bears. Super Bowl XLII. An aggressive defense relies heavily on confidence. If a player is unsure of himself or the situation, then his pace is slowed. I always felt that Sam Madison was that special player that had unique instincts to make plays. He and R W had that football wisdom and confidence that could influence the outcome of games. I am sure with 20 years of combined experience they had made a huge impact on a young Aaron Ross ,Corey Webster and Gibril Wilson.
Dion Grant. Former 2nd round pick of the Carolina Panthers, SuperBowl XLVI. How important was Grant last year? Grant was versatile , as he was able to play up top in a traditional safety spot or down low as a pseudo-linebacker. His presence and interchangeability enabled Perry Fewell to work around the loss of Terrell Thomas last season. Team chemistry, clutch play and motivation were key elements during the Super Bowl run last year. Grant, in particular, played a big part of the leadership circle. His leadership qualities were unparalled and he exuded veteran confidence that rubbed off on the team. Bottom line. No one was more hungry to win the Superbowl than Deon Grant in my opinion.. That was my take away.
Nate Clements. Former 1st round pick of the Buffalo Bills, SuperBowl XVIII? We should be able to get him cheap this year after his 2 year stint w/ the Bengals. His contract was 2 years /$ 10 million . Remember the $80 million dollar contract he signed with the 49ers back in 2007? No Superbowl with the 49ers thanks to the multiple coaching changes and .. ahem.. Alex Smith at QB. I am sure Nate is chomping at the bit to sign with a team that has a shot to win the SB. His leadership skills and veteran presence will have a positive impact with our young DBs, Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamora.