[Editorial Note: I've got to start this story off by giving props to Cuffs007 for posting this as a fan-post. You guys never cease to amaze me. This site has ballooned in popularity within the past year, and its thanks in large part to fans like Cuffs007 who always diligently post any such stories Chris, John, or myself may have missed. I'm only singling Cuffs out because he posted this particular story, there are many others who also make this site their home and add their own flavor to it by posting fan-posts and commenting on a regular basis. None of us make anything off this website, we do it out of love, and it is so rewarding to have participation from such diehard fans. You ALL add so much to the site... Thanks.]
NOW, on with Mike's fall from grace...
He was supposed to be Del Rio's Ray Lewis (minus the murder charge), he was supposed to bounce back from two consecutive seasons on IR and have a big year. He was supposed to play at a high level, earn a contract extension, and show us time hasn't ravaged his ability to play the position. What's happened this season is nothing short of the complete unraveling of Mike. Now Mike's calling the AP to vent... WHAT!!!
Seriously, what a stupid move on Mike's part. If you haven't seen the story yet, click here, and be prepared to be blown away. The article is littered with new quotes from Mike, and only one quote from Jack Del Rio that basically was the equivalent of "no comment". In other words, this article is a direct result of Mike picking up the phone, calling the AP, and bitching up a storm. In my opinion, Mike just sealed his fate. Don't expect to see him on the field for the rest of the season. Mike's only real asset was his leadership ability as his play had deteriorated to the point of being a detriment when he was on the field. This became painfully obvious in last week's whooping of Detroit in which Daryl Smith clearly played better at MLB than Mike has all year. By opening his mouth to the press, Peterson eliminated the only part of his game that he still brought at a high level, his ability to be the defense's emotional leader.
"The season's not going well, older guy, move him out of the way and get ready for next year," Peterson said Wednesday. "I guess that's the way it is. That's the way I'm taking it."
What's with the righteous indignation Mike? Your not gonna start again because you can't compete at the high level the Jaguars defense requires of the MLB position. As I've said before, Mike isn't fast enough to cover and blitz in Gregg Williams' scheme and he's been out of position more times than I care to remember this season. When you have big time DT's like Henderson and McDainiel to swallow up blockers, it is the MLB's job to make the tackle on the RB. That's why Mike's been the teams leading tackler so far, not because he's been playing exceptionally well, but because he's the MLB and that's the position where most plays are funneled in a 4-3.
The team won't release Peterson because his salary became guaranteed for the year when he was on the team at the season's onset. If he were to be released early he would undoubtedly be claimed on waivers and the team would have no competent back-up were Smith, Ingram, or Durant to go down. An injury to one of those three is likely the only way Mike will see the field for the rest of the year. He seems to have resigned himself to warming the bench for the season, and I expect that barring any major changes, that's where he'll stay.
I hate that this is the way the Peterson saga will end in Jacksonville, but he's made his own bed and now he has to lie in it. This last cheap stunt likely erased any hopes of Mike returning to the field this season, you just can't go crying to the press when things don't go your way. You have to man up, and Mike certainly hasn't done that.
At this point, I think it will be best for me not to say too much and just end it before I say the wrong thing. We know what happens when that happens."
Too late... You passed that point when you picked up the phone and cried into the receiver, whining about some imaginary slight you suffered at the coach's hands. He is right about one thing though... We do know what happens when you say the wrong thing, and we're about to get a reminder thanks to you doing just that...
Don't let the locker-room door hit you on the backside...