Buccaneers S Jordan Whitehead said he labored his way back from a shoulder injury sustained in the NFC Championship game in order to play in Super Bowl 55.
“I just started grinding that week, pushing it just to get my strength back and my mobility back,” said Whitehead, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. “Playing in the Super Bowl is a dream, so whatever it took to get out there this week, they pushed me. The strength team, the coaches, the trainers, they all pushed me, little bit by little, every day. It started painful, and it was a long two weeks.”
Whitehead mentioned that he felt comfortable enough to return after participating in the opening practice of Super Bowl week.
“I knew after that practice I was good to go,” said Whitehead. “I had no contact, but I was running around, feeling fine with the harness on. Once I was OK with that, I said if I had to use my right shoulder to get tackles and get through it, I’m going to do what I have to do.”
- D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at several defensive free agents that the Falcons should move on from this offseason, including DE Allen Bailey, DE Charles Harris, DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DT Deadrin Senat, LB LaRoy Reynolds, LB Edmond Robinson, CB Tyler Hall, S Keanu Neal, and S Damontae Kazee.
- Ledbetter mocks Ohio State QB Justin Fields to the Falcons in the first round of the draft and has them selecting Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in round two.
- Aaron Wilson reports that former Texans’ Senior VP of Football Administration Chris Olsen will now serve as the Senior Director of Football Administration for the Falcons.
- Wilson points out that Olsen will have a much larger role than just negotiating contracts, and will serve as GM Terry Fontenot‘s right-hand man.
Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney have reunited again in Washington, though things are a little bit different than their time in Carolina. Rivera is still the head coach but he has much more authority over personnel than he did when he collaborated with a general manager with the Panthers. And Hurney is a senior executive, with the general manager title going to Martin Mayhew. However, the role will suit his strengths, as he’ll be doing a lot of college scouting and continuing to collaborate with Rivera.
“We see football the same way,” Rivera said via Sam Fortier of the Washington Post. “We’re a little bit of a throwback from the old days compared to how things are evolving very quickly right now. And I still think you win football games by being a physical football team, playing downhill, running the ball successfully, stopping the run, pressuring the quarterback.”