In the football world, this is the time of the year to dream. Any team can win the Super Bowl. Any player can be a star. Any camp body can be the guy who shocks the world and makes the roster. Dream away.
Chis McPherson wrote a great story on DB Davon Morgan for the mothership (PE.com). You can’t read this and come away anything but a huge fan of Morgan’s.
Morgan isn’t satisfied with simply getting another crack to stick in the NFL. He is one of the first players at the NovaCare Complex each day. He’s spent lots of time with Carmichael as well as safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen to delve into film study. The lockout may have hindered his chances of making the Jets in 2011. Morgan knows there are no excuses this time around.
“What’s going to happen from here on out depends on what I put into it. You reap what you sow,” Morgan said. “I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to make this team. I’ve been through this before where I thought I was going to make the team. I don’t want to think, I want to know.”
Morgan worked long and hard for a call that never comes for many players. He refused to accept defeat and was rewarded for his patience.
“The Lord put the taste in my mouth once and took it away,” Morgan said. “I wondered if I got comfortable. Was I content? Did I work hard enough? A lot of guys don’t get a second chance.”
Morgan never gave up after the Jets cut him in 2011. He tried out for CFL teams. He played indoor football in 2013. He did anything and everything to pursue his dream.
Morgan posted his indoor football highlights on YouTube.
You can’t tell too much do to the differences in the game and the mediocre level of competition, but it was interesting to see Morgan playing CB. He wasn’t very compelling as a SS when I studied him as a pro prospect. He does look interesting as a press corner. We”ll see how the Eagles use him when the full team practices.
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Alejandro Villanueva is another guy you really want to cheer for. Ashley Fox wrote a very good story on him, focusing on his experiences as a soldier.
Go read the whole piece. Trying to tell his story with a quick snippet or two just doesn’t work well.
Villanueva is exactly the type of person that Chip Kelly loves. He is tough, physically and mentally. He is disciplined. Villanueva has a great work ethic and focus. He is the kind of person you can build a successful organization around, football or otherwise.
Can he make it in the NFL?
The Eagles are going to put the 6-9, 277 Villanueva at DE. He has the frame that the Eagles love in their DEs. Villanueva is long enough to engage blockers and keep them off his body. His height affects QBs and their passing lanes. Villanueva doesn’t have the get-off to be much of a pass rusher from what I can tell, but he has good agility for such a big man and does have good hands. If he proves able to shed blocks, that will give him a fighting chance.
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As much as we would love to see longshots like Morgan and Villanueva play great and make the team, that’s just not likely to happen. Reality has a bad habit of ruining dreams. There is a reason that Megan Fox and I don’t live together on a Funyuns farm.
I’ll be pulling for Morgan and Villanueva. History is against them, but you never know when a longshot is going to pan out. Just look at the path Cary Williams took to the NFL. Think about Jason Peters going from blocking TE in college to elite LT in the NFL. Heck, just think about Chip Kelly. The year that Villanueva went to West Point, Kelly was the Offensive Coordinator at New Hampshire.
Reality wins most of the time. It would be cool for this to be one of those times when dreams got the best of reality.