Tedy Bruschi was a no-nonsense linebacker for 13 seasons with the Patriots. Now an analyst for ESPN, he has decided to select a team of players that also go “full tilt, full time,” as he put it. And his first All-Bruschi Team includes four Seahawks – defensive end Chris Clemons, cornerback Richard Sherman, quarterback Russell Wilson and left tackle Russell Okung.
Here’s what Bruschi had to say about each:
Clemons: “On a defense where the secondary seems to get all the press, Clemons is the rock. Losing Clemons to injury in the wild-card round win over the Redskins was something the Seahawks couldn’t overcome the following week. Clemons led the Seahawks in sacks (11.5) and also set a solid edge versus the run from his Leo/elephant position. While the Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin in the first round, Irvin was not yet ready to fulfill Clemons’ every-down duties.”
Sherman: “How did he not make the Pro Bowl? At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, he is a big cornerback who will put on the boxing gloves at the line of scrimmage with anyone. He also has solid ball skills (8 interceptions in 2012). Similar to Cortland Finnegan, he’s a player who isn’t well liked by many opposing players, in part because he talks a lot of trash and comes across as arrogant. He’s the type of player you don’t want to go up against, but you love him if he’s on your team. When he’s on his game, lock him up and let him go.”
Wilson: “All the attention was on the top two picks in the draft – Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III – but Wilson (75th overall) wouldn’t allow himself to be left out of the discussion. The Seahawks invested significantly in free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn last offseason, but Wilson proved he was special and deserved the job from his start of his rookie season. He might not have the prototypical size, but no one is talking about that because all he does is lead his team to wins.”
Okung: “He has received some national recognition, and entered the league as a first-round draft choice, so he fits a different profile than several other picks. One play jumped out to me on tape as he put 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith on his back. That’s not easy to do, and it’s that type of power and aggression that earns him this spot.”