It was a dumb move back in 2005 when GM Ted Thompson tried to force a pay cut on FS Darren Sharper, which led to his release. Based on the way Thompson has treated veterans like CB Al Harris, WR Donald Driver, and RT Mark Tauscher since then, I don't think it's something Thompson would have done again. So it's great to see Sharper has proven Thompson wrong, and found his way back to the Super Bowl as a member of the Saints. But there is another ex-Packer playing a key role on a Super Bowl team.
One of the biggest stories on the Colts this season was the change in defensive philosophy. They moved from a Tampa 2 scheme under Tony Dungy to an "aggressive, attack style defense" under former Bronco defensive coordinator Larry Coyer.
One of their biggest surprises on defense has been former Packer DT Daniel Muir. From PFT:
1. Muir is a run stopper. Coyer wanted to bulk up at defensive tackle, a departure from the Tony Dungy era. Muir has kept blockers off Indy's speedy linebackers and made 52 tackles of his own, sixth among interior linemen in the NFL.
"The defense now is a lot more hard-nosed," he told me Monday. "[Coyer] vowed to get bigger bodies inside, which has worked for us."
2. Muir came cheaply. Like many of his teammates, he came at great value. Undrafted out of Kent State, he was picked up by G.M. Bill Polian off waivers from the Packers last year. No one finds cheap talent better than Polian.
|2009 - Daniel Muir||16||.500||5||0||0||0||43||9||52|
I'm not so sure about that "bulk up" part. Muir is currently listed at 312 lbs. by NFL.com, but he was listed at 295-300 lbs. when he was with the Packers. Maybe he's bulked up since he joined the Colts, or maybe he's just bigger than any of the defensive tackles who played for the Colts last season.
So how did the Packers let this guy go? He's great against the run, and the Packers were awful back in 2008 against the run, which was the year he was released.
At least for me, it was a reluctant departure. Muir had shown promise during the 2007 preseason, which was why he made the 2007 team. After DT Corey Williams was traded to the Browns, I was expecting Muir to step right into Williams's job. Except Muir did nothing during the 2008 preseason. He was just another body. I'm not surprised he regained the promise he showed back in 2007. It didn't seem like it was something he lost, but something he had just had to work a little harder for. Apparently he's done just that.