Thursday, June 19, 2003
On June 18th, ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli had another of his usual excellent columns published, this time on the mediocre NFC North's linebackers. Outside of Brian Urlacher there isn't another linebacker on any NFC North team that is a star. Much of the column was devoted to Nick Barnett and it mentioned how he was a strong safety in his first year at Oregon State. I can't think of many players who made the jump from strong safety to middle linebacker but I know Brian Urlacher is one player who did it. Barnett probably isn't the next Urlacher, but that is good company to keep. I don't know if the fact that Barnett apparently grew a bit from his first to second year in college is relevant but it interested me. Len Pasquarelli also wrote about the concern that Tauscher and Clifton aren't yet back from last year's injuries and he is absolutely right and about the Walker/Ferguson competition for the starting Wide Receiver spot and I still think Walker will win it.