He definitely has the right first name for being boastful. He is also on the right team for promoting his accomplishments. That would be Muhammad Wilkerson, the former Defensive Rookie of the Year, who led the New York Jets with 10 ½ sacks in his third season.
Dennis Waszak Jr., Associated Press:
He heard Sheldon Richardson, his New York Jets line mate, boldly proclaim in an interview last season that he — not Wilkerson — was the best defensive player in the NFL. The words stung Muhammad Wilkerson more than he let on. The 24-year-old Wilkerson might be the Jets’ most valuable player. A first alternate for the Pro Bowl last year, he heads into his fourth season with even higher expectations.
One thing the New York Jets do not lack is high expectations. On January 11, 1969, the Saturday before Super Bowl III, QB Joe Namath proclaimed that he guaranteed a win over the Baltimore Colts. A Pro Football Hall of Fame 'History Release' captures the story. "I asked Joe what possessed him to do such a thing," Coach Ewbank said. "I said, 'Don't you know Don Shula will use this to fire up his team?' Joe said, 'Coach, if they need press clippings to get ready, they're in trouble.'
With a dicey contract situation looming, it is important for Muhammad to live up to his own billing. $1.2 million salary can grow to just under $7 million for 2015. If he wants to play his entire career close to his home town of Linden, NJ, it is pretty much up to him.
The 2014 New York Jets need all the press clippings that they can create. I have never seen a team with so many proclaimed All Pros who are the most talented, most productive, hardest working, highest ranked and loudest team have more predictions, and finish at 8-8. That is not the prognosticator out selling preseason magazines. It is what it is.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.
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