NFC West Defensive Players Set For Success In 2013


Ramblin’ Fan recently wrote an article on five offensive players who have been set up for success this offseason. Every season there are the players who have a lot of potential yet have disappointing seasons. Normally it’s because of the situation the player is in and lack of a supporting cast. . The NFC West is a tough division, but here are five let down defensive players of 2012 that are set for success in 2013.

Tyrann Mathieu

Although the Honey Badger has yet to play a single down in the NFL, he has been set up for success in 2013. Mathieu sat out an entire year of football, therefore he may be a little rusty. He wont have an immediate impact or receive a starting role, but being chosen by Arizona in the 2013 NFL draft was the best spot for him. Mathieu’s role model and best friend, Patrick Peterson plays for the Cardinals and could help Mathieu turn his life around and get back on the right track. Having a good coach like Bruce Arians also helps. The Honey Badger will get his opportunities and will contribute a small amount. Mathieu has not only been set up for success in 2013, but for the future as well. The Arizona Cardinals could have a scary secondary in the upcoming years.

Nnamdi Asomugha

At one point is time Nnamdi Asomugha was considered the best cornerback in the NFL and you didn’t dare throw the ball in his direction unless you wanted to pay the price. Then in 2011 when Asomugha became a free agent he signed a hug contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and joined the so called “dream team”.  Asomugha fell off the map and was a free agent bust, along with the rest of the “dream team”. Maybe it was the pressure, maybe it was the chemistry, or maybe it was the coaching. Either way the “dream team” was a failure. Asomugha is now a 49er and is looking to resurrect his career. He is long out of his prime as he is in his 11th season, but he may still be able to become the player he could have been. Harbaugh is a great coach and knows how to get the best out of his players, and with a great supporting cast Asomugha wont have to carry the load and the weight of “dream team” can be lifted off his shoulders. Asomugha wont become the player he was in 2006 when he had 8 INT’s, but he could become a good depth player for the 49ers.

Darian Stewart

If it’s one player that is set up for success in 2013 while also having his success be in the team’s hands, its Darian Stewart.  Stewart finally has an opportunity to go out and show what he can do in a starting role. The Rams coaches obviously have faith in Stewart that he can get the job done at safety, but unfortunately the defense is depending on his success. Stewart needs to be a reliability in coverage rather than a liability such as what Craig Dahl was. If Stewart can step up and hold his ground while being able to step up and stop the run, and stop the deep ball as well, Stewart will be everything the Rams had hoped for and more.

Antoine Winfield

Windfield wasn’t necessarily in a bad position in Minnesota being the only bright spot in a mediocre Vikings secondary. Winfield is way out of his prime at age 35, yet managed 3 interceptions last season. The pressure of being the number one guy will be off of his shoulders and he will join the secondary of Richard Sherman,  Brandon Browner and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Seatlle had one of the best secondaries in the NFL, but they may well now have the best secondary in the NFL. Winfield may just be who the Seahawks need to get over the hump and into the big game.

Although the best days of Winfield and Asomugha are behind them, they are still set up for success in 2013 and could post decent numbers. Guys like Darian Stewart and Tyrann Mathieu still have to build a name for themselves and will hope do that this season. This is just a small list of NFC West defensive players set for success in 2013, but if they do what their teams expect them to do they could all of a very successful season.