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  1. #1
    ArchuletaFan31 is offline Registered User
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    Fear Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    Fear

    Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Most kids spend their adolescent years learning how to deal with pain. Whether it is the physical kind of pain suffered from falling off a bike or the kind where they must learn about how to deal with the loss of a loved one, important lessons are gleaned from everywhere. Most kids are like that… most.

    Adam Archuleta was always the exception. Pain is not a word that is in his vocabulary. He was always “that” kid, the kid who would scrape his knee and laugh about it. He wouldn’t let much of anything bother him.

    He didn’t care much for people in charge and he was always looking to do something to challenge the system. It was just his way. More than that, he could easily shake off any kind of physical pain.

    Archuleta recalls the time when he was 4 and decided to ride his bike on an icy hill, by no means a safe idea. Of course, Archuleta fell off his bike and by the time he landed, he had his first concussion, the first of many. He wasn’t bothered, though; he simply went to the hospital and got over it. That’s the way he has always been; think outside the box, confront the people with clout and defy common thought.

    “I was always getting hurt,” Archuleta said. “I was not really afraid of anything. I used to ride my bike down the tall slides. I’d fall off and get bloodied up. I used to jump off the roof. I used to do whatever; it was just kind of how it was when I was a kid.”

    Based on those qualities you might think Archuleta is simply crazy. Make no mistake, he is one of the most interesting and intelligent players in the NFL, but he couldn’t do what he does on a weekly basis without that kind of mentality. He couldn’t do what he did to get where he is either.

    Archuleta took his fearless approach to life, applied it to football and became one of the league’s most feared safeties. He will never hesitate to stick his nose in and make contact. In fact, he doesn’t care if he is the one dishing out the pain or receiving it.

    “Maybe I was just being bred for contact,” Archuleta said. “It could have been somebody’s way of preparing me for the NFL.”

    That preparation for contact and the sheer enjoyment of the game has always been omnipresent in Archuleta. Never the biggest, the fastest or the strongest, he got by on will. It was that will that took him from walk-on at Arizona State to three-year starter for the Sun Devils. It helped him play linebacker though he was undersized at about 200 pounds for the position. It resulted in 330 tackles.

    In the end, his desire lifted him from lowly walk-on to the 20th pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He switched from linebacker to strong safety because of his size. But standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 209 pounds, Archuleta still has the same approach to the game he has always had. That style makes him more than just a safety.

    St. Louis uses Archuleta in so many different ways. Partly because of his speed and partly because of his strength, but mostly because of his ability to understand and take on so many tasks at one time.

    On a given play, Archuleta can drop into deep coverage, line up in the slot against a receiver, rush the quarterback from the line of scrimmage or be used as a run-stuffer up the middle. That kind of versatility is rare in this day of specialization in the league, but Archuleta loves it.

    The cerebral Archuleta said he enjoys his multiple roles if for no other reason than the way it makes him think.

    “I do a lot of different things they ask me to do,” Archuleta said. “They ask me to do quite a bit. I feel like I am still being stretched as a player, I have yet to be defined as a player. I think my role is constantly expanding and I enjoy that. I want to be as versatile as possible.

    “It’s a challenge and it definitely gets you out of your comfort zone and that’s something I believe in. In football or in life or in anything, real progress is only made when you are forced to be out of your comfort zone.”

    Entering this season, Archuleta had earned his reputation as a feared playmaker and rightfully so. He had 101 tackles in 13 games last season with five sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. He returned that fumble recovery 45 yards for a touchdown against Baltimore.

    Those kinds of big plays can set a player up for some expectations that might be difficult to reach. Just before the season started, though, Archuleta injured his back. The injury would limit him at the beginning of the season, even causing him to miss a couple of starts. Archuleta hit the low point of his young career, saying he was as down as he can ever remember. He did what he always does, playing through the pain and trying to be the tough guy he has always been. Clearly, though, it affected his play.

    He struggled in the games he was injured, but there was little doubt that he would let it keep him from contributing. He came back against Seattle, but it was one play on Oct. 18 that sent the message to the rest of the league that the playmaker they knew was back at full strength.

    Rams’ coach Mike Martz said he had an idea before the game that his playmaker might make something happen.

    “This was the first time this year that I talked to him before the game and he felt good,” Martz said after the game. “His back is much better and he said it was the best it felt all year. And he played like it.”

    With the score tied at 14, the Buccaneers had first-and-10 at the St. Louis 15. Running back Michael Pittman took a handoff around left end where Archuleta wrapped him up at the 7. As Pittman was falling, Archuleta positioned himself underneath and jarred the ball loose. Archuleta scooped it up and took off running. He went 93 yards for the touchdown before most of the crowd even realized what happened. The score shifted the momentum and gave the Rams an eventual 28-21 win.

    Archuleta said he needed to make a play for himself as much as for his teammates.

    “I needed that. I needed that boost from a confidence standpoint,” Archuleta said. “Those are the type of things that I expect myself to do on a regular basis. It can’t be just a once a season type of play. When I start to develop that consistency, that’s when I will be happy with where I am at.”

    Archuleta appears back at full strength with no signs of slowing down as the season progresses. Rest assured, though, if someone tells him he can’t do something, like say, play professional football, he will do everything he can to prove them wrong…again.

    “I am not a big fan of authority telling me what I can and can’t do,” Archuleta said. “If somebody says no, then you better have a good reason and I’m sure going to test it and try to figure out for myself why I can’t do it.”


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
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    Archuleta closing in on Pro Bowl year, sooner or later.

    2nd half against Seattle in our Dome, I saw AA make a really nice solo tackle on ??? (can't remember if it was Alexander or another RB).

    The ball carrier was beginning to slip accross the scrimmage line and in comes the flying Arch taking the runner with one strong right arm, bringing him down. You could tell the physicall strength in that defensive attack because the RB already had clear momentum and Adam was at a disadvantage in his angle of approach, with little leverage.

    I was impressed by the way he hunted the Seahawk and made that play on brute force!

    I still believe that sooner than later, AA will have a Pro Bowl season.

  3. #3
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
    ZigZagRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Fear Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    Let's hope he steps it up because he has played less than satisfactory football as of late.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fear Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    Did you read this piece of the article ZigZagRam? He has been playing injured, unlike other players. Turley is out. Archuleta is still playing.

    Just before the season started, though, Archuleta injured his back. The injury would limit him at the beginning of the season, even causing him to miss a couple of starts. Archuleta hit the low point of his young career, saying he was as down as he can ever remember. He did what he always does, playing through the pain and trying to be the tough guy he has always been. Clearly, though, it affected his play.
    “In football or in life or in anything, real progress is only made when you are forced to be out of your comfort zone.”
    I have to agree.

    “I am not a big fan of authority telling me what I can and can’t do,” Archuleta said. “If somebody says no, then you better have a good reason and I’m sure going to test it and try to figure out for myself why I can’t do it.”
    I understand this concept all too well. The best way to motivate me is to tell me "no", don't do it, you can't do it... and I am no big fan of authority myself.

    No fear Archuleta. Bring it on. There are plenty of games left in the season.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Re: Fear Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchuletaFan31
    Fear

    Adam Archuleta May Not Possess It, But His Opponents Do

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer


    On a given play, Archuleta can drop into deep coverage, line up in the slot against a receiver, rush the quarterback from the line of scrimmage or be used as a run-stuffer up the middle. That kind of versatility is rare in this day of specialization in the league, but Archuleta loves it.
    I've been pimping Arch as the future Ronnie Lott for some time now. So how he started the season was a concern. The news that he has had to play through pain relieved some of that concern. But the above statement brings other concerns to the fore.

    There is the saying that "one can be a jack of all trades, but a master of none." Clearly Arch is a team player and will do what is asked of him. The question is whether the scheme is working to Arch's disadvantage? Is he a LB or a SS? Should he just be groomed to patrol the secondary and punish the interlopers over the middle? Or should he be bounced around different positions so he can be criticised for his lack of coverage skills when he was meant to plug a hole? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm inclined to keep him in one position and let him develop there.

    And frankly if he would just "bring it on" like Seattle's #34 did from the safety position, I'm good with that too.

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