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Espn: Giants' Snub Motivation For Atlanta Falcons Linebacker O'brien Schofield


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http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/171999/giants-snub-motivation-for-atlanta-falcons-linebacker-obrien-schofield
Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer

O'Brien Schofield has something his Atlanta Falcons teammates yearn to achieve: a Super Bowl ring. Yet the veteran outside linebacker isn't one to walk around the facility thumping his chest about reaching the NFL's pinnacle.
"My whole life, I've been the underdog," Schofield said. "I've always had to prove myself. Nothing has been given to me. I'm still fighting for just an opportunity to show what I can do."
Schofield, a former fourth-round draft pick of Arizona (2010), figured such an opportunity presented itself in March of 2014. After completing his Super Bowl season as a reserve with the Seattle Seahawks, Schofield agreed to the richest contract of his young NFL career: a two-year, $8 million deal with the New York Giants. However, the deal never became official after the Giants medical staff determined Schofield had arthritis in his left knee, resulting in the team rescinding the contract offer.
"It was motivation," Schofield said. "I almost got the biggest payday for me, which was exciting because that's what you work for: To provide for your family and set yourself up for life. I felt that would have been my opportunity to do so with the Giants, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way.
"After that happened, I kind of just went into a shell from a standpoint of just focusing on other things. I didn't have my focus on football so much because it was genuinely stressful thinking about how I was putting out this good film and still having to prove myself."
Rather than sulk over the misfortune, Schofield consumed himself with other activities. He became involved with a prison ministry in Arizona and gained a better appreciation for the life and the freedom he has.
When Schofield recommitted himself to football, he had one mission.
"I told myself, 'I'm going to make sure somebody watches my film and I'm going to jump off the tape every time I get an opportunity,' " Schofield said. "That mindset hasn't changed."
Schofield, who ended up re-signing with the Seahawks for one year at $795,000 after the Giants snubbed him, finished with two sacks, seven quarterback hits and 15 tackles while playing 34 percent of the defensive snaps in Seattle last year.
New Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, Schofield's defensive coordinator the last two seasons with the Seahawks, obviously knows what value Schofield brings to a defense, particularly as a situational pass-rusher. Still, Schofield finds himself facing another "prove it" scenario after signing a one-year deal with the Falcons worth a maximum of $1.7 million. He said his knee is healthy despite the red flags raised by the Giants. The Falcons obviously felt comfortable enough with his health to sign him.
So what impact will Schofield have this season? His work ethic and energy already have been infectious. At the end of minicamp, he had an extensive talk with linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich about assuming a leadership role. That should entail offering guidance to first-round draft pick Vic Beasley.
Come the regular season, Schofield will be asked to help inject life into a pass rush that has generated a league-low 83 sacks over the last three seasons.
"I knew from a [contract] standpoint of what I accepted that I wasn't necessarily coming in to start but to bring depth and have a role," Schofield said. "Whatever my role is, I'm going to play it. I won't be ignored. I'll let the coaches make the decision on when I'm out there."
Schofield will play strong-side linebacker and line up at rush defensive end during nickel situations. He played the "Leo" standup pass-rusher role last year in Seattle and is capable of doing the same with the Falcons, when called upon.
"How long have I been versatile? Ever since I've had to provide for my family," Schofield said. "That's the truth. I played defensive end in college (Wisconsin). When I got to the league, they were like, 'You've got to learn how to play linebacker." That was a 3-4 system. Then I got to Seattle and you've got be able to play strong linebacker in a 4-3. So I'm like, 'Oh, OK.' I got to the point where my mindset was whatever I had to do, I had to do.
"Going into my sixth year, I'll now have four different defensive coordinators. I definitely have some football knowledge."
Now, the Falcons simply need Schofield to put all that knowledge to good use.
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I can't wait to see how much the defense improves. I think we gave ourselves a talent infusion this offseason. Not a 180 degree talent change but we added some good pieces that are going to replace bad players on the starting roster. It's only an assumption at this point but based on the history and hearing from the players, I think it's safe to assume the coaching has gotten better on the defensive side of the ball. It doesn't sound like a system that is very complicated so hopefully it won't take these guys long to adapt.

As far as Schofield goes, he's one of my favorite under-the-radar moves we made this offseason. He's not a 10 sack/yr starting OLB/DE but he's a good rotational and depth player that won't be asked to come in and produce double digit sacks. He's great depth for a team that desperately needed it.

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I developed arty in my back at 23. Two years after I broke it and had rods put in arty snuck it. Sucks man, sucks bad.

Sorry to hear that. I don't think I have it. But it feel like it some times. Mostly my knee. messed up the ACL, MCL and compleatly tore the PCL. The PCL was never repaired. VA doc says it's all good cuz the LCL is the only one I really need. lolollaugh.png

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Sorry to hear that. I don't think I have it. But it feel like it some times. Mostly my knee. messed up the ACL, MCL and compleatly tore the PCL. The PCL was never repaired. VA doc says it's all good cuz the LCL is the only one I really need. lolollaugh.png

Yeah when my neural surgeon told me to expect it and expect it soon I just kind of shrugged it off. Well it came and it sucked! So here I am at 35 and am told I have the back of a 60 year old. I don't let it stop me though. I still fish my butt off even though after a trip of reeling in some 50+lb Mahi's hits me like a ton of bricks the next day. lol

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Yeah when my neural surgeon told me to expect it and expect it soon I just kind of shrugged it off. Well it came and it sucked! So here I am at 35 and am told I have the back of a 60 year old. I don't let it stop me though. I still fish my butt off even though after a trip of reeling in some 50+lb Mahi's hits me like a ton of bricks the next day. lol

never say die and go down swinginlaugh.png

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Great pass rusher for an Irish bar.

.. Agreed re arthritis, as soon as you get slapped with the 'chronic' injury tag by a team, it seems to hurt players value quite a lot.

He got 4.5 in 2011. Not sure how many games he played.

http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/players/300570/o%27brien-schofield/#Sacks$GameType=279588574&SeasonMax=9999&SeasonMin=1990

Edited by Door Gunner
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youre fun at courthouses and airports too huh? lol

It is so weird, it goes off with some and not with others. The one place it always goes off is at night clubs. The bouncers always make me lift up my shirt and show my scar cause the little wand goes crazy. I have the rods, bolts and screws in my back and then a plate and 7 screws in my arm where it was basically severed and had to be reattached. I am pretty much bionic at this point.

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Schofield and Reed are the ones I think that come in and start blowing up. Love reading this. Good stuff, good find!

Thats it Tuggle everyone mentions pass rush but I go back to the 2012 NFCCG you have a look at our edge defense against the run in that game the 9ers with there read option they were running we just could'nt contain on the edge and Kap,Gore just ripped us a new one.

The SLBer role Reed & Schofield are going to play is a huge in setting and containing that edge.

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Thats it Tuggle everyone mentions pass rush but I go back to the 2012 NFCCG you have a look at our edge defense against the run in that game the 9ers with there read option they were running we just could'nt contain on the edge and Kap,Gore just ripped us a new one.

The SLBer role Reed & Schofield are going to play is a huge in setting and containing that edge.

God I can't wait! So nice to think that we will actually field a good defense that can set the edge and actually get to the QB.

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It is so weird, it goes off with some and not with others. The one place it always goes off is at night clubs. The bouncers always make me lift up my shirt and show my scar cause the little wand goes crazy. I have the rods, bolts and screws in my back and then a plate and 7 screws in my arm where it was basically severed and had to be reattached. I am pretty much bionic at this point.

hear that. i was in a car accident in 2010. had 7 fractures below my knee, 5 broken ribs, 3 dislocated toes, 2 broken fingers, a broken hand, destroyed knee and L1 burst fracture. i got a rod and pins in my ankle and my knee has been replaced. i m loads of fun @ metal detectors lol.

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Schofield and Reed are the ones I think that come in and start blowing up. Love reading this. Good stuff, good find!

Durant will excel in the 4-3 under - he's absolutely built for it. I loved Spoon and was devastated we let him go but this guy may just help me get over the loss of Spoon. He'll have a monster year no doubt at all provided he stays healthy Edited by primetime
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hear that. i was in a car accident in 2010. had 7 fractures below my knee, 5 broken ribs, 3 dislocated toes, 2 broken fingers, a broken hand, destroyed knee and L1 burst fracture. i got a rod and pins in my ankle and my knee has been replaced. i m loads of fun @ metal detectors lol.

Yeah I hear you bro. I was obliterated. Completely crushed my 4th lumbar, shattered my coccyx into like 20 pieces, tore my left arm off and completely lost my left bicep, had my left ear sewn back on, 400 tiny stitches across my forehead so as it wouldn't leave a scar. Had to do an arterial bypass with the vein in my left leg to replace artery in my left arm, a giant chunk of my hip was removed to rebuild my arm and back, then a few dozen pretty bad other injuries all over the rest of my body. Spent the better part of 6 months in the hospital, 1 in the ICU, had to learn how to walk again while going through 2 years of rehab.

It completely changed my outlook on life though bro. I used to be a hotheaded A-hole always getting in fights and just an obnoxious stereotypical 5'8" Irish dick. Totally did a 180 after all that. One of the reasons why I can only laugh at the people who actually get angry over stuff said here, on line... It just makes me SMH and laugh.

Edit: Oh, and I died for about 20 seconds. I lost 8.5 pints of blood. Never needed a transfusion though. I was in impeccable shape at the time and once they got my heart going again they said my color was good and I didn't need it. I have always been strangely thankful for not having someone elses blood pumped into me.

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Durant will excel in the 4-3 under - he's absolutely built for it. I loved Spoon and was devastated we let him go but this guy may just help me get over the loss of Spoon. He'll have a monster year no doubt at all provided he stays healthy

I really like the Durant signing too. Hell, I loved our whole off season FA pick ups and draft. These guys did it right for a change. So freaking stoked.

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Yeah I hear you bro. I was obliterated. Completely crushed my 4th lumbar, shattered my coccyx into like 20 pieces, tore my left arm off and completely lost my left bicep, had my left ear sewn back on, 400 tiny stitches across my forehead so as it wouldn't leave a scar. Had to do an arterial bypass with the vein in my left leg to replace artery in my left arm, a giant chunk of my hip was removed to rebuild my arm and back, then a few dozen pretty bad other injuries all over the rest of my body. Spent the better part of 6 months in the hospital, 1 in the ICU, had to learn how to walk again while going through 2 years of rehab.

It completely changed my outlook on life though bro. I used to be a hotheaded A-hole always getting in fights and just an obnoxious stereotypical 5'8" Irish ****. Totally did a 180 after all that. One of the reasons why I can only laugh at the people who actually get angry over stuff said here, on line... It just makes me SMH and laugh.

Edit: Oh, and I died for about 20 seconds. I lost 8.5 pints of blood. Never needed a transfusion though. I was in impeccable shape at the time and once they got my heart going again they said my color was good and I didn't need it. I have always been strangely thankful for not having someone elses blood pumped into me.

thats some crazy **** man, glad you're still around to ban idiots :D

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Yeah I hear you bro. I was obliterated. Completely crushed my 4th lumbar, shattered my coccyx into like 20 pieces, tore my left arm off and completely lost my left bicep, had my left ear sewn back on, 400 tiny stitches across my forehead so as it wouldn't leave a scar. Had to do an arterial bypass with the vein in my left leg to replace artery in my left arm, a giant chunk of my hip was removed to rebuild my arm and back, then a few dozen pretty bad other injuries all over the rest of my body. Spent the better part of 6 months in the hospital, 1 in the ICU, had to learn how to walk again while going through 2 years of rehab.

It completely changed my outlook on life though bro. I used to be a hotheaded A-hole always getting in fights and just an obnoxious stereotypical 5'8" Irish ****. Totally did a 180 after all that. One of the reasons why I can only laugh at the people who actually get angry over stuff said here, on line... It just makes me SMH and laugh.

Edit: Oh, and I died for about 20 seconds. I lost 8.5 pints of blood. Never needed a transfusion though. I was in impeccable shape at the time and once they got my heart going again they said my color was good and I didn't need it. I have always been strangely thankful for not having someone elses blood pumped into me.

i hear ya. its been a long fight to recovery considering i had been kicked off insurance when it happened. still working on tryin to get my leg to straighten enough to walk w/o a walker. i might not be able to do everything i could before the accident, but i can do enough to take care of my son and our home. can totally change your outlook on things and show you what is truly important, that is for sure.

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