Reading Marvin Lewis's press conference transcript from today, one comment in particular got me thinking. Most of the time Marvin is very vanilla in his offerings, as are most coaches, but he did make a point to praise Frostee Rucker with absolutely no prompting. When following up to a comment about how the offense was able possess the ball long enough to keep the "injury-depleted" defense off the field, Marvin agreed and went onto say:
I thought Frostee (Rucker) really played the best football game he's played since I've been here with him, so that was great to see and hopefully we can keep building upon that.
I wholeheartedly agreed without a single hesitation and I wasn't the only one. "Keep building upon that." It seems like such vague coachspeak, but how huge would it be if he were to "keep building upon that" and have a nice breakout season?
Frostee is on pace for 21 tackles, 16 solo, and 5 sacks based on his limited reps in just 3 games this year. If I were able to find a reliable site that compiles Pressures, Knockdowns, and Hurries, I'd be able to comment on how much more effective he has been outside the box score. To me, it seemed like he was wreaking havoc in the backfield on just about every passing play. He had to have knocked Jay Cutler down at least twice and pressured him two to three more times on top of that. If some of those hurries and knockdowns turn into sacks and TFL, we're going to see the Frostee Rucker we hoped to see when we drafted him in the third round of 2006.
Frostee has missed a ton of time to injury throughout his career. He missed the entire 2006 season on IR. He was limited to 5 games in 2007 and 11 games in 2008. His career numbers are what you would expect out of a backup who is injured all the time, but if yesterday's game was evidence that a healthy Frostee Rucker is an effective Frostee Rucker, then maybe the wound from Antwan Odom's absence won't sting as much as we thought. Here's to wishing Frostee a healthy season and hoping for this type of effort to be consistent the rest of the way.