Rey Maualuga: 100 Days Sober, 15 Pounds Lighter, Ready to Elevate His Game


What TennBengalFan said. An excellent article by NFL.com's Steve Wyche here in the midst of dead zone reruns like "Is Marvin Lewis coming back?" and "Is Carson's elbow OK?" If this piece doesn't fire you up for 2010, you're dead. A taste:

To most of us, May 11 is just another day. For Cincinnati Bengals' second-year linebacker Rey Maualuga, Tuesday represents his 100th consecutive day of sobriety. For someone who's had a lengthy drinking problem, 100 days without slipping is a long time. For Maualuga, those 100 days are also the infancy of a new life.

"My body never felt so great. I never looked so good," Maualuga said by phone Monday, on the eve of the Bengals' first offseason OTA practice. "I am so anxious for OTAs to start up. Now I can hopefully compare myself to last year when I wasn't able to run 10 or 12 plays within a drive and not be incredibly tired. All my focus is on my body and how much stronger I can get, how much smarter I can be and being a reliable teammate."

In an candid interview, Maualuga, the long-maned 23-year-old, discussed how a January car accident in Kentucky that led to a DUI arrest and a stint in a rehab facility, unveiled his alcoholism. The second-year player out of USC has not had a drink since. Tuesday morning, he took the field weighing 250 pounds -- 15 fewer than when he went into rehab -- and with his first semblance of six-pack abs.

Sounds like Rey is out to become the guy we all hoped the Bengals had stolen in the second round last year. Sweet, sweet music to my ears. And to Rey: congratulations. I have family who have gone through the same wringer, and none of them have described it as easy. Hang in there, we're all behind you.

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