Many players, like Derrick Morgan were able to shine last year, but players like Colin McCarthy are going to come in handy next to Morgan. While an injured Barrett Rudd had no choice but to look on, McCarthy gladly stood up and took charge of the middle linebacker spot.
He has no doubts that next year will be any different.
Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, head coach Mike Munchak told reporters, “We thought he came on in a big way last year.”
He was originally thought to have helped out with special team but with Rudd’s injury, it promoted an immediate opening of opportunity. He recorded 76 tackles, eight of which were for loses, and a team high.
“You saw he made plays. He found a way to knock the ball loose, create some fumbles and make some interceptions. He took control and didn’t act like a rookie out there.” Munchak said.
When the NFL reporters go to McCarthy, he voiced that he has tried to take full advantage to every opportunity that has been presented to him. I’ll tell you what, with Barrett Rudd in danger of free agency, McCarthy stepping up could very well be the best thing he’s ever done.
McCarthy told reporters, “There’s always room to improve, I tried to take advantage of the opportunities I had to make plays. As a middle linebacker, you’ve got to get everybody lined up, you’ve got to make the calls and I tried to do that this year.
Munchak apparently even seemed surprised on how McCarthy was able to stay on the field for as long as he did and they feel comfortable having him on the field for three consecutive downs. Munchak likes the way he runs the nickel defense and plans to continue using him in that role.
McCarthy is looking forward to the next season. He continues to train and study. He along with his coaches know that he is still young with learning to do, but everyone is excited for the direction in which he is heading.
“I just need to continue to work on everything — studying the playbook, studying offenses and defenses; I still have a lot to prove. Every week you have to prove yourself. The attitude coach Munchak brings to the players, you see results. You see guys working, guys pushing each other throughout the locker room it gets exciting. 9-7 was a good start for our first year, but we want to improve on that next season.”