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" Addition of Scott gives Jets one of NFL's top ILB tandems " ~ ~ ~


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Addition of Scott gives Jets one of NFL's top ILB tandems

By Matt Sohn - Feb. 27, 2009 , Updated on Friday, Feb. 27 at 6:27 p.m. ET

The Jets have beaten out the Ravens in a bidding war for ILB Bart Scott, with Scott reportedly signing a six-year, $48 million deal Friday afternoon. The final year of the contract is voidable.The two clubs had been going back and forth most of the day to see which would offer the most for the coveted inside linebacker. Scott had played his entire career with the Ravens, but instead of re-signing with Baltimore, he chose to re-unite with his defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, the new head coach of the Jets.Scott and Baltimore teammate Ray Lewis were considered the best inside linebackers available on the free agent market.

The PFW spin

The Jets are it again. The free-agency shopping game, that is.

One season after doling out contracts in excess of $140 million, the Jets are picking up where they left off from the 2008 offseason. The fact that they were able to ink Scott while remaining within the salary cap was only made possible by trimming some roster fat. Given the retirement of Brett Favre and the release of TE Chris Baker and OG Brandon Moore, the Jets went from over the cap limit to far enough underneath it to land one of this year

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~ ~ yes , i know ; it's from '07 & it's kinda loooong but it's a pretty good read ~ ~ :beer:

September 03, 2007 : 53 Bart Scott - Linebacker, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Tim Layden

A loud, controversial inside linebacker who plays with stark Raven-mad intensity? Sounds like Ray Lewis--only it isn't the five-time All-Pro but rather an undersized hitting machine with a remarkable range of skills

A voice pierced the still August air, raspy and wild. The Baltimore Ravens were nearing the end of yet another training camp practice on yet another humid morning, with the temperature approaching triple digits and every player on autopilot. Except linebacker Bart Scott, who in the waning moments of an intrasquad scrimmage was baring his teeth and barking taunts at quarterback Steve McNair."You've got the trials of Job ahead of you!" screamed Scott. "You've got the trials of Job!" The Biblical trash talk seemed almost comical; only Scott knew that he was quoting movie dialogue. (Never mind that he thought he was quoting Kevin Spacey from Se7en when in fact he was quoting a maniacal death row inmate played by Ed Harris in Just Cause. Nobody asks for a filmography after on-field smackdowns.)Between plays McNair approached Scott. "Man, just shut up over there," McNair said, yet he laughed because he knows the truth: There is no quieting Scott, and there is no quelling the emotion that he brings to every snap, every day. "Say this about Bart: He loves football," says Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. "That kind of passion is hard to find nowadays."

Scott, 27, is a Pro Bowl inside linebacker on one of the best defenses in football, a slightly undersized (6' 2", 242) hitting and jawing machine six years into a career that might have stopped far short of NFL stardom if not for an extraordinary series of breaks and Scott's ability to capitalize on them. "He's an example of what happens when you give a hungry guy a chance," says former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis. "And believe me, this guy was hungry."Scott's journey might have ended during his adolescence in Detroit, where he walked 15 gang- and drug-infested blocks every morning to high school in a building kids called The Jungle. It might have ended when a poor SAT score left him without a scholarship offer after graduation or when he was suspended from the team at Division I-AA Southern Illinois four games into his junior season. It might have ended when just one NFL team worked him out after his last year in college, and it might have ended even after he made the Ravens, who consigned him to anonymous special teams work.But the journey didn't end. It kept going, and getting better. A year ago, his second as a full-time starter in Baltimore's voracious defense, Scott was tied for the team lead with Lewis, with 103 tackles, and threw in 91⁄2 sacks and two interceptions. Crushing tackles on Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger solidified his reputation as one of the league's fiercest hitters. "He's not afraid to take on offensive linemen," says Bengals right guard Bobbie Williams, who outweighs Scott by more than 100 pounds. "You get some linebackers that like to duck around you, but Bart doesn't mind coming right at you."

"Every play, I'm throwing every little bit of my full 242," says Scott. "It's going to hurt sometimes, but I just don't care. I'll keep comin'. Offensive players have to ask, 'Am I willing to do the same as this guy?' I'm comin' all day."Here Scott pauses and widens the image, like a cinematographer pulling back with his camera. A full life becomes visible: his career and teammates; his pregnant wife, Darnesha, and their two-year-old son, Bartholomew; the friends and coaches who have pushed him forward. "I'm playing with house money, baby," says Scott. "I wasn't supposed to make it out of Detroit. I wasn't supposed to get a scholarship. I was supposed to be running down under kicks for the rest of my life. But here I am. I'm a man playing with the house's money, and that's a dangerous man."There was a block full of Scott's family on Hurlbut Street on the east side of Detroit, surrounded by the customary urban hazards: drugs, gangs, guns. Bart lived with his mother, whose married name is now Dorita Adams, and half-sisters Cutrice (10 years older) and Dawnyell (six years older). His father, Bartholomew Capers, whom Dorita never married, didn't live in the home, but, says Bart, was always involved in his life.Dorita worked on an assembly line in an automobile plant, often needing three city buses and as many as six hours for her round-trip commute. "A lot of the time Bart's oldest sister was his mama," says Dorita. And Dawnyell was the family enforcer, regularly punishing Bart by locking him in the dirt-floor basement and telling him that the flames in the ancient furnace were the gates of hell. "I was battle-tested by my sisters," says Bart. "It was nothing to walk past the gangs after those two."

At Southeastern High, Scott played both ways--running back and linebacker--on a 22-man team coached by an old school disciplinarian named Drake Wilkins, who kept a wooden paddle in his office and wasn't afraid to use it. "I had a lot of guys who were gang members, and they always had to prove they were the toughest man on the street," says Wilkins, 50, now the coach at Denby Tech in Detroit. "There were times when I had to take a stand."

Scott says he felt the paddle only once. Wilkins and assistant coach Reinard Davis recall Bart as a force of nature. "He went 110 percent on every snap and never came off the field," says Davis. "He was unbelievable."More than 100 schools sent recruiting letters, but his low SAT score left Scott without a college as his senior year ended. By midsummer he had improved his test score enough to ensure eligibility, but most major schools had no scholarships left. Here came a lifeline. Scott was so impressive on the field during July workouts for a Michigan high school all-star game that one of the coaches, Bryan Masi, called an old friend, former Michigan State quarterback Dan Enos, an assistant coach at Southern Illinois."Bryan told me they've got this kid who is a hell of a football player," says Enos, now an assistant coach at his alma mater. "He asked if we might have a scholarship. For a player like that? Yeah, we had a scholarship."

Scott's career was nearly derailed again when he was suspended for the final six games of his junior season after a halftime altercation with defensive coordinator Michael Vite. The incident was triggered when Vite took offense to Scott's eating an apple during a tense locker room meeting. ("I'm not a big eater before games," says Scott. "I always eat fruit at halftime.")Vite, now the defensive coordinator at Division III Guilford College, says, "Sometimes kids make bad decisions when they're young. It was a long time ago. Bart is a hell of an athlete and a hell of a kid, and he's made a lot of good decisions since then. I've got nothing but good things to say about him."The Southern Illinois staff was fired after Scott's junior year, and new head coach Jerry Kill threw Scott another lifeline. "Some of the old coaches told us, you don't want this kid or that kid," says Kill, noting that Scott was one of those mentioned. "Bart played like he was on a mission for us, and he was a captain and leader."Kill told several NFL teams that Scott could play in the league, but only Baltimore sent a scout to work him out. Joe Hortiz put Scott through an old school box drill, in which pressure-sensitive pads are placed on the ground and connected to an oversized, black stopwatch; the player runs from pad to pad, showing his quickness and reactions. After testing Scott, Hortiz excitedly called Ravens scouting director Phil Savage (now the Browns' general manager) and said, "This guy has the best numbers I've seen in two years." Baltimore's then Midwest scout T.J. McCreight watched tape and saw a whirling dervish who looked like an NFL player. Another lifeline. The Ravens issued team-wide orders to keep Scott's name a secret; three days after the draft, they signed him to a free-agent contract. "My signing bonus was $500," says Scott. "After taxes, $329.60. And I was an NFL player."

Scott was a special teams terror for three full seasons, but got few snaps in the regular defensive rotation until Oct. 31, 2005, when he replaced Lewis, who had gone down with a hamstring tear that would end his season. Scott has not been out of the starting lineup since, and before last season he signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with a $6.5 million signing bonus, turning down a larger offer from Cleveland to stick with the team that first believed in him. On the field, he has evolved into that rare 3-4 inside linebacker--Lewis is another--who never leaves the field, even in the nickel and dime packages."He can rush the passer, he can cover slot receivers and tight ends, he can play deep safety all by himself," says Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. "And he's mean as hell."

Scott is also colorfully--and sometimes controversially--cacophonous. On a fourth-and-one against Pittsburgh in '05, he drew an imaginary line on the ground and screamed at Bettis to cross it. In the same game he called Steelers Pro Bowl wideout Hines Ward both "soy sauce" and "rice rocket" in reference to Ward's Korean ancestry. Neither Bettis nor Ward admits to remembering the incidents. Says Ward of Scott, "He's talking all the time, but no one's paying attention. At the same time, he's a great talent and getting better and better."

Former Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter, a legendary trash talker himself, recalls spinning Scott around during a change of possession, mocking him by reading the name on the back of his jersey. "He was like a first-year starter, and I told him, 'I don't argue with nonstarters,' " says Porter, who's now with the Dolphins. Scott responded by making nine tackles, and after every one he shouted to Porter on the sideline, "That's one. That's two. . . ."It's an approach some teammates don't fully embrace. "He's too emotional most of the time," says Lewis. "I try to get him to control himself."But others love it. "He's a fire, and I pour gasoline on him out there," says veteran cornerback Chris McAlister. "It's Bart being Bart, and I want him that way."

In truth it is an act, reserved for the field only. When the Super Bowl came to Scott's hometown in 2006, he arranged for students from six inner-city middle schools to gather at Southeastern; Scott spoke to them wearing a suit and tie. "Never mind that football," Davis, his former coach, told him that day. "Now you look like a man."Last summer Scott sent plane tickets to Kill's office at Southern Illinois and arranged for his former coach to use Scott's South Beach condo. "Bart knew I never take vacations, so he made all the arrangements for me and my wife," says Kill. "Honestly, it's the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me."

Soon another season begins. With do-everything outside linebacker Adalius Thomas gone to the Patriots, Scott will be expected to deliver even more. Veterans such as Lewis and McNair are quickly aging, putting pressure on the Ravens to make another run now. None of it scares Scott. House money. He spreads his arms wide like a preacher before his congregation and speaks through a broad smile, "I've already won."

> http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...15/1/index.htm

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Thats a neat story. The Mageen never would have looked at Scott because of his low SAT's out of HS. It's nice we don't have to have real smart players for a real smart coach anymore. That platform wasn't bearing any fruit - and never would have.:hand:

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Thats a neat story. The Mageen never would have looked at Scott because of his low SAT's out of HS. It's nice we don't have to have real smart players for a real smart coach anymore. That platform wasn't bearing any fruit - and never would have.:hand:

Scary but true.

Good read Kelly, thanks for posting those.

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