Paul Posluszny

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Paul Posluszny
Paul Posluszny 2014 Pro Bowl.jpg
Posluszny during the 2014 Pro Bowl.
No. 51     Jacksonville Jaguars
Middle Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-10-10) October 10, 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth: Butler, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 242 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school: Aliquippa (PA) Hopewell
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34
Debuted in 2007 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Roster status: Injured reserve
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Tackles 887
Quarterback sacks 12.0
Interceptions 11
Forced fumbles 8
Passes deflected 40
Touchdowns 1
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Paul Michael Posluszny (born October 10, 1984), commonly known as "Poz", is an American football linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Pennsylvania State University, earned consensus All-American honors twice, and was recognized as the top college linebacker and top college defensive player. He was chosen by the Buffalo Bills early in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Posluszny was born in Butler, Pennsylvania. He is of Polish descent.[1] He was a star halfback and linebacker at Hopewell High School in Hopewell Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. In 2002, his senior year, he helped lead the Vikings to the WPIAL championship with an 8-1 record, followed by the AAA State Championship.[2]

College career[edit]

Posluszny attended Penn State University, where he played for coach Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 2003 to 2006. He debuted in the fifth game of his 2003 freshman season, and in the last game of the season made his first career start at Michigan State. During the season he recorded 36 tackles, an interception (which he returned for a touchdown against Indiana), a fumble recovery, and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by The Sporting News.

In 2004 he was named as a second-team All-Big Ten player as well as earning academic All-Big Ten honors. Prior to that season he changed to jersey No. 31, in honor of former Penn State players who had worn the number including All-Americans Shane Conlan and Andre Collins. He started in all 11 games and led his team with 104 tackles, and his 9.5 tackles per game average put him in a tie for fifth in the Big Ten. He also recorded 12 tackles for loss and three sacks, helping Penn State reach the national top 10 in scoring and total defense. In fact, the defense did not allow an opponent to reach over 21 points in a game all season. He also caught an interception, broke up three passes and forced a fumble on the season. He won the Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week for his performance against Indiana, making 13 tackles and playing a key role in Penn State's goal-line stand to ensure the win.

In 2005 Posluszny became the first junior captain for Penn State since Mike Reid and Steve Smear in 1968. Posting 116 tackles on the season, including 14 for loss and 4 sacks, including a 22 tackle game against Northwestern [1]. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week a record-breaking three consecutive times. He then joined LaVar Arrington as the second Penn State player to win both the Chuck Bednarik and Dick Butkus Awards as the College Defensive Player and Linebacker of the Year respectively, and was named as a member of the 2005 All-America Team. He helped lead the Penn State Nittany Lions to a win in the 2006 Orange Bowl against Florida State but left the game in the 4th quarter after partially tearing two ligaments in his knee; the injury did not require surgery [2]. He subsequently announced that he planned to return to Penn State for his senior year of college, rather than declare himself eligible for the 2006 NFL Draft, a decision which, a year later, was considered "a boon," with Posluszny completing the 2006 season with 116 tackles and a school-high career total 372 tackles.[3]

In 2006, he continued captaincy, along with Levi Brown. Jack Ham, former All-American Linebacker at Penn State, said that Posluszny was the greatest linebacker to ever play at Penn State.[4] On November 4, 2006, he broke Greg Buttle's school record for tackles. Posluszny had 372 career tackles, with 116 of them coming during that season, including 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.[5] (The Penn State tackle record was surpassed shortly after by fellow LB, Dan Connor.) Posluszny won the 2006 Chuck Bednarik Award to become only the second person (after Pat Fitzgerald) to win the award two times. Posluszny was also named a member of the 2006 All-America Team, the first Penn State linebacker to be a two-time AP All-American.

Posluszny graduated a semester early in December 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in finance and a 3.57 GPA. He is a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and was named 2006 Academic All-American of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Draddy Trophy, which is presented to the nations' top student-athlete.[6]

Professional career[edit]

2007 NFL Draft[edit]

Graded as the best outside linebacker in the 2007 NFL Draft and predicted by many to be selected in the mid-to-late first round,[7] Posluszny was not drafted until the second round by the Buffalo Bills, after they swapped picks with the Detroit Lions to move up to grab Posluszny with the 34th pick overall. He was the fourth linebacker off the boards, after Patrick Willis, Lawrence Timmons, and Jon Beason.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

Despite wearing the same uniform number as idol Shane Conlan at Penn State, Posluszny has demonstrated a desire to forge his own legacy by not choosing the number 58 Conlan wore with the Bills, but instead choosing number 51.

Posluszny was named the starting middle linebacker for the start of the 2007 season by Bills coach Dick Jauron. This decision paid immediate dividends, as Posluszny had an immediate impact in his debut, registering 10 tackles, 9 solo, in Buffalo's Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos. Posluszny suffered a broken left forearm in week 3 against the New England Patriots. He was put on injured reserve, ending his rookie season. At the time of his injury, he was third in the league with 26 tackles, which was tied for the most tackles among rookies with Patrick Willis.

He returned in 2008 to register 129 total tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. He was named the Bills defensive MVP.

Posluszny was selected as a team captain prior to the 2009 season. Posluszny broke his arm again during the first quarter of the Bills week 1 game against the Patriots on Monday Night Football. He returned to action week 6 against the New York Jets, registering 9 tackles, one pass deflection, and an interception. Posluszny created 6 turnovers in 11 games after returning from injury, which placed him tied for first among middle linebackers for turnovers.

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

Posluszny signed a six-year contract worth $42 million with $15 million guaranteed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on July 29, 2011.[8]

He started all 16 games at middle linebacker in his first season with the Jaguars and produced numbers in line with his career totals. He put up a team leading 119 tackles, 69 of which were solo, along with 2 INTs and 2 sacks. The sacks total tied a career high.

In 2012, Posluszny started all 16 games for the second consecutive season and third time overall. He led the team with a single-season franchise record 139 tackles, matched his career-high two sacks, and set a career-high three INTs.

His stats for the 2013 were even better, with 161 tackles, three sacks and two INTs.[9] He scored the first touchdown of his career when he returned an interception off a Peyton Manning pass 59 yards for a score against the Broncos.[10]

Posluszny was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Titans in week 10 of the 2013 season.[11] On January 20, 2014, He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl replacing San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis .[9]

NFL stats[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Return Longest Interception Return Interceptions Returned for Touchdown Passes Defended
2007 BUF 3 26 17 9 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 BUF 16 110 87 23 0.0 1 1 0 1 9 9 9 0 6
2009 BUF 12 110 87 23 1.0 3 0 0 3 20 7 17 0 4
2010 BUF 14 151 103 48 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
2011 JAX 16 119 69 50 2.0 1 0 0 2 2 1 2 0 9
2012 JAX 16 139 106 33 2.0 2 0 0 3 20 7 13 0 7
2013 JAX 15 162 122 40 3.0 1 1 0 2 69 35 59 1 9
Career 92 817 591 226 10.0 8 2 0 11 120 11 59 1 39

[12]

Personal life[edit]

Poz married fellow Penn State grad Elizabeth Sarah Johnson on July 6, 2013 in Pittsburgh, immediately prior to the start of the 2013 season.[13] They delayed their Bora Bora honeymoon until after the season ended. With Paul's invitation to the Pro Bowl, they again postponed their honeymoon in order to fly to Hawaii for the game in Honolulu on January 26th.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://wkse.radiotown.com/20070907_bills.mp3
  2. ^ e-PA Sports
  3. ^ Pedulla, Tom (2007-01-26). "Waiting year pays off for Posluszny". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  4. ^ "Cook: Posluszny PSU's best LB according to Ham". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 8, 2005. 
  5. ^ Default - Penn State University Official Athletic Site
  6. ^ Default - Penn State University Official Athletic Site
  7. ^ "SI.com". CNN. 
  8. ^ "Jags give LB Posluszny six-year deal". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Carlyon, Hays (January 20, 2014). "Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny named to Pro Bowl". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Moss, Irv (October 13, 2013). "Jaguars, Paul Posluszny thought a win was there to take vs. Broncos". Denver Post. 
  11. ^ http://www.bigcatcountry.com/2013/11/13/5099492/paul-posluszny--afc-defensive-player-of-the-week-jaguars
  12. ^ "Paul Posluszny Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Elizabeth Johnson, Paul Posluszny". The Altoona Mirror. November 16, 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 

External links[edit]