Wendling more than just a special-teamer

Discussion in 'Detroit Lions' started by jaxvid, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

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    Article from the Detroit News about John Wendling who is getting some play as a Lions safety. We have followed him here, and how the NFL has screwed him, this article "sidesteps the obvious and mentions the ridiculous with caste-speak like: "You might not guess to look at him but he really is a good athlete." Um huh, he's not black so why would you think he's an "afalete"?? Note how his great special team play, his 4.4 speed and his freakish jumping ability has never translated to a starting gig. :dizzy:

    John Wendling shows Lions he's more than just a special-teamer

    Chris McCosky/ The Detroit News Allen Park— Two teams over the course of four seasons tried to convince John Wendling his role in the NFL always would be limited to special teams.
    Wendling bit his tongue, nodded his head and made himself one of the best special teams players in the league. His 83 special teams tackles is the most in the league the last four seasons, and he was rewarded by being named a Pro Bowl alternate last season.
    All the while, though, he never stopped believing there was another dimension to his game that he wasn't being allowed to show.

    "I never accepted that I could only play special teams," Wendling said. "My thing has always been, I can play safety in this league and I've always wanted to and I've always prepared myself to. I am going to take care of my stuff on special teams and whatever role I'm asked to do, I am going to do my best. But, yeah, I've kind of been waiting for the chance."

    The chance has come, albeit not the way Wendling would have wanted.
    The Lions announced Thursday safety Erik Coleman, the primary backup behind starters Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey, was placed on injured reserve with a high ankle injury and will miss the rest of the season.

    Both Delmas (abdomen) and Spievey (hamstring) have been battling nagging injuries, as well. Veteran Vincent Fuller, whom the Lions signed last week, missed practice Thursday with a right elbow injury and is questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers.
    That leaves Wendling as the only healthy backup safety.

    "We haven't had a bunch of injuries but at that one position we have had some issues," coach Jim Schwartz said. "With Erik, that's a significant high ankle sprain. It's been two weeks (since he injured it against Dallas) and he's still on crutches. So that's going to be a while."
    Out of necessity comes opportunity. Wendling finally gets to prove what he's known in his heart all along.

    "When I was in Buffalo (2007-09), it was a chip on my shoulder a little bit," Wendling said of being labeled as a special teamer only. "I came to Detroit with the idea of, 'Hey, I want to show them I can play safety. I can play this position. I can play in this league.' I worked that way every day."

    Already this season, he has taken more defensive snaps than he has in four seasons combined. He made his first career start last week, filling in for Spievey, and made three tackles.

    "I think the guys who have filled in have done a good job," Schwartz said, referring to Wendling and Fuller. "They've tackled well and defended the deep part of the field. When you are getting poor safety play, you are giving up long runs — I'm not talking 20 yards, I am talking 60 yards — and long passes down the middle of the field. We've not had that."
    Funny thing: Although Wendling has had a bear of a time convincing coaches he could play defense — even after his six-tackle performance filling in for Delmas at Tampa Bay last season — none of his teammates doubted it.

    "He has a lot of respect," Delmas said. "He took no reps except on special teams and for him to come in and fill in as well as he has, that's very impressive. But that's just being professional. Even though you don't get as many reps on the field, you still have to get into that playbook and if a guy falls, you have to be ready to step in right away."
    Despite the injuries, there hasn't seemed to be any drop-off in continuity between cornerbacks and safeties, or the overall cohesion of the secondary.

    "It doesn't disrupt anything because the guys who are stepping in are performing just as well," cornerback Chris Houston said. "There's never any drop-off in our room. We don't have to help or cover up any areas. Everybody in our room is professional and they know what to do."
    You might not guess it to look at him, but Wendling is an athletic marvel. He's 29 and can still run the 40 in 4.4 seconds. His leaping ability is legendary at Wyoming, where he started for four seasons. He once cleared a 66-inch hurdle — the equivalent of leaping over teammate Stefan Logan — off a three-step approach.
    Don't believe it? Check it out on YouTube.

    "This has been a long time coming for me," Wendling said. "I've always prepared like I am playing every Sunday."


    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111014...more-than-just-a-special-teamer#ixzz1azOgbvU2
     
  2. Thrashen

    Thrashen Hall of Famer

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    Here is an alarming video of Wendling jumping over a 66” hurdle during his time at Wyoming…

    [video=youtube;K0P-22hhrW4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0P-22hhrW4[/video]

    I remember using this video for a college presentation (in one of those obligatory “public speaking” classes) on human athletic ability. Naturally, all of my videos featured white athletes.
     
  3. Soccer&track

    Soccer&track Guru

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    Good reading on Wendling, as I didn't know much about him. It's always intriguing to me how guys like him get respect from the players around them, but not from the coaching staffs. I wonder how many guys have started ahead of him, knowing he is a better athlete and should be the starter.
     
  4. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

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    None!! black guys never think anyone is better then them, especially white guys, they have a bottomless capacity for self delusion.
     
  5. The Hock

    The Hock Master

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    I had been under the impression that Wendling was out of the league. I guess being a career special teamer can do that. It's a shame he had to wait till he's 29 years old for a chance.
     
  6. bearclaw500

    bearclaw500 Guru

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    I see Wendling is now number 2 on the lions depth chart. Did he lose his starting position, or was he filling in for an injured player? I believe he was starting earlier in the year.
     
  7. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    He actually only made one start this year. I think it was filling in for someone who was injured.
     
  8. backrow

    backrow Hall of Famer

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    rotoworld doesn't fail when there's a chance to put some white player down:

    Lions S John Wendling was benched during Sunday night's loss to the 49ers.

    Wendling started in place of Louis Delmas (knee). He was so bad in coverage that the Lions eventually brought Amari Spievey in. "When we blitzed, we knew they would throw to the tight end," coach Jim Schwartz said. "[Wendling] was isolated, but we have to be able to blitz." Vernon Davis finished with five catches, 73 yards and two touchdowns.
    Related: Amari Spievey

    Source: Detroit News
     
  9. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    LOL wow he gets benched facing one of the fastest Tight ends in the game?! How did Amari do?
     
  10. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

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    Wendling's career is probably over. When a White guy is isolated by the camera and burned on a big play in a big game and the DWF's see that "inferior" White skin then it will never be forgotten. I can name a bunch of White guys that never overcame the dreaded directors command "cut to honkey on the field". Chrissie Collinworthlessness pointed it out for all to see in case some DWF's might have mistakenly thought otherwise. Vernon Davis, who Chrissie professed his love for with plenty of compliments like "he's the fastest guy on the team" and "he's the best athlete out there" and I probably missed him saying "he's the best athlete in the universe!!!!"

    Perhaps Wendling blew the coverage, so what. A million TD's are scored a year and it's almost always a black DB getting burned. It happens. The Lions defense actually played pretty good considering they are absolutely horrible. So the disadvantage of being a White guy on defense in the NFL rears it's ugly head again. That is why there are so few of them. They are too easy to blame. Put a bunch of faceless negroes out there and you can torch them all day and nobody says nothing. "Just a good game for the QB I guess" will be the refrain.

    Vernon David scores a lot of TD's. So what can you expect? Schwartz probably loved having someone to blame for the fact that in 3 years he has not been able to build a NFL worthy defense,

    So Wendling will never be forgiven for this one play. It is stamped in the memories of Detroit area DWF's "Wendling bad, black guy good". Nothing will change their minds, ever. I went through this with Bill Schroeder after one play where he allegedly "alligator-armed" a pass, you know, the same thing almost every black reciever does all of the time. And they never forgot about it and never forgave him. They hounded him out of town eventually and the same fate awaits Wendling.
     
  11. dwid

    dwid Master

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    I don't know if he was benched, notice the wording of rotoworld, they say brought in Amari. They might have brought him in as an extra db and taken out a lb to put two guys on Davis, because I remember late in the game that Wendling put a shot on Alex Smith that made his nose bloody. Davis beats single coverage all the time, hes too physical for corners and too fast for linebackers and most safeties. If the Lions left Wendling one on one with Davis then that shows they believe he is tremendously talented, because he is usually never one on one, hes either doubled or some other sort of zone coverage. Wendling would be a guy big and fast enough to stop him on most plays, 6'1 222 4.4 speed, but even the best get beat.
     
  12. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Wendlings another Wyoming safety I had high hopes for when ur entered the league! But as is league policy if a defense is ****ty get rid of the white guy first and foremost!,
     

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