Former Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson is currently trying to make a comeback to the NFL. Since he was cut after the 2012 season, he has not played a down. He spent 2013 on injured reserve after signing with the New England Patriots. He was released after the season and then was in 2014 training camp with the Chicago Bears, but did not make the team.
Wilson posted this photo on Instagram the other day, pointing to the moment in which he believes his career changed.
I did not recall the play from 2012, so I went back to that game on NFL Rewind.
Wilson is correct as to the timing of things. Up through Week 9 in 2012, which was when the Cardinals played and lost to the Green Bay Packers, Wilson had played all but two defensive snaps.
After the Green Bay game, he no longer played in nickel packages. He was replaced by Rashad Johnson. The next game for the Cardinals was two weeks later in Atlanta -- Ryan Lindley's debut -- Wilson played only 41 of 74 snaps.
So what happened on the play?
It was in the first quarter of the Green Bay game and Randall Cobb scored the first points of the game, taking a quick, short pass from Aaron Rodgers and turning it into a 13-yard touchdown.
Wilson was in position to make a play and he didn't.
Here's how it went down. On the play, Cobb is lined up wide and Patrick Peterson is several yards back from the line of scrimmage. Donald Driver is lined up in the slot with William Gay covering him. With Peterson playing off, Cobb runs a quick slant.
Cobb gets the quick throw from Rodgers and both Gay and linebacker Paris Lenon are taken out of the play by blocks from Driver and the Green Bay tight end. Because Peterson was playing back, he is also out of position to make a play.
As Cobb hits the hole, Wilson is there to make a play.
A younger Wilson would have absolutely crushed Cobb. You see him square up to make the tackle here.
Now, let us not forget that Cobb is quick, but looking at the position Wilson is in, this should be an easy tackle, and likely should be a crushing collision.
Wilson goes in for the hit and Cobb begins to spin.
Wilson was unable to even hit him. Cobb spins away and Wilson ends up on the ground, not even wrapping him up. There was no real contact.
That play ended in a touchdown. The Cardinals lost the game and went on to a 5-11 season. Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves were fired, and Steve Keim and Bruce Arians replaced them. They made the tough decision to release Wilson after the season and, as mentioned, he has yet to play another regular season down in the league.
Will Wilson get another shot? Can he make an impact anymore? Were the Cardinals right for moving on from him?