A number of players and coaches are returning to their former stomping grounds this week, and several will have revenge on their minds. Whether they were mistreated, spurned, or insulted by their previous clubs, these three players should have fire in their eyes in Week 7:
Brock Osweiler vs. Broncos
This might sound a bit odd, but one player is out for revenge on the team he won a Super Bowl with last season.
There are other details, of course. Brock Osweiler was drafted in 2012 to be the Denver Broncos’ quarterback of the future, but that future came a little sooner than anticipated last year, when Peyton Manning was sidelined with an injury. Osweiler took over as starting quarterback from Weeks 11 to 17, and led the Broncos to a 5-2 record and the top seed in the AFC. However, when the playoffs came, he was promptly demoted. The rest is history.
Manning is out of the picture, but instead of re-signing with the Broncos, Osweiler opted to take a rich $72-million contract with the Texans. His first six games in Houston have been underwhelming, but he has the Texans at 4-2 and in position to separate from the pack in the AFC South with a win against his former teammates.
Sam Bradford vs. Eagles
After Sam Bradford was traded from the Rams to the Eagles, he had to endure one year under Chip Kelly’s helter-skelter offense, then watched as the team fired Kelly, replaced him with Doug Pederson, signed free-agent quarterback Chase Daniel to compete with him, and then traded for the second overall pick in order to draft quarterback Carson Wentz. The whole ordeal had Bradford so perturbed that he stayed away from the team in the immediate aftermath.
Rather than stay and fight for his job, and oppose a fan base that would surely clamor for the rookie to play, Bradford’s camp requested a trade out of Philadelphia. He got his wish weeks before the season started when Minnesota came calling.
Given his freedom from Philadelphia, Bradford has the Vikings 5-0 and atop the NFC standings, and is likely looking forward to dissecting the Eagles’ defense this Sunday.
Mario Williams vs. Bills
Mario Williams spent four years in Buffalo, yet after playing under Rex Ryan for one season, he was deemed expendable. Ryan hasn’t been shy in his criticism of Williams’ play last season, and the defensive end was just as vocal about the changes in his assignments. In 15 games, he racked up a career-low 19 tackles and just five sacks, before signing a two-year, $17-million deal with the Dolphins in the offseason.
“He is making $17 million (in Miami). Guess what, it wasn’t going to happen. Now look, with some of the comments (he made), do I wish him well? Not really. But, he’s on Miami. If he would have gone somewhere else, maybe,” Ryan said of Williams in an interview with The MMQB during the offseason.
There were also reports teammates felt Williams showed a lack of effort last season. The 31-year-old has yet to make a dent with the Dolphins, as he has just eight tackles and a single sack in six games. However, he’s less than two years removed from a 14.5-sack season. If ever there was a time for him to flash some of his old self, this is it.