I just love the different stories that end up getting told during the week leading up to the game. Analyst and writers can only say so much about how great Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are, what the state of Dwight Freeney’s ankle is, and how many points the two high-powered offenses are going to put up.
This is the one week where the little guy that does not usually get a lot of media attention finds himself getting a little more attention. Such was the case for offensive lineman Kyle DeVan.
Offensive linemen usuaully only get noticed when they miss a key block, get in fight with some pesky defender, or get called for a penalty at a crucial time. DeVan deserves the attention of bloggers and writers alike for a much simpler and more pleasant reason- he’s on the team.
Playing professional football was something the young Californian had not given up on, but he was startig to have a hardtime staying positive. DeVan was signed as a free agent to the Redskins out of Oregon State in 2008. The Skins cut him before training camp even opened, but he was able to get on with the Jets until they cut him in August. Eventually he was brought back to the practice squad, only to get cut yet again in December.
With no team looking to pick him up he had nothing else to do, but return home and get to work, all the while hoping the phone would ring again. For awhile he was the most intimidating substitute teach next to the Governator’s Kindergarten Cop, standing 6’2″ and weighing a solid 300+ pounds.
Lucky for DeVan he would get the call once again, but instead of an NFL team it was the Boise Burn of the AFL2. When it came to football or no football the decision was easy and off to Idaho he went. While there the Colts saw enough in him to invite him to camp where he was able to work his way onto the active roster.
Going into Miami this week DeVan will loot to start in a game he figured to be watching from his parent’s coach a year ago. Now he takes 9 NFL starts onto the biggest stage in professional football.
Congratulations Kyle. Stories like yours are proof positive what hard work and determination can do. We’ll be rooting for you.