As the fourth overall pick out of Wake Forest in the 2009 draft, Aaron Curry probably didn't think that in 2013 he'd already be on his third NFL team. He was supposed to be a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks for years to come, but the team that drafted him traded him to the Oakland Raiders after just two seasons.
Curry's time with the Raiders didn't go much better, and now he's in Giants camp fighting for a roster spot in a crowded pool of linebackers. It's a good thing that Curry isn't afraid of a little competition.
"You know, in the beginning of my career, that was my issue," Curry told reporters this weekend, "I walked out there and they were like ‘you're the starter.' When I was in school we competed every day. When I got to Oakland we competed every day. So, I'm going out just to compete with everybody."
With hungry young players like Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger, and Etienne Sabino competing with Curry for outside linebacker roster spots, camp could get pretty heated. Curry isn't going to let the fight for jobs let football become a chore for him, though.
"I don't like when everyone is all tense and stressed out. I try to get guys out of that," he said, "Yell some nonsense, scream some nonsense, just try to get guys to understand that we're out here doing this for fun. You actually do take your opponents and take your preparation seriously, but when you're actually playing the game, if you're not having fun, you're kind of just wasting time."
It's easy to question Curry's mentality because of the way his career has gone, but the 2008 Butkus Award winner knows that where he was drafted doesn't matter anymore. He's willing to do anything that the Giants ask him to do.
"I'm going to show up everyday and wherever coach Perry [Fewell] tells me to line up at, wherever coach [Jim] Herrmann tells me to lineup at, that's what I'm going to do. I really don't know what the plan is. I just know that I'm asked to do whatever's coached of me."
Although earlier in his career, Curry was expected to be the guy that always makes the huge tackle, he's aware of whom the real playmakers in the NFL are.
"You know, sometimes I think we always think of the playmaker as a guy who has 30 sacks, 15 sacks, but sometimes you have a nose tackle and he's an extreme playmaker because he demands a double team, and doesn't get any glory. Or you have a middle linebacker that fullbacks fear, but he doesn't get any glory. But to me, they're considered playmakers because without them, the next guy can't make that spectacular play."
That's the right attitude to have for Curry to start his career over with the Giants. He may not be the incredible tackling machine that many thought he would be when he was coming out of college, but he still is willing to work hard and do what it takes to be a productive NFL linebacker. If he can do that, his raw talent should be enough to at least earn him a roster spot with New York.