I wrote a piece about J.J. Wilcox a few weeks back, about the team having patience with him, and I argued that the fans should have patience as well. This isn't going to be the same type of article on Mo. The reason I say that is because Morris Claiborne will have a break out year this season. That's right, I said it, and here's why.
For the first time in his pro career, Mo is healthy. He is going into his third season and not one time has he been able to train an entire offseason without recovering from some type of surgery on an injury he had from the season prior. He's had an entire offseason to get faster, bigger and stronger, and word from the ranch is he's done just that.
Here is another first time experience for Mo; he's getting a chance to be in the same defensive system for more than one year. People often forget, while criticizing Mo's play, that he's had to learn two different defensive schemes in his first two seasons in the league.
It's hard enough for a young player to learn one system in his first year, but to have to learn two would be tough on any young player.
The biggest factor that should help Mo reach success this season will be playing more man to man in 2014. Claiborne's strength coming out of college was his ability to play the ball and play man to man defense. Those abilities are what allowed him to be ranked so high on every teams draft board.
People are calling Mo a bust. It doesn't matter that he hasn't been on the field much; he's just a bust. My opinion of a bust is a little different.
I feel a bust is someone who can't play in this league even though they were drafted in the first two rounds of the draft. That isn't Mo Claiborne in my opinion; he can play in this league and play well, but he's been injured and just hasn't been able to show his talents.
There was a time not all that long ago when people were calling a player by the name of Dez Bryant a bust. It didn't matter he had been hurt a couple of times and it didn't matter all the off-the-field matters he was dealing with. People labeled him a bust and wanted Jerry Jones to trade another wasted draft pick away.
Hmmmm, let's think about that for a second… People wanted to get rid of a tremendously talented young player because he wasn't reaching their expectations. Well, thank goodness Jerry and company don't make their decisions based on fan expectations. Those same people who were calling for Dez to be traded are the same people who are calling for Mo to be traded. And that's okay; we won't hold it against them once they change their mind about Mo, just like they did about Dez.
It's coming people; Mo Claiborne will have his break out season this year.