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Indianapolis brass did right thing addressing defensive needs


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One of April’s lesser-known traditions is how all 32 NFL franchises somehow manage to select exactly the players they wanted in the annual draft.

Really, what were the chances?

“And with the 157th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select ... Barney Bipplestaff, cornerback out of the University of Idaho.”

Despite shoulder shrugs and puzzled facial expressions from 99.999 percent of the football-watching universe, somewhere in northeastern Florida a roomful of coaches and executives are joyously high-fiving one another.

“We got him. Bipplestaff is ours.”

This, of course, is just an example. Maybe even a bad one. But you get my point.

Decision-makers within the Indianapolis Colts organization were overjoyed when it became apparent late Thursday night that Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner would be available with the 24th selection.

Voted as the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, the German-born Werner has only been in the United States since 2007. Not long enough to be able to accurately gauge this state’s complete disdain for the New England Patriots or anything even remotely affiliated with Tom Brady.

Werner seems like a bright kid. He’ll catch on quick.

After exhausting the time and resources necessary to build the offense back up with last year’s draft, Indy needed to address the Colts’ linebacking situation.

Now, suddenly, what once was perceived as the team’s weakness could, if everyone remains healthy, could be looked at as a strength. An aging Dwight Freeney is no longer a Colt, but look who is: Robert Mathis, Kavell Conner, Jerrell Freeman, Pat Angerer, Jerry Hughes and now Werner.

Lots and lots of chess pieces for coach Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme.

Second-year general manager Ryan Grigson pressed all the right buttons last April. I’m not about to question what his football instincts tell him to do and not to do until that one bad draft weekend comes along.

Something tells me that won’t happen.

Red Sox now America’s Team

The Boston Red Sox were anything but the trendy pick in the American League East when the 2013 baseball season began.

Under the leadership of its third manager in as many seasons, Boston, a putrid 69-93 a year ago, wasn’t expected to be much of a factor standing alongside the Yankees, Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays.

The Red Sox, though, are out of the gate fast. This is great to see for a region of the country that will be feeling the sting of the Boston Marathon and Newtown, Conn., tragedies for some time now.

The United States has a long and proud history of rallying around those who are suffering. Therefore, it’s safe to assume the Red Sox bandwagon has experienced thousands of new occupants over the past few weeks.

They are America’s Team, even if only through October.

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to mbeas@dailyjournal.net.

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