USA TODAY Sports
Just because Daryl Washington is angry about being denied a trip to Hawaii doesn't mean he's going to sit around and mope.
Washington shared after practice this week that he's "kind of disappointed" with the direction the voters went in selecting two 49ers, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, over him. Still, that doesn't mean that he won't use this snub as a driving force to better himself:
"I don't know what I could have done...Maybe I could have gotten that 10th or 11th sack or something and had the record for the most sacks by an inside linebacker. I don't know. It's added motivation for next year."
And while it's hard to determine why the fans leaned the way they did, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt added that he felt Washington's age might have played a factor:
"Daryl's had a good year...Sometimes with young players, especially ones that kind of come out of nowhere like he did, it seems like it's a year behind."
When you factor in the stats, Whisenhunt seems to be dead-on. As Dulberg points out, Washington is only one Week 17 sack away from becoming only the fourth inside linebacker since 1985 to finish a season with double-digit sacks and 100+ tackles. He also currently leads the Cardinals in sacks (9), tackles (123), tackles for a loss (8) and is tied for the lead in forced fumbles with two.
Likewise, the versatile thumper has compiled 6.5 more sacks than Willis and Bowman combined. When you take all that into consideration, it's looking like the only thing that is keeping Washington out of Hawaii is overall team wins. And quite frankly, that's a crying shame.