Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday, we looked at No. 97, Alan Branch. Because today marks 96 days until the New England Patriots open the 2015 regular season, we are profiling No. 96, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga.
A fun fact to start this profile: Siliga’s first name is actually Tupaimoefitpo. Say that ten times fast.
Siliga entered the 2011 NFL Draft as an early entry candidate, but didn’t get selected. He ended up signing with the San Francisco 49ers that year, but got cut before the season started.
The Denver Broncos added him to the active roster for the 2012 opener, but he only recorded one tackle that season. In August of 2013, the Broncos traded Siliga to the Seattle Seahawks, who released him a few months later. Then, the Patriots swooped in and signed the Utah product, and he’s been in New England ever since.
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In the latter half of 2013, Siliga compiled 23 combined tackles and a trio of sacks for the Patriots. This past season, Siliga overcame an early-season foot injury to post 32 tackles and 2.5 sacks. In Super Bowl XLIX, Siliga made his presence known by recording a pair of tackles. Evidently, the Patriots were impressed enough with Siliga’s play to sign him to an exclusive rights deal this offseason.
Over at Ourlads.com, Siliga is listed as one of the starting defensive tackles. He may not be the most-talked about replacement for Vince Wilfork, but it’s clear that Siliga has worked his way up the totem pole and deserves respect. Certainly, he will figure prominently into the rotation on the interior of the defensive line.
He won’t yield to young bucks Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown, in other words.
For more reading on Siliga’s NFL story, check out this NESN.com article on how he rose out of obscurity to become a Super Bowl starter.
Tomorrow, check back on Musket Fire as we celebrate 95 days until the Patriots kick-off 2015 by profiling No. 95, defensive end Chandler Jones.