As the 32nd overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, Phillip Merling was a big disappointment for the Dolphins, a defensive end who recorded just 3.5 sacks before being released after four seasons. But Merling says he’s going to be a different player in Green Bay.
Merling, who was also arrested for aggravated battery in a domestic dispute during his time in Miami, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s changing things both on and off the field.
“I matured a whole lot from when I got released until now,” Merling said. “You start to put things in perspective and football is important to me. I’m going to do my best to continue to keep playing the game.”
When Merling was a high draft pick, he now says, he became complacent knowing that he was going to make the team. In Green Bay, Merling has no such assurances, and he says that’s going to make him push himself.
“You can take it for granted, getting drafted pretty high. Things are kind of handed to you and right now, shhh . . . – nothing is handed to you,” Merling said. “I’m working from the ground up. I like it though. It’s a challenge and I’m ready to step up to it.”
If Merling doesn’t step up in Green Bay, he may be done in the NFL.