After being drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins, defensive lineman Phillip Merling never lived up to his potential and also had many maturity issues. All of that then led to his release.

Merling finished with 3.5 sacks in four seasons with Miami. He was recently signed by the Green Bay Packers this off-season and he says he plans to be a different player now.

He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he's changing both off and on 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.”

Merling knew he was going to make the roster when drafted 32nd overall by the Dolphins. Now on the Packers, his chances are much more slimmer.

“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.”

Hopefully Merling can turn into the player many hoped he could've been.

Josh Dhani is the founder of FootBasket. He also contributes at Hoops Authority and Eight Points Nine Seconds. You can read more about him at his website. Follow him on Twitter @joshdhani.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!