Jason Ferguson announced his retirement yesterday. And we hear (seriously!) that it caught some of his teammates by surprise.
Ferguson, you may recall, was a stalwart at the nose position for a year and a half before tearing a muscle and missing the latter part of last season. He was rehabbing, and at some point took a banned substance. There were rumors about it being a steroid to help recovery, but he said it was an innocent mistake and that he took an over the counter medication that contained a banned substance he wasn't aware of.
And its totally plausible of course.
He was suspended for the first 8 games, but was looking forward to coming back strong, and finishing out the season. My expectation was that Mike Nolan was going to come up with a more agressive defense for the first 8 games; and then he could put a big man in the middle to clog things up and change the scheme in mid-season, thus really crossing up teams who prepped based on what they *had* seen.
I guess that won't be the case anymore. Unless Paul Soliai or someone really steps up to do the grunt work that Ferguson did.