Falcons defensive end John Abraham, one of four Jets' first-round picks in 2000, appears to be having a bounce-back season after last year's disappointing performance, which included only 5.5 sacks. Through five games, he has four sacks for the 4-1 Falcons.
Not bad for a 32-year-old lineman, although Abraham doesn't really feel his age these days.
"People don't understand, I missed 32 games, so that's two years of football," said Abraham, referring to an assortment of injuries over his career (per Jeff Haws of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). "So I don't feel like I'm in my 11th year. I feel like I'm in my eighth or ninth. That's why I think if you can scratch the age out, being 32. Just worry about the number of games and games missed. In years of football, I still feel like I'm in my prime."
Falcons defensive line coach Ray Hamilton credits Abraham's off-season work for the turnaround.
"A guy like Abraham, who's a 'sack master,' he's got a lot of pride. He takes it upon himself to get better at that, and I think he was disappointed in himself (last season). Even though he had only 5.5 sacks, he rushed well. He definitely wants to make up for what he did last year."