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In the 3-4 defense, the strong safety plays a unique position. He is trusted to move all around the formation. He must help the pass defense by blitzing to force turnovers and roaming to find errant passes.
Ward, who is playing for his next contract, has the talent to turn this season into a huge payday. Players such as Troy Polamalu have made legendary careers out of their defensive freedom. The problem is he has not been healthy for an entire season since his rookie campaign.
While he started 14 games last season, he was hampered by injuries throughout the year limiting his effectiveness. If the defense loses Ward again, it is a scary scenario.
As great of a story as Josh Aubrey is, he is also an undrafted rookie. Jamoris Slaughter is on the practice squad and far from ready to contribute. Mix in the Tashaun Gipson and Johnson Bademosi combo at free safety and the position is very thin.