Cliff Avril is one of three players in Super Bowl XLVIII that was a member of the 2008 Detroit Lions.
Those Lions have the not-so-distinguished honor of being the only NFL team in history to finish the season 0-16.
Avril was in his rookie season when that team took the field and on Sunday, in his sixth NFL season, he will take the field at MetLife Stadium in the Super Bowl.
“I didn’t recognize how bad it was initially,” Avril said to the media on during Super Bowl week via ESPN.com. “I was a rookie. I was just trying to get on the field, trying to make plays.”
Two members of the AFC Champion Denver Broncos were also on that team — guard Manny Ramirez and linebacker Paris Lenon.
“We’re in this game to win”, said Lenon. “Anybody who’s playing any sport, you’re in it to be a winner so when you don’t have the opportunity to do that, it’s a tough deal.”
Avril said it took a while for him to realize how tough that year was.
“When the offseason rolled around, that’s when I was like ‘Oh, we really didn’t win any games’,” said Avril. “It was crazy.”
Seahawks wide recievers coach Kippy Brown was an assistant coach on that team. It was his last season with the Lions.
“That’s football,” he said. ” We had a great bunch of guys that never quit. That made it a lot easier to go to practice and prepare and look forward to the next game.”
This season, Avril has 20 tackles, including eight sacks and five forced fumbles. In his career, he has recorded 188 tackles, 47.5 sacks and 21 forced fumbles.
This will be his first Super Bowl appearance just like everyone else on Seattle’s roster.
Super Bowl XLVIII is the first time since the 1990 Buffalo Bills that a team is in the Super Bowl with no player or coach having ever been to the big game in their career.