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A happy 28th birthday to Super Bowl champion Cliff Avril

Posted Apr 8, 2014

Tuesday is Cliff Avril's 28th birthday, the defensive end who signed in Seattle last season and went on to play a pivotal role in the Seahawks' Super Bowl success.

Defensive end Cliff Avril won just two games through his first two seasons in the League with the Detroit Lions, including an 0-16 season in 2008, Avril’s rookie year.

After that less-than-stellar start to his career, we'll safely assume that whatever gifts Avril may receive today - his 28th birthday - will be hard-pressed to rival what he and his Seahawks teammates earned on Feb. 2 - the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy.

When Avril joined the Seahawks on March 13, 2013 after five seasons with the Lions, he basically continued to do what he did best - get after the quarterback.

He finished second on the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks with 8.0 sacks (Michael Bennett had 8.5), even though he missed the opener to injury and was part of a heavy defensive line rotation that saw him make just two starts all season. He added 1.5 more sacks and two forced fumbles in the postseason, including the hit on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning that led to linebacker Malcolm Smith's interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII.

That play, along with countless others from the team's 43-8 domination of Denver, made Avril the only player in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after having been on a zero-win team. That has to be a pretty good feeling.

Happy birthday, Cliff Avril.

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