–To understand general manager Martin Mayhew’s insistence on re-signing defensive end Cliff Avril, even at the risk of losing Tulloch, you have to understand his philosophy on building defenses.

“We’re more front-driven,” Mayhew said last month. “We want to bring pressure on every play and have a rotation of seven or eight guys going after the quarterback. We try to win the passing game up front.”

The premium he puts on pass rushers stems from his own playing days when he played cornerback and marveled at how easy the likes of Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett, Charles Mann and Dexter Manley made his job.

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