02/06/2013 5:15 PM
JACKSONVILLE - The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced the addition of a versatile veteran on Wednesday, as defensive lineman/Mac linebacker Dusty Bear has been assigned to the team’s roster on a two-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Dusty is a player who has played fullback, defensive end and Mac at a high level and can excel in all phases of the game.” Sharks head coach Les Moss said of Bear. “That kind of player always helps out with a limited roster. He had an outstanding season in 2011 and battled through injuries last year. We expect him to be ready to compete in camp, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can bring to our team.”
Bear, 27, heads to Jacksonville for his fourth season in the Arena Football League after spending 2012 with the Philadelphia Soul. Bear started nine games for the Soul during the regular season, appearing in 12 contests overall. He logged a start in each of Philadelphia’s first seven games before battling through injury during the second half of the season. Bear recorded 19 total tackles (15 solo), ranked fourth on the team with five tackles for loss, and added three sacks. He also grabbed an interception, broke up a pass, forced three fumbles and recovered another.
Before heading to Philadelphia, Bear emerged as a breakout performer with the Dallas Vigilantes in 2011, earning a spot on the All-Arena Second Team. Bear racked up 11 sacks during the regular season - a total that tied him with the Sharks’ Derrick Summers for third among all AFL defenders. In addition to those 11 sacks, Bear totaled 43.5 tackles (34 solo) and 12.0 tackles for loss, grabbed and interception, recorded three quarterback hurries and a pass breakup, recovered a fumble, blocked a kick and notched two safeties.
Bear began his AFL career in 2010, spending time with both the Tampa Bay Storm and Alabama Vipers as a rookie that season. He totaled 2.5 sacks between the two teams, making his AFL debut in Week 2 of that season against Dallas. His first AFL sack came when the Storm took on the Orlando Predators in Week 9 of the 2010 season.
Prior to joining the AFL, Bear made his arena football debut with af2’s Florida Firecats in the 2009 season. With the Firecats, Bear totaled 26.5 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.
Bear spent his collegiate career at Western Kentucky University, where he capped his four-year career by totaling 50 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a senior in 2007. He also hauled in a pair of interceptions and forced two fumbles during his final season with the Hilltoppers. A Florida native, Bear attended Venice High School.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.