View Full Version : 2 NFL hopefuls trying to defy age-old concerns

02-20-2010, 03:39 PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The creases across Brandon Crawford’s forehead are a mark of his experiences.

He played college football. He survived boot camp in the Marines. He worked on an automotive parts assembly line, and he’s not about to let some age-old question deter his lifelong dream.

The 33-year-old defensive end has a message for scouts: He’s not too old to play in the NFL.

“I believe I have a shot at getting drafted,” Crawford said this week after working out in Indy. “If you turn on the film, it doesn’t lie. My age might make some people put a blinder on, but I think you’ve got to see the film first.

Getting noticed, at Crawford’s age, will be his most difficult challenge yet.

Impossible? No. NFL teams have on occasion drafted older players.

Former Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke(notes) was 28 when he was taken by the Carolina Panthers in 2001. In 1964, the Dallas Cowboys selected Navy’s Roger Staubach knowing the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback couldn’t play for five years because of his military commitment. Staubach arrived at training camp in 1969 as a 27-year-old rookie and went on to have a Hall of Fame career.

Crawford, however, doesn’t fit the high-profile, award-winning quarterback model. Lacking that hype, he asked the St.Vincent Sports Performance program to help him make an impression.

Of the 16 players in this year’s workout class in Indy, just three—Indiana safety Nick Polk, Purdue cornerback David Pender and James Madison guard Dorian Brooks—have one of the coveted 329 invitations to next week’s NFL Combine.

Everyone else is still trying to prove themselves.