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Old 02-08-2013   #1
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Default The Importance of Football Character

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Drafting is the easiest and most efficient way to build a team, as NFL general managers are acquiring talented players who are fast, healthy and entering into the prime of their careers. Drafting talent is easy. Drafting talent with character and a good medical report is the ultimate challenge for any personnel evaluator.

Projecting anything or anybody is no easy task. As a rule, half the players drafted in the first round will fail to meet expectations and most will be considered a “bust” within three years. Only 25 percent of first rounders will play to a pro bowl level while the remaining draft picks will play to a rank and file level.

Most teams have their own reasoning and beliefs that they adhere to when deciding on who to draft. Some teams have no real philosophy and those teams usually wind up drafting high every year.

I’ve found that the most intoxicating and overrated trait that teams use to justify their draft picks is speed and/or athletic ability since speed & raw talent are the real separators between the average and above players in the league. There are much better ways to evaluate a football player than on just speed or athleticism.
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Old 02-08-2013   #2
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

MSR. I'd rep you 10 times if I could for posting this article. There are so many truisms within. Some of them so obvious they could bite you in the rear. Others subtle, until you really stop and think. There's always the exception out there, but following common sense usually helps save you from losing your rear most cases.
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Old 02-08-2013   #3
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

Good find. I hope that the 31 other teams don't find it.
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Old 02-08-2013   #4
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

He misspelled gauge.

Yes, I am cursed that way.

Great article though. As often as I have questioned coaches/coaching staffs (staves?), I liked this part a lot:

Quote:
When I was In Tampa, we drafted a player who had also been drafted by baseball. Prior to drafting him in the 3rd round, we got him on the phone and made sure that if we drafted him that baseball would not be in the picture. He assured us that his first love was football and that it wouldn't be a problem, but all we had was his word. He was not fast or overly athletic, but he was a good player.

Once the player was on the team, the coaches at that time did not like him because of his lack of speed. There was a point when we were seriously entertaining cutting him. In fact, we even tried to make him a LB to see if we could get something out of him. He added 15 or 20 pounds and he looked bad and played worse at the experimental position. That staff got fired and we told the new staff what was said about him. They said they would work with him and see for themselves. That player had very high football character and it was a real credit to the player that he never lost hope or his will to be great. His name was John Lynch.
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Old 02-08-2013   #5
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

I believe the LB he was talking about was Broderick Thomas. He was drafted #6 overall out of Nebraska in 1989. So after reading this article how many still think we need to take chances on talented but troubled players in the draft?
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Old 02-08-2013   #6
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

I just posted this article over on the Cowboy board...saw it through LZ's twitter, not here. The conversation I posted it in was dealing with a quote by Nate Newton where he disputed a Dallas radio announcers assertion that the Cowboys could have easily been 10-6 vs 8-8. Nate said no they couldn't have because they didn't have the attitude and willpower to make the extra plays to go 10-6. I agree with him. There are clueless people...IMHO..who think that talent wins out no matter what. The problem is the playoffs or a late regular season game where you have two talented teams. This is when character and work ethic and attitude make the difference. Great read.
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Old 02-08-2013   #7
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by mussop View Post
I believe the LB he was talking about was Broderick Thomas. He was drafted #6 overall out of Nebraska in 1989. So after reading this article how many still think we need to take chances on talented but troubled players in the draft?
I think you may be misconstruing Angelo's message. Warren Sapp was no boy scout. He dropped due to a failed drug test in college. 11 teams passed on him. None of those players are in the HOF. On the other hand, David Carr was a boy scout. A model citizen. But, the game didn't mean enough to him.
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Old 02-09-2013   #8
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by HoustonFrog View Post
I just posted this article over on the Cowboy board...saw it through LZ's twitter, not here. The conversation I posted it in was dealing with a quote by Nate Newton where he disputed a Dallas radio announcers assertion that the Cowboys could have easily been 10-6 vs 8-8. Nate said no they couldn't have because they didn't have the attitude and willpower to make the extra plays to go 10-6. I agree with him. There are clueless people...IMHO..who think that talent wins out no matter what. The problem is the playoffs or a late regular season game where you have two talented teams. This is when character and work ethic and attitude make the difference. Great read.
I completely agree. I think our late season breakdown was two fold. One, we don't have the leaders on field that inspire each other to give 10% more on the next play again & again & again. We've got guys like Jj Watt & Andre Johnson who "lead by example" but that doesn't focus everybody on the next play. I think our defense faltered down the stretch & looked lost vs the Patriots, because they lost that focus.

Secondly, I'm sure Kubiak's message was to stay calm & don't panic but we reached a point in each of those losses that we should have realized a sense of urgency. A couple of the games, it looked like we recognized that point too late & the other two we didn't recognize that point at all. Our offense just didn't "get it"
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Old 02-09-2013   #9
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by mussop View Post
I believe the LB he was talking about was Broderick Thomas. He was drafted #6 overall out of Nebraska in 1989. So after reading this article how many still think we need to take chances on talented but troubled players in the draft?
I think he did a good job of discerning between football character & citizenship.
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While both “citizenship” and “football character” are important to his future success as a football player, I would say that the latter carries more importance. That’s the reason I would always say “we’re not looking for boy scouts” because our jobs are to win football games. We weren’t hired to serve the community. That’s not to say a player’s citizenship isn’t important because I feel like it is very important. I’m just saying that football character is more important.
The LB he was talking about wasn't a "troubled" player, he just had low football character.
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Old 02-09-2013   #10
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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I think he did a good job of discerning between football character & citizenship. The LB he was talking about wasn't a "troubled" player, he just had low football character.
Sorry, "troubled" was a poor choice of words. I have seen people post here saying that we need to take chances on really talented players who have issues. Some of those players "issues" fall in line with "football character" that is described in the article.

For example alot of people wanted us to take a chance on Dez Bryant.
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Old 02-09-2013   #11
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Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Lewis/Suggs/Jimmy Smith/McKinnie etc.... were all role models... to win a SB you have to have a mixture of chiorboys that can play and badboys too. But they all have to be able to shine the brightest when the stakes are at the highest, This is what the Texans are missing and it starts at the top with Rick/Gary/Wade and the players follow their lead of not being at their best when the playoffs/SB are on the line.
This is how I feel as well. You gotta have a mixture. But to have that you need solid leaders.
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Old 02-09-2013   #12
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by srrono View Post
Excellent read, thanks for posting srrono
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Before we go further, let’s first define “football character.” Football character entails a player’s work ethic, competitive nature, threshold for pain, football IQ, overall passion for game and level of play within these characteristics.
Never thought about character so inclusively, but it makes perfect sense.
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The two things most players don’t have in college that they’ll have an abundance of at the next level is time and money. How a player handles his idle time and new money will have a big impact on whether he’ll have a future in the NFL.
As soon as I read that, I thought about Gronkowsky. Too much time & too much money.
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Old 02-09-2013   #13
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
Excellent read, thanks for posting srrono
Never thought about character so inclusively, but it makes perfect sense.
As soon as I read that, I thought about Gronkowsky. Too much time & too much money.
You mean the Gronk that's in the AFC championship/SB regularly?
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Old 02-09-2013   #14
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OK, reducing the Atlanta "incident" to a misplaced fear of insensitive comments coming from those living in glass houses is laughable. Two folks are DEAD. They didn't commit suicide at that club. Awfully hard to complain about glass houses when most of us haven't been present when folks were killed in front of us.

I can't take you seriously until you recognize that wasn't some "run of the mill" off the field incident.
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Old 02-09-2013   #15
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Default Re: The Importance of Football Character

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Originally Posted by disaacks3 View Post
OK, reducing the Atlanta "incident" to a misplaced fear of insensitive comments coming from those living in glass houses is laughable. Two folks are DEAD. They didn't commit suicide at that club. Awfully hard to complain about glass houses when most of us haven't been present when folks were killed in front of us.

I can't take you seriously until you recognize that wasn't some "run of the mill" off the field incident.
I never said it was a "run ofthe mill" incident; I didn't emphasize it because one can never talk on a non-Ravens message board about Ray Lewis the player without a reference to Ray Lewis the accused murderer.

For the record: I was responding to post where a Texans fan named Lewis by name s well as other players.
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