Character, We Don’t Need No Stink’n Character

Posted: January 5, 2011 by Larry McDaniel Jr. in Larry’s Halftime Huddle
Tags: , ,

Oh yes you do. One of the growing trends in todays NFL is, character receiving a greater emphasis and being placed above a players talents. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, players could get away with murder and not have to bare any consequences. Now, players are flagged for excessive celebrations and suspended for any missteps off the field. Since Commissioner Roger Goodell took place in office, he has done a good job of holding players (not named Bret Farve), and teams accountable. He has also made a push to change certain league rules, such as touchdown celebrations. I don’t agree with everything he has done so far, but I do applaud him for trying to clean up a game that had become riddled with filth.

NCAA players looking to join the elite in the NFL need to get with the program and clean up their act. No longer will teams tolerate misbehavior. No matter how talented you are, some teams will pass on you in the draft, and you will in turn lose a few million dollars because of it. Recent history gives us proof of this. In 2010, Dez Bryant entered the draft with the stigma of being a diva and having a few off the field problems. His talent was top 5, but where was he selected, 24th to the Dallas Cowboys. Another example of teams looking towards quality character guys is the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons. In the 2010 draft, out of the 7 players the Chiefs drafted, 6 of them were team captains. The Falcons took a similar stance in the 2010 draft and drafted 4 team captains.

There are a few highly touted prospects who will be available in the 2011 draft, that have some baggage. The entire North Carolina team was suspended due to violating team and NCAA rules. Florida shut down corner, Janoris Jenkins was arrested in 2009 and charged with resisting arrest without violence. Speedy receiver, Titus Young has been suspended numerous times for his off the field issues and flagged for excessive celebrations. Biletnikoff winner, Justin Blackmon was arrested in 2010 for DUI. Iowa defensive end, Adrian Clayborn pled quilty to disorderly conduct in 2010 and was originally charged with assault after punching a cab driver. Pitt WR, Jonathan Baldwin recently threw his quarterback and coaches under the bus, in a rant about how he wont be back for his senior season. He was also arrested and charged with misdemeanor indecent assault, summary harassment and summary disorderly conduct. The list goes on and on.

All I can say to these players is, good luck with your background checks and pre draft interviews. To the college players not eligible for the 2010 draft, learn from others mistakes and keep on a straightened arrow. Millions of dollars are at stake. To the teams of the NFL, thank you for finally setting an example for the public, and showing them that character does matter.

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