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View Full Version : How do JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith change your opinion on the draft?


GaMeTiMe
12-03-2009, 10:21 AM
And players with character concerns, a poor work ethic, etc. Not so much a criminal record as there are plenty of circumstances where a guy can not only separate that part of his life from football or just get past it altogether.

Personally, I never really payed a lot of attention to the character bit. I figured it was silly to see a player slide because of it and thought any team that caught him on a fall was getting a steal because the talent is there. But Russell and now Smith (unless he turns it up and can really progress and turn into a starter, but the odds are already against him and I'm sure another injury is around the corner too) are guys who were red-flagged for this kind of stuff and it's really showing up. Back in 07 when people talked about this stuff with Russell I thought it was the least of his worries, but to see it actually all play out the way it has is almost scary. I wonder what Russell's stock really would've been if Oakland passed on him. We saw Quinn's, who looks like an Aaron Rodgers-type first round steal next to Russell.

How does all of this change your opinion on players in the draft going forward? Every case is a bit different as we're dealing with a different kid every time, which is what makes it interesting..some people may not be effected by it at all and simply claim that the individual will grow out of it or prove it all to be wrong.

Carlos Dunlap is obviously the player to keep an eye on this year. It'll be real interesting, with what's happened to Russell and Smith so far, to see how teams look at Dunlap. Especially since defensive end is a whole different world than QB or OT, there's probably more of a perceived upside in a freakish pass-rusher with questionable drive than QB with a cannon and no brain or a lineman with the great trio of weight/effort/injury problems.

The DUI probably didn't help Dunlap's case and will only hurt his stock further, so it's not like if he falls it'll all be because of his ethic. But if he works out like he could and systematically grades out as a first-round pick, he'll really evolve into the player to watch in the draft. Actually, a very interesting story-line will to see who's picked first; Dunlap, or the poster-boy for character, teammate Tim Tebow. We already know Tebow's draft stock debate, but in the end to see him picked before Dunlap could really make a powerful but subtle statement.

In my opinion, this entire situation has turned character and work ethic concerns into a bigger negative in a player than ability or technique. I think it's important to try and take something away from each draft and be able to say you learned something, it at least makes the hours we put into simply being "prepared" a bit more worth it and can help us see trends develop for future drafts.

AkiliSmith
12-03-2009, 10:34 AM
Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.

GaMeTiMe
12-03-2009, 10:41 AM
Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.

Smith was really more of a tack-on to the discussion, I don't want it to focus on him and what he has/hasn't done. But after Russell's rookie year I don't think anyone realized it'd be this bad, either. I'm not predicting it will be, I'm not down on Smith's career as a whole just yet, but overblown or not there were these kinds of questions leading up to the draft. Holding out and getting hurt are the reasons he hasn't produced but it'll only take him that much longer to get into ideal shape and progress into an NFL player. The kind of player/person he is, he needed all the camp time and to at least be healthy for his entire rookie season. Next year will be "his first year as a starter" (maybe if only he's lucky), and I know you really can't call these kinds of things to support your argument but it isn't too unrealistic to say he may be hurt again by the end of his 2nd year, which will then slow him down for his 3rd, and so on..that's how a bust is made.

But again that all being said he can play, and the potential is there and while the same could've been said about Russell in his first few years (hell, even now) Smith is admittedly nothing compared to the case of JaMarcus and it's unfair to put them in the same category, but in a few seasons it could turn out being that way and I therefore decided to throw Smith's name into the bag. But I do understand that Russell's problems are geared more towards character and Smith's more towards injury/holdout to this point.

FUNBUNCHER
12-03-2009, 10:45 AM
Injuries are not character concerns. Andre Smith went through his entire Alabama career without any major health issues, he should be a starter in 2010 for the Bengals.

Drafts are all about mitigating risk, anyway. Was there a player who had more character concerns than Lawrence Taylor? This a guy who had a rep for getting into weekend bar fights at Chapel Hill, a heavy binge drinker on campus, threatened Chapel Hill cops, and had run ins with frat-boys on more than one occasion.
But LT still balled out on Sundays. If the player's talent/on the field play are exceptional enough, teams will take a chance on him, outside of someone involved in potential felony/capital crimes, ( rapist, murderer, thief, drug dealer).

IMO, Andre Smith was a little immature, but I never understood why there was such an issue made about his 'character'.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
12-03-2009, 10:46 AM
I'm not so sure you could really see Jamarcus' problems coming. Yeah, he was a bit overweight in college. But how you were supposed to make the jump in logic from that, all the way to not even looking at the pictures after an interception, or taking home a DVD full of plays, saying you watched it and it was good only to have them tell you it was blank, I'll never know.

GaMeTiMe
12-03-2009, 10:48 AM
Drafts are all about mitigating risk, anyway. Was there a player who had more character concerns than Lawrence Taylor? This a guy who had a rep for getting into weekend bar fights at Chapel Hill, a heavy binge drinker on campus, threatened Chapel Hill cops, and had run ins with frat-boys on more than one occasion.
But LT still balled out on Sundays. If the player's talent/on the field play are exceptional enough, teams will take a chance on him, outside of someone involved in potential felony/capital crimes, ( rapist, murderer, thief, drug dealer).


That's the balance that exists and makes it interesting. Tom Brady gives 6th round QBs everywhere the hope of a lifetime. But how many Tom Brandstaters and Keith Nulls of the world are there?

Like I said, every player's case is different. Russell wasn't getting into bar fights or threatening police, he just simply doesn't care about being a good player in the NFL.

[QUOTE=slightlyabroncosfan;1905126]I'm not so sure you could really see Jamarcus' problems coming.

Right. That's the point. The negatives are all there, the "red flags", but of course before the draft actually happens, any player could play like Peyton Manning or well, JaMarcus Russell. That's why he's such a notable figure in the NFL right now, he's basically the new face of the bust label. This is where learning or at least taking note of these kind of things can change the draft in the future. We didn't see it coming, and as Funbuncher said, it's all about calculating risk. Outcomes in this direction certainly raise the risk of taking these kinds of players.

When we all pretty much knew Oakland was taking Russell leading up to the draft, it was his accuracy and football IQ that really bothered us, with his character taking a backseat. Arguably, if the character was there, the accuracy and IQ would probably be a lot better by now.

killxswitch
12-03-2009, 10:50 AM
Another semi-example here could be Tony Ugoh. He wasn't picked high in the first round, but he was brought to Indy to be the future LT. Coming out of college there were character concerns, not that he was a bad guy but that he didn't have the heart or desire to play football. The Colts ignored that, gave up a lot to get him, and now he's either a backup or a healthy scratch on Sundays. He has the talent and did well enough his rookie year, but he doesn't have the desire. The reports were there, the Colts took the risk anyway, and it didn't pay off.

I don't think this is probably any different than any other time. Sometimes you take a risk on a guy with character issues and it works out (Darnell Docket in the 3rd), sometimes you get burned.

GaMeTiMe
12-03-2009, 10:54 AM
Another semi-example here could be Tony Ugoh. He wasn't picked high in the first round, but he was brought to Indy to be the future LT. Coming out of college there were character concerns, not that he was a bad guy but that he didn't have the heart or desire to play football. The Colts ignored that, gave up a lot to get him, and now he's either a backup or a healthy scratch on Sundays. He has the talent and did well enough his rookie year, but he doesn't have the desire. The reports were there, the Colts took the risk anyway, and it didn't pay off.

I don't think this is probably any different than any other time. Sometimes you take a risk on a guy with character issues and it works out (Darnell Docket in the 3rd), sometimes you get burned.

Quinn Pitcock ring a bell?

Finding out, hearing about, or even having a doubt about the player's desire to actually carry out his job may be grounds for elimination from a draft board altogether.

There are reasons that it's so hard to repeat in the NFL or make it to the Super Bowl 2 years in a row. The "Super Bowl hangover" is really just having "been there, done that" and other teams that have that slightly greater hunger and drive to get there fighting their way to the big game the next season under everybody's noses. These are the kinds of players teams want.

phlysac
12-03-2009, 11:07 AM
It's most definitely not a new phenomenon. The most obvious red flag I remember was Lawrence Phillips and that didn't disuade the Rams. In fact it didn't disuade the 49ers from signing him either, which effectively ended Steve Young's career.

FUNBUNCHER
12-03-2009, 11:13 AM
Are there any top prospects on the radar now for character issues or potential red flags heading into the draft??

CLong4Heisman
12-03-2009, 11:20 AM
Carlos Dunlap

SenorGato
12-03-2009, 11:38 AM
Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.

9 out of 10 guys with these character concerns are blown way out of proportion.

For example, Greg Hardy this year is constantly talked about on this board as having character concerns and motor problems. In actuality, he's a leader in his locker room and his biggest question should actually be his injury problems.

For the most part, these kids are good kids...many are directionless without football sure...but theres really very few bad eggs out there and most of them are correctly labeled and done away with.

I do think there is a certain kind of character that teams look for though...

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 11:45 AM
Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.

The bottom line on Smith is that the Bengals still had to throw his rookie season away. They got no production at all out of a top 10 pick. No team would take a player in the top 10 knowing he wouldn't do anything as a rookie.

How much did his holdout and likely being out of shape have to do with his injury?

Way too early to call him a bust, but he's off to a good start.

killxswitch
12-03-2009, 12:10 PM
Quinn Pitcock ring a bell?

Finding out, hearing about, or even having a doubt about the player's desire to actually carry out his job may be grounds for elimination from a draft board altogether.

There are reasons that it's so hard to repeat in the NFL or make it to the Super Bowl 2 years in a row. The "Super Bowl hangover" is really just having "been there, done that" and other teams that have that slightly greater hunger and drive to get there fighting their way to the big game the next season under everybody's noses. These are the kinds of players teams want.

I dont' even like thinking about that bastard. Quitcock was enough to make me never want to draft another OSU defensive player. It's completely irrational but between him and Gholston sucking in NY I just don't want any part of them.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
12-03-2009, 12:18 PM
The bottom line on Smith is that the Bengals still had to throw his rookie season away. They got no production at all out of a top 10 pick. No team would take a player in the top 10 knowing he wouldn't do anything as a rookie.

How much did his holdout and likely being out of shape have to do with his injury?

Way too early to call him a bust, but he's off to a good start.

Well to be fair to the Bengals, drafting a guy in the top 10 and not having him do anything his rookie year worked well for them before.

http://www.yuddy.com/articleimages/Carson-Palmer---03-Draft-Day---Photofile--C10099213OTAz.jpeg

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 12:22 PM
The bottom line on Smith is that the Bengals still had to throw his rookie season away. They got no production at all out of a top 10 pick. No team would take a player in the top 10 knowing he wouldn't do anything as a rookie.

How much did his holdout and likely being out of shape have to do with his injury?

Way too early to call him a bust, but he's off to a good start.

Well, luckily, Smith didn't throw his rookie season away. He got snaps in that 11th game, and may be looking at an expanding role this week against Detroit. These games are just the introduction, or tune-up he needs for the NFL game. I would expect to see a lot of the Bengals jumbo package, which includes Smith at RT and 6'9 325 starting RT Dennis Roland at TE next to him. I would also not be surprised if he got a bulk of the snaps at RT by Week 16 against Kansas City and Wk. 17 against the Jets. His holdout+injury set him back, that's for sure, but Smith is still on pace to be a very good NFL player at this point. He's showing more and more every week and forcing his coaches to play him regardless of how well Roland is playing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if the Bengals are going to be a playoff contender then Andre Smith is going to have a role in that.

TheSlinger
12-03-2009, 12:45 PM
I'm not so sure you could really see Jamarcus' problems coming. Yeah, he was a bit overweight in college. But how you were supposed to make the jump in logic from that, all the way to not even looking at the pictures after an interception, or taking home a DVD full of plays, saying you watched it and it was good only to have them tell you it was blank, I'll never know.

Wait, did these things really happen? That's amazing.

Prophet
12-03-2009, 12:57 PM
I was surprised when Jamarcus was at first projected to be the #1 guy.
At LSU he had some major character issues. He had zero work ethic, he was never in class, he was lazy as sin and anyone who has ever been in a huddle with the guy will tell you Jamarcus dosen't have the best grasp on the english language.
I wasn't suprised when he bombed the wonderlic and showed up to Indy physically unprepared. This is a guy who quit on his team 3 or 4 times during fall camp b/c he felt like he didn't wonna do conditioning after practice.
Luckily for him the Riaders had the top spot cuz Al Davis was the only one I could imagine taking him.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 12:59 PM
Well to be fair to the Bengals, drafting a guy in the top 10 and not having him do anything his rookie year worked well for them before.

http://www.yuddy.com/articleimages/Carson-Palmer---03-Draft-Day---Photofile--C10099213OTAz.jpeg


One of the best days I can remember in modern history

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 01:01 PM
I wasn't suprised when he bombed the wonderlic and showed up to Indy physically unprepared.

I think you're think of Vince Young, Russell scored a rather average 24 on the Wonderlic.

yourfavestoner
12-03-2009, 01:02 PM
Wait, did these things really happen? That's amazing.

Yeah that's what I want to know.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 01:07 PM
Well to be fair to the Bengals, drafting a guy in the top 10 and not having him do anything his rookie year worked well for them before.

http://www.yuddy.com/articleimages/Carson-Palmer---03-Draft-Day---Photofile--C10099213OTAz.jpeg

If you consider a 40-36 record as a starter, an 0-1 playoff record, and a career QB rating of 88.6 working out well seven years after being drafted #1 overall, then yes he's working out well.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
12-03-2009, 01:07 PM
I don't watch Raiders game unless they're playing the Broncos(If I wanna laugh, I'll just watch Dave Chapelle), but apparently after throwing picks, Raiders fans say you could see him take the binder with the pictures of the defense and just shrug it off, flip through it quickly, and give it back. And the DVD thing was in the Jamarcus Russell benched thread. I lol'd at that one. Like, how do you not even attempt to watch it? Hell, I'd just throw it in my computer and kinda watch/post on SWDC right before bed if I was that lazy.

San Diego Chicken
12-03-2009, 01:09 PM
I distinctly remember having a conversation on here, comparing Russell and Quinn and their academic progress. Russell had been in college for four years and hadn't earned his degree...Quinn had graduated in three with double major and was doing postgraduate work. I remember a poster dismissing this by giving me an example of the linebacker from The Program.

At that point, people just hear what they want to hear and shut out all the negatives. People were so captivated by his physical talent that they lived in denial. There were red flags all over the place. Instead of Russell saying he needs to work harder to get in better shape he blamed his weight on his grandmothers cooking. Fast forward to the NFL, and he still passes the buck and doesn't take full ownership of his mistakes. After an innacurate game a reporter asked what was wrong and he said "maan, the ball just ain't comin' out right". I mean, is that the answer you want your starting QB to give? The guy you handed 30+ million guaranteed?

Say what you want about Brady Quinn but at least effort was never a concern.

FUNBUNCHER
12-03-2009, 01:09 PM
If you consider a 40-36 record as a starter, an 0-1 playoff record, and a career QB rating of 88.6 working out well seven years after being drafted #1 overall, then yes he's working out well.

Dan Snyder says if you're looking to dump ol' bum QB Carson Palmer, please leave a voice mail at Redskins Park!

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 01:13 PM
If you consider a 40-36 record as a starter, an 0-1 playoff record, and a career QB rating of 88.6 working out well seven years after being drafted #1 overall, then yes he's working out well.

Or playing on one a team that had one of the worst defenses year in and year out until this year...and oh wait we are in charge of the AFC North now.

Carson has just never been in that good of a situation here except 05 and now.

And why do people claim Carson has a 0-1 playoff record? He has 1 play off snap before a cheap shot (yes it is, it only took a similar shot the THE MIGHTY BRADY before it was allowed to be called that). Carson's playoff stats tell the truth. He has a 118.7 passer rating in the playoffs. 1-1 66 yards 100% completion percentage.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 01:16 PM
Or playing on one a team that had one of the worst defenses year in and year out until this year...and oh wait we are in charge of the AFC North now.

Carson has just never been in that good of a situation here except 05 and now.

And why do people claim Carson has a 0-1 playoff record? He has 1 play off snap before a cheap shot (yes it is, it only took a similar shot the THE MIGHTY BRADY before it was allowed to be called that). Carson's playoff stats tell the truth. He has a 118.7 passer rating in the playoffs. 1-1 66 yards 100% completion percentage.

The main point of emphasis on his career 0-1 playoff record is the fact he's only led the Bengals to 1 playoff appearance.

The Bengals poor drafting record is to blame. Given their track record, I would be very hesitant to take a player with all the negatives Andre Smith had. They still continue to roll the dice on draft day.

FlyingElvis
12-03-2009, 01:17 PM
An interesting topic, I like it.

I think there should be a separation between "character concerns" and "work ethic" concerns. For me, character concerns are labels for guys who may have issues with drugs, gangs, or otherwise detrimental connections like Pac's inability to stay out of strip clubs and TO's infamous childlike antics during his brief stay in Philly. These are guys who may work their asses off on field but can't pull the head out of their asses off the field.

Whereas the work ethic concerns are guys that may never get into trouble but don't have the heart or desire to put in the effort needed to stay in shape, learn the playbook and beat the competition on the playing field - on Sundays and during the week at practice.

My personal opinion is this:
Take a pass on guys with "work ethic" concerns. Don't even bother. You waste money, time and roster space on a guy who doesn't care enough to reward you for it.
Take a shot on the "character concern" player, but mitigate the risk by only using lower draft picks on them. Mid second or later so the price is relatively low financially while still bringing in a guy with high upside if he pans out. These guys can likely be helped to see the path they need to follow in order to be successful.
If a guy is truly consider both a character concern and a work ethic concern just leave his name off the board entirely.

I do think what we get in terms of labels is vastly overblown. Basically, one report says something - probably poorly validated, at best - and every media outlet then runs with it. As end consumers we should probably follow the old addage "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 01:30 PM
The main point of emphasis on his career 0-1 playoff record is the fact he's only led the Bengals to 1 playoff appearance.

The Bengals poor drafting record is to blame. Given their track record, I would be very hesitant to take a player with all the negatives Andre Smith had. They still continue to roll the dice on draft day.


With him at QB, we have over .500 record. Before that we were lucky to sniff .500 since the late 80's. He has taken us to 8-8 a few times where we could have made the playoffs but the defense could never stop anyone and we would lose that way. A QB can only do so much. Peyton was 0-3 in his first playoff trips.
Being in one of the most competitive and tough divisions in football doesnt help any either. Playing Baltimore and Pittsburgh 2x every year, yeah makes it hard on QB's.
And Dan Marino only won 8 of 18 playoff games B-U-S-T.

Andre Smith Negatives - Had one moment of immaturity and talked to an agent early. Doesn't have a six pack.

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 01:33 PM
The main point of emphasis on his career 0-1 playoff record is the fact he's only led the Bengals to 1 playoff appearance.

The Bengals poor drafting record is to blame. Given their track record, I would be very hesitant to take a player with all the negatives Andre Smith had. They still continue to roll the dice on draft day.

And those character gambles: Chad Ochocinco, Chris Henry, Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, Jeremi Johnson, Rey Maualuga, and Pat Sims happen to be making the Bengals who they are. They are a team with a different swagger. #1 Scoring Defense in the league right now.

I don't know who in the world would back you for saying Carson Palmer hasn't paid off. Since 1999, 8 QBs have been drafted First Overall. Only four: Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford*, and Carson Palmer are starting in the NFL right now. Only two of those starters have been to the playoffs, and only one #1 Overall pick in the past 10 years has won a Super Bowl (though of course it takes time). Palmer is the best Bengals PLAYER of all-time, whether you think so or not, competing only with Hall of Fame OT Anthony Munoz. The Bengals franchise has been able to successfully build around him for six years and will continue to do so. Whether you compare him with other #1 Overall Picks in the past decade, or simply look at him as a player, you're wrong to say he hasn't panned out.

A strange time to say a thing like that too, as the Bengals are 8-3 (6-0 AFC North), and Palmer has shown extreme growth as a game manager in 09' as well as durability and leadership.

vikes_28
12-03-2009, 01:52 PM
Why is Andre Smith in this conversation? He's not a bust...yet, and he hasn't had anything to be concerned about in terms of character.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 01:59 PM
Why is Andre Smith in this conversation? He's not a bust...yet, and he hasn't had anything to be concerned about in terms of character.

I think thats what a lot of us are trying to figure out.
He is fat. Thats about all him and Russell have in common.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 02:03 PM
With him at QB, we have over .500 record. Before that we were lucky to sniff .500 since the late 80's. He has taken us to 8-8 a few times where we could have made the playoffs but the defense could never stop anyone and we would lose that way. A QB can only do so much. Peyton was 0-3 in his first playoff trips.
Being in one of the most competitive and tough divisions in football doesnt help any either. Playing Baltimore and Pittsburgh 2x every year, yeah makes it hard on QB's.
And Dan Marino only won 8 of 18 playoff games B-U-S-T.

Andre Smith Negatives - Had one moment of immaturity and talked to an agent early. Doesn't have a six pack.

The shirtless video of Andre Smith from his pro day shows he had more than one moment of immaturity. Three years at Alabama and he was unable to find the weight room? His work ethic was the big question mark he had. Way more than the incident at the combine. People were just sort of shocked he showed up at the combine and tried to substantiate all the concerns on his character.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 02:05 PM
A strange time to say a thing like that too, as the Bengals are 8-3 (6-0 AFC North), and Palmer has shown extreme growth as a game manager in 09' as well as durability and leadership.

I still don't believe in the Bengals. I fully expect them to fall apart down the stretch. This could be 2005 all over again. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst Bengals fans. I think I've seen this show before.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:09 PM
You do know some people just dont build muscle the same right?
Just because he doesnt look like this:
http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/0424_large.jpg
doesnt mean he didnt work out.

http://mmacraze.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/fedor-emelianenko.jpg

Is he lazy too?

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:10 PM
I still don't believe in the Bengals. I fully expect them to fall apart down the stretch. This could be 2005 all over again. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst Bengals fans. I think I've seen this show before.

So you expect a freak injury to Carson Palmer? that is the only way this year is 05 again. The team fell apart WITHOUT Carson. Not with him in.

Supporting Caste
12-03-2009, 02:17 PM
Someone is saying Carson Palmer was a bust? LOL. The guy might not be a top 5 QB but he's AT LEAST top 10 (though this may change soon depending on how Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco develop from this point).

If you were a team without a QB and you were guaranteed Palmer sort of production with the 1st pick, you'd be insane not to take it.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 02:19 PM
So you expect a freak injury to Carson Palmer? that is the only way this year is 05 again. The team fell apart WITHOUT Carson. Not with him in.

The Bengals Super Bowl in '05 was beating the Steelers. After celebrating like they had won the Super Bowl it was quite awhile until they won another game.

A few weeks ago the Bengals beat the Steelers and all but locked up the division. While they did keep their celebration to a minimum, it wasn't long until Bengals players could be heard talking about how good they are. Then they go out and lose to the Raiders and then win a close on with one win Cleveland. It's just looking all too familiar. I'm not sure there is enough character in that locker room to be considered a serious player in the post season. That's just how I feel, maybe I'll be wrong.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 02:20 PM
Someone is saying Carson Palmer was a bust? LOL. The guy might not be a top 5 QB but he's AT LEAST top 10 (though this may change soon depending on how Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco develop from this point).

If you were a team without a QB and you were guaranteed Palmer sort of production with the 1st pick, you'd be insane not to take it.

Never said bust.

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 02:20 PM
I still don't believe in the Bengals. I fully expect them to fall apart down the stretch. This could be 2005 all over again. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst Bengals fans. I think I've seen this show before.

This is the same team that beat the Steelers and Ravens twice each this season. Keep expecting the worst, as far as I'm concerned this season can already be considered a great success. I would have gladly taken an AFC North title and 10 win season entering the year, and I don't know a soul (fans included) who thought they'd be a better football team than both the Ravens and defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers. And now, the team is back healthy, with Benson's legs well rested, with Keith Rivers ready to step back in to the starting WLB spot, with Andre Smith coming on, and they're really looking ready to flop. Gut feeling is gut feeling, but don't expect to be able to back it up with an actual argument.

So keep hating on the Bengals, I've definitely seen that show before. I like adversity, so do most of our fans, and the players. Bengals fans will rally behind the Bengals, and I'm not concerned that this team, built on adversity, will let up.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:22 PM
The Bengals Super Bowl in '05 was beating the Steelers. After celebrating like they had won the Super Bowl it was quite awhile until they won another game.

A few weeks ago the Bengals beat the Steelers and all but locked up the division. While they did keep their celebration to a minimum, it wasn't long until Bengals players could be heard talking about how good they are. Then they go out and lose to the Raiders and then win a close on with one win Cleveland. It's just looking all too familiar. I'm not sure there is enough character in that locker room to be considered a serious player in the post season. That's just how I feel, maybe I'll be wrong.

Show me a team that doesn't go out thinking they are a good team and I will show you a team that enjoys the top 5 in the draft every year. You need swagger and attitude.

The Raiders lost was a bad loss yes, we play the browns like that every year. We havent won IN Oakland in forever.

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 02:25 PM
Show me a team that doesn't go out thinking they are a good team and I will show you a team that enjoys the top 5 in the draft every year. You need swagger and attitude.

The Raiders lost was a bad loss yes, we play the browns like that every year. We havent won IN Oakland in forever.

That Raiders game was characterized by missed opportunities and included a couple injuries to valuable, though not indispensable players, in Cedric Benson and Keith Rivers. I expect a statement game against Detroit, a little something for the fans and players. Two weeks from now the Bengals travel to Minnesota, and then we'll really get a gauge for how ready the Bengals are to make a deep playoff run. I guess beating each of the teams in the AFC Championship last year (twice) wasn't enough for some people.

CC.SD
12-03-2009, 02:27 PM
If you consider a 40-36 record as a starter, an 0-1 playoff record, and a career QB rating of 88.6 working out well seven years after being drafted #1 overall, then yes he's working out well.

This isn't a fair statement, because I'm pretty sure a day where both shoes get tied up tight qualifies as 'working out well' for you.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 02:28 PM
Show me a team that doesn't go out thinking they are a good team and I will show you a team that enjoys the top 5 in the draft every year. You need swagger and attitude.

The Raiders lost was a bad loss yes, we play the browns like that every year. We havent won IN Oakland in forever.

It's about not keeping things in perspective. Look at the Titans last year. They were openly talking about going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl. Keith Bulluck said something to the effect of, "We'll smash any team that comes through Nashville, and everyone has to come to our house in the playoffs." They weren't the first and won't be the last team to rest on their laurels.

I'm just anticipating the Bengals to do this. I feel they lack the character not too. This thread is about character.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:29 PM
That Raiders game was characterized by missed opportunities and included a couple injuries to valuable, though not indispensable players, in Cedric Benson and Keith Rivers. I expect a statement game against Detroit, a little something for the fans and players. Two weeks from now the Bengals travel to Minnesota, and then we'll really get a gauge for how ready the Bengals are to make a deep playoff run. I guess beating each of the teams in the AFC Championship last year (twice) wasn't enough for some people.

But dude, we havent beaten the Patriots...which seems to be the current meter.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:31 PM
If you consider a 40-36 record as a starter, an 0-1 playoff record, and a career QB rating of 88.6 working out well seven years after being drafted #1 overall, then yes he's working out well.

Yes. Bringing this up was totally due to character......

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 02:33 PM
Never said bust.

Now youre politicking.
You never said the word "bust". But you said everything but it.

Supporting Caste
12-03-2009, 02:37 PM
Seriously.

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 02:38 PM
It's about not keeping things in perspective. Look at the Titans last year. They were openly talking about going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl. Keith Bulluck said something to the effect of, "We'll smash any team that comes through Nashville, and everyone has to come to our house in the playoffs." They weren't the first and won't be the last team to rest on their laurels.

I'm just anticipating the Bengals to do this. I feel they lack the character not too. This thread is about character.

The Bengals are characterized, in 2009, by humility, toughness, maturity, and a mental overhaul. Mike Zimmer and the defense have made it easy for Marvin to instill hope in these guys and it's a totally different team and mind-set than in 05'. You keep making the comparisons, but fail to realize the difference in personnel on both sides of the ball, the difference in coaching, and especially the difference in attitude and character. The Bengals are #1 in Scoring Defense, which they certainly weren't in 05' at this time.

When this team has lost, they've been disappointed, when they've won, they've been happy. They are like any other team. They have some guys that have really stepped up in the locker room, first and foremost the 31 year old team leader Carson Palmer. The Bengals live and die by Carson, and Marvin Lewis would be the first to tell you. Other leaders include Dhani Jones, Cedric Benson, Andrew Whitworth, and Domata Peko.

As I said, it's fine to have a gut feeling, you're just not going to be able to argue it well. What you have is a gut feeling. There aren't facts there to support you, and you keep going on about character, though it has been a huge positive point in the Bengals season. The Bengals are too good to be stepping out of line and they are too close to be acting out. That said, they are doing an exceptional job handling egos, and if there is a problem, it's that the Bengals will play down to competition. Ego doesn't play a big role there, but it goes to show the emphasis that the franchise has put on winning the big games.

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 02:54 PM
To the OP, I apologize for getting so off topic. It's never fun to see a thread go to an entirely different topic.

Yes, I definitely think Russell has changed the way character, work ethic especially, is looked at. I wouldn't spend a first round pick on a player if I wasn't sure this guy was going to work his ass off to earn his paycheck. Some teams really analyze character and get to know their guys before they draft them, and I think that's done more than ever and holds more importance than ever.

I don't care about a player telling me they smoked weed, or even tested positive for it while at school. I don't care if a player was involved in a DUI. I can analyze those players and see past those things without linking them to poor character. But work-ethic concerns are a bigger deal than ever because of Russell and some others. I would also be careful about a Michael Crabtree character, he handled the pre-draft process and post-draft process much worse than Andre Smith.

Bengalsrocket
12-03-2009, 02:58 PM
The Bengals Super Bowl in '05 was beating the Steelers. After celebrating like they had won the Super Bowl it was quite awhile until they won another game.

A few weeks ago the Bengals beat the Steelers and all but locked up the division. While they did keep their celebration to a minimum, it wasn't long until Bengals players could be heard talking about how good they are. Then they go out and lose to the Raiders and then win a close on with one win Cleveland. It's just looking all too familiar. I'm not sure there is enough character in that locker room to be considered a serious player in the post season. That's just how I feel, maybe I'll be wrong.


We lost to the Raiders and had a "close" game with the Browns because that's how the Bengals play. The scheme, strategy and design of this team is to play it close to the vest and win at the end with a defense that WILL stop you.

8 out of 11 games have been won or lost by 7 or less points. The Houston game we lost by 11, The Chicago game we won by 35 and the second Baltimore game we won by 10.

Every other game has been 7 or less, win or lose (4 of which were won or lost by 3 points).

The Bengals aren't going to put up 7 points for no reason anymore. Our scheme is built on running and controlling the clock, regardless of the score. The idea is to keep a strong defensive unit fresh in hopes of not giving up many points over the course of a 60 minute game.

In '05 the Bengals played a very different kind of football. The scheme and mentality was that they were going to put as many points on offense as they possibly could, and opposing teams only had to keep up against a below average defense to beat them.

Two different teams in different situations. The result may end up being the same, but there is nothing logical that suggests history will repeat itself.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 03:50 PM
Anyways, going back to the topic.

I've always placed a high value on a players character. I feel character is usually the fine line between a bust and a non-bust. I feel the scouts typically get it right as far as evaluating talent and getting the right guy for their scheme.

Where I feel character comes into play is how a player reacts when he becomes instantly wealthy. I think the guys with character issues take the wrong road and feel they've reached the mountain top and fail to continue to put in the work that got them there.

Look at Ryan Leaf, he didn't lack what it took physically to play in the NFL. In fact there were many who felt his physical tools were superior to Peyton Mannings. Maybe they were, but Mannings character was far greater than Leaf's. Ultimately Leaf's character led to him going down in history as the cover boy for "Bust Magazine."

ThePudge
12-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Anyways, going back to the topic.


Topic or not, you ignored some posts de-railing your previous argument. Bengalsrocket's last sentence sums up a lot.

Also, character is certainly not everything. Talent, then character, then all the other stuff. Many players with poor character have a fine work ethic because of that paycheck that makes them millions. Sometimes talented players fall victim to poor character and bad decisions, but more often than not good character alone won't make up for a lack of talent of NFL qualification.

Teams will keep taking risks and teams will keep hitting it big. It really differs player to player.

prock
12-03-2009, 05:13 PM
I feel as though character is too broad of a term to use. A person's character doesn't mean they will be a bust or not. If some kid didn't do homework in high school and smokes weed because he was caught up with the wrong people, who cares. Randy Moss was like that, Percy Harvin was like that. Those have worked out pretty well, huh? One is a future HOFer and the other is ROY. If a kid is lazy and has no work ethic, don't draft him. Ever. For me, I wouldn't take Carlos Dunlap in the second round. Potential means nothing if you are too lazy to utilize it. If you are going to cite character issues such as Chad Ochocinco's, for example being a cocky asshole who talks **** all day, that doesn't matter as long as the guy works hard. Jamarcus Russell doesn't work hard, and he fell on his face. Character in terms of work ethic and attitude are way different than character in terms of getting in a little trouble.

Day One Pick
12-03-2009, 05:44 PM
I feel as though character is too broad of a term to use. A person's character doesn't mean they will be a bust or not. If some kid didn't do homework in high school and smokes weed because he was caught up with the wrong people, who cares. Randy Moss was like that, Percy Harvin was like that. Those have worked out pretty well, huh? One is a future HOFer and the other is ROY. If a kid is lazy and has no work ethic, don't draft him. Ever. For me, I wouldn't take Carlos Dunlap in the second round. Potential means nothing if you are too lazy to utilize it. If you are going to cite character issues such as Chad Ochocinco's, for example being a cocky asshole who talks **** all day, that doesn't matter as long as the guy works hard. Jamarcus Russell doesn't work hard, and he fell on his face. Character in terms of work ethic and attitude are way different than character in terms of getting in a little trouble.

Yeah you're right. The work ethic is the primary "bad character" flaw teams should shy away from. That alone will make or break an NFL player. As far as other character issues go, they need to be sorted out individually. Obviously a prospect with a lot of criminal incidents needs to be viewed differently.

wicket
12-03-2009, 06:04 PM
I would like to split things for QB's and non-QB's
In case of a QB work ethic concerns are killing. No matter how much talent you have, that just wont do cuz being able to throw the right ball is just not the whole job.
In case of most other positions I would say that these kinds of concerns do hurt someones draft status and rightfully so but some people can overcome it. Keep in mind that there also were some character issues with carl nicks which made him fall to the saints in the fifth round (iirc) and he is now playing like one of the better players at his position in the entire league

Big Black
12-03-2009, 06:39 PM
At the end of the day, talent conquers everything. Even when Jamarcus cements his place right next to Ryan Leaf as one of the worst draft busts in history, teams will continue to draft players based on their talent and potential over questionable work ethic, passion or character.

Teams in the NFL have been a lot better about avoiding certain players all together but that's when its evident that the risk is greater than the reward. Odell Thurman has great talent but even after given chance after chance, still hasn't gotten the message. Making money playing in the NFL is a privilege not a right.

All positions aren't measured equally and the signs of the lack of work ethic are different depending on the position. A fat OT and a fat QB are completely different. The standards are different and the same rules don't apply. In the case of Andre Smith, there are signs of immaturity and laziness just because his performance declined after he declared. Gaining weight didn't help his cause and all of the stuff he pulled afterwards didn't help him either. Holding out, showing up out of shape and then breaking his foot definitely didn't help. But in Smith's case, IMO its a maturity issue and once he learns the ropes from veterans on what it takes to be a professional and gets pushed to work hard by his coaches, he'll be fine.

Jamarcus is a completely different story. QBs are held to a much higher standard than any other position on the team. That's why they get paid big money. Successful QBs in the NFL are also the team's hardest workers and they take initiative with teammates, with workouts, in the film room, etc. They tend to have better football IQs than most of the other players on the team. Guys like McNabb, Favre, Brees and Rivers are the emotional barometer of the team and they have the verbal skills necessary to get their guys to battle for them.

Jamarcus has failed in all of the above. He's lackadaisical and doesn't show the desire to be a better player week to week. Its a tell-tale sign and an indictment against a player when his former college teammate (Bowe) comes out and says that he needs to get his act together. All the signs were there since college but the Raiders chose to ignore them and draft him anyway...even with talented and hard working prospects like Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson still on the board. Russell's football IQ in college was below average at best and his decision making was horrible even when he was playing a simple offensive scheme at LSU.

In Jamarcus' case, his problems are not going to change anytime soon until he decides to put in the work. Who cares if he can throw a football 75 yards on his knees? When was the last time a QB needed to do that in a game?

Give me a hard worker with above average skills than a lazy genetic freak anyday.

FUNBUNCHER
12-03-2009, 06:57 PM
Andre Smith LOST weight after his final season at Alabama and actually did work to get himself in shape for the draft.
His postseason workout numbers were fairly decent and nothing he did on the field screamed a 'lazy' player.

I just wish people would stop including Smith in these discussions, because he's not a typical example of what most people consider bad picks.

Paranoidmoonduck
12-03-2009, 06:58 PM
Topic or not, you ignored some posts de-railing your previous argument. Bengalsrocket's last sentence sums up a lot.

Also, character is certainly not everything. Talent, then character, then all the other stuff. Many players with poor character have a fine work ethic because of that paycheck that makes them millions. Sometimes talented players fall victim to poor character and bad decisions, but more often than not good character alone won't make up for a lack of talent of NFL qualification.

Teams will keep taking risks and teams will keep hitting it big. It really differs player to player.

If you really want to whittle this down to "character vs. talent", then you're doing a disservice to the whole argument anyhow. There's measurable physical talent and then there's applicable football talent (the difference between, say, former Arizona HB Chris Henry and former Memphis HB DeAngelo Williams). Likewise, "character" is an egregiously general phrase. There's a whole lot of difference between guys who will put in the work as necessary and guys who will motivate and lead.

Now, I understand the idea of "talent" being over "character", but no player is going to succeed in the NFL with a noticeable lack of either. Granted, in terms of risk, an unmotivated yet talented player undoubtedly has the higher ceiling than the mediocre yet hardworking player and it is that potential that makes them worth a higher pick. And yet, you can look at a team like the Bengals, who famously were lacking an official scouting department for many years and didn't do the due diligence on a lot of players they drafted and paid the price for that. The importance of knowing who a player is as opposed to what that player is cannot be understated.

And anyone who only realized this because of JaMarcus Russell is an idiot.