Brady Quinn limbers up for a long afternoon sitting in the Green Room
Roger Goodell has made player conduct and image the hallmark of his early reign as the crowned prince of the NFL. He developed a new policy, and even took the liberty of taking ex post facto action against a few of the perceived problem children.
There are rumors that teams were warned about drafting players with histories of law related indiscretions.
Rod Graves, the Arizona Cardinals’ vice president for football operations, said Sunday that he was surprised to see certain players chosen in the first three rounds Saturday. “We saw a few players go that we would not have taken because of issues we were concerned about,” Graves said in a telephone interview. “It still gets down to weighing the risk. Even though a certain player was taken, the risk factors in as to where they go. If you hit under those conditions, it’s different.”
Two players with first round potential that were most definitely affected by their conduct and history were Eric Wright, nee of USC, but finishing up at UNLV. And Marcus Thomas, the tremendous d-lineman from Florida who was dismissed from the team early in the season.
“I think it’s always the same formula,” the former Titans general manager Floyd Reese, who drafted Pacman Jones, said last week. “As soon as you get to a point where either by number or magnitude, you can’t make it right with yourself or your franchise, then I think he’s eliminated. There is a frat fight, a guy grabs your date, and you do something about it. In spite of whether you think it’s right or wrong, I can see that happening. Versus taking a handgun and going to a 7-Eleven and robbing it.”
And there is good reason for teams to be much more thoughtful than in the past. Goodell has reserved the right to penalize teams that repeatedly acquire problem players.
So, clearly, there was a sentiment that did weigh in the situation of any troubles a player had. Was it a one-off mistake? A sort of heat of the moment deal. Or was it a problem of a horrible decision making process? More of a lifestyle issue.
It would seem that those players that were deemed to have lifestyle issues were the ones that lost the most in this draft.
So, if we look back at the draft, and take into account that teams more than ever used character as a factor in their draft boards; we can see which players were generally tabbed as having the greatest risk for either character or life style issues.
And, in the 2007 NFL draft, no player lost more than Brady Quinn.
Generally regarded to be near the top of every team's list, Quinn inexplicably fell all the way to the bottom third of the first round. A team with the direst of QB situations, the Dolphins, passed on Quinn in favor of finding a replacement for their slot-back/kick returner. That speaks volumes, that a team that needed a QB more than anyone was leery of Quinn's life style or character.
What is it that scared teams away? How did Brady Quinn become the Pacman Jones of the 2007 draft? We haven't heard of problems with the law, or cash fueled binges in Vegas or typical character issues. So what happened that Saturday afternoon that caused almost every team present to deeply consider the direction Roger Goodell wants to take the league?
As we said, it comes down to lifestyle. And image.
There were many questions about Quinn's lifestyle and image prior to Saturday. But, nothing that foretold the free fall his draft status would experience.
Quinn was the Golden Boy of the Golden Dome. Raised under the watchful eye of the ultimate QB guru. He never seemed to mis-speak, didn't receive much negative press (sure, he was criticized for his no shows in big games, but that didn't reflect on him as a future problem in the NFL...behavior or image wise) and seemed like the typical Midwestern boy.
His future certainly seemed to hold the potential to be the poster boy for Wonder Bread.
But it all changed on Saturday.
Quinn showed up at the draft with some blond floozy on his arm. A woman that certainly looked out of her league. Sure, she wasn't unattractive, but Quinn supposedly was at the top of the board. If he brought a date, she should have been a bombshell.
Additionally, Quinn's golden boy looks were tarnished by some of the nastiest craters we've had the misfortune to view on HD-TV. How did Quinn propose to shill products when his skin resembled a strawberry patch?
The final strike against Quinn that day was his reaction. As he slid down the slope, he played it off with poise and an identifiable indifference. We suspect that his advisers felt this would show he could handle pressure and difficult situations. Unfortunately, his advisers forgot that film of USC, Michigan, Ohio State and LSU games completely cancelled this out.
So, instead of coming off as poised and controlled, he came off as uncaring and dispassionate.
A little fire, maybe would have helped. A disgusted look. A red face. A tear. Anything. Anything but that cheesy grin and the shared giggles with his nickle piece (she was NO dime). A few choice words for the teams that passed him up would have conveyed some passion.
When Quinn was finally drafted, he had the chance to threaten and call out the teams that let him slide. But he let that opportunity pass. Instead, just giving the requisite "I'm thrilled to be a Cleveland Browns" schmeer.
And with that sort of response, Quinn all but confirmed the suspicions of every team that was afraid to take on his issues.
Finally, we can also tie all this in with our NFL QB evolution theory.
In addition to the character, lifestyle and image issues that Quinn brought to the table; we can't discount his pale, blemished skin and lack of flavor.
As the QB position has fluidly and seamlessly been re-engineered for the Negro signal caller, Quinn became the first tangible victim of Quarterback Darwinism.
The QB position will demand an exuberance and excitement off the field to match the athleticism, hard work and unsurpassed talent levels that the Negro brings it on the field. In short, it demands style and flavor.
The blanched and pocked skinned Quinn, in an off the rack suit, with amateurishly produced hair and a bleached blond semi-good looker on his arm only tastes like one flavor.
And in today's NFL, you can't make a QB sundae without chocolate or fudge.