Brad Biggs, writing for The National Football Post, quotes Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure:
“I think in the NFL now days you need a tandem. One power back taking 20, 30 carries a game, that adds up over the years. Usually, people are going with two backs. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team with a star back now was to scoop me up.”
Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer spent quite a bit of time talking to Leshoure before his pro day at Illinois and you have to wonder if they aren’t thinking about Chester Taylor‘s role in the offense as they evaluate him. Not many teams need running backs this year and if Jerry Angelo really believes Leshoure is far and away the best player available when the Bears pick, its not beyond the realm of possibility that he’d take him.
Most people think the team should draft along the line of scrimmage. Though I personally have an open mind, I think taking Leshoure in the first round would be a wonderful way to piss off most of Chicago Bear fandom.
Here’s a heaping load of truth brought to you courtesy of Dan McNeil, writing for the Chicago Tribune:
“You don’t need the NFL. You only think you do.”
“I’m daring the NFL to disappear.”
So am I.
I’m old enough to have been around for the last NFL labor stoppage. You know what happened? I found other things to do on Sunday afternoon. So did millions of others. And that’s what will happen if NFL games are lost due to a lockout.
As much as I enjoy the NFL, I’m not too worried about missing it. In fact, I’m very ambivalent and I find myself growing more so every day as I consider the big picture.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still be blogging and I’ll be waiting. But I’m going to guess that many casual fans are going to find that life without professional football isn’t a big deal. If that doesn’t scare the NFL, both players and owners, it should.
ESPN’s Chris Mortenson posted some of the Wonderlic scores for the quarterbacks* entering the NFL draft:
Alabama’s Greg McElroy: 43
Missouri’s Blain Gabbert: 42
Florida State’s Christian Ponder: 35
Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi: 30
TCU’s Andy Dalton: 29
Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett: 26
Auburn’s Cam Newton: 21
Washington’s Jake Locker: 20
Both Mortenson and NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert wonder what these scores mean. The test is supposed to indicate a players mental aptitude for football but that’s certainly debatable.
Having said that, what these scores indicate to me is something totally different. Now a days, agents supply players with plenty of information about this test. A lot of practice takes place before a potential draftee goes in to take it. In fact, I’ve heard rumors that many of them have the questions. Certainly it is evident and that a player can significantly enhance his score through smart preparation. And smart preparation is a large part of what the NFL is about, especially if you are a quarterback.
I’m not saying that this is a major indicator of NFL success nor do I think a Wonderlic score should play a huge role in taking a player off of a teams board. But I look at those on the bottom of that list and I wonder just how much of what I see is a lack desire to do the little things to be the best you can be. And if, as I suspect, it translates to the NFL, then teams need to take the score seriously.
*For those who are wondering, Jay Cutler scored a 26 in 2006.