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stillers4me
04-24-2007, 09:58 PM
Character issue comes to forefront of NFL draft
professional football
By ED BOUCHETTE
Monday, April 23, 2007

Scouts call them measurables, such as a pro football prospect's time in the 40-yard run, his height, his weight, how high he can jump. That's the easy stuff, something a stenographer could record.

The intangibles? As elusive as Barry Sanders. There are more of them, too. Scouts have their peculiar phrases for them, such as how a player moves in space, how fast is his motor, how big is his heart, whether he has quick-twitch fiber or _ former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Kent Stephenson loved this one _ if he is country strong.

One word used to describe an intangible has dominated the talk of scouts and coaches more than ever as they evaluate college prospects who will be drafted Saturday and Sunday: Character.

While many NFL teams long took into account a prospect's character, new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has forced them to take it even more seriously. Goodell recently suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pac-Man'' Jones for the 2007 season and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry for half of the season because of their frequent troubles with the law.

Goodell has not issued a formal policy on the matter, but he has said teams also could be fined or lose draft picks based on the criminal behavior of their players. And that has gotten the attention of everyone.

"The No. 1 thing we look at right now is character," Detroit coach Rod Marinelli said during the NFL meetings in March.

Close by, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren talked about ignoring potential problem players in the draft.

"If you have real stringent requirements, I think, in the draft, you head it off," Holmgren said. "Then you're not going to take a chance on somebody.

"Some teams already do that. And, when you look at the kids, all his records and everything, he has a problem and boom, he's off the board or he drops or whatever."

The Steelers have not one, not two, but three men who work various security details for them and the NFL in the Pittsburgh area. Much of their time after the season ends is spent on background checks of college prospects.

NFL security also works background checks on all the college prospects and issues reports to every team. Yet, Jones still was drafted in the top 10 by the Titans.

"There was one issue (at West Virginia) that everyone knew about prior to the draft," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said at the NFL meeting. "His background was very difficult. None of us have an idea what he went through, I can assure you of that. Beyond that, it is very complex. If I could give you one simple answer to why, I would. But it is a very, very complex set of circumstances."

No team has been vilified about the character issue more than the Cincinnati Bengals. Nine Bengals have been arrested since January 2006, and Henry has been charged five times since December 2005.

Yet, Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said the Bengals take character into account at draft time as much as any NFL team does, and that the screening process has been in place for a long time.

"You already do that. It happens at your paper. It happens at Procter & Gamble. Nobody ever has to read about it. The process is pretty tight already."

Lewis blamed some of it on loosening standards of society as a whole.

"The family structure is not the way it used to be. When we were in high school, the coaches were in the schools, and now they come in from off campus. The discipline isn't there. There's a lot of breakdowns."

Lewis said teams cannot be so strict that they ignore all players who have had some trouble in their past.

"If you took that line, Chad Johnson would not be in the NFL (or receiver) T.J. Houshmandzadeh." That kind of criminal behavior has dogged some teams such as the Bengals and Minnesota Vikings.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin saw first-hand the residue of the wrong kind of tradition that can grip a team when he worked one season in 2006 with the Minnesota Vikings as defensive coordinator. Four Vikings were charged in the infamous 2005 Love Boat scandal, and there were lingering problems with behavior on the team.

"It's part of the culture," Tomlin said. "Things that go on outside the white lines always manifest themselves inside the white lines. That's the bottom line. We had a tough job there, and it was just beginning to scratch the surface. I know they're going to continue to move forward, but it's a lot tougher than people think."

Tomlin said the Steelers will take a tough stance in this draft on the character issue.

"Everybody says they want to win and says the right things, but are they willing to deal with things on a day-to-day basis? Are they willing to prepare like a champion?

Jeremy
04-24-2007, 10:12 PM
The man is a joke and so is his team.

fansince'76
04-24-2007, 10:26 PM
Lewis said teams cannot be so strict that they ignore all players who have had some trouble in their past.

"If you took that line, Chad Johnson would not be in the NFL (or receiver) T.J. Houshmandzadeh."

Which would be absolutely no loss to the NFL, considering the NFL already had more than its share of big-mouth prima donnas before they ever arrived on the scene.

RoethlisBURGHer
04-24-2007, 11:20 PM
So MArv blames others because he can't control his own players?

tony hipchest
04-24-2007, 11:21 PM
everytime lewis opens hs mouth to the media he comes off as a criminal apologist idiot. on the flipside everything tomlin has said to this point is gold. this division belngs to the steelers and ravens as long as this ass clown lewis and the browns are still in it.

i like playing with that handicap as it gives us a definite edge.

for what its worth, dick vermiel said pacman jones wasnt even on the chiefs board the year he was drafted.

RoethlisBURGHer
04-24-2007, 11:23 PM
That's cuz Vermeil is a class act.

stlrtruck
04-25-2007, 06:51 AM
And attitude reflects leadership - Coach!

HometownGal
04-25-2007, 07:48 AM
Lewis blamed some of it on loosening standards of society as a whole.

"The family structure is not the way it used to be. When we were in high school, the coaches were in the schools, and now they come in from off campus. The discipline isn't there. There's a lot of breakdowns."

Lewis said teams cannot be so strict that they ignore all players who have had some trouble in their past.

"If you took that line, Chad Johnson would not be in the NFL (or receiver) T.J. Houshmandzadeh."

Every time this idiot opens his mouth, the smell of shart permeates the air. :poop: Quick - someone get the air freshener.

I don't know what high school this jacka$$ went to, but back in the 70's when I attended high school, if a player was a problem child, he was either benched or tossed off the team on his hiney.

Jeremy
04-25-2007, 08:36 AM
That's cuz Vermeil is a class act.


:toofunny:

Telling one of his players he needs diapers. That screams class.

RoethlisBURGHer
04-25-2007, 09:40 AM
:toofunny:

Telling one of his players he needs diapers. That screams class.

I thought that was funny.And LJ needed some,he was being a lil beotch about playing time.He as sitting behind one of the better RB's of his era in Priest Holmes.

LJ didn't get along well with his coaches at PSU,what makes anyone think he'll get along with his coaches at the pro level?

83-Steelers-43
04-25-2007, 09:42 AM
It's embarrassing to know that Lewis is from Pittsburgh (attended Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pa), but I guess every city spits out at least one idiot from time to time.

Oh well, keep giving them excuses and free passes.

rbryan
04-25-2007, 06:19 PM
I blame society for the fact that Lewis ever got a head coaching job to begin with.

The Chad and TJ Taliban are his shining examples of why you still draft players with character issues coming out of college?? Odds on one of those two will do something stupid to make the Bungle rap sheet before too long. Marv, you're an ispiration to us all. Especially here in the Burgh, cause we all know as long as you're at the helm, the Bungles will remain the Bungles.

GBMelBlount
04-25-2007, 10:19 PM
Every time this idiot opens his mouth, the smell of shart permeates the air. :poop: Quick - someone get the air freshener.

I don't know what high school this jacka$$ went to, but back in the 70's when I attended high school, if a player was a problem child, he was either benched or tossed off the team on his hiney.


Exactly, Things weren't like they were 25 years ago. Now, no one is ever responsible for their actions. It is the fault of the parents, teachers, coaches, society, etc. Ugh!!!!

Jeremy
04-26-2007, 07:01 PM
We're gonna run these pansies out of town like we ran Jim Jones and Dipset out of town.

polamalufan43
04-26-2007, 07:03 PM
BENGALS FAULT FOR LACK OF CHARACTER!!!!! MARV'S FAULT AS WELL FOR NOT GETTING THEIR ASSES IN LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sheesh, and I hate pointing out the obvious....

~PF43:tt02: