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I've had alls I can stand, I can't stands no more!

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I've had alls I can stand, I can't stands no more!

I'll come clean. I'm a draftnick. The type of guy that tends to annoy the hell out of Nagler.

Which is why he brought me on to do the stuff he doesn't want to. :)

I. Love. The. Draft.

I love the process, I love the analysis, I love talking draft, I love attending the draft and I love watching the story of it unfold over the course of four months.

I have to say though - I think I'm done for this year.

I'm ALWAYS ready for the Draft by now. Always.

That's usually excitement though, whereas this is exhaustion.

I haven't seen so many ridiculous rumors in a short period in the last three drafts combined. And I'm a guy who loves to monger a good rumor.

I'm not just talking about the purely ridiculous like questioning if Andy Dalton's red hair will be a problem.

By the way - best quote in THAT piece?

“Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” the coach asked. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”

Yeah. That would sound idiotic BECAUSE it's idiotic.

It's clearly something you can dismiss as smoke. Nobody really believes that report and if they do, you can easily weed them out as someone who you don't have to respect in the morning. I'm sorry, I like Peter King but I almost think he'll one day look back at that and wonder what the hell he was doing reporting that. It's almost embarrassing.

No, those are the rumors that really don't hurt a player's stock, don't cost him money and reputation.

I'm talking about more damaging rumors, like Da'Quan Bowers' alleged microfracture surgery bound knee or Mark Ingram's supposed gimpy leg.

Sidenote: I've got a few sources here and there. I'm told Bowers' knee is fine. His stock over the last week? Not so fine.

Or today, Ryan Mallett's supposed 'Dude Where's My Car' evening out which caused him to cancel a meeting with the Carolina Panthers.

I'm sorry - let me rephrase that -or allow a Carolina Beat writer to rephrase that:

League source says Ryan Mallett blew off his meeting with Panthers GM Marty Hurney during visit to Charlotte earlier this month.
Not to shoot at Mr. Person like it's all his fault, because it isn't. All he really said was Mallett didn't meet with the Panthers. How he said it might show bias or it might be something just off the cuff. His was just the small chunk of ice that caused an avalanche.

What really made it worse - when this started coming off the rails - was when Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and National Football Post came out with his report that not only did Mallett miss the meeting, but 'several sources' saw him out about town after dinner with the Panthers.

Biggs goes on to say that no matter how sick he was, one would think he'd make every effort to attend that meeting. Which he did.... but more on that in a minute.

Nobody was saying Mallett was doing bong hits and lines off a stripper's back, but there is plenty of intimating going on in both that piece as well as every other piece following.

It makes sense, right? Ever since earlier unfounded accusations surfaced, Mallett has been dogged by questions of drug addiction and general jerkitude. Heck, in one Football Outsiders piece, they wrote "Mallett's downside is Dan McGwire. His upside is "What if Drew Bledsoe was kind of a dick.""

You pretty much come to the party expecting the cat to be Ryan Leaf: Part Deux. So it's really easy to connect the dots.

But something bothered me and I couldn't put a finger on it until Simon Clancy of Universal Draft tweeted them.

What was he doing? Was he reading a book? Was he grabbing some Pepto? Was he drinking heavily?

Where's the context?

For all we knew he had food poisoning.

Low and behold, he just might have.

First, Mallett's agent - JR Carroll- told Adam Schefter that Mallett didn't blow off the meetings, he met with OC Rob Chudzinski and then had to call off the other meetings.

Now, of course his agent would say all that. I mean, what else is he going to do?

You need more?

Would a word from the jilted team be enough?

“Ryan Mallett came for a visit to Charlotte two weeks ago. He had dinner with our coaches the evening he arrived and came down from his hotel room for a scheduled breakfast meeting the following morning upon which time he informed a staff member that he had been sick all night with nausea. We told Ryan that if he was ill to remain in his room as long as the nausea existed. We took him to the airport later that afternoon for his scheduled flight.”

So yeah.... there's THAT.

I don't know if the initial story wasn't vetted, if nobody called the team or Mallett's people or if everyone was in such a hurry to be first that it all went out the window.

I will say this - and I said the same thing when the first reports came up from a small no-name Draft site a pair of months ago - if you're going to hammer someone's rep (and make no mistake that's what this does) you'd better make sure you have your info straight. You'd better take the time to talk to those involved and give them a chance to respond.

You'd better have your A game on.

As far as I know, nobody called Mallett's people. If they did, they should have stated it. Nobody called the Panthers.

Just because the assumption has been that Mallett is grappling with drug issues is no excuse to not at least get a 'no comment'.

It may seem like a small story, but it wasn't. It still isn't. We've seen rumors like this harpoon other players and the Packers' own Clay Matthews had to deal with unfounded rumors when he was drafted. I saw that unfold up close and it bothered me then, just like now.

I'm not saying Mallett doesn't have a problem. Heck, I'm not saying he wasn't pounding shots of tequila that night. I'm saying if you're going to accuse him of something - even if you merely hint - you'd better damned well be sure.

You're playing with a guy's career. It's as simple as that.

I can't wait until next Thursday - when we can put all this 'he said, she said' garbage aside. When we can stop talking about what we think they did - and start discussing what they can do.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

BRA.fucking.VO
pardon the french but it needed to be said exactly like that.

It seems that the "reporters", and I use the term loosely, simply didn't bother to do their jobs.

Well, what was supposed to be their jobs. Unnamed sources are shady as it is, but no sourcing? Not hearing both sides of the story? Hell, not hearing even one side of the story?

Too soon to say that journalism is dead? At least dying?

supersoul's picture

Where a person is drafted has no effect on their career. If they handle their business they have nothing to worry about.

These rumors are not playing with careers. Illegal hits do. It's important to maintain that perspective.

Oppy's picture

Sorry, but that's not true.

Where a person is drafted can make a huge difference in their careers.

If a players' stock falls from being an early first round pick to a mid to late second round pick, the difference can be MILLIONS of dollars.

What you say about injury compounds this. If rumor mill material ends up knocking a kid down the draft by a round, those lost millions- and especially any significantly larger lost signing bonus or other guaranteed monies- could really effect his earnings if he ends up having a freak career ending injury.

I think you'd agree it has an effect on a career if that career was yours, and you lost out on perhaps 3-5 times your earning potential (or more) because of false perceptions. These kids don't always have the chance to let their talent reset their value after being drafted.

Andrew Garda's picture

Also, if you drop two or three rounds, you may not get a chance to show what you can do. You could be buried on the roster or fall onto the practice squad. You could go from being in competition for the starting QB gig to a guy parked behind an entrenched starter - maybe even his backup.

In a league where - as you stated - injury can shorten a career, a player needs to make his money when he can.

Enough rumors can hurt that initial earning potential. Yes, you can overcome that. But I think as a journalist, you have to do your best to limit insinuations and rumor in an article ESPECIALLY when you are a nationally respected writer.Your influence - and therefore the damage an incorrect report can do - is greater than some small site.

By no means do I say worrying about injury isn't an important thing. But it's also not really germane to this argument is it?

Can't get injured if you don't get a chance to play.

Appreciate your POV though - the league still has to struggle with the concussion and other injury concerns. Thanks for the comment (you too oppy & RS)

sammer's picture

I think you're missing an important step here: does the notion of "draft stock" affect where a player is actually drafted? I don't think that it does.

Negative media reports about a player undoubtedly cause the draftniks to look at that player differently. But do you really think Ted Thompson and Bill Belichick take this crap seriously? Do you think that a GM who is considering drafting Ryan Mallett is going to hear these rumors and NOT check them out independently? Please.

When we hear a phrase like "Player X is plummeting down draft boards," we should understand that those are the draft boards of outside evaluators, not NFL teams. The real draft boards have been more or less set for weeks - the professionals don't panic every time they hear some idiotic rumor. At least the good ones don't.

So I disagree that these rumors have much impact on a player's future - the only opinion that affects his bottom line is that of the NFL teams that might draft him, not Mel Kiper or Mike Mayock.

Andrew Garda's picture

The main draft boards haven't been set for weeks. Many aren't locked in until this weekend. Teams are still meeting players and moving players up and down their boards.

I think there is a wide range of mostly locked - wider than you give it credit for.

Regardless - tons of misinformation is put out there by teams. Why? In the hopes other teams will bite. And they do. Ex scouts and ex GMs have often talked about how the game is played in exactly that way.

Of course Ted Thompson and Belicheck don't buy into it. They're two of the best in the game and consequently how often are they picking a guy in the top of the first? (although Hoodie does find suckers to trade him high picks for bargain prices). However, the Bengals (who have no scouting staff), Carolina (who has been awful drafting of late)and other teams are not TT or BB.

Of course they do their own research and the impact might be minimal. Or it might not be.

But I think that regardless, if you are talking about someone's reputation and character, you need to do better than those articles did.

Just my .02 and your certainly welcome to disagree.

sammer's picture

I agree with you that the reporting was shoddy - although I don't really think Person did anything out of bounds. (All his tweet said was that "League source says Ryan Mallett blew off his meeting with Panthers GM" - for all we know, that could be *exactly* what his source told him, in so many words.) My point is that we tend to overestimate the extent to which "media buzz" actually impacts NFL teams' evaluations of prospects.

If we the fans know that you can't believe anything you hear this time of year, I have to believe the guys with 7 figure salaries who do this for a living know it, too. For example - you provided a quote from the Carolina front office that said that the whole thing was blown out of proportion. Isn't that *exactly* what they would say if Mallett actually *did* blow them off? ("Let some other suckers draft that kid, he was too hung over to make our meeting!") I'm not saying that their statement proves anything one way or the other - it's just as likely that it was honest - but as I said above: you can't believe ANYTHING you hear this time of year.

Andrew Garda's picture

No you really can't. I wasn't so much worried about Person's comment - it was more of a jumping point to illustrate the prevailing opinion of Mallett in the media (I love football outsiders but clearly, even they buy in).

But yeah we're definitely agreed on there being more smoke in the air than in smog in Los Angeles in August. :)

dgtalmn's picture

Rumor only impact media types and fans. I have faith that the folks working for the teams are more informed than to read the garbage that is being spouted. Of course people make mistakes, but all of this media hype I believe is getting out of hand. So that it allith a pound of salt. thetruth comes out later, when these folks actually play.

Andrew Garda's picture

This is very true - that's why I'm ready for the draft (and a conclusion to the CBA debacle). Let's see what they can do ON THE FIELD.

cpheph1's picture

Who do you typically attend the draft with?...I've never been to one but would love to go some day (it's on my bucket list...). I know (virtually) Boris (JJ) from X-4 and he's been to the last few drafts & sends me an email report of his draft experience impressions (that he also posts on x4).
--
Anyway, I hope you have a great time at the draft...go Pack!
--
Btw, who's your darkhorse 1st round pick for the Pack (sorry if you've already disclosed before...)?

Andrew Garda's picture

This will be the second year in a row for me, both working so my attending is a little different. Last year I grabbed a beer with Brian Bassett from the Jets blog and hung with Nagler a bit. I usually spend part of the preliminaries catching up with media I know like Sam Farmer from the LA Times and guys like that.

This year I'll be hanging with Cecil Lammey of 102.3 the Fan in Denver and footballguys' podcast the Audible - we're doing three days of live radio from Radio City. Hoping to catch Sam, Nagler and Bassett again and catch some guys I missed last year. There is loose talk of a tweetup but so far it's been quiet on that front.

It's a lot of fun - I highly recommend it for any football fan - and Thursday night for the hard core.

cpheph1's picture

I have followed the CBA since its inception and used to have an AmCap page on the Packers...anyway, fans really shouldn't worry about the CBA *not* getting done...it will because there's $9.3B (BILLION!) on the table. Yeah, both sides are greedy SOBs...but they're not STUPID... IT.WILL.GET.DONE!

cpheph1's picture

Andrew, do you correspond with Chad Reuter much (if at all)?...just curious...Chad's a good dude & I met him a few years back (2007 TC).

Andrew Garda's picture

Yeah I love Chad. I met him through Cecil Lammey who works with me at Footballguys and knows Chad as they are both Denver media guys (Lammey works at 102.3 The Ticket).

Chad's great - love him to death.

cpheph1's picture

FWIW, Peter King and I are in the same "pick-'em contest" during the NFL season...but I digress. Anyway, WRT PK's draftnick prognostication...he's the first to admit being a draftnik IS NOT his cup 'o coffee (he prefers Starbucks latee)...he doesn't want to be a draftnik but is standing in for his close friend "Dr. Z" who will likely never write again for SI. ...anyway, I just had to get that off my chest because I *REALLY* respect Mr. Peter King and think he one of the best writers in the business.

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