We have talked here before about the "diva" impression some around the NFL have about Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Those of you who are big proponents of our New York Giants grabbing 'Spoon with the 15th pick Thursday won't be happy about this.
So big is his mouth, that a term has been coined for players like him: "The Ochocinco Effect." In a story by profootballtalk.com, Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly was quoted as saying "(H)e never shuts his mouth. It's a big concern to a lot of teams that have stepped in and even removed him from their draft boards. That's how strongly they feel he could negatively effect their locker room," Nawrocki told Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald.
"The Big concern is just how he's a little bit like [Chad] Ochocinco in Cincinnati. It's going to become a big distraction, and it's going to get in the way, it's going to be difficult to coach," Nawrocki said. "He's never played a snap in the NFL , and he's already worrying about things that really shouldn't matter for a guy at that stage in his career. He's worrying about his image and his post-career aspirations."
Mocking The Draft also frames the debate this way.
Would a player who talks as much as Ochocinco does, and how much Weatherspoon reportedly does, still be worth a high pick? Teams cannot measure how much players like these effect a locker room negatively, but if the production is high, a team will take a risk, and so far it has worked out for Cincinnati (minus the whole, reach the Super Bowl thing).
So, how much are you bothered by the Weatherspoon 'persona?' Especially in a Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning locker room.
- Judy Battista of the New York Times says Giants' General Manager Jerry Reese's challenge this year is "to prove that he is adept at not just building a team, but also at repairing one."
"Some people ask, how do you build your team, through free agency or the draft?" Reese said. "We don’t have a template of how we do it. Every year is different. If it’s best to stay pat during free agency and draft a guy, we will. We try to adjust. You know the draft — that’s a certainty. You’re going to have those picks. But if we feel there are free agents who can help, we’re not afraid to do that."
Reese is known for his consistency, so he shrugs when it is suggested that there is more at stake for him and the Giants this year than in years past. An 8-8 season feels as if the sky is falling when standards are so high, he said, but that does not mean there is any more pressure this season than there was right after the Giants won the Super Bowl.
"I pride myself on being even keeled," he said. "When things are good, they are not as good as they seem. When they’re bad, they’re not as bad as they seem. I pride myself on being the voice of reason. I think I can get my point across without being a yeller or a screamer. That’s what fans are supposed to do — get excited. My job is to be levelheaded, and make the best decision."
My take: I believe in Reese, whose outstanding draft record Battista also references. He will miss occasionally, as everyone will, but I always have faith that Reese's decisions will help give the Giants an opportunity to win.
- ProFootballTalk says the Giants are among team trying to hide their interest in Idaho guard Mike Iupati. I have seen Iupati's name linked to the Giants before, so that isn't exactly stunning.