Rounding up the Herd: Friday Edition

4-PillarsCharacter is at the forefront of the debate for many of this years potential draft picks. This obviously brings to mind the “Four Pillars” and the Rams’ approach to whom they pick to join their family. Some teams take this seriously; Rams, other teams do not; Bengals. As evidenced by many of their choices in the draft and Free Agency. How much should a player’s character or off-field actions impact his draft status? Will posted a strong article on the subject earlier this week.

The first time I really remember the “Four Pillars” resonating with me was back in 2009. The 2nd round of the NFL Draft had just begun and both Ray Maualuga and James Laurinaitis were still out there. Laurinaitis was the steady, solid LB racking up the awards in the Big 10.  Maualuga, I mean wow, Maualuga was the hard hitting, flashy guy from USC.  Take Maualuga, it’s the obvious pick… Well the Rams didn’t.  Devaney and his “Pillars” went the safe route with Laurinaitis. A lot of fans, myself included didn’t understand how he could pass up hard-hitting and flashy (read: can’t-miss) for steady and solid (read: boring). Well it turns out better synonyms would be flashy (character issues) steady and solid (leadership & talent). On that day the ‘Four-Pillars’ won out and so did the Rams.  Here is a great article by Mike Sando about the Rams smart decision.

2009 Decision ManningLeaf
Does Everyone Remember This One?

Character issues not  just for the Big Boys

How do you handle “character” situations when they come up? Blatant out in the open disregard for it like Ohio State, or behind the curtain-under-the-rug style like BYU. Oh wait, whoops…both are bad. Which leads to me this…players (not all) come in with character issues,  needing to be made into men over the next 1-4 years by their pseudo-father coaches and in turn the PFC’s enable and reinforce this behavior.

GM’s and Coaches often realize pretty quickly their character concerns are with good reason. Our favorite Coors- Light-Fake-Press-Conference Head Coach Dennis Green said it best.

“They (players) are what we thought they were. They’re what we thought they were”

Here are some links showcasing the character of current and future NFL players:

Got Character?