Thoughts About the Past Week in the NFL

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This is just a few links and my thoughts about issues and events from around the NFL.

Nawrocki: This guy has been fairly quiet so far...but I'm sure he has something in the works:

Scouting the scout who smeared Geno Smith before last year's draft | NJ.com
The Akili Smith-Aaron Brooks comparison is a dead giveaway: Nawrocki tends to pepper his harshest critiques with coded language about black quarterbacks. Three years ago, Nawrocki similarly disparaged Cam Newton, whom he described as having "a fake smile" and who "comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup." None of that, of course, has stopped Newton from flourishing as an NFL quarterback.

Watch your back Teddy B if Nolan is around, he's just looking for something to take out of context...

Clowney: This guy nails the Clowney criticism:

Why It's Absurd That NFL People Think Jadeveon Clowney Is Lazy | Business Insider
When anonymous NFL people call Clowney lazy, they’re actually talking about two different things: "Lazy" meaning "a lack of work ethic bread out of a sense of entitlement, a serious psychological hindrance." "Lazy" meaning "doesn’t give maximum effort on the field." The first definition — the one contained in the NJ.com story — is the more easily dismissible one. The logic is twisted: Football players have to work hard to succeed, Clowney’s natural athleticism makes it easier for him to succeed, therefore Clowney isn’t a hard worker.

He's a victim of his own success as the bar is so much higher for Clowney. He will never measure up until he finally suits up in the NFL.

Wonderlic Scores: Here's a case where a prospect is talked about negatively for being too smart instead of not smart enough and this writer calls it out for what it is:

The dumbest take on the Wonderlic that you will hear this year - SBNation.com
NFL GMs should look at Wonderlic scores like I would look at obesity if I were running a software business. I could really give a shit if any of my employees weighed 300 pounds as long as they were qualified for their job. But when we start talking about someone who has to get a wall cut out of his house to get in the ambulance to take him to the office, that's when I start assuming that it's going to affect his work. Can they understand a playbook and navigate street signs? Good, let's move on to their ability. The second one is even negotiable if you're as talented as Ndamukong Suh. There are a million things that you can be wrong about when it comes to drafting a player, but whether he is too smart for his own good shouldn't be one of them.

We've seen plenty of players with low Wonderlic scores go on to have very nice Pro careers. CB Patrick Peterson comes to mind as a recent example.

Smitty: I resisted writing a singular piece on this as I'm feeling a little over saturated regarding Smitty's departure. But I do want to take another chance to say how impressed I am with how he remains on the high road:

Steve Smith has moved on from his Carolina Panthers past | CharlotteObserver.com
"I have nothing bad to say about Mr. Richardson or the organization. And I won’t. And I refuse to because they deserve nothing but my respect," he said. "At the end of the day, they’ve done great things for me, given me an opportunity to bless my family."

The national media would love nothing more than to report on an ugly break up but Smitty refuses to take the bait. Keep pounding Steve Smith!

Dickson: When you peel back a couple layers we were bound to find a few bad spots:

Panther Thoughts " CBS Charlotte
1) Ed Dickson scares me. As someone who loves the Ravens in addition to the Panthers, I can tell you first hand the guy was viewed as a disappointment in B-More. He went from over 50 catches in 2011 to no more than 25 in each of the last 2 seasons. He regressed as a player and didn’t step up when Dennis Pitta went out last year. And, Pro Football Focus ranks him as the worst blocking TE in the NFL last season.

I was thinking he was a better blocker than that.

Receiving Corps: If 2014 is not a wash in production versus 2013, its a win in cap savings.

Carolina's new receivers not such a dropoff - Carolina Panthers Blog - ESPN
In overall age (based on the start of next season), Carolina got slightly younger with the average of the newcomers 30.0 compared to 30.3 of those they replaced. Smith, who will be 35 before the season, is the primary reason. In terms of 2013 receptions, the old regime held a 149 to 108 advantage.

Last year's receivers held a 1,928 to 1,489 edge in receiving yards. The new guys held a 16 to 14 advantage in touchdown catches. It's not a wash, but it's not worth panicking over. And overall price tag of the newcomers is considerably lower, which will help with the salary cap down the road.

Add in a high pick from the draft and this group could be better than 2013's production.

Aldon Smith: Yes he made a dumb mistake but the media sure put the worst possible spin on it by using the word 'possession'. I knew right away he probably just made a dumb comment in spite of this negative characterization:

49ers DE Aldon Smith indicated that he had a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport | Audibles - SI.com

According to multiple reports, Smith was detained by security at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday afternoon after he indicated that he was in possession of a bomb. Nobody at the airport publicly identified the man as Smith, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter forwarded a statement from 49ers general manager Trent Baalke: "We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith. As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."

Obviously Smith never saw Meet the Parents:


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