Even after his outstanding performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, there are still those who doubt the NFL potential of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
His former coach, Steve Spurrier, has implied his player was not the hardest worker. I say, if Clowney truly is a once-in-a-generation type of athlete, who really cares if he takes a play or two off?
The player who draws the most comparisons to Clowney is NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. Taylor was also a once-in-a-generation type of athlete. He was the kind of player who could change teams and he did it for the New York Giants after being taken second overall in 1981.
But Taylor also took plays off. He would even fight with head coach Bill Parcells for not showing enough effort. However, the thing about Taylor was, it didn’t matter if he took plays off, he still dominated the league for 10 years and made game-changing plays on a regular basis.
If the draft “experts” are going to continue to compare Clowney to Taylor — and I’d agree with them — then they should back off on calling him out on his work ethic.
If I were the general manager of a team, I’d make it my goal to find players like Clowney; players who are so good at what they do, they can afford to take some plays off and still dominate.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane