SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Let The Buyer Beware

Is Maurice Clarett unsafe at any speed?

More probably has been written about this guy in the past year than almost the rest of the sure-fire first-round picks combined.

Some would say that where there's smoke, there's fire.

Clarett would probably counter that he still has the fire, the right kind of fire, and he's out to prove that at the combine in Indy.

Many coaches and scouts get fooled by combine workouts. Just ask Ray Rhodes about Mike Mamula. It's one thing for Clarett to show that he's in great shape and has great skills at the combine. It's another thing for him to demonstrate that he can handle life as a professional athlete.

Will he redeem himself? Or will he fall into the category of Lawrence Phillips, a great talent whose off-the-field problems ultimately kept him off the field?

It's hard to say at this point.

Update (February 27): Unfortunately for Clarett, it got a whole lot easier to say after the NFL combine, where Clarett quit the drills after posting offensive linemen-like times in the 40-yard dash. It's hard to see him being drafted at all let alone on the first day after what happened in Indianapolis.

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