When it comes to “making friends” with NFL organizations, it would appear that former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron failed to convert on third down.
Arguably the most decorated quarterback in Crimson Tide history, McCarron was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, at selection 164.
While McCarron, like any player, had his share of pros and cons in respect to a scouting report, many NFL fans learned, during draft coverage, that McCarron’s biggest negative…was his attitude.
As was reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and NFL.com, and conveyed via Twitter, several NFL evaluators were none too pleased with McCarron’s arrogance, his rumored inability to be a likable and trusted teammate, his agreed involvement in a reality television show with his high profile fiancee, and his decision to skip the 2014 Senior Bowl, a vital tool used in the scouting process.
Essentially, McCarron’s “stock drop” had very little to do with his ability to play the quarterback position, but more to do with his personality, and how he presented himself when a “first impression” meant everything.
From an objective vantage point, it would appear that once McCarron removed himself from Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the two-time national championship quarterback, as a starter, decided to say all the things he couldn’t say…while in Tuscaloosa.
Everyone loves an underdog, and everyone loves a fiery athlete who plays with a chip on his or her shoulder, but McCarron has expressed his feelings in a rather “come at me, bro” fashion. While likely not his intent, one can’t blame others for judging McCarron’s sentiments in a negative light.
Logic would suggest that one can embrace the role of the underdog, while still maintaining a certain degree of “silence” in respect to future intentions and/or current or prior feelings of disrespect. At this point, most casual observers would probably advise McCarron to simply close his mouth and play.
In terms of value, the NFL Draft has come and gone, and AJ McCarron was respected enough to be selected. For McCarron, this needs to be the start of a new chapter. The days of chasing respect for what he accomplished in college need to be over, for college is over. McCarron has no reason to look behind and clamor for what he thought he deserved, but rather look forward to what he can accomplish in Cincinnati.
Respect will come in due time for McCarron, because when he’s on his game, he’s one of the best pocket-passers around, however, respect won’t come McCarron’s way as long as he continues to verbally dwell on his “chip filled” shoulders.
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