Browns Draft: No need to pontificate about character issues this morning

I have nothing against nice guys.  Most people even consider me one I think.   But guys like me do not play in the National Football League.  

The type of person who does though, in some cases, has the ability to throw a grown man through a glass door while being beaten with police batons.  I can’t do that, I’m still working my way up from machines to free weights at the moment.  

But I am encouraged by the fact that the defensive end for the football playing Cleveland Browns has that ability, should a situation ever exist where that’d be necessary.

Jabaal Sheard, the second round pick by the Browns yesterday, once did just that when he was arrested last summer for a fight that resulted in Sheard throwing a man through an Art Gallery door.  

But while this act certainly requires a ferocious streak of aggressiveness and strength that seems to equate in some ways with the mind-set necessary to annihilate quarterbacks for a living, it isn’t my intention here to applaud violence, physical harm to others, and Art Gallery Door vandalism.

It is my intention, however, to applaud a kid – you went to college once too, right? – who was able to respond from adversity, albeit self-inflicted, and go on to demonstrate a determined strength to move forward, learn, and grow from a mistake that could’ve cost him his life.   

Following that incident, Sheard was named team captain for the Pitt Panthers as a senior, and went on to become the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East.  He was also described as a “good student” by the administration at Pitt, and once received a bravery award for helping a woman escape from her burning home.

One act, or one “red flag”, doesn’t define a person is my point here, and it’s also my intent to applaud the Browns regime for being open-minded enough in their evaluation process to not think that it would.  It’s refreshing to see this organization make decisions about people on their own, based on their own impressions and opinions, because they’ve definitely done that so far in this draft.

If Jay Mariotti were still around penning pompously laced punchline pieces, he’d have enough ammo here this morning with the Browns to type up some of that garbage he used to spew to be sure.

It wasn’t just Sheard who was selected by the Browns despite a checkered past of sorts, as most of us know by now.  The Browns third pick, Greg Little, was ruled permanently ineligible last season after the NCAA said he received about ten thousand dollars and jewelery from an agent.  First round pick Phil Taylor transferred to Baylor after a 2007  on-campus fight as a freshman at Penn State where he was eventually charged with simple assault after beating up a man during a dance according to police. 

Those three transgressions couldn’t be further in the rearview though this morning.  All three guys have moved on, and all three are heading to a city that will form an opinion of them from what we come to know of them here.  As Cleveland Browns.   

We’ll judge their character by what they do in this community, as adults, and we’ll respect them if they respond in a positive way.  We’ll also love them if they end up producing on Sunday’s too.  Here’s hoping they excel in both capacities. 

Welcome to Cleveland fellas, best of luck with everything.

  • MrCleaveland

    Sheard may be alright, but from the highlights I’ve seen of Greg Little, he is a major, major digestive-tract orifice. He makes the rest of the WR divas in the NFL look dignified by comparison.

  • Zach

    I like the picks. Sheard and little are beasts. Taylor from what I have seen looks really impressive…. Now the Browns need to draft Casey Mathews in the 4th round and I’ll be 100% happy with this draft. If we dont’ draft Mathews I’ll still be happy, but kind of disappointed.

  • tsm

    We need CB, OL, then backup RB. As far as Sheard is concerned, I heard that he got into an argument at the art museum about the merits of pontilism vs expressionism.

  • S-Dub

    As a senior, about to graduate college at a certain MAC school. I know how the football players walk around like they are better than everyone,I also know how some people get drunk and like to target them to see if they can “take them on”. ONE fight in a guys career really isn’t a big deal to me. But, maybe that’s because I see what goes on around college campuses here in Ohio. These guys will be fine, hopefully they don’t have any more issues and play well for us.

  • Garry Owen

    “One act, or one “red flag”, doesn’t define a person is my point here . . .”

    Not to sidetrack us on a discussion of Jim Tressel, but . . .

  • Believelander

    I tend to err on the side of caution, but yeah. I agree. I feel that Eric Mangini’s inflexibility with ‘character issue’ guys was his biggest weakness as a football coach.

    Honestly, I felt we should have signed Vick. People have to be allowed second chances. Once they prove they’re not worthy of their second chance by blowing it, then you can be leery of a third.

    Good pick, I hope.