In my last post, http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2010/4/20/1432114/passion, I asked if passion should play a part in who we draft. The questions was answered with mostly yeses. So here is my take on certain players in the draft level of passion. I am only looking at defensive players for now, offensively I feel as if we are set. I am not the biggest draft buff, so I am not that knowledgeable on later round guys. I will be looking at the top 5 safeties in this post. If you guys have any suggestions for later posts feel free to let me know. I was going to look at more players but it got longer than I planned.
My favorite, as well as many of yours, safety. Eric Berry is likely to go in the top 15 picks in the draft. The Eagles may trade up for him. He is good in cover, he can tackle, he can play the run. All in all he looks like a well rounded safety that can do it all, but does he have the passion for the game necessary to be a leader?
Coach Kiffin on Eric Berry--He's been great for me (via EricBerryTennessee)
With as much as I despise Kiffen, he is a fine coach. He is high on Berry and this interview only makes me want him more. Kiffen mentions the scheme change, it is something I had forgotten about the scheme change that Eric Berry had to play through. If you would have asked me I would have said that it was the same scheme based on the level at which he played. The one main reason for this Kiffen points out, "He is the first in class, one of the last to leave, He is always asking questions trying to get better." A player with the following that he has would not necessarily need to keep getting better to have a good draft. But he is still working it would seem he has the passion for the game necessary to be a leader. But as stated by Talon Talent, how do you grade talent surely you cant judge it off of one youtube clip. So here is another
Monte Kiffin on Eric Berry(Lane Kiffin Show) (via EricBerryTennessee)
"He is a Quarter back on the field , HE LOVES FOOTBALL!" Just the way he says that one sentence is enough for me to believe that he isnt just hyping the player up. Two videos still isnt enough to judge a player on, but I feel it is a solid foundation. My personal opinion is that Berry has the passion to be a Leader.
Earl Thomas has been getting a split view around here. Some think he will be an amazing safety, while others think that he is just an athletic freak that will bust. He is a well rounded safety does most things well, he is also projected to go in the first round.
Earl Thomas Media Day Interview (via jonmadani)
He may have all the physical tools, but my opinion after watching this video, is that he lacks the fire needed to be a leader. He seems almost tired of the interview half way through. Some of you might point out that the legendary safeties mentioned in the last post didn't seem very fired up off the field. I think the main difference in that is, with the other safeties you could tell that they loved playing the game. Earl seems, to me at least, as if he is doing this for reasons outside of love for the game. My call is that he does not have leadership potential
Taylor Mays is a player that the majority of us have stated we did not like. Taylor Mays is a physical freak of nature, but he lacks football instincts. He made mistakes in coverage, and throws his body at the ball carrier instead of wrapping up. With a good secondary coach like Dick Jauron we could potentially turn him into a great safety.
Taylor Mays Interview on ESPN - April 2009 (via PeteCarrollTV)
The one thing that stuck out for me is that he looks up to, and tries to play like Polamalu. He must know that Troy plays with passion and is a 110% every game type game. Which if you look hard enough you are able to see in Mays game.
CBS CS: Taylor Made For Success (via CBS)
He points out the atmosphere of playing at USC and how it is something he loves and how he plays for the stadium to get fired up. That seems like passion to me, passion to get everyone fired up seems like leadership potential. However his passion has not masked all of his flaws so the final line on him is, maybe a few years from now he could fix his problems playing wise and then be the leader that the Eagles need.
Nate Allen is a safety that is getting a positive response from those of us on BGN. He plays against the pass and run well. He has coverage skills and he tackles well, however elusive running backs can beat him. There are not many good videos on Nate Allen that I could find if anyone has a link it would be appreciated. The one video I did find is of poor quality, the wind seems as if it is blowing straight into the mic. However it does have one sentence that is understandable.
Nate Allen Interview at USF Pro Day (3/30/10) (via N1ckJohn)
He says at about 1:34, that it was his dream to play in the NFL and play well. It is a lot to assume of this one sentence that he has the passion to be a good leader. However it is my personal opinion that he has what it takes to be a great leader for this team.
Just like all the other safeties on this list. Burnett does most things well. He is good in coverage can play the run, has good speed and is a consistent tackler. But does he have the leadership that we need on our defense?
Video Interview With Morgan Burnett (via RamblinWreckTube)
When asked about the leadership on the team, he seemed almost hesitant to step up. Instead he said the entire defense fed of each other. This may be true but it does raise the question, can he be the defenses sole leader? My own personal opinion is that he can't. He may have the passion but in this case I just don't see him being a good leader on our defense.