In a story somewhat similar to the brown M&Ms, I recently heard a fascinating story about JaMarcus Russell.
If you’re not familiar with Russell, he was one of the biggest busts in NFL history. He went from very highly touted #1 draft pick to out of the league in just a few years. Most of his downfall was attributed to his laziness.
Part of that was easy to see, as he came into each preseason overweight and had to work to get back into shape. He also was having trouble learning the game, and his coaches called him out on it.
As Andrew Marchand shared a few years ago:
David Diehl just told a great story on the FAN. Coaches didn’t think Jamarcus Russell was studying tapes so they gave him blank cassettes. Next day, he said he watched the blitz packages. The tapes were blank.
While a casual observer might see football being just a bunch of guys running into each other, it’s a highly complex game. Of the major sports around the world, I’d say it’s easily the most complex, particularly to a quarterback. Not only do they need to be some of the best athletes in the world, they have a tremendous amount of information to learn and remember.
JaMarcus Russell was a huge, talented player with an amazing arm, but without being willing to put in the work he simply couldn’t cut it in the NFL.
His coaches found a great way to prove it.