The weeks preceeding the NFL draft is full of hyperbole and deceit. What NFL coaches, front office executives and scouts say on the record is often less than honest.
Rather than boldface lie to the media members they typically are paid to be honest with, most league members simply choose to not to comment about specific players.
Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are a few of the more famous examples of NFL personnel who subscribe to this theory.
Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, formerly the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Belichick in New England, apparently operates under a different philosophy, going out of his way to defend Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.
During his pre-draft press conference with Denver media, McDaniels was uncharacteristically candid when asked about Bryant and the apparently erroneous report that he had been taken off Denver's list of possible draft selections. McDaniels said as much, noting that Bryant "is on our board."“I think you have to be careful with confusing character issues with some people that made some mistakes,” McDaniels said. ”This guy has never been arrested, he’s never had a drinking issue, he’s never done anything that’s put him in that position. He’s made a few mistakes that he wishes he hadn’t made. But I think there’s a difference. We enjoyed our visit with him. He did everything we asked him to do and had a smile on his face. We enjoyed the entire visit, and he did well.”
McDaniels' admission is interesting. If he hadn't said anything about Bryant, many likely would have assumed that the reports that the Oklahoma State star was off their board were true. End of story.
By publicly defending him and claim that Bryant remains on their board, however, McDaniels could be attempting to create interest in the pick or preparing Denver Broncos fans for the possibility that Bryant will be their pick.
On the one hand it might seem odd that Denver would take Bryant considering that they just got rid of a similarly gifted receiver in Brandon Marshall and his laundry list of character concerns.
It is worth noting, however, that Josh McDaniels' success in the NFL have been tied to two offenses blessed with spectacular receiver play -- the Broncos with Marshall and the Patriots with Randy Moss.
As talented a coach as McDaniels may be, entering the 2010 NFL season without a headlining talent at receiver might be more risk than drafting Bryant would be...