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Merril Hoge: Jadeveon Clowney is an 'atrocious' football player

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Silly season's in full swing. Everyone's screaming about first-round prospects, which means if you want to really get heard, you better make some atrocious comments. Like Merril Hoge, who literally did just that.

Hoge appeared on SportsCenter earlier this week and called Clowney an "atrocious" football player.

"You look at him as a fundamental football player when you talk about feet, hip and hands, like we watch Khlail Mack, he's actually atrocious,” Hoge said. “Clowney as a football player is not very good. Amazing athlete. Don't get confused by being an athlete and being a good football player. Not a very good football player."

The discussion of Mack over Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft got heated up earlier this week. It's not that outrageous. But shrugging off Clowney as a quality football player? That's just dumb.

"[Clowney] doesn't play with his feet, hip and hands like Khalil Mack. Gets controlled, trucked a lot," Hoge said. "The second he tries to swim move you he's neutralized if you get inside his pads which is easy because he plays so high."

Could Clowney work on his fundamentals? Yes. Coaching would help just about every single player out there. But that's no reason to insult his intelligence and laugh about taking him No. 1 overall.

"Jadeveon Clowney does not play very smart as a football player. He has a long learning curve to be successful in the NFL," Hoge said. "I would take Mack in a heartbeat over Clowney in the first round, first pick, all day."

To be perfectly frank, I feel a little dirty writing about this.

Giving any sort of recognition to ridiculous comments that Hoge makes on ESPN about a player like Clowney only feeds the hype machine. Discussion what Hoge says on air means that Hoge gets pub, which means ESPN is happy, which means Hoge is incentivized to continue throwing messy items up against the wall and hoping something sticks.

Earmarking these comments to look back on after 2014 ends is a fair thing to do.

The world would be a better place if people remembered some of the things analysts say and held them accountable.

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