Welcome to the inaugural column of “NFL’s Believe It or Not”. Starting this Thursday, and every subsequent Thursday, I will evaluate the remarks of three NFL-related players, coaches, executives, etc. This week, I will focus on controversial comments from LaMarr Woodley, Walter Thurmond, and Trent Richardson.
I will start with new Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who said, “I can definitely see [the Raiders] as a playoff team.” Past history certainly doesn’t support Woodley, considering the Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since 2002. Most people believe that confidence in a team is beneficial, but most players that make bold predictions (usually predicting a championship) end up looking foolish. In this case, Woodley isn’t being quite as audacious, considering that all he wants is a playoff appearance. But I still think that he hasn’t realized how different Pittsburgh is from Oakland. Predicting a playoff appearance for the Raiders would be more like predicting another championship for the Steelers. Did Woodley really sign with the Raiders because of playoff aspirations? If a contender had offered Woodley the two-year, $12 million deal he accepted from the Raiders, I doubt that he would have turned it down. At the end of the day, Woodley went to Oakland solely for the monetary value, and I don’t blame him. He might be trying to stay positive about the situation in Oakland, so I don’t think that his comment is completely a lie, but I also don’t believe that his comment is realistic.
New Giants cornerback Walter Thurmond sparked controversy throughout social media when he stated, “I’m the best slot corner in the league.” Broncos slot corner Chris Harris and Eagles slot corner Brandon Boykin took exception via Twitter. Harris tweeted, “I almost got Thurmond career #’s my rookie year lol I’m done now.” Boykin tweeted, “But who is Walter Thurmond??” Thurmond’s statement is certainly bold, considering the other talented players he is overlooking. Just like LaMarr Woodley, he probably believes that he is telling the truth. But let’s take a look at Thurmond’s career stats. In four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Thurmond recorded 85 total tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, one interception, one touchdown, and 15 passes defended in 34 games played. Those numbers seem rather minuscule, especially the one career interception, but Thurmond brought up a great point. He followed up the criticism by tweeting, “I remember Nmandi being a pro bowler & only having one pick. It was because he shut guys down. Its not always about numbers when they don’t throw your way.” By referencing Nnamdi Asomugha, Thurmond is fending off the criticism. If the quarterback isn’t throwing the ball in Thurmond’s direction because he is locking down his area, is it his fault that he only has one career interception? We’ll have to see how these three players perform on the field this season.
Colts running back Trent Richardson recently said, “I think we do have a first-round pick — and that’s me. They spent their money on me in the first round. No pressure toward proving to everybody else, just proving to me that I can be the best.” After what most people considered a disappointing start with the Colts, Trent Richardson has another opportunity to prove that he is worthy of a first-round pick. His brief tenure with the Browns lasted for slightly more than one season after being selected 3rd overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Colts acquired Richardson for their 2014 first-round pick, which ended up being the 26th selection. Donald Brown, the Colts starting running back last season, signed with the Chargers in free agency, leaving the door open for Richardson this season. He will face relatively weak competition from Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw. Although many people probably laughed at his comments, Richardson is correct. He is the Colts first-round pick and he has the chance to prove that he is worthy.
So what do you think about these comments? Make sure to come back next Thursday for another edition!
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