Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Varsity Numbers: Honing in

Bill Connelly again looks at which college football teams the F/+ ratings are sure about, and which teams remain a mystery (led by Appalachian State).

16 Mar 2009

Corey Chavous: Life Beyond the Field

by Doug Farrar

It's the one thing that every athlete shares -- the day when the inevitable comes calling, and a life that no longer includes playing the sport they love becomes reality. People handle it in different ways. For some, it's the first step in a sad downfall. For others, it's a launching pad to jobs in analysis and broadcasting, and a chance to become even more respected and well-known than in their previous incarnations. Few players have prepared themselves more thoroughly for a future in hardcore football analysis than safety Corey Chavous, who was cut by the Rams in mid-February.

Long known as a film junkie and a respected professional on the field and in the locker room, Corey hasn't been spending the last month in limbo while he waits for another team to call -- far from it. While he believes that he still has a future in football after 11 seasons, Corey also uses his college journalism training and familiarity with video editing equipment to cut and organize his own tapes of draft prospects. Anyone who has seen him talk about the draft on ESPN and the NFL Network won't be surprised that he's diligent when it comes to research, but the extent of his knowledge borders on the scary -- when I interviewed him last week for this article, he was in a cab part of the time, with no research material around him, and he was rolling off the correct heights and weights of second-day players as if it were nothing. Corey's life has been about football, and he'll find ways to make that continue.

Born January 5, 1976 in Aiken, S.C., Corey grew up in nearby Petticoat Junction and went to Silver Bluff High before Vanderbilt came calling. All along the way, he had a guidepost for his football future -- his uncle Barney Chavous, who played on the defensive line of the Denver Broncos' famed Orange Crush defense from 1973 through 1985.

"He's been incredible for me over the years," Corey told me. "I was a ballboy with the Denver Broncos in 1992, catching balls from John Elway, I've been involved in football for a long time, and most of it is thanks to him. I loved everything he did, everything he represented. He's a person who's very strong-willed, and he was a great player. It was easy to want to be like him, because he was so good. He played for so long, and started for so long, there's just a lot to like about what he did."

Barney Chavous still ranks third all-time in sacks (75) and is tied for third in starts (177) in franchise history, and his nephew learned something from that work ethic. "I've always been a very tough football player, and had the ability to play most every Sunday. One of the biggest things for him every week was that he was ready to play." Barney coached high school football for years at TW Josey High in Augusta, Ga., but "he recently stepped down," Corey said. "He won't be doing too much more of that, but he and I will be doing some stuff together. We did a football camp last summer, and that was a big success. We're going to continue to do various projects together."

Corey played his college ball at Vanderbilt, where teams that never posted a winning season during his tenure there led to individual glory, but little long-term satisfaction. "I felt that I was the best cornerback in the SEC, to be honest," he said. "I'm not a real 'braggadocios' guy, but I felt that by the time I graduated from college, I felt that I was not only the best cornerback in the SEC, but arguably the best cornerback in the nation. And that was my college highlight, because there weren't too many other ones. We were a bad football team. We had a great defense -- the best in the SEC in my senior year -- and I might not have been the best cornerback on my team. Fred Vinson was pretty talented on the other side. I thought we represented a great duo, with great players around us.

"I felt good about what I had done individually, especially late in my college career, but overall, it was a disappointing experience. We just really weren't that good in terms of our overall record. But defensively, I think we were always in the top 20 nationally, and we were number four my senior year."

The Vanderbilt scholarship may not have happened had Corey not assembled a highlight reel of himself and mailed it off to several schools. In many ways, this was a portent of things to come. Now that he has been on both sides of the draft process, what does he think is different about the way things are handled today, as opposed to when he was selected in the second round of the 1998 draft by the Cardinals?

"Ten years ago, the coverage wasn't nearly as much as it is now. With the proliferation of all those different networks covering it -- the NFL Network exposing it -- whatever the results are. Back then, some (drill) times were a bit secretive. You might not know what a guy ran, or what his vertical jump was. But the times are so much more exposed now, that inevitably, human nature has that playing a role in what general managers and teams think of a player.

"When they have that great performance (at the Combine), it can carry more weight than a Mike Mamula performance years ago. Even though his performance was well-documented, nobody saw it. Now, when people see Vernon Davis run a 4.38 40 at 250 pounds, or Calvin Johnson running a 4.35 with somebody else's sneakers and he didn't even warm up, it just resonates in people's memories, and I think that's changed the game a lot."

And is there more pressure on teams to get it right because everything is seen?

"I don't think there's as much emphasis on the scouts' opinions. And those are the people you should listen to the most as a GM. You should be getting your scouts together and coming up with a common theme -- you take your scouts' opinions and you form them together with your coaches' opinions, and as the GM, you have to be between both opinions to find out what best fits the team. A lot of times, I think it's just overridden -- the scouts' work is rendered useless when their opinion doesn't play as much of a factor."

Back when Corey got drafted, the Cardinals were busy extricating the franchise from a long history of predominantly dismal football, and it worked for a short time. "Well, I was on the team that won the first Cardinals playoff game in 51 years, and we won 10 games in my rookie year. We beat the Cowboys in the playoffs with [Troy] Aikman and [Michael] Irvin and Emmitt Smith, so it started out good. We were doing things that no Cardinals team had ever done in the Valley before. And we were the last Cardinals team to win a playoff game until this last one. That was a great experience for me, because I was able to start in the playoffs at corner and play against Randy Moss and Cris Carter, and I had a really good rookie year. I felt like things were going to change from the losing ways in college, but things just reverted back to the old way, though we were competitive.

"Injuries played a part, but there were some guys who didn't live up to expectations. We lost some free agents -- Jamir Miller, Lomas Brown -- that were instrumental in that playoff run. We had most of the same parts, just not all of them."

His first foray into free agency in 2002 landed him in Minnesota. "When I got through in Arizona -- I had a pretty good year in my fourth season -- I had two down years after I tore my MCL, and my reputation suffered because of it," he said. "I was playing hurt, which a lot of players do. But I was able to recover and have a really solid season. Still, the Cardinals wanted me to test the market before they put an offer out there. Which was typical of the Cardinals organization at the time -- they would make you go out and see what you were worth before you came back to them. So I went out on the market, and I had a lot of interest, though nothing serious because other teams were ... who's going to offer me a big contract when my own team's like, 'Go see what you can get on the open market?'

"I went to Minnesota, and they wanted to know if I could run. What kind of speed did I have? I wound up having an individual workout in Minnesota. I made five free agent visits that year -- Buffalo, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, I was all over the place. I was supposed to go to Oakland the day after I arrived in Minnesota, but I worked out for the Vikings -- I hadn't run a 40 since the Combine -- ran a good time, and they signed me."

Surprisingly, it's not his 2003 season, when he picked off eight passes and made the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career, that Corey believes is his best. "I would actually say that my best year was 2001," he said. "The two years after that were good. I went from 2001 through 2003 with really good seasons. I thought 2004 was average. I thought I had good seasons in 2005 and 2006. Out of my 11 years, I think I've had five good seasons, and six average or below-average."

So, why was 2001 the best year? "I played against all the top receivers, and I held my own. I only gave up 20 catches that year, and the longest catch I gave up was 40 yards. I was the number-one corner on the team that year, and everybody knew it. In addition, I was running down on special teams in addition to playing corner, and that's not easy. I got turf toe early that season and battled through it, which made it all the more gratifying. It was a great tackling year for me -- I missed very few tackles. I was an impact player most weeks -- I think I had a presence about myself that year that I didn't have any other season."

Corey enjoyed his time in Minnesota, but after only three winning seasons in his eight years in the league, he was ready to take a shot with the St. Louis Rams, a team that had inched perilously close to dynasty status a few years before. "I just felt that I hadn't been anywhere with Hall of Fame-type personnel, except for maybe Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Matt Birk, Darren Sharper -- those guys might be in that category," he said about his decision to sign with the Rams in 2005. "But at that time, I felt that the Rams offense was as good as any, and I wanted to go out there and see what they had left. I felt that there was still a run in that team. We went 8-8 in my first year, and that easily could have been 11-5 -- we lost three games in the final four seconds -- and things just crumbled the next year due to injuries."

The die was cast: He wasn't going to a Super Bowl in his career. He'd have to settle for the little victories, like earning the respect of teammates and opponents. Asking how that's done is one way to really get Corey Chavous to open up. With the Rams, he was known as the elder statesman, the guy who would help younger players like Tye Hill and O.J. Atogwe with their own growth processes. He manages to be both humble and proud when it comes to his influence on other players.

"Very little," he said, when asked how much he had to do with Atogwe getting to the point where he was so valuable, the Rams felt the need to place the franchise tag on him. "I don't really believe in that. I think guys will emulate the things you do well, and won't emulate the things you don't do well. I'm sure there are things he didn't take from me. He always had a great work ethic. We would work out together in the summer, things people didn't really know about, but it really wasn't anything more than what any veteran did for me. Eric Davis, Aeneas Williams. I would go and find guys to train with in the offseason that I respected. In my fourth or fifth year in the league, I would hook up with Eric Davis and follow him around while he trained, stay in a hotel in the same city.

"Those are the types of things I wanted to pass along to these guys. In terms of what they're doing, Tye Hill is ready for a breakout season. Ron Bartell has had back-to-back good seasons, as has O.J. But I just preached to them, 'Just stay consistent and maximize your own individual abilities.' They really have a desire to be great, and I think those guys have the chance to have a special secondary next year. From a peer pressure perspective, I just made sure that we worked our behinds off. Regardless of the record, regardless of anything else that was going on, this group was going to work. That's what I was about."

After a 2-14 season in 2008 (which followed a 3-13 season in 2007), wholesale changes were in store for the Rams. VP of Player Personnel Billy DeVaney was promoted to General Manager, and former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the new head coach. To promote a youth movement and clear up cap space, several veteran stalwarts -- including future Hall of Fame offensive tackle Orlando Pace and longtime elite receiver Torry Holt -- were cut loose. Corey said that his release, coming as it did after he lost his starting job to Todd Johnson late in the season, was no surprise.

"Oh, not at all. I talked to Billy DeVaney and Steve Spagnuolo, and they were great. I have a lot of respect for those guys," he said. "They handled my situation very professionally, and I liked that. I think that's how you need to go about your business. I wasn't concerned about getting released so that someone else could pick me up -- there might not be interest anyway -- but I didn't want to sit there, waiting, and not knowing what was going on. At least now, I can move on. And if nobody else is interested in signing me, it's an easy decision and I can just move on and retire. If someone does want to sign me, I certainly want to keep playing, but you can't control that."

Have other teams come calling yet? "I haven't talked to anyone. Most teams probably won't talk to me until after the draft, maybe into late July or August. I'm not looking for any big payday, and a lot of teams may not know that."

In the interest of helping those teams out, I asked Corey for the scouting report on himself.

"A versatile guy. A guy who doesn't give up a lot of big plays. Probably doesn't make a lot of big plays, but that was in part because of the role in which I was used. I was used as a linebacker in St. Louis -- a 100-tackle-per-year guy the last three years. I pretty much had to play Sam linebacker the last three seasons. I had to hold the edge, force quite a bit. I had to do things that you wouldn't believe. Most scouts would have seen me as a free safety, even when I went to the Rams, but in that first year with the Rams, I was playing nickel, dime, safety -- six different positions in one season. Versatility has always been my claim to fame. I'm not really great at any one thing, but I'm a chameleon who could do a lot, and I still can do a lot. There were games in 2008 where I covered the third or fourth receiver. Whenever there was a coverage situation for a safety with the Rams when I was there, it was me doing the covering. People say I've lost coverage skills, and maybe that's true, but I'm still covering. I was still covering the top tight ends, and when you look at the stats, they didn't have big games.

"I would say that I gave up three or four touchdowns in my time with the Rams. Probably missed more tackles than usual, but I was playing through a torn pectoral muscle my second year I would say that even this year, I probably defended the run as well as I had in any year since 2005. Overall, the pounding of playing Sam 'backer for three straight years ... I think that getting benched and not playing in those three (final) games probably helped my body recover a bit."

And then, the million-dollar question: If this is the end for you, are you OK with that?

"I mean, you don't have any choice," he said. "I always look at it year-to-year anyway, and to be honest, that's the way it has to be. You can't go with expectations, and I always told young guys that. The only expectation you can have is the next game. And for me, right now, it's the next team. I can't look at, 'Oh, I didn't win a Super Bowl, I didn't do this or that,' because a lot of guys weren't as blessed as I was to play as long as I did. I look at the whole thing as a blessing, and I'm very appreciative of the time I've gotten in so far. I think I'm still a good football player, and I can be used in a lot of different ways. I'm not saying that the way I was used before was bad -- the coaches in St. Louis were forced to do that, because we couldn't stop the run. So I had to be one of the key cogs in stopping the run, and I understood that.

"The bottom line is ... you know all my stats, so let me give you one. Since 1999, there have been, what, seven or eight (safeties) with eight picks in a season? I was one, Ed Reed was one, but (most of the) other guys who have done it played with me. Kwame Lassiter (had nine) in 2001, Brian Russell had nine in 2003, Darren Sharper had nine playing opposite me in 2005, and O.J. Atogwe had eight in 2007. It's no coincidence that players playing with me make a lot of those plays, because I do the dirty work. I cover, go down in the box, things that the other safety isn't asked to do. So, if this is the end for me, I know what I've done for the guys who played with me, and I know they appreciated playing with me. The biggest award I could have received was that in each of the last seven years, my teammates voted me captain."

Amazingly, this was just one half of my interview with Corey -- the part that deals with his on-field career up to now. I collected a great deal of information about his thoughts on the draft and current players, and as soon as he returns from a humanitarian trip to Africa (I received an e-mail from him there on Sunday morning), we'll flesh that out for what I believe will be an impressively comprehensive draft feature. Because if there's one thing I learned about Corey Chavous in a first conversation that lasted almost two hours, it's that he doesn't do anything halfway.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 16 Mar 2009

39 comments, Last at 21 Mar 2009, 5:15pm by Aerogopher

Comments

1
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 1:58pm

Why is Corey one of the smartest players in the NFL? Because he loves his craft and dillgently performs draft coverage?

There are bus drivers in NYC that can name off every New York Yankee for the last 50 years, but that doesn't mean they are smart ( or stupid).

I like Corey, I think Corey could be an asset to the NFL Network as a supplement to Mayock, Kiper Jr. types. He is certainly better than Jamie Dukes or some of the other guys but that doesn't mean he is "smart".

2
by Wait, what? (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 2:13pm

What, you've never met someone and said, "Hey, this guy seems really smart?" It's a throwaway line, not a factual claim that needs to be verified against the NFL's official intelligence rankings.

36
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 03/18/2009 - 5:36am

The guy went to Vanderbilt - that means he is smart.

37
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Wed, 03/18/2009 - 6:05pm

Very good article, Doug. And Chavous does come across as a bright, thoughtful guy and sounds like a classy, team-oriented player (as was his uncle).

3
by Birdman (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 2:58pm

I think Chavous is pretty smart, but the only thing I remember from his draft coverage was how high he was on Seneca Wallace back in the day.

5
by Yaguar :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 3:37pm

It's unbelievable to me, but Seneca Wallace is turning out pretty decent.

19
by Tom Gower :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 6:38pm

Alas, the Reggie McNeal love does not seem to have any hope for redemption.

22
by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:12pm

Who here hasn't gotten all high on Seneca Wallace back in the day? They say there is a time and a place for everything... and that's college.

4
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 3:07pm

I've met people and liked how they sounded and in fact thought they were intelligent, but taking that to the Nth degree and saying he's one of the smartest players in the NFL ( because he scouts college players well) was unwarrented. Doug F didn't say " hey this guy is smart", he said he's one of the smartest people in the NFL.

I think Corey might have vouched for Adrian Mcphearson when Screamin A. Smith was blabbering on that he was a first round quarterback. I don't think Chavious took the bait that high, but I seem to recall him saying he was a late first day pick.

Look, I like Corey, enjoy listening to his independent thought in his draft coverage but thought Dougy Fresh was a little quick to pull the trigger and call him one of the smartest players in the NFL because he is a well spoken draft analyst.

9
by Doug Farrar :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 4:25pm

Well, first of all, the people I have talked to who know him, and/or have worked with him, all brought up his intelligence without any prodding from me. As a person, player, and draft analyst. Think more Charles Davis than Jamie Dukes. And these are people who would just as easily tell me if he was a dim bulb. Second, his on-field intelligence has been cited as a major factor in his continued employment with the Rams through 2008, especially his ability to mentor younger defenders. Third, having talked to him for a fairly long time, and having a pretty high bar on who I tag as extremely intelligent, I did indeed come away with the impression that he was just that.

It had to do with quite a bit more than his ability to recite heights and weights, and I was sort of hoping that came across in the piece, because I couldn't figure out a way to get his references in there. Or maybe it was more that I didn't feel he needed them.

31
by Independent George :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:12am

Fellas, there's an obvious, objective measure of his smartiness:

What's his AWR rating in Madden?

32
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 8:55am

If you want to judge how smart he is, why not just, you know read the quotes from him. Seems a pretty intelligent assessor of things, including himself.

6
by ammek :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 3:40pm

From the interview, I get the impression of a guy who knows his own strengths and limitations, has a passion for the game, and has a good sense of perspective. Sounds smart enough to me.

ETA: Great interview, by the way. Corey says some unusual things, and comes across as very genuine.

7
by KyleW :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 3:40pm

Surely there is a simple way to decide if Chavous is smart? Simply ask if he would draft RoboPunter first overall.

8
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 4:22pm

The Robopunter jokes are about as lame and geeky as Mike Tanier doing his watchmen jokes.

10
by KyleW :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 4:40pm

I study maths and stats and regularly read FO.

Lame and geeky is pretty much what I do.

11
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 4:51pm

People calling out other people on an internet message board for being geeky is a sign of true manliness. I applaud you, Chris.

14
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:09pm

I think I grew a third testicle just from reading Chris's comment.

Or maybe I should see a doctor.

21
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:06pm

God forbid that someone should dare mix a little humor with the uber-serious business of being a football fan. I think Sean Connery would like to have a word with you about a lost book written by Aristotle, if you don't burn him at the stake first. (I'm sorry the reference is kind of obscure, but too appropriate to pass up.)

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

12
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 4:55pm

There are linebackers that are dumb as bricks but have all the "football smarts" in the world concerning instincts, angles and everything else that matters.

I don't have any problem with calling CC smart or anything like that because he probably is, but instantly dubbing him one of the smartest guys in the NFL is taking it a little far based an hour long conversation and talking with some people who know him.

Concrete Jungle - I played football yet can still recite 40 yard dash times and other factoids about football players that I've never met. I guess that means I am smarter than almost everybody in the NFL.

15
by KyleW :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:10pm

I play football (badly) and I really don't care very much about the 40 yard dash times of any NFL players.

Does that mean I have reached a higher plane of existence?

I'm honestly not that bothered about whether Chavous is more intelligent than me or you or anybody. However he is clearly very interested in the NFL draft and appears to research it better than any of us here. On this basis I am willing to listen to what he has to say about it.

Good article Doug.

23
by Eddo :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:18pm

OK, so maybe there's no real proof he's one of the smartest players in the NFL, but why are you so adamant about this? I mean, Doug's had contact with him and has described him as such. You have never met the man, yet feel the need to tear him down.

13
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:00pm

Barnwell- I applaud you because you still believe in Bobby Carpenter and because two years ago you predicted that the New York Giants would be drafting Jake Long with the first pick in the draft .... Oppps

The fact that you delete any comments that bring up your "Giant mistake" shows your sign of manliness. I think you'd get a lot more respect if you manned up to your mistakes than if you delete and pretend like they never happened.

28
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 10:14pm

Oh Chris, you are so precious. Bless your little heart.

16
by Temo :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:27pm

Everyone feed the troll, he's hungry.

"Then again, I'm a Bobby Carpenter believer." -- Barnwell

17
by I am excellent at making love (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:33pm

To demonstrate how smart I am, I can recall the day Chavous was drafted, and listening to him on ESPN radio, I thought, "Dammit! Why couldn't the Vikings have drafted THIS guy with the first pick!"

You know, instead of that bust Randy Moss.

24
by armchair journe... :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:47pm

as an aside... please don't ever register your username. its too perfect as is.

18
by Dales :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 6:05pm

I'm in shock. What is that, three consecutive Chris posts without a shot against Campbell and/or McNabb?

20
by I am excellent at making love (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:00pm

Don't forget an obligatory slam on T-Jack.

/definitely not racist.

25
by Key19 :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 8:10pm

Ok Chris, we get it. You think everyone sucks and/or are idiots. Now please can it, because you're annoying. And if comment ratings are any barometer, no one else really enjoys your comments either. Any reply you make to this post will be ignored, so don't even bother.

Anyways...

I sort of opened this on a whim thinking that it would be some 2 paragraph snippet with just generic questions and answers. Not really sure why I expected that, but I did. But honestly I was very impressed with this article and I enjoyed reading it. Chavous, as mentioned earlier by some other posters, sounds very genuine throughout. I can't help but think that his interpretation of his own level of play is a little overrated (but I think every athlete thinks they're better than they really are, which is fine), but other than that he seemed very bright. Honestly though, I don't remember ever watching him, so maybe he is just as good as he says he is.

Overall though I thought his answers were very non-generic, and I think he is very well-spoken. Is he one of the smartest players in the NFL? Yes and no. It just depends how many people you include in "one of." I'd rather hear people call guys "one of the smartest players in football" even if they're actually just fairly intelligent and not really a genius than to hear guys say "he's just a football player" or "he just has fun out there." Even if the claim is incorrect a bit (which I don't know if it is or not, I don't know Chavous, and neither do any of the other posters on here), it's at least not a stupid generic claim (well, when talking about QBs it sometimes can be, but that's not the case here obviously). I'll take Doug's word on it though since he's at least spent a couple hours with him (which is a couple more hours than everyone else on here).

Good article, can't wait for Pt. II.

26
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 8:33pm

I argue that Jason Campbell is overrated but when do I ever argue Mcnabb is overrated? I argue that Mcnabb is underrated.

Key19- I never said everyone is an idiot. I just object from crowning Corey " one of the smartest players in the NFL" because he's well spoken and takes his craft seriously.

In all honesty, I'd love to see Cory, Mayock, Kiper, Casserly, Peterson and maybe even Millen ( for entertainment purposes) talk about draft picks on draft day.

Oh, and I couldn't care less if you are going to respond to my post or not.

27
by SGreenwell (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 10:08pm

"Next year in Pro Football Prospectus, IQVOA! I simply can NOT call a man intelligent unless we distribute this test to every other NFL player."

29
by glengarry (not verified) :: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 11:02pm

well, I will respond, because you gave me the best laugh I've had all day. what kills me about your relentless trashing of CC and the article in general is that you say nothing about what you might use as your own criteria for determining which football players are 'smart' ... if not for the sort of things which Chavous is clearly adept at.

there are places on the web, i believe, where you can scare up old episodes of Celebrity Family Feud... which might be as good a place for you to start as any, since I'd expect that, unlike Doug Farrar, you don't know any NFL players, and likely never will.

the fact of the matter is, we base our judgment of others, who is smart, and who is not, upon our personal interactions. Doug Farrar has not met every cornerback in the NFL, and never will, but if he wants to say that Chavous is smart, he's earned the right. you, i believe, haven't earned the right to call him out on it.

30
by Rich Arpin (not verified) :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 2:20am

Did they have the wonderlic back then, being from Canada I'm a little slow eh. What is the wonderlic

I was just reminded about vince young and his score on profootballtalk earlier tonight. That being said, I think as far as scramblers go, he's better than vick vision wise (not speed wise, vick was/is a beast), but not as good audibling the plays, if he was even allowed to.

33
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 10:46am

I don't trash CC anywhere, but Doug Farrior didn't just say Corey Chavious is smart, that would be correct and even true, but he ran out and called him one of the smartest players in the league.

Does Doug Farrior know NFL players or is just sometimes granted an interview with them? I've played football with & against NFL players, I've talked to them... would it make you feel any better if I knew 100 NFL players? Then could I dub somebody one of the smartest in the NFL based on an hour long converstation?

Here is some food for thought.
There are Ivy league players out there like Matt Birk, Ryan Fitzpatrick ( perfect wonderlic score), Zak Deossie from the FO friendly Brown, etc.

Eagles wideout Kevin Curtis scored a 48 on the wonderlic test. There are guys who went to Michigan and scored in the 40's on the Wonderlic like Drew Henson 42, Brian Griese 39. Then you have your Eli Manning 39, Darrell Hackney 40, Alex Smith 40.

The average chemist scores a 31 on the test, but these NFL players scored higher on this "IQ" test. Now is that the only way to measure intelligence, certainly not, but it proves that not all NFL players are dumb jocks.

If fact the "average" NFL tackle will score a 26, the average center will score 25, and the average quarterback will score 24. Those numbers are at least in the neighborhood of most professionals ( if not better) and most NFL players are college graduates.

I read Bill Parcells biography and he talked about how smart his lineman were, that if they weren't in the NFL they'd all be successful lawyers and I believe some of them went on to law after their careers were over. A lot of lineman are smart and playing Center ( or any line position for that matter) is a test of brains and braun.

I do believe CC is smart and I'd agree with you if you said that, but to instantly dub him " one of the smartest in the league" because he speaks well and knows draft prospects isn't something I'd expect from a website that prides itself on it's own independant measurables.

Sorry if I offended anybody or was a pain, but I didn't expect that on this site.

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by Temo :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 11:23am

What you're not getting, Chris, is that no one cares about that throw-away line. No one would feel the need to dredge up wonderlic scores or try to reason out how we could accurately determine who the smartest player in the NFL is. You're right, there's no way Doug could know that Chavous is one of the most intelligent people playing in the NFL. All he can know is "hey, I met the guy and he seemed smart. Also, other people in-the-know have said as much."

Well, no one cares. And yes, if you want to point out the hypocrisy of FO readers who are quick to hop on Peter King's every foible, then go ahead. But the fact remains that you've now spent 10+ paragraphs arguing over whenever Corey Chavous is the smartest man in the NFL.

Also-- Doug Farrior- James Farrior's long-lost brother?

"Then again, I'm a Bobby Carpenter believer." -- Barnwell

35
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/17/2009 - 11:59am

Temo- You always make good points.

Maybe Doug is the UVA Grad and Steelers linebacker's Brother from another mother and that's how he gets to hang out with NFL players and rank their intelligence.

Farrior - Farrior. Coincidence, I think NOT

38
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Wed, 03/18/2009 - 6:10pm

Go ahead and re-check the byline. Then put the shovel down and climb out of the hole.

39
by Aerogopher (not verified) :: Sat, 03/21/2009 - 5:15pm

With that kind of flexibility and smarts, I'm surprised the Pats haven't been in touch.