What is the ingredient or intangible that makes a great player? What separates that likes of Jerry Rice from David Terrell? Jimmy Clausen from Tom Brady? Adrian Peterson from Lawrence Philips? The question among many GMs and Head Coaches, along with many fans across the US. So, is it a great athlete? No, in fact, we've seen plenty of times when athleticism didn't cut it in the NFL, because despite popular consensus, just because you can't jump high and run fast doesn't necessarily make you a great receiver (place any freak of an athlete that failed miserably in the NFL here). Also, just because you have talent also doesn't matter if you can't put it all together, but despite me saying all of these, everyone is an ingredient, just not the whole story. My personal belief on what makes a player great is his belief in himself or as many would call it, cockiness.
It seems to be a trend between all time great players, they all have a certain cockiness about them. That attitude as if they are the best on the field and there's just nothing you can do about it. Don't believe me, check out this list of All Time great players and tell me that one of them aren't cocky to a certain extent:
|Tom Brady||Quarter Back||New England|
|Randy Moss||Wide Receiver||Unemployed|
|Jerry Rice||Wide Receiver||Retired|
|Terrell Owens||Wide Receiver||Unemployed|
Tom Brady, when he was first drafted, as a 6th round draft pick which markets were best to buy a house in. His agent told him to make the team first and he said don't worry about that, he'd make the team. This a 6th round draft pick who wasn't even guaranteed a starting job, but had the confidence to believe that he'd start. Randy Moss, prior to the draft, came out and said that he's the best receiver in NFL history. He even went as far as to once say this:
Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me? It ain't shit. Next time I might shake my d*ck"
We all know that Sanders is nothing short of one of the cockiest players to ever play the game. He showboated and showed up offenses for as long as he was in the league and I bet he still thinks he could still guard most of the receivers int he NFL right now. After Moss said he was the best receiver ever, Rice said simply check the rings and stats homie. Terrell Owens himself coined the phase, "Get your popcorn ready", but is this a bad thing to have in a player?
I would say absolutely not.
A player has to have a certain cockiness about what they can do to be great. So, your question then comes, what was the point of this post? Well, I recently was talking to a fellow Rams fan about how Tavon Austin recently said that his goals is to be great for this team and get into the Hall Of Fame. He had a problem with this because Austin has yet to play a down in the NFL, but I personally love it. I love when a player has high expectations for themselves, that means that whatever kind of pressure the media and fanbase may put on them, they themselves know where their mind is set and they have even bigger expectations. We have seen this in the past two seasons with 2 of our receivers, one being Austin and the other being Givens. This was seen when he said that him and Quick would bring the Greatest Show on Turf back:
"We're really going to complement each other well. We're going to come in and work hard, and put our best foot forward, and try to get ‘The Greatest Show on Turf' back going again."
But this is not just seen in the NFL, take the NBA for example. The (media) greatest player ever (Jordan) constantly says how he could beat Kobe and Lebron. This is a man, who just to prove a point, shot free throws with his eyes closed. He even said this tidbit before the All Star game, giving a "blue print" on how to guard Lebron:
“So if I have to guard him… I'm gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he's gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he's going to the hole and I can't stop him. So I ain't letting him go right."
Across the board, you will notice that the players that are greats and all time greats aren't really closed mouthed about their talents. Rarely will you find a "quiet" player that has a massive amount of talent because their sure about themselves. Fans loves it and the media especially loves it. It seems as though players that have a combination of talent and sureness of themselves, they can't be stopped from achieving whatever they want. So, me personally, when Tavon says that his goals are to be great for the Rams and get into the Hall Of Fame, I smile and say, do it....
Thanks for Reading...