Monday, May 5, 2008

Bengals Rookie DT Jason Shirley Probably Won't Succeed

If I were a betting man (laughs), I'd place a lot of money on Bengals rookie DT Jason Shirley NOT becoming a good football player. But not because he's a bad person; there's a track record of some really good football players with a checkered past. Jason Shirley, character issues or not, will struggle because his feet are terrible.

I was just taking a mid-morning nap when my buddy McHale so rudely interrupted me with the following text message: DT JASON SHIRLEY HAS THE WORST FEET I HAVE EVER SEEN. NO JOKE. BENGALS.COM.

(Yes, he really used all CAPS)

Ordinarily I would have just gone back to sleep, but McHale doesn't send many text messages, and he knows what he's talking about. He felt strongly about this, and he needed me to see for myself. Sure enough, I watched the video on and couldn't believe how lousy Shirley's feet were compared to every other defensive lineman at rookie minicamp.

Listen, it would be easy for you to say, "big deal, he's a fifth round pick," but that's not what's going on here, and you know it. Bengals fans have been led to believe since draft day that Shirley is a superfreak, and the only reason he dropped was because of the aforementioned character issues. No, that was only part of the equation. The other is that he possesses the balance of a drunken polar bear.

The video is fairly long--maybe fifteen minutes--but Shirley's drills come in the first five. Pay attention to No. 99 when he performs a zig-zagging drill and one where he shuffles his feet side-to-side. It's amazing how much slower he moves than the rest of the D-Linemen--it looks like he drank a gallon of NyQuill about an hour before practice. (Note: In the side-to-side drill, it's a big NO-NO to cross your feet. Offensive lineman will pancake your fat ass to the Earth if you cross up. I don't know much, but I know that)

After watching the video, I called McHale to discuss Jason Shirley and his feet. We concluded that he must have the strongest upper body since Magnus ver Magnusson. Because his feet were so bad that I almost felt sorry for him while he went through his drills. If I were Shirley I'd worry more about being the butt of jokes than I'd worry about making the team.

I can't embed the video, so this will have to do: Media Player - Cincinnati Bengals

(More Talladega stuff coming this afternoon, including details of the Peanut Challenge.)

-Brad Spieser (