Risk vs. Reward -- The Tommy Blake Case (1 Viewer)

JOElittleBIGhorn

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Right now there is a guy with immense football talent who may not even get sniffed for a day one pick. Tommy Blake was a highly regarded pre-season All American DE/OLB who seemed to have a legitimate shot at a top 10 pick. He's a pass-rushing machine who could be a great addition to our ailing defense.

Do you know the name Tommy Blake? You were supposed to by now. The TCU senior defensive end once was one of the highest-rated NFL prospects for the 2008 draft. Mock drafts, including one at SportingNews.com, have had Blake going as high as No. 5 overall.
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=320828

But there's one catch.

Then Blake left the TCU team in fall camp, and he left again four games into the season, both times taking medical leaves of absence that had nothing to do with injuries, substance abuse or performance enhancers.
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=320828

TCU standout defensive end Tommy Blake said he had to get away from football after he became overwhelmed with stress.

...

"I feel like I was putting too much pressure on football, and I wasn't taking care of myself as good as I should have been," Blake told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in his first interview in two months. "I had to pay attention to Tommy. Not the football player. Just Tommy."

...

He did, however, scoff at the idea that his absence was because of steroid use, drug abuse or plans to leave football for life in the ministry.
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3050352

Tommy missed several games this year because of a stress-related problem. Blake has vowed to get back into shape and says that he has gotten his life back in order. Even his teammates say that he looks like the Tommy Blake of old personality-wise.

Here's the debate: The kid has a world of talent, but has had trouble harnessing it because of stress issues. He says he's OK now. Do you try a late round flyer on him? Is he too much of a headcase? He hasn't had any run-ins with the law or substance abuse or anything like that. By all accounts he seems to be a good person who caved under the pressure this year. So, SR I ask you, is this a great chance to add some major talent in the 3rd-5th round, or is he too much of a headcase to be put in B&G?
 

Saintman2884

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Too much risk. I don't want a potential Pac-Man Jones on this team and that whole incident embarrassed the Titans organization. They did better without him this year and should improve as next season comes around. WE need to learn from their mistake
 
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JOElittleBIGhorn

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Too much risk. I don't want a potential Pac-Man Jones on this team and that whole incident embarrassed the Titans organization. They did better without him this year and should improve as next season comes around. WE need to learn from their mistake
I wouldn't really put him into the Pacman Jones category, per se. He suffered from depression and stress, he hasn't done anything illegal at all. He just cracked under pressure and had to get away from football after awhile. Pacman was a criminal, Blake just has (had?) an illness.
 

tenordas

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Where did the PacMan Jones comment come from? I don't get that comparison at all.

I do understand the comparison to Demitrius Underwood, but I haven't seen anything to suggest he has that sort of self-torture that being a football player is somehow an inherent sin or some sort of betrayal of G-d like Underwood did.

A lot of people have stress problems. Only some of them are smart enough to back off and get help before they run into real trouble. IMHO, I give the kid big points for being that smart. The only question in my mind is can he play football without letting the stress demon take him over again. If I were in charge and had the idea that he could, I'd certainly take the chance on him. Hey, 3rd to 5th rounders are pretty crap shoots anyway. Why not take a high reward risk in those rounds?
 

saint-58

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"Right now my main focus is school and finishing up at TCU. Once I get done with that, then football is going to be there. I will play football, and I will get back to where I was. Believe me."

This tells me a lot. The kid has his priorities straight. If football doesn't work out then he has his education to fall back on.

As for comparisons to Pac Man Jones, there is no comparison. These are people from opposite ends of the spectrum. Hopefully his problem can be worked out and he can have a successfull football career.
 

rlemieux

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He is definitly the kind of pass rusher this team needs. Don't think he is an every down player, but he does generate a strong rush. I would take him in day two if he is still there. High reward / low risk in the second day.
 

Dragon

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"Right now my main focus is school and finishing up at TCU. Once I get done with that, then football is going to be there. I will play football, and I will get back to where I was. Believe me."

This tells me a lot. The kid has his priorities straight. If football doesn't work out then he has his education to fall back on.

As for comparisons to Pac Man Jones, there is no comparison. These are people from opposite ends of the spectrum. Hopefully his problem can be worked out and he can have a successfull football career.

I work in a field (IT) where burnouts and stress are often a way of life. I've lost colleagues to this disease. Some have walked away from it all, some has gotten their priorities straight and come back and two has died - one died of a heart attack and one by his own hand.:mecry:While I no longer work for that company, my present employer do have a very active anti-stress policy, education leaders to recognize the signs and implementing measures to protect its employees. While a few has been told to take a few days off after big assignments we have had no burnouts.


Like Tenordas and Saint 58 I will give this kid a lot of credit for seeking help and getting better. Having been through it once also makes him better prepared than most to handle the stressful life of the NFL. I'm all for giving him a chance and picking him as high as a 3rd round if the team doctors think it is safe. I also hope that the team that he eventually ends up with, will give him the extra support to help him deal with this.

He really sounds like a good kid who takes his football serious
 
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I don't think taking guys really late is really that much of a risk. The majority of 6th and 7th round picks don't make the roster anyway.
 
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JOElittleBIGhorn

JOElittleBIGhorn

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I don't think taking guys really late is really that much of a risk. The majority of 6th and 7th round picks don't make the roster anyway.
I agree, but since this guy has first round talent, he will most likely light up the combine with his measurables which will probably shoot him up a few rounds.
 

St.RobE

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Whatever happens with football, I'm sure this man will be a success in life. I'd like to see some team give him a shot, depending on his combime numbers and how he presents himself during interviews.
 

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