Charley Casserly’s disparaging comments about Kyler Murray’s leadership and study habits during NFL combine interviews is straight sabotage.
Last year, it was former NFL GM turned analyst Bill Polian who polluted Lamar Jackson‘s Draft waters and sullied his name by suggesting that he lacked pro QB skills and was best suited as a wide receiver, a position he’s never played in his life.
While there’s no way to gauge just how damaging Polian’s comments were, Jackson dropped to the end of the first round and was the last of the five rookie QBs selected and the last to start a game.
Black sports writers and Jackson’s fans, all too familiar with the overly critical and downright disrespectful way African-American quarterbacks have been treated and assessed over the years, were incensed with Polian.
They saw his comments as more sabotaging racism and archaic rhetoric from a former decision maker who the modern game has passed by.
Jackson wound up proving all of his haters wrong by taking over for veteran Joe Flacco mid-season and stringing off some crucial victories to lead Baltimore into the playoffs. He was the only rookie to accomplish that feat by the way.
Not to be outdone by Polian, NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly, a former NFL GM with a Super Bowl on his resume, attempted to assassinate Kyler Murray’s rising draft position by delivering a scathing summary of Murray’s performance during interviews at the recently concluded scouting combine.
According to washingtonpost.com, “Murray…sat for interviews with a reported 10 NFL teams, and it was during at least a few of those sessions that he came up, well, very short. That’s at least according to Casserly, who claimed the feedback he got from teams amounted to “the worst report I’ve ever heard on a top-ranked quarterback from the interview part of it.”
“These were the worst comments I ever got on a top-rated quarterback, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” said the 70-year-old Casserly, who spent three decades in the NFL as a scout and a personnel executive with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. “Leadership — not good. Study habits — not good. The board work — below not good.”
“Not good at all in any of those areas, raising major concerns about what this guy is going to do,” Casserly continued. He added that Murray “better hope” Arizona Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose team has the No. 1 pick and who asserted last fall that he would use just such a selection on the ex-Sooner, follows through on that, “because this was not good.”
Experience aside, what Casserly did was basically call the man “dumb.” The comments are odd, ill-timed, classless, unnecessary and definitely shady.
Since choosing the NFL over Major League Baseball, Murray’s name has been mentioned by numerous insiders as the probable first pick of the Arizona Cardinals. His NFL combine appearance was highly anticipated, but all he did was measure his height and weight. That was enough for him to hold down his position.
Cassely’s scathing comments sent the Twittersphere into a frenzy and pissed off Murray’s college coach, Lincoln Riley.
Maybe Casserly doesn’t like the way Murray played the two pro sports against each other and didn’t immediately commit to football. Despite his track record, like Polian, he’s definitely not in line with the millennial mode of thinking.
Good ole’ Charley is from the days when drop-back quarterbacks in the mold of Peyton Manning and Dan Marino ruled the land. A time when Black starting quarterbacks were basically nonexistent, probably because of the same kind of bigoted and unfounded evaluations that Casserly has chosen to taint Murray’s impressive draft rise with.
Like Mel Kiper said: “1o years ago Kyler Murray would be a slot receiver or a fifth-round draft pick at QB.”
Now that he’s opened up the can of worms, Casserly needs to put a name to those cowardly comments. But he won’t.
Whoever said it definitely seems to have an “agenda” and Casserly is in on it, spreading what most fans of the diminutive quarterback would call straight propaganda.
Last year’ No. 1 pick, Baker Mayfield, was seen on video drunk, running from cops and falling flat on his face. Mayfield also grabbed his jock on national TV after a college game. It didn’t stop him from winning the Heisman and no one questioned his leadership ability. Especially not the Cleveland Browns, who selected him first in a draft that was lauded for its quarterback talent.
We don’t know how Kyler’s NFL gamble will turn out, but we do know that he’s not stupid.
We also know that some answers or a performance at the NFL combine shouldn’t totally change the perception of whether or not a college superstar and once-in a-generation athlete can excel at the next level.