I avoid reading Q&A’s with athletes as much as possible, because I usually find them pretty light on content — I’m not that interested in anyone’s favorite color (outside of possible my girlfriend, love you honey, I know you hate pink), so I’m not that eager to read an athlete’s take on the subject.
But this North County Times piece made for good reading.
The NFL Draft is a risk/reward comparison between at least 250 athletes. The risk comes in the form of overrated skills; inability to adjust to a fast, more complex game; lack of diligence, both in preparation and on game day; off-field distractions (for too many reasons to go into); etc. The reward can come in a variety of forms, too: superior skills to peers in the League might be the most obvious reward of a good choice, but other rewards might include diligent and intelligent preparation; attitude; translation of skills to consistent performance; etc.
I’ve said before that I liked the Chargers’ draft class this year (even if not their draft strategy, generally). Molk is one example. He may lack the physical attributes of a world-class center. But he may add value to the roster in other areas, including preparation (nutritionally and in workouts, to name two cited in the article); diligence; and, competitiveness. A team that has received criticism for its lack of preparation in the past can only hope that Molk’s habits infect the rest of the Chargers. Molk’s competitiveness and confidence also suggest that he will be more prepared to step into the game than other backup offensive linemen, and possibly overcome whatever physical shortcomings he might have. Molk has to be a good bet to stick on the roster and contribute something to the team.
Weighing intangibles against game film and measurables is no easy task. It can be hard to say when a player becomes a valuable selection for the former, in spite of shortcomings in the latter. But, given the Chargers’ perceived shortcomings in the areas in which Molk excels, he was a great pickup in the 7th Round.
Update: Molk may be interested to find out that his Safeway-brand ketchup can be found at a grocery store chain called “Vons” in Southern California.