A vast majority of all communication in the NFL happens behind closed doors. Players and coaches are well-rehearsed in the fine art of saying enough without really saying anything of note.
It’s the unusual circumstances when, in a moment of weakness or bravado, a player actually shares a nugget of truth, directed at another team. This is commonly referred to as “bulletin board material,” and that player is shunned to some degree behind closed doors.
Until I talked to receiver Donte Stallworth this morning, I wasn’t aware to what degree.
When asked if the offense was keying in on any Rams defender in particular, Stallworth responded (jokingly):
“I don’t know if I’ll give that information away,” he said with a big smile. “I might get in trouble, fined, beat up…”
Personally speaking, I’m glad that corporal punishment isn’t used in the Web department.
And then, like any good player, Stallworth retreated into the fog of vague answers that players are required to give.
“Like any defense, y’know, there’s hole in their defense, just like with us,” he recited. “They’re going to see things on film that they feel they can exploit and it’s just a chess match–that’s the name of the game. We just have to be on top of our game and take care of us. I think that if we can do that, stay away from the penalties, and the third-and-longs, I think we’ll be okay.”
For the record, Stallworth is a good guy and a great interview. He just wasn’t going to touch that question with a 10-foot pole.