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Javon Walker recently joined an increasing chorus of athletes who have proclaimed, "I want the ball". The vast majority of the time they are roundly criticized as being selfish etc. Here's what Javon said:

Walker wants more attention in the offense, according to the Denver Post. "I'll just say it: Give me the ball, I want the ball," Walker said. "I don't think I've been as big a part of the offense as I can be. But I'm just part of it. This isn't complaining or saying I'm unhappy."


So, should Javon be criticized for this statement? Is it selfish? Why can't it be interpreted that the player wants to do more in contributing to team success? Why can't these statements have a positive connotation?

© MBM

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quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Javon Walker recently joined an increasing chorus of athletes who have proclaimed, "I want the ball". The vast majority of the time they are roundly criticized as being selfish etc. Here's what Javon said:

Walker wants more attention in the offense, according to the Denver Post. "I'll just say it: Give me the ball, I want the ball," Walker said. "I don't think I've been as big a part of the offense as I can be. But I'm just part of it. This isn't complaining or saying I'm unhappy."


So, should Javon be criticized for this statement? Is it selfish? Why can't it be interpreted that the player wants to do more in contributing to team success? Why can't these statements have a positive connotation?


Interesting situation. To me, this is where the manager, or coach makes his money--managing the egos on your team. There is no equality in professional team sports. Any team salary list will tell you that. Pro sports are about "Ws" and the "Ls".

Terrell Owens is a team chemistry killer, true enough. But on Sundays at 1 p.m. he is a straight killer on that field and most coaches would love to have him. When he's no longer effective, they won't put up with his antics and he'll be cut 30 seconds after that. Whereas a team guy, may stick around, perhaps play an extra year or so in some diminished role, because he's been a "clubhouse" type guy.

"Criticism" is a separate issue, and has to be looked at, well, critically. I have a BSJ in Journalism and interned, right out of college, for a major metro daily and saw a lot of pro sports up close (mid 80s). I saw the interrrelation between pro athletes (mostly black) and sports media (mostly white.)

I'm not one to see every issue as black/white, but it is what it is. There are a lot of maimstream sports reporters who are 40, 45+ year old white men (complete with outlooks from the era in which they grew up) who need to follow around 20, 25+ year old multi-millionaire black men and ask them for interviews. That's a power dynamic that rest with the athlete. Some of these reporters I think are jaded and think "if you couldn't hit that 20-ft. jumper consistently, you'd be pumping gas in my car."

I think this attitude comes out sometimes in the "intensity" of the coverage, particularly whan an AfAm athlete runs afoul of the law. And that's no defense of the athlete. stupid behavior is stupid behavior, but I think there can sometimes be a "relish" on the part of the sports media in reporting this, and in their coverage of the "I want the ball" type statement.

T. Owens is in his own category; he brings a lot of it on himself. Others, it's a dicey call. Walker, to my knowledge, has never had that rep, so we'll see how intense the media get with him.

At the college level and below, where you teaching teamwork and cammaraderie, this "I Want the Ball" mentality doesn't work so well, IMO.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
So, should Javon be criticized for this statement? Is it selfish? Why can't it be interpreted that the player wants to do more in contributing to team success? Why can't these statements have a positive connotation?


I don't see a problem with Javon's statement. I believe it's sentiments like that which make an athlete good enough to play at the professional level and therefore should be expected.

I also think he's probably right and that too many coaches have their heads stuck in their playbooks and don't recognize where individual talent should be placed and used at all times during a game.
Let me get this straight... Javon Walker plays for the Denver Broncos, right? The same Denver team that is 5-1, right? The team that has not allowed more than 2 touchdowns the whole season, right? What makes him think that he is so important that he needs to get the ball more?? I could understand, maybe, if they were losing, but they are winning... He came from a team that is 2-4 right now, from a team that has been on a downward slide for a few years (Packers)... and he is complaining?? He should STFU, count his blessings and stop being a little bitch... It's a long season...
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
I don't see a problem with Javon's statement. I believe it's sentiments like that which make an athlete good enough to play at the professional level and therefore should be expected.
Pro level atheletes do not get there via sentiments... they get there through hard work, study of the game and mental fortitude... No truly great athelete has ever made the kind of statements that he has expressed... Walter Payton - nope... Barry Sanders - nope... Jim Brown - nope... OJ Simpson - nope... Lynn Swann - nope... Emmit Smith - nope... They all knew the value of teamwork...

quote:
I also think he's probably right and that too many coaches have their heads stuck in their playbooks and don't recognize where individual talent should be placed and used at all times during a game.
Individuals do not win championships... Teams do... Individuals make great plays but they do not win on their own... only a team can do that...
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
Let me get this straight... Javon Walker plays for the Denver Broncos, right? The same Denver team that is 5-1, right? The team that has not allowed more than 2 touchdowns the whole season, right? What makes him think that he is so important that he needs to get the ball more?? I could understand, maybe, if they were losing, but they are winning... He came from a team that is 2-4 right now, from a team that has been on a downward slide for a few years (Packers)... and he is complaining?? He should STFU, count his blessings and stop being a little bitch... It's a long season...


ohsnap Eek Eek ohsnap Eek Eek ohsnap

quote:
Pro level atheletes do not get there via sentiments... they get there through hard work, study of the game and mental fortitude... No truly great athelete has ever made the kind of statements that he has expressed... Walter Payton - nope... Barry Sanders - nope... Jim Brown - nope... OJ Simpson - nope... Lynn Swann - nope... Emmit Smith - nope... They all knew the value of teamwork...


I was right with you until you got to Mr. Emmitt "I'm a diamond amongst trash" big, blown-up head the size of Texas, Smith!! Other than that .... er ... him, I agree with you 100%!!

quote:
Individuals do not win championships... Teams do... Individuals make great plays but they do not win on their own... only a team can do that...


While I agree with this, too ... there are instances where great plays and players can tremendously help win games and/or championships. Marcus Allen, during his best, Hall of Fame stat-making years was made to sit the bench in favor of Bo Jackson (who could only play half the year due to his pro-baseball commitment) because he was sitting in Al Davis' dog house. His best, prime years were wasted ... long with hundreds of total yards, TDs, and points!

While there's no way to tell how many more championships the Raiders might have won had he been allowed to play, they dang sure didn't win any while he was on punishment!! But KC did just that when he went there and his talent was utilized. Go figure. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
The Broncos are barely scoring 17 pts. a game. Their offense doesn't exactly move up and down the field at will. With the strong run game they have, most teams are ripe for play action passes. And who better to get the ball to than your speedster WR.
A win is registered when you outscore your opponent... It does not matter by how much... To this point, they have not needed him as much as he says they do...

The point is this, if your team is winning, you don't have much to complain about... especially if you came from a situation where despite the fact that the team sucked and despite your tremendous talent, the team/management did not want you... STFU and count your blessings...

He should really evaluate why he was not wanted... was it because he was skills were slipping or because of his attitude?
Why is it seemingly OK in the business world for people to "go for theirs"? It's the exact same "team" environment - perhaps even more so than professional sports. It's OK for business people to change jobs, politic for the next position, network, etc., etc., etc. Heck, if someone quits and starts a directly competitive company they are often applauded as being entrepreneurial and real "go getters". Why the double standard? Why should these employees (professional athletes) be any less committed to maximizing their earning potential than those in other businesses who are encouraged to do so?

Second, professional athletes get paid not on wins as much as on their personal performance. How else is someone like Javon going to meet his performance requirements, make his bonuses etc., if he doesn't "get the ball"? Believe this - if the team wins the Super Bowl but Javon doesn't meet his numbers - the team is happy but Javon gets fired!
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
While I agree with this, too ... there are instances where great plays and players can tremendously help win games and/or championships. Marcus Allen, during his best, Hall of Fame stat-making years was made to sit the bench in favor of Bo Jackson (who could only play half the year due to his pro-baseball commitment) because he was sitting in Al Davis' dog house. His best, prime years were wasted ... long with hundreds of total yards, TDs, and points!
I don't think that is quite accurate... M.A. is in the hall of fame... Period... So his best years were not wasted...

He didn't sit on the bench when Bo was playing baseball, right? Aside from that, I'm not sure you have much of an argument for sitting M.A., near the end of his career, for the likes of Bo J... Bo was a beast... He had just aboout all the skills that M.A. had and was much bigger and stronger...

quote:
While there's no way to tell how many more championships the Raiders might have won had he been allowed to play, they dang sure didn't win any while he was on punishment!! But KC did just that when he went there and his talent was utilized. Go figure. Roll Eyes
Your right, there is no way to tell... Just like there is no way to tell what they would have done had Bo Jackson's career not been cut short... K.C. did not win much of anything with M.A. and Joe Montana!!
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
I don't think that is quite accurate... M.A. is in the hall of fame... Period... So his best years were not wasted...

He didn't sit on the bench when Bo was playing baseball, right? Aside from that, I'm not sure you have much of an argument for sitting M.A., near the end of his career, for the likes of Bo J... Bo was a beast... He had just aboout all the skills that M.A. had and was much bigger and stronger...


Not to be picky ... but, most of what you're saying is not accurate. Yes, he did sit the bench quite often while Bo was playing baseball!! The Raiders opted for a non-existent passing attack during that time which was quite ugly! Eek

And yes Bo was a beast, but not nearly as talented. Bigger and stronger, but not nearly as intuitive and smart. And hmmm ... who's wearing a HOF jacket (in either sport)? Confused

Lastly, as far as the end of the career thing goes, Marcus rushed for 3698 yards on 601 attempts from '93 to '97 (his K.C. years) and 2394 on 932 attempts from '88-'92. (Granted, he was hurt for half a season one of those years). Still, his "best" years would have to be those where he was younger and stronger (28-32 y/o) than those where he was older and slowed down (33-37 y/o). So, yes, I still say he was benched during his prime in favor of Bo, his talent was wasted, and despite a stellar career that still landed him in the HOF, his numbers were immeasureably reduced by the fact that Davis' hatefulness limited his ability to be even better than he was. Mad

quote:
Your right, there is no way to tell... Just like there is no way to tell what they would have done had Bo Jackson's career not been cut short... K.C. did not win much of anything with M.A. and Joe Montana!!


Marcus spent 5 years with K.C. The never had a losing season while he was there. They were #1 in their division 3 of those 5 years and were #2 the other two. They went to the playoffs 4 out of those 5 years as well. By contrast, the Raiders had 1 playoff appearance (1993) had 2 winning seasons, 2 losing seasons, 1 tie (8-8) and placed last in their division 3 out of those 5 years.

And I loved every minute of it! Smile
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Not to be picky ... but, most of what you're saying is not accurate. Yes, he did sit the bench quite often while Bo was playing baseball!! The Raiders opted for a non-existent passing attack during that time which was quite ugly! Eek

And yes Bo was a beast, but not nearly as talented. Bigger and stronger, but not nearly as intuitive and smart. And hmmm ... who's wearing a HOF jacket (in either sport)? Confused
Picky?? You?? Never!!!

The only reason Bo does not have a HOF jacket, in both sports, was because his career was cut short by a freak injury...

quote:
Lastly, as far as the end of the career thing goes, Marcus rushed for 3698 yards on 601 attempts from '93 to '97 (his K.C. years) and 2394 on 932 attempts from '88-'92. (Granted, he was hurt for half a season one of those years). Still, his "best" years would have to be those where he was younger and stronger (28-32 y/o) than those where he was older and slowed down (33-37 y/o). So, yes, I still say he was benched during his prime in favor of Bo, his talent was wasted, and despite a stellar career that still landed him in the HOF, his numbers were immeasureably reduced by the fact that Davis' hatefulness limited his ability to be even better than he was.


So your saying that he had 331 more attempts in his last 4 yrs w/da raiders than he did with K.C. in the same time frame?? That doesn't sound like someone who was "riding the pine" to me... He gained more yards w/K.C. because they had a much better offense... maybe they (da raiders) extended his career by "playing him less"...

quote:
Marcus spent 5 years with K.C. The never had a losing season while he was there. They were #1 in their division 3 of those 5 years and were #2 the other two. They went to the playoffs 4 out of those 5 years as well. By contrast, the Raiders had 1 playoff appearance (1993) had 2 winning seasons, 2 losing seasons, 1 tie (8-8) and placed last in their division 3 out of those 5 years.

And I loved every minute of it! Smile
K.C. didn't have a losing season but they didn't win shit either...

I guess the point is that he did not do it by himself... nor did he go to the press and say I need the ball more... He took it to the coaches and ownership and said "play me or let me go"...
AG - did you catch this post?

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Why is it seemingly OK in the business world for people to "go for theirs"? It's the exact same "team" environment - perhaps even more so than professional sports. It's OK for business people to change jobs, politic for the next position, network, etc., etc., etc. Heck, if someone quits and starts a directly competitive company they are often applauded as being entrepreneurial and real "go getters". Why the double standard? Why should these employees (professional athletes) be any less committed to maximizing their earning potential than those in other businesses who are encouraged to do so?

Second, professional athletes get paid not on wins as much as on their personal performance. How else is someone like Javon going to meet his performance requirements, make his bonuses etc., if he doesn't "get the ball"? Believe this - if the team wins the Super Bowl but Javon doesn't meet his numbers - the team is happy but Javon gets fired!
MBM, I don't have a problem with anyone "going for theirs"... What I have a problem with is doing it in the press... When was the last time you heard some CEO complain in the press about how he/she is being treated unfairly? About how his team mates don't give him/her a chance to shine?? Javon should pull "Jake the Snake" aside and say: "Hey, I'm open!!" "... look for me on this play, this guy can't cover me..." "... on this play I'm gonna do this, be ready..." Maybe he should give the off. linemen a kick in the butt for not blocking like they should so the QB would have time to see him...

Going to the press is not gonna make them throw him the ball... In fact, it usually has the opposite effect... It usually creates animosity between him and his other team mates... and besides, no one wants to hear some crying, bitch-ass, millionare complain...

Football, as you well know, is a team sport, no one does it by themselves...

Do you really think that they are now going to throw him the ball just because he said it in a newspaper?? I don't think so, but we'll see...
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
I guess the point is that he did not do it by himself... nor did he go to the press and say I need the ball more... He took it to the coaches and ownership and said "play me or let me go"...


I agree! tfro

(And for the record, I mistyped ... his '88-'92 attempts should have read 538! Sorry! Smile)
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
I agree! tfro
Mark this day on your calender... As it is the start of the apocalypse!!!

quote:
(And for the record, I mistyped ... his 88-92 attempts should have read 538! Sorry! Smile)
601-538=63... not that significant... especially if he was hurt for half a season...

Admit it ER, you didn't like Bo because he was not as cute a M.A.!!! Razz
AG, reading this article:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2639109

It appears that Shanahan does want more offensive production. So perhaps a STFU is not in order for Walker. Maybe a GO SIT DOWN!!! is in order for Plummer, since he can't get Walker the ball much.

quote:
...
This season, it's offense that worries Shanahan. Jake Plummer has generated only seven touchdown drives in 69 possessions. While Plummer has the complete support of Shanahan, fans are calling for a quarterback change. Plummer's problem has been starting slowly. His first-quarter passing statistics have been virtually nonexistent. One of Shanahan's formulas for success is getting a lead and letting the defense pressure opposing quarterbacks...
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
... It appears that Shanahan does want more offensive production. So perhaps a STFU is not in order for Walker. Maybe a GO SIT DOWN!!! is in order for Plummer, since he can't get Walker the ball much.
Clearly, that article was speculation on the part of John Clayton... He did not quote Shanahan, he stated what he (clayton) thought... Do you really believe that if Shanahan had a problem w/Plummer, who has been the same QB for a number of years, that he would keep him???

No coach makes drastic changes if they are winning...

Walker should STFU...
I noticed they "used" Walker more vs the Steelers. Walker dropped a td pass. Very next play, they go right back to him, and he scores.

The game has changed drastically. Out of 70yrs of Heisman trophy's, there are only 2 recievers that can say that they've had the honors. The vast majority (about 80-90%) were running backs, with the trend swinging towards OVERRATED QB's now. How does this impact the NFL, well... it doesn't, but it should shed some light on the wide reciever mentality. They are spread out, almost on an island, working there butts off, and for the most part getting very little credit for it... 'historically'.

Back when I was a younger pup, there was a thing called a 'go-to' reciever, QB/WR relationships that had you glued to the screen. Very seldom seen these days.

So...
I think it's the COACHES who are selfish these days, they make it about THEM and there playbook, taking the LIFE out of teams. And by LIFE I mean, identity, personality, character, "TEAM SPIRIT"(<--we love spouting that one).

My favorite example it Cincy's coach what's-his-face. WHY DOESN'T HE GIVE CHAD JOHNSON (OCHO CINCO) THE BALL?

WHY ISN'T THERE A PALMER/JOHNSON POWERPUNCH?

If I were Chad Johnson, I'd be on my hands and knees, IN THE MEDIA, begging to be traded.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:

I noticed they "used" Walker more vs the Steelers. Walker dropped a td pass. Very next play, they go right back to him, and he scores.

The game has changed drastically. Out of 70yrs of Heisman trophy's, there are only 2 recievers that can say that they've had the honors. The vast majority (about 80-90%) were running backs, with the trend swinging towards OVERRATED QB's now. How does this impact the NFL, well... it doesn't, but it should shed some light on the wide reciever mentality. They are spread out, almost on an island, working there butts off, and for the most part getting very little credit for it... 'historically'.

Back when I was a younger pup, there was a thing called a 'go-to' reciever, QB/WR relationships that had you glued to the screen. Very seldom seen these days.

So...
I think it's the COACHES who are selfish these days, they make it about THEM and there playbook, taking the LIFE out of teams. And by LIFE I mean, identity, personality, character, "TEAM SPIRIT"(<--we love spouting that one).

My favorite example it Cincy's coach what's-his-face. WHY DOESN'T HE GIVE CHAD JOHNSON (OCHO CINCO) THE BALL?

WHY ISN'T THERE A PALMER/JOHNSON POWERPUNCH?

If I were Chad Johnson, I'd be on my hands and knees, IN THE MEDIA, begging to be traded.


appl yeah
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:


My favorite example it Cincy's coach what's-his-face. WHY DOESN'T HE GIVE CHAD JOHNSON (OCHO CINCO) THE BALL?

WHY ISN'T THERE A PALMER/JOHNSON POWERPUNCH?

If I were Chad Johnson, I'd be on my hands and knees, IN THE MEDIA, begging to be traded.


Why?

I love Chad and get a kick out of his "lists" and the hype he brings, but let's face it, dude needs to work harder to on getting open with his routes. IMO, he's not been the same since he got "blown up" at the end of the Cleveland game (week 2).

Offensive line injury/inconsistency haven't given Palmer time to get comfortable going down field, (and Palmer's own jitters about his knee add to it). Despite all this, TJ Houszmendadah (on my fantasy football team) has done alright.

Ocho-Cino is my boy, but dude needs to look in the mirror before hollering at Marv.
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
Chad is their best route runner. Carson Palmer recently said that his reconstructed knee makes throwing the intermediate ball (where great route runners excel) accurately difficult. Cincy's O is inconsistent from top to bottom.


I spoke to CJ's consistency, not his ability. I've seen all their games (except New England) and dude isn't always on form. Maybe it's injury, but he's been imprecise, on the field.

You're right about Palmer, his ball is sailing. As I said earlier, their offensive problems, IMO, stem from their offensive line injuries. Chad is frustrated becuase he's not getting as many balls; some of that is on the O, and some of that is on CJ. Despite all this, TJ Houzmendada, and Chris Henry are still getting targeted, and managing to get open so it can't all be the offense.

Trust, nobody wants to see Chad back on his game, housing people and dancing in the endzone more than me. But Ocho-cinco has to carry his share on this.
quote:
TJ Houzmendada, and Chris Henry are still getting targeted, and managing to get open so it can't all be the offense.


I'm sure you're aware that TJ and Chris are getting open because teams are focusing on Chad. Chad is a Top threat, wouldn't you agree? Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have a consumate QB/WR relationship, hence the reason they are #1 in red zone offense.

The idea of a QB/WR relationship is to exploit coverages. For instance if the receiver is on an out route, and the DB is playing to the receivers route, waiting/daring the QB to throw it, that reciever is going to appear to be covered, especially seeing as how you have about a few sec per receiver (TOPS) to figure out if they are open or not. Peyton/Harrison have a communication that allows them to change the play at the line, when a DB has taken away a route.

I believe the reason they are able to do this is because Peyton has established Marvin as his go-to guy. Yes he spreads the ball around, but clearly Marvin Harrison is his bread/butter/meat/and potatoes.

Besides, you have to have confidence in your receiver; Enough to throw him the ball even if it doesn't look like there open. This is what T.O. tells Bono, and I agree.

For a sec here, let's forget about the route, forget about the QB, and change the Wide Receivers position to "Go-get-it!". Just throw the ball, what the "go-get-it" catch the ball, and watch what he does after the catch.
Just a tid bit of info...

There were seven DB's chosen in the 1st round of the NFL draft. Only 1 WR.

So if you don't think a guy who is a threat at the receiver position has an argument, I don't know what type of football you've been watching.

What's your analysis? I feel like teams were preparing for the Steve Smiths, Chad Johnsons, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrisons... Or let's call them "I want the ball"
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
TJ Houzmendada, and Chris Henry are still getting targeted, and managing to get open so it can't all be the offense.


I'm sure you're aware that TJ and Chris are getting open because teams are focusing on Chad. Chad is a Top threat, wouldn't you agree? Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have a consumate QB/WR relationship, hence the reason they are #1 in red zone offense.

The idea of a QB/WR relationship is to exploit coverages. For instance if the receiver is on an out route, and the DB is playing to the receivers route, waiting/daring the QB to throw it, that reciever is going to appear to be covered, especially seeing as how you have about a few sec per receiver (TOPS) to figure out if they are open or not. Peyton/Harrison have a communication that allows them to change the play at the line, when a DB has taken away a route.

I believe the reason they are able to do this is because Peyton has established Marvin as his go-to guy. Yes he spreads the ball around, but clearly Marvin Harrison is his bread/butter/meat/and potatoes.

Besides, you have to have confidence in your receiver; Enough to throw him the ball even if it doesn't look like there open. This is what T.O. tells Bono, and I agree.

For a sec here, let's forget about the route, forget about the QB, and change the Wide Receivers position to "Go-get-it!". Just throw the ball, what the "go-get-it" catch the ball, and watch what he does after the catch.


I see the your point, I just don't think it's as valid now as it was at the season's outset. CJ, coming into the season was the #1 guy, the guy D. coordinators had to account for. But, as you know, over the course of a season things -usually injuries- change things, somethimes dramatically. I've already stipulated that the O line problems, and Palmer's lack of confidence (knee) are issues, (maybe you don't agree). That being said, ALL the receivers are suffering under this same burdens. I don't think CJ's lack of production can solely be laid at the feet of double coverage. Because as the season has gone on, TJ and even Chris are seeing double coverages as well. (partly because Palmer is looking for them more)

TJ has supplanted CJ as Palmer's #1 guy, and I think that's bothering CJ. The way to change it? Showcase "again" the superior talent you have over TJ. That's what Chad isn't doing, because of frustration, or whatever. But he's a pro and has to get over that. The squad is 4-4 and in the middle of a dogfight. Now ain't the time to be holding dude's hand.

and I say all this as a huge CJ fan.

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