Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine that he’s “been getting ready to put on a show here.”
He did just that this morning, running a pair of sub-5.0 second 40s at nearly 300 pounds. The question now becomes, would it qualify as a show he wants to watch?
While Floyd’s ability to rush the passer and his athletic talent will make him a high pick, he raised more than a few eyebrows during his media interviews, when he admitted he wasn’t much of a football fan.
Asked the fairly standard question of which player he modeled his game after, Floyd replied: “I haven’t really watched the league in a long time. I first started watching it in 2007, but I did get to know Ndamukong Suh in 2010 so we have a good relationship and I’ve watched him play a couple of times.”
That’s right, a possible Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft only started watching football six years ago. And it’s not as if he’s one of the foreign-born players from a land where football wasn’t readily available around the clock. He grew up in Philadelphia, a place where there seems to be some degree of interest in the NFL.
Asked to elaborate on the fact he didn’t watch football until recently, Floyd said “The first game I ever watched was the Super Bowl when the Colts won it in 2007.”
“It wasn’t that there was no interest, I just didn’t know nothing about it, so there was no reason to watch it,” he continued. “Even when I started playing there was no interest in watching it because I liked to play it instead of sitting down and being still and watching a game while all my friends were jumping around and getting excited for no reason.
“It just wasn’t a preference of mine, but now it is so I watch it and play it now.”
Asked what he was watching instead, Floyd talked about the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.
Don’t get me wrong, as the parent of young children, there’s a good bit of Looney Toons on hand in my home as well. And away from work, I respect people who are well-rounded, and can talk about something other than football.
But a team is about to invest millions of dollars in a man who may or may not like the game he’s about to turn into a career.
We know he’s motivated now, having trained specifically for the Combine to put on the kind of show that would boost his draft stock and make him financially secure.
But how motivated will he be come the dog days of training camp, or a Wednesday practice in November when his team might be out of the playoff hunt?
Will he be watching film of his next opponent, or catching up on That’s So Raven re-runs?
It’s possible to be great at football without being absorbed by it, but it’s probably not the kind of thing you want to admit at a job interview, either.