Mallet wouldn’t know whether he passed the Combine drug test

One thing I learned in the day job that I finally quit it (after receiving consistent advice not to) is that, when it come to credibility of a witness, the devil often resides in the details.

In many situations, then, the only way to get to the truth is to focus on irregularities regarding an issue that seems to be collateral to the real question, but in reality isn’t.

In the case of the reported drug rumors that have been plaguing former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, Dan Patrick was firing off (respectfully but pointedly) a host of questions regarding the topic during Wednesday’s show.

At one point, Dan got very specific:  “Did you pass the drug test at the Combine?

Mallett didn’t hesitate.  “Yes sir,” he said.

There’s a problem with that answer.  The same source who told us nine days ago that Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy wouldn’t know so quickly that he scored a 48 on the Wonderlic test tells us that Mallett doesn’t yet know whether he passed the drug test.

Players who fail the drug test find out about it in April.  Less than two weeks removed from peeing in a cup with 300-plus other incoming rookies and having the contents subjected to testing and analysis and confirmation testing if a preliminary positive is generated, there’s no way Mallett or any other player has received an affirmative “all clear.”

Of course, Mallett may say that he was merely expressing confidence in the ultimate outcome and not representing that he has learned he supplied clean urine.  In context, however, Dan was asking a specific question, and the most accurate answer would have been, “I don’t know the result yet, but I’m confident I did.”

We’re willing to give Mallett the benefit of the doubt in this regard, even though the context suggests a direct question that contemplated a direct answer, and the direct answer strongly implied that Mallett already knows he passed the test.  Still, we came away from listening to the interview believing that Mallett knows he passed the test, and the truth is he simply doesn’t, yet.

That said, a negative outcome to a known test doesn’t constitute conclusive proof of residence in the Sober Valley Lodge.  Instead, the players who test positive at the Scouting Combine are regarded as guys who have a real problem — or who are really, really dumb.

UPDATE:  Those of you who think Mallett clearly was saying that he believes he passed the test and not declaring that he has received word he passed it, listen to the entire interview and consider the context.  The only answers to the question of whether or not someone passed any test are:  (1) yes; (2) no; and (3) I haven’t gotten the results yet.  When Mallett said, “Yes sir,” he strongly implied that he has gotten the results.  Our point is that he hasn’t gotten the results.  Intentionally or not, his response to the question suggests otherwise.

47 responses to “Mallet wouldn’t know whether he passed the Combine drug test

  1. This kid. Jeez.

    He could throw the ball out of the stadium, and be high enough to catch it.

  2. Ease off the young man. I like that he was showing confidence in his answer – not needing to get the results back to know that he has passed, but knowing he passed because he hasn’t been using drugs for some time now.

    Getting negative feedback for passing a drug test, C’MON MAN!!!

  3. If he didn’t do anything illegal street drugs he would know he was clean.

    The question would then become did he take anything similar to star caps or any other substances that may be ok in college but banned in the NFL.

  4. It’s not too late to return to your day job, so please do us all a favor and go back to being a lawyer…where nonsensical, double speak drivel like this post is not just acceptable, but the norm.

    Are you serious?

  5. If I took a drug test today, and someone asked me if I passed, I wouldn’t say, “I don’t know the results of the test yet, but I’m confident that I’ll pass.” I would say “yes”.

  6. This is the nuttiest thing I’ve read in some time. If I am asked did I past the drug test I would definitely say “no sir”. Why wouldn’t I, I don’t take drugs and I don’t see how in the world drugs would be in my system. There are times when we look to deep to see things that are not really there. Picking on Mallet (like him or not) is getting out of hand.

  7. Not to split hairs, but if someone asked me that same question, and I knew that I’d not been taking illegal substances, I would have answered, “Yes Sir” as well.

    To date, it is ALL rumors. He never failed a test at Arkansas. I will agree that there are a lot…a LOT of rumors out there and clearly there are some maturity issues, but be careful about condemning him for the things he has NOT been proven guilty of. The NFL should include hair testing in the next CBA with the right to terminate services and recoup the draft pick the following year for anyone popping positive at any time the first year.

  8. And if he parses he words then its “Why is Mallett parsing his words. Why didn’t he answer yes or no? What is he hiding”

  9. If somebody asked me if I passed a drug test, I would say “Yes” even if I hadn’t heard the official result because I would know that I passed it. I wouldn’t be “confident,” I would know. This guy might be the biggest loser in the world but his response to this question isn’t evidence against him.

  10. How about giving the kid the benefit of the doubt? He may have answered that quickly because he knew without a doubt that he had not taken any drugs – at least not recently.

    Not everything is some conspiracy.

  11. wouldn’t the fact that he knows whether or not he’s had any drugs in his system in the last month or so be enough of a reason for him to feel confident about passing the test?

  12. Let him and Locker drop to the 2nd round for us in the draft, I love it….GO CAM NEWTON, GO BLAINE!!!! lmao

  13. You say this is the best answer:

    “I don’t know the result yet, but I’m confident I did.”

    How about?

    “There is no reason to I would fail the drug test”

    Either way, I still think that he at least some point in his life used drugs, but this looks like a megareach.

  14. I think there is a problem if the question was asked and he responded with I’m not sure or I don’t know. Anyone who takes a urinalysis and doesn’t do drugs or has quit doing drugs would answer with yes….So by your logic anyone in the combine that does not have a prior drug history and being asked the same question and answering it with yes I passed (obviously if you don’t do drugs you don’t need to wait for the results to know the outcome) should be scrutinized for being shady?
    Basically this topic is a waste of space.

  15. All of the times I have taken a drug test, whether for sports or business, there has been an instant result- the test panels turning either blue or red, that is subject to lab review before a final result is issued.

    Depending on the policies of the testing agency, they may or may not tell you what the instant read was. I have had it go both ways.

    So while it is technically true that the players get their OFFICIAL results in April, it is possible that the tech who administered Mallet’s test gave him a thumb’s up when he looked at the test panels and saw no positive results.

    And it is entirely possible that Mallet, who appears to be dumber than a box of hammers, thought that meant he was in the clear.

    So I would be careful jumping to the conclusion that Mallet lied.

  16. If you know you haven’t done anything wrong, then you know you passed the test. It’s that easy! You don’t need somebody to tell you that you passed when you already know that you passed.

  17. so now you’re knocking a kid for not clarifying the context of a poorly asked question? he answers yes, presumably because he personally knows he has no reason to fail it. someone either is fishing for a story, or can’t put together the right one in the first place

  18. I think that we will find that he was under the influence of lard when he ran his forty.

  19. I hope he isn’t stupid enough to smoke a joint since his Bowl game. But even if he did, who cares? Warren Sapp turned out Okay.

  20. So if the media asks this question and he says “no comment they get pissed and demand a yes or no answer

    In this case they get a “yes” and still are pissed

  21. I didn’t read any of the comments so this was probably said. If you don’t do drugs you know you passed. Simple. And if he would have said he didn’t know if he passed it yet, the media would have been all over him for “not knowing”. OOOh, he don’t know, why don’t he know? If he’s not using drugs he should know etc…

  22. tigerhawkeye says:
    Mar 9, 2011 3:11 PM
    From one attorney to another, an incredibly accurate yet spontaneous answer suggests coaching, not honesty.

    Only because honesty is a foreign concept to most attorneys.

  23. Wow you guys seem to like this kid. People are lining up to defend him.

    If someone asked me if I had passed a drugs test I wouldnt say yes unless I had been informed of the results. I would say “I havent touched any drugs so I will pass but the test is still processing.” Anything else makes you sound like a liar (or at best that you have been coached to respond that way) because he hasnt passed anything yet.

  24. So you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but you still publish this piece? Had he said he wasn’t sure but confident he did pass that would’ve equally as damning.

  25. I would know that I passed the combine drug test — unless it tests for Diet Pepsi or Oreos.

  26. a player that hasn’t done drugs could confidently say ‘yes, i passed the drug test’ because they would know that they hadn’t ingested any drugs and there would be no reason for them to fail the test. yes the wording of his answer could have been better but i am sure at this point mallett just wants all of this drug talk to be behind him and so he doesn’t want to leave any doubt. alternatively, if he would have answered ‘i don’t know yet but am confident that i passed’ media hounds like yourself would be all over the comment, saying it leads one to believe that he had done drugs in the past but was confident/hoped that he got them out of his system in time to take the drug test.

  27. he would be crucified had he not answered definitively. the media already attempted that when he said he wouldn’t talk about the drug rumors because he was talking with the teams about it. maybe the next time before ryan speaks he should ask them media what mood they’re in and whether they want him to answer the questions or not.

  28. Honestly, I think these drug rumors that Condon started are good for Mallett, in a way. Everyone seems to be talking about him now, and his combine and pro day throwing has probably vaulted him back into the upper first round.

    On the subject of his answer…as many people have said, if I knew I was clean when I took the test, I would answer yes as well, not “well, I’m not sure, but I think so” or whatever.

    The kids going to be a star in the NFL. In two years, no one will remember any of this drug rumor nonsense.

  29. Re: Your update….

    So I suppose someone obtaining results that they are normally not supposed to have access to is impossible?

    And if somehow his agent got these results it would be the first time in the history of the world that an agent had paid someone for inside info?

    OK, got it…thanks for clearing this up and thanks even more for issuing your ruling on the only 3 acceptable answers to the question..

  30. Mallet just has weak intelligence, I mean clearly from the evidence of what we know about the guy and various things he has said and done, he’s just a stupid man. But that’s all this indicates, not necessarily can anything else be read into this other than his clearly low intelligence level. But you don’t have to be smart to succeed in the NFL although it certainly helps, and being dumb will just affect his draft stock by that much more. He needs a professional adviser to teach him how to handle interviews so that he doesn’t make further miscues. He’s dumb for not realizing that he can shore up his weakness and draft stock by simply getting an intelligent staff to support him, and that’s another strike and indication of weak intelligence again. Gee.

  31. Let me get this straight, because he didnt say “I don’t know the result yet, but I’m confident I did.” and said “yes sir” instead is a story why?

    The content of the update to this story tells me your not sure it is either.

  32. Let me get this straight. So you are telling me that players who get the notice that they failed a drug test in April? In that case why the hell would you ask the question?!!! He isn’t going to know if he did or not. Hell, I have to take random drug tests for the National Guard and if someone was to ask me if I passed the test I would as sure as heck say “yes.” I know I wouldn’t fail one and he was probably doing the same thing. Reporters some times can really over think a simple question.

  33. If Mallet hasn’t done drugs — at least in a significant period of time — the potential answers are (1) yes and (2) I certainly should have, but I suppose there is always the potential for error. Answer (2) is technically correct, but he comes off as covering something if he says that.

  34. If he knows he’s clean then he should know he passed the drug test.

    If I took a drug test today and somebody asked tomorrow if I passed it, I would tell them that I passed it…. because I’ve never actually ever done drugs… so why would I think otherwise?

  35. I’m really not following the point of this whole article. You’re saying it’s not possible for him to know definitively, which is true, but you’re arguing that because he said “yes sir,” that he may know???

    He doesn’t know, he can’t know. Drug testing does through five phases, none of which would have been done at the combine, and only one that could have possibly been known by the time his sample was taken and he gave that answer.

    The steps are:
    1. Chain of custody of the sample. Sample is taken, documented, delivered to the lab.
    2. Screening test. Done in the field or at the lab to determine the class of drug in the sample. This not done at the combine.
    3. Confirmatory test. Done at the lab. Determines the specific drug in the sample.
    4. Cutoff level. Determines the concentration of drug in the sample.
    5. Medical Review Officer. A licensed physician reviews the results.

    No screening is done at the combine. Samples are collected and sent to the lab. The rest of the process can take a week (or more). No way he knew, he’s just confident – end of story.

  36. What other answer could Mallet have possibly give that you wouldn’t have criticized him for? “I don’t know” and you’d say he obviously does drugs because he didn’t answer with a resounding “yes”. “I believe so” and you would have said he’s leaving room for doubt so obviously he’s on drugs.

    Kid can’t even say he passed a drug test without it meaning he can’t know, which means he obviously is doing drugs. C’mon man.

  37. The sad irony is that the people that are trashing this kid at every turn, are same idiots who are actively rooting for a proven turd like Micheal Vick.

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