Steve Spurrier backtracks on Clowney work ethic remarks


Much of the pre-draft narrative about Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic was narrated by his college coach.

But now, Steve Spurrier, speaker of many inflammatory words over the years, is singing a different tune after initially saying that Clowney’s work ethic was just “OK.”

While the assembled NFL was on his campus today, Spurrier said he merely meant that Clowney didn’t have a superhuman work ethic like Marcus Lattimore and others.

“I said [Lattimore] was exceptional. I maybe should not have compared [Clowney],” Spurrier said, via Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “I should have said, ‘Jadeveon, with the rest of the team, he was right there doing what they did.’ Maybe that would’ve helped out. I compared him to a guy who went above and beyond what was asked.”

Spurrier was then asked what he’d tell an NFL coach who asked if Clowney was a hard worker.

“I’d say, ‘He’s fine, he’s fine,’ ” Spurrier replied. “Yeah, he’s fine.”

Yes, that’s a glowing endorsement, Steve. Thanks for clearing that up.

This is the stage at which anything Spurrier says should either be taken with a grain of salt or disregarded. Spurrier took the passive-aggressive approach when Clowney held himself out of a game because of injury this year, and now, Clowney can’t do the only thing that helps Spurrier — win games and make him money.

Spurrier didn’t succeed in the NFL as a coach (12-20, still better than his 13-24-1 record as a quarterback), despite mocking coaches such as Jim Haslett for putting in long hours. Then he retreated back to the shorter and regulated hours of the college game, which allowed him much more time to play golf.

So perhaps he’s not the guy to ask about work ethic in the first place.