As descriptors go, “football player” may be the most hackneyed phrases in the jargon-laden NFL. And Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan uses it often in describing the quality he seeks in potential draft picks and free agents.
So what exactly does “football player” mean to McCloughan, who clearly reserves it for players he feels warrant the highest praise? What specific qualities does it describe that he values so much?
We asked, in the aftermath of the 2016 NFL draft. And here’s what McCloughan said:
“Height, weight, speed is cool. That’s what everybody looks for, and I’m looking for it, too, because it’s a big-man’s game.
“But [‘football player’ refers to] the personality. The competitiveness. The passion for the game. Understanding it’s about team. Understanding we’re gonna take care of each other, no matter what — it’s huge to me.”
McCloughan went on to say that he felt all seven players the Redskins selected in the draft—Texas Christian wide receiver Josh Doctson, Southern California linebacker/safety Su’a Cravens, Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller, Temple defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld, Boston College linebacker Steven Daniels and Georgia running back Keith Marshall — shared those qualities.
“The one thing I really respect about the guys we took: Tough guys. Tough guys that are gonna battle each day they come out here on the practice field. That’s what I want,” McCloughan said.
“But I also want high character. I want them to understand, ‘Listen it’s not about me. It’s about us.’ That’s what we’re trying to build here culture-wise.”
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