We once again hop onto The Magic School Bus and journey into the mind of Danny O'Neil. Most of the piece covers the combine experience from the writers perspective mixed with some miscellaneous thoughts from Indy, including the observation that Mark Sanchez looks like Vincent Chase. However, at bullet point number 4 (the second one), O'Neil brings up an interesting topic:
Wake Forest's Aaron Curry conducted an interview that was the absolute hit of the combine.
As a reporter, I love a good interview as much as anyone. It's fun to ask questions of someone who is engaged and lively and enjoys talking about himself, and I wish Curry well. He seems like a fine dude, and there are plenty of people who consider him one of the best two or three players available in this draft, but that's more likely because he plays like a heat-seeking missile than his personality in an interview.
O'Neil goes on to explain that Walter Jones gives an awful interview. Lofa Tatupu, despite being engaging in a personal conversation, goes flat when the microphones are on and the questions are flying. Interview skills are great for public relations and sound bites, but they don't have any bearing on ability to play football.
It's nice to see a member of the media recognizing this fact. Beat writers tend to stick up for players who are great in front of a camera but maybe not so great on the field. In fact, beat writers probably invented "intangibles" and "grit" for this exact purpose. An effusive athlete is certainly easier to like, but do you really want your team selecting a player on the merits of his silver tongue (and no, Ocho Cinco, you don't get credit for your grill)?
How much weight should be placed on the ability to give a good press conference?