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Maturity Matters

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The draft is 5 weeks away. On April 25/26th we'll learn the identities of the next round of young Seahawks. If you are unaware that Tim Ruskell avoids drafting players with character issues, you are probably new to, well, reading. Yes, Tatupu and Hill have had isolated incidents lately, but they are the exception to the rule on a fairly quiet Seahawks team.

With the latest developments in the Matt Jones story, we see again why there is value in drafting mature and responsible NFL players. Not everyone who skips a few practices in college will be as troubled as Adam Jones, but he had some known character issues coming out of West Virginia. Matt Jones, too, showed a lack of maturity in college.* As marvelous an athlete as he was on the field, Jones demonstrated a deficit between the ears.

Later in his career, Matt would, among other things, turn his back on a reporter, bend over and pull down his pants. In most places that childish game is called mooning.

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not get the benefit of all of Matt Jones' tremendous talent because Jones himself was unable to fulfill his end of the deal. Committing yourself to the value system of a team requires maturity.

The inherent risk in finding a future success on the field is only further compounded by the potential for problems once a player steps away from the turf. Professional sports is littered with examples of transcendent athletes who could not put it together due to maturity issues. While the Ruskell selection criteria mean that the Hawks will not draft any of the high character risk / high reward players, sleep well at night knowing that the next batch of Seahawks are very unlikely to break your heart off the field.


*Source - The Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Northwester Arkansas Edition. Honestly.