Confidence. It’s a beautiful elixir. In the proper doses, it can help to boost a player’s performance without the accompanying NFL suspension and ESPN headline (hello Seattle). However, when a player chooses to go bottoms up with the bottle and with no merit to do so, it usually ends in some incredibly hollow words.
Queue Cowboys’ cornerback Morris Claiborne. Recently Claiborne stepped up to the plate and swung for the fence with his “confidence bat”. Usually that wouldn’t bother me because if you’re going to have The Star on your helmet, I need you to conduct yourself with a certain swagger. One that he’s been severely lacking since being drafted sixth overall in 2012.
I must admit, though, that this isn’t a strut that Claiborne has earned. Being the sixth overall pick carries its own set of very real expectations, but, to know that the Dallas Cowboys also traded up to draft him at that spot drives the bar that much higher. Is it fair? Some say no. Some say yes. I say who cares. You’re being paid big money. Do your job.
“I’m ready,” Claiborne said. “Hands down, point blank, I’m ready. I feel better than I’ve ever felt in a long time. I’m just anxious for you guys to start asking me something else: What about the interception you made? I’m ready for those type questions.” (Morris Claiborne via ESPN)
I’m not a Claiborne cynic, however. I’m simply going by his body of Cowboys’ work. Two years in uniform. Two interceptions. Uno, dos. Stop. Yes…two. He’s had more injuries than takeaways. And this is from a player the war room had graded as high as Neon Deion Sanders. Although, that’s also a knock to the almighty general manager.
Back to Morris, though. This isn’t to serve as a textual bludgeoning of the guy. This is to serve as the 4am wake up call. Claiborne says he’s as ready as he’s ever been. My face completed contorted when I heard that (much like the victims of The Ring).
Two years in and he’s just now as ready as he’s ever been. And that’s without gaining a single pound of weight (he’s 5’11″ 190 lbs). The average height and weight of an NFL receiver is 6’2″ 218 lbs. Cringe accordingly.