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There’s a reason we call NFL Draft season the “silly season.” The time is now to dissect prospects up and down. Why? Because there’s no other football and a two-and-a-half month gap between the Super Bowl and the draft. That sets the stage for a Twitter beef between former NFL’ers Ryan Clark and Brady Quinn over QB prospect CJ Stroud.
Stroud is currently a hot topic. Just a few weeks ago, he appeared to be a lock to go No. 1 overall. Now, it looks like that’s going to be Bryce Young. On top of that, the Houston Texans are publicly saying they’re not taking a QB for sure.
With Bryce Young seemingly going first, the only reason Houston wouldn’t take a quarterback is if they don’t believe in Stroud. So, NFL analysts are looking for reasons to explain why teams suddenly don’t seem enamored with Stroud.
That in mind, NFL aggregator Dov Kleiman posted a video on Twitter showing Brady Quinn talking about CJ Stroud from the “Pick Six Podcast.”
In the clip, Quinn says Stroud backed out of last summer’s Manning Passing Academy at the last minute. Then, Quinn explains Stroud is still the second-best quarterback in the draft and talks about why he really likes him as a prospect.
Quinn first took issue with the way Kleiman presented the information.
Did you want to acknowledge that he should be the second QB taken? Or are you only going to focus on the comments about “what we’re hearing are concerns”— Brady Quinn (@Brady_Quinn) April 19, 2023
But ESPN’s Ryan Clark saw the clip and decided to weigh-in.
Clark makes a fair point here, but ignores Quinn’s point. In a vacuum, no, choosing to work with your teammates over going to a summer camp is not a poor decision.
If Quinn’s source was correct, and CJ Stroud did indeed simply not show up after committing to the camp, then that’s different. We all understand that. But Clark takes it a step further with the “what does acquiescing to the Manning family have to do with leading an organization” comments.
Quinn never said Stroud owed the Manning family anything or that he should “acquiesce” to them.
He simply said if you make a commitment, especially to the Manning family because they carry a lot of weight and respect in the football community, and you back out last second that people would not view that favorably.
Also a very fair statement. But of course, that’s not where this ends, because Clark decided to make it personal.
Had Clark simply left his first tweet alone, most rational people would say his comments were perfectly valid. Again, I can quibble with his last statement, but that’s picking hairs.
But here, he calls Quinn’s character into question. The irony, of course, is that what Clark is doing is calling Quinn’s character into question to validate his own. He tears down Quinn and claims his football evaluation is based on gossip, not analysis, something the great Ryan Clark would never do. Funny, isn’t it?
But we’re not done yet.
This is also an example of an analyst not doing his homework ⬆️. There was no shot taken at his character & clearly you don’t know me, my work ethic or integrity. Maybe do the work and listen to the podcast before you start making claims.— Brady Quinn (@Brady_Quinn) April 20, 2023
Ah yes, the race card. Very subtle, but Clark chooses to reference the 2018 first overall pick, Baker Mayfield. This has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand, but Clark needs to reference a white player to try and imply that Quinn is being racist because Stroud is black.
Surely, we can find plenty of videos of analysts talking negatively about Mayfield prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. That’s what we do. I write mock drafts. I analyze players. We use the information we have to make informed opinions.
That’s all Quinn was doing here. He also goes on to talk about all the positives in Stroud’s game. The question at hand is “why did CJ Stroud go from sure-fire #1 pick to Carolina to questions about whether or not he’s going to be the second QB taken?”
We’re all searching for answers. Quinn gave a theory. Clark didn’t like that theory, but chose to attack Quinn and then, of course, imply that Quinn is diminishing Stroud because he’s black.
That’s because people like Clark, and many more in the media, don’t see a quarterback when they look at CJ Stroud. They see a black quarterback.
And that black quarterback needs to be protected at all costs from all the racist, white meanies in sports media.
And therein lies the problem. All the people constantly banging the racism drum see nothing but skin color.
Clark sees a black quarterback being criticized by a white NFL analyst. He doesn’t see an NFL Draft prospect being criticized by a football analyst.
So who’s the real racist?
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
6 CommentsLeave a Reply
They are arguing over a guy who will be replaced by another 1st round pick in 3 years.
Ryan Clark trying to keep his street credit up and trying to replace Jones.
Ryan Clark is the epitome of tribalism.
Always keeping the race card in the back pocket when you’re losing a debate or are called out for being an ignorant quota hire. Clark is the perfect ESPN employee
The funny thing is, he inserted himself in this conversation. No one even called him out. Dude took it upon himself to defend a black QB’s honor and had the audacity to bring up Baker Mayfield being arrested and drafted #1 overall in 2018. How are you gonna bring up Baker as some kind of example of white priv and totally ignore DeShaun Watson getting the most gauranteed $$ ever after 30 sexual assault claims? Oh course, had Brady Quinn said this exact thing about Will Levis there would be no issue.
Anytime Ryan Clark tries to use big words, I see Eddie Murphy in Raw, “On the evening in question, per se, your honor…”