Well it didn't take long for Maurice Clarett to make his presence felt at the Denver Broncos training camp, and not surprisingly, it took very little effort.
In fact, according to some of his teammates, it took no effort at all, or at least that's their feeling after the controversial rookie sat out the last thirteen days with a sore groin.
No one has come out publicly and said the rookie was dogging it, but they've come awfully close.
"You can't make the club in the tub, that's what everybody says," Rod Smith told reporters.
Wow, now there's some déjà vu. That's the exact quote quarterback Jake Plummer used in describing the situation, attributing the phrase to the legendary Mean Joe Greene, a former defensive line coach with the Arizona Cardinals during Plummer's tenure there.
Your first string quarterback and your top receiver, both calling out a fifth string running back – that's classic.
"It's a grind, Smith went on to say. "That's the thing that separates who is going to be on the team and who's not, who can come up and still make those plays when they are a little bit hurt. There is a difference between being hurt and injured. When you're injured that's another thing. (Defensive end) Courtney Brown is injured. That's a totally different scenario."
Ok, so there you have it, Smith's not saying the rookie's dogging it, but then again, that's exactly what he's saying. What's more, he's not the only one around Dove Valley saying it.
Ever the diplomat, Mike Shanahan took a more general approach to reach the same conclusion, telling reporters on Wednesday that "Everyone that is here should be concerned about making this football team and if you are not, then you are not a realist. If you are not practicing, that does not help your chances."
Message sent – Clarett returned to practice on Thursday, the final day of organized camp.
Too little too late?
Of course it is, but in the on-going saga Maurice has become, too little – too typical is a bit more accurate.
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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