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Summer is around the corner and bored, well-paid NFL players will be hitting the streets, clubs, and bingo halls. There will be all sorts of trouble, but not from your Houston Texans. They have a three-year streak of no arrests; will they make it four?
Yes, it's nearly summertime in the NFL and already police blotters around the country are filling up with accounts of NFL players behaving badly. Check out last year's list of arrests and this one from the year before. Can I get a #SummerIsComing? Anyone?
So how have your Houston Texans fared each summer? Finding out was quite easy, thanks to the fine folks at the San Diego Union-Tribune. They created a database of incidents involving NFL players dating back to 2000. The site states that the database cannot be considered comprehensive and that increased media coverage likely accounts for more incidents listed in recent years, but it will certainly do for our purposes.
Clearly, Bob McNair and his front office value players who keep their noses clean. Last year, Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle wrote this piece on exactly that and featured Mr. McNair detailing exactly what will get a player tossed off his team's draft board:
"There are three things that are unacceptable to us," owner Bob McNair said. "Someone who abuses women; we don't put up with that. People who do that are just a bully. Bullies are usually not courageous when they're facing someone as strong as they are.
"The second thing is if there's been substance abuse. That can become a habit, and they might bring that habit with them. I'm not talking about someone who smoked marijuana. I'm talking about a persistent user of drugs. We take them off the list.
"The third thing is someone who rebels against authority. We have a very strong chain of command. Our coaches don't want to have a debate with a player every time they tell him to do something."
Rick Smith on how high character affects performance on the field:
"Guys that are disciplined … those are the guys that when the pressure is on, they will execute," Smith said. "That's how character gets translated onto the field in terms of helping you win. Is that the guys that typically do the right thing will do the right thing when the pressure's on and you need them to go make a play. That's why it's so important. That starts with Mr. McNair, and it's important to all of us."
The article goes on to say that the Texans are smart enough to know that one incident does not make a pattern of behavior. Most recently, the Texans used their first-round pick on a player accused of trashing his hotel room during the NFL Scouting Combine. How silly would the Texans have felt watching DeAndre Hopkins make circus catches for another team?
Success starts at the top, as Mr. McNair is showing us with the Texans. The culture he's cultivated in the front office and the locker room has produced a team that each of us can be proud of on and off the field. So as you chuckle to yourself this summer, reading funny stories like this (seriously, please click this), be thankful that it's not one of your boys wearing Deep Steel Blue on Sundays this fall. If anything, they'll be making headlines for all the right reasons.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below and enjoy your Friday.
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