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News » Nothing personal

Nothing personal

Nothing personal
Straight up: If your baby is ugly, don't ask Mike Leach if he thinks it's cute. The Pirate says what he thinks, which is often entertaining as long as it's not your baby he's talking about. He's Miss Manners' worst nightmare. No tact, no governor, no regrets.

But just because he's crazy doesn't mean he isn't right occasionally.

Take the flap the last couple of weeks over a couple of his Texas Tech players and the NFL draft.

When a Cleveland media blog indicated the Browns had no interest in star receiver Michael Crabtree - the term "diva" was invoked - Leach said Crabtree has had a better career than the Browns' young coach, Eric Mangini.

And when the Raiders' record-setting quarterback, Graham Harrell, went undrafted, Leach noted that the NFL's history of drafting quarterbacks is "notoriously bad."

Of course it is. The NFL hits on quarterbacks at the same rate the Rangers are right on pitchers. But Leach couldn't leave it at that.

And that's what gets him in trouble.

Asked what he thought about the Cowboys drafting Stephen McGee, whose Texas A&M days looked like something out of a 1970s scrapbook, he said the Cowboys liked McGee better than his Aggies coaches did.

Even if it was clever stuff, Mike Sherman took exception, and rightfully so.

If it's any consolation, Leach said it's nothing personal. It never is.

People call. He answers.

Simple as that.

"In all my life, I've never been mad at Texas A&M about anything," he said Wednesday. "I've always respected their traditions and what makes the school special.

"It just seems like once every six months, they get upset with me."

Pretty much any time he says something about them, as a matter of fact.

The reason to call Leach on Wednesday was to ask if he ripped the NFL because it won't employ his quarterbacks, a trend that could pose a detrimental effect on recruiting.

A college recruiting primer: Most blue-chip quarterbacks pick programs that best prepare them for the NFL. Or at least they hope so. McGee was drafted out of a program that, for three years, used him as a battering ram. But if a kid thinks that the school doesn't help, or, worse, its "system" might even hurt, what's the incentive?

Leach wouldn't answer that question. Not directly, anyway. But he did say that NFL offenses look more like his spread every day.

And it's not as if any other college coach has a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL, either.

"I can't think of anybody that's got more than two," he said.

Even with all the recent rhetoric, Leach swears he bears no hard feelings toward the NFL. And why should he? The league just drafted four Tech players, more than had been taken in the first seven rounds any year in school history.

Not that it matters to him whether the NFL offers its stamp of approval. He pretty much does as he pleases, which doesn't always turn out well.

For the record: When Leach's contract negotiations became public this off-season, I came down on management's side. Not everything Leach says is the gospel. I never said he wasn't self-serving. He just can't bite his tongue.

Frankly, that's what makes him fun. Consider his take on the draft order of the state's top quarterbacks, which went Matthew Stafford, McGee, then Rhett Bomar, with Harrell and Chase Daniel bringing up the rear as free agents.

"I ranked them Harrell and then Bomar," Leach said. "Stafford I liked also."

For a few moments, he didn't say anything. But you could sense it coming.

And sure enough . . .

"You know, the NFL likes size so much, Brandon Williams should have been drafted as a quarterback," he said of his former defensive end, picked by the Cowboys . "He's tall, about 240 pounds, and he can throw it a real long ways. As a matter of fact ..."

Thanks for the time, Mike. As always, nice talking to you.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 1, 2009

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