Ryan Leaf’s identify has change into synonymous with “NFL Draft bust” within the almost 25 years since he was taken with the second general choose in 1998. However in a brand new interview, the failed quarterback prospect mentioned his downfall started even earlier than the draft.
Leaf, whose profession with the Chargers lasted three seasons, mentioned as a visitor host on “The Rich Eisen Show” that his spiral started on the 1998 NFL Scouting Mix.
Leaf’s resolution to declare for the draft got here late – so late, in truth, that Mix invites had been already despatched out, and his last-minute inclusion meant that future Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s invitation was rescinded. However as a result of he didn’t know instantly, he spent his time after the school season ended attending NFL video games and banquets reasonably than coaching for the professionals.
“I had achieved nothing,” Leaf mentioned. “I had not labored out. I had not mentally ready. I simply confirmed up in Indianapolis and thought that, you already know, I had been informed I used to be going to be the primary or second choose within the NFL Draft. What did I’ve to do in a different way?”
On the Mix, Leaf weighed in at 268 kilos – and it “wasn’t good weight,” as he put it.
Then, the Bears wished him to get an X-ray for his beforehand injured thumb, and he didn’t have one. Medical appointments take precedence over workforce conferences, and the X-ray occurred on the time Leaf was supposed to satisfy with the Colts – the workforce that ended up selecting Peyton Manning first general in that draft.
“There’s been many tales, hypothesis that I missed it on goal,” Leaf mentioned. “[Colts head coach] Jim Mora Sr. was very upset the subsequent day. In his press convention, he talked about how I missed the assembly.
“Years later, Leigh Steinberg, my agent would write a e book, and in that e book he would state that he had a dialog with me as a result of I used to be not extremely fascinated about going to Indianapolis, that it could behoove me – not that he really useful it – that I missed that assembly. And that by no means was the case. I do know you’re promoting books, I get it. We simply missed it. We missed it, we didn’t actually touch upon it, Invoice Polian and Jim Mora Sr. had been extremely upset.”
Leaf went on to say that he instantly employed a coach and had an excellent exercise with the Chargers, who ended up drafting him No. 2 general. After all, he solely began 18 video games over three seasons and had a number of off-field incidents that led to him being out of the league by 2002.
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